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Krunoslav Stjepan Draganović (born 30 October 1903, Brčko, Austria-Hungary, died June 1983, Sarajevo) was a Croatian Roman Catholic priest and historian who is accused as being one of the main organisers of the ratlines which aided the escape of Nazi war criminals from Europe after World War II.



Draganović was from Travnik (now part of Bosnia and Herzegovina). He attended secondary school in Travnik and studied theology and philosophy in Sarajevo. Draganović was ordained a priest on Jul 1, 1928.[1] From 1932-35 he studied at the Papal Oriental Institute and the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome.

In 1935 he returned to Bosnia, initially as secretary to Bishop Ivan Šarić. In August 1943 Draganović returned to Rome, where he became secretary of the Croatian 'Confraternity of San Girolamo', based at the monastery of San Girolamo degli Illirici in Via Tomacelli. This monastery became the centre of operations for the Croat ratline, as documented by CIA surveillance files.

He is believed to have been instrumental in the escape to Argentina of the Croatian wartime dictator and war criminal (and mass murderer), Ante Pavelić [2][3]. Asked by Klaus Barbie why he was going out of his way to help him escape to Juan Peron's Argentina, he responded: "We have to maintain a sort of moral reserve on which we can draw in the future." [4]

Draganović was a controversial and mysterious figure, who is central to many allegations involving the Vatican Bank, the CIA, and the Nazi Party. Declassified CIA documents confirm that Draganović was a member of the Ustase, a far-right Nazi-affiliated Croatian fascist organisation that was given control of Croatia by the Axis powers in 1941. Draganović has been accused of laundering the Ustashe's treasure of jewelry and other items stolen from Ustaše victims in Croatia.

But perhaps the greatest mystery surrounds Draganović's later defection to Tito's Yugoslavia. He turned up in Sarajevo and gave a press conference on 15 November 1967 at which he praised the "democratisation and humanising of life" under Tito.

He denied the claims made by the Croatian diaspora press that he had been kidnapped or entrapped by the UDBA Yugoslav secret police.

Draganović spent his last years in Sarajevo updating the general register of the Roman Catholic Church in Yugoslavia, and died in June 1982.


  • Izvješće fra Tome Ivkovića, biskupa skradinskog, iz godine 1630., 1933
  • Izvješće apostolskog vizitatora Petra Masarechija o prilikama katoličkog naroda u Bugarskoj, Srbiji, Srijemu, Slavoniji i Bosni g. 1623. i 1624. (1937)
  • Hrvati i Herceg-Bosna (1940)
  • Hrvatske biskupije. Sadašnjost kroz prizmu prošlosti (1943)
  • Katalog katoličkih župa u BH u XVII. vijeku (1944)
  • Povijest Crkve u Hrvatskoj (1944)
  • Katarina Kosača – Bosanska kraljica (1978)
  • Komušina i Kondžilo (1981)
  • Masovni prijelazi katolika na pravoslavlje hrvatskog govornog područja u vrijeme vladavine Turaka (1991)


  1. ^ Prof. Krunoslav Stjepan Draganović (1903-1983)
  2. ^ Yossi Melman, Tied up in the Rat Lines, Haaretz, 17 January 2006
  3. ^ "Arrival of Ante Pavelic in Argentina", US Army report from December 2, 1948, from the CIA file on Ante Pavelić. Published on the website of the Jasenovac Committee of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
  4. ^ Mark Falcoff, Peron's Nazi Ties, Time, November 9, 1998, vol 152, n°19


  • Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis, and the Swiss Bankers, St Martins Press 1991 (revised 1998)

See also

  • Ratlines for more details and references on Draganović escape-route activities.

External links



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