The Info List - Poglavnik

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POGLAVNIK (pronounced ) was the title used by Ante Pavelić
Ante Pavelić
, leader of World War II Croatian movement Ustaše
and of the Independent State of Croatia
between 1941 and 1945.


* 1 Etymology and usage * 2 Political role and context * 3 See also * 4 References


The word was first recorded in a 16th-century dictionary compiled by Fausto Veranzio as a Croatian term for the Latin
word princeps .

According to the Dictionary of the Croatian Language compiled by Vladimir Anić and the Croatian Encyclopedic Dictionary the word comes from the adjective form "poglavit", which can be loosely translated as "first and foremost" or "respectable, noble, honorable". The adjective is in turn a compound of the Croatian prefix "po-" and the Proto-Slavic word stem "glava" (head).

Because it was used by the fascist regime, the title (which had originally meant "head" or "chief" but was rarely used before the 1930s) is never used today in its original sense as it became synonymous with Pavelić and took on negative connotations after World War II.

Other etymologically closely related words used in modern Croatian are "poglavica" (translated as "chief", used to identify tribal leaders) and "poglavar" (translated as "head of state", sometimes used for monarchs or elected heads of state).


Ante Pavelić
Ante Pavelić
first began using the title of "Poglavnik" when it was proscribed as the official title for the supreme leader of the Ustaše movement in the organization's founding charter in 1930, while he was in exile in Italy. The organization (whose name at the time meant simply "rebels" in Croatian but which also lost its original meaning in modern usage), was organized as a movement which sought to create an independent Croatian nation-state by means of armed struggle at the time when Croatia