Croatian diplomat?

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Mikko H.
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Croatian diplomat?

Post by Mikko H. » 23 Aug 2014 08:07

Is this man possibly a Croatian diplomat? His uniform looks like a German diplomatic uniform, but the sleeve insignia resemble Croatian trefoils.

Image

The picture was taken on 4 June 1942 in Helsinki, Finland. It's a part of a series of photographs showing foreign dignitaries signing a book of congratulations for Marshal Mannerheim's 75th birthday. The full photo shows the US military attache signing the book, while our man is in the crowd background waiting for his turn.

Source: http://www.sa-kuva.fi picture number 89486

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Dr Eisvogel
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Re: Croatian diplomat?

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 05 Sep 2014 22:40

Mikko H. wrote:Is this man possibly a Croatian diplomat? His uniform looks like a German diplomatic uniform, but the sleeve insignia resemble Croatian trefoils.

Image

The picture was taken on 4 June 1942 in Helsinki, Finland. It's a part of a series of photographs showing foreign dignitaries signing a book of congratulations for Marshal Mannerheim's 75th birthday. The full photo shows the US military attache signing the book, while our man is in the crowd background waiting for his turn.

Source: http://www.sa-kuva.fi picture number 89486
Hi Mikko H.,

if it is a Croatian diplomat (and I am not an expert in Croatian WWII diplomacy), it is probably dr. Ferdo Bošnjaković, Croatian ambassador in Finland. The insignia indeed resemble the Croatian trefoils.

Biographical sketch:
BOŠNJAKOVIĆ, Ferdo
Born: October, 10th 1900 in Podcrkavlje near Slavonski Brod (at the time Brod na Savi)
Died: September, 18th 1984 in Ibiza, Spain
Profession: lawyer
Career: in October 1941 appointed Ambassador in Finland, in September 1944 crossed to Sweden and ended up at the Embassy in Berlin. In October 1944 removed from his function and returns to Zagreb. From Zagreb went to Copenhagen. Again in service, he flees to Sweden in April of 1945, from Sweden to Argentina , from Argentina to Spain.
http://www.sbperiskop.net/kolumne/strib ... taski-brod

***

If I remember correctly, before the Second World War he was a politician of the Croatian Peasant Party (CPP). He served as defense attorney during a political trial of the president of the CPP, under the dictatorship in the beginning of 1930-ies.

If you are interested I can try to dig a bit more details about him, including proper (secondary) sources.

***

The data about the archival fund of Croatian Embassy in Helsinki 1941-1944 in Croatian State Archives:
http://arhinet.arhiv.hr/details.aspx?ItemId=3_1253
http://arhinet.arhiv.hr/details.aspx?ItemId=1_4201

Best regards,
Eisvogel

Mikko H.
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Re: Croatian diplomat?

Post by Mikko H. » 07 Sep 2014 09:17

Thanks for the reply. Did Croatia declare war on the USA (or vice versa) at any point of the war? I just wonder if a Croatian and a US diplomat would have been in the same room in June 1942.

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Dr Eisvogel
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Re: Croatian diplomat?

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 07 Sep 2014 22:00

Mikko H. wrote:Thanks for the reply. Did Croatia declare war on the USA (or vice versa) at any point of the war? I just wonder if a Croatian and a US diplomat would have been in the same room in June 1942.
Independent State of Croatia (ISC) declared war on the United States of America (USA) on December 13th 1941.

As far as I know the USA didn't declare war on ISC, because it did not recognize it as a state. During the WWII the USA maintained diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia Government-in-Exile.

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Dr Eisvogel
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Re: Croatian diplomat?

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 09 Feb 2017 23:01

Mikko H. wrote:Thanks for the reply. Did Croatia declare war on the USA (or vice versa) at any point of the war? I just wonder if a Croatian and a US diplomat would have been in the same room in June 1942.
Dear Mikko H.,

I have found a report by a Yugoslav diplomat from Stockholm, A. Avakumović, about Croatian ambassador in Finland and - US chargé d'affaires in Finland.
šifrovano pismo
otpravljeno iz Stockholma 6 jula 1943 godine
primljeno u Londonu 18 jula 1943 godine u 10 čas.

Smatrajte kao strogo poverljivo. Lično za Ministra.
Američki otpravnik poslova u Finskoj, na kratkom boravku u Stockholmu, reče mi:
1. Imam utisak da hrvatski poslanik u Finskoj, Bošnjaković, želi da mi se približi i da mi ponudi svoje usluge protiv Nemačke. Poručuje mi da ne veruje u u pobedu Nemačke.
2. Ne isključujem da on pokušava doći u vezu sa Englezima.
3. Ne znam da li to sve radi na svoju ruku ili sa znanjem Pavelića.
Pošto ću krajem ovog meseca ponovo biti sa američkim otpravnikom poslova molim vas uputstva.

Str. Pov. br. 43.
Avakumović
Source: Ljubo Boban, Hrvatska u diplomatskim izvještajima izbjegličke vlade 1941-1943. [Croatia in diplomatic reports of the exiled government 1941-1943], Vol I., Zagreb, 1988, p. 284

My translation:
ciphered letter
sent from Stockholm 6th July 1943
received in London 18th July 1943 at 10 o'clock

Consider as strictly confidential. Personally for the Minister.
American chargé d'affaires in Finland, during short stay in Stockholm, told me:
1. I have an impression that Croatian Ambassador in Finland, Bošnjaković, wants to get close to me and to offer me his services against Germany. He is conveying to me that he doesn't believe in Germany's victory.
2. I don't exclude that he is trying to establish connection with the Englishmen.
3. I don't know does he do all of this on his own or with [Ante] Pavelić's knowledge.
Since at the end of this month I will be again with American chargé d'affaires I ask instructions.

Str.[ictly] Conf.[idential] No. 43
Avakumović
Best regards,
Eisvogel

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