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In the Shadow of Hitler: Personalities of the Right in Central and Eastern Europe
 1845116976, 9781845116972

Table of contents :
Cover
Contents
Acknowledgements
List of Contributors
Introduction -- Rebecca Haynes
1. Political Modernism and the Cultural Production of 'Personalities of the Right' in Inter-War Europe -- Roger Griffin
2. Hitler's Hero: Georg Von Schonerer and the Origins of Nazism -- Steven Beller
3. Grabriele D'Annunzio: From Aestheticism to Anarchy. The Poet as Politician -- John Woodhouse
4. Theodor Fritsch: the 'Godfather' of German Antisemitism -- Egbert Klautke
5. Founding Father of Modern Poland and Nationalist Antisemite: Roman Dmowski -- Andreas Kossert
6. Cecile Tormay: A Gentlewoman in the Graveyard of the Hunchbacks -- Gwenyth Jones
7. Gyula Gombos: An Outsider's Attempt at Radical Reform -- Miklos Zeidler
8. A Scandinavian Erratic Amidst the Ruins of Empire: The Finnish Case, 1918-44 -- David Kirby
9. 'Leader' or 'Devil'? Milan Stojadinovic, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (1935-39), and his Ideology -- Dejan Djokic
10. Corneliu Zelea Codreanu: The Romanian 'New Man' -- Rebecca Haynes
11. 'For Us, Beloved Commander, You will never Die!' Mourning Jure Francetic, Ustasha Death Squad Leader -- Rory Yeomans
12. The Czechoslovak Sphinx: 'Moderate and Reasonable' Konrad Henlein -- Mark Cornwall
13. Stepan Bandera: In Search of a Ukraine for Ukrainians -- David R. Marples
14. The Christian Social Roots of Jozef Tiso's Radicalism, 1887-1939 -- Thomas Anselm Lorman
15. Ferenc Szalasi, 'Hungarism' and the Arrow Cross -- Martyn Rady
16. Ion Antonescu: the Paradoxes of his Regime, 1940-44 -- Dennis Deletant
17. Willing Bystanders: Dimitrije Ljotic, 'Shield Collaboration' and the Destruction of Serbia's Jews -- Jovan Byford
18. 'From my point of view, I never Ceased being a good Austrian.' The Ideology and Career of Edmund Glaise Von Horstenau -- George Christoph and Berger Waldenegg
Index

Citation preview

Rebecca Haynes is Senior Lecturer in Romanian History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. Martyn Rady is Professor of Central European History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.

IN THE SHADOW OF HITLER Personalities of the Right in Central and Eastern Europe

Edited by Rebecca Haynes and Martyn Rady

Published in 2011 by I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd 6 Salem Road, London W2 4BU 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010 www.ibtauris.com Distributed in the United States and Canada Exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010 Copyright Editorial selection and Introduction © 2011 Rebecca Haynes and Martyn Rady Copyright Individual Chapters © 2011 Steven Beller, Jovan Byford, Mark Cornwall, Dennis Deletant, Dejan Djokić, Roger Griffin, Rebecca Haynes, Gwyneth Jones, David Kirby, Egbert Klautke, Andreas Kossert, Thomas Anselm Lorman, David R. Marples, Martyn Rady, Georg Christoph Berger Waldenegg, John Woodhouse, Rory Yeomans and Miklós Zeidler. The right of Rebecca Haynes and Martyn Rady to be identified as the editors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. International Library of Twentieth Century History 23 ISBN 978 1 84511 697 2 A full CIP record for this book is available from the British Library A full CIP record for this book is available from the Library of Congress Library of Congress catalog card: available Printed and bound in India by Thomson Press (India) Camera-ready copy edited and supplied by the author

In memory of László Péter (1929–2008)

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements List of Contributors

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Introduction Rebecca Haynes

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1 Political Modernism and the Cultural Production of ‘Personalities of the Right’ in Inter-War Europe Roger Griffin 2 Hitler’s Hero: Georg von Schönerer and the Origins of Nazism Steven Beller 3 Gabriele D’Annunzio: From Aestheticism to Anarchy. The Poet as Politician John Woodhouse 4 Theodor Fritsch: The ‘Godfather’ of German Antisemitism Egbert Klautke 5 Founding Father of Modern Poland and Nationalist Antisemite: Roman Dmowski Andreas Kossert

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6 Cécile Tormay: A Gentlewoman in the Graveyard of the Hunchbacks Gwenyth Jones

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7 Gyula Gömbös: An Outsider’s Attempt at Radical Reform Miklós Zeidler

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8 A Scandinavian Erratic amidst the Ruins of Empire: The Finnish Case, 1918–44 David Kirby

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9 ‘Leader’ or ‘Devil’? Milan Stojadinović, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (1935–39), and His Ideology Dejan Djokić

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Corneliu Zelea Codreanu: The Romanian ‘New Man’ Rebecca Haynes

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11 ‘For us, beloved commander, you will never die!’ Mourning Jure Francetić, Ustasha Death Squad Leader Rory Yeomans

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12 The Czechoslovak Sphinx: ‘Moderate and Reasonable’ Konrad Henlein Mark Cornwall

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13 Stepan Bandera: In Search of a Ukraine for Ukrainians David R. Marples

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14 The Christian Social Roots of Jozef Tiso’s Radicalism, 1887–1939 Thomas Anselm Lorman

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15 Ferenc Szálasi, ‘Hungarism’ and the Arrow Cross Martyn Rady

16 Ion Antonescu: The Paradoxes of His Regime, 1940–44 Dennis Deletant

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17 Willing Bystanders: Dimitrije Ljotić, ‘Shield Collaboration’ and the Destruction of Serbia’s Jews Jovan Byford 18 ‘From my point of view, I never ceased being a good Austrian.’ The Ideology and Career of Edmund Glaise von Horstenau Georg Christoph Berger Waldenegg Index

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ACK NOWLEDGEMENTS

The editors gratefully acknowledge the support of the UCL SSEES Research Policy and Funding Committee, which provided generous assistance for the seminar programme, held at the School between 2003 and 2008, upon which this volume is based. The convenors of the seminar were, in addition to the editors, Professor Mark Cornwall and Dr Egbert Klautke, and we are indebted to them for their continued advice and encouragement in the preparation of the present book. Our thanks also go to Ann Corry for her assistance with copy editing; the inconsistencies and infelicities that remain are our own. The photograph on the dust cover, of Henlein with Hitler in the Sudetenland in October 1938, is reproduced by kind permission of the Krajská vědecká knihovna, Liberec, Czech Republic. This book is dedicated to the memory of Professor László Péter (1929–2008). Even though long retired, László remained a regular and active participant in many of the seminars held at the School, including in particular the series on Personalities of the Right. His intellectual engagement, vitality and friendship will long be missed. The Editors UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies London

CONTR IBUTOR S

Steven Beller is an independent scholar based in Washington, D.C. Georg Christoph Berger Waldenegg is Professor of Modern History at the University of Heidelberg. Jovan Byford is Lecturer in Psychology at the Open University. Mark Cornwall is Professor of Modern History at the University of Southampton. Dennis Deletant is Professor of Romanian Studies at UCL SSEES. Dejan Djokić is Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary History at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Roger Griffin is Professor in Modern History at Oxford Brookes University. Rebecca Haynes is Senior Lecturer in Romanian History at UCL SSEES. Gwenyth Jones completed her PhD at UCL SSEES. David Kirby is Emeritus Professor of Modern European History at UCL SSEES. Egbert Klautke is Lecturer in the Cultural History of Central Europe at UCL SSEES. Andreas Kossert is Senior Research Fellow at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.

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Thomas Anselm Lorman is Associate Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati. David R. Marples is Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Alberta. Martyn Rady is Professor of Central European History at UCL SSEES. John Woodhouse, FBA, is Emeritus Fiat-Serena Professor of Italian Studies and a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. Rory Yeomans completed his PhD at UCL SSEES. Miklós Zeidler is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Hungarian History at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.

INTRODUCTION Rebecca Haynes

This anthology has its origins in the seminar series, ‘Personalities of the Right in Central and Eastern Europe’, held at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies between 2003 and 2008. The present volume builds on the series and reviews the careers of sixteen figures in right-wing politics in the region from the late nineteenth century to 1945. It includes politicians and activists from Austria, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. All of these ‘personalities of the right’ were influential in the making of right-wing politics in their own countries and, in several cases, their careers had an international resonance. In most English-language studies of the European right they have, however, generally been accorded a lesser role. Where they are not merely footnotes, they are most often portrayed as the tools or acolytes of Adolf Hitler. It is the purpose of this volume to bring the right-wing leadership of the region from under the shadow cast by the Third Reich and to consider its personalities as agents and actors in their own right. Invariably, readers will be surprised at the omission of some individuals who might be considered major figures in the history of the political right in Central and Eastern Europe. Where thus are Ante Pavelić, Engelbert Dollfuss and so on? But convenors of seminars and the editors of volumes must necessarily work with research in progress, not with research as wished. So, while the present volume cannot pretend to be comprehensive, it can at least provide a snapshot of research currently underway within the field and endeavour to build upon it.

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In the making of this volume, we have relied in the main upon contributors from the United Kingdom while at the same time inviting additional contributions from scholars in North America and in Central and Eastern Europe. Additionally, we have sought both in this volume and in the seminar series upon which it was founded to bring together established and younger scholars, including several who have only recently been awarded their doctorates. We believe the volume to be stronger for this. The contributions span a broad geographical area, from Germany to Ukraine, and a generous time frame. All are united by their interest in personality and the right wing. The first of these represents, in terms of the longue durée of historiography, a relatively new direction. Over the last decades, there has been an increasing interest in ‘life histories’, partly arising as a corrective to structuralist and social history readings, but also in an attempt to assert the power of human agency over collectivity. In respect of Nazi Germany, we may think here not only of the progress of Sir Ian Kershaw’s own research but also of new portraits of the leading Nazis, as well as of such lesser agents as Edmund Veesenmayer and Odilo Globocnik.1 By concentrating on some of the main right-wing personalities in Central and Eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century, our contributors correct a tendency to see the region as somehow fated to be the wax tablet on which Nazi Germany etched its ambitions. Through the framework of its actors, they may identify the larger illusions, intentions, hopes and frustrations that ultimately impelled the region into the shadow of the Third Reich. The terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ are constructs that have been subject to reinterpretation over time. As political terms, ‘left’ and ‘right’ were first articulated in respect of seating arrangements in the French Legislative Assembly in 1791, in which the radical Montagnards (precursors to the Jacobins) sat to the left of the speaker and the more moderate Feuillants to the right. By the early twentieth century, however, radicalism had ceased to be the preserve of the left. Indeed, as the political middle ground in countries such as France, Germany and Austria shifted towards social democracy, the traditional parties of the left became increasingly perceived as the more moderate force in politics.

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By contrast, the right, which had formerly stood for conservatism in the Metternichean sense of the maintenance of established rights and of balancing the different interests and classes of society,2 increasingly reclaimed the nation, as both a cultural and blood community, and put it at the heart of its political ideology. Certainly, the idea of the nation as an organic whole had previously underpinned the Jacobin revolutionary programme as well as that of the 1848 ‘doctrinaires’, and it was in the name of the nation that the old left had confronted the ancien régime’s legacy of social privilege and political exclusion. But, by embracing the class-based internationalism of scientific socialism and the liberal belief in individual rights, the left had increasingly abandoned the principle of nationhood, considering it to constitute but a ‘temporary phenomenon’. The idea of the nation as an organic community might thus be reconstituted by the right and infused with new meaning and power. But by putting the nation at the heart of its ideology, the right split into two wings. On the one side were those who stressed the nation as a cultural community, resting on shared traditions and bound by time-honoured conventions. This led towards conservatism in social policy and, because democratic institutions were often considered to promote factionalism, towards anti-parliamentary and authoritarian remedies. Among the exponents of this trend we may identify in the context of this volume General Ion Antonescu, Milan Stojadinović and Msgr Jozef Tiso. On the other side were those who regarded the nation as a community of destiny, the parts of which had to be energized and renewed so that the whole might fulfil its manifest vocation. This programme, with its stress on rebirth and remoulding, rejected conservative remedies. It viewed the status quo as an inadequate framework in which to accomplish the nation’s goals and saw national rebirth as necessarily involving a far-reaching social and even biological revolution that would cleanse and reinvigorate the body politic. The majority of contributions to the present collection deal with exponents of this radicalizing, and ultimately fascist, trend. The distinction between the two wings, the conservative-authoritarian and the radical-fascist, was never clear-cut. Both formed alliances to confront the threat from the left and liberal democracy, and

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both borrowed from each other’s programmes. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the installation of the Fascist dictatorship in Italy in the 1920s provided a model not only for would-be fascist imitators, ‘but also, albeit usually in a more selective way, for elements within the conservative right itself’.3 Likewise, the radical fascists used readings of history and national mythologies as a means of popular mobilization, and the employment of these symbols of past greatness and national cohesion formed a bridge to the conservative-authoritarian right. The fascists’ dependence, moreover, on the conservative right for its eventual access to power is well known from the terms of Hitler’s own Machtergreifung. Nevertheless, as Miklós Zeidler shows here in his study of Gyula Gömbös, by allying with the established forces, the radicals often found their wings clipped.4 These conjunctions should not, however, blind us to the differences between the conservative-authoritarian and fascist right. Whereas the former sought to defend the establishment and stressed the nation’s military, royal and religious traditions, the fascists aimed to replace the established order with a movement which would articulate the collective national will. As Roger Griffin points out in the next chapter, many responded to the sense that European civilization had entered into terminal decline and decadence, and sought to create an entirely new society that served the ‘ethnic core’ outside conventional politics.5 As Mussolini himself put it, fascism ‘is not reactionary but revolutionary.’ 6 While leadership is crucial to any political movement, fascism, as Noël O’Sullivan has argued elsewhere, ‘is the only modern ideology to place the explicit cult of a leader at the very centre of its teaching.’7 While in the case of the conservative-authoritarian right the leader’s purpose was to act as a rallying point for the preservation of the status quo, the fascist interpretation of leadership posed a direct challenge to the social order. Fascists based their legitimacy on a theory of popular sovereignty in which the people, as ‘sole legitimate possessor of absolute power’, transferred their power to the leader as the symbol and articulator of the ‘general will’. As O’Sullivan writes, ‘in this perspective, the fascist leader principle is the twentieth-century heir to the democratic doctrine of 1789: just as the democratic slogan was vox

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populi, vox dei, so the Fascist Decalogue declared in like fashion that “Mussolini is always right”.’ Thus, the leader’s authority was based not on election but upon his ability to intuit and articulate the ‘real will’ of the people.8 It was therefore crucial for leaders to be seen as sincere ‘men of the people’, especially by those sections of society that had been hitherto neglected by the political establishment. It is clear that many of our personalities exercised a strong popular rapport and received considerable genuine adulation. As Zeidler writes in respect of Gömbös, ‘The sheer fact that he spent time and effort meeting with ordinary people, unlike traditional politicians, made a good impression, which was only improved by his ability to strike the right note in his speeches and by his obvious sincerity.’9 Martyn Rady likewise notes that Ferenc Szálasi, despite his poor speaking ability, could also impress people with his sincerity and that ‘we should not overlook the genuine affection and respect which he inspired, particularly among those lesser Hungarians whom the politicians and parties of inter-war Hungary had so studiously ignored.’10 Similarly, Mark Cornwall writes that Konrad Henlein ‘was attractive to the Sudeten population precisely because of his ordinariness, his ability to be an Everyman who represented the average Sudeten German’s grievances’, and that according to a contemporary, ‘his simplicity and lack of intellectual airs gains him the confidence of the masses.’11 Paradoxically, therefore, whereas fascism promoted a muscular heroism among its cadres, in respect of its leaders it was often their very banality that signalled their greatness. The leadership principle created a new democratic legitimacy in which the artificial, impersonal relationships of parliamentary democracy were replaced by a ‘natural’ and unmediated ‘personal relationship’ between the leader and his followers.12 As Ernest Barker noted in 1936, it was a mark of the time that ‘men turn for their inspiration to the living flow of personality’ which ‘challenges democracy as a mere impersonal system of many voices.’13 Both conservatives and fascists repudiated liberal democracy on account not only of its apparent corruption but also of its division of the nation and society into mutually antagonistic, class-based parties. Moreover, parliamentary institutions gave a voice to unpopular national minorities. This was especially

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the case after the introduction of universal manhood suffrage in the new and enlarged states of Central and Eastern Europe after the First World War, and was reinforced by the imposition of the minorities’ protection treaties. Corneliu Codreanu, as Rebecca Haynes points out, thus believed that liberal democracy divided the Romanian nation and gave a voice to the ‘corrupting’ Jewish minority.14 He therefore broke with the older generation of nationalists, who had been prepared to work through parliament, in favour of creating a national mass movement outside ‘the system’ (although he was later forced to fight elections). Such sentiments were shared by nearly all the right-wing leaders of inter-war Central and Eastern Europe, including members of the conservative trend. The Catholic cleric, Msgr Jozef Tiso, thus regarded democracy as a direct threat to the Catholic Church and so by extension to the unity of the Slovak people. As Thomas Lorman explains, Tiso ‘repeatedly denounced all other political parties in Slovakia as mere representatives of specific interest groups. He accused them, by their very existence, of undermining social cohesion (national unity),’ and he repeatedly declared that only the clerically-led Slovak People’s Party had ‘the right to speak in the name of the Slovak people.’15 It is, of course, easy to condemn the right for its rejection of liberal democracy. But as Mark Mazower has written elsewhere with respect to inter-war Europe as a whole: ‘Like it or not, both fascism and communism involved real efforts to tackle the problems of mass politics, of industrialization and social order; liberal democracy did not always have all the answers.’16 Such difficulties were the greater in the new or enlarged states of Central and Eastern Europe, all of which laboured under varying degrees of ethnic and political tensions, rural poverty and over-population. Parliaments seemed incapable of addressing these problems. Moreover, to the weak parliamentary traditions in these countries was frequently added the burden of proportional representation that exaggerated the divisions, factionalism and dubious back-room deals of which both strands of the right were such vocal critics. In addition, throughout large parts of the region, the fledgling parliamentary institutions were themselves in the 1920s consistently undermined by the executive: through its exercise of strong discretionary powers; through its manipulation of elections; and through the

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establishment of the ‘regime phalanx’ in which the organs of party and state became intertwined.17 Just as Weimar democracy was consumed from within by Brüning’s Notverordnungen of 1930, so the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe were in the 1920s also eviscerated by the governments that presided over them. A decisive factor bringing together both the conservative and the fascist right was their fear of communism. The November Revolution of 1917 was followed little more than a year later by the Russian invasion of Poland and the destruction of the emerging independent Ukrainian state. Just as importantly, in March 1919 Béla Kun’s Soviet Republic was installed in Hungary and it went on to attack both Romania and Czechoslovakia, briefly imposing a communist regime in parts of Slovakia. In Hungary, the communist government waged a campaign of terror that included assaults on both churches and kulaks. Although the government of Béla Kun barely lasted four months, its memory shaped politics not only in Hungary but also in neighbouring states, and it was particularly influential in drawing the later leadership of the right into public life. Thus Jozef Tiso’s hostility to socialism was intensified by his enforced flight from the communists in Nitra in 1919, where he had been teaching in a seminary. Likewise, Dimitrije Ljotić’s own entry to politics occurred in 1919 when he broke a railway workers’ strike in Bakar in Croatia that was intended to disrupt the flow of munitions to the forces fighting against Kun. For his part, Gyula Gömbös was transformed from soldier to politician by his experience of fighting Kun’s forces in 1919 – the year he established the avowedly national socialist MOVE18 organization in Szeged. To the experience of 1919 was added the ambition of Soviet Russia. The Soviet Union never relinquished its claim to Bessarabia in Romania (nor to the Baltic States and eastern Poland) and in 1924 established in Transnistria the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to act as a bridgehead in the reconquest of Bessarabia. Early Soviet plotting against the Greater Romanian kingdom combined with the shock of Béla Kun’s seizure of power in Hungary to convince the young Codreanu that Romania was encircled by communism and at risk of dismemberment. Fear of the Soviet Union and of its aims in the region, and in Europe more generally, grew in the

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1930s. In 1935 France and Czechoslovakia signed mutual assistance treaties with the Soviet Union. This proved a crucial factor in the increasingly anti-Czech attitude of Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party, which was led largely by a Catholic clergy that was already distrustful of the Czechs on account of their anticlerical and left-leaning policies. Following Hlinka’s death in 1938, Tiso took over leadership of the party and was, as we have seen, similarly uncompromising towards communism. In Serbia, Milan Stojadinović evinced an equally intense dislike of the pact which he presciently saw as drawing the Soviet Union into the politics of the region. At the same time, the Comintern increased its influence over European communist parties. The formation of the French Popular Front and the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 certainly gave the impression that the left, now radicalized and with the backing of the Soviet Union, was resurgent throughout Europe. This drove many governments to seek to establish better links with Nazi Germany and served to push individual politicians further rightwards. Fear of communism, in both its domestic and Soviet variants, conjoined with antisemitism which was to prove a crucial bond that united the right and drew together exponents of both the conservative and fascist wings. In the present volume, the only personalities that did not evince a marked antisemitism appear to be Gabriele D’Annunzio, Milan Stojadinović and Edmund Glaise von Horstenau. As Christoph Berger Waldenegg points out, however, Glaise von Horstenau’s indifference did not prevent him from being implicated in atrocities against Jews in the Balkans.19 For its part, Stojadinović’s restraint should not allow us to think that inter-war Serbia was, as has often been claimed, devoid of anti-Semitism – a view that must necessarily be qualified by Jovan Byford’s study of Dimitrije Ljotić.20 Antisemitism was an ingrained feature of European politics well before the First World War. Only among the British, sufficiently confident not to feel inferior to Jews, was it not a part of the common pulse of politics, although individual politicians were by no means devoid of antisemitic sentiments. In Central and Eastern Europe, antisemitism rested not only on the sense that Jews were outsiders, but that they were both by their presence and by their activity a particular threat to the

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integrity of the national community. For Georg von Schönerer, as examined by Steven Beller, Jews constituted a cosmopolitan, transnational entity which, like Catholicism, Social Democracy and the Habsburg dynasty, diluted and corrupted the sense of German national being.21 Theodor Fritsch, the subject of Egbert Klautke’s contribution here, was one of the first writers to couple antisemitism to Aryan racial biology. Fritsch also held Jews responsible for the 1873 Krach that had devastated the German and Austrian economies and driven many craftsmen out of business.22 For his part, Roman Dmowski, whose antisemitic views are analysed here by Andreas Kossert, organized in 1912 the first boycott of Jewish shops in Russian Poland. Dmowski held Jews to be obsessed with money, believed that they took advantage of economic crises, bribed politicians, and were, by their inherently internationalist disposition, drawn to socialism and communism.23 Antisemitism conjoined after the First World War with anticommunism. The presence (at least until the Purges) of Jews among the leadership of the Soviet Union and their prominence within the top ranks of Béla Kun’s Hungarian Soviet Republic made plausible the equation of communist with Jew. To the Jew as ‘rootless cosmopolitan’ might now be added the contention that he was bound by his restless egoism, materialism and destructive anti-nationalism to embrace either the internationalist ideology of communism or to embed himself into the international world of finance-capitalism. Thus, with the few exceptions noted above, the personalities of the right considered in this volume assumed as a matter of course an antisemitic stance. Their denunciation of Jews tended, however, to eschew the type of biological antisemitism that characterized much of Nazi propaganda. Notwithstanding the traditions of racial science in Hungary24 and Ferenc Szálasi’s own interest in earlobes and nostrils, Szálasi’s antisemitism was thus of a more conventional kind. He considered Jews ‘by inclination both Bolsheviks and capitalist exploiters’, there being no place for them in his ‘Great Fatherland’.25 For its part, Tiso’s antisemitism was coloured by his Christian Social ideology which perceived the Jews as both un-Christian and as ‘bourgeois exploiters’.26 For Codreanu, meanwhile, Jews lay necessarily outside the bounds of the national community not just on account of their

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greed and corruption but also due to his identification of them with communism. In several respects, therefore, Dennis Deletant’s verdict on Antonescu’s antisemitism summarizes the outlook of many of the personalities included in this collection: ‘Whereas for Hitler Jews were a deadly disease, debilitating the Aryan race, for Antonescu they were unpatriotic, disloyal [...] and economic exploiters. But the greatest danger which the Jews posed [...] in Antonescu’s mind was their predilection for Bolshevism. The epithet “Judeo-Bolshevik” was frequently employed by Antonescu and his vice-president, Mihai Antonescu, to characterize Jews [...].’27 It is in this respect that the Finnish exception proves the rule. Finland was a new state, born amidst violence out of the First World War, and with uncertain borders. Overwhelmingly agrarian and with a ten-per-cent minority population, independent Finland might have been expected to follow the same road as the new and enlarged states to its south. But it did not, and, although it fell militarily under Hitler’s shadow in the Continuation War of 1941–44, it notably failed to produce a significant ‘personality of the right’. The explanation, as David Kirby suggests, lies both in the strength and longevity of Finland’s parliamentary institutions which preceded national independence, the loyalty evinced by its minority and the long history of Finnish–Swedish interaction, and the success of its land reform and the consequent lack of the ‘peasant problem’ which plagued most of Central and Eastern Europe. There was, moreover, no ‘Jewish problem’ around which aspiring politicians might rally, while the Reds of 1919 were not tainted by membership of an ‘outsider’ community. As Kirby concludes, ‘In comparison with other European countries, then, there were no social, ethnic or religious divisions deep enough to overturn the basic consensus that underlay the multi-party parliamentary system.’28 Kirby’s essay stresses the role of political culture – of a historic regard for institutions and for consensus between groups. We may, nevertheless, also observe that the political culture of Finland was informed by a centuries-long adherence to Lutheranism. By contrast, fascism and conservative-authoritarianism prospered most in those countries and regions of Europe where Catholicism and Orthodoxy were the leading religious forces – Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Croatia, Hungary,

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Slovakia, Romania and Serbia. In Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Great Britain, fascism and authoritarianism lacked mass indigenous support. Although the identification of Catholicism and Orthodoxy with the extremes of right-wing politics is not complete, as the ample support given to Hitler by Protestants in Germany testifies,29 its broad correlation is, however, sufficiently teasing as to draw attention to the role of religion and mystery in the making of personalities of the right in Central and Eastern Europe. With its rejection of capitalist exploitation and of class-based programmes, and by its stress on the organic community, the Catholic Social Teaching of the late nineteenth century anticipated some of the core tenets of right-wing national ideology. More importantly, however, the legacy of baroque Catholicism and popular Orthodoxy provided a vocabulary and semantics of space which right-wing leaders were uniquely capable of utilizing. Vernacular Catholicism and Orthodoxy vividly emphasized in spectacle and procession the centrality of Christ’s martyrdom, his role as the deliverer of his people, and the spiritual rebirth that attended participation in his feast. The biblical story of the nation redeemed by sacrifice and by the blood of witnesses proved as powerful a narrative in the twentieth century as it had during the previous period of ‘national awakening’. The message was embraced by political leaders, particularly on the fascist right, who substituted themselves and their satraps for Christ and his followers. At the most extreme, Ferenc Szálasi, conjoining himself to the nation as its Messiah, explained: It is my conviction that the whole ordering of Europe can be effected only by that little people [...] the Hungarian people, on the Hungarist principles evolved through me. He who does not identify himself with my doctrine, who does not recognize me unreservedly as leader and will not agree that I have been selected by a higher Divine authority to redeem the Magyar people – he who does not understand me or loses confidence – let him go! At most, I shall remain alone, but even alone I shall create the Hungarist State with the help of the secret force that is within me.30

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Even after Szálasi’s death, as Martyn Rady notes, his followers might yet believe in the resurrection of his movement by a mysteriously surviving son.31 Elsewhere, political leaders of the right embraced the theatre of the baroque. Torchlight processions welcomed the new leader to power, or, clothed like Codreanu in white, the fascist Captain received the homage of villagers. For their part, murdered comrades were routinely given martyrs’ funerals, and hymns were composed in their honour. Indeed, Romanian fascism, which built strongly on Orthodox religious rites commemorating the dead, continued to celebrate members killed in the service of the movements as though they were still active, including Corneliu Codreanu himself who was murdered in 1938.32 As Rory Yeomans vividly describes, the Croatian Ustasha’s Black Legion similarly utilized the Catholic concept of martyrdom and ceremonies of commemoration to ‘reincorporate’ their deceased leader, Jure Francetić, back into their ranks.33 Both Codreanu and Francetić continued to preside over their respective movements and nations from beyond the grave. Too often, however, allusions to Christianity among the Central and East European right have been understood merely as an antisemitic code. In fact, as George Mosse has pointed out, fascism promoted ‘a new secular religion mediated between people and leaders [which] was expressed on the public level through official ceremonies, festivals, and not least, imagery [...].’34 In this task, fascism reached to the closest and most powerful liturgy which permeated European societies, and politicized it. As Roger Griffin has written elsewhere, fascism’s ‘frequent recourse to the language of redemption, sacrifice, faith and immortality, as well as the powerful charismatic forces it whipped up in the interwar period in some contexts when it operated as a political religion, encouraged the blurring of distinctions between the secular and religious realms of human experience.’35 In particular, nationalism and the myths and symbols of Christianity often converged through ‘the appeal to apocalyptic and millenarian thought’.36 This was not, however, just a cynical exercise in manipulation. Cécile Tormay’s writings indicate that the leadership of the right was from the very first the recipient of expectations framed in the language of messianism and of national deliverance by its followers.

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Founder of the Christian National Hungarian Women’s Association, Tormay, as Gwenyth Jones explains, embraced both Catholic and Protestant women, convinced that Christ’s redemptive power worked equally through both for the renewal of the Hungarian nation. She was implacably opposed to Kun’s Soviet Republic and saw in Admiral Horthy the symbol of the nation’s deliverance. When Horthy arrived on horseback in Budapest with his White troops on 16 November, she was waiting for him, having predicted the arrival of the first horseman of the Apocalypse in her diary.37 Horthy could only, however, have disappointed Tormay. After his famous sally into Budapest on a white charger, he studiously avoided spectacle. Nevertheless, it was upon such expectations and imagery as Tormay herself embraced that the leaders of the fascist right were able to rest the symbolism and liturgy of their power. In so doing, they were able to perfect the immediate bond of emotion and religious zeal that united people to leader. Before Goebbels and Speer engineered the völkisch celebrations of the Third Reich, the fascist master of the political baroque had been Mussolini. And, indeed, ‘In the Shadow of Mussolini’ might have been an alternative title for this book. Yet well before the ascendancy of Hitler or Mussolini, Gabriele D’Annunzio was experimenting in Fiume with those elements of interaction with the crowd which were to be perfected by the two dictators. As John Woodhouse notes, D’Annunzio’s ‘method of delivery, his catchphrases and the songs of his supporters had enormous success in the enclave. Mussolini visited Fiume, learned much from the Poet’s technique, and later assimilated it, adding the power of microphones, radio transmissions, and all the panoply of state propaganda.’38 D’Annunzio was thus soon eclipsed in the public eye by Mussolini and, as Roger Griffin notes in his contribution to this volume, Mussolini was the most famous ‘personality of the right’ to emerge from the European-wide crisis which followed the First World War.39 Indeed, as Jerzy Borejsza has remarked elsewhere, ‘Italy offered East and Central Europe the example of a state which, pitted against communism, promulgated and partly implemented a definite programme of economic reform and social reconstruction. This was being done in an essentially backward country, more closely

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identifiable with Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria or Poland, than Germany could ever be.’40 We should add to this that in countries with strong Catholic traditions, Mussolini’s modus vivendi with the Papacy proved an additional spur, and was also positively received in Orthodox countries where church and state were traditionally interconnected. Moreover, Mussolini was also more active than Hitler in foreign policy, diplomacy and propaganda in most of the region until the late 1930s. In particular, Mussolini acted as the protector of Austria against Germany’s ambitions to annex that country. But the Duce’s reach went further than Italy’s immediate neighbour. In Hungary, Prime Minister Bethlen colluded with Mussolini in the 1920s to lend support to the Croatian Ustasha so as to undermine Yugoslavia while, in the next decade, Gömbös was influenced by Mussolini’s blueprint for a one-party corporate state. Even Szálasi, who would later prove one of Hitler’s most uncritical acolytes, initially regarded Mussolini as the greater politician. For her part, Cécile Tormay looked to Italy where Christian women had first shown sisterly solidarity to confront communism. In Romania too, Codreanu had portraits of both Mussolini and Hitler in his office (although the full story of Legionary links with Italian Fascism has yet to be written). A similar attraction to Mussolini and to Italian Fascism may be discerned in Dmowski’s ‘Greater Poland Camp’. In Yugoslavia, which was the object of Italian irredentism, Milan Stojadinović’s admiration for Italian Fascism, and friendship with Count Ciano, led, as Dejan Djokić explains, to the Yugoslav–Italian pact and the temporary easing of Italian pressure on the South Slav state. Even as late as April 1939, with German power in the ascendant, Vojtech Tuka, vicepresident of Jozef Tiso’s independent Slovakia, informed the Italians that, with respect to fascism, ‘the Italian type fits Slovakia better in that it reconciles the totalitarian concept with the nation’s Catholic tradition.’41 By this time, however, the political and economic ascendancy of Nazi Germany in Central and Eastern Europe was all but complete. Throughout the region, political leaders of the right hastened from out of the shelter of Mussolini into what would prove to be the eye of the Nazi storm. Their emulation of Germany would lead to the setting aside of any remaining constitutional niceties, the

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rounding up of political opponents and the destruction of Central and East European Jewry. In the Shadow of Hitler has, nevertheless, sought to demonstrate that politicians and activists of the right in inter-war Central and Eastern Europe should not simply be viewed as Hitler’s (or even Mussolini’s) agents and stooges. The political right, the leadership of which was divided between conservative-authoritarian and radical-fascist, was often uncertain in its posturing and drawn in competing directions. Of the personalities in this volume who were on the conservative-authoritarian wing, Stojadinović exemplifies the foreign policy and economic considerations that led so many of the region’s right-wing politicians to throw in their lot with the Axis. As Dejan Djokić concludes, ‘In the final analysis, Stojadinović displayed sympathies for fascism, but he never developed a fascist programme. He was in many respects a prototype East-Central European inter-war politician: conservative, anti-communist, disillusioned both with democracy and with the western democracies, partly forced to deal with the Axis dictators and partly choosing to do so.’42 Likewise, General Antonescu, who had previously been proFrench, had by 1940 drawn closer to the Axis. Nevertheless, as Dennis Deletant explains, despite his fierce antisemitism and independent policy against the Jews of Bessarabia, Antonescu refused German demands to deport the Jewish population from Wallachia, Moldavia and southern Transylvania. Even the radical-fascists, who ultimately became the pace setters in the region’s pro-German policies, were themselves often uncertain in their allegiances. Konrad Henlein, leader of the Sudeten Germans, who has been often portrayed as Hitler’s Trojan Horse par excellence, was himself a belated and initially reluctant convert to Nazi ambitions. The Romanian Legionary movement, often represented as being instigated and sustained by the Nazis, was an indigenous movement which, until Codreanu’s death, was neither financed nor directed by Germany, notwithstanding Codreanu’s admiration for the Führer. Neither should it be assumed that Hitler favoured the fascists over the conservative leaders of the right in the region. The career of Stepan Bandera, described in this volume by David Marples, serves as a warning against assuming that Hitler gave unconditional support to those ‘personalities of the right’ who were, on the face of it, unambiguously

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pro-German.43 Stepan Bandera’s admiration for Hitler and his willingness to collaborate with the Third Reich were, as Marples makes clear, entirely conditional on the Germans assisting him with the creation of an independent Ukrainian state. The Germans, however, refused to accept his declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1941 and imprisoned him for most of the rest of the war. Indeed, for reasons of policy, Hitler preferred to deal with figures of the traditional order who could guarantee stability, rather than the radicals, despite the fact that the latter had many ideological affinities with the Nazis. Hence, he supported Admiral Horthy over Szálasi and the Arrow Cross and only brought the latter to power in October 1944 when there was no alternative. Similarly, in Romania Hitler supported first King Carol II and then General Antonescu, backing the latter in his crushing of the Legionaries (and of SS ambitions) in 1941.44 What Hitler required from the region was stability to ensure the flow of raw materials and manpower to Germany and not revolutionary experiments which could have posed a direct threat to German hegemony in the region. In their styles and symbolism, and distrust of Jews and communism, many of the leaders of the right in Central and Eastern Europe showed similarities to, and sympathy for, Adolf Hitler. But such does not make their ideologies derivative, still less borrowed, from the Nazis. It is time that right-wing ideology in inter-war Europe was disconnected from the Nazi variety with which it was often in competition. We should at least admit an Italian inspiration as well as the native springs that contributed to the making of the right in the first half of the twentieth century. As the shadow of the Third Reich lengthened in the late 1930s, however, ‘native fascism’ and flirtation with Mussolini became less of a possibility. Faced with the overwhelming success of Hitler’s foreign and economic policy and of his war machine, the political leaders of Central and Eastern Europe forsook independence and sought to reconcile themselves with the Third Reich. The cost, however, of moving into the shadow of Hitler was coordination with German war goals, the filling of cattle trucks with human cargo, and, finally from 1944, the very Apocalypse that the right in Central and Eastern Europe had most feared: the comprehensive destruction wrought in the region by the Red Army.

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Notes I am most grateful for the advice of Egbert Klautke and Martyn Rady in the making of this introduction. 1. See thus Berndt Rieger, Creator of Nazi Death Camps: the life of Odilo Globocnik, London, 2007; Igor-Philip Matic, Edmund Veesenmayer. Agent und Diplomat der nationalsozialistischen Expansionspolitik, Munich, 2002. We may of course add to this the autobiography of Gertraud Junge (London, 2004) which through its film version, and Junge’s own commentary, did much to re-focus scholarly interest on personality and personal motivation. 2. E. L. Woodward, Three Studies in European Conservatism: Metternich: Guizot: The Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Century, London, 1963, see esp. pp. 37–43. 3. Martin Blinkhorn, ‘Introduction: Allies, rivals, or antagonists? Fascists and Conservatives in Modern Europe’, in Martin Blinkhorn (ed.), Fascists and Conservatives: The Radical Right and the Establishment in Twentieth-Century Europe, London, 1990, pp. 1–14 (p. 8). 4. See below, pp 134–5. 5. See below, pp. 26–9. 6. Benito Mussolini, ‘The Ideology of the Twentieth Century’, in Roger Griffin (ed.), International Fascism: Theories, Causes and the New Consensus, 1998, pp. 248–57 (p. 255). The revolutionary aspect of fascism is reflected in Roger Griffin’s concise definition of fascism as ‘a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism’: Roger Griffin, The Nature of Fascism, London, 1993, p. 26. 7. Noël O’Sullivan, Fascism, London, 1983, p. 149. 8. Ibid, p. 157. 9. See below, p. 128. 10. See below, p. 274. 11. See below, p. 208. 12. O’Sullivan, Fascism, p. 153. 13. Ernest Barker, Reflections on Government, London, 1967, pp. 122, 131. The book is based upon lectures originally delivered in the 1930s. 14. See below, p. 173. 15. See below, p. 255. 16. Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century, London, 1998, p. xii. 17. The inter-war Central and East European right would surely have agreed with Charles Maurras’s description of pre-1914 French republican politicians as ‘vote-seeking pimps skilled at masking fraudulent deals with

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18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

30. 31. 32.

33. 34.

35.

36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

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egalitarian rhetoric’: quoted in John Weiss, Conservatism in Europe 1770– 1945: Traditionalism, Reaction and Counter-Revolution, London, 1977, p. 112. Magyar Országos Véderő Egylet: Hungarian National Defence Association. See below, pp. 320–1. See below, pp. 295–312. See below, p. 45. See below, p. 79. See below, pp. 97–8. See thus Marius Turda, The Idea of National Superiority in Central Europe, 1880–1918, Lewiston, NY, and Lampeter, 2004. See below, p. 262. See below, pp. 255–6. See below, p. 285. See below, p. 149. See here David Sikkik and Marcus Regnerus, ‘For God and the Fatherland: Protestant Symbolic Worlds and the Rise of German National Socialism’, in Christian Smith (ed.), Disruptive Religion: The Force of Faith in Social Movement Activism, London and New York, 1996, pp. 147–66. C. A. Macartney, October Fifteenth: A History of Modern Hungary 1929–1945, 2 parts, Edinburgh, 1956–1957, 1, pp. 160–1. See below, pp. 274–5. For a full discussion, see Rebecca Ann Haynes, ‘Orthodox Rituals of Revolution and Rebirth in Interwar Romania’, in László Péter and Martyn Rady (eds), Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution in Hungary and Central Europe: Commemorating 1956, London, 2008, pp. 129–42. See below, pp. 200–1. George L. Mosse, ‘Introduction: Towards a General Theory of Fascism’, in George L. Mosse (ed.), International Fascism: New Thoughts and New Approaches, London, 1979, pp. 1–41 (p. 2). Roger Griffin, ‘The “Holy Storm”: “Clerical Fascism” through the Lens of Modernism’, Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 8, 2007, 2, pp. 213–27 (p. 216). Mosse, ‘Introduction: Towards a General Theory of Fascism’, p. 9. See below, p. 110. See below, p. 67. See below, p. 24. Jerzy W. Borejsza, ‘East European Perceptions of Italian Fascism’, in Stein Ugelvik Larsen et al. (eds), Who were the Fascists: Social Roots of European Fascism, Bergen, 1980, pp. 354–66 (p. 359). Jerzy W. Borejsza, ‘East European Perceptions of Italian Fascism’, p. 361.

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42. See below, p. 166. 43. See below, pp. 234–6. 44. On the role of the SS, SD and other Nazi agencies in supporting the Legion against Antonescu and Ribbentrop in 1941, see Rebecca Haynes, ‘German Historians and the Romanian National Legionary State’, Slavonic and East European Review, 71, 1993, 4, pp. 676–683.

CHAPTER 1 POLITICAL MODER NISM AND THE CULTUR AL PRODUCTION OF ‘PER SONALITIES OF THE R IGHT’ IN INTER-WAR EUROPE Roger Griffin

Historicizing ‘personality’ Writing the introductory chapter to this series of profiles of ‘personalities of the right’ poses a dilemma which must be familiar to speechwriters for the plenipotentiaries of the European Union. How can some sort of common matrix or template be imposed on a motley, colourful group of discrete phenomena without relapsing into bland rhetorical banalities? In this case, however, we are not dealing with diverse economic performances or cultural legacies, but a rogues’ gallery that includes nationalist or racist ideologues, Nazi collaborators, and leaders of political movements or entire nations, all struggling to achieve their ideals with contrasting fortunes in the very different contexts of fin-de-siècle or inter-war Germany, Austria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Italy.

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Some social scientists might feel competent to reveal latent patterns in the sociological background or psychological make-up they embody, and there is no shortage of political scientists with a historical bent who could agonize for several pages about what this assortment of ‘personalities’ tells us about the highly contested term, ‘the right’, in the context of inter-war Central and Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, the premise adopted here is that it is more fruitful to dwell on the concept of ‘personality’ itself. Extensive work on the social dynamics of fascism’s spectacular rise in the same period throws into relief a causal factor that, while it did not determine, at least contributed to the transformation into ‘personalities’ of the individuals who form the subjects of this book. As a result, the focus of this introduction will be not on common denominators in the lives or characters of the dramatis personae, but on a common historical context which encouraged others to look to them for remedies not only to practical problems of the day but also to more nebulous fears and anxieties. After all, this was a period when not just the political and economic, but the psychological and spiritual foundations of modern life were regularly shaken by seismic aftershocks following the collective trauma of the First World War. The starting point for such an exercise is to recognize the paradoxically supra-personal component lurking in ‘personality’ itself. When ‘ordinary’ people become personalities, their individuality no longer consists solely of unique physical and psychological attributes. Their ‘mask’ (persona) is now partly shaped and inscribed by fears, utopias and historical narratives projected from outside onto the actual, physical person, who thus becomes partially appropriated and owned by sectors within the ‘public’ or the ‘masses’ of the day. They no longer belong to themselves, since their biological lives have been touched by the mythic force known to the Romans as the goddess Fama, a cultural translation of the Greek goddess, Pheme, whose etymology emphasizes the role of speech and public discourse in constructing celebrity. Approached in this way, ‘personality’ becomes an aspect of the phenomenon usually explored by political scientists under the heading ‘charisma’.1 Once the character and image of an individual enters the collective consciousness of a society to the point of becoming a ‘household name’ – the subject of newspaper articles, newsreels, and drawing room conversations – or

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simply gains influence within activist circles or movements pursuing particular political goals, it is the sign that supra-personal forces are at work in providing him or her with that intangible dimension of aura alluded to in the term ‘personality’. The common reaction to encountering a personality ‘in person’, namely that ‘they were much smaller than they look in pictures’, registers the gap between the physical and mythic space that personalities occupy in the minds of those who already feel ‘they know them’, but who have encountered them before only in the collective social imagination. The power exercised by ‘personalities’ in the modern era thus stems partly from their success in becoming the site of supra-personal imaginings and wish fulfilment. Their ability to shape or precipitate events derives from a resonance or synergy between their own faculties and aptitudes (‘personality’ in the neutral sense) and the constellation of historical forces that determine what thousands, and sometimes millions, of anonymous contemporaries secretly desire or (in the case of ‘negative charisma’) hate or fear. The supra-personal factor in this synergy is underlined by the way an individual may even rise to fame and exert influence over others posthumously, or after the ‘real’ person no longer exists in the flesh – an outstanding example being the spread of Nietzscheanism throughout Europe soon after Nietzsche himself had entered a twilight zone of consciousness that cut him off from communication with the outside world. His ‘personality’ acquired an epochmaking power even as he died as a ‘person’. A ‘Nietzschean’ meeting his idol face to face in his psychiatric clinic near Jena in the 1890s would have been painfully aware of the power of a person’s fama to take on a life of its own. If ‘heroes’ are made by time, then mere ‘celebrities’ are generally destroyed by it, while the fate of ‘personalities’ – suspended between the immortality of the hero and the nullity of the celebrity – lies largely in the hands of history and the historian.

The socio-political contest of inter-war political personalities It is a sign of the times that in the frenzied ethos of the image-, glamour-, wealth-, and sport-addicted, ‘media-cratic’ society of

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contemporary consumer capitalism, the term ‘personality’ has become largely conflated with ‘celebrity’: the stuff of paparazzi, chat shows, tabloid newspapers, quizzes, and pub conversations.2 In such a society, charisma is not only ‘routinized’ in a process postulated by Max Weber over a century ago, but also mass-produced and commodified into an aspect of consumer fetishism following mechanisms demystified a generation earlier by Karl Marx. As a result, the auras of the shadowy personalities that throng glossy waiting-room magazines, even the negative ones of those deemed by the tribunal of the people to incarnate ‘evil’, are consumed in daily servings of gossip masquerading as news, and in stage-managed ‘events’ anaesthetizing consciousness in a way that produces a travesty of the original concept of ‘news’. Inter-war Europe was, however, a very different age. Democracy, the consumer society, and the media-cracy were still in their infancy, and every country was living through a unique constellation of economic, social, and political crisis factors stemming from the combined effects of the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the impact of the Versailles peace settlement. In Central and Eastern Europe, several states were new creations or were having to contend with drastically shrunken or expanded territories and populations, something that had a knock-on effect throughout the region. The ‘real’ crisis in each case was greatly intensified by the subjective damage inflicted on the historical imagination by the holocaust of the Great War, the pandemic of influenza of 1919–20, and the perceived threat of the spread of Bolshevism. The result was the general belief – or rather gut feeling – that Western history was itself at a turning point from which it could either collapse into terminal barbarism and anarchy amidst social breakdown and war, or give birth to a new type of society beyond the current age of chaos and decadence. The rise of Italian Fascism and its eventual conquest of state power was a direct result both of the structural crisis of Giolittian politics precipitated by the First World War and of Mussolini’s success in mobilizing and directing both avant-garde and populist energies towards the creation of a new Italy. It was the ethos of crisis and the inchoate longings for rebirth (palingenesis) which this stimulated that enabled currents of revolutionary ultra-nationalism to go ‘mainstream’. Along

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with this, the centre of gravity shifted to the right, turning into prominent public figures a wide array of paramilitary leaders and political agitators who sought to replace the Giolittian system with a state founded, not on representative government, but on the ‘spirit of the trenches’. In this extreme situation a number of individuals became ‘personalities of the right’, most famously Benito Mussolini himself who became the locus of public imaginings for two decades. Once in power the new state replaced representative democracy with the principle of charismatic authority invested in il duce, so that personality, not procedures, became the official basis of supreme authority. At this point, ultra-nationalism ceased to be ‘right-wing’ or ‘extreme’, and instead became the central normative axis of political and social life. The new regime thus devoted considerable resources to presenting the country’s new ruling elite as embodiments of the new Italy, so that ‘personalities of the right’, some invested with genuine charismatic power, others with the mind-cloying pseudo-charisma familiar in all modern authoritarian states, dominated a public consciousness moulded extensively by a state-controlled media machine. The faces and exploits of the gerarchi (Fascist leadership) were thus woven into the fabric of ordinary life, an integral component of the sacralization of politics that the regime instinctively saw as the prerequisite to the ‘Fascistization’ of society and to the creation of the new Fascist man.3 In the Fascist utopia, every Italian would be encouraged to become a ‘personality of the right’. In contrast to Italy, Nazi Germany and several other societies in Central and Eastern Europe hosted, alongside the chauvinism that was integral to the ethos of early twentieth century Europe, forms of ultra-nationalism containing illiberal components of xenophobia and of anti-Semitism bound up with fantasies of national ‘emancipation’, racial superiority, purity, and the need for self-assertion over ‘alien’ cultural, economic, political, or ethnic forces. Even before the First World War, powerful currents of völkisch nationalism had emerged throughout the area which saw in liberal democracy not the mainstay of progress but a major factor in promoting the loss of national and racial strength. These fed movements, whether ideological or militant, striving either for national emancipation, as in the case of the

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‘submerged’ nationalities of the Habsburg Empire,4 or, where a state had been already constituted, for the assertion of national strength on the stage of history and the purging of its decadence.5 Neither were these issues taken up solely by the ‘usual suspects’, namely students, lawyers, history teachers, and political agitators. A sign of the times was the way in which broad swaths of academics working in the human and natural sciences began to take up the cause of racial hygiene and eugenics, making bio-politics an orthodoxy of the age not just in Germany but also in academic circles throughout Central and Eastern Europe.6 Nor was Italy immune to such trends.7 In short, the ‘spirit of the age’ in inter-war Europe generated sociocultural energies that encouraged the proliferation of a new type of personality whose political commitment, whether as ideologue, activist or politician, was directed to serving the cause of the nation or race in ways that broke with conventional politics, be these liberal, conservative or absolutist, and who dedicated himself (normally a ‘he’) to promoting the interests of the core ethnie. This was not just an ‘imagined community’, but a community imagined as not yet having fully emerged, or as not having achieved its complete unity and potential, or as a nation-state that had not achieved total unity within defendable borders, or as a society under attack from the forces of decadence and racial decay. This milieu was especially intense within Central and Eastern Europe and was conducive to the emergence of a considerable number of individuals harbouring radical right-wing schemes to enhance the strength of the nation, state, or race. These schemes found a resonance with the public, thus transforming their proponents into the ‘personalities’ of their day, no matter how obscure or aberrant some may seem today. In such circumstances bit-part actors and ‘nodders’ could suddenly find themselves bathed in limelight, delivering monologues centre-stage – some of them plunged unceremoniously into the shadows once more as the Wheel of Samsara turned.

Modernist politics The structural forces at work in the cultural production of personalities of the right in early-twentieth-century Europe can be understood

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in less mythical and more historical terms if they are located within the context of ‘modernism’. This is a term generally associated with the sphere of aesthetics and culture, where its definitional contours are still highly fuzzy and contested. Nevertheless, a number of cultural historians, notably David Harvey, Ronald Schleifer and Modris Eksteins, have extended it to embrace the wide-ranging social and political attempts to resist the impact of modernity as a force that, by the late nineteenth century, was eroding traditional sources of meaning and belonging with particular virulence, especially in areas of Europe exposed to the forces of industrialization, secularization, and social disruption.8 In a recent work, I explore the thesis that just as a primordial predisposition is fundamental to the psychodynamics of modernism, namely the drive to ward off the instinctive terror of mortality, of absolute finitude, and of the void that is the corollary of human reflexivity, so is the existential necessity to overcome through the power of mythopoeia the awareness of living out a personal life and death that is peculiar to homo sapiens sapiens.9 Every ‘traditional’ society analysed by cultural anthropologists and social psychologists reveals an elaborate nexus of beliefs, customs, and practices – commonly associated with the term ‘religion’ or ‘myth’, and rooted in cosmological assumptions about reality as an intrinsically meaningful supra-personal reality – that underpin the sociopolitical ordering of society. One of their functions is to provide the life of each member of society with a sense of transcendent purpose and communal belonging – what Nietzsche in Section 23 of The Birth of Tragedy calls a ‘framed horizon’ for their brief existence. By the late nineteenth century, however, Western modernity, through the combined impact of rationalism, the rise of science, the breakdown of feudalism and absolutism, the rise of urbanization and increased social mobility, the atomization of communal life, and the intensifying pace of technological change, was having a devastating impact on traditional sources of transcendence and belonging. The new patterns and rhythms of modern life were ‘disembedding’ modern Europeans from their traditional, culturally-constructed, mythic locations within time and space. Émile Durkheim’s concern with the spread of anomie and Max Weber’s analysis of the impact of the ‘disenchantment’ of the

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world are two convergent ways of conceptualizing the way a sense of transcendental purpose was draining from experienced reality. In the period aptly known as fin-de-siècle, the decay of values articulated by sociologists seemed to major European artist–intellectuals such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Friedrich Nietzsche to be leading to a crisis of nihilism that threatened the future of Western civilization itself. The same forebodings caused scores of minor artists, or simply those with an ‘artistic’ temperament, to be haunted by images of dissolution and decadence and to lionize such figures as ‘seers’, who were infinitely more in tune with the spiritual realities of the day than any academic or politician. If it is true that nature abhors a physical vacuum, then it is no less true that human nature abhors a metaphysical one. The legion of artists and intellectuals who felt condemned to live in an age whose inner spiritual substance was rotting at its core, all sought – in a myriad of individual ways and with sharply varying degrees of optimism and programmatic zeal – to re-establish a source of higher meaning and collective purpose for modern human life and escape the clutches of nihilism and the void. The diversity of their attempts helps account for the dramatic proliferation of ‘isms’ in the realm of aesthetics, culture, and philosophy, as individuals strove to assemble a private belvedere from which the hidden purpose of human existence was revealed. Some were confident enough in their diagnosis to propose a new strategy that would allow ‘modern man’ to counteract the spiritual or physical decadence now infecting everyday life, thus holding out the prospect that a new community or civilization might emerge if drastic action were taken to stop the rot. Subterranean tunnels of causation thus connect the quest for a higher vision of reality, familiar from the work of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky or Vincent van Gogh, with contemporary initiatives to reinstate wholeness, as expressed, for instance, in the visionary buildings and town planning schemes of modernist architects, the vogue for hiking, sport, nudism, vegetarianism, ‘eastern’ philosophy and ‘expressive’ dance. It was also expressed in the growing concern of human scientists with reversing dysgenic forms of human life, a concern nourished by the spread of evolutionary thinking, which

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promoted the new movements of eugenics and ‘racial hygiene’. Even the war fever which broke out in several countries in the first months of the Great War and the willingness of millions to die for the nation can be attributed to the widespread public longing to regenerate a nation and a civilization experienced as sick, not only by destroying the ‘evil’ embodied in the demonized enemy but also through the alchemical power of self-sacrifice. Another natural outlet for the urge to cleanse and regenerate society was politics. Despite the claims of Marxism to be scientific, the spread of revolutionary socialism is not attributable solely to its success in articulating and empowering longings for a world based on social justice and humane living conditions. It also offered a total world view which diagnosed the sicknesses endemic to the age of bourgeois capitalism and offered the prospect of it being transcended by an entirely new type of society, in which relations between human beings would finally be healed.10 The centrality of palingenetic myth to the revolutionary left is even more blatant in the case of anarchism, whose ideology was pervaded with the notion of a total rebirth that would put an end to the age of decadence – a direct correlative to the ‘apocalyptic’ imagination of much modernist art and literature.11 It is, however, in the currents of organic nationalism that appeared in most European countries in the course of the nineteenth century, that the matrix of modernist cosmology can be seen most clearly at work. Within the ultra-nationalist mindset exemplified by the nationalism of Maurice Barrès12 or Julius Langbehn,13 the nation or race becomes the site for the projection of fears of cultural decay – a sublimation into supra-personal anxieties of the terror of the void ‘let in’ to the citadel of individual consciousness by the disembedding impact of modernity. It is in the regeneration of the race as a transcendent community that the nationalist finds a new source of cosmological wholeness, rootedness, access to sacred time, and belonging. Inevitably, the most overtly anti-liberal palingenetic variants of organic nationalism quickly developed a symbiotic relationship with scientistic concerns with eugenics and racial hygiene – concerns taken to heart by many liberals and socialists as well. From the perspective of modernist studies, it was thus the increasingly liminal nature of Western society at

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the turn of the century that provided the socio-ideological environment needed to foster projects for national regeneration, salvation, and renewal, each of which was attuned to the peculiar historical conditions of each nation or ethnie.14

The politics of revitalization In case this portrayal of early twentieth century Europe as the site for the emergence of a ‘modernist’ political space seems excessively speculative, it is independently attested to by several other scholars in their analyses of the early twentieth century right. Both Walter Adamson and Emilio Gentile have explored the crucial role played in the rise of fascism by aesthetic modernism and modernist nationalism respectively, while both Modris Eksteins and Peter Fritzsche have portrayed Nazism as a modernist form of politics.15 Even the apparently reactionary conservatism of figures such as Ernst Jünger and Martin Heidegger can be shown to be essentially futural in its attempt to reconstitute ‘immortal’ spiritual values or human qualities in a new order, now that the storm of progress had made it impossible to restore traditional society.16 Meanwhile, Richard Stites has provided a scintillating portrait of the extensive involvement of modernist artists and intellectuals in the Russian Revolution.17 As for the complex socio-psychological processes involved at an individual level that can transform a fixation with the decadence of contemporary history into fanatical dedication to a palingenetic political cause, recent scholarship can provide insights unthinkable a generation ago. One of the most revealing cases is that of Max Nordau, who within a decade had completed the transition from being Europe’s most famous critic of modern degeneracy to one of the most effective and imaginative campaigners for the cause of Zionism.18 There is thus nothing ‘reactionary’, ‘backward looking’, or ‘antimodern’ in the flourishing of political religion in inter-war Europe, a phenomenon exemplified in the May Day ceremonies of Soviet Russia, the liturgy enacting the Hitler myth, or the Fascist ‘cult of the Fasces’. In an age perceived to be threatened by terminal anomie, atomization, and decay, they represent elaborate attempts to deploy state power to

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re-embed time and space, to erect a new cosmological sky designed to provide a sense of community and transcendence to millions of metaphysically stranded and isolated individuals, and a mythic canopy to offer shelter from a storm of modernity which for some raged with hurricane force. It is entirely consistent with the modernist political space that was opened up by the crisis of modern Europe that politics was often conceived by those who broke with liberalism as a creative act of ‘making history’,19 of imposing human projects for the reshaping of society on time itself, so that the purpose of the new breed of politicians was to create the ‘gardening state’20 in which anarchy and deviation, both ideological and physical, would eventually be removed through a mixture of weeding and breeding. The hallmark of modernist historical space is the appearance of a new type of political animal – not the product of traditional conservative or liberal mechanisms for creating a political class, but figures who had come into politics from another activity such as literature, cultural studies, political journalism, the military, or religion. These careers had in one way or another fostered in them a sense of the decay of modern society and convinced them of the need for a radical transformation that would root out the decadent forces which conventional politicians – and even conventional revolutionaries of the left– seemed impotent to deal with. The ‘historical subject’ was not to be a particular social or political class, but instead a new elite embodying the healthy national and racial sentiments that the existing order repressed. Gabriele D’Annunzio is paradigmatic of this new type of politics. His itinerary passed from decadent narcissism, to the discovery of Nietzsche and the conception of himself as a ‘new man’ called up to regenerate Italy, to his abortive involvement in conventional politics, to his activities as interventionist and war hero, to his readiness to lead the paramilitary occupation of Fiume and become the leader of the secessionist state for over a year before being ousted and living out his retirement as a celebrated hero of the Fascist Revolution.21 The Fiume episode is further illuminated by anthropological analyses of the revitalization movements that can arise when a society is threatened by disintegration in conditions of intense liminality. The collapse of the old order can lead to the emergence of a propheta whose

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presence enables a new community to form, which the propheta then leads both symbolically and physically into a new era. Crucial to his (again, generally a ‘his’) charismatic power is his embodiment of a vision of the transcendent new community that blends traditional and new elements in a process of ‘mazeway resynthesis’. This is the term used by Anthony Wallace to describe the process by which a new ideology and ritual emerges that blends both traditional and innovative elements through a process of creative synthesis (‘ludic recombination’) and provides the cosmological ‘map’ of the present and its imminent transformation in a new era.22 The most familiar form this has taken in medieval and early modern Europe was the ‘millenarian movement’ analysed by Norman Cohn,23 but the same basic pattern is repeated in modern revolutionary movements, whether communist or fascist, and is also exhibited in the Terror phase of the French Revolution. Both the traditional and modern propheta believes he has been charged with the supra-historical mission to lead the new communitas from the old, redundant or decadent order into the new society. Following this pattern, the ‘mazeway’ that D’Annunzio offered at Fiume, as the embryo of the new Italy and of the new era, was a mixture of ‘rightist’ nationalism with ‘leftist’ revolutionary syndicalism, bound together by a host of newly invented rituals and ‘traditions’. The ritual and spectacular form of nationalist politics he improvised was supposed to usher in the age of the new man (uomo nuovissimo), who would ‘save’ Italy from the decadence of the Giolittian system by drawing upon the heroic energies of nationalism exhibited in the trenches and on the mountain battle fronts of the First World War – by what Mussolini called the ‘trincerocrazia’ or ‘trenchocracy’. Aspects of the propheta may be discerned in the political impact and style of leadership of several of the ‘personalities’ considered in this volume. Combined with the modernist perspective outlined above, it is possible to see early-twentieth-century Europe as a period in which a pervasive crisis, initially cultural and subjective, but then objectivized in enormously disruptive socio-economic and political events, created a situation of intense liminality. This in its turn ushered in a period where (in Weberian terms) traditional and rational politics seemed irrelevant expressions of a doomed world, and where charismatic

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politics took over – not just in the mass displays of political religion identified with Bolshevism, Fascism, and Nazism, but in small, sometimes minute, pockets of cultic devotion and ‘coterie charisma’.24 The pervasive, palingenetic, modernist ethos also meant that many individuals faced with the dilemma of whether to stand up for the values of their youth or to side with the forces of change were predisposed to ‘jump ship’ so as to be protagonists of what could easily be seen as a new rather than a dying world, and so be able to join in the making of history and the forced regeneration of a Western society that was otherwise in terminal decay.

The rise of socio-political modernism in Central and Eastern Europe We are now in a position to ‘revisit’ the emergence of a plethora of right-wing personalities in Central and Eastern Europe between 1900 and 1945. The submerged or newly formed nation-states embraced by this entirely heterogeneous geographical unit underwent enormous transformations in this time span, encountering an acute set of crisis conditions, each uniquely constituted and dynamically changing. These were experienced, moreover, against the backcloth of a European and Western world that was itself undergoing seismic upheavals which could no longer be accommodated under the myth of ‘progress’. The result was an acute sense of liminality, the primordial human reaction to which was the eruption of regenerative, palingenetic forms of modernist politics conceived by their advocates and activists as ways of halting the collapse of society. In contrast to the left, which harboured visions of universal social justice emanating from Russia, the right placed their faith in the primordial sense of identity, belonging, and purpose offered by the nation or race, a corollary of which was abandoning as ‘decadent’ liberal notions of representative government, human equality, pacificism, and reason. The eruption of charismatic and overtly mythic forms of political energy resulted in the cultural production of ‘personalities’ on a scale unthinkable in the relatively stable, consumerist, materialist, individualist, extensively globalized realities in which most Europeans today either live or aspire to.

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Within this synoptic framework it is possible to identify three types of ‘personality’ covered in this book. First, a new kind of political ideologue, an activist – or in Gramscian terms ‘organic’ intellectual – concerned with overcoming the alleged degeneracy of contemporary European history by offering elements of a ‘mazeway resynthesis’ to be implemented by a new breed of politician within a strong state that was no longer debilitated by ‘degenerate’ notions of social or ethnic equality. This species of modernist intellectual is represented here by Theodor Fritsch, Cécile Tormay, and, before he became politically active, Gabriele D’Annunzio. Secondly, some of the case studies explore the idiosyncrasies of a new type of activist paramilitary nationalist leader who, within a structurally dysfunctional political system, assumes the guise of the propheta leading a new community into a new era of national rebirth. In exceptional circumstances he may acquire the ‘coterie charisma’ needed to lead a band of paramilitary fanatics prepared to use extreme violence in the attempt to destroy the status quo and the enemies of the future ethnocratic state, and even to collude with the Third Reich in pursuit of their own nationalist ends. Examples here are Georg von Schöenerer, Ferenc Szálasi, Dimitrije Ljotić, Jure Francetić, and Corneliu Codreanu. Less conspicuously, but no less symptomatic of the age of modernist politics, was the emergence of a new type of politician, one who in the war against anarchy and ambivalence readily broke with factional loyalties, abandoned conservative commitments to traditional social hierarchies and class solidarities, and jettisoned the procedural principles and values pioneered by liberal democracy. The result was in each instance a peculiar synthesis between conservative, revolutionary, religious and secular values, even to the point of moulding Christian orthodoxy into the signifier of ethnicity and the rationale for anticommunist, antisemitic, and anti-liberal passions. In every case, we are dealing with an attempted ‘mazeway resynthesis’ designed to restore order and futurity to an imploding world. The personalities who broadly fit into this category are Roman Dmowski, Edmund Glaise von Horstenau, Gyula Gömbös, Konrad Henlein, Jozef Tiso, Milan Stojadinović and Ion Antonescu.

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Escaping the shadow of Hitler Studies of Eastern Europe are finally emerging from the shadow cast by the straitjacket of official Soviet history, but they still face the same dilemma as the one wrestled with by three generations of German and Austrian historians – the need to exorcize the shadow of Hitler. The perspective offered in this essay proposes that both the upper echelons of the Third Reich and the right-wing personalities that sprang up like mushrooms all over Eastern Europe should be seen not as the product of particular sequences of ‘influence’ traceable by intellectual historians. Rather, they were products of the archetypal human need to restore a myth-based sense of socio-political order and metaphysical belonging at a time when modernization was ripping out the existential moorings not just of the European intelligentsia but also of millions of ‘ordinary’ people, casting them adrift on an unexplored ocean of anomie. The attempt to reverse decadence and pioneer an alternative modernity equipped with a new nomos culminated in the attempts in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany to create a ‘modernist state’, a bulwark against physical and spiritual decay, and the bridgehead of a new historical era. Now, despite the objective threats not just to the future of the West but the future of humanity, the flood of anomie and of disembedding forces has paradoxically abated. As a result, some of these rightwing personalities – or at least the cult surrounding them – may look extreme, aberrant, fanatical, even mad. Moreover, the knowledge of the atrocities committed on an industrial scale under the cover of the Second World War may endow some of their lives retrospectively with a black aura of cruelty and guilt, of complicity in murder or in the establishment of totalitarian, racial states either directly or – perhaps no less morally reprehensible – by proxy. Yet we should remember that historical space is not Newtonian but Einsteinian. Individual life lines are constantly following the dictates of ‘curved space’, being forced to bend and warp themselves to accommodate the unfolding realities of the day. In the midst of the early-twentieth-century crisis, some individuals in Central and Eastern Europe found themselves placed before the dramatic existential choice:25 do you resist the forces of change or

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help direct them? Do you drown in the torrent of chaotic history or use its power to swim more powerfully, perhaps with the possibility of redirecting its flow towards a new order? Seen from this angle, the case studies that make up this book do more than illuminate neglected areas of modern history. Studying the rise of personalities embodying right-wing variants of political modernism should allow us to contemplate with fresh eyes a contemporary world in which the globalizing impact of modernization is not only fostering new forms of right-wing terror movements defending traditional religious interpretations of the world in futural key. It is also encouraging the degeneration of liberalism itself into the rationale for state terror under the aegis of political leaders who create an unholy alliance of rational politics with the ‘gardening’ principles of totalitarianism in their pursuit of a ‘new world order’.

Notes 1. For a recent contribution to ‘unpacking’ this concept, see Antonio Costa Pinto, Roger Eatwell and Stein Larsen (eds), Charisma and Fascism in Interwar Europe, London, 2006. 2. Woody Allen’s underrated 1998 film Celebrity is a vicious satire of the cult of fame for its own sake, irrespective of its substance or moral content. 3. Emilio Gentile, The Sacralization of Politics in Fascist Italy, trans. Keith Botsford, Cambridge, MA, 1996. 4. For a case study in this form of nationalism, see Paul Jackson, ‘ “Union or Death!”: Gavrilo Princip, Young Bosnia and the Role of “Sacred Time” in the Dynamics of Nationalist Terrorism’, Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 7, 2006, 1, pp. 45–65. 5. See the chapters on Hungary and Romania in Hans Rogger and Eugen Weber (eds), The European Right: A Historical Profile, London, 1965. 6. See Paul Weindling and Marius Turda (eds), ‘Blood and Homeland’: Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe, 1900–1940, Budapest, 2006. My contribution to that volume, ‘Tunnel visions and mysterious trees: modernist projects of national and racial regeneration 1880–1939’ (pp. 417–56), develops the theory of modernism underlying this chapter. The theory is explored exhaustively in Roger Griffin, Modernism and Fascism: The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler, London, 2007.

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7. See Francesco Cassata, Molti, sani e forti. L’eugenetica in Italia, Turin, 2006. 8. Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, Boston, 2000 (first published in 1989); David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change, Oxford, 1989; Ronald Schleifer, Modernism and Time: The Logic of Abundance in Literature, Science, and Culture, Cambridge, 2000. 9. Roger Griffin, Modernism and Fascism: The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler, London, 2007. 10. On the modernist, Nietzschean dynamic of Bolshevism and Stalinist Russia, see Bernice Rosenthal, New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism, Philadelphia, 2002. 11. See Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending, Oxford, 2000. 12. See Zeev Sternhell, Maurice Barrès et le nationalisme français, Brussels, 1985. 13. See Fritz Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair, Berkeley, 1961. What Stern analysed as ‘cultural despair’ is to be seen in the light of the present chapter as the prelude to palingenetic hope and programmatic modernism. 14. The most sophisticated exploration of this thesis on a European level – though the main focus is generally on France and Germany – is Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring. 15. Walter Adamson, Avant-Garde Florence: From Modernism to Fascism, Cambridge, MA, 1993; Emilio Gentile, ‘The Conquest of Modernity: from Modernist Nationalism to Fascism’, The Struggle for Modernity: Nationalism, Futurism, and Fascism, Westport, CT, 2003; Peter Fritzsche, ‘Nazi Modern’, Modernism/Modernity, 3, 1996, 1, pp. 1–22. 16. Peter Osborne, The Politics of Time: Modernity and the Avant-Garde, London, 1995. 17. Richard Stites, Revolutionary Dreams: Utopian Vision and Experimental Life in the Russian Revolution, Oxford, 1989. 18. See Todd Presner, Muscular Judaism: The Jewish Body and the Politics of Regeneration, New York, 2007. 19. Claudio Fogu, The Historic Imaginary: Politics of History in Fascist Italy, Buffalo, NY, 2003. 20. See the first chapter (‘The Scandal of Ambivalence’) of Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and Ambivalence, Cambridge, 1991. 21. See Alfredo Bonadeo, D’Annunzio and the Great War, Madison, 1995. 22. See Anthony F. C. Wallace, Revitalizations and Mazeways: Essays on Cultural Change, Lincoln, NE, 2003. 23. Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Age, Oxford, 1970.

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24. Roger Eatwell, ‘The Rebirth of Right-Wing Charisma? The Cases of JeanMarie Le Pen and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’, Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 3, 2002, 3, pp.1–23. 25. A dilemma explored by Jean-Paul Sartre in his play Les Mains Sales (1948), available in English translation in Sartre, No Exit and Three Other Plays: The Flies, Dirty Hands, The Respectful Prostitute, New York, 1989.

CHAPTER 2 HITLER’S HERO: GEORG VON SCHÖNER ER AND THE OR IGINS OF NAZISM Steven Beller

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler writes of two political figures of preFirst World War Austria as role models. One is Karl Lueger, Vienna’s mayor and leader of the antisemitic Christian Socials, whom Hitler praises for his mastery of politics. Yet it is the other figure, Georg von Schönerer (1842–1921), whom Hitler lauds as the person who ‘recognized the problems [of the Germans in the Habsburg monarchy] in their innermost essence.’1 Had it not been for Hitler, Schönerer might by now be a forgotten figure, but Hitler’s admiration of him, the connections between their ideological positions, and Hitler’s catastrophic success, mean that Schönerer remains significant. Looking at his career opens up the question of the Austrian roots of Hitler and National Socialism.2 There is, however, a related question: if Schönerer was a ‘personality of the right’, then how are we to understand the fact that throughout his political career he was regarded as a man of the left, and ultimately of the extreme left? This is not as surprising as it first appears, once we understand which ‘left’ is meant – namely the bourgeois German left – and set Schönerer in the idiosyncratic context of late-nineteenth-century

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Austrian politics. The national divisions within the Austrian parliament confused the usual post-1789 Western conventions about the progressive left and the conservative right. In the late 1880s, minority nationalist, left-liberal parties such as the Young Czechs found themselves, as ‘federalists’, seated on the right in the Austrian Reichsrat, while the socially more conservative German Liberals were on the left.3 In Austria, ‘left’ and ‘right’ were categories with only limited explanatory power. Yet the fact that Schönerer was seen then as on the left, and his ideology even recently as a ‘heresy of the left’, is intriguing and significant. It raises once more the troubling question of whether Nazism was as much a product of the political ‘left’ as it was of the political ‘right’ – at least in central Europe. Georg von Schönerer was born in Vienna in 1842, the son of Matthias Schönerer, one of Austria’s most successful railway entrepreneurs, and a close associate of the Rothschilds. Georg attended a commercial school but eventually trained in agricultural science. This was so that he could manage the large estate, Rosenau, near Zwettl in Lower Austria, that his father had acquired in 1868, allowing Georg to become a landed gentleman. In 1873 Georg Schönerer became the Liberal Reichsrat deputy for his local district, as many landowners and other local ‘social betters’ did in the era of Honoratioren politics. Yet Schönerer was unusual in acting as a left-wing radical democrat, on the Liberals’ far left. Schönerer pursued social and economic reform to help the peasantry, supported expanding civil liberties, and blasted Austrian corruption. Schönerer’s outspokenness brought him to the attention of the radical, German nationalist student activists in the Viennese Burschenschaften (duelling fraternities) grouped around the Leseverein der deutschen Studenten (Reading Association of German Students). This quasi-political organization included left-wing intellectuals of Jewish descent such as Heinrich Friedjung and Victor Adler. Most of its member, including its leader, Anton Haider, were not Jewish and had decidedly nationalistic (in Austria kleindeutsch) and antisemitic views. It was Haider who in 1876 invited Schönerer to the group as a corresponding member.4 Schönerer and the students now went on to radicalize, and nationalize, German bourgeois politics. In 1880

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their Deutsche Klub was instrumental in setting up the Deutsche Schulverein (German School Association) and in September 1882 they agreed on the Linz programme, which combined German nationalist goals with those of democratic and quasi-socialist, populist reform. Schönerer’s antisemitism was already evident, but most of the students, even most of the Jewish activists, were antisemitic, at least in a ‘cultural’ sense, and holding this position was not a make-or-break condition of membership. In 1883, Schönerer, however, insisted that racial antisemitism was a definitive sine qua non for German nationalists. This led to a break between him and the more ‘moderate’ group around Engelbert Pernerstorfer and Heinrich Friedjung.5 Many of the radicals stuck with the ‘incorruptible’ Schönerer, seeing his exclusion of anyone of Jewish descent as a principled stand against ‘Semitic influence’. Schönerer went on in 1884 and 1885 to have major political success with his campaign against the renewal of the Nordbahn railway contract between the Rothschild-controlled company and the Austrian state. When the contract was renegotiated on terms far less favourable to the company, the public were convinced of Schönerer’s initial charge of state favouritism towards the company. A triumphant Schönerer appeared to have saved the state – and hence the ‘people’ – from Jewish exploitation. Ferdinand Kronawetter might call Schönerer’s antisemitism ‘the socialism of fools’, but Schönerer’s campaign was seen as an anti-establishment, progressive approach that pursued social justice.6 In 1885 Schönerer launched his own political party, the Verband der Deutschnationalen (German Nationalist Union). It gained only three Reichsrat seats, but Schönerer’s disruptive reach was much greater. His ‘Chinese bill’ of April 1887, which proposed applying to Jews in the Habsburg monarchy policies analogous to American immigration policy toward the Chinese labourers in the American West, was an extremely antisemitic proposal that affected not only immigrant but also native-born Jews, and would have undermined Jewish emancipation. The bill had no chance of being passed, but it shattered the more moderate nationalist Deutsche Klub, splitting it into those who were against Schönerer and those who sympathized with (or were afraid of) him.7 Schönerer seemed on the verge of leadership of the antisemitic

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movement in Vienna, but his rise was halted by a typically violent episode: his assault on the offices of the ‘Jewish’ newspaper, Neues Wiener Tagblatt, in 1888. As a result of this piece of alcohol-induced ‘direct action’, Schönerer was tried and sentenced to four months in jail and five years without political rights. While Schönerer was effectively out of action, Lueger engineered the coalition between Catholic antisemites and German nationalist antisemites that was to win him Vienna’s mayoralty in 1897. The Christian Socials came to include many anti-clerical German nationalist, racial antisemites, including ex-Schönerites, of the radical left, who were crucial to Lueger’s subsequent success. Otto Steinwender also used Schönerer’s absence to solidify a more moderate group of German nationalists in the German People’s Party (Deutsche Volkspartei, or DVP) in 1895. Another former follower, Adler, set up the Marxist Social Democrats in 1889. By the time Schönerer returned to active political life, Austrian politics had been transformed. Even his old constituency, Zwettl, was now firmly under Christian Social control. In 1897, however, he was elected as Reichsrat deputy for Eger, in western Bohemia; then the Badeni affair re-ignited Schönerer’s career. The Austrian prime minister, Count Casimir Badeni, as part of his ‘solution’ of the Czech–German conflict in Bohemia, issued a set of language ordinances to mandate German–Czech bilingualism for all Austrian officials in the province. Schönerer and his four devoted fellow Pan-German deputies predictably protested against this attack on ‘German national property’, but their protests would have been insignificant had not much of the moderate German left also protested. The ensuing polarization of Austrian politics, pitting most Austrian Germans against the Habsburg establishment and the other nationalities, brought the state to the verge of revolution. Schönerer seized his opportunity, leading increasingly violent acts of obstruction of the Reichsrat, and when the government moved to block protests in the parliament, Schönerer and his supporters took to the streets of Vienna and other ‘German’ cities. The Badeni affair destroyed Steinwender’s attempt to have a more moderate German nationalist movement, and it made Schönerer and his followers national heroes. In the 1901 election, the Schönerites in the Pan-German Party (Alldeutsche Partei)

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gained 21 seats, making them by far the largest party in the liberal, and German national heartland of Bohemia. Success was shortlived. Schönerer broke with Karl Hermann Wolf, splitting the party. His anti-clerical nationalist campaign in religious form, Los von Rom, (which sought to convert Austrian German Catholics to Protestantism) only alienated potential supporters.8 Attempts to create a workers’ wing of the party in Bohemia foundered. Now in his sixties, Schönerer had lost interest in extra-parliamentary politics and even social issues. Schönerer was not re-elected in 1907; in 1913 he retired from politics. His death in 1921 went largely unheralded. Yet Schönerer’s legacy was potent, for he was central to the formation of the radical German nationalist movement in Austria in which Hitler and National Socialism were rooted.9 What connects Hitler and Schönerer most blatantly is racial antisemitism. It has been much debated when Hitler became an antisemite, whether while in Vienna or after, but much of this argument appears naively to believe that being a German nationalist in pre-First-World-War Austria did not necessarily mean that one assumed an antisemitic attitude. In reality the political culture of German nationalism was shot through with antisemitic assumptions, in large part due to Schönerer’s influence. The only question about Hitler, already an ardent supporter of the racist sub-culture of extreme German nationalism in pre-war Vienna, should be when his antisemitism came to dominate his worldview to the point of obsession.10 Schönerer, on the other hand, appears not to have started out his political career with an antisemitic attitude. He added antisemitic clauses to his political programme only in 1879, and became stridently, racially antisemitic only around 1882. Carl Schorske among others has explained Schönerer’s antisemitism as a ‘generational revolt’ against his father, who associated with just the sort of rich and influential Jews, including the Rothschilds, that exemplified the antisemitic Jewish stereotype.11 There is possibly something to this psychological explanation, but it is not the whole story. When Schönerer first entered politics in the 1870s, he was relatively polite to Jewish colleagues, and certainly not the notorious Jew-hater that he became. The real ground for Schönerer’s radical, and racially based antisemitism appears to have been among the nationalist students

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he took up with in the latter half of the 1870s. Those students had been radicalized by the failure of their German revolution. In 1866, the Reich German kleindeutsch version of Germany, which excluded the ‘German’ territories of the Habsburg Monarchy (the Austrian hereditary lands and the Bohemian crownlands), had won out over the Austrian kleindeutsch version, supported by the radical students, which would have included these ‘German’ Austrian territories in the German Empire, while leaving Hungary, Galicia and Dalmatia to their own devices. It was thus only in 1866 that the dream of a united Germany, including German Austria, cherished by Austrian German radicals and Austrian German radical students since 1848, was finally destroyed by Bismarckian political reality.12 Excluded from their imagined ‘homeland’, the radical nationalist students appear to have taken out their resentment at this ‘betrayal’ on the group that had been established by German romanticism and by leading figures of ‘modern’ German culture, such as Richard Wagner, as alien strangers in the German midst: the Jews. The failure of Germany truly to unite in 1866 was attributed partly to the betrayal of Germans by their rulers, but more fundamentally to Germany’s failure to achieve the ‘organic community’ preached by romanticism. It was easy to see the Jews – as non-Christians, outsiders, ethnically different, heavily identified with the ‘inorganic’ processes of the modern economy, and the financial backers of many of those ‘corrupt’ rulers (especially the Habsburgs) – as one of the prime reasons, perhaps the main reason, for this failure of community.13 The students’ antisemitism was partly an articulation of a revolt against the consequences of modernization. Yet it also had ‘modern’ aspects. Much as Marxism offered a better version of modernity to supplant the partial and blinkered version offered by ‘capitalism’, the students saw their vision of the national, organic community as the progressive alternative to the hidebound, rationalistic and ‘inorganic’, hence malfunctioning, Habsburg state. The transformation of the basis for their contempt for Jews from a cultural to a racial one was also a sign of modernity, for race was the modern, ‘scientific’ way of seeing human relations by the early 1870s. Joseph de Gobineau’s Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines appeared in 1853–5, and Charles Darwin’s

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On the Origin of Species appeared in 1859. By 1862 Moses Hess’s Rome and Jerusalem was discussing the ‘Jewish question’ in distinctly racial terms.14 It was relatively easy to fold the ‘organic’ worldview of romanticism into the new, biological and racial approach. What linked the human and the biological was medicine, and it was a professor of medicine at Vienna University, Theodor Billroth, who acted as the catalyst in the students’ conversion to racial antisemitism. In an essay of 1875, Billroth had tackled the question of the supposed surfeit of poor Jewish medical students from Hungary and Galicia at the university, but he went from a discussion about the educational lack of preparedness of such students to a much deeper claim about a basic incompatibility of Jews with German culture and society. While wanting to distance himself from accusations of vulgar Jew-hatred, he nevertheless wrote that ‘the Jews are a well-defined nation [...] [A] Jew can never become a German [...]. Above all, they cannot possibly be sensitive to the accumulated influence of medieval romanticism, upon which our German sensibilities – more than we want to admit – are based. [...] in spite of [...] individual sympathy, I deeply feel the cleavage between pure German and pure Jewish blood.’15 Billroth thus not only put the division between Jews and Germans on a ‘scientific’ racial basis (of ‘blood’), but also put it in starkly national terms that made all Jews, whether they liked it or not, foreign to the German nationalist movement. It was shortly after this speech and the furore that it unleashed among the students that the radical student societies, the Burschenschaften, started introducing an ‘Aryan clause’ and expelling their Jewish members.16 Racial antisemitism for the radical nationalist students was a cipher for a view of German nationalism that saw all Germans as equal in claims to their birthright, as Germans by blood. This was in contrast to both the Habsburg Catholic establishment’s view of a divinely ordained hierarchy which enshrined inequality, but also the German Liberal worldview of a society where universal human rights were nevertheless subject to calibration and hierarchical discrimination according to criteria of educational accomplishment and economic power, i.e. Bildung und Besitz. John Stuart Mill’s Considerations on Representative Government (1862) illustrates that this stratification of, for instance,

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the right to vote, was common to most forms of nineteenth-century liberalism, and nationalism often emerged on the left of liberalism to combat the latter’s restrictive definition of the political nation. Racial antisemitism functioned here as an extreme form of nationalism. The obverse of racial antisemitism’s exclusion of Jews was the inclusion of all ‘Germans’, regardless of class or educational level, in an expanded political nation. Racial antisemitism was thus simultaneously a ‘purifier’ and an equalizing ‘unifier’: hence Schönerer’s later motto: Durch Reinheit zur Einheit (Through purity to unity).17 Schönerer acquired his antisemitism from the students’ frustrated German nationalism. Moreover, it was this that convinced him that antisemitism was so absolutely necessary. The aspect of ‘purity’ would also have appealed to his completely uncompromising personality, and fitted well into his vision of what a decisive ‘leader’ should demand. Schönerer’s political style also had a profound influence on Hitler, for Schönerer set the ‘sharp tone’ of dictatorial rowdiness that all subsequent radical German nationalist leaders tried to emulate. It is ironic that Hitler criticized Schönerer for his lack of interest in men and social issues, because the younger Schönerer of the late 1870s and 1880s had exactly this profile of a fighter for social justice, the saviour of the oppressed nation (the peasantry and artisans).18 He anticipated Hitler’s own channelling of this social unrest against both the establishment and ‘international Jewry’. Schönerer often explicitly identified his enemies as international entities, such as in 1901 when he took aim in the party programme at the three ‘internationals’ of Jewry, Catholicism and the Habsburgs, or in 1897 in Eger, when he ran against the ‘yellow, red and black internationals’ (the Jews, Social Democrats, and political Catholicism).19 Hitler’s Führerprinzip was also anticipated in Schönerer’s dictatorial political style, and in his insistence on complete subordination to his rule. Schönerer held the title of Führer of the Pan-German Association (Alldeutscher Verein) in Vienna from 1902, and although this only meant ‘chairman’, the way Schönerer wielded his authority anticipated the term’s later meaning. In 1907, Schönerer expressed his view of how politics really worked: ‘If there is a breakthrough it will be based on a trustworthy elite. History is always made by the few [...] by the masses

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only if they have joined themselves to a few persons or groups [...]. If people refer to me contemptuously as the enemy of the majority principle they are partly right, for I have always declared myself first and foremost for the principle of authority.’20 Schönerer’s combination of nationalist populism and autocracy was exemplary. Schönerer’s ambivalent Prussophilia also has later echoes in Hitler’s approach. Even when he was only a left-wing radical in the Liberals’ ranks, Schönerer looked to the German Reich as the model of emulation, and his admiration for Otto von Bismarck was tantamount to adulation. Schönerer’s Los von Rom movement was intended to make Austrian Germans more like their north German, Protestant brethren. Yet the actual Prussian establishment at the head of the German empire’s government did not at all return the sentiment. To Bismarck and his successors, Schönerer and the Pan-Germans were an embarrassment, upsetting their strategy of supporting the Habsburg monarchy to ensure German hegemony over Central Europe. It took Schönerer until 1902 fully to recognize this lack of support from Berlin. Yet it simply confirmed to him and his supporters that they, the leaders of the Austrian part of the German Volk, were more loyal to their nation than the other Germans in Germany. This powerful inferiority complex, which also saw Austrian German nationalists being more antisemitic than their Reich counterparts, was repeated in Hitler’s deeply ambivalent, and latently hostile, attitude towards the Prussian elite. In this context A. J .P. Taylor’s notorious remark that Hitler was ‘Austria’s revenge for the defeat of 1866’ makes sense.21 Even Hitler’s anti-clerical drive against the Catholic Church in Austria after 1938, with its tactic of offering a deistic status of gottesgläubig, was effectively continuing the Los von Rom movement. The very notion of a German ‘national socialism’ was rooted, as Wladika has shown, in and around Schönerer and his followers. Schönerer had begun with an interest in the social problems of the day, defending the peasantry and then in the 1880s the artisans. His stance was anti-capitalist and he defended the rights of factory workers both against their employers and the oppressive anti-socialist legislation.22 Later, his loyal follower, Franz ‘Franco’ Stein, picking up on these themes, tried to cultivate a nationalist labour movement in

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Bohemia and a national socialist sense of community. Stein’s plans were undermined by his and Schönerer’s insistence on total subordination, and the nationalist workers’ leadership broke away and formed instead the Bohemian, Sudeten-based German Workers’ Party (Deutsche Arbeiter Partei, or DAP) in 1904, which in 1916, within the context of Czechoslovakia, became the German National Socialist Workers’ Party (Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiter Partei), the DNSAP (as opposed to the later German Reich NSDAP). Yet this was the breeding ground for the ideology of Walter Riehl and Rudolf Jung, who created the conceptual basis for ‘national socialism’ in both Austria and Germany. They were the inspirers, according to Michael Wladika, of the young Hitler in 1918–20, who spoke in his native Austria in Vienna, Krems and elsewhere as a guest of the DNSAP.23 Schönerer by the 1900s was too old and rigid to take part in this, but there was a direct line of succession from him to Stein, the DAP, the DNSAP and to Hitler. Neither Riehl nor Jung was mentioned in Mein Kampf, Wladika argues, because that would have deprived Hitler of his need to appear original.24 Behind the question of Schönerer’s direct influence on Hitler lies the broader one of his indirect influence, and how Schönerer affected Central European politics more generally. How far was Schönerer the ‘pacemaker’ of the German nationalists, forcing the whole of the bourgeois German left in Austria to lurch to nationalism – and hence to racism, world war, fascism and Nazism, in Germany as well as in Austria?25 Schönerer was never really that successful electorally. His party’s highpoint was the 21 Reichsrat seats won in 1901, which was still only a small minority of even German seats in the parliament. It can be argued, however, that he pulled the rest of the left in his direction. Those of his former supporters who became major political leaders, including Pernerstorfer, Lueger, Steinwender and Wolf, might regard him as a hopelessly intractable troublemaker, but they always seemed to be looking over their left shoulders, worried if Schönerer would outflank them. Schönerer twice had a devastating impact on the fortunes of more moderate German nationalists. In 1887 his Chinese bill split them in two, allowing Steinwender to become leader of the less

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moderate (more antisemitic) faction; in 1897 his rapid and radical reaction to the Badeni language ordinances brought on a crisis in the ranks of the moderate German nationalist German People’s Party (DVP), which resulted in the ousting of that party’s leader, Steinwender. This could, however, be overestimating Schönerer’s power. Steinwender’s problems in 1897 were brought on as much by the radicalism of the more moderate German liberal parties, pushing to the left at the same time as Schönerer pulled. In the 1880s as well, Schönerer might have charted out the territory of German nationalism in Austria, but it has also been argued that the rest of the German left, especially the Liberals, entered this territory willingly. Pieter Judson argues that Austria’s German Liberals – not the radical nationalists but rather the liberal groups such as the Progressives collected in the United German Left – played the nationalist card in order to secure their survival on an Austrian level and maintain hegemony on the local one.26 Furthermore, they were prepared to define the nation – as their acceptable society – racially, against Czechs and other Slavs. Eventually they were also prepared to accept antisemites into the national fold in order to maintain their ‘liberal’ idea of a meritocratic society led by the propertied and educated. Hence it was the Liberals who, virtually simultaneously with Schönerer, took up the obstruction against Badeni in 1897, whereas the moderate German nationalists in Steinwender’s DVP were split on the issue, because they wanted intranational social reform to have a higher priority than the defence of German ‘national property’ against the other nationalities. By 1901, racial antisemitism had become acceptable within respectable Liberal ranks. Many Liberals might not agree with the antisemitic viewpoint, but it was now tolerated, one view among many.27 From today’s perspective this seems paradoxical, for surely by definition Liberals who accept the validity of the antisemitic worldview can no longer be ‘liberal’ in any reasonable sense. At the time, however, racialist thought, and its variant of racial antisemitism, could be seen to be both scientific and progressive. Liberal imperialists such as Joseph Chamberlain or Theodore Roosevelt, and figures such as Rudyard Kipling (the ‘white man’s burden’) and Cecil Rhodes, were in their own way ardent progressives, while also firmly entrenched

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in a racialist mindset. The equivalent in a Central European setting could just as well be an antisemitic progressive ‘Liberal’, still on the political left. Judson does not recognize the full extent to which Austrian German Liberals were forced by circumstances, especially the defensive posture that increasingly typified the Austrian German electorate, to concede the acceptance of antisemitic radical nationalists under the ‘big tent’ of German Liberal, progressive politics. It is, however, an arguable point. That antisemitism had become fashionable and salonfähig in sections of the bourgeois German Liberal left by 1914 is not in question. The big winner before 1914 among Germans battling over the nationalist and antisemitic constituency was none other than Hitler’s other hero – Lueger. Here was a man who started out on the democratic left but who, unlike Schönerer, was prepared to ‘sell out’ to the Catholic right. He thus united under the Christian Social banner Vienna’s antisemitic politicians and constituencies from both the conservative Catholic right (such as Karl von Vogelsang and his followers) and also the German nationalist left (such as Ernst Vergani). It was this ability, by deft political compromise and brilliant, charismatic leadership to unite the ‘people’, or at least the antisemitic sectors thereof, that won Hitler’s admiration. Yet for Hitler Lueger was ideologically impure, because what resulted was an antisemitism of the hated Catholic Habsburg right, not the ‘left’ – an ‘Austrian’ political movement, not a ‘German’ one. Ideologically, Schönerer, the man on the radical fringe of the German ‘left’, was Hitler’s preferred role model. One can well ask whether Schönerer was still really on the ‘left’ by 1907. The younger Schönerer, interested in social issues, for the lower classes against the capitalist establishment, a ‘democrat’ and anti-clerical, is much more clearly a man of the ‘left’ than the older, more authoritarian Schönerer, with his Prussophilia, the Los von Rom movement, and his cult of Bismarck. The younger Schönerer had been Prussophile too, but then in the 1870s so had many liberal progressives, for at that point Prussia still stood for a relatively modern, liberal principle within Central European affairs. This was no longer the case by 1907, but Schönerer was just as ardent an admirer of Prussian

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discipline and order as ever. Perhaps the most telling point against the older Schönerer being placed on the ‘left’ (putting antisemitism aside for a moment) was his withdrawal of support for democracy, defying the democratizing consensus when Cisleithanian Austria adopted male universal suffrage for the Reichsrat in 1907. He opposed this democratization as a nationalist because it would dilute the power of the Germans in Austria, and mean a non-German majority, but it would appear to confirm his abandonment of ‘left-wing’ principles. Even this giving-up on democracy, however, has its left-wing parallels. When Schönerer derided mere numbers, and predicted that real historical change would be made by ‘a trustworthy elite’, and when he put ideological purity ahead of compromise, these same tendencies could be found on the (Russian) left, in the form of the Bolsheviks. Moreover, Schönerer remained anti-clerical, for his Los von Rom movement was in the Austrian context a blow against clericalism, despite its religious form. His Prussophilia and Pan-Germanism, as well, in its irredentism, was a challenge to the Austrian state – and its ally, the German empire. Even in his worship of authority Schönerer remained anti-establishment. His very antisemitism was a symbol of his belief in the unity and equality of the German Volk as a whole, regardless of traditional structures of authority or hierarchy. In many ways he remained a man of the ‘left’. Schönerer has become notorious as one of the main expositors of the ‘sharper tone’ in late-nineteenth-century Austrian politics, and the casting aside of the niceties of the Honoratioren politics of the liberal era. The main evidence for this comes from Schönerer’s use of parliamentary rules to undermine parliament, and the threat, and often the practice, of going outside the parliamentary process, to the students, artisans and the street, to employ ‘direct action’, as he did in 1888. This obviously has parallels with Hitler’s extra-parliamentary politics, and has partly for that reason come to be associated with radical right-wing politics. Yet the group that had brought the tactics of obstructionism to the Reichsrat was the Czech deputation, emulating the Irish nationalists at Westminster; in similar fashion, the group that was most active in the Badeni affair in adopting the same physical tactics as those used by Schönerer and his followers were the Austrian

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Social Democrats. None of these groups is usually associated with the ‘right’ or even the ‘radical right’. The supposedly Marxist and internationalist, indisputably ‘leftwing’ Austrian Social Democrats are an interesting comparative case study to Schönerer. Many of those in the socialist leadership had come from a German nationalist background, including the party’s founder and leader until 1918: as we have seen, Victor Adler, had started out as a radical nationalist student and Schönerer supporter, and was a framer of the Linz programme. Schorske justifies leaving him out of the ‘trio’ of Austrian politicians who played the ‘irrationalist’ politics ‘of the new key’, because he became a rationalist Marxist.28 Yet, as William McGrath has shown, the style of Adler’s politics remained deeply indebted to his earlier nationalist student years.29 His close friend and collaborator in the socialist movement, Pernerstorfer, remained in the German nationalist movement longer than Adler, until 1885, and even as a socialist retained attitudes that were still very much tinged with German nationalism. The socialists at times competed with Schönerer and his PanGermans in nationalist terms. As anti-capitalists they sometimes also used antisemitic rhetoric in their struggle with German nationalists and Christian Socials for the masses’ support, accusing their rivals of hypocrisy in verbally attacking ‘Jewish’ capital, while making deals with Jewish capitalists. Socialist principles might condemn racial antisemitism, but speakers such as Adler, a Jewish convert to Protestantism, could also attack the ‘philo-semitism’ of the liberal (‘Jewish’) press, and for a long period the Social Democrats pursued a policy of ‘neutrality’ on the ‘Jewish question’, while criticizing Lueger for his ‘philo-semitism’.30 The German nationalist background of the socialist leadership probably contributed to the decision by the Social Democrats, on the basis of defending parliamentary liberties, to join forces with Schönerer and the German left in the Badeni affair in late 1897. It was this rallying to the German side that set in motion the process that was to result in the split within the Austrian socialist movement between Germans and Czechs, on nationalist lines, which has often been seen as one of the decisive factors in making the nationality conflict in

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Austria–Hungary intractable. The socialist ‘left’ in Austria was not as immune to nationalist tendencies, or even to antisemitic temptations, as we might imagine. Andrew Whiteside comes to the conclusion that Schönerer was such an amalgam of contradictory tendencies that he only stood for extremism. For Whiteside, Schönerer comes closest to being a man of the ‘radical right’, and there is a good case for this.31 Even so, Schönerer’s anti-clericalism seems to fly in the face of his being on the right, although there are parallels to such figures of political Protestantism as Ian Paisley. Schönerer could also be seen, to use Jeffrey Herf’s terminology, as a type of reactionary modernist, favouring social reform, technological innovation and managerial efficiency, as long as society was defined in terms of a tribal group defined by its bloodline – and excluding Jews. The inchoate nature of Schönerer’s views might also be explained by his relative lack of intellectual refinement and rigour, so that precisely the unschooled character of his ideology allowed him to depend on what he half-learned and what he felt was right (thus following, ironically, the tenets of the ‘irrationalist’ thinking of Jewish–German nationalist ideologues such as the younger Heinrich Friedjung). Were we to adopt the approach of Carl Schorske, we could after all speculate that there was a sort of meeting of complexes in Schönerer between Oedipus and Thanatos: having ‘slain’ the father by attacking his father’s Jewish allies and the ‘paternal’ Habsburg state, Schönerer, to follow this line of psychological argument, was left with no choice but to self-destruct. Here again, one could argue that this personality trait of the Götterdämmerung death wish was also part of the political model that Schönerer bequeathed to Hitler. All of these explanations have their merits, but there remains the suspicion that Schönerer really was a man of the ‘left’ – as this translates within multicultural Central Europe. Whiteside, while calling Schönerer’s Pan-Germanism a ‘heresy of the left’, absolves the left of responsibility. Yet the parallel that works best for Schönerer in the region is that with the other minority radical nationalists, such as the Young Czechs, who were a typically left-wing (petit) bourgeois party, and often held antisemitic views as well as the necessary

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ethno-national and racialist definitions of identity. While the marxist, formally internationalist, left dominates the historical landscape of Central and Eastern Europe’s political left, we neglect the existence of this nationalist left at our scholarly peril. The transformation of what were left-wing movements into right-wing, quasi-authoritarian and fascist ones throughout the region, in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and it would seem Austria and Germany, is a major component of the region’s modern history. We need to understand more about this tragic political ambivalence, even while we hold our nose.

Notes 1. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, transl. R. Manheim, Boston, 2001, p. 99. 2. Brigitte Hamann, Hitlers Wien. Lehrjahre eines Diktators, Munich, 1996; Michael Wladika, Hitlers Vätergeneration. Die Ursprünge des Nationalsozialismus in der k.u.k. Monarchie, Vienna, 2005. 3. Andrew G. Whiteside, The Socialism of Fools: Georg Ritter von Schönerer and Austrian Pan-Germanism, Berkeley, CA, 1975, p. 41. 4. Wladika, Hitlers Vätergeneration, p. 77. 5. Whiteside, Socialism of Fools, pp. 76–102. 6. Ibid, p. 89, 139. 7. Ibid, p. 119. 8. Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp. 110–117. 9. Peter Pulzer, The Rise of Political Antisemitism in Germany and Austria, London, 1988, p. 143. 10. Cf. Hamann, Hitlers Wien, pp. 285 ff, 496–512. 11. Carl E. Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture, London, 1980, pp. 120–133. 12. Whiteside, Socialism of Fools, pp. 47–52. The grossdeutsch solution of the German question in the 1860s would have included all lands controlled by the princes of the German Confederation, including along with the ‘Reich German’ states all of the lands of the Habsburg monarchy, whether within the German Confederation’s boundaries or not. The Austrian kleindeutsch solution, favoured by the radical German nationalist students, would have included within the German empire the ‘Reich German’ states and those provinces of the Habsburg monarchy (including the Bohemian crownlands) that were within the boundary of the German Confederation, but would have excluded Galicia, Dalmatia and the kingdom of Hungary. The ‘Reich

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German’ kleindeutsch solution, which won out, excluded all the lands of the Habsburg monarchy from the German empire. Ibid, pp. 10–50. cf. Ken Koltun-Fromm, Moses Hess and Modern Jewish Identity, Bloomington, IN, 2001. Cited in Jack Jacobs, On Socialists and ‘The Jewish Question’ after Marx, New York, 1992, p. 89. Whiteside, Socialism of Fools, p. 61. Ibid, p. 150. Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp. 108–109. Ibid, pp. 215, 158. In Alldeutsches Tagblatt, October 17 1907, cited in Whiteside, pp. 264–65. A. J. P. Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809–1918, London, 1981, p. 279. Whiteside, Socialism of Fools, pp. 72–77. Wladika, Hitlers Vätergeneration, pp. 577–621; Whiteside, The Socialism of Fools, pp. 225–280. Wladika, Hitlers Vätergeneration, pp. 530–621. Pulzer, The Rise of Political Antisemitism, p. 143. Cf. Pieter M. Judson, Exclusive Revolutionaries: Liberal Politics, Social Experience, and National Identity in the Austrian Empire, 1848–1914, Ann Arbor, MI, 1996, esp. pp. 193–222. Ibid, pp. 254–62. Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, p. 119. William J. McGrath, Dionysian Art and Populist Politics in Austria, New Haven, CT, 1974, pp. 208–37. Robert S. Wistrich, Socialism and the Jews: The Dilemmas of Assimilation in Germany and Austria-Hungary, London, 1982, pp. 242–80; cf. Jacobs, On Socialists and ‘The Jewish Question’ after Marx, pp. 86–117. Whiteside, Socialism of Fools, pp. 301–2.

CHAPTER 3 GABR IELE D’ANNUNZIO: FROM AESTHETICISM TO ANARCHY. THE POET AS POLITICIAN John Woodhouse

The precocious literary genius of Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863–1938) first manifested itself in the poems of Primo vere (Spring), published in 1879 when he was 16 years old. Two years later a new collection, Canto novo (New Song), revolutionized Italian lyric poetry with its sensuality and emotional frankness. Canto novo made him the idol of the young, the bête noire of the establishment, and the envy of some older contemporaries and critics. From that collection his attitude to life could be summed up in a verse of the youthful paean of Canta la gioia! (Sing Joy!): Sing the immense joy of living/of being strong, of being young,/of biting the fruits of the earth with/firm white, voracious teeth,/of laying bold and covetous hands/on every sweet tangible thing,/of bending the bow to every/new prey that desire has in its sights.1 Was that some manifestation of a pre-Nietzschean, pre-Fascist predator? Some hind-sighted critics would have it so. But this was no

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physical prey that the young poet was describing. The stanzas which follow make it clear that his desires were aesthetic: gazing with glowing eyes on the divine face of the world and adoring every briefly manifested phenomenon. Twenty years later, his grand epic, Maia, or Laus vitae, had a similarly dynamic mode of expression, although intervening experiences added a more purposeful edge to his desire for joy, and his poetry encourages the reader to recreate the glories of the classical past. The tone is more hectoring, as he calls upon his fellow men to listen to ‘il grande annunzio’, the great announcement which his strong voice brings over the beating wind. He hears the voice of his inner daemon: Up! Awake. It is time./ Arise. You’ve slept long enough./ Have you become a lover of the earth?/ Hear the wind! Arise!/ Take the helm and the sheets,/ for it is necessary to sail;/it is not necessary to live.2 The tendency to self-glorification was itself part of a fashionable trend. The mood may be explicable in terms of the Italian public’s admiration for the pagan heroics of the poetry of the rebellious Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907), Nobel laureate and darling of the Risorgimento. Carducci strongly influenced the style of D’Annunzio’s Primo vere. That latinized title echoed the older poet’s esoteric brand of Italian. Indeed, the new collection of Canto novo was D’Annunzio’s celebration of what he called his breaking loose from Carducci to plunge into his own sea. D’Annunzio’s youthful verse had been autobiographical rather than a reflection of some future messianic purpose. It is necessary to mention, moreover, that alongside strong egotistical statements stand many more poems which reflect the most gentle of emotions and lyrical descriptions. O falce di luna calante (Waning of the Sickle Moon), for instance, set to music by several composers, including Paolo Tosti and Ottorino Respighi, is one of his most famously delicate lyrics.3 During the next six years, D’Annunzio published two more large collections of poems, two volumes of short stories, and a novel, most of the work reflecting the period following Canto novo, as he experimented

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with all kinds of literary, social, and journalistic experiences. The frantic activity included a gloomy shotgun wedding following his elopement in 1883 with Maria Hardouin, Duchess of Gallese. D’Annunzio’s new writing helped to establish him as the enfant terrible of Rome. During the summer of 1887, irritated by the absence from Rome of his new mistress, Elvira ‘Barbara’ Leoni, and bored with his marriage to Maria Hardouin, D’Annunzio accompanied Adolfo De Bosis on a cruise along Italy’s Adriatic coast on board the Lady Clara. Unfortunately, neither they nor their two-man crew knew anything about sailing. The voyage was turning into near-disaster when they were rescued by the Italian warship, Barbarigo. The adventurers were then taken to Venice, where they arrived on 9 September 1887. This may seem a trivial holiday boating accident, but it was the first time that the Poet had been aboard a naval vessel, and it was also his first sight of the glories of Venice. The two experiences had a profound effect on D’Annunzio’s spiritual, literary, and, ultimately, political development. It led him in 1888, via ten major articles in the Tribuna (27 May–6 July 1888), later collected as L’armata d’Italia (The Italian Armada), into a crusade to force the government to create a powerful navy.4 Italy would either be a great naval power or it would be nothing, he wrote as he directed disdainful rhetoric against politicians whom he described as petty little masticators of financial arithmetic. Although, he noted, his profession was that of lyric poet and novelist, the experience of sea and ships had shown him that he did not want to be ‘merely a poet’. Yet political and poetic aspirations were unified in the poems collected in 1893, under the title Odi navali (Naval Odes), which included Di una torpediniera nell’Adriatico (Concerning a torpedo boat in the Adriatic): Craft of steel, straight, swift, skimming/lovely as a naked weapon,/alive, quivering,/as though the metal enclosed a terrible heart,/sharpened on man’s cold courage alone,/like a weapon on the whet-stone,/you suffer no coward on the burning plates/of the bridge, which throbs with the pulsations.5 The small extract also shows how his technique foreshadowed Marinetti’s Futurist revolution of 1909–11.

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Contemporaneously, D’Annunzio was writing extensively in his gossip columns about Rome’s high society; embassy parties, hunt balls, race meetings, salon society, exotic beauties, and parades of fur coats figured widely. That atmosphere provided the aristocratic background to his first novel Il piacere (Child of Pleasure), published in 1889.6 Taken for granted in the book was an exaltation of Beauty, a contrast between the vulgarity of a materialistic society and the grandeur of such creations as Michelangelo’s indomitable heroes. Rising above the leaden mass, in D’Annunzio’s view, was the truly noble soul, a sovereign spirit whose interior self-governance allowed him to affirm true freedom. Such a paragon in Il piacere was his protagonist, Andrea Sperelli – artist, poet, designer, man of fashion, horseman, duellist, seducer of beautiful women – in effect an idealized self-portrait. Sperelli, however, is hampered by his sexual proclivities, his free spirit is enslaved by greater forces which reduce him to the status of rejected lover. Yet Sperelli is viewed as one of D’Annunzio’s first supermen – the aesthetic Übermensch. D’Annunzio became acquainted with Nietzsche’s theories only later, when the German philosopher’s work became available in French, and probably not much before 1892, during the Poet’s long sojourn in Naples, where Nietzsche’s more striking statements enjoyed fashionable discussion in intellectual circles. Such abstract talk did not appeal to D’Annunzio, and his knowledge of the German philosopher remained shallow. His essay on La bestia elettiva (The Elective Beast), published in Il mattino on 25 and 26 September 1892, contained much pastiche Nietzschean philosophy. D’Annunzio agreed that democracy was merely a collective struggle between the egotistic vanity of individuals, which weakened the naturally-developed superiority of the private individual acting independently. Applied to society his conclusions sounded dire to any liberal-minded reader: ‘Men shall be divided into two races. To the superior, raised by the pure energy of its will, all shall be permitted, to the inferior nothing or very little. The plebs always remain slaves and condemned to suffer, as much in the shadow of feudal towers as in the shadow of the chimney stacks of modern factories.’7 A smattering of Nietzschean ideas began to appear in certain of D’Annunzio’s fictional creations, helping to provide a pseudo-

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philosophical basis to his plots. A particular example was Il trionfo della morte (The Triumph of Death), the novel serialized in Il mattino after 12 February 1893, and published as a volume in 1894. D’Annunzio dedicated the preface to his friend, the painter Francesco Paolo Michetti, one of a group of Abruzzi writers, musicians, artists and sculptors that D’Annunzio mentally classified as his own closely-knit cultural elite. In the preface, his own figure is to the fore as he announces that he is ‘bending his ear to the voice of the magnanimous Zarathustra [...], and we prepare in our art with certain faith the advent of the Übermensch, the Superman.’ Yet the career of the novel’s supposedly Nietzschean hero, Giorgio Aurispa, in thrall to his mistress Ippolita, ends in suicide, as he clasps her to him in a murderous leap from the cliff at San Vito.8 In 1895 the Venetian authorities organized the first of Venice’s international festivals, later to develop as the Biennale. D’Annunzio was invited to give the concluding speech. The theme of the festival, the pre-Raphaelite revolution in art, was a favourite subject of D’Annunzio’s, but the contents of his own discourse, Allegoria d’autunno (Allegory of Autumn), ranged further, covering the grandeur of Italy and Venice’s heroic past.9 The experience of speaking in public revealed to the Poet for the first time his ability to captivate and control an audience, commanding attention with a vocal power comparable to the influence of the printed word he daily exerted over his bourgeois readers. The major part of the speech had an important influence on the theme and construction of his most scandalous autobiographical novel, Il fuoco (The Flame), published in 1900. The novel’s intimate revelations concerning the desperate love of an older woman for a younger man, reflected the Poet’s affair with Eleonora Duse, Italy’s greatest actress, and its publication contributed to the failure of their eightyear relationship.10 D’Annunzio’s speech in Venice is reproduced in Il fuoco as part of the stirring discourse of another of his autobiographical protagonists, Stelio Effrena: He was astonished at that unknown power converging on him, abolishing the confines of his particular personality and conferring on his solitary voice the fullness of a chorus [...]. In that

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moment he was merely the go-between through which Beauty offered people gathered in a place consecrated by centuries of human glories the divine gift of forgetfulness. [...] It was the greatest benefit of revealed Beauty: the victory of Liberating Art over the wretchedness, inquietude, and tedium of the everyday. [...] The place now seemed narrow for the exaltation of his new feeling. [...] His thought went beyond his audience to infinite multitudes dominated by an idea of truth and beauty [...], and the dream of a higher art revealed to him men seized with a new reverence towards poets, as towards those who could alone interrupt for a brief time human anxiety, ease their thirst, distribute forgetfulness [...]. Driven by the inspiration of the crowd his own spirit felt capable of generating titanic creations, and the work which he nourished within himself gave a sudden leap. There is not very much politics here, but D’Annunzio was discovering his own Demosthenic, Ciceronian voice. The euphoria of Italy’s political unification in 1860, and constitutional settlement twelve years later, was soon followed by disillusionment in those who had helped establish the new nation. D’Annunzio was among the disillusioned, and considered Italy’s political leaders to be incapable of dealing with the new situation. In 1897 he decided to stand as local independent candidate for his home constituency of Ortona a Mare. His speeches from the hustings during the summer of 1897 seemingly appealed to deep-seated local loyalties and domestic concerns rather than to national issues, to the aesthetic dreams of Il fuoco rather than to the economy of the Abruzzi, and he soon earned himself the appellation of Il candidato della bellezza (Candidate for Beauty). The most celebrated of his harangues was the Discorso della siepe (Discourse of the Hedge) of 22 August 1897: ‘The glint of a blade of straw in the dust helps me to uncover the harsh aspect of a truth. Illumined thoughts are generated in my head by the gesture of the baker as he draws from the oven the smoking, risen, golden, bread, which fills the house with the joy of its perfume.’11 The phrases were meant to catch the attention of his rustic electorate, who, though doubtless puzzled as to the connection between

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illumined thoughts and the scent of newly baked bread, would have found the image familiar and pleasant. The Poet’s speech continued with a more trenchant message for the local bourgeoisie, landowners, farmers, and yeomen: ‘I tell you, farmers, that the hedge which encloses the fertile soil, broken by your steel and watered with your sweat, is never sufficiently thick and stubborn, thorny and vigorous. Strengthen it more, make it put out more powerful roots, fiercer thorns.’ Thanks to his extraordinary rhetorical gifts, D’Annunzio never had much difficulty in convincing audiences of his worth, or of the value of poetry as a civilizing influence on the world. His speech was outstanding for the absence of any political programme, though there were plenty of references to Virgil, Hesiod, the Pantheon, the Muses and the Erinyes, and there was much talk of beauty. His own position is made clear: ‘Welcome me as you would a purer, more limpid brother. For just one day at least, allow to shine on yourselves the cloak of light which I have woven for you. Consider, you workers, that there is no disharmony between the works in which you exercise your strength and the divine hopes for which I am fashioning my wings.’ The Poet won the election at Ortona, although court proceedings for adultery, against him and his new mistress, prevented his taking the seat until 1898.12 D’Annunzio spent most of the next two years away from parliament in enjoyable pursuits, including a long cruise to Egypt and Greece (1898–99) to accompany his most important mistress, Eleonora Duse, during one of her many tournées. Taxed by his brother-in-law with neglecting his parliamentary duties, the Poet replied that he was carrying out a private survey of Italian foreign policy, but would resign if his supporters wished.13 D’Annunzio’s long absences from Rome undermined support for a second term as member for Ortona. Moreover, his move in the House from what he called the ‘dead men’ on the right to the living deputies of the left, convinced a group of Florentine socialists to nominate him as candidate for the Union of Popular Parties for the new elections in June 1900. On 29 March of that year, he published in Il giorno, the socialist newspaper, an account of his previous ‘Legislature’, followed on 21 May by an article ‘On the national conscience’. Both articles

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praised individualism, and made much of Florence’s cultural inheritance. The Poet was heavily defeated following malpractice by his opponents.14 Much of D’Annunzio’s writing in Il giorno contained quotations from his novel, Le vergini delle rocce (The Virgins of the Rocks, 1895–96), and from the mouth of another unlikely superman–protagonist, Claudio Cantelmo, whose mission is to select from three aristocratic sisters a suitable vessel in which to plant the seed of a future King of Rome, who might then create a heroic new regime. The novel ends before Cantelmo can make his choice and, since there is no sequel, any superhuman purpose in the exercise is nullified. Nevertheless, D’Annunzio gives vent to views on the superiority of the chosen few, who will take over the world ruined by the inept democratic masses. The heroic survivors will then discipline the plebs.15 D’Annunzio’s reaction to the ungrateful electorate of Florence was to retire to his rented villa on the hills outside the city of Settignano, where he dallied with his current mistresses, the Countess Alessandra di Rudinì, and with Eleonora Duse, who had rented the adjacent villa. Here he composed some of his most beautiful poetry, particularly the lyrics later published in the volume Alcyone, a collection which begins with a review of his most recent political struggle. He addresses the opening poem, La tregua (Truce/Respite) to a Zarathustra-like ‘Despot’: [...] Master, you know: [my campaign] was waged to please you,/ but the stench of mankind was heavy,/vile at times like inert cattle,/and the crowd was a dark, obese Chimera which stank/so that my collar was tight at the fetid air.[...]/ The terrible beauty was no bread for their base appetite,/and the slow brute bellowed angry on its straw./Yet, happy miracle, if some shaft, all gold, pierced its/innards, oh how deeply it shuddered. Having given vent to his resentment, the rest of Alcyone continues with the most sublime poetry in D’Annunzio’s repertoire.16 During the Florence election campaign, the possible advent of a heroic national leader was suddenly presented when the inept King

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Umberto was assassinated on 29 July 1900. D’Annunzio dashed off an ode to the young heir, Vittorio Emanuele III, whom he celebrated as a new saviour coming from the sea (the new king had been on naval exercises when the assassination took place). The tone is nationalistic and hectoring: Destiny chose you/for the high, fought-over enterprise./Woe betide you, if you fall short./The hour is dangerous/but you know that danger/girds the hero’s loins. From the red blood/be sure a new dawn arises.17 Little was D’Annunzio to know that Vittorio Emanuele’s weakness would be a major source of Italy’s woes and ultimately of the fall of the House of Savoy. By the later 1890s, D’Annunzio was deeply involved in writing for the stage, not least because of his liaison with the over-generous actress Eleonora Duse. The theatre provided him with that instant rapport with the public on which he had meditated in Stelio Effrena’s Fuoco speeches. On stage, such a relationship was not aggravated by political contestation and there was no risk of lost dignity at a public lectern. D’Annunzio composed 17 tragedies, if his operatic Parisina, the silentcinema captions of Cabiria, and the sketches for the four acts of The Crusade of the Innocents are also taken into account.18 Certain plays had more obviously political overtones. Thus in La gloria (Glory), performed in Naples in 1899, and withdrawn after one performance, the plot concerns the competition for power between the old conservative, Cesare Bronte, and his young opponent, the orator Ruggero Flamma, eager to reconstruct Rome, the source of vitality for Latin civilization.19 Flamma takes over Bronte’s power, and, en passant, his ambitious mistress Elena (who, with Flamma’s connivance, poisons Bronte). Her aspirations and sexual prowess, however, overwhelm Flamma, who despairs at ever achieving his political dream. With a death wish similar to that of other Dannunzian heroes, Flamma begs Elena to kill him. She obligingly stabs him to death. The performance was howled off the stage, and any political message was lost on its immediate audience. Yet there were also strangely semi-prophetic

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statements in La gloria. Bronte, for instance, declares shortly before his murder, that he would die happy if he could see among his political contemporaries a true man suited to the great emergency, a vast, free human spirit, a son of the earth, rooted deeply in the soil. Flamma’s acolyte, Giordano Fauro, believing Flamma to be that man, declares unswerving allegiance to him for the reconstruction of the City, the Fatherland, and the Latin Force. The author may have seen himself as such a saviour; others with long hindsight saw Mussolini adumbrated.20 Elena’s character of dominatrix is not unlike that of other belles dames sans merci in D’Annunzio’s plays, the prime example being Basiliola in La nave (The Ship), premiered in Rome in 1908. La nave did have nationalistic undertones: here was a great ship, created in Venice, destined to go venturing to the East to break the hold of imperial Byzantium. But in the character of Basiliola it is as though D’Annunzio’s supermen, subjugated by their sexual appetites, had given way to the superiority of the superwoman. Basiliola’s beauty, and her avenging intrigues, cause the men around her to burn with a masochistic desire to have her plunge her jewelled sword between their ribs or to die from an arrow to which she has given a final kiss. The play had a rapturous welcome from its Rome audience, helped in part by the striptease performed by the actress playing Basiliola, but also buoyed by a strong sense of nationalism in the theatre, where the king invited D’Annunzio to the Royal Box. The political message of the play was certainly clear to the Italian governing council of preYugoslavian Fiume, where, soon after its Rome debut, D’Annunzio organized a private reading of La nave. One of the most splendid literary fruits of D’Annunzio’s journeys to the eastern Mediterranean (1895, 1897 and 1898) was the collection subsequently known as the Laudi (Lauds). In an imaginative blend of fiction and tourist experiences, his verse transported him and his companions to a more admirable age. The classical past was an ideal setting for superhuman heroes, and it was not difficult for the Poet to apply classical paradigms to modern realism, sometimes to deliberately hilarious effect. In his epic poem Maia, the sight of a Greek fisherman in the seas around Ithaca calls up the image of an

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heroic Ulysses figure, and probably recalled for D’Annunzio his Ode to the King: We met him,/whom the Romans call Ulysses,[...]/’O Son of Laertes’, we cried, and/our hearts leapt in our breasts [...]/’O King of Men, destroyer of/city walls, pilot of all whirlpools,/whither do you sail? [...]/We are free men [...]/But if we wished to have a king,/you alone would we desire/as ruler, you who know the thousand ways./[...] Take us into your boat,/your faithful unto death’./He never even deigned to turn his head.21 There may be much rhetorical writing in the grand poetry of Maia and Elettra, but D’Annunzio’s spoken rhetoric, after his two electoral campaigns, was limited. When Giosuè Carducci died in 1907, D’Annunzio gave the commemorative oration in Milan. In this, he emphasized Italy’s need to revivify Rome’s past grandeur – its domination of the Alps, its peaceful ships plying their trade in the Mediterranean, its agricultural splendours recalling the populations of Latium, Samnium, Sabina and Etruria, its industrious artisans, the product of its medieval communes, its people of artists, born of the Renaissance.22 That same year, D’Annunzio’s final novel Forse che sí forse che no (Maybe, maybe not) had no obvious political implications.23 The plot describes the vicissitudes of D’Annunzio’s last fictional hero, Paolo Tarsis, an Übermensch, less aristocratic than his predecessors, a pioneer aviator and an enthusiast for fast cars. His interests mirrored the current hobbies of D’Annunzio, who by 1907 had been introduced, by another new mistress, Giuseppina Mancini, to the excitement of flight, experienced at first hand during the Brescia air show. He had also learned to drive a car. The heroic Paolo Tarsis inevitably has imposed on him the limits which hampered his fictional predecessors, notably an uncontrollable sexual drive and a nonchalant treatment of his mistress, Isabella Inghirami. She is driven insane by a number of interpersonal factors, including the behaviour of Tarsis. Giuseppina Mancini suffered a similar fate.24 The outcome of the novel is a journey to nirvana by Paolo as he flies off across the Tyrrhenian Sea to land injured on a beach in Sardinia.

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In 1910, D’Annunzio’s Florentine creditors forced him to flee to France where he remained in voluntary exile until 1915. It was a relatively quiet period for him, although when Italy invaded Libya in 1911 he wrote La canzone d’oltremare (Overseas Song) celebrating the victorious campaign against the Turkish colonial garrisons in Libya, and Italy’s subsequent colonization of the region. Along with nine other jingoistic odes it made up the collection Merope.25 After the outbreak of war, D’Annunzio strongly favoured intervention, and his newspaper articles left no doubt about his support for the Allies against the Austro-Hungarians and Germans. In 1915 he returned to Italy to deliver speeches against what he considered a weak and indecisive government. For the first three months of 1915, the domestic oratory and the aesthetic ideals of the 1890s, and the superhuman aspirations and failures of the years leading to the First World War, gave way to an overtly political D’Annunzio. His speeches became vitriolic tirades, launched against what he considered as cowardly administrations, unwilling to go to war against their former imperial masters. He now found himself persuading the Roman populace to stage marches against its government, to lay siege to parliament, to threaten the life of premier Giolitti, whilst unknown to him Italy had already in 1915 signed the secret Treaty of London, pledging to come into the war alongside the Allies. His powers of persuasion, though lacking a prime purpose after the Treaty of London, nevertheless kept high the enthusiasm of the people in the face of any relapse into apathy.26 D’Annunzio’s own war career has been too well studied to need detailed mention here. His initial experience of National Service in the Novara Lancers during the 1880s had filled him with horror, but in 1915 he found that he had become a propaganda icon. He revelled in the publicity, and in the glamorous uniforms which he was able to commandeer. Even the British chose him as a war hero, and awarded him the Military Cross. The Allied victory, which D’Annunzio always described as ‘mutilated’, was a great disappointment to him. Treaties and agreements were weakly defended by the Italian representatives at the Versailles peace talks, then thrown into confusion by what most Italians saw as the naive blunderings of US President Woodrow Wilson. A bankrupt Italy failed to obtain what she regarded as her

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just share of the spoils, and premier Nitti needed American grain for a starving populace. In the autumn of 1919, D’Annunzio was persuaded by a group of Sardinian Grenadiers to seize the town of Fiume, a largely Italianspeaking enclave which, thanks to Woodrow Wilson’s intervention, seemed destined to be absorbed by the, as yet non-existent, state of Yugoslavia.27 The reception of D’Annunzio’s miscellaneous volunteers in Fiume was rapturous. For the next 12 months, inside the confines of the little port, it was hardly ever necessary for him to use his oratory actually to convince an audience. His speeches became ritualistic, and he himself a cult figure. His method of delivery, his catchphrases and the songs of his supporters had enormous success in the enclave. Mussolini visited Fiume, learned much from the Poet’s technique, and later assimilated it, adding the power of microphones, radio transmissions, and all the panoply of state propaganda. The capture of Fiume was the most obvious example of D’Annunzio’s nationalistic ambitions, and the enterprise has been seen as a prelude to the Fascist coup. Before this last tragedy befell the Italian people, it is worth noting that the possibility of encouraging more lowly members of the human race to appreciate the finer points of life, which had been a constant in D’Annunzio’s career, surfaced again in Fiume. There, 22 years after his election at Ortona, and with the intervening trauma of the First World War, those cultural aspirations formed two of the key clauses of the Carta del Carnaro (Carnaro charter), the constitution elaborated for Fiume by D’Annunzio and the socialist deputy, Alceste De Ambris. The 65 clauses of the charter gave universal suffrage to the people, insisted on schools free of political and religious influence, guaranteed press freedom, free trade union association, and other liberal clauses. Its statements are the antithesis of anything that was promulgated by Mussolini’s government in the following two decades. The Carnaro charter is one of the documents which most strongly argues for D’Annunzio’s indifference, if not hostility, to what he considered the vulgar regime which rightly or wrongly has so often been seen as a consequence of his actions.28 The statutes of the Carta del Carnaro contain frequent references to the Muses: ‘The kingdom of the human spirit has not yet begun’,

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one clause announced. To create such a realm there was to be a cult of music ‘as a religious and social institution’. And, when, in 1919, Osbert Sitwell went to Fiume to interview D’Annunzio, he was surprised and impressed by the Poet’s opening greeting: ‘Well, what new poets are there in England?’ Sitwell comments: ‘Not, you will notice, “What new generals are there?” or “Who plays centre forward for Arsenal nowadays?” ’ D’Annunzio’s insertion (in the famous clauses 64 and 65) of art, music, and literature as necessary components of any political regime, showed how strongly he believed that the arts were useful to society because they stimulated thoughts of a higher and more noble kind.29 The years before D’Annunzio’s takeover of Fiume in 1919 were anything but a deliberate preparation for power. Once in Fiume he saw certain possibilities to save his humiliated nation, in particular a propaganda campaign against premier Nitti, which might topple the government. All his ideas and actions were, however, improvised and carried out by a poet, not a politician. D’Annunzio’s life and work will always provoke controversy, especially in an Italy violently divided between right- and left-wing parties, and between critics and academics who are usually card-carrying members of such opposing groups. A study of D’Annunzio as poet/politician will inevitably stress the heroic and nationalistic aspects of his compositions, but it must also be emphasised that his oeuvre (of over 60 substantial volumes) encompassed every literary genre. Alongside forceful political aspects are poetic collections of a delicacy and pathos rarely seen in the Italian tradition. A non-Italian audience might be expected to judge his work more objectively. This has not been the case. English critics, with one or two notable exceptions including Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, have added puritanical moral scruples to political judgements formed on hearsay and ignorance of his original writings, and have shown more prejudice than most. Indeed, in 1924 it was Sisley Huddleston who was the first critic ever to refer to D’Annunzio as Mussolini’s John the Baptist.30 Certainly, the Poet helped create the anarchic atmosphere in Italy in the early 1920s which encouraged more unscrupulous politicians and businessmen to assert themselves. Yet he was contemptuous of

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the subsequent Fascist coup, seeing it as a distortion of his own heroic achievements and ambitions for his country. He regarded himself consistently as Mussolini’s superior, treated him as an oaf, referred to the new ideology as ‘so-called fascism’, or wrote the word in italics as though it were an outlandish neologism, claiming that the ‘better element of fascism’ had been generated by his spirit.31 At the time, he was president of the sea workers’ union (Federazione italiana lavoratori mare), and he cautioned his supporters and former ‘legionaries’ from Fiume to distance themselves from the current regime. But D’Annunzio the poet was easily outmanoeuvred by the politician Mussolini. Thus an insulting letter of his to Mussolini was doctored by the Duce with some brilliant cutand-paste work, and published in facsimile as a eulogy to Mussolini and his work for the nation.32 One apocryphal story tells how Mussolini compared D’Annunzio to a decaying tooth, to be extracted by force or to be capped with gold. Following the murder of Giacomo Matteotti by Fascist thugs, D’Annunzio had allegedly referred to the situation as a ‘fetid ruin’ and, taken aback by what he thought a reference to his administration, Mussolini became ever more willing to load the poet with concessions.33 Having chosen the golden option, within two years of seizing power Mussolini had successfully marginalized the Poet into an acceptance of luxurious exile on Lake Garda. Thereafter D’Annunzio expressed few serious political opinions. Always convinced of the benefits of Italy’s colonial expansion into North Africa, however, he wrote strongly in support of Mussolini’s intiative there.34 He also took pleasure in reviling and satirizing Adolf Hitler, ‘the Niebelung with a Charlie Chaplin makeover’. He urged Mussolini during the early 1930s to continue efforts to ally with France, ‘Italy’s Latin sister’, and tried to prevent him from entering a pact with Germany.35 On one famous occasion, in 1937, in fragile health and with less than six months to live, he travelled to the railway station at Verona to interrupt Mussolini’s journey from Berlin to Rome in a final attempt to persuade the dictator not to enter into an alliance with the Germans. It does not take a critical genius to catalogue aspects of D’Annunzio’s career which may be counted as right-wing and nationalistic. Yet at the same time he boasted of his non-conformity and disobedience. He

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managed to weld his disregard for authority into ferocious opposition to Nitti and Giolitti, creating by 1920 a climate of national anarchy. Added to the weakness of the king, the ineptitude of Giolitti, and the spineless withdrawal from parliament of the socialist opposition, that climate helped Mussolini and his Fascists into power. The foregoing remarks do not seek to defend D’Annunzio from the barbs of detractors, much less to exalt his figure as an innocent littérateur, or even to highlight his better compositions. They may, however, serve to show that D’Annunzio arrived where he did and achieved his purpose, for good or ill, through an unplanned and quirky process, in which nonconformity was one of the constants. D’Annunzio’s own life ended in similar circumstances to those of the failed protagonists of his literary works. He died a lonely man and a physical wreck.

Notes 1. Canto novo in Enzo Palmieri (ed.), Gabriele D’Annunzio, Crestomazia della lirica, Bologna, 1956, p. 16. Palmieri here anthologizes his edition of Gabriele D’Annunzio, Opere poetiche, Bologna, 7 vols, 1941–59. 2. For these quotations from Maia, see Crestomazia della lirica, p. 163. 3. For the text of O falce di luna calante, see ibid, p. 15. 4. L’armata d’Italia is available in Egidio Bianchetti (ed.), Gabriele D’Annunzio, Prose di ricerca, Milan, 3 vols, 1947–50/1968, 3, pp. 3–34. 5. For the full text see, Crestomazia della lirica, pp. 95–97. 6. D’Annunzio’s novels are available in Egidio Bianchetti (ed.), Prose di romanzi, 2 vols, Milan, 1940–41. 7. For these and other essays, see Gianni Infusino (ed.), D’Annunzio a Napoli, Naples, 1985. 8. The Nietzschean element is excised in Georgina Harding’s translation, London, 1898, along with any mention of sex or physical parts of the body; altogether, there are over 1000 such suppressions. 9. The lecture is available in the appendix to D’Annunzio’s Prose di ricerca, 3, pp. 287–307. 10. After this they met only once, although they continued to correspond until Duse’s death in 1924: Giansiro Ferrata (ed.), Il fuoco, Milan, 1975. Susan Bassnett attempted an unfortunate translation, entitled The Flame, London, 1991. 11. Available in Prose di ricerca, 1, pp. 464–76.

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12. This involved the princess Maria Gravina Cruyllas di Ramacca (she had borne him a daughter in 1893); prosecuted, the two were each given a fivemonth custodial sentence and later amnestied. 13. For his letter to Antonio Liberi, see Raffaele Tiboni (ed.), Lettere di D’Annunzio a Maria Gravina ed alla figlia Cicciuzza, Pescara, 1978, pp. 22–24. 14. His secretary-factotum, Benigno Palmerio’s Con D’Annunzio alla Capponcina, Florence, 1938, pp. 174–76, gives an amusing summary of the Poet’s antics and his treatment by unscrupulous opponents. 15. Giansiro Ferrata (ed.), Le vergini delle rocce, Milan, 1978. 16. Enzo Palmieri (ed.), Gabriele D’Annunzio, Alcyone, Bologna, 1964, p. 3. Alcyone is the only volume of D’Annunzio’s poetry to be translated into English. See Gabriele D’Annunzio, Alcyone, translated by J. G. Nicols, Manchester, 1988. 17. Paolo Alatri (ed.) Scritti politici di Gabriele D’Annunzio, Milan, 1980, pp. 110–12. 18. Egidio Bianchetti (ed.), Gabriele D’Annunzio, Tragedie, sogni e misteri, 2 vols, Milan, 1966. La gloria is in vol. 1. 19. The two politicians were seen by critics to represent the statesmen Francesco Crispi and Felice Cavallotti. 20. Flamma’s political slogan, Chi si arresta è perduto (He who hesitates is lost) was twenty years later ‘coined’ by Mussolini himself. 21. The excerpt is expanded in Crestomazia della lirica, p. 115. 22. The oration, In morte di Giosuè Carducci, is available in Gabriele D’Annunzio, Prose di ricerca, 3, pp. 334–409. 23. Raffaela Castagnola (ed.), Gabriele D’Annunzio, Forse che sí forse che no, Milan, 1998, is an excellent edition and guide to D’Annunzio’s life and work at the time. 24. Giuseppina Mancini was sent to a psychiatric ward in Florence. D’Annunzio’s notes on her tragedy, Solus ad solam, utilized in the narrative section depicting Isabella’s dementia, were later made into a separate narrative by him, and published in Prose di ricerca, 3, pp. 693–807. 25. For excerpts, see Crestomazia della lirica, pp. 343–47. 26. The speeches are available in Prose di ricerca, 1, pp. 7–37. 27. The 160 or so officers and men of Italy’s most venerable regiment were joined en route by a miscellany of adventurers. Among many studies, Ferdinando Gerra, L’impresa di Fiume , Milan, 1966 (2nd edition, 1974), is the most comprehensive. See also, John Woodhouse, Il Generale e il Comandante: Ceccherini e D’Annunzio a Fiume, Bologna, 2004. 28. It is worth reiterating that it was the weakness of Giovanni Giolitti and Vittorio Emanuele III’s complacent acquiescence which most facilitated Mussolini’s rise to power.

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29. For the text of the Carta del Carnaro, see Paolo Alatri (ed.), Scritti politici di Gabriele D’Annunzio, Milan, 1980, pp. 224–43; Osbert Sitwell, Noble Essences, London, 1950, p. 123. Sitwell also sketched other amusing episodes following his visit to Fiume. 30. Sisley Huddleston, Those Europeans, London, 1924, p. 182. 31. See his letters to Mussolini, Renzo De Felice and Emilio Mariano (eds), Carteggio D’Annunzio–Mussolini, Milan, 1971, p. 38. 32. Ibid, pp. 9–10; the letter was republished often; the fraud was not discovered until the 1950s. 33. John Woodhouse, Gabriele D’Annunzio: Defiant Archangel, Oxford, 1998, p. 369. 34. The relevant writings, Teneo te Africa, form an important part of his Prose di ricerca, 3, pp. 567–687. 35. Pietro Gibellini, ‘La pasquinata contro Hitler’, in his Logos e Mythos, Florence, 1985, pp. 251–59 and cf. De Felice and Mariano (eds), Carteggio D’Annunzio– Mussolini, p. 391.

CHAPTER 4 THEODOR FR ITSCH: THE ‘GODFATHER’ OF GER M AN ANTISEMITISM Egbert Klautke

Theodor Emil Fritsch (1852–1933) was one of the most influential figures of the new radical right to emerge after the unification of the Germany in 1871. From the time of the Antisemitismusstreit in 1879, when the respected historian Heinrich von Treitschke caused a major debate amongst German academics when he used common antisemitic stereotypes and declared that ‘the Jews are our misfortune’, through to the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship in 1933, Fritsch was active as an antisemitic politician, ideologue, and publisher, and was one of the leaders of the völkisch movement. By his presence within the most important organizations of the radical right, Fritsch provided the personal link between the ‘modern’ antisemites of Imperial Germany such as Eugen Dühring and Wilhelm Marr, who inspired him in his early career, and the extreme radicals of the German right in the Third Reich. By tirelessly promoting and spreading the ideology of ‘modern’ antisemitism, Fritsch contributed to the ‘reshaping of the right’ from the 1880s onwards and ensured that radical antisemitism became firmly anchored in the ideological make-up of the German right.1

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Accordingly, there is rare agreement among historians of modern Germany over the importance of Fritsch in the development of rightwing extremism in Germany. As early as 1961, Reginald Phelps characterized Fritsch as ‘probably the most important German antisemite before Hitler’, while Hans-Ulrich Wehler has called him ‘a key figure of antisemitism and one of the ancestors of National Socialism’. More recently, Uwe Puschner has described Fritsch as ‘the figurehead of racial and völkisch antisemitism’.2 Despite this general agreement, however, only a few scholars have provided specialized studies of this crucial personality of the German right; an academic biography of Fritsch remains a desideratum.3 In what follows, I will provide an outline of Fritsch’s political career and introduce the key elements of his ideology, drawing on the existing secondary literature as well as on Fritsch’s main publications. I will argue that study of Fritsch’s personality can provide important insights into the development of rightwing extremism in Germany from the 1880s to the 1930s and enhance our understanding of the various attempts to establish antisemitism as the central ideology in Germany within the völkisch movement before the rise of the Nazis. Equally, studying Fritsch and the failures of the antisemitic movement before Hitler can help to explain the exceptional appeal and success that distinguished the Nazis from other right-wing organizations. Most of the information for Fritsch’s biography, especially about his early years, has been provided by Fritsch himself or his followers, and so has to be considered with care. He was born into a peasant family on the 18 October 1852, in the village of Wiesenena near the Saxon industrial centre of Leipzig. After completing an apprenticeship, he attended the technical college in Berlin where he specialized in milling technology. On his return to Saxony at the age of 27, he established an engineering office in Leipzig and worked as a self-employed technician and engineer. In 1880, he founded a publishing house which produced literature for the milling industry; titles such as Der Deutsche Müller provided the financial basis which subsidized his political and ideological publishing endeavours until he started to make a profit from his antisemitic and political publications. Apart from short stays in Berlin during his education and training, Fritsch remained loyal to

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his home state of Saxony all his life. He married Pauline Zilling in 1892; the couple had three sons and one daughter.4 Fritsch received his education at the technical college in Berlin at a time when antisemitic publications were enjoying increasing popularity as a result of the German stock market crash of 1873. Increasing antisemitism culminated in the Antisemitismusstreit of 1879. Fritsch was introduced to the writings of the figureheads of the antisemitic movement, most notably Eugen Dühring and Wilhelm Marr – the latter is often cited as the author who coined the term ‘antisemitism’.5 Even though Fritsch later distanced himself from their views, both authors seem to have played a decisive role in his conversion to radical antisemitism. After an initial phase of admiration, Fritsch became increasingly critical towards the veteran antisemite Marr, accusing him of defeatism and pessimism.6 Marr, who had a history as a radical democrat and activist during the revolutionary upheaval in 1848, in turn became increasingly critical of the younger antisemites towards the end of his life and accused Fritsch of Geschäftsantisemitismus and thus of abusing the antisemitic cause to increase the profits of his publishing business.7 In 1881, Fritsch published his first antisemitic pamphlet under the pseudonym ‘Thomas Frey’,8 and in 1882 he attended the ‘international antisemitic congress’ in Dresden, a meeting of around 30 German, Austrian, and Hungarian antisemites. Even after revealing himself as a radical antisemitic writer, Fritsch continued to use pseudonyms such as Fritz Thor and Ferdinand Roderich-Stoltheim, partly to hide the fact that he was the main contributor to his journals, and he even submitted ‘letters to the editor’ to himself, partly to avoid prosecution for libel, defamation, and blasphemy. In 1885, he started publishing the journal Antisemitic Correspondence (‘Antisemitische Correspondenz’) which was meant to provide the often antagonistic strands of antisemitism in Germany with a common platform. Fritsch tried to distance himself from the ‘gutter’ antisemitism (Radau-Antisemitismus) of publicists such as Hermann Ahlwardt and Ernst Henrici, and presented the Antisemitic Correspondence as a means of ‘raising the low intellectual standard of political antisemitism.’9 In order to achieve this, he tried to convince respectable authors such as Paul de Lagarde and Friedrich Nietzsche

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to contribute to the Antisemitic Correspondence. While the respected scholar and radical antisemite, de Lagarde, sympathized with Fritsch, Nietzsche was disgusted by Fritsch’s attempts to lure him into the antisemitic camp.10 Nevertheless, Fritsch represented a radical, new form of antisemitism based on racial thinking that was distinct from traditional anti-Judaism: ‘The ultimate goal of our movement is the excision (Ausscheidung) of the Jewish race from the life of nations.’11 Fritsch’s mantra, and one of the pillars of ‘modern’ antisemitic ideology, was the denial that the Jews formed a religious community: for Fritsch, the Jews were a race and a nation, alien to the German nation. Most of the demands of the radical antisemites were derived from this conviction: the conversion of the Jews, the preferred solution to the ‘Jewish question’ for liberals and conservatives, was not an option for them. Despite the centrality of racial thinking to his political ideology, Fritsch did not, however, invest much energy in discussion of racial theories. Instead, he used a ‘cultural’ definition of the term ‘race’. In contrast to the scientific racists, Fritsch held that it was the ‘spirit’ (Geist) that determined race, not physical appearance: ‘Whether one’s spirit is idealistic or lowly and materialistic, whether it is heroic or commercially driven, is much more important for the essence of the race than whether one has blonde or brown hair, a long or a round skull.’ Thus, ‘racial degeneration’ amongst the Germans equalled ‘moral degeneration’ which, according to Fritsch, was caused by the dominant influence of the Jews.12 In 1884, Fritsch entered upon the political stage when he became chairman of the ‘reform club’ in Leipzig, an association related to Alexander Pinkert’s German Reform Party (Deutsche Reformpartei) that sought to unite the antisemitic factions in Germany.13 He soon became one of the leading figures of the antisemitic movement in Saxony. In the mid-1880s, he was involved in the quarrels about how to organize the movement on a national level. His main competitor during this period was Otto Böckel, who became one of the first antisemitic members of the Reichstag in 1887, when he was elected in the small university town of Marburg. Böckel’s aim was to expand from his base in rural Hesse and develop the antisemitic movement into a national party. Fritsch disagreed with his strategy: such a single-issue

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party, he argued, could never win a sufficient majority in the Reichstag to reverse the emancipation of the Jews. Fritsch maintained that the antisemites should form a loose, supra-party association that would coordinate the infiltration of the established political parties with antisemitic ideas. Antisemitism, Fritsch argued, was a fundamental world view; the Jews were the enemies of all Germans, regardless of their class or political affiliation. Thus, not only conservatives, but also liberals and social democrats, needed to become antisemites. Only in this way might there be a realistic chance of introducing antisemitic legislation in the German Reich that would reverse the emancipation of the Jews.14 Fritsch’s clash with Böckel over the best way to implement antisemitic policies ended in a short-lived compromise between the two contenders. At a ‘national conference’ of antisemites at Kassel in 1886 – attended by 32 individuals, including Paul Förster and Max Liebermann von Sonnenberg – it was agreed that Böckel should go ahead with his antisemitic party, but only operate on a regional level in his home state of Hesse. On the national level, a ‘German Antisemitic Association’ (Deutsche Antisemitische Vereinigung) was to be founded in line with Fritsch’s views. This organization was to have its headquarters in Leipzig and would be run under the auspices of Paul Förster, Liebermann von Sonnenberg, and Fritsch. The Association would embrace all ‘estates (Stände) and confessions’ within Germany and thus transcend party politics; it was inspired by and at the same time meant to fight the Alliance israélite universelle. This was the French association founded in 1860 to counter anti-Jewish hatred and to support the emancipation of the Jews, but which for the antisemites represented one of the most important tools of international Jewry.15 In 1887, Fritsch published the Catechism for Antisemites, the most notorious and successful of his books.16 Until 1891, the Catechism was published under a pseudonym and from 1907 it was called the Handbook of the Jewish Question. Fritsch described it as ‘a textbook, a pamphlet, [and] an academic work of reference’. Although its contents changed significantly over time (the first edition had 212 pages; the last edition from 1944, 604), it remained in print for 67 years, and

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in total 300,000 copies passed into circulation. Indeed, the Handbook became required reading for antisemites and right-wing radicals in German-speaking countries. It is fair to assume that it played its part in attracting young people into the ranks of the radical right through its simplistic, didactic prose. Hitler later claimed that he had read the Handbook during his formative period as an urban bohemian in Vienna.17 The Catechism/Handbook was divided into three parts: the first consisted of the ‘catechism’ itself, a digest of anti-Jewish propaganda that provided model answers to supposedly common questions about the Jews and their influence in Germany.18 The second part presented a collection of anti-Jewish quotations, some genuine, others more dubious, from well-known authors, such as Luther, Herder, Voltaire and Richard Wagner, next to texts by the foremost contemporary antisemitic authors. The catechism presented, for instance, the text of the so-called Speech of the Rabbi as a factual document. This speech was taken verbatim from the novel Biarritz by Sir John Retcliffe, a pseudonym for the journalist Hermann Goedsche, and later became an integral part of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’.19 The third part of Fritsch’s catechism/handbook presented a list of ‘facts’ about the Jews in Germany that ‘proved’ the disproportionate Jewish influence in Germany and included the names and addresses of prominent Jews, official statistics, and an analysis of the Rothschild family fortune. Fritsch did not forget to alert his readers to antisemitic merchandise on the last pages of the book, e.g. photos, leaflets and lapel badges. His own contributions to the catechism/handbook were few; he acted mainly as the editor, compiler, and publisher, and he had therefore to rely on the expertise of other, more ‘scholarly minded’ antisemites to provide him with the required quotations and statistics. Even Marr, who had fallen out with Fritsch, was still contributing to a new edition of the Catechism in 1887 and 1888.20 The first question of the Catechism gave a simple explanation of the fairly new term ‘antisemitism’: ‘ “Anti” means “against”, and “Semitism” refers to the essence [Wesen] of the Semitic race. Hence antisemitism means the fight against Semitism. Since the Semitic race in Europe is almost exclusively represented by the Jews, we mean the Jews when we

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refer to the Semites. Therefore, in our understanding, an antisemite is a foe of the Jews, an enemy of the Jews.’21 The Catechism/Handbook repeatedly stressed that it was opposed to the Semites, i.e. a race, not a religious community.22 Therefore, the conversion of Jews was not considered to be a solution to the ‘Jewish question’; since the Jews were a separate race, the changing of their confession could not change their behaviour. Converted Jews, in fact, were seen as even more dangerous than orthodox, religious Jews since they were more difficult to detect. It was the declared aim of the antisemites to limit the Jewish influence by means of legislation.23 Ideally, all Jews would emigrate from Germany, and if that could not be accomplished, they were to be put under special laws, i.e. lose their German citizenship. The Catechism/Handbook demanded unequivocally that the emancipation of the Jews had to be repealed. This demand remained the principal aim of antisemites in Germany until the beginning of the Second World War.24 The answer to the tenth question of the Catechism provided an exhaustive list of the standard accusations brought against ‘the Jews’: the international character of Jewry made it impossible for them to be patriots; the Talmud allowed, even ordered them, to ignore the laws of their respective home countries; the Jews were greedy and obsessed with money, since money was a means to dominate the world; Jewish business practices were driving honest, law-abiding Germans into bankruptcy and destroying the fortunes of honest craftsmen; the Jews had taken over the press and used it to poison the minds of honest Germans; the Jewish domination of the arts had lowered the standards of German culture, from which only the Jews profited; the Jews were responsible for the stock market crash of 1873, a scam which had increased Jewish dominance over the financial markets; the Jews benefited from parliamentarianism and had made governments financially dependent on them; the Jews had a disastrous influence especially on young females: girls who moved to the cities and were employed by Jews invariably ended up as prostitutes. Many of these stereotypical accusations had a long history of their own and had existed well before the invention of ‘modern’ antisemitism in the 1870s; the difference was the focus on the Jewish ‘race’ that made it impossible, even in theory, for the Jews to appease a hostile environment by assimilation.25

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Despite the stance Fritsch had taken vis-à-vis Böckel a few years earlier, the latter’s electoral success in 1887 forced Fritsch to join Max Liebermann von Sonnenberg’s German Social Party (Deutschsoziale Partei) in 1889 and to become actively involved in party politics. Fritsch’s Antisemitic Correspondence was turned into the official journal of the party and renamed Deutsch-Soziale Blätter. In the national elections of 1890, Fritsch ran for a seat in parliament for Leipzig, but failed to win more than eight per cent of the vote. In 1893, he ran again, but even though the antisemites improved their result considerably and won 15.8 per cent of the popular vote in the kingdom of Saxony as a whole (and 23.3 per cent in the city of Leipzig), Fritsch again failed to win a seat in the Reichstag. Moreover, Fritsch quarrelled with Liebermann von Sonnenberg and was subsequently forced out of the party. Consequently, he lost control of the Deutsch-Soziale Blätter, his main political-ideological publication. With his departure from the German Social Party, Fritsch left the political stage of Imperial Germany well before the general decline of the antisemitic parties, which took place after the turn of the century; the highest public office he held in Imperial Germany was that of a councillor in the city of Leipzig.26 Nevertheless, Fritsch continued to work tirelessly for the antisemitic cause, but employed different outlets to promote his ideas. From the mid-1890s, he returned to his earlier idea that antisemitism should permeate all levels of society and should not be limited to party politics. He concentrated his efforts on organizations that represented the clientele of his publishing house, i.e. self-employed craftsmen. Fritsch established the Association of German Millers (Deutscher Müllerverband) and became a board member of the Association of the Middle Classes (Mittelstandsvereinigung) in the kingdom of Saxony. Fritsch considered these lobby groups a more suitable platform for spreading the gospel of antisemitism than political parties. When necessary, however, he could tame his antisemitic rhetoric in public and combine it with genuine lobbying for the interests of the beleaguered old middle classes, mainly shopkeepers, craftsmen, and artisans.27 From the mid-1890s until the crucial Reichstag election of 1912, Fritsch tried to widen his agenda to introduce a broader range of topics into his writings, largely related to the ‘life reform’ (Lebensreform)

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and völkisch movement in Germany. The journal, Hammer. Blätter für deutsche Sinn, provided a new outlet for Fritsch’s ideology. It was first published in 1902, and remained in print until after Fritsch’s death in 1933. Fritsch co-opted numerous prominent antisemites to contribute, but he increasingly used it as a platform to disseminate his own views. In the 1920s, he wrote most of the leading articles for the journal himself.28 While the broadening of Fritsch’s agenda occurred without any retreat on his part from his radical antisemitic positions, two topics especially occupied him: radical land reform and city planning. In 1896, Fritsch published one of his most original pamphlets, entitled The City of the Future (Der Stadt der Zukunft), in which he proposed radical changes to urban planning. He was concerned about the problems that accelerated urban growth had caused, but he did not take an anti-urban, anti-industrial stance that romanticized rural life. Rather, he accepted industry and technology as necessary for a modern nation. He pleaded for an end to chaotic urban sprawl and suggested the rational, holistic planning of further urban growth. Cities, he argued, should be divided up into functional zones which would separate industrial, residential, and public areas, thus reducing the impact of industrial pollution on city dwellers. Fritsch’s contribution to the reform of urban planning contained no openly antisemitic statements; only his suggestion of a radical land reform as a prerequisite for ‘the city of the future’ could have reminded his readers of his tirades against ‘international Jewish capital’ since it identified landowners, bankers and Jews as one coherent economic group. After having learned about Ebenezer Howard’s Garden cities of to-morrow,29 Fritsch accused Howard of plagiarism and tried to take him to court, but without success. It was thus not Fritsch but the British author who became famous as the founding father of the pan-European movement for the garden city. Fritsch’s new journal, the Hammer, supported most ideas of the life reform movement, from vegetarianism and anti-alcoholism, clothing reform and nudism, thus reflecting the ideological overlap between the life reform and völkisch movements.30 With the launch of the Hammer journal, Fritsch promoted a theorist for what quickly became the Hammer Movement (Hammer-Bewegung).

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Willibald Hentschel had been a student of biology and chemistry and research assistant to Ernst Haeckel at Leipzig University, but he had abandoned academia to become a radical völkisch-racial theorist. His first major monograph, Varuna, published by Fritsch, provided a world history that interpreted cultural and civilizational progress as the product of the Aryan race, much in the tradition of Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. It was recommended by Fritsch to readers interested in a coherent manifesto of the Hammer Movement. Hentschel became notorious in antisemitic and völkisch circles when in his 1911 pamphlet, Mittgart, he proposed the establishment of racial settlements designed as breeding farms for a renewed, pure Aryan race.31 Hentschel’s extreme ideas forced Fritsch to counter criticism from traditionalist antisemites and racial hygienists such as Alfred Ploetz and Ludwig Woltmann who could not accept Hentschel’s radical plans for organized polygamy. Fritsch agreed with Hentschel in general that the organized breeding of human beings was necessary but declared that personally he preferred monogamy within a traditional marriage.32 The 1912 elections, denounced by the antisemites as Judenwahlen because of the successes of the Social Democrats (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschland, SPD), marked a turning point in the further radicalization of the German right. Fritsch’s old idea of a united antisemitic movement was revitalized. To increase the antisemitic agitation, Fritsch created the so-called Reichs-Hammerbund, using already existing local Hammer communities that supported the ideology of Fritsch’s journal and his publishing house. Alongside the Reichs-Hammerbund, a so-called Germanic Order (Germanenorden) was established as a secret organization modelled on masonic lodges. According to Fritsch, these organizations were created to prepare for a ‘counter-revolution’ in Germany.33 The immediate impact of the Reichs-Hammerbund was limited and its meetings were attended by only around ten people on average.34 Out of the Munich branch of the Germanic Order, however, the Thule Society (Thule-Gesellschaft) was formed which constitutes part of the immediate pre-history of the Nazis. The Thule Society played an important role during the 1919 revolution when some of its members were captured and killed by leftwing revolutionaries. It served as a breeding ground for future Nazis,

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with ‘old fighters’ such as Rudolf Hess and Alfred Rosenberg among its members.35 During the First World War, Fritsch, already a member of the Pan-German League (Alldeutscher Verband), cooperated closely with this organization which had, before the First World War, increasingly turned towards radical antisemitism under its new leader Heinrich Class, author of the notorious Kaiserbuch, which called for reversing the emancipation of the Jews and for their forced emigration from Germany, in much the same way as Fritsch had himself.36 Together with Class, Fritsch sent antisemitic petitions to the kings of Saxony and Bavaria and lobbied for the notorious census of Jews in the German army. In 1916, Fritsch announced the merger of the Pan-German League and the Reich-Hammerbund. Naturally, Fritsch supported the founding of the Vaterlandspartei in 1917, the party that was meant to unite the German right in its fight against liberal and social democratic supporters of a negotiated peace.37 Immediately after the war and the dissolution of the Vaterlandspartei, the Pan-German League, the Reichs-Hammerbund, and the DeutschVölkische Freiheitspartei cooperated to found in October 1919 the German-Völkisch Defence and Defiance League (Deutsch-Völkischer Schutz- und Trutz-Bund, DVSTB). The DVSTB was created as a populist organization with direct appeal to the masses. It became the most important right-wing organization in the early Weimar Republic with around 200,000 members in 1922. It was outlawed during the clampdown on right-wing organizations after the assassination of Walther Rathenau.38 After the banning of the DVSTB, it was the GermanVölkisch Freedom Party (Deutsch-Völkische Freiheitspartei, DVFP) which finally made it possible for Fritsch to enter parliament. He joined the party in 1924 and won a seat in the national parliament in the May elections, but lost the seat again in the December 1924 elections. In 1927 Fritsch left the dwindling German-Völkisch Freedom Party and slowly re-orientated himself towards the Nazis, which he joined in the early 1930s following their phenomenal success in the national elections. While a member of the DVFP the 1920s, Fritsch had regarded the Nazis as rivals. By the same token, the success of the DVFP put it in

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competition with the Nazis’ own plans to re-establish the National Socialist Party after Hitler’s release from prison in 1925. The Hammer commented critically on Hitler’s new ‘legal’ strategy, echoing Fritsch’s old scepticism of antisemitic parties. The Nazis, in turn, looked at Fritsch as a man of the past. In Mein Kampf and in several speeches in the 1920s, Hitler poked fun at the ‘wandering völkisch scholars’ and their utopian ideas, which was a direct attack on Fritsch and his circle. The very fact that people like Fritsch had held the same ideas for 40 years and achieved little showed their incompetence, Hitler argued.39 From the early 1930s, however, when the ever opportunistic Fritsch accepted the Nazis as the leading force of the German right, prominent National Socialists, including Hitler, referred to Fritsch as the ‘doyen’ or ‘past master’ (Altmeister) of the Nazi movement. This label acknowledged the importance of Fritsch for the development of the Nazis and their ideology, while at the same time qualifying his achievements. It suggested that Fritsch’s time was past and that he had turned into a revered grandfather of the radical right who was slightly out of touch with contemporary developments. Fritsch’s death in September 1933 thus occurred at the right time for him to be granted a place in the pantheon of the National Socialists. He was not, however, treated as a ‘martyr of the movement’, but all leading members of the National Socialist Party, including Hitler, Goering, and Goebbels, sent telegrams to Fritsch’s widow.40 During the Third Reich, several German city streets, as well as a party school, were named after Theodor Fritsch. In Berlin-Zehlendorf, a monument was erected in his honour and annual gatherings commemorated the antisemitic propagandist.41 Fritsch was first and foremost a propagandist who remained focused on his central idea for all his life. His main aim was to spread the gospel of radical antisemitism in order to change society; his immediate political goal was the reversal of Jewish emancipation in Germany and the reintroduction of discriminatory legislation, and even the expulsion of the Jews from Germany. Fritsch blamed almost all the problems of modern society on ‘the Jews’ and portrayed them as a well-organized community that was working solely to increase its power and undermine the naive Germans. Fritsch’s antisemitism was radically different from earlier anti-Judaism because of its racial basis: he did not accept

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the conversion of Jews to Christianity as a solution since it only created ‘hidden’ Jews. While Fritsch was neither a political ‘leader’ of the antisemitic movement, nor its ideologue, he was still an important figure, as numerous historians have argued. Apart from his role as a tireless organizer and sponsor of any form of antisemitism, he provided the personal links and was an inspiration for the new – and more militant – generation of radical antisemites that emerged after the First World War. This new generation relied on Fritsch for guidance while, at the same time, creating its own radical identity in contrast to Fritsch’s generation which had on the whole failed in its efforts. Fritsch thus personified the continuity of the radical, antisemitic right from the age of Bismarck to the Third Reich. He directly influenced some of the ‘old fighters’ of the Nazi party through his secret organizations and provided them with an antisemitic milieu in which to develop their ideas. Fritsch had, however, only limited influence on Hitler for whom he exemplified the failures of the older generation of völkisch romantics.

Notes 1. Geoff Eley, Reshaping the German Right: Radical Nationalism and Political Change after Bismarck, New Haven, CT, 1980. See also James Retallack, The German Right, 1860–1920: Political Limits of the Authoritarian Imagination, Toronto, 2006, esp. pp. 77–107; Stefan Breuer, Ordnungen der Ungleichheit. Die deutsche Rechte im Widerstreit ihrer Ideen, 1871–1945, Darmstadt, 2001; Walter Böhlich (ed.), Der Berliner Antisemitismusstreit, Frankfurt a. M., 1988. 2. See Reginald Phelps, ‘Theodor Fritsch und der Antisemitismus’, in Deutsche Rundschau, 87, Jan. 1961, pp. 442–49 (p. 443); Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, 4 vols, Munich, 1987–2003, vol. 3: Von der deutschen ‘Doppelrevolution’ bis zum Beginn des Ersten Weltkriegs‚ 1849–1914, p. 931; Uwe Puschner, Die völkische Bewegung im Kaiserreich. Sprache – Rasse – Religion, Darmstadt, 2001, p. 57. 3. The two most detailed studies of Fritsch to date can be found in Massimo Ferrari Zumbini, Die Wurzeln des Bösen. Gründerjahre des Antisemitismus. Von der Bismarckzeit zu Hitler, Frankfurt a. M., 2003, pp. 321–422, 605–35; and Dirk Schubert, Die Gartenstadtidee zwischen reaktionärer Ideologie und pragmatischer Umsetzung. Theodor Fritschs völkische Version der Gartenstadt, Dortmund, 2004, pp. 9–105; see also Klaus Wand, ‘Theodor Fritsch (1852–1933) – der

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vergessene Antisemit’, in Folker Siegert, (ed.), Israel als Gegenüber. Vom alten Orient bis in die Gegenwart. 25 Studien zur Geschichte eines wechselvollen Zusammenlebens, Göttingen, 2000, pp. 458–88; Andreas Herzog, ‘Das schwärzeste Kapitel der Buchstadt vor 1933. Theodor Fritsch, der “Altmeister der Bewegung”, wirkte in Leipzig’, Leipziger Blätter, 30, 1997, pp. 56–59. His son Theodor was born in 1895 and became an even more radical rightwing activist than his father; as a member of the Organisation Consul he was involved in the assassination of the Weimar Republic’s foreign minister, Walther Rathenau, in 1922. For Fritsch senior’s opinions of Rathenau, see Ferdinand Roderich-Stoltheim [i.e. Theodor Emil Fritsch], Anti-Rathenau, Leipzig, 1921. Eugen Dühring, Die Judenfrage als Racen-, Sitten- und Kulturfrage, Karlsruhe, 1881; Wilhelm Marr, Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum, vom nicht-confessionellen Standpunkt aus betrachtet, Berlin, 1879; Moshe Zimmermann, Wilhelm Marr: The Pariarch of Antisemitism, New York, 1986, esp. pp. 70–95. Fritsch’s letters to Marr are among the few of Fritsch’s personal unpublished documents to have survived. See Moshe Zimmermann, ‘Two Generations in the History of German Antisemitism: The Letters of Theodor Fritsch to Wilhelm Marr’, Yearbook of the Leo Baeck Institute, 23, 1978, pp. 89–99; Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, pp. 327–32. Zimmermann, Wilhelm Marr, p. 103. Thomas Frey [i.e. Theodor Fritsch], Leuchtkugeln. Altdeutsch–Antisemitische Kernsprüche, Leipzig, 1881; see also Thomas Frey (ed.), Brennende Fragen (Urtheile über Juden), Leipzig, 1885. Antisemitische Correspondenz, no. 1, October 1885; ‘Leitartikel’, see Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, p. 335. Ulrich Sieg, Deutschlands Prophet. Paul de Lagarde und die Ursprünge des modernen Antisemitismus, Munich, 2007; Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, pp. 451–52. Th. Frey, ‘Wo sind unsere nächsten Ziele?’, Antisemitische Correspondenz, no. 3, January 1886, p. 2; see Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, p. 335. Theodor Fritsch, ‘Die rechte Ehe. Ein Wort zum Züchtungs-Gedanken und Mittgart-Problem’, Hammer. Blätter für deutschen Sinn, vol. 12, no. 255, 1913, pp. 57–64 (p. 59). Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, p. 365; Peter Pulzer, The Rise of Political AntiSemitism in Germany and Austria, London, 1988, pp. 98–99. Th. Fritsch, ‘Vom parteipolitischen Antisemitismus’, Neue Wege. Aus Theodor Fritsch’s Lebensarbeit. Eine Sammlung von Hammeraufsätzen zu seinem siebzigsten Geburtstag herausgegeben von Paul Lehmann, Leipzig, 1922, p. 281, quoted in Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, p. 367.

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15. Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, p. 367; see Pulzer, Rise of Political Antisemitism, p. 99–100. 16. Thomas Frey [Theodor Fritsch], Antisemiten-Katechismus. Eine Zusammenstellung des wichtigsten Materials zum Verständnis der Judenfrage, 2nd edition, Leipzig, 1887. 17. Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, pp. 322–23, 340–43; see Hitler’s letter to Fritsch in Adolf Hitler, Reden, Schriften, Anordnungen, 6 vols, Munich, 1994–2003, vol. 4: Von der Reichstagswahl bis zur Reichpräsidentenwahl, Oktober 1930– März 1932, part 1: Oktober 1930–Juli 1931, edited by Constantin Goschler, p. 133. 18. Zumbini describes it as ‘a classical agitprop–handbook’: Wurzeln des Bösen, p. 341. 19. Norman Cohn, ‘Die Protokolle der Weisen von Zion’. Der Mythos der jüdischen Weltverschwörung, Baden-Baden, 1997, p. 41. 20. Zimmermann, Wilhelm Marr, p. 104. 21. Frey [Theodor Fritsch], Antisemiten-Katechismus, p. 5. 22. Ibid, p. 6. 23. Ibid, p. 7. 24. Ibid, p. 26. 25. Ibid, pp. 13–19. 26. Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, pp. 372–75. 27. David Blackbourn, Populists and Patricians: Essays in Modern German History, London, 1987, pp. 227–29; Robert Gellately, The Politics of Economic Despair: Shopkeepers and German Politics 1890–1914, London, 1974, pp. 175–77; Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, pp. 389–90. 28. Michael Bönisch, ‘Die “Hammer”-Bewegung’, in Uwe Puschner, Walter Schmitz, Justus Ulbricht (eds), Handbuch zur ‘völkischen Bewegung’, 1871– 1918, Munich, 1995, pp. 341–365. 29. Ebenezer Howard, Garden cities of to-morrow: being a second edition of ‘To-morrow: a peaceful path to real reform’, London, 1902. 30. Theodor Fritsch, Die Stadt der Zukunft (Gartenstadt), Leipzig, 1912; Schubert, Die Gartenstadtidee, pp. 26–30. 31. Willibald Hentschel, Varuna. Eine Welt- und Geschichtsbetrachtung vom Standpunkt des Ariers, Leipzig, 1901; Willibald Hentschel, Mittgart. Ein Weg zur Erneuerung der germanische Rasse, Leipzig, 1911; Paul Weindling, Health, Race and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism, 1870–1945, Cambridge, 1989, pp. 136–37; Daniel Gasman, The Scientific Origins of National Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League, London, 1971, pp. 152–53, Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, pp. 417–21.

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32. Fritsch, ‘Die rechte Ehe. Ein Wort zum Züchtungs-Gedanken und MittgartProblem’, Hammer. Blätter für deutschen Sinn, vol. 12 , no. 255, 1913. 33. Theodor Fritsch, ‘Die Gegen-Revolution’, Der Hammer, 11, 1912, p. 589; Zumbini, Wurzeln des Bösen, pp. 610–11. 34. Uwe Lohalm, Völkischer Radikalismus. Die Geschichte des Deutschvölkischen Schutz- und Trutzbundes 1919–1923, Hamburg, 1970, p. 30. 35. Reginald Phelps, ‘ “Before Hitler Came”: Thule Society and Germanen Orden’, The Journal of Modern History, 35, 1963, 3, pp. 245–61, (p. 250); Rudolf von Sebottendorf, Bevor Hitler kam. Urkundliches aus der Frühzeit der nationalsozialistischen Bewegung, Munich, 1933. 36. Rainer Hering, Konstruierte Nation. Der Alldeutsche Verband 1890 bis 1939, Hamburg, 2003, pp. 167–168, 175; Daniel Frymann [i.e. Heinrich Class], Wenn ich der Kaiser wäre, Leipzig, 1912. 37. Heinz Hagenlücke, Vaterlandspartei. Die nationale Rechte am Ende des Kaiserreichs, Düsseldorf, 1997. 38. Lohalm, Völkischer Radikalismus, pp. 56–66; Werner Jochmann, ‘Die Ausbreitung des Antisemitismus in Deutschland 1914–1923’, in Joschmann, Gesellschaftskrise und Judenfeindschaft in Deutschland 1870–1945, Hamburg, 1988, pp. 99–170. 39. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Munich, 1941, pp. 395–396; Adolf Hitler, Reden, Schriften, Anordnungen, vol. 3, part 2, edited by Klaus A. Lankheit, Munich, 1994, p. 342. 40. Der Hammer, 32, 1933, pp. 275–77. 41. Puschner, Die völkische Bewegung, pp. 57–58.

CHAPTER 5 FOUNDING FATHER OF MODER N POL AND AND NATIONALIST ANTISEMITE: ROM AN DMOWSKI Andreas Kossert

The life of Roman Dmowski (1864–1939) spanned an entire era of Polish history. Born on 9 August 1864 in Kamionek near Warsaw, in the Russian Congress Kingdom of Poland, into an old Polish noble family, he entered the world just after the January Uprising of 1863. He died on 2 January 1939, some eight months before the outbreak of the Second World War. Dedicating his entire life to the cause of an independent Poland, Dmowski was at the same time a convinced European of the old school. Yet while Dmowski was a cultivated European gentleman, he was also an antisemite and for this reason his life and achievements deserve close scrutiny. Up to now, although there has been fierce controversy regarding Dmowski’s contribution to the shaping of modern Poland, criticism of his political ideology has come largely from Western liberal commentators. A fully critical biography and analysis of his ideology has yet to appear in Polish.1 Until recently, moreover, Polish biographies have tended to stress his achievements in re-establishing the Polish Republic in 1918, but have turned a blind eye, or been apologetic, in respect of his chauvinism and life-long phobias, including his antisemitism.

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Dmowski’s career began in Russian Poland in 1888 when, at the age of 24, he joined the secret Związek Młodzieży Polskiej’ (Polish Youth Union, ZMP or Zet), which had been established in 1887 by the exile organization Liga Polska (Polish League) which Dmowski subsequently joined in December 1889. The Liga Polska fought for Polish national interests against Russia and advocated the concept of ‘Polishness’ (Polskość) as opposed to a ‘triple loyality’ (trójlojalizm) towards the partitioning powers of Russia, Germany and Austria. Moreover, it propagated the cause of a united Polish nation and the fight for independence.2 In 1891 on the occasion of the centenary of the Constitution of the 3 May, Dmowski organized student protests in Warsaw, which were violently suppressed by the Russian occupying powers. As a consequence, he was imprisoned for five months in the Warsaw citadel. Later, he was exiled by the Russian authorities to Libau and then to Mitau in Kurland (now Latvia). In 1893, Dmowski was the driving force behind the dissolution of the Liga Polska, which he accused of political incompetence and freemasonic conspiracy. Meanwhile, he created a substitute organization, the Liga Narodowa (National League), but the movement never achieved any significant power in Russian Poland. The transition from Liga Polska to Liga Narodowa reflected Dmowski’s increasingly nationalistic and antisemitic profile. Dmowski believed that it was only by furthering a common Polish national identity that the Poles would be able to regain their independence and overcome the partitioning powers. In his article ‘Nasz patriotyzm’ (Our Patriotism), published in 1893, he appealed to the Poles to overcome their regional parochialism in order to build Polish political unity. By appealing to a distinctly Polish identity, his concept of the nation automatically excluded Jews, Germans and other ethnic minorities. In 1895, Dmowski moved to Austrian Lemberg (Polish Lwów; now L’viv in western Ukraine), where he set up the Przegląd Wszechpolski (All-Poland Review), a newspaper that provided a platform for the political ideas of the Liga Narodowa. Over the years Dmowski adopted increasingly extremist and xenophobic positions, based on the exclusion of non-Poles from his idea of the nation. Dmowski distanced himself from the socialist wing of the Polish Youth Union and formulated his own non-Marxist

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independent ideological position. In 1897, he founded the Stronnictwo Demokratyczno-Narodowe (SDN, National Democratic Front), which functioned as the legal arm of the Liga Narodowa. In the Liga Narodowa, Dmowski intended to create an all-Polish pressure group, an underground political apparatus which could unite like-minded people into a disciplined and ideologically homogeneous force based around an antisemitic, biological nationalism. In 1899, the Liga Narodowa founded a Society for National Education (Towarzystwo Oświaty Narodowej) and gradually extended its influence over cultural associations, as well as other political groups, such as farmers’ and factory workers’ unions. The clearest expression of Dmowski’s developing ideology can be found in his programmatic book, Myśli nowoczesnego Polaka (The Thoughts of a Contemporary Pole), published in 1903. In this he departed from the traditional idea of the nation as spirit, organism, or cultural entity and saw it instead as a physical unit whose definition had yet to be forged. He criticized traditional Polish values, arguing against the tolerance for minorities, religious and otherwise, that had characterized the pre-partition Polish Commonwealth. For him, minorities, whether defined by caste, religion or ethnic difference, were alien bodies within the nation. He favoured the notion of ‘healthy national egoism’ and despised the principle of Christianity in politics. He believed that the historic failure of the Polish Commonwealth was a result of the over-glorification of noble privileges. In particular, the liberum veto had paralysed the Sejm (parliament) and thus the government of Poland. This ultimately brought about the destruction of the once-mighty Commonwealth. Dmowski thus focused on the nationstate rather than the individual and made it the basis for human ethics. He argued against socialism as well as liberalism. In his opinion, both ideologies neglected the leading role of the nation state, which was for Dmowski the only institution that could provide a functioning political community. Dmowski also opposed the political messianism of nineteenth-century Poland which had mystified Poland as the ‘Christ of the Nations’. He propagated a new egoism of the Polish nation which, while no longer sacrificing itself, should win for itself a leading position in Europe. The extreme characterization of

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socialists as Jews, foreigners and social misfits, has provoked controversy. Andrzej Micewski, for example, has argued that Dmowski was ‘already at this time’ a man ‘in the grip of an obsession’ with the Jews and any leftist or socialist cause.3 Yet Dmowski’s antisemitic stance has found many apologetic, academic defenders, such as Alvan Marcus Fountain II who says of Myśli nowoczesnego Polaka that ‘Dmowski’s distaste for Jews and the left was a logical and direct derivation of a nonclass nationalism.’4 Myśli Nowoczesnego Polaka reflected the views of the National Democratic Party (Stronnictwo Demokratyczno-Narodowe), which was founded in 1897. The party was known as Endecja from ND, National Democrats. Myśli Nowoczesnego Polaka was concerned chiefly with the renewal of the Poles, individually and collectively, and a turning away from the mistakes of the past. In the place of the subjugated Pole of yesteryear there would stand an independent, self-reliant, assertive Pole, conscious at all times of his duties to the nation. In this book, Dmowski also claimed that the nobility and the Jews were responsible for the negative development of the Polish Commonwealth. Thus a foreign element (the Jews) held sway within the economic sphere and only one group (the nobility) was able to direct the political affairs of the nation. With no competition to spur them on, the nobility became more and more set in their ways and the nation stagnated. All three founding fathers of the National Democratic Party – Roman Dmowski, Zygmunt Balicki, and Jan Popławski – believed in the need to create new Poles who would go on to found an independent Polish national state. The numerous Jews residing within Polishinhabited lands would thus have found themselves in an uncomfortable position had a Poland founded along National Democratic lines been created. But of what exactly did Roman Dmowski’s antisemitism consist? To what extent was it based on culture and to what extent on racism, as understood after the Second World War? One has to ask whether Dmowski used antisemitism as hyperbole – as Marcus Fountain II argues – or whether his was a biological antisemitism that ran much deeper. Dmowski certainly considered the assimilation of the Jews to be an undesirable goal, for he considered the Jewish character, as developed over many centuries, to be exactly the type which

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he wished to be rid of in any future Poland. He regarded the Jewish character to be similar to that of the nobility in its placing of group and individual interests above the interests of the nation as a whole.5 Józef Piłsudski, the leader of the Polska Partia Socjalistyczna (Polish Socialist Party, PPS), was Dmowski’s arch-rival for the leadership of the Polish independence movement. The outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 gave Piłsudski the opportunity to seize the political initiative. The humiliating defeat suffered by Russia at the hands of the Japanese delighted the Poles, but it also made them anxious because thousands of young Polish conscripts were being killed in the Far East. Piłsudski went to Tokyo with a series of proposals. He suggested the creation of a Polish Legion out of Russian prisoners of Polish origin and offered to start a guerrilla war in Poland to tie down Russian troops. In return, he wanted the Japanese to demand the establishment of an independent Poland in any subsequent peace negotiations. The Japanese were wary of becoming involved. This hesitancy increased when Dmowski himself arrived in Tokyo to torpedo Piłsudski’s plans. Dmowski made a totally different proposal and tried to persuade the Japanese to stay away from supporting an uprising in Poland, because he saw its chances of success as slim and he feared it would scupper his own political strategy. His central argument was that defeat in a rebellion would set back the Polish cause for at least another thirty years and would force Russia to station more troops in Poland. In other words, Dmowski favoured evolution rather than revolution. Roman Dmowski’s political beliefs were relatively consistent from early adulthood onwards. He was throughout his life committed to Polish independence, even though he was sometimes heavily opposed by the Polish socialists. Dmowski’s journey to Japan to thwart the possibility of an uprising in the Congress Kingdom and his subsequent actions during the revolution of 1905, are not evidence of ‘anti-national’ or anti-independence politics; on the contrary, given the circumstances of the time, especially the diplomatic situation, the politics of Dmowski and the Endecja seem to have been appropriate. In similar fashion, Dmowski’s entry into the Russian Duma in 1906 should also be seen more as a widening of the field of struggle for independence than as a renunciation of independence in favour of mere autonomy.

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Undoubtedly, an independent Polish state remained his goal. In view of the circumstances, however, his commitment to evolution rather than bloodshed was perhaps the wisest option. On 13 October 1904, Piłsudski’s PPS organized a massive demonstration in Warsaw. When the police shot at the crowd, Piłsudski’s armed squads returned the fire. At that time, Russia itself was witnessing violent revolts. The PPS proclaimed a general strike which lasted for two months and involved some 400,000 workers all over the Kingdom, in spite of several reprisals by Tsarist troops. In June 1905, barricades went up in Łódź and the workers resisted the troops and police for three days. In October, the Tsar issued a manifesto promising the Kingdom a constitution, but during the demonstration held to celebrate their achievement, Tsarist troops opened fire on the crowds, and on 11 November a state of siege was declared. In December 1905, revolution broke out in Moscow and on 22 December the PPS called for a rising of all workers in the Congress Kingdom. At that time, the gap between the two political camps led by Piłsudski and Dmowski could not have been wider. Instead of fighting together for an independent Poland, the internal Polish political struggle ruled out any hope of success. During the workers’ strike of 1905, events in the Polish-inhabited lands were dominated by a struggle for control between Socialists and National Democrats. During the June 1905 unrest in Łódź, when the PPS had called for action and the Endecja-controlled Workers’ Union had opposed it, there were clashes, and even bloodshed, between the two movements. When the imperial manifesto turned the Russian Empire into a constitutional monarchy and announced elections to the Russian parliament or Duma, the Endecja was keen to take advantage, while the PPS boycotted the elections on the grounds that they endorsed Russian government in Poland. Dmowski opted for a form of loyalist bargaining, demanding greater participation in the government of the Empire. At the first elections to the Duma, the Endecja gained 34 seats. Together with those elected in the western gubernias, there were 55 Polish deputies in all, including Dmowski. The success of the Endecja in the elections suggests that National Democratic ideas had won broad acceptance among voters in the Polish-inhabited lands.

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Dmowski’s moderate pro-Russian stance was, however, misleading. He assumed that this would carry some weight with the Russian authorities, but he was mistaken. In the first twelve months of the new Constitution, over 2000 people were killed by the army and police, and over a period of three years the governor of Warsaw signed over 1000 death sentences on political grounds. Dmowski’s attempt at bargaining with the government came to nothing, while opponents in the Polish lands denounced him for selling out. Nevertheless, he continued building up the Polish lobby within the Russian government, and as European diplomacy lurched from crisis to crisis, this policy began to make sense. In 1908, he argued that Germany was the greater threat to Poles and that the latter must side with Russia in any conflict between the two. He pointed out that the Polish lands were the key to dominion in East-Central Europe, and that there would be room for bargaining when the neighbouring Great Powers went to war. In 1915, following the outbreak of the First World War, Dmowski travelled to the West. His predictions had apparently come true: from the perspective of Polish independence, the real enemy was Germany, and the Polish lands had become the crucial factor in any solution to the conflict in Eastern Europe. By 1916, the year in which he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Cambridge, the idea of an independent Poland had started to win general acceptance. As President Wilson put it in an address to the US Senate on 22 January 1917, statesmen everywhere agreed that there should be a united, independent and autonomous Poland. Dmowski devoted his energies to informing and directing the opinions of these statesmen. A number of his colleagues were already engaged in this activity, most notably Henryk Sienkiewicz (until his death in 1916), and Ignacy Paderewski. In June 1917, France sanctioned the formation of a Polish army on its territory. In the September of the same year, France recognized Dmowski’s National Committee in Paris as the provisional government of a future Poland. The recognition of the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States soon followed. Thus, by the autumn of 1917, there was a Polish government and a Polish army recognized as co-belligerents, if not formal allies, of the Entente. In 1917, Dmowski founded the Komitet Narodowy Polski (Polish National Committee) in Paris, over which he

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presided. After the October Revolution in Russia, Dmowski focused entirely on the re-establishment of Polish independence. He led the Polish delegation during the peace conference in Versailles, where he did not succeed with his maximalist territorial claims, especially when it came to the inclusion of the German eastern provinces. His strong antisemitism also raised some doubts amongst Western representatives. Nevertheless, it was Dmowski who signed the Versailles Peace Treaty on behalf of Poland on 28 June 1919. Meanwhile, on 11 November 1918, Piłsudski returned to Warsaw as provisional head of state. The first free elections saw the victory of Dmowski’s Endecja, which gained 45 per cent of the vote in central and western Poland. Although the Endecja never entirely departed from the principles of democracy, it fought for an integral nationalism in which the creation and consolidation of a homogeneous national state was to be one of the main goals after gaining independence. In the multi-ethnic circumstances of the newly-created Poland, it was important to find a unifying common identity. The two major political camps were, however, divided over this question. Piłsudski’s Socialists favoured a federal, multi-ethnic vision that integrated Jews, Germans, Ukrainians and Belarusians, whereas Dmowski demanded an ethnically-homogeneous nation for ‘Poles of purest blood’, as the Endecja slogan put it. The early 1920s witnessed many political crises, most notably the murder of President Gabriel Narutowicz in 1922. By 1925, there was a general expectation of a coup d’état on the Italian Fascist model, with either Dmowski or General Władysław Sikorski as leader. Yet it was Piłsudski who led the putsch and established the Sanacja regime in 1926 to restore order. In 1935, an authoritarian constitution was introduced, which, after Piłsudski’s death in the same year, became increasingly radicalized under the influence of members of the Endecja. In response to the establishment of the Sanacja regime, Dmowski set up in 1926 the Obóz Wielkiej Polski (Greater Poland Camp, or OWP), which was influenced by the Italian Fascist model, with which he himself was fascinated. Dmowski considered the OWP not as a political party but as a mass movement following the Fascist example. Yet despite the bitter conflicts between the Sanacja and the Endecja,

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there were various parallels between the two movements. Both were anti-communist, both advocated national solidarity, both were lukewarm in their support for liberal democracy, and both desired a strong nation-state, based on Catholic traditions, headed by an authoritarian leader. The traditional unity of church and nation (naród) was expressed by Dmowski in 1927 in his book Kościół, Naród i Państwo (Church, Nation and State), where he stated that: Catholicism is not a supplement to Polishness; its spirit is somehow rooted in its very existence and to an important extent it even forms its existence. The attempt to separate Catholicism from Polishness in Poland, cutting off the nation from religion and Church, would mean destroying the very existence of the nation. The Polish state is a Catholic state. This is not because the vast majority of its inhabitants are Catholics or because of the percentage of Catholics. From our point of view, Poland is Catholic in the full sense of the word, because we are a national state, and our people (naród) is a Catholic people.6 This vision automatically excluded all non-Catholic Polish citizens, who constituted at that time almost a third of Poland’s population. Dmowski was clearly obsessed with an international conspiracy of freemasons and Jews. In his eyes, Jews were internationally responsible for exploitation of the nations, working against Christianity and healthy nations. His vision of ‘the Jew’ is clear: The Jews, whose power was always money, always made their way and achieved their goal with money. It is therefore a wellknown custom that the same politician, the same civil servant, who would not take bribes from a person of his sphere or of his community, out of fear for his reputation, would take and even expect it from a person of another world, from a foreigner, or from the local Jew.7 In the 1920s, Dmowski accused the Jews of not only having organized the worldwide economic crisis, but even of having benefiting from it,

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when he concluded, that ‘very often a Jew, a freemason and a financier is represented in the same person.’8 He even accused the Jews of having intervened in favour of Germany during the peace negotiations at Versailles, saying that Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George were acting for pro-German international Jewry against Polish interests: The tool of the Jews was Wilson, who was concerned that the Allied troops did not cross the German border [...] Lloyd George stopped regions from becoming part of Poland as they were before: the great majority of our Upper Silesia, Malborg, Sztum and Kwidzyn, and also Gdansk. Lloyd George acted like an agent of the Jews, and nothing gave the impression that Wilson was any less dependent on them. The Jews therefore negotiated an agreement with German Freemasonry, who, in return for help at the conference on the border question, agreed to provide them with a leading position in the German Republic. Eventually, after the peace, the Jews worked for Germany and against Poland in England, America, and even in France, but especially strove so that Germany became less and less a German state and more a Jewish one.9 The logical consequence of his conspiracy theory was for Dmowski to accuse the League of Nations of being a Jewish idea.10 He was also heavily opposed to any project aimed at assimilating Jews into Polish society.11 Generally, Dmowski’s antisemitism increased over the years and became more virulent after the creation of an independent Poland. In his article ‘Kwestia żydowska’ (The Jewish Question) of 1930, he depicted Poland as the source of manpower for the international Jewish community: ‘With the dying out of the Jewish elite, there was the need for its renewal [...]. There existed in Poland and especially in the lands of the Polish Commonwealth, an incredibly valuable reservoir of manpower, the only guarantee that Jewry worldwide would not die out [...]. The small-town Jewry of the Polish lands is the reservoir of Jewish manpower for the whole world; it is a mine for Jewish raw material [...].’12 In his novel Dziedzictwo (1931), he wrote, ‘A Jewish woman will always be a Jew, a Jewish man: a Jew.

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They have another skin, they smell differently, they carry the evil among the nations.’13 Even though Dmowski was the founder and mastermind behind the Endecja ideology, he largely retired from public life after 1919. First, he lived in Poznań, then in Warsaw and later in Chłudowo near Poznań. In 1923 he obtained an honorary doctorate from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In the same year, he served for two weeks as foreign minister, but by 1928 his political activities had more or less come to an end. He died on 2 January 1939. In line with Dmowski’s ideological legacy, right-wing parties in Poland today tend to focus on international and foreign-influenced conspiracies, which they allege are undermining the sanctity of Polishness. Thus, Jews, Germans, communists and freemasons, as well as gays and lesbians, are said to threaten Polish Catholic identity. Dmowski gave vent to such thinking in his famous essay ‘W kwestii komunizmu’ (On the Communist Question, 1933), in which he made the link between Marxism and Judaism: The most outstanding feature of the psychology of a Marxist, constituting the soil from which his mindset grows, is his hatred of the past and of everything which exists in us and in our life as a legacy of the past. The intensity of hatred in some individuals has always astounded me [...] Such support could not have been provided in Europe by anything which was European, which originated in Europe, which lived by its tradition. Marxism, as we know it, could appear and gain such force only because there existed in European countries a strong and well-organized element for which Europe’s past was not its past, Europe’s heritage was not its heritage, for which social instincts, customs, concepts, and beliefs not only separated it from European societies, but also made it sharply at odds with them. Marxism in its entirety could be born only in a Jewish womb, as a Jewish progeny, and was thereby already a denial of everything that the European past created within us and within our lives [...]. It is a fact that not only was Marx himself a Jew, but that he also came from a rabbinical family; and if we make a list of the most eminent,

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leading representatives of Marxism since its beginnings, in their own countries, be they social democrats or communists, Jews will take up almost half of the list.14 Dmowski remains the icon of the contemporary Polish political right. The late president, Lech Kaczyński, and his brother, the former Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, have seen him as one of their ideological forefathers. When he was mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński supported the erection of the Dmowski monument. For the parties of the right, from the Kaczyńskis’ political camp, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość’ (Law and Justice, PiS) to the antisemitic, quasi-fascist‚ Młodzież Wszechpolska (All-Poland Youth, MW), Dmowski is treated as a hero who advocated an ethnically homogeneous Catholic Polish Nation. The Liga Polskich Rodzin (League of Polish Families, LPR), a former coalitionpartner in government, sees Dmowski as its political founding father since its leader Roman Giertych’s grandfather, Jędrzej Giertych, was a close political ally of Dmowski. The fact that in 1912 Dmowski supported the boycott of Jewish shops and called for the expropriation of Jewish property as well for the emigration of all Polish Jews, has not prevented politicians from the LPR from praising the antisemitic ideas of the pre-war Endecja. In 2006, the LPR’s deputy chairman, Wojciech Wierzejski, defended antisemitic action by Endecja rightwing extremists in the 1930s at Warsaw University on public television. Wierzejski said that the Jews in 1930s Poland ‘had advantages and enjoyed privileges.’ He described the anti-Jewish university law which segregated Jews from Poles at Warsaw university as having been ‘introduced in order to keep a certain equality and access. This was normal and honest.’15 Although Wierzejski’s comments were condemned by liberals and leftists, a critical approach towards Dmowski’s role in Polish history has only just begun. It is difficult to paint a totally negative picture of Dmowski since for large parts of Polish society his achievement in helping to unify the Polish lands overshadows all else. Right-wing parties and associations carefully guard his positive image as a national icon and hero. Thus, the tenor of the resolution passed by the Polish parliament and its right-wing majority in honour of Dmowski on the

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60th anniversary of his death in January 1999 is perhaps not surprising. Dmowski’s radically nationalistic and xenophobic position was on this occasion once again ignored: On the 60th anniversary of the death of Roman Dmowski, the Sejm of the Polish Republic commemorates the achievements of a great gentleman in restoring the independence of the Polish state and confirms that he served his Fatherland well. In his work Roman Dmowski defined the national interest by making the link between the development of the People (Naród) and the People’s possession of its own state. This meant the unification of all territories of the Polish Commonwealth where a Polish majority lived, and the demand for a sense of national consciousness amongst all strata and social groups. He created a school of political realism and responsibility. As a representative of the resurrected Republic he fought at this crucial point for the delineation of our borders, especially the western border. Particularly noteworthy is Roman Dmowski’s role in stressing the unity of Catholicism and Polishness for the survival of the People and the reestablishment of the state.16 Notwithstanding this sort of panegyric, one may certainly argue that Dmowski was both a founding father of modern Poland and a nationalist antisemite, but whether he represents a positive role model for contemporary Poland must remain in doubt. He did not hide his admiration for Italian Fascism as well as for the antisemitism of the Nazis in the 1930s. From early on, moreover, Dmowski recognised Fascist Italy as a successful antithesis to Bolshevist Russia. He corresponded regularly with Enrico Corradini, one of the leading Italian Fascists.17 Nevertheless, Dmowski’s biographers tend to play down his fascination with fascism, together with comments in which he hailed the Nazis for their determination to deal with the ‘Jewish Question’ and expressed his hopes that during the course of the twentieth century the Jewish chapter in world-history would be forever closed.18 Dmowski clearly sympathized with Adolf Hitler’s desire to eradicate the Jewish influence in Germany.19 Biographers of Dmowski, such as

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Roman Wapiński and Krzysztof Kawalec, rationalize this particular passage by saying that, had Dmowski known what the Nazis were going to do to the Jews, he would have changed his mind.20 Certainly, no pre-Second World War antisemite knew what was going to happen during the war, but by his hostility towards Jews and by his deployment of a racial vocabulary, Dmowski helped to create the context for extreme racism and xenophobia. Thus if one calls him a founding father, he was surely also the founding father of a specific vocabulary that gave rise to notions of a Jewish international conspiracy as well as to antisemitism and a narrow, excluding chauvinism. As the political commentator, Janusz A. Majcherek, put it when reviewing the dilemma faced by Poles in the elections of 2005: ‘Instead of a modern Conservative Party, such as was able to modernize Britain or Spain, we find in Poland a cheap copy of the Endecja, in which an old-fashioned pre-war nationalism mingles with a pre-Vatican II Catholicism, united in its rejection of modernization and mistrust of the West’.21 In this respect, it must remain questionable whether the fashionable revival of Dmowski in contemporary Poland benefits in any way its politics.

Notes 1. Polish works on Dmowski include Andrzej Micewski, Roman Dmowski, Warsaw, 1971; Roman Wapiński, Narodowa Demokracja 1893–1939. Ze studiów nad dziejami myśli nacjonalistycznej, Wrocław and Warsaw, 1980; Krzysztof Kawalec, Narodowa Demokracja wobec faszyzmu 1922–1939. Ze studiów nad dziejami myśli politycznej obozu narodowego, Warsaw, 1989; Krzysztof Kawalec (ed.), Roman Dmowski o ustroju politycznym państwa, Warsaw, 1996; Krzysztof Kawalec, Roman Dmowski, Warsaw, 1996; Paweł Stachowiak, Korzenie‚ katolicyzmu endeckiego. Nacjonalistyczna wizja religii i Kościoła w Polsce w latach 1887–1927, Poznań, 1999. Western studies include Piotr S. Wandycz, The Lands of Partitioned Poland, 1795–1918, Seattle and London, 1993; Alvan Marcus Fountain II, Roman Dmowski: Party, Tactics, Ideology 1895–1907, New York 1980; Kurt Georg Hausmann, Die politischen Ideen Roman Dmowskis. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Nationalismus in Ostmitteleuropa vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg, Kiel, 1968. For an overall view on Dmowski’s influence on the current Polish government, see Peter Oliver Loew, ‘Zwillinge zwischen Endecja und Sanacja. Die neue polnische Rechtsregierung und ihre historischen Wurzeln’, Osteuropa, 55, 2005, 11, pp. 9–20.

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2. For this, and much of the biographical information that follows, see Andrzej Micewski, Roman Dmowski, Warsaw, 1971. 3. Andrzej Micewski, Roman Dmowski, Warsaw, 1971, pp 67–9. 4. Alvan Marcus Fountain II, Roman Dmowski: Party, Tactics, Ideology 1895– 1907, New York, 1980, p. 85. 5. Ibid, p. 109. 6. See Roman Dmowski, ‘Kościół, Naród i Państwo’ in Roman Dmowski (ed.), Polityka narodowa w odbudowanem państwie, Częstochowa, 10 vols, 1938–39, vol. 9, 1939, pp. 98, 115. 7. Roman Dmowski, ‘Żydzi w kryzysie’, in Roman Dmowski (ed.), Przewrót, Częstochowa, 10 vols, 1938–39, 8, 1938, pp. 22–6, (p. 24). 8. Roman Dmowski, ‘Imperjalizm a Żydzi’, in Roman Dmowski (ed.), Przewrót, 8, pp. 147–150, (p. 147). Original: ‘Bardzo często Żyd, mason i finansista schodzi się w jednej osobie’. See also Roman Dmowski, ‘Skutki katastrofy gospodarczej’, in ibid, pp. 272–6. 9. Roman Dmowski, ‘Hitleryzm a Żydzi’, in Roman Dmowski (ed.), Przewrót, 8, pp. 229–38 (pp. 231–2). 10. Roman Dmowski, ‘Triumf żydówstwa po wojnie światowej’, in Roman Dmowski (ed.), Świat powojenny i Polska, Częstochowa, 10 vols, 1938–1939, 7, 1938, pp. 287–91 (p. 289). 11. Roman Dmowski, ‘Kwestja żydowska’, in Roman Dmowski (ed.), Upadek myśli konserwatywnej w Polsce, Częstochowa, 10 vols, 1938–1939, 4, 1938, pp. 118–21. 12. Roman Dmowski, ‘Znaczenie chałaciarza’, in Dmowski, Świat powojenny i Polska, 7, pp. 296–9 (p. 297). 13. Taken from Dmowski’s novel Dziedzictwo (published under pseudonym Kazimierz Wybranowski) and quoted by Roman Osęka in Gazeta Wyborcza, 4 November 2005: ‘Żydówka zawsze pozostanie Żydówką, Żyd-Żydem. Mają skorę inną, zapach inny, sieją zepsucie wsród narodów’. 14. Roman Dmowski, W kwestii komunizmu, Poznań 1984, pp. 2–15. This text was reprinted by the underground press, Głosy. 15. See [Accessed, 4 November 2006]. 16. Uchwala Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 8 stycznia 1999 r. o uczczeniu pamięci Romana Dmowskiego. For a critical comment on the resolution, see Andrzej Walicki, Polskie zmagania z wolnością, Cracow, 2000, pp. 321–7. 17. Krzysztof Kawalec, Roman Dmowski, Warsaw, 1996, pp. 260–2, 281, 285. 18. Roman Dmowski, ‘Żydzi w dwudziestym wieku’ (May 1933), in Dmowski (ed.), Przewrót, 8, p. 344. 19. See in particular Roman Dmowski, ‘Żydzi w dwudziestym wieku’ (May 1933), in Dmowski, Przewrót, 8, esp. pp. 247–50.

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20. Roman Wapiński, Narodowa Demokracja 1893–1939. Ze studiów nad dziejami myśli nacjonalistycznej, Wrocław and Warsaw, 1980, pp. 365–6; Krzysztof Kawalec, Roman Dmowski, p. 319. 21. Janusz A. Majcherek, ‘Taka prawica, jaki Giertych’, Gazeta Wyborcza, 7 February 2005.

CHAPTER 6 CÉCILE TOR M AY: A GENTLEWOM AN IN THE GR AVEYAR D OF THE HUNCHBACK S Gwenyth Jones

Most Hungarians born after 1945 are unfamiliar with the life and opinions of Cécile Tormay (1876–1937), novelist, author of An Outlaw’s Diary, a chronicle of the revolutions of 1918–19,1 president of the ‘Christian National’ Hungarian Women’s National Association2 (MANSZ, founded in November 1918), and editor of Napkelet (East, founded in 1923), a conservative literary journal set up to counteract the supposedly noxious liberalism of Nyugat (West, founded in 1908).3 Whenever she is discussed in academic circles, or rehabilitated on panegyric websites, opinion divides along political lines. She is remembered not for her success in pressurizing universities to re-admit female students in the mid-1920s, nor for her literary output. To those on the right, and in particular in the virtual realm of the internet, Tormay is the ‘Great Lady of Hungarian irredentism’,4 a formidable leader of patriotic women in the race war, and even ‘a European Hungarian in the St Stephen sense, who loved and respected all the people of Hungary’, who worked to ‘expose the

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Bolshevik sirens’ voices’ in her homeland.5 In the 1930s, MANSZ had close to a million members out of a population of eight million, and hundreds of regional branches.6 According to Judit Kádár, however, Tormay led the largest inter-war women’s organization and became the emblematic female writer of the Horthy era ‘despite her lesbianism and anti-feminism’.7 Tormay is portrayed by Kádár and Mária M. Kovács as, variously, a tool of patriarchy and a pro-fascist anachronism whose tireless activity helped to popularize the antiJewish numerus clausus law of 1920, and whose peculiar personality was ‘symptomatic of the kind of assimilationist zealotry so common to minority intellectuals in a nationalist culture.’8 Undoubtedly, Tormay enjoyed considerable prestige for a woman who, without a university education or a husband, committed herself to conservative politics in a conservative society. In this essay, I shall propose that her public persona and ideas were indeed anomalous, although for slightly different reasons, and with a slightly different focus: Tormay utilized ‘difference feminism’,9 antisemitism and radical nationalism in order to place the genteel middle class at the cusp of conservatism and radical reform. She campaigned for women’s emancipation into the service of nation and family, and publicized women’s patriotism in support of a regime that ‘dreaded rather than supported mass mobilisation.’10 MANSZ emphasized grassroots philanthropy in towns and villages, and encouraged members to vote for ‘Christian national’ candidates: The Association incorporates all Hungarian women, Catholic or Protestant, who insist on Christian belief, and love the Hungarian nation. Nothing else is required from the members, but that they should not be influenced by demagogic agitators, but demand courageously and persistently that their representative should be a good Christian Hungarian person and a member of that party which is fighting for Christian ideas.11 Tormay equated women’s interests with national interests, and her ‘national’ brand of feminism consisted, perhaps, of little more than

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opposition to ‘international’ feminism and its concomitant, ‘JudeoBolshevism’.12 In her own words, MANSZ was unique because: The world abounds in thousands of international, inter-confessional feminist organizations, but the idea of a Christian women’s national alliance is Hungarian, it is ours, and other nations can only learn it from us. We created [MANSZ] from our souls, our hearts, our pain, our faith, our love of our homeland. This association is not a plant transplanted from abroad, it is home-grown. It grew from the soil, from Hungarian soil, which is why, like Hungarian wheat, it is one of the nation’s life sources.13 I shall discuss the features and idiosyncrasies of Tormay’s beliefs by providing a reading of An Outlaw’s Diary, presenting her political speeches, and discussing the platforms of MANSZ and Napkelet within the context of a society that granted rights to one group only at the expense of another. Tormay’s father, Béla Tormay Krenmüller (1839–1906), was a prominent agronomist, veterinarian and corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Cécile was born in 1876 in Budapest, trained as a teacher, spoke French, German and Italian and, by the outbreak of the First World War, was well travelled and well connected. She first tasted literary success with the publication of her second novel, A régi ház (The Old House, 1914), a generic, third-rate Buddenbrooks which was awarded the prestigious Hungarian Academy of Sciences Péczely prize.14 The novel examines the decay and disintegration of the Ulwing clan, a family of Buda Germans, by focusing on the youngest daughter, Anna, who learns that a family must have its roots in the soil if it is to survive. Tormay’s collections of short stories15 and travel writings, and her unfinished historical trilogy set in the thirteenth century,16 are, however, overshadowed by her twovolume Diary, written and published in 1920–21, to which I shall return shortly. By many accounts, Tormay was a shy, self-deprecating woman.17 Her biographer, János Hankiss, makes no mention of her private life, except for describing Francesca d’Orsay, who introduced Tormay to

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Gabriele D’Annunzio, as her ‘Italian muse’.18 Tormay knew, and held in great regard, a small number of men whom she admired for their leadership qualities: Count Kunó Klebelsberg, minister for religion and education throughout the 1920s; Bálint Hóman, the conservative historian who took over Klebelsberg’s ministerial post in 1932; Gyula Gömbös, prime minister from 1932 to 1936; and the Jesuit priest and radical antisemite Béla Bangha, not to mention the regent, Miklós Horthy, himself. Her female friends included Emma Ritoók, whose early flirtation with Marxism and psychoanalysis was replaced during the First World War by irredentism and radical antisemitism;19 and Edina Pallavicini, translator of Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile, and wife of Count Rafael Zichy. Pallavicini was president of the Magyar Irodalmi Társaság (Hungarian Literary Society), established at the behest of Klebelsberg in 1922 to promote ‘Christian culture’, and which was responsible for bankrolling Napkelet.20 Zichy divorced his wife in 1925 on the grounds of her affair with Tormay.21 Towards the end of her life, Tormay lived in Mátraháza in northern Hungary with a woman referred to in Küzdelmek, emlékezések22 only as Countess Lajos Ambrózy-Migazzi, who edited a tiny pro-fascist MANSZ offshoot, Magyar Asszony (Hungarian Woman), as well as Tormay’s collected works after her death. An Outlaw’s Diary purports to be a blow-by-blow daily record of the 1918–19 revolutions. It was, in fact, written in diary form from 1920 onwards, during the consolidation of post-revolutionary politics. Tormay had just turned 42 when Mihály Károlyi’s government took power on 31 October, 1918. The Diary, for all its anti-Bolshevism and almost peerless antisemitism, appears to suggest that Károlyi’s person and term of office were far more pernicious than those of Béla Kun. Kun and comrades are presented as specimens in some Lombrosian freak show, little more than stock antisemitic stereotypes: garbled speech, thick lips, large ears and hands, the smell of garlic and onions, curved backs and shoulders, femininity in men and so on. Tormay’s imaginative use of such stereotypes, however, borders on the fantastic. On the activities of Tibor Szamuely, commissar for military affairs in the Kun regime and leader of the ‘Lenin Boys’, she writes: ‘Gallows are erected everywhere he goes. And the gallows, like black Hebrew

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characters, remain in the landscape when his special train has passed on to some other rebellious district.’23 The Jew has magic powers: ‘[he] spreads and yet holds together. He penetrates the bodies of nations [...]. He laments the fallen walls of Jerusalem and drags the ruins invisibly with him. He complains of his isolation but builds secret ways as arteries of the boundless city which has by now spread practically throughout the world. His connections and communications reach everywhere.’24 For Tormay, sex was synonymous with Jews. Like Otto Weininger, she claimed that ‘the Jew is always more absorbed by sexual matters than the Aryan.’25 Biological categories were also political: ‘ “Jewish” was a sexual word (they dissolve our bodies), a political word (they dissolve our state through Bolshevism), and an economic word (they liquidate our money, they swim in it; we have nothing).’26 Men had neglected their national duty, but women constituted a triangular fortress (country, faith, family), preserving Hungarian dignity and decency, for if the war was lost and the Judeo-Bolsheviks won, ‘women would be common property when [...] the home is broken up, and God and country have been denied.’27 The problem with Károlyi, it seems, was that his spell in government revealed ‘true’ Hungarians to be the weaklings they were; they had allowed themselves to be duped. Her accusations were directed not against: the foreign race that has gained power, that has attained its end by sheer perseverance, ingenuity, industry and pluck – but against Magyardom and the whole nation, who have, heedlessly, incapably and blindly, given up their own heart – the capital [...]. All past powers and governments are responsible for this. The reproach concerns to the same extent those politicians who are still debating about shades and will not see that to-day there are only colours, and will not feel that in a short time there will be no more colours, but only one colour, and that that one will be – red.28 The revolutions of 1918–19 upended order: the Jews turned the ghetto inside out and foisted imprisonment upon non-Jews. Tormay’s entry

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for 31 October 1918 reads as follows: ‘It was as though the city had for years devoured countless Galician immigrants and now vomited them forth in sickness.’29 Despite the occasional nod to people of the countryside as the incarnations of Magyar authenticity,30 Tormay was an urbanite. Budapest was the heart of Hungary, not the ‘sinful city’,31 but victim of the revolutions’ befouling. Communist posters are likened to skin disease, while Károlyi’s government ‘ordered the beflagging of the town [...]. Budapest donned in cowardly fashion the festive decoration imposed upon her [...]. She stood there [...], under the heel of foreign occupation, like a painted prostitute.’32 Tormay fled to Balassagyarmat in April 1919 and later, upon seeing communist posters torn down on 1 August, sensed historical inevitability: ‘the grape harvest has come in the land of the hunchbacks.’33 Tormay’s vocabulary of red plagues and yellow fogs masked her real fear: large numbers of people. The masses terrified and appalled her in equal measure. On the train to Balassagyarmat, in close physical proximity to people she did not know, she felt trapped: ‘To be arrested by this scum; miserably, without an attempt to escape; to wait for fate like one paralysed, unable to move!’34 Tormay felt most at home at home, especially at Christmas. The domestic sphere was the source of love, belonging, and order, an undefilable space in which the female prevailed: the antithesis of the dirty worlds of party politics and mass movements. She continued to exploit and adapt this inversion of public/power and private/peace in her political activity throughout the 1920s and 30s. Tormay was active in the public arena from 1919 onwards, the year she founded MANSZ. When Miklós Horthy arrived on horseback to Budapest with his counter-revolutionary troops on 16 November, she was waiting for him, having apparently predicted the arrival of the first horseman of the Apocalypse in the Diary on 1 May: ‘I took up my Bible. The prophecy [of the Apocalypse] and its realization stood out in red letters before my eyes. But a few days later in the prophecy there comes one on a white horse, dressed in white linen. And the white one vanquishes the red.’35 Following Horthy’s speech reclaiming the sinful city in the name of Christian and national values, a mass was held in the parliament,

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where Tormay presented Horthy with a MANSZ banner and addressed the troops from the steps of parliament: ‘Your return represents a Hungarian dawn and a Christian resurrection following a terrible and bloody Calvary in which Károlyi, the Hungarian Judas Iscariot, and his demonic accomplices betrayed, tortured, ransacked and profaned the Hungarian nation [...]. You have come not only to occupy the capital city, but also to conquer the country!’36 Shortly thereafter, Tormay issued a proclamation ‘to the women of the world’, requesting that women throughout Europe reflect on how they might feel if all the work and glory of their respective races were trampled underfoot by despised aliens. ‘Mothers, women, our brothers! Lift up your voices in protest to defend the interests of all our children [...]. Let it be known that the Neuilly peace treaty wrings the weapon from Hungarian men’s hands in vain, for it will never be able to confiscate the weapons of Hungarian women!’37 This is Tormay’s feminism: women embody the eternal, spiritual qualities of the nation. Men in parliaments may come and go, but it is women who procreate and preserve their race, seemingly asexually, and often despite men. She rarely addressed her female audience in terms of marital status, eschewing appeals to wives38 in favour of mothers and girls. Women are one with the land and, by extension, with Christ. On the day of the signing of the Trianon treaty, Tormay reiterated to the women and daughters of ‘occupied Hungarian lands’: The crimes of the traitors may have wrested the weapons from men’s hands, on the aggressive order of the victors, [but] the invisible holy weapon of women remains ours untouched [...]. Jesus broke the bread, poured the wine into a chalice, but every piece of the broken bread remained indivisible from His body, every drop of the poured wine was still His blood. Broken bread is the land of Hungary today, the poured wine the waters in its rivers, but that is why in every clod of its soil and every drop of its blood the whole of Hungary is present, indivisible, as is the Lord in bread and wine.39 In 1922, she summoned the spectre of Béla Kun, and accentuated the culpability of men, who had allowed him to unleash hell, and

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demanded: ‘Hungarian men should examine their consciences whether they have the right to such forgetfulness! Hungarian mothers have no such right!’40 In an address to parliament later the same year, her patience with quasi-democracy was already running thin: ‘If the sterility of the national assembly and the factions between men deprive us of our dreams, faith, and strength of our soul, then we cannot fulfil our historical mission – guarding the Christian values of the family hearth, maintaining social peace and nurturing the national spirit in the soul of the Hungarian future.’41 The alternative was to be found in Italy. She exhorted members of MANSZ to follow the Italian model, citing the alliance of Catholic and Protestant women standing ‘hand in hand’ above confessional quarrels, and against red floods and the tribes of Israel.42 If there was one practical question on which MANSZ members could act, it was to campaign in support of the anti-Jewish numerus clausus law introduced in 1920. Hungarian feminists had divided roughly into liberal and ‘Christian’ camps a number of years before women were granted, and later exercized, their right to vote. In 1918, Edit Farkas, chair of the Christian Socialist Association of Women, criticized Vilmos Vázsonyi’s bill to widen the electoral franchise to educated women: Vázsonyi’s concept of a restricted franchise based on educational qualifications is fatally flawed because it favours those noisy mademoiselles (who, in our society, are typically not Christian) over our true Hungarian women. We must admit that it is a shame that Christian society has been too lazy and idle to provide better formal education for its daughters who are, in reality, by no means less cultured, but as long as this is the case, we must not allow the noisy middle school element in female society to put itself in the forefront. We demand that there either be no female vote or, if it is to be permitted, that our Christian women with their sober mentality be included.43 The numerus clausus law was originally drafted to exclude women from higher education, and universities took the opportunity to ban women

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from enrolling. The law eventually imposed a six-per-cent ceiling on the number of Jewish students at Hungarian universities, though women were de facto still excluded. Liberal feminists campaigned for the repeal of the law, which was never fully implemented in its entirety, but MANSZ members sent petitions to the speaker of the house in support of the exclusion of all Jews from higher education, even when the League of Nations threatened Hungary with sanctions. Tormay played upon self-defensive protectionism: ‘It is not that we demand the numerus clausus against the alien race, but that we demand the numerus apertus for our own race, because it would be insane and suicidal for a nation not to want to recruit its intelligentsia primarily from among its own kind.’44 Thanks to MANSZ’s lobbying, most faculties reopened to women in 1925. In 1926, ‘the stubborn opposition of the medical faculties to the readmission of women was suppressed by the personal intervention of the minister of education, Count Klebelsberg, a close friend of the chair of [MANSZ], Cécile Tormay.’45 After her death, MANSZ also helped popularize the laws of 1938–39 which first restricted the numbers of Jews in the professions and, later, introduced racial classifications based on the Nuremberg laws. Tormay’s crusades corresponded to the neo-nationalist platform promoted by Klebelsberg in education,46 and Napkelet was to spearhead the literary campaign on this front. According to neo-conservatives, it was the Christian middle class that constituted the true force of national preservation, who would provide the personnel and ethical framework for government and society, and whose pre-eminence would ensure Hungarians’ cultural supremacy over their neighbours. Napkelet’s stated aim was to restore a unified ‘public taste’ in literature; this was a twentieth-century appropriation of nineteenth-century romantic nationalism. In the first issue, János Horváth proclaimed, on behalf of Napkelet, a continuation of the historical principles of Hungarian rootedness and community, and stated that the journal would not talk politics, only heed the voice of conscience in matters of taste.47 The question of taste was solved by neither employing Jews nor reviewing books written by them. Napkelet was written by and for the urban middle classes, and proclaimed a non-political stance at

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the vanguard of (conservative) literary talent. Tormay herself published little within its pages. On the occasion of Napkelet’s fifth year, she announced that the Hungarian reading public was now able to savour a return to ‘taste’ and historical continuity with the values ‘rooted’ in the Hungarian soil. Such values were intended to provide a form of intellectual integrity connecting rump Hungary with its lost territories. Furthermore, Napkelet’s publications were ‘the proudest documents of national self-determination (öncélúság)’ to be found underneath poor Hungarian Christmas trees.’48 In the mid-1920s, Napkelet published reviews and essays by such prestigious figures as Gyula Szekfű, Sándor Eckhardt and Horváth, and promoted Transylvanian Hungarian writers, but never discovered the generation of conservative writers to supersede, if not displace, the early Nyugat generations. Tormay was not disheartened. She railed against ‘slinking’ Bolshevism and shamed anonymous aristocrats who ‘offended the purity of the family hearth, betrayed national values and denied the sanctity of the church’,49 exhorted women to set a moral example for men, and became gradually more mystical and atavistic during the 1930s.50 She insisted that women maintain pressure on their male representatives in parliament, rather than join parties or stand for election themselves. Yet despite her emphasis on women’s role at the hearth, Tormay did not shy from high-profile public engagements in senior political circles. Apart from her regular addresses to the Hungarian parliament and to OMGE,51 she headed a MANSZ delegation to Rome in October 1932 on the tenth anniversary of the March on Rome and addressed Mussolini, representing women as the mothers of the Hungarian future and reiterating Hungarian women’s defiance of doubt, because ‘men are always greater at building, but among the ruins on earth, it is always the woman who is greater’.52 In May 1935, the French foreign minister appointed her to occupy Marie Curie’s vacant seat at the Commission internationale de coopération intellectuelle of the League of Nations. Tormay took the opportunity to depart from her usual scaremongering, instead expressing her intention to honour the ancient and eternally blossoming culture of her homeland. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936, and at the end of her life was awarded with the Corvin wreath

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by Horthy, and decorated with military honours. After her death in 1937, the street on which she had lived with her mother during the revolutions of 1918–19 was renamed Tormay Street. Both MANSZ and the Diary were banned in 1945, removing Tormay’s ideas from public circulation and bestowing upon her impeccable anti-communist credentials for later generations. She, like other female activists of the inter-war right, straddled rebellion and conformity, by proposing that woman’s place is in the domestic realm while simultaneously on the frontlines of national (that is, anti-communist) struggles.53 Her words were infused by the usual opposition to atheism, liberalism and socialism, but beyond the long list of ‘anti’ stances, and the preoccupation with national death and victimhood, one finds an aggressive middle-class matrilineal nationalism based on Kinder, Küche, Kirche, and Christian Magyar supremacy, in which women hold men to account for their impotence in the political arena. Tormay’s rhetoric played upon fear of Bolshevism, the sanctity of home and hearth, middle class notions of respectability and taste, a conflation of faith with race, and a peculiar preoccupation with Christmas.54 She believed that Hungarians stood alone in their racial martyrdom, proposed a spiritual alliance with the Italian sisterhood and state, and exhorted women to take a symbolic role in politics, while accepting high-profile accolades and responsibilities herself. She entered the traditionally male domains of prophecy and martyrdom, and transformed her non-conformity, elitism and difference feminism into a successful brand of middle-class radical conservatism.55

Notes 1. Cécile Tormay, Bujdosó könyve. Feljegyzések 1918–1919-ből, 2 vols, Budapest, 1920–21. The Diary was reprinted five times in the inter-war period, banned in 1945, published by Canadian émigré circles in the 1970s, and republished in Hungary in 1998. It was translated into English with a foreword by the Duke of Northumberland, An Outlaw’s Diary, 2 vols, London, 1923, and is archived online, together with the rest of her writings, at [accessed 4 December 2009]. All quotations are from the 1923 English translation. The Diary’s translator is not named.

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2. Magyar Asszonyok Nemzeti Szövetsége. There is a distinction in Hungarian between nő and asszony, both of which may be translated as woman; the former is sexually defined in opposition to férfi (man), while the latter is defined in opposition to lány (girl). Liberal feminists in Hungary during this period used nő for woman, and called themselves feministák, terms Tormay avoided at all costs. 3. Nyugat (1908–41) was by far the most influential literary publication of the early twentieth century. Liberal in outlook, and revered and blamed as the beacon of art for art’s sake, Nyugat constituted a reaction to fin-de-siècle conservatism and introspection. It reconfigured Hungarian literature and, by extension, identity, as modern in essence, co-existing with the West, hence the establishment of Napkelet as a right-wing counterbalance. 4. See Péter Csontos, ‘A magyar irredenta Nagyasszonya’, [accessed 10 August 2008]. 5. Endre Kajetán, ‘Ősi küldött. Akit elfelejtett a magyar irodalom: Tormay Cécile’, Délsziget, 5, 1990, 1, pp. 15–19. 6. Mária M. Kovács, ‘Hungary’ in Kevin Passmore (ed.), Women, Gender and Fascism in Europe 1919–45, Manchester, 2003, pp. 79–90 (p. 89). 7. Judit Kádár, ‘Az antiszemitizmus jutalma. Tormay Cécile és a Horthy korszak’, Kritika, 32, 2003, 3, pp. 9–12 (p. 12). 8. Mária M. Kovács, ‘Ambiguities of Emancipation: women and the ethnic question in Hungary’, Women’s History Review, 5, 1996, 4, pp. 487–95 (p. 494). ‘What gives [Tormay’s pro-numerus clausus stance] a particularly curious colouring is the fact that Tormay herself came not from a Hungarian family, but from a family of long-time German settlers, and made the problems and traditions of German minority existence in Hungary the subject of many of her respectable literary pieces’: Kovács, ‘Hungary’, p. 87, n. 12. 9. Difference feminism posits that women’s biological sex difference be the basis on which gender inequalities are addressed. Accordingly, it is maternal instinct that begets and informs women’s political action. 10. Kovács, ‘Hungary’, p. 79. Her Italian colleagues found themselves in a similar predicament when, in 1926, the Fasci Femminili secretaries requested that women be allowed to wear black shirts. The response from PNF party secretary Augusto Turati was that the black shirt ‘is the virile symbol of our revolution and has nothing to do with the welfare tasks that Fascism has given women.’ Circular from Augusto Turati, PNF (Partito Nazionale Fascista) Party Secretary, May 14 1926, cited in Perry Wilson, ‘Italy’, in Passmore (ed.), Women, Gender and Fascism, pp. 11–32 (p. 16). 11. Excerpt from the 1930 Statutes of MANSZ, trans. in Andrea Pető, ‘Hungarian Women in Politics’, in Joan W. Scott, Cora Kaplan and Debra

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13.

14. 15.

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Keates (eds), Transitions, Environments, Translations: Feminism in International Politics, New York, 1997, pp. 153–61 (p. 160, n. 4). Similarly, in Italy, Teresa Labriola’s ‘Latin feminism’ declared itself to be unlike ‘sterile foreign doctrines’ that emphasized individualism and equal rights, instead promoting women’s maternal duty to family and nation. See Victoria de Grazia, How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy 1922–1945, Berkeley, CA, 1992, p. 238. Speech delivered to the seventh MANSZ annual general meeting on 26 April 1925, reprinted in Cécile Tormay, Küzdelmek, emlékezések , Budapest, 1937, pp. 76–7. Cécile Tormay, A régi ház, Budapest, 1914. One collection of short stories, Álmok, was published in 1920 for the radical-right Magyar Országos Véderő Egyesület (Hungarian National Defence Union) almanac. Cécile Tormay, Az ősi küldött (The Ancestral Emissary), 3 vols, Budapest, 1934–7. The trilogy, depicting the clash of Christian and pagan civilizations, was completed after her death by Miklós Bánffy (1874–1950), novelist, co-editor of Napkelet, foreign minister 1921–2, and leader of the radical-right National Regeneration Front in Transylvania, 1939. The ideologist of the ‘Third Way’ strand of inter-war populism, László Németh, described her as possessing a self-sacrificing nobility, a woman whose consciousness of mission overshadowed private ambitions: László Németh, ‘Ember és szerep’, in Homályból homályba. Életrajzi írások, 2 vols, Budapest, 1977, 1, pp. 306–441 (p. 344). See also Veronika Tóth-Barbalics, ‘A Napkelet megalapítása’, Magyar Könyvszemle, 120, 2004, 3, pp. 238–56. János Hankiss, Tormay Cécile, Budapest, 1928. Ritoók attended meetings of the Vasárnapi Kör, the Sunday Circle led by György Lukács and Károly Mannheim, and portrayed her fruitless search for independence and belonging in left-liberal intellectual circles in A szellem kalandorai (Adventurers of the Spirit, Budapest, 1921). She turned against the Circle’s members and philosophy when Lukács and others held ministerial posts in the short-lived (March–August 1919) Soviet government under Béla Kun. Tormay makes a cameo appearance in the novel as Margit, a genteel woman who foresaw the Jews’ plans for global domination well before 1918–19. Ritoók’s husband Zsigmond was one of the founding members of the Magyar Orvosok Nemzeti Egyesülete (National Association of Hungarian Doctors, founded in 1919) which campaigned for the exclusion of Jews from the medical profession. See Mária M. Kovács, Liberal Professions and Illiberal Politics: Hungary from the Habsburgs to the Holocaust, Washington, DC, 1994.

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20. At the inception of Napkelet, Tormay wrote to Klebelsberg to thank him for the ‘mighty donation’ of 1.5 million forints. See Tóth–Barbalics, ‘A Napkelet megalapítása’, n. 41. Pallavicini’s role was to elicit funds from aristocratic supporters. A Roman Catholic, she also complemented Tormay’s Protestant background in the appeal to all Christian women of Hungary. 21. See Kádár, ‘Az antiszemitizmus jutalma’, p. 12. 22. See footnote 13. 23. Tormay, Diary, 2, p. 98. 24. Ibid, p. 59. 25. Weininger, cited in Erin G. Carlston, Thinking Fascism: Sapphic Modernism and Fascist Modernity, Stanford, CA, 1998, p. 28. 26. Mark Neocleous, Fascism, Buckingham, 1997, p. 84. 27. Diary, 1, p. 198. 28. Ibid, pp. 275–6. 29. Ibid, p. 9. 30. ‘Bled white, the village sleeps and offers no resistance. But in their dreams the villagers cling to the soil; and the soil is their country, and their country is Greater Hungary. My heart went out to the villages. The village, the Hungarian village, is selfish like a child, indifferent like a signpost, and as strong as wind and weather. Its sins are the wild revels from its vineyards; the desire for fecundity in men, women and soil alike. Its blessings are sowing and reaping.’ Diary, 2, p. 42. 31. The ‘bűnös város’ (sinful city) was singled out for punishment by Horthy upon his arrival in Budapest on 16 November 1919, and has remained a topos to this day. 32. Diary, 1, p. 275. 33. Diary, 2, p. 209. 34. Ibid, p. 79. 35. Ibid, pp. 109–10. 36. Cécile Tormay, ‘A magyar nemzeti hadsereghez’, 16 November 1919, in Tormay, Küzdelmek. pp. 18–20 (p. 18). 37. Tormay, ‘Második kiáltvány a világ asszonyaihoz’, December 1919, in ibid, pp. 21–5 (pp. 24–5). 38. Tormay addressed wives as hitvesek, a rather archaic term meaning consort or spouse. I have not found one usage of ‘feleség’, wife, in her writings. 39. Tormay, ‘Magyarország megszállott földjeinek asszonyaihoz és leányaihoz’, 4 June 1920, in Küzdelmek, pp. 31–2. In 1925 she expounded further on the essential spiritual qualities of men and women: ‘Religion plays a greater role in a woman’s life than in a man’s. Creation itself dictated it so. Man and woman are completely equal values, but different values. The world of

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ideas belongs to men, the world of feelings to women. When a woman wants to create something in the world of ideas, she goes to a man to learn, and from his flame takes back for herself light; when a man wants to create in the world of feelings, he goes to a woman to learn and from her flame takes for himself fire.’ Tormay, ‘Az országos Nőnevelési Kongresszus megnyító beszéde’, 1925, in Küzdelmek, pp. 80–1 (p. 80). Tormay, ‘Választottunk ...’, June 1922, in ibid, pp. 48–9 (p. 49). Tormay, ‘A nemzetgyűléshez’, August 1922, in ibid, pp. 50–3. Tormay, ‘Negyedik év’, speech to the annual MANSZ national gathering, 5 November 1922, in ibid, pp. 54–61. Keresztény Nő, July 1918, cited in Kovács, ‘Hungary’, p. 84. Tormay, Küzdelmek, p. 78. Kovács, ‘Hungary’, p. 88. ‘In an effort to adjust to post-Trianon realities, there was less room for gaining knowledge for its own sake and greater importance attached to inculcating specific ideological views, with an increasing emphasis not just on Christianity and nationalism but also, as a third element, irredentism. Gyula Kornis, [rector of the University of Budapest and under-secretary at the ministry for education], defined what he saw as the main goals of Hungarian education policy in a 1921 publication which set the tone for much that followed: (1) “positive nurturing of the sense of nation”, which meant the idea of an “integral Hungary”; (2) “protecting the minds of young people against the spirit of internationalism”; and (3) “re-hungarianizing the nation’s intellectuals, or what one might term their hungarianization in place of their judaization”’: Gyula Kornis, Kultúrpolitikánk irányelvei, Budapest, 1921, pp. 21–2, 28, given in Ignác Romsics, (trans. Tim Wilkinson), Hungary in the Twentieth Century, Budapest, 1999, p. 149. János Horváth, ‘Új közízlés felé’, Napkelet, 1, 1923, pp. 81–4, reprinted in György Kókay, Ambrus Oltványi and Kálmán Vargha (eds), Program és hivatás. Magyar folyóiratok programcikkeinek válogatott gyűjteménye, Budapest, 1978, pp. 476–82. Cécile Tormay, ‘Öt év’, Napkelet, 1, 1928, pp. 1–2, in Kókay et al., Program és hivatás, pp. 482–4 (p. 484). She did not neglect to mention that Napkelet was not funded by ‘foreign’ capital. Tormay, ‘Nyolcadik év’, 28 April 1926, in Küzdelmek, pp. 89–97 (p. 93). She spoke increasingly of eternal and ancient Hungarian gallantry, the glories of the millennial past, and Az ősi küldött was intended to be the literary expression of such values. See footnote 17. Országos Magyar Gazdasági Egyesület, the National Hungarian Landowners Association.

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52. Tormay, ‘A Mussolinihez intézett beszéd’, Palazzo Venezia, Rome, 28 October 1932, in Küzdelmek, pp. 169–70 (pp. 169–70). 53. Victoria de Grazia notes that Italian Fascism ‘exploited the desire to be modern as much as it curbed it [...]. As “reproducers of the race”, women were to embody traditional values, being stoic, silent, and fervid; as patriotic citizens, they were to be modern, that is, combative, public and on call.’ De Grazia, How Fascism Ruled Women, p. 147. Tormay did not conduct an Italian-style ‘Battle for Births’. Demographic campaigns would, presumably, have required an acknowledgement of sexual reproduction. 54. See relevant sections of Diary and Küzdelmek, emlékezések for Christmas speeches and sentimentality. 55. Tormay’s homosexuality has always been glossed over in tributes to her, but references to her lesbianism have resurfaced recently in the mainstream press. See László Tamás Papp, ‘Nemi felvilágosítás túlkoros fasisztáknak’, Hírszerző, 8 July 2008, [accessed 10 August 2008]. In connection with right-wing attacks on the Budapest Gay Pride march in July 2008, Papp compares Tormay’s lesbianism with that of Katalin Imre, an actress-turned-journalist who supported the suppression of the 1956 Hungarian revolution but was eventually expelled from the Communist Party for being too hardline. Papp reminds contemporary moralizing fascists that, unlike Jews, homosexuals can be found everywhere, even among the ranks of the radical right. The most well-known contemporary Hungarian female radical-right activist, Diana Bácsfi, is, however, a follower of Ferenc Szálasi rather than Tormay.

CHAPTER 7 GY UL A GÖMBÖS: AN OUTSIDER’S ATTEMPT AT R ADICAL R EFOR M Miklós Zeidler

Gyula Gömbös (1886–1936) was a contradictory personality and an ambiguous political phenomenon in inter-war Hungary. This soldierturned-politician was an unabashed populist who wished to replace the traditional conservative-liberal parliamentary form of government – the ‘rule of the rich’ – with a more modern, dynamic and ‘just’ political and social system. Thus, for many he was the providential leader of the nation, while for many more he was the enemy of constitutionality. It is due to this ambiguity and the radicalism of his political programme that both contemporaries and later historians have come to very different conclusions as to Gömbös’s life and work. The dilemma lies in the fact that Gömbös wanted to replace an established political system, which had serious problems of legitimacy, with another which was similarly dubious. In other words, the political system was to be replaced by one which had no historical precedents, traditional roots, or institutional support in Hungarian politics. It is no wonder, therefore, that in the 1920s and 1930s both admirers and opponents were vocal in their attitudes towards Gömbös. Behind their varying stances stood different ideological concepts and, most importantly, conflicting

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political interests. In similar fashion, the most recent works on Gömbös differ in their assessment of his political activity and as to whether his ultimate aspirations were indeed radical or totalitarian in nature. I will return to this issue at the end of this chapter.1 Gyula Gömbös was born in 1886 as the eldest son of a provincial lower-middle-class family. His father, a village headmaster, belonged to the lower ranks of the nobility, which no longer accorded the family any particular political or social influence. His mother’s Swabian peasant background did nothing to enhance the social status or wealth of the Gömbös family. For the young boy, who showed no great interest in any intellectual subjects at school but was very keen on sports and fighting, the chances of a more distinguished career could be pursued only through a military education, which he began at 15. This education gave him the chance to excel, above all in physical education, and to continue his studies at the military academy. By this time, discipline, obedience, responsibility and service had become his guiding principles. He became a lieutenant in 1906 and an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army. A career which could lead to the highest possible ranks opened before him, but his military rise was not spectacular. Gömbös served in the Hungarian branch of the army and not the joint forces: a distinction he considered very important. Although he entered the General Staff, promotion came late, and by the end of the First World War, at the age of 32, he was still a captain. Perhaps his most memorable deed was to write a number of studies on the need to establish an independent Hungarian army responsible solely to the Hungarian state. After the dissolution of Austria–Hungary, Gömbös was designated by the government of Count Mihály Károlyi military attaché to the Hungarian legation in Zagreb. The position proved short-lived, however, as the Croatian National Council rejected the establishment of any sort of Hungarian diplomatic mission. Upon his return to Budapest, he entered MOVE (Magyar Országos Véderő Egyesület, Hungarian National Defence Union), an association of active and retired officers and ordinary soldiers who called for military resistance against the invading armies of the neighbouring states. A hard line nationalist and an inspired organizer, Gömbös quickly rose to become president

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of MOVE in January 1919. By this time, the association had reacted to the left-wing shift in Hungarian politics to become a markedly counterrevolutionary organization. Gömbös soon had to leave the country to avoid prosecution, while MOVE was officially dissolved. Gömbös fled to Vienna which rapidly became the headquarters of Hungarian political émigrés of the political right. Here, he wrote newspaper articles against the Budapest regime and worked for the so-called ‘Anti-Bolshevik Committee’, an organization which gained its nickname on account of its political attacks on the revolutionary government. The latter was rapidly transformed from a socialist to a communist regime under Béla Kun and took the name of the Republic of Councils in March 1919. It was in Vienna that Gömbös met Count István Bethlen, the most likely leader of any future conservative government in Hungary. The early summer of 1919 found Gömbös in Szeged, in southern Hungary, helping Count Gyula Károlyi’s counter-revolutionary government. Although Szeged was occupied by the French army, the political atmosphere there was more favourable for the counter-revolutionary forces than anywhere else in the country. Gömbös began to revive MOVE and to rebuild his military and political connections, and he soon became a decisive figure in establishing a counter-revolutionary armed force. Thus, by July, the counter-revolutionary government not only had a foreign minister (Count Pál Teleki), a minister of war (Vice-Admiral Miklós Horthy) and a secretary of state (Gömbös himself), but also several battalions of experienced and tough officers.2 Although Béla Kun and the Republic of Councils fell from power on 1 August 1919, it was only in November that Admiral Horthy entered Budapest at the head of these troops. Horthy was elected regent in March 1920. With the subsequent signing of the Treaty of Trianon in June, and the end of the Romanian occupation of much of Hungary in July, the country’s political reconstruction could begin. Gömbös, meanwhile, had been in Budapest since August 1919 reorganizing MOVE and entering various other secret associations that wielded political influence. Like MOVE, ÉME (Ébredő Magyarok, Awakening Hungarians) and other associations had a decisive role in nominating ministers, lord lieutenants of the counties and other key political and administrative figures. Besides his involvement in these

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groups, Gömbös also entered the field of public politics. He became a member of parliament first in the Smallholders Party and later, from 1922, in Bethlen’s ‘melting-pot’, the Unified Party. Once again, Gömbös proved himself an energetic orator and talented organizer. Although not the driving force, Gömbös was a keen champion of the so-called ‘Numerus Clausus’ Act in 1920, the law that inaugurated racial quotas for university education and, consequently, severely cut the proportion of Jewish students. In 1921, Gömbös was a key figure in two critical events. During the summer and early autumn when, as a consequence of the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary had to transfer parts of its westernmost counties to Austria, Gömbös acted as the government’s intermediary in communicating with troops who were reluctant to obey the order of evacuation. Then, in October 1921, at the time of Charles IV’s second, and armed, attempt to return to the Hungarian throne, Gömbös quickly recruited university students of the radical right to serve as auxiliary troops on Horthy’s side against the king. Both missions helped him to establish a reputation as a brave and effective agent, loyal to the regent and government. As vice-president of Bethlen’s Unified Party, it was Gömbös’s task to arrange the elections of 1922 in such a way that the dominant government party retained its comfortable majority, with deputies who were indisputably loyal to Prime Minister Bethlen. Gömbös presented to Bethlen a plan for the political mobilization of the masses through the establishment of a modern government party open to mass membership. Bethlen, to whom such ideas were anathema, flatly turned down Gömbös’s suggestion. At the same time, being an honest and instinctive, but less educated, politician than Bethlen, Gömbös never accepted, and probably did not entirely understand, Bethlen’s tactical moves that aimed to secure Hungary’s international position by raising foreign loans, cooperating with international boards in the financial reconstruction of Hungary, and establishing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1923–24. The parliamentary disputes over these issues now found Gömbös in opposition to Bethlen. Deeply disappointed with Bethlen’s economic policy, he established in 1923 his own Hungarian National Independence Party (Magyar Nemzeti Függetlenségi Párt), subsequently known as the Party of Racial

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Defence (Fajvédő Párt). Several of his old Szeged comrades followed him into the party, particularly those from a similar middle-class background to him, who were fed up with the return of the pre-war elite to politics. To find partners for his party, which was only a dozen-strong at this stage, Gömbös tried to build up the Association for Christian Opposition (Keresztény Ellenzéki Szövetség) as an anti-Jewish, antiliberal and anti-Bolshevik nationalist party coalition. At one of its early meetings on 4 October 1923, he spoke openly, perhaps for the first time, of the relationship between his political ideas and fascism: ‘Let us go forward on our way with the iron discipline of fascism. Fascism cannot be copied; therefore it would be out of place to do the same as in Italy. Each country has her own mentality, her own actual political situation. What a great power can afford, a defeated country cannot. And yet, I wish that a unified Hungarian fascism may emerge, based on the movement we have initiated and on the ideas we diffuse.’3 Subsequently, he often expressed his sympathies with fascism, while adding that its achievements would have to be adapted to Hungarian conditions.4 After four years in opposition, however, and with his party shrinking and his personal ambitions thwarted, Gömbös decided to accept the olive branch offered to him by Bethlen. Gömbös thus re-entered the Unified Party in 1927 and was appointed secretary of state at the ministry of defence in 1928. He became minister of defence the following year. In turn, he swore fealty to Bethlen and during his service in the ministry refrained from independent politics. These four years in government, unlike the previous four in opposition, proved to be exceptionally fruitful for Gömbös. He collected invaluable experience in politics and administration, made the necessary preparations for the large-scale rearmament of Hungary, and proved before all his supporters and critics that he was not just another parvenu but a talented and hard-working member of the government. When the repercussions of the Great Depression forced Prime Minister Bethlen to resign in August 1931, after more than ten years in office, Count Gyula Károlyi assumed the premiership. In April 1932, Gömbös accepted Horthy’s offer to take over from the ineffectual

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Károlyi, who was due to leave office in the autumn. This gave Gömbös half a year to prepare his political programme before taking over as prime minister. Gömbös’s residence now effectively turned into a shadow government. Comrades of the old Szeged times, one-time leaders of right-wing university fellowships and high-ranking members of secret nationalist organizations, appeared there to help discuss and formulate the text of a programme which later became known as the National Work Plan.5 By the time the regent appointed him prime minister on 29 September 1932, the 100-point list was ready to be discussed by the members of the Gömbös government. The cabinet established on 1 October 1932 was, as Gömbös never forgot to emphasize, the first in the history of Hungary without a single aristocrat. The government was also a young one (at least for Hungary): the average age was under 50. Another novelty was the publication of the government’s programme. In October, several hundred thousand copies were distributed throughout the country and, once his government had been installed, Gömbös immediately held a press conference. Three days later, he went on Hungarian radio to introduce himself and his political programme to the nation. On 8 October, he delivered a speech from the balcony of the headquarters of TESz (Tarsadalmi Egyesületek Szövetsége), an umbrella organization of right-wing associations, overlooking the Houses of Parliament, in imitation of Mussolini’s numerous addresses. It was only three days later that he deigned to enter parliament itself to speak about the National Work Plan and win the support of the majority of members. The National Work Plan, 95 points in its final version, which ‘read like one of the longer antiphonic psalms,’6 and Gömbös’s subsequent speeches were a mixture of genuine reform projects, careful promises and empty rhetoric. Fighting the economic crisis and centralizing public administration, two major elements of his Sofortprogramm (Immediacy Programme),7 which accompanied the National Work Programme, were relatively clear proposals, while other points were so elastic as to be open to any interpretation. Slogans such as ‘safeguarding the liberty of the press as a national asset, so long as the press faithfully serves the interests of the nation,’8 and ‘I wish to maintain our production along the lines of capitalism in such a way, however,

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that we eliminate the deformities of capitalism that are detrimental to the whole of the nation and hindering its development,’9 were both contradictory and sinister. In his speeches, Gömbös repeatedly expressed his wish to be both the leader and servant of the nation.10 His enthusiasm and romantic understanding of history and the nation was most clearly revealed on the occasion of a speech made at a party dinner in early October 1932. Here Gömbös, moved by the compliments of fellow minister Kálmán Darányi, admitted that on being compared to the fearless tribal chiefs of the ancient Hungarians, he had momentarily seen ‘the conquering Hungarians; I heard Lehel’s horn sound from the heights of Tarcal toward the Hungarian camp. I saw the campfire and our ancestors whose greatness and ability to conquer the homeland was based on the fact that they listened to their chiefs who took the lead in fighting.’11 As prime minister, Gömbös felt obliged to define his concept of, and commitment to, the nation during his first press conference after taking power. In order to neutralize criticism, however, he stated, ‘I consider everybody who faithfully serves the nation together with me [...] as equally Hungarian.’12 In introducing his government programme he went even further: ‘to Jewry I can earnestly and honestly say that I have revised my opinion regarding the Jewish question. That part of Jewry which accepts a common fate with this nation I take as my brethren equally with my Hungarian brethren.’ Having been so outspokenly antisemitic in the past, this ‘revision’ of Gömbös’s political thinking, no doubt a tactical move to win the support of the industrial and financial lobby, met with a favourable response in Jewish communities, but caused outrage on the radical right.13 Moving on to economic and social questions, he boasted that the workers would abandon socialism once the government’s social policy had begun to yield fruit, promised to alleviate the lot of more than one million working people, expressed his wish for more socially oriented legislation, and made it clear that he was ready for the political mobilization of society.14 Thus Gömbös’s very first days in office revealed that he was ready to challenge the old school of elite politics run by an exclusive political class. His subsequent references to a much enlarged political community left no doubt as to his goals: to create and make use of a

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new relationship with the public, who would in turn respond to the call of a leader. This new attitude towards the people and towards their potential incorporation in the political system, was alarming to the political elite. Gömbös now began travelling systematically throughout Hungary delivering speeches. An instinctive speaker, always enthusiastic, sometimes almost fanatical and never too intellectual, Gömbös’s personal and political standing grew as a consequence of his frequent public appearances. The sheer fact that he spent time and effort meeting with ordinary people, unlike traditional politicians, made a good impression, which was only improved by his ability to strike the right note and by his obvious sincerity.15 At the same time, however, winning the sympathy of the voters was a strategic weapon for Gömbös. Even in the ranks of the governing Unified Party, Gömbös still had very few personal followers, while the great majority of the deputies were still loyal to Bethlen.16 The cabinet and administration too were also full of Bethlen’s political friends. Gömbös’s offensive against Bethlen’s supporters began when he renamed the party the National Unity Party. He then proceeded to shift executive competencies onto his confidants and launched a long-term project aimed at creating a mass party that would monopolize political power. Retired Captain Béla Marton,17 another old comrade of Gömbös, built up a system of ‘advanced guards’ (local organizers paid by the party), who were responsible for collecting and analysing local information that could be of political interest. In mid-June 1933, party offices were opened in every commune and official recruitment commenced. As press director István Antal recorded, Marton scheduled the massive campaign for the Feast of Corpus Christi and the Sunday following, and organized ‘3300 simultaneous party assemblies throughout the country on Hitlerian patterns, leaving not a single district or village without at least one building in the main square flying the banner with the cogwheel and the ear of wheat,’ this being the party’s official emblem.18 Within a month, more than half of the voters in Hungary’s towns and more than a third of those in the villages had joined the governing party. Even if for many people membership of the party was just a means to get on better in everyday life, actual membership surpassed one

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million. Such a number was astonishing and, of course, unprecedented in Hungarian politics.19 In addition, this huge centralized party organization served Gömbös both as a form of parallel administrative control and as a useful political database. As Macartney observed, ‘Politics were most completely identified with administration. The Főispán [Lord Lieutenant] of each county became ex officio president of the party’s county branch. State officials in the rural districts were practically compelled to join the party, and indeed to become executive officers of it. The village notaries and their immediate official superiors, the district magistrates, had to keep card indexes of local party members.’20 By-elections held in February 1933 witnessed spectacular interference by the gendarmerie which induced Tibor Eckhardt, one-time comrade and intimate friend of Gömbös, and now president of the Smallholders Party, to describe the prime minister as an adventurer and dictator. To secure Regent Horthy’s continuing support in the wake of this apparent extension of his influence, Gömbös presented a bill in March 1933, which was passed in July, to broaden Horthy’s political competence in the matter of proroguing and dissolving parliament. In order to complete his control, Gömbös, who had retained his defence portfolio on becoming prime minister, installed military representatives in all government ministries to collect confidential information and exert pressure on the ministers. In 1933–34, two new government newspapers were inaugurated.21 In September 1935, the government issued and circulated an account of its three years in office (the so-called ‘Blue Book’).22 These strategic and tactical moves which aimed at the consolidation of Gömbös’s power were accompanied by the achievements of the Sofortprogramm. Agriculture, which was the sector hardest hit by the Great Depression, benefited from the opening up of the Italian, Austrian, and German markets. This was the result of Gömbös’s commercial negotiations and was unanimously regarded, even by his detractors, as perhaps the greatest success of his career. Farmers’ debts were slowly relieved by moratoriums and by the rescheduling of payments. To increase agricultural incomes, the government issued vouchers which gave the producers extra ‘money’ when selling their wheat to state retailers. However, radical land reform, for which Gömbös had

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long wished, proved impossible to fulfil. Given its members’ political power, Gömbös dared not launch an assault on the landowning élite, and he knew he would never get the regent’s consent to such a reform either. The belated Colonization Act of 1936 thus aimed at selling a mere 300,000 acres (approx. four per cent) of all latifundia land to farmers over a period of 25 years. In order to secure organizational control over the working class, the government inaugurated the National Work Centre in October 1933, an authority which proved to be stunningly ineffective. The Centre published a bulletin that few cared to read, provided salaries for selfappointed executives, and had a large staff in a lavishly furnished building. The staff sported awkward uniforms on festive occasions, but paid little concrete attention to workers’ affairs, with the exception of the so-called National Work Week. Like May Days in the communist period, these propagandistic occasions consisted of meetings, speeches, shop-window competitions and finally a massive march of workers and farmers displaying their products and produce.23 While Gömbös tried to establish his own power base, he was careful to avoid direct clashes with the old guard of the National Unity Party. Nevertheless, in 1934, he paved the way for a possible coalition with the Smallholders Party headed by his ex-comrade, Eckhardt. Their negotiations resulted in an agreement to cooperate at the next elections (due by 1936) and for a possible coalition government. The Smallholders’ proposal for a new Ballot Act, however, was leaked to the press in August 1934. The proposal was not only similar to the Italian practice (exclusion of minor parties, a ten per cent bonus for the party securing an absolute majority and its right to select a coalition partner) but also revealed clear evidence of a gentlemen’s agreement between Gömbös and Eckhardt. It was only too obvious that such a coalition implied a radical land reform, attacks on cartels and ‘bankocracy’, and any other policies that these two major personalities of the erstwhile Party of Racial Defence might choose to enact. By the turn of 1934–35, Gömbös was ready for his major test: to win the elections and finally replace Bethlen’s followers with a new generation of party members loyal to himself. For this he had to persuade Regent Horthy to dissolve Parliament and call fresh elections,

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and then he had to order party activists to mobilize the voters and ensure that the local authorities controlled the election process. Gömbös’s tactics worked well. Early in 1935, he used his ‘auxiliary forces’ (patriotic organizations and young radicals) as propagandists against the so-called economic ‘dictatorship of cartels’ which he later combined with attacks of his own on the old-style conservative politicians. This was as nothing, however, compared to the savage verbal attacks Bethlen received from Eckhardt, who described Bethlen’s ten years in office as the heyday of ‘corruption, force and fraud’.24 Eckhardt went on to describe Bethlen and his supporters as representatives of ‘a bygone regime [that] does not want to go where it belongs: into the crypt, to the cemetery.’25 Meanwhile, astute political tactics on the part of Gömbös eventually led to Bethlen’s outraged exit from the party. Bethlen condemned to the press what he called the Gömbös ‘personality cult’ and went on to add that: It is to be feared that the institutions of our thousand-year-old constitution, and our political and economic system, will become the guinea pig for immature, bizarre ideas imported from abroad. We are going to witness yet more flirtation with the ideas of national socialism, with party totalitarianism, with the formation of SS and SA corps [...], with the planned economy and corporate system which endanger the country’s internal peace, order, credit and security.26 In the ensuing elections held between 31 March and 7 April 1935, populist slogans, together with various malpractices, including the beating up of opposition candidates which led to the deaths of six participants at a Smallholders’ meeting, set the scene for a landslide Gömbös victory. Out of the 170 National Unity Party seats, 98 were occupied by a new type of politician: the homo novus, or ‘Gömbös’s brood’, while many of Bethlen’s followers lost their seats. The Smallholders took only 24 seats, falling short of their expected 60. Eckhardt now abandoned Gömbös and made peace with Bethlen, after apologizing for his verbal attacks on him. Although Gömbös offered the commercial portfolio to his erstwhile ally, Eckhardt never replied to his offer.

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Gömbös’s new government quickly prepared a schedule of reform bills which dealt largely with economic and social issues (cartels, wages, farmers’ debts and the further distribution of latifundia land). Major reforms of the constitutional system (regarding the franchise, the regent’s political competencies and the Upper House) were projected for the end of the government’s five-year term. Most of the bills were destined never to be enacted. At its first meeting, in mid-April 1935, the cabinet discussed a bill for the creation of professional chambers along the Italian model. The idea was to establish chambers to serve as ‘statutory bodies of interest protection’ and to coordinate and promote national production and employment, as well as mediating in employment tribunals and assisting and supporting members.27 These powers would have given the chambers ultimate authority over the working population and thus a social, economic and political influence hitherto unknown in Hungary. Indeed, Gömbös and his followers had used the election campaign to propagate the concept of the single-party corporate state, and the prime minister continued on several official occasions to speak of his wish to reform the lower house of parliament on a corporate basis. He even concluded a secret agreement with Hermann Goering in September 1935, in which he promised to inaugurate such a reform within two years.28 The political atmosphere, however, was unfavourable since neither the existing professional chambers nor the trade unions supported the proposal, and the brutalities that had accompanied the elections were still fresh in people’s minds. Bethlen’s forebodings encapsulated the fears of many: ‘A corporate system would inevitably result in an attempt to regiment our entire economic sector like a party organization, and this system would then extend to the field of political life, for wherever introduced it has never remained within economic confines.’29 Discarding the corporatist idea, Gömbös returned to party reorganization. In the autumn of 1935, Béla Marton began the attempt to eradicate local initiatives and extend party control over the entire scope of everyday life. Local agents were commissioned to ensure that the newly inaugurated National Unity Movement provided the setting and organization for each and every activity or social event, be it

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a sporting club, a choir, a folk museum, a maternity home, or even a Christmas celebration.30 By this time, however, Marton’s overbearing presence was too much for some of the high-ranking and equally ambitious cadres in Gömbös’s inner circle. The new minister of the interior, Miklós Kozma, and press director István Antal felt that Marton’s activities interfered with their areas of responsibility. Kozma, who was responsible for the entire administrative system, threatened to resign should Marton continue to demand the right to supervise directly the lord lieutenants of the counties. Kozma felt it would be dangerous to delegate too much political power to the party bureaucracy. His fears were echoed by Bethlen who, in a lengthy interview in November 1935, pointed out that Gömbös increasingly relied less upon the support of the party’s deputies as upon the party bureaucracy, which in turn exerted undue influence on local and government administration and hence over the whole of society. Thus he predicted that ‘we are going to find ourselves in the very midst of a single-party dictatorship without even noticing it.’31 During the course of 1936, however, Horthy gradually lost confidence in Gömbös. According to Macartney, this was due to the scandalous elections and Horthy’s increasing fear of Gömbös’s growing ambitions and plans for reform, such as the land reform, which were too radical for Horthy’s political taste. Their different orientation in foreign policy – Horthy seeking the friendship of the British while Gömbös was a partisan of the Axis – may also have played a part.32 By this time, however, constant overwork had shattered Gömbös’s hitherto iron constitution, and he took ever longer holidays to find a remedy for his kidney problems. His active periods became shorter and convalescence took longer after each relapse. On 1 September 1936 he agreed to appoint a permanent acting premier (Kálmán Darányi, who later succeeded him) and left the ministry of defence which he had directed for the previous seven years. Two days later, he flew to a clinic near Munich on the advice of specialists. At this time he probably did not know that his doctors only wanted to send him to a place where political turmoil would not accompany his, by now inevitable, death. Gömbös died on 6 October 1936, and cynics were quick to point out that it was admirable of him to die on this National

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Mourning Day, which commemorated the execution of 14 leaders of the 1848–49 Revolution and War of Independence, thus relieving the people’s grief. Others, however, were shocked by his death and contemporary accounts record that hundreds of thousands of people paid their respects by lining up besides the railway lines as his coffin was transported home by train through Hungary and by taking part in the funeral procession which wound from the parliament building to the cemetery.33 Whether or not Gömbös sought to establish a totalitarian dictatorship is once again a matter of debate in Hungary. The two historians who have studied Gömbös’s political career most recently have come to different conclusions. According to József Vonyó, Gömbös’s dictatorial tendencies are best displayed in his use of a mass party organization for the indoctrination, mobilization and supervision of society, and in the vocal populism by which he sought to replace old-fashioned elitepolitics with a modern, activist style that aimed at the political incorporation of previously passive social groups. Gömbös and his followers sought to create a new kind of centralized state in which the party would control society under the leader. The parliamentary system would, however, be eliminated through ‘constitutional means’.34 Jenő Gergely, on the other hand, argues that Gömbös did not create a dictatorship in Hungary and did not even want simply to import fascism, and that his goal was merely ‘to replace Bethlen’s liberal-conservative system with an authoritarian system which would be socially more sensitive, more nationalistic and antisemitic.’35 Mária Ormos, biographer of Miklós Kozma, Gömbös’s minister of the interior, argues that Gömbös did indeed seek to replace the existing system with a singleparty dictatorship based on corporatism but failed in the attempt.36 Macartney came to a similar conclusion in 1956 and wrote that ‘It was Gömbös’s humanly tragic destiny never to see the walls of his dream palace rise; he lived out the rest of his days in the old structure which he had scheduled for demolition, and even spent much of his time underpinning it and prolonging its habitable life.’37 Certainly, Gömbös understood the barriers which curtailed him and once he became prime minister he knew which he could remove and which he could not. He was probably not even hoping to establish

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a full dictatorship. Nevertheless, he saw how Mussolini had introduced decisive reforms and gained broad social support within a few years of coming to power. Gömbös recognized that Hungary’s traditional parliamentary system, which had relied over the previous 60 years on a large governing party, would be harder to dislodge than Italy’s, which had undergone almost continual domestic crises since its inception. Gömbös did not have the resources to change the political system built up (or revived) by Bethlen, or to sideline the churches and economic interest groups. It is also questionable whether he would have been able to control the law enforcement bodies to meet the requirements of a fully fledged dictatorship. His political tactics were impelled above all by a desire to hang onto power. He tried to strengthen his position while making as few enemies as possible. Thus, he abandoned his open antisemitism and withdrew the bill to create a corporate system when these led to protests. He did not recruit a party militia or youth groups. He did, however, initiate staffing changes in the ministries, administration, and diplomatic service, as well as conducting a large-scale transformation of the governing party. While he did not have much hope of introducing a totalitarian dictatorship, building up a totalitarian party was one of his most serious intentions. As an outsider, Gömbös was for a long time the enfant terrible of Hungarian politics. Despite his close cooperation with Horthy and Bethlen, he was not considered a true member of the political establishment. He rose to political prominence only as a result of the counter-revolution of 1918–19, while Bethlen’s system was deeply rooted in the conservative-liberal political traditions and institutions of pre-war Hungary. Gömbös’s political ties, in contrast, were personal rather than institutional. If he wanted to remain part of the political establishment, he either had to remain loyal to his erstwhile political mentors or to form his own institutional structures and following. The latter option would inevitably have led to a clash with the establishment. Gömbös certainly aimed at ousting the old regime while remaining within the letter of the law. His failure shows how deeply entrenched the old-style politics was in Hungary and his death turned ‘Gömbös’s brood’ into ‘Gömbös’s orphans’. Within a few years, however, there was a perceptible

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shift towards the corporate state under Béla Imrédy and Pál Teleki. This reflected the fact that Gömbös’s antipathy towards Hungary’s traditional forms of parliamentary government had by then become widespread.

Notes I am grateful for the support of the Eötvös Scholarship of the Hungarian Scholarship Committee (2002) and the Bolyai János Research Fellowship (2004– 2006) in putting together this study. 1. For an example of communist historiography with regard to Gömbös, see Sándor Kónya, ‘The Attempt to Establish Totalitarian Fascism in Hungary 1934–35. Gömbös’s Manoeuvring against the Opposition within the Government Party. The Victory of Gömbös’, in Acta Historica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 16, 1969, pp. 299–332. For a well-balanced view of Gömbös’s foreign policy, see Pál Pritz, Magyarország külpolitikája Gömbös Gyula miniszterelnöksége idején. 1932–1936, Budapest, 1982. In recent years, several important books and edited volumes have been published which offer different interpretations of Gömbös. See, for example, Jenő Gergely, Gömbös Gyula. Vázlat egy politikai életrajzhoz, Budapest, 1999 and idem, Gömbös Gyula. Politikai pályakép, Budapest, 2001; Gömbös’s party papers have been edited with an introduction by József Vonyó (ed.), Gömbös pártja. A Nemzeti Egység Pártja Országos Központjának dokumentumai, Budapest, 1998; for Vonyó’s selected studies on Gömbös, see József Vonyó, Gömbös Gyula és a jobboldali radikalizmus. Tanulmányok, Pécs, 2001; on Gömbös’s minister of the interior, Miklós Kozma, see Mária Ormos, Egy magyar médiavezér. Kozma Miklós, 2 vols, Budapest, 2000, and for the memoirs of István Antal, Gömbös’s press director, see Jenő Gergely (ed., with introduction), Gömbös Gyula hatalomra kerülése és kormányzása 1932–1936. Antal István sajtófőnök emlékiratai, Budapest, 2004. 2. These names were to be central to Hungarian politics throughout the interwar period. Horthy was elected regent (1920–1944), and his prime ministers were Teleki (1920–1921 and 1939–1941), Bethlen (1921–1931), Károlyi (1931–1932) and Gömbös (1932–1936). Their political cooperation had been established and developed during the counter-revolutionary period, especially at Szeged. 3. Quoted in Gergely, Gömbös Gyula. Politikai pályakép, p. 154. 4. Ibid, pp. 187–188, 220. 5. For a detailed description of these discussions, see Gömbös Gyula hatalomra kerülése és kormányzása 1932–1936, pp. 65–92, 102–111. 6. Carlile Aylmer Macartney, October Fifteenth. A History of Modern Hungary 1929–1945, 2 parts, Edinburgh,1956–1957, 1, p. 116.

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7. Macartney describes the Sofortprogramm as a series of ‘emergency economic and financial measures of a severely technical kind’: see, ibid., p. 117. 8. A Gömbös kormány Nemzeti Munkaterve, Budapest, 1932, p. 13. 9. A nemzeti öncélúságért! Gömbös Gyula miniszterelnök tizenkét beszéde, Budapest, 1932, p. 10. 10. Ibid, pp. 7, 14, 27. 11. Ibid, p. 27 (my italics). 12. Ibid, p. 5. 13. Gömbös Gyula hatalomra kerülése és kormányzása 1932–1936, pp. 138–39. 14. Ibid, p. 138. 15. For his lengthy, and well received, political speeches in, for instance, a Cistercian and Benedictine monastery, see, ibid, pp. 180–82, 273–76. 16. In 1934, Gömbös had only some 25 followers in the governing party’s parliamentary group. See, Kónya, Gömbös kísérlete totális fasiszta diktatúra megteremtésére, p. 128. 17. A fine description of him is to be found in Macartney, October Fifteenth, 1, p. 113. 18. Gömbös Gyula hatalomra kerülése és kormányzása 1932–1936, pp. 193–96. 19. Ibid, pp. 165–66, 178. 20. Macartney, October Fifteenth, 1, p. 119. 21. Ibid. 22. 1932–1935. A Gömbös-kormány három esztendős munkássága, Budapest, 1935. 23. Ibid, pp. 214–18. 24. Quoted in Macartney, October Fifteenth, 1, p. 126. 25. Eckhardt’s speech of 24 February 1935, quoted in Kónya, ‘The Attempt to Establish Totalitarian Fascism in Hungary 1934–35’, p. 326. 26. Bethlen’s interview in A Reggel , 18 March 1935, quoted in ibid, p. 331. 27. Kónya, ‘The Attempt to Establish Totalitarian Fascism in Hungary 1934–35’, p. 317. 28. Macartney, October Fifteenth, 1, pp. 132, 148. 29. Bethlen’s speech of 24 March 1935, quoted by Kónya, ‘The Attempt to Establish Totalitarian Fascism in Hungary 1934–35’, p. 332. 30. Vonyó, Gömbös Gyula és a jobboldali radikalizmus, pp. 52–65. 31. 8 Órai Újság, 17 November 1935, pp. 1–3. 32. Macartney, October Fifteenth, 1, p. 173. 33. Gömbös Gyula hatalomra kerülése és kormányzása 1932–1936, pp. 497–98. 34. Vonyó, Gömbös Gyula és a jobboldali radikalizmus, p. 63. 35. Gergely, Gömbös Gyula. Politikai pályakép, pp. 220, 313. 36. Ormos, Egy magyar médiavezér. Kozma Miklós, p. 431. 37. Macartney, October Fifteenth, 1, p. 114.

CHAPTER 8 A SCANDINAVIAN ER R ATIC A MIDST THE RUINS OF EMPIR E: THE FINNISH CASE, 1918–44 David Kirby

Of the new states that came into being in Europe after the collapse of the major European empires in 1918, Finland was something of an exception in that it managed to avoid the drift into right-wing authoritarian dictatorship. For a country that began its independent existence with a bitter three-month civil war that continued to divide the nation for years afterwards, this might seem a remarkable occurrence – unresolved political or social conflicts were, after all, a major reason for the undermining of democracy elsewhere. Angry right-wing forces did threaten for a time to weaken or even destroy parliamentary democracy in Finland in the early 1930s. The Finnish Social Democratic Party was never able to establish itself as a serious contender for government, unlike its fraternal parties in Scandinavia. Even though the moderate party leadership disavowed the actions of the old party that had attempted a seizure of power in January 1918 at the beginning of the civil war, the party as a whole was still tainted in the eyes of many on the right. The existence of a sizeable communist minority, which was especially influential in the trade unions, further reduced the

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possibilities for reconciliation and the full integration of the defeated ‘Reds’ into the cultural, social and political life of the young republic. Nevertheless, for liberal and progressive observers at the end of the 1930s, gazing out over the ruins of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, Finland did seem to have avoided the fate of so many other new countries, and was, if not a fully-fledged democratic state, at least ‘a democracy in the making’.1 In this essay, I shall try to show some of the reasons for the resilience of multi-party parliamentary democracy in Finland, and why no powerful right-wing authoritarian figure emerged to provide leadership or inspiration to those who were drawn to anti-democratic movements. It is tempting to draw comparisons with Finland’s neighbours, Estonia and Latvia, where authoritarian regimes gradually imposed themselves. Pronouncedly ‘peasantist’ in their national identity, a projection that reflected the predominance of the small farmer, all three had recently broken away from Russia and established their independence during a time of revolution and civil conflict. The differences, however, are far more profound. The provinces ceded to Russia by Sweden in 1809 had been for centuries integral parts of the Swedish realm; they sent representatives of the four estates to the national diet, the Riksdag, and they lived under the same administration and laws as the provinces on the western side of the Gulf of Bothnia. The Estonian and Livonian lands that had been under Swedish rule in the seventeenth century had never been integrated into the realm, but had remained under the firm control of the Baltic German nobility. If there is to be a comparison for Finland, it has to be with Sweden, and not with the new states of Eastern Europe. Where Finland radically differs from Sweden, of course, is in that which fuelled right-wing radical movements in inter-war Europe, and that is the existence of an assertive and, on occasion, aggressive nationalism. This is not to say that no such nationalism existed in Sweden. It certainly did, although it never permeated the body politic as deeply as in Finland; nor did it constantly have to define itself against a legacy that was vital for the continued existence and development of the state, but at the same time was also seen as alien to the ‘true’ national spirit. This was the fundamental problem of Finnish nationalism. The

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legacy of laws and institutions that were confirmed by the new ruler of the provinces ceded by Sweden in 1809 were also given a new political framework by Alexander I in the form of a self-governing Grand Duchy. Regular meetings of the estates from 1863, and the confirmation of legislation that further strengthened the infrastructure of the Grand Duchy, enabled Finland to acquire all the accoutrements of a modern functioning state long before independence. With what might be described as the institutional legacy from Swedish times, the nationalists had no quarrel: the state was seen as the guarantor of constitutional liberties, and as an entirely appropriate vehicle for the further development of the Finnish nation. It was the spirit in which the state was guided that the Finnish nationalists challenged; what they wanted was a ‘Finnish-minded’ hegemony that would supplant and eventually eradicate Swedish influences. This is not the place to discuss the complexities of the ‘language question’, save to note that it remained a contentious issue well into the twentieth century, and to make the important point that for Finnish nationalists, it was a social, and not an ethnic problem. Swedishspeakers were considered to be for the most part Finns who had abandoned their mother tongue to climb the social ladder.2 Swedish was the language of the upper class in Finland. Since members of this class had guided the public and business affairs of the Grand Duchy, they continued to be well represented on the boards of the big firms and in the higher echelons of the civil service and judiciary of the independent republic. This caused resentment amongst the growing class of university-educated Finnish-speakers, who were the most active supporters of the nationalist demands for Finnish to become the language of government, higher education and other areas of public life. The great majority of Swedish-speakers were, however, peasant farmers, fishermen or part of the urban petty bourgeoisie. They differed from their fellow Finns only in the language they spoke, and perhaps in some of the festivals they favoured, but in very little else. With the possible exception of the monolingual Åland islanders, then, the loyalty of Swedish-speakers to the Finnish state and their sense of belonging was just as strong as that of their Finnish-speaking counterparts, and this helped ensure that the language question never became a serious

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cause of inter-communal strife or conflict.3 In comparison with many other European countries, the ascendancy of Finnish was a fairly painless process. As has been already noted, the nationalist movement was also one of social emancipation and it laid great emphasis upon inclusivity and national solidarity. The more radical wing of the nationalist movement was supportive of the early labour movement, and universal male and female suffrage was achieved in 1906 with minimal opposition from the principal political groupings represented in the last fourestate Riksdag.4 What happened between 1905 and 1918, however, made a serious dent in what Risto Alapuro has called ‘the belief in the ultimate solidarity of the people, a belief that, before 1905, had not been seriously challenged.’5 The labour movement expanded rapidly as a consequence of the 1905 revolution, and embraced an intransigent radicalism which drew a sharp division between the social democrats and other ‘bourgeois’ parties. This radicalism was, in truth, more fearsome in word than in deeds, as the party’s chief ideologue (and later communist leader) Otto Ville Kuusinen frankly admitted in 1917.6 The party leaders were no Bolsheviks; drawn into attempting a seizure of power in January 1918, they did so with little appetite. They had no vision of a socialist future, only a mournful sense of obligation to the party rank and file, as order broke down in a country cast adrift by the revolutionary upheavals in Russia, and as armed units of workers’ guards clashed with the bourgeois defence corps (Suojeluskunta). The defence corps had come into being during the summer of 1917, largely as a response to a wave of strikes across the countryside. It was deeply hated by the labour movement, and the endorsement by the government in January 1918 of this ‘slaughtermen’s guard’ (lahtarikaarti) as the core of the future Finnish army effectively ended any lingering hopes of staving off civil war.7 Defeat in the civil war ultimately split the labour movement, but it did not destroy it. The radicals who broke away to form the Socialist Workers’ Party in 1920 took with them up to a third of the membership of the parent party, and managed to establish a firm electoral following in northern and eastern regions. But the social democrats remained, with one brief exception, the largest party in parliament throughout the inter-war period. The sheer size and toughness of the

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organized labour movement was a constant challenge to the victorious White side. Schoolteachers struggled to impose correct national values in classrooms filled with the children from ‘Red’ families; policemen and an army of informers attempted to keep track of agitators and troublemakers; and intellectuals agonized over the reasons for civil war, and over the way forward. Remarkably few demanded the wholesale repression of the Reds as unworthy members of the community. Most agreed with the view expressed by the writer and politician, Eirik Hornborg, that ‘the majority of those who fought under the Russianinspired red flags were, unfortunately, our countrymen.’8 The malign influence of Bolshevism provided a useful explanation of why such a large section of the Finnish people had rebelled. From the outset, the civil war was cast by the White side as a war of liberation from Russia, and vigilance against the eastern enemy was seen as a powerful inducement to work to restore some semblance of national unity. ‘Cost what it may, we must as soon as possible get to a situation where, if danger threatens our country, every Finnish man will want and be able to repel it’, was the message spelled out in the defence corps handbook produced in 1918.9 The need for national solidarity became a major concern of the student pressure group, the Academic Karelia Society (Akateeminen Karjala-Seura, AKS). Founded originally to provide support and assistance to refugees fleeing across the border from Karelia, the AKS functioned throughout the inter-war years as an intellectual training ground for the educated Finnish-speaking male elite. Its role and influence upon public life in Finland was far greater than its relatively small membership, indicating the abiding importance of the university of Helsinki as the seedbed of national thought and seminary for the nation’s leaders. Within the AKS, there were two main strands. In the troubled years immediately following the civil war, Russophobia was in the ascendancy. Student activists enthusiastically supported incursions across the frontier, ostensibly to support the Karelians in their fight against Bolshevism. These unofficial actions were supported by sections of the army, and masterminded by a small group of activists.10 The failure of these efforts to inspire Karelian resistance, or to establish a permanent Finnish presence in Karelia (the real object of the exercise), could be

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conveniently excused by the government’s seeming willingness to conclude a ‘shameful’ peace with Soviet Russia in 1920, and the Karelian question remained a sacred cause for the more bellicose section of the nationalist movement. It was, however, more difficult to convert sentiments of kith-and-kin solidarity into a genuine national resentment, since those regions of Karelia coveted by the ‘Greater Finland’ nationalists had never been part of the historically-defined territory of Finland, and their inhabitants were, for most Finns, a rather exotic people with a different religion, customs and manners. By the mid-1920s, the outand-out Russian-haters had drifted away to form their own group, and the ideal of national integration was in the ascendancy in AKS circles. The call for national integration (kansan eheyttäminen) drew upon the radical populism strand of nineteenth-century Finnish nationalism and was predicated upon the Finnish people becoming masters in their own house. Those drawn to the idea, such as the young Urho Kekkonen, were particularly incensed at what they saw as the willingness of the older generation of nationalist politicians to fudge the language issue. The ‘pure Finnishness’ cause that Kekkonen so passionately pursued in the late 1920s was, however, caught up in the cross-currents of an altogether more powerful political struggle, which threatened to destabilize the foundations of the constitutional state. The action that triggered this struggle occurred in November 1929, when youths attending a communist rally in the Ostrobothnian town of Lapua were attacked. This incident prompted a wave of support in White circles, outraged by what appeared to be a resurgence of communist activity at the workplace and in parliament, and spawned the Lapua movement. For the next twelve months, this movement dominated Finnish political and public life. Its leaders employed a range of direct-action tactics aimed at the eradication of communism. Communist activists were attacked and beaten up, or seized and driven by night to the eastern frontier, where they were dumped. The local authorities in Ostrobothnia, the heartland of the movement, were unable or unwilling to act against the rowdy demonstrators whose proud boast was that the ‘law of Lapua’ entitled them to do what they wished to rid the land of traitors. The minority Agrarian– Progressive government in Helsinki was shunted to one side in July 1930, and

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replaced by a broader non-socialist coalition headed by the White hero of 1918, Pehr Evind Svinhufvud. Having agreed to do ‘the dirty work that White Finland had long demanded as the alternative to a coup’, in the words of a leading historian of the crisis year of 1930, Svinhufvud’s government was faced a dilemma, for it could not continue indefinitely to act as some sort of law-drafting committee of the Lapua movement, but neither could it withdraw and let inexperienced and confused men take power.11 The new government carried forward the package of anti-communist laws drafted by its predecessor, but was unable to win the two-thirds majority in parliament needed for constitutional legislation. In the subsequent elections, the Communists disappeared, and the Social Democratic Party failed to secure sufficient seats to enable them to continue blocking the passage of the laws. The atmosphere throughout the summer of 1930 was unquestionably tense, and there were worries in high places of a possible coup. Secret soundings in the army found that there were so many officers who would refuse to move against Lapua that giving such an order was out of the question. The Suojeluskunta defence corps was openly sympathetic to the movement. Its commander, Lauri Malmberg, warned the president in spring 1930 that any attempt to form an anti-Lapua coalition of liberals and the left might force his units to choose between ‘patriotic rebellion and unpatriotic legality’.12 Power and authority appeared to be slipping away from the government and parliament into the hands of the activists in the country. A meeting of provincial delegates, convened in June 1930, threatened more direct action if their demands for the suppression of communism and a new parliament to prepare legislation were not met. Another national meeting of representatives of White Finland at the end of June decided to stage a ‘peasants’ march’ in Helsinki to put pressure on government and parliament to act. The 31-member committee set up to organize this march was largely staffed by radical activists from southern Ostrobothnia; more moderate established political figures, mostly from the Agrarian Party, that had attempted to take charge of the Lapua movement in March were now pushed aside. In spite of its bombast and raw ability to browbeat and overwhelm the pitifully weak forces of law and order in southern Ostrobothnia, the

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Lapua movement had serious drawbacks as a political force. Its leaders turned down the offer of posts in government at the last minute in July 1930, and declined to put up candidates in the autumn elections of 1930, preferring to pose as the conscience of White Finland. In the run-up to the elections, the government sought to persuade the Lapua leadership to put a stop to acts of lawlessness; the response was a further wave of kidnappings to remove the last communists on local councils. According to one army officer sympathetic to Lapua, the ‘strong man’ of the movement, Vihtori Kosola, was hoping to take advantage of the anarchy created to ‘save the country with a short-term dictatorship.’13 This seems, however, to have been Kosola’s last throw; pressure was brought by the rest of the leadership to have him agree to a ban on further acts of violence, which was issued on 15 September. Although possessed of a certain peasant shrewdness and an ability to outfox local politicians, Kosola was a man of limited ability and often astonishing political naivety, preferring at crucial moments to take refuge in the bottle rather than make a decision. The Lapua movement as a whole lacked any coherent objective beyond the elimination of the left. The series of objectives outlined in autumn 1930, such as limitation of the franchise and increased defence spending, attracted little support. Lapua failed to mobilize or lead the many small farmers threatened with bankruptcy and eviction as a consequence of the slump in farm prices and the cutting off of credit. Its apparent willingness to link up with Swedish-speaking Finns in the common fight against communism posed problems for the Finnish-language purists, and its relentless pursuit not only of communists, but increasingly of socialists and liberals, alarmed those who believed in national reconciliation. Lapua initially attracted support from certain circles within the Agrarian party, the largest non-socialist party in the country, with particularly strong roots in Ostrobothnia; but there was also an antiLapua strand within the party, and a growing desire from the autumn of 1930 to purge the anti-democratic elements within the party and return to the peasant-democratic values of its founder, Santeri Alkio.14 The conservative Kokoomus party was far less attached to parliamentary democracy, but was worried that any attack upon the power of the state could weaken respect for the law and jeopardize the creation of a

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strong government. Businessmen with close associations with the party were also concerned about the negative effects of Lapua lawlessness abroad. Svinhufvud’s re-emergence into the political limelight, first as prime minister and, from 1931, as president of the republic, was for the conservative nationalists a welcome reassertion of White authority. The doughty figure of ‘Ukko-Pekka’, who had suffered imprisonment in Russia for his opposition to the efforts of the Imperial authorities to curb Finnish autonomy, also gave weight to the rhetoric of constitutional legality, even if the manner in which he attained high office did not entirely accord with the letter of the law.15 It can be argued that the Lapua movement posed less of a threat to Finnish democracy than did the activists, who made no bones about their dislike of the parliamentary system. But although they may have had a wide circle of sympathizers, the activists remained isolated, disparagingly dismissed by the head of the secret police as ‘patriotic circles who were never in government, but who nevertheless follow events closely, seeing for some reason the responsibility for the fortunes of the whole country resting upon their shoulders.’16 They preferred to remain in the background, refusing to engage publicly in politics, and their secretive intrigues inevitably caused confusion. The attempt of one clique in 1921 to persuade the defence corps to elect as its leader the former commander-in-chief of the White army during the civil war, Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, ran foul of the efforts of another group to push the candidature of the Jäger officer and activist, Lauri Malmberg. Malmberg was eventually selected, not by the defence corps, but by the government. The efforts of the arch-intriguer, Kai Donner, to provoke a crisis in 1930 were constantly frustrated by the unwillingness of the Lapua leaders to follow his advice, or by the more powerful influence of established and respected political figures, such as Svinhufvud. The latter was able to persuade the Lapua leadership in July 1930 to drop demands for communists to be excluded from participation in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, and he made use of the services of another activist, Martti Pihkala, in effectively countering Donner’s hardline tactics. During 1931, Lapua lapsed into a period of inactivity, and seemed about to be upstaged by a new grassroots movement which set its

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sights on winning the support of distressed small farmers. New life was breathed into the organization by Major General Kurt Wallenius, formerly chief of the general staff, who was appointed principal secretary of the Lapua movement in the summer of that year. Wallenius was a key figure in a network of plotters and intriguers which finally broke cover in the early weeks of 1932, as trouble that had been simmering in the area of Mäntsälä, a small town just to the north of Helsinki, erupted into confrontation with the forces of law and order. The Mäntsälä incident is hardly worthy of the appellation ‘rebellion’. Svinhufvud acted swiftly and decisively, the army high command remained loyal, and the many officers and members of the defence corps with Lapua sympathies were never pushed into openly committing themselves.17 The rebels were treated leniently, and Lapua finally metamorphosed into a registered political party, the People’s Patriotic Movement (Isänmaallinen Kansanliike, IKL). IKL was in fact more the party of the educated nationalist elite than of the farmers who featured so conspicuously as the front men of Lapua. It succeeded in winning 14 seats in the 1933 and 1936 elections, largely at the expense of the conservative Kokoomus party, but dropped to eight in 1939. Although IKL adopted many of the trappings of fascism, it failed to bring forth a leader. The absence of any evident ‘strong man’ was much commented upon at the time. As Mannerheim’s brother-in-law, Mikael Gripenberg, drily observed in 1930, setting up a dictatorship was less of a problem than finding a dictator, since ‘here they do not grow on trees, even though this has been an exceptionally good year for fruit.’18 There were at least two potentially strong candidates for the honour, Pehr Evind Svinhufud and Carl Gustaf Mannerheim. Both men fit within the pattern common elsewhere in Europe, where heroes of the early days of independence subsequently emerged as authoritarian national leaders, often quite unexpectedly, as in the case of Konstantin Päts in Estonia or Antanas Smetona in Lithuania.19 There were issues that could have been exploited – a seeming failure of democracy, the communist menace, the Karelian question, dissatisfied nationalist ambitions. Of the two, Mannerheim with his military connections was probably the stronger candidate. He had been acting head of state in the unstable months of 1919, and appears to have contemplated some

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sort of coup, urged on him by his activist friends, in order to support an attack on Petrograd being planned by the White Russian generals lodged in Helsinki. In the end, however, Mannerheim lacked the will to power. He allowed his minions and flatterers to intrigue behind the scenes, and his ambiguous pronouncements on political matters were clearly intended to have an effect; but the man who had spent three decades of his life in the service of an imperial dynasty showed a marked distaste for the responsibilities of political authority once he had to engage with them.20 If not quite a Finnish de Gaulle, he was certainly no Franco; neither can the Finnish army be compared with that of Spain, nor even of Weimar Germany. Svinhufvud had the better opportunity, since he returned to high office in 1930 as the man who would sweep away those who threatened the White vision. His attainment of power coincided, however, with the evident collapse of the communist threat; the real danger to law and order from the late summer of 1930 came not from the left but from the right. With no coherent programme, its image besmirched by the foolish abduction of the ex-president, Kaarlo Ståhlberg, and his wife, Lapua became a nuisance. The currents of intrigue and rumour that swelled into open defiance of the forces of law and order early in 1932 show clearly that there was the potential for democracy to be undermined or overthrown in Finland, as elsewhere in the new states of Europe; the utter failure of that revolt also demonstrates the strength of the political establishment, of which Svinhufvud was a member. Here, indeed, is one of the major differences between Finland and, say, Estonia or Poland. It had inherited strong institutional and legal traditions from Sweden, and these traditions had been strengthened and developed during the nineteenth century, when Finland came under the benevolent rule of the Russian emperors. The independent republic of Finland did not have to devise new institutions; those it inherited were well-known and respected by a literate and ethnically homogeneous population.21 Unlike its southern neighbours, Finland had no legacy of feudal landlords or oppressive serfdom. The lack of work opportunities for the rural poor was a major cause of the social discontent that had spilled over into violence in 1917–18, and it remained a problem. The land reforms of the early years of

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independence, however, removed the fetters of the tenurial relationship and transformed Finland into a land of small farmers. Many struggled with debt, and there was a large pool of discontent in the countryside as the Depression deepened in the early 1930s, but there emerged no significant national protest movement comparable to Landbrugernes Sammenslutning in Denmark, for example. The survival of democracy in Finland also owed much to the continued existence of a strong socialist movement, and the willingness of large sections on the ‘White’ side to accept and work for the integration of the moderate left.22 Despite the many deep personal rivalries and differences over leading issues of the day, the general thrust of Finnish politics was towards inclusivity and solidarity. In comparison with other European countries, then, there were no social, ethnic or religious divisions deep enough to overturn the basic consensus that underlay the multi-party parliamentary system. There was also no ideology that might have guided the right. Fascism, as such, only emerged after 1932 within the ranks of the IKL, but tended to be a weak imitation and limited to the educated classes. The Lapua movement was essentially a rough-and-ready populist movement, with little sense of direction other than a visceral anti-communism. Greater Finnishness, or Suursuomalaisuus, was largely confined to academic circles, although the prominent role played by students (and former university students) in Finnish public life ensured that the idea had powerful support in leading circles during the occupation of Eastern Karelia between 1941 and 1944. But the ideal of a greater Finnish state could be propagated without subverting democracy, as a means of bringing about true national reconciliation.23 In the end, Finland did find its ‘strong man’ in 1944, when the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the aged Mannerheim, was obliged to take on the role of head of state in order to secure an armistice with the Soviet Union and its allies. Mannerheim’s elevation to the presidency, coupled with the return to political leadership of J. K. Paasikivi, represented a return to a pre-independence conservative– authoritarian policy of accommodation towards Russia. It ushered in a period of powerful presidential rule, in which the echoes of past conflicts and concerns continued to reverberate, even as the structures

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of a Scandinavian-style welfare state were being put in place. Not until the final demise of the Soviet Union did Finland cease to be a kind of erratic rock stranded amongst the ruins of the great empires and begin to find its own way towards European statehood.

Notes 1. The title of Sir Ernest Darwin Simon’s chapter on Finland in the Left Book Club volume, The Smaller Democracies, London, 1939. A similarly optimistic view prevails in John Hampden Jackson’s Finland, London, 1938. 2. The more ardent advocates of ‘Swedishness’ in Finland did, however, try to apply racial connotations, with their notion of ‘East Swedishness’, and both sides sought to identify with special and specific emblems and spaces – the coast and sea and the pine for the ‘East Swedes’, the lakes and forests and the juniper bush for the advocates of Finnishness. See Sten Högnäs, Kustens och skogarnas folk. Om synen på svenskt och finskt lynne, Stockholm, 1995. 3. The separatist movement that surfaced in the Åland islands during the last years of the First World War and first years of Finnish independence was occasioned more by a strong sense of self-preservation in difficult times than by a strong wish to join Sweden, and was largely satisfied by the confirmation of a degree of self-government for the islands. 4. The nationalist historian Jussi Teljo surmised, however, that parliamentary and suffrage reform owed a great deal to fears of renewed pressure on Finland’s autonomy from St Petersburg: see Jussi Teljo, Suomen valtioelämän murros 1905–1908, Porvoo, 1949, p. 80. On the links between social-liberal nationalism and the early labour movement, see Hannu Soikkanen, Sosialismin tulo Suomeen, Porvoo, 1961, pp. 17–27 and Osmo Jussila, Nationalismi ja vallankumous venäläis-suomalaisissa suhteissa 1899–1914, Helsinki, 1979, pp. 17–26. 5. Risto Alapuro, State and Revolution in Finland, Berkeley, CA, 1988, p. 106 6. Suomen sosiaalidemokraattisen puolueen yhdeksännen puoluekokouksen pöytäkirja, Helsinki, 1917, p. 89. The verbal radicalism of the labour movement is the subject of the thesis by Jari Ehrnrooth, Sananvallassa, vihan voimalla, Jyväskylä, 1992. 7. The most authoritative study of the drift into civil war in English is Anthony Upton, The Finnish Revolution 1917–1918, Minneapolis, 1980. 8. Eirik Hornborg, Brytningstid. Bolschevikkriget i Finland 1918: dess förutsättningar, orsaker och betydelse, Helsingfors, 1918, p. 56. 9. Cited in Risto Alapuro, Suomen synty paikallisena ilmiönä 1890–1933, Helsinki, 1994, p. 319.

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10. ‘Activism’, i.e. the achievement of full independence for Finland by extra-parliamentary means, emerged out of the resistance to attempts by the Imperial Russian authorities to bind the Grand Duchy of Finland more closely to the Empire. During the First World War, activism took on a new lease of life, this time in association with Imperial Germany, where some 2000 young Finnish men received military training. These young men, known as the Jäger officers in recognition of their wartime experience in the 27th Royal Prussian Jäger battalion, were to form the core of the new Finnish army, and many were strong sympathizers with the anti-parliamentary and expansionist ideas of activism during the early years of independence. 11. Juho Siltala, Lapuan liike ja kyyditykset 1930, Helsinki, 1985, pp. 149–73. 12. President Relander’s diary, 22 March, 1 April 1930, cited in Siltala, ibid, p. 71. 13. Colonel Paavo Talvela to Armas Saastamoinen, 12 September 1930, cited in Siltala, ibid, p. 169. 14. In October 1930, the first president of the republic, the liberal Kaarlo Ståhlberg, and his wife were seized and driven towards the eastern border, and abandoned at the town of Joensuu. This action, initiated by a small group of discontented officers on the army general staff, proved to be a serious mistake. Seizing and beating up notorious communists was one thing; violating the person of the former head of state was quite another. See, Siltala, ibid, pp. 187–97. 15. Svinhufvud played a more active role in the politics of the Lapua movement than is generally admitted by Finnish historians. See, for example, the brief remarks on him as a ‘charismatic leader in a time of crisis’ in Jorma Selovuori (ed.), Power and Bureaucracy in Finland 1809–1998, Helsinki, 1999, pp. 31–32. For a more critical appraisal, see Marvin Rintala, Three Generations: The Extreme Right in Finnish Politics, Bloomington, IN, 1962. 16. Siltala, Lapuan liike ja kyyditykset 1930, p. 57. 17. On the Mäntsälä revolt, see Martti Ahti, Kaappaus?, Helsinki, 1990, pp. 113–319. 18. Cited in Ahti, ibid, p.149. 19. There are some useful comparisons between Finland and its southern neighbours in Risto Alapuro, State and Revolution in Finland, Berkeley, CA, 1988, pp. 223–43. 20. For a sympathetic but balanced portrait of Mannerheim, see John Screen, Mannerheim: The Finnish Years, London, 2000. 21. The socialists who seized power in January 1918 justified their actions as a defence of democracy, and their constitution was designed to make parliament the supreme sovereign body of the people; smashing the state was not

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part of the Finnish socialist vision. The communists of the 1920s inherited that tradition, rather than the Leninist credo. 22. This was a big topic for discussion in the aftermath of the civil war, and there are many revealing insights, such as the reaction of the conservative Emil Schybergson to the funeral of the socialist veteran Eetu Salin in 1919. Schybergson was deeply impressed by the event, which persuaded him that socialists should not be treated as pariahs. See Emil Schybergson, ‘Politiska bekymmer’, Finsk Tidskrift, 87, 1919, pp. 248–50; also Maria-Liisa Kunnas, Kansalaissodan kirjalliset rintamat, Helsinki, 1976. 23. Nor was the idea the sole property of the Finnish right: the agreement announced on 2 December 1939 between the Soviet Union and its creation, the so-called people’s government of Finland headed by Otto Ville Kuusinen, justified the transfer of Soviet Karelia to the democratic state of Finland as the fulfilment of ‘the centuries-old hopes of the Finnish people for the reunion of the Karelian people with their Finnish kinsfolk’. Even in the darkest hours of Stalinism, the torch of Karelianism that Kuusinen had carried since student days still flickered.

CHAPTER 9 ‘LEADER’ OR ‘DEVIL’? MIL AN STOJADINOVIC´ , PR IME MINISTER OF Y UGOSL AVIA (1935–39), AND HIS IDEOLOGY Dejan DjokiC´

In November 1938, several weeks before the general elections, Prince Paul, regent of Yugoslavia, asked the Belgrade police chief to investigate rumours concerning the fascist leanings of Prime Minister Milan Stojadinović (1888–1961). During the election campaign, some of Stojadinović’s supporters had addressed him as vodja (leader), worn green-shirted uniforms, and used the fascist salute. The prime minister denied, however, that either he or his party, the Yugoslav Radical Union, were fascist. Stojadinović asserted that his followers referred to him as vodja because he was their party leader and he assured the Prince Regent of his loyalty and devotion.1 Stojadinović later argued that rather than representing a fascist militia, the uniformed men served as security at party gatherings. He also claimed that he now forbade his followers from calling him vodja, because when pronounced repeatedly the word sounds like djavo (‘devil’ in Serbo-Croat)2 – a play on words his opponents were only too happy to exploit.

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Following an unconvincing victory for the government party (a de facto coalition of Stojadinović’s Radicals and the main Slovene and Bosnian Muslim parties) over a Serb-Croat coalition in the December 1938 elections, Stojadinović was forced to resign in early February 1939. His authoritarian tendencies and failure to reach a compromise with the Croats were the main reasons for Stojadinović’s fall after more than three and a half years in office. Not only was Stojadinović’s foreign policy increasingly pro-Italian and pro-German, but he appeared to have adopted the image of a fascist dictator. According to a British observer, it ‘seemed as if [he] was going to be satisfied with nothing short of personal dictatorship.’3 This naturally alarmed Prince Paul, whose decision to get rid of Stojadinović was met with a sense of relief among the population. Rumours about Stojadinović’s corruption and personal wealth contributed to his unpopularity. British writer Rebecca West noted on her trip to Yugoslavia in the second half of the 1930s that Stojadinović, ‘said to be a tyrant and an enemy of freedom’, was hated ‘throughout the length and breadth of the country.’4 The aim of this chapter is to outline the main currents of Stojadinović’s ideology. This topic has not received sufficient attention from scholars, despite the prime minister being frequently described as an admirer of fascism, if not actually an outright fascist, both by his contemporaries and by the official historiography in socialist Yugoslavia.5 It seems logical, therefore, to approach the issue of ideology by exploring whether Stojadinović was indeed a fascist. Fascism is understood here as an extreme nationalist, right-wing ideology or movement with a totalitarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to liberalism, democracy and communism. Fascists believe in the superiority of their nation and promote the cult of leader and state. Any opposition is suppressed by means of terror, while fascist societies are, in theory at least, corporatist in nature. The foreign policy of fascist regimes tends to be aggressive and expansionist. The prototype fascist state was, of course, Mussolini’s Italy, while Nazi Germany perhaps represented fascism’s most extreme form. So, was Stojadinović a fascist? During his visit to Italy in December 1937, the Italian foreign minister, Count Ciano, noted that the

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Yugoslav leader was beginning ‘to enjoy the idea of dictatorship. He adopted the Roman salute and wears his coat inside out showing the suede lining because it is “more military”.’ Stojadinović, moreover, ‘liked the Mussolini formula: strength and consensus. King Alexander [of Yugoslavia] only had strength. St.[ojadinović] wants to popularize his dictatorship.’6 According to Ciano, the Yugoslav prime minister was a fascist, if not ‘by virtue of an open declaration of party loyalty’, then ‘certainly [...] by virtue of his conception of authority, of the state and of life.’7 There was a great deal of mutual admiration between Italy’s leaders and Stojadinović. Ciano described him as ‘our sincere friend [...] a strong, full-blooded man, with a resonant laugh and a strong handshake [...] a man who inspires confidence.’ Ciano further wrote, ‘Of the political men that I have encountered so far in my European wanderings, he is the one I find the most interesting.’8 Mussolini and Ciano personally greeted the Yugoslav prime minister upon his arrival in Rome in the late evening of 5 December 1937 and made a real effort to impress their guest. During the stay, he was introduced to the royal family and taken around the country, from La Scala to arms-producing factories, while military parades were organized in his honour.9 Despite the presence of Mrs. Stojadinović, Ciano arranged late-night partying ‘with the most beautiful women of Rome society’, aware of Stojadinović’s reputation as a womanizer.10 Although after the war Stojadinović played down his sympathies for the far right and tried to justify Belgrade’s pro-Italian and pro-German foreign policy, he maintained that Mussolini and Ciano were ‘sincerely friendly in their intentions towards Yugoslavia’, while there was a clear fondness for Ciano, a fellow bon viveur.11 Under Stojadinović, who was simultaneously the foreign minister and prime minister, Yugoslavia formally pursued a policy of neutrality, but in reality it moved closer to Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The September 1936 Economic and Commercial Treaty with Italy was followed by the Yugoslav–Italian Pact, signed in Belgrade on 25 March 1937. Italy promised to respect Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity, to keep the Croat Ustasha organizations based in Italy under surveillance, and to respect Yugoslavia’s membership of the Little Entente,

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the Balkan Entente and the League of Nations. Italy wished to secure Yugoslavia’s agreement over its policies in Albania and to counter Germany’s influence in the region, especially since the Anschluss with Austria seemed imminent.12 In January 1938, Stojadinović went to Germany. On his arrival in Berlin, he was greeted by Hermann Goering, foreign minister von Neurath and several other ministers. The Germans, like the Italians, did their best to impress their guest. Yugoslav flags were displayed at all state buildings, while Goering organized banquets and hunts. There were the inevitable military parades and visits to arms factories.13 Stojadinović met with Hitler on the first day of his weeklong visit and the meeting pleased the Yugoslav premier. Hitler approved the Italo-Yugoslav rapprochement, was determined to prevent a Habsburg restoration, promised to respect Yugoslavia’s borders in the event of Anschluss and was opposed to Hungary’s revisionism in respect of Yugoslavia. The Führer also wished to see closer economic cooperation between Belgrade and Berlin. Hitler wished to know the Yugoslav position on the Anschluss. ‘The question of Austria, from the Yugoslav point of view, is an internal German question,’ Stojadinović explained. He then impressed his host by adding, ‘Yugoslavia is strongly against a Habsburg restoration, and [...] is ready – if it proves necessary – to oppose the restoration militarily, together with Germany.’14 Stojadinović told Hitler that the Yugoslavs and the Germans had always enjoyed good relations, except when the former looked at Germany through ‘someone else’s spectacles’, clearly alluding to France and possibly Britain. Hitler responded by using the same metaphor, declaring that Germany no longer viewed Yugoslavia ‘through Viennese spectacles’.15 That a Yugoslav politician supported the Anschluss should not have been a surprise to Hitler. Stojadinović, like other inter-war Yugoslav leaders, including the late King Alexander, believed that a union between Germany and Austria would put an end to any possibility of the re-emergence of the Habsburg Monarchy. Yet Stojadinović was also making a radical break with his predecessors by moving away from France and Britain. Both countries had accepted Germany’s re-militarization of the Rhineland in 1936. Stojadinović’s fears that

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this indicated that Britain and France were not prepared to protect their small allies were apparently confirmed during his visits to the two countries in autumn 1937. Moreover, he had little regard for the League of Nations and the Little Entente. The Yugoslavs had witnessed the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations in the aftermath of the assassination of King Alexander in Marseilles in October 1934, while, following the 1935 Treaty of Mutual Assistance between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, the Little Entente seemed increasingly unattractive to the anti-communist Stojadinović. In his memoirs, Stojadinović explained the break with Yugoslavia’s pro-French and pro-British foreign policy and the adoption of the policy of neutrality in foreign affairs as Belgrade’s only realistic option.16 As the historian Jacob Hoptner has argued, by the mid-1930s it had become clear that the Western powers were in full retreat and that small countries such as Yugoslavia had to reassess their foreign policy position.17 The 1938 Munich Agreement, which marked the beginning of the end of inter-war Czechoslovakia, appeared to justify Yugoslavia’s new course, a point Stojadinović emphasized strongly throughout his memoirs. *

*

*

Milan Stojadinović was born in Čačak, in western Serbia, on 4 August 1888.18 His father, Mihailo, was a municipal judge who settled in Belgrade in 1904, where Milan finished his secondary education. The young Milan had sympathies for Serbia’s Social Democrats, but came to believe that the national liberation of the Serbs should come before class liberation. He joined Nikola Pašić’s People’s Radical Party (or Radicals), probably influenced by his father, who was a member. As a reward for finishing secondary education with excellent marks, Stojadinović was sent in the summer of 1906 to Austria to learn German. While in Austria, Stojadinović fell under the influence of Habsburg South Slav youth and soon became a supporter of Yugoslav, not merely Serb, national unity. Upon returning to Serbia, he began a degree at Belgrade’s faculty of law, specializing in economics and finance. This included three academic years abroad: one year in Germany (Munich and Potsdam, 1910–11), one in France (Paris, 1911–12), and one in Britain (London, 1912–13).

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While he was impressed by Parisian fashion and English manners, his stay in Germany would leave a lasting impact on Stojadinović’s development as an economist. He wrote a doctoral dissertation on Germany’s budget, and he remained influenced by the German Historical School of Economics throughout his life. This school of thought argued that economic policies should be developed according to the specific historical and cultural conditions prevalent in a society rather than being based on any universal model. Thus, although in principle Stojadinović favoured a liberal economy, in the 1930s he believed that state interventionism in Yugoslavia’s economy was necessary. That Stojadinović was a competent economist became clear early on in his career. During the Balkan Wars of 1912–13 and during the First World War, he worked in the Serbian Finance Ministry. Between 1916 and 1918 he was on the Greek island of Corfu with the Serbian government-in-exile, distinguishing himself as a young financial expert who helped stabilize the Serbian currency. It was on Corfu that Stojadinović met his future wife, Augusta, who came from a mixed Greek–German family. After the war, the couple settled in Belgrade. The new state seemed to offer fresh opportunities for the ambitious young man. In 1919 he was appointed assistant manager of the English Commercial Bank in Belgrade, but resigned from the post of director-general of the State Accounts Board because of disagreements with the government of Ljubomir Davidović, leader of the newly-formed Democratic Party, the Radicals’ main political rival. From 1920 to 1921 Stojadinović lectured in economics at Belgrade University, but decided that academia was not for him. In 1922 he became finance minister in the Radical leader Pašić’s new cabinet, aged just 34. In the 1920s he also started writing for the Belgrade daily Politika and the British weekly The Economist. Following the introduction of the royal dictatorship in Yugoslavia by King Alexander in January 1929, Stojadinović sided with a faction of the Radical Party which opposed the dictatorship. Nevertheless, although initially suspected by the authorities of republicanism, he eventually became finance minister in the government of Bogoljub Jevtić. Jevtić had been given a mandate by Prince Paul, the late king’s first cousin, who, after Alexander’s

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assassination in October 1934, ruled as prince regent during the minority of King Peter II. At first, it seemed as if Stojadinović’s career would follow the pattern of the 1920s. In addition to being a cabinet minister, he was also vice-president of the Belgrade Stock Exchange, chairman of a River Navigation Company, and director both of a British-run Belgrade broadcasting station and of a British-owned shipbuilding company. Together with Jevtić’s unconvincing performance in the general elections the previous month, the connection with the British doubtless contributed to Stojadinović’s surprise appointment as prime minister in June 1935. The anglophile Prince Regent also considered Stojadinović capable of solving the Croat question, partly because of his links with Croat industrialists.19 The main obstacle to Yugoslavia’s stability in the inter-war period was the refusal of the Croatian Peasant Party, a de facto Croat national movement, to accept fully the state institutions. Pašić managed to reach an agreement with Stjepan Radić, the Croatian Peasant Party leader, in 1925, but less than two years later the coalition was dead. The political crisis culminated in summer 1928, when Radić and several other Croat deputies were shot in the parliament building by a Radical deputy. Six months later, King Alexander dissolved the parliament, abolished the constitution, and banned political parties, taking all power into his hands. Yet, much as it tried, even the royal dictatorship could not impose an ‘integral’ Yugoslav identity from above, as Alexander apparently realized shortly before his death in October 1934. Alexander’s de facto successor, Prince Paul, immediately relaxed the dictatorship but never totally abandoned it. In the summer of 1935, Paul wanted someone not associated with the old order to lead the government and Stojadinović seemed like a perfect choice. Few could have predicted that he would remain in office longer than any other Yugoslav inter-war premier.20 The creation of the new government by Stojadinović’s Radicals,21 Anton Korošec’s Slovene Clericals and Mehmed Spaho’s Yugoslav Muslims was followed by the merger of the three parties into the Yugoslav Radical Union (JRZ) in July 1935. ‘The weakness of the new organization [the JRZ],’ Stojadinović wrote in his memoirs, ‘was in the

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fact that the Croats, a majority of them, stayed outside it [...]. I called our party the three-legged chair, on which it was possible to sit when necessary, although a chair with four legs is far more stable.’22 Stojadinović never made a serious attempt, however, to win over Vladko Maček, Radić’s successor as the leader of the Croatian Peasant Party. Their only meeting, in January 1937, was in fact initiated by Prince Paul and, during the meeting, Maček’s demands for Croat autonomy were rejected by the prime minister.23 Instead, Stojadinović encouraged Maček to work closely with the Serbian opposition to create two blocs – a unitarist and a federalist one.24 During the second half of the 1930s, Maček maintained links with Prince Paul, but also cooperated with the main Serbian opposition parties: the Democrats, the Radicals gathered around the party’s Main Committee, and the Agrarians. In October 1937, these parties, together with the Croatian Peasant Party and the Independent Democrats (mostly supported by Croatian Serbs) formed the Bloc of National Agreement. For the 11 December 1938 elections, the opposition presented a joint list, headed by Maček.25 A day before the elections, Stojadinović told a group of Belgrade industrialists that his government’s programme was short and simple: ‘One King, one nation, one state, prosperity at home, peace on the borders.’26 The slogan summarized the government’s domestic and foreign policies, but it also highlighted the three major issues confronting it: the constitutional question, in both its aspects, i.e. the opposition’s challenge to ‘integral’ Yugoslavism and to the continuation of the dictatorship; the economic crisis, and the international crisis. Stojadinović’s election slogan sounded uncomfortably similar to the infamous Nazi slogan.27 Before the December elections, the government party’s section for internal propaganda published a pamphlet whose title echoed the government slogan quoted above.28 The pamphlet contained a selection of the prime minister’s speeches, as well as campaign photographs showing uniformed supporters of the Yugoslav Radical Union. The prime minister’s slogan should, however, be understood primarily in the context of Yugoslav politics in the late 1930s rather than as a product of Nazi influence. The government and the opposition both based their election campaigns on the national question. The government promoted a centralized state and believed

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that it alone was capable of preserving Yugoslavia. The opposition, on the other hand, argued that it was their vision of a decentralized and democratic Yugoslavia that guaranteed the country’s unity: a unity that was especially needed during the social and economic crisis which marked the 1930s. Despite the government’s official position, however, Stojadinović was not a firm believer in ‘integral’ Yugoslavism. He told Maček that he favoured the ‘crystallization of the peoples’ wishes on national bases’, and believed that ‘Yugoslavia contained three national elements: Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.’29 Following the general relaxation of the dictatorship following Alexander’s death, the Yugoslav Radical Union made demands for wider local autonomies and self-rule, which echoed the Radicals’ programme of the late nineteenth century,30 and was not compatible with the late King Alexander’s understanding of Yugoslavia and Yugoslavism. Indeed, Stojadinović wished to be seen as the main leader of the Serb people, as a counterpart to Maček’s position amongst the Croats.31 Unfortunately for Stojadinović, however, the Serbian electorate was not as homogeneous as the Croat, Slovene and Bosnian Muslim electorates, and thus no single Serb politician could claim leadership over the majority of Serbs. Perhaps the greatest challenge to Stojadinović came in the summer of 1937 from the Serbian Orthodox Church. In July 1935, 13 years after they had first started negotiations, the Yugoslav government and the Vatican signed a Concordat regulating the position of the Roman Catholic Church in Yugoslavia.32 The Serbian Orthodox Church instantly complained that the Concordat had been concluded at its expense.33 By ratifying the Concordat, Stojadinović had hoped to attract Croat support at the expense of the Croatian Peasant Party. As he told the parliament in summer 1937, ‘the Concordat means agreement. With whom, gentlemen? With the Holy See. Who does the Holy See represent? It represents 400 million [Roman] Catholics, five million of whom live in our state.’34 The government delayed submitting the document to the parliament for ratification for two years, but when it did so, it nearly fell. When the parliament ratified the Concordat in July 1937, street demonstrations led by Serbian priests broke out in Belgrade, leading

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to violent clashes with the police. To make matters worse, the Serbian Patriarch Varnava died on the night the Concordat was ratified, and rumours spread that he had been poisoned by the regime. Stojadinović and Serb members of the cabinet were excommunicated by the Serbian Orthodox Church. At this point, shouts by the government’s opponents of djavo and Jereza (as the JRZ had been nicknamed by its opponents, because it sounded similar to the Serbo-Croat word for ‘heresy’) gained additional meaning. Due to public pressure, the government withdrew the Concordat from proceeding further through parliament. How did Stojadinović remain in office for so long, given his controversial foreign policy and problems at home, epitomized by the government’s failure to solve the Croat question and its conflict with the Serbian Orthodox Church? According to historian John Lampe, the answer lay in the prime minister’s economic policies.35 Stojadinović, alone amongst Yugoslav leaders of the 1930s, had an economic programme designed to tackle the consequences of the Great Depression. He gave the highest priority to increasing the export of industrial and processed agricultural products. To that end, he passed a law on tariff exemptions and introduced tax concessions to industrial enterprises. At the same time, peasants received tax relief and harvest insurance, while the state sponsored the construction of silos, and provided credits for peasant cooperatives. Stojadinović knew how to exploit economic success for political purposes. These measures were announced just before the local elections of September 1936, which the Yugoslav Radical Union won comfortably, except in Croat-populated areas. The Croat electorate predominantly voted for Maček not so much because of his peasant politics, but because he led the Croat struggle for autonomy. Stojadinović failed to weaken Maček’s support even when the government announced that one quarter of all large peasant debts and one half of small debts would be wiped out. Stojadinović’s thinking in respect of the international economy mirrored his understanding of foreign policy. Essentially, he believed that Yugoslavia’s main trading partners should also be the country’s political allies. From the mid-1930s, Yugoslavia traded mostly with Italy and Germany and, by 1935, the country’s exports to France were only 15 per cent of their 1930 level. Yet again, Stojadinović felt abandoned

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by the traditional allies. When international sanctions were imposed on Italy in 1935 because of the invasion of Abyssinia, neither France nor Britain could compensate Yugoslavia for its losses. Stojadinović was more than happy to accept the German finance minister Hjalmar Schacht’s offer of favourable export prices. Nazi Germany quickly became Yugoslavia’s main economic partner. In 1937, 35 per cent of Yugoslavia’s exports went to Germany, while nearly 43 per cent of its imports came from there. Two years later, following the Anschluss, exports were marginally down (32 per cent), but nearly half of all Yugoslav imports came from Germany (47.7 per cent). The economic shift to Germany fitted well with Stojadinović’s plans to develop the steel industry in Bosnia, chemical industry in Serbia, and the Vojvodina’s agriculture. The Germans invested in the Zenica steel enterprise in Bosnia, while vegetable oil produced in the Vojvodina proved attractive to the German market. During this period, the government also succeeded in stabilizing the Yugoslav currency. Economic success did not come without a political price, however, as Yugoslavia became economically dependent on Nazi Germany. Moreover, the inability to trade with Italy particularly hit Croatia – among the main exports to Italy were Dalmatian cement and timber from Croatia (and Bosnia). The government’s emphasis on developing the industry of Serbia and Bosnia further alienated the Croats, regardless of how much economic sense these policies made. In the second half of the 1930s, Stojadinović was impressed by authoritarian regimes, while the fascist façade – military parades and uniforms – clearly appealed to him. Nevertheless, his fascist leanings were not necessarily the reason behind Yugoslavia’s new foreign policy. The country did not pursue an aggressive foreign policy during the period, even if Belgrade might have been interested in northern Greece (Salonika) and northern Albania in the event of war.36 The move towards Rome and Berlin came as a result of a combination of factors, which included Stojadinović’s – and Prince Paul’s – realization that Yugoslavia had been effectively abandoned by its traditional allies. The Yugoslav prime minister was above all a cynical and realistic politician, who believed that he acted on behalf of his country. According to Hoptner, in his dealings with the Great Powers Stojadinović ‘seems

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to have told those to whom he talked what they wanted to hear.’37 It is possible that even without Stojadinović Yugoslavia’s foreign policy would have taken a similar path. In this respect, it should be borne in mind that although Prince Paul virtually gave Stojadinović a free hand in foreign policy, no major decisions could be made without the Prince Regent’s approval. Finally, it was under Stojadinović’s successor, Cvetković, that Yugoslavia joined the Tripartite Pact, more than two years after Stojadinović’s resignation. Although the government’s opponents were intimidated and there were periodic armed clashes between the gendarmerie and the Croat, Macedonian and Albanian (and occasionally Serbian) population, Stojadinović did not introduce terror against his political enemies. Moreover, among those opposition politicians the regime targeted was the Yugoslav fascist, and future Nazi collaborator, Dimitrije Ljotić, who was imprisoned in autumn 1938 because of his aggressive, and at times violent, election campaign. At the same time, there were many instances of counter-intimidation against government voters in areas where the opposition had a majority, especially in Croat-populated regions.38 Stojadinović was not an extreme nationalist whose ideology targeted a particular ethnic group. His rivalry with Serb opposition leaders matched, if not exceeded, his rivalry with the Croat leader Maček and the Slovene leader Korošec, who nevertheless became Stojadinović’s interior minister. Stojadinović failed to solve the Croat question, but Bosnian Muslims and Slovenes were included in his government, and he had good relations with pro-government Croats. There is no evidence that he adhered to racial theories or that he was an antisemite.39 Although by the mid-1930s Stojadinović was clearly no longer a democrat, the first months of his premiership were marked by a general relaxation of the dictatorship. Stojadinović’s career should be understood in the context of inter-war Yugoslavia. After 1929, the country was a dictatorship, something which he had opposed initially, and after 1934 it was a dictatorship without a dictator. He had clearly hoped to fill the vacancy. He did have uniformed followers, but so did Maček, Korošec and Cvetković. Maček, too, was referred by his followers as vodja, and the ‘Peasant Guard’ and ‘Civic Guard’ served as his personal militia. Indeed, it appears in this respect that it was the

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followers of Bogoljub Jevtić who had started the trend.40 Stojadinović was an anti-communist and anti-Bolshevik, but then so were most European inter-war statesmen. Although Nazi Germany played a key role in Stojadinović’s economic programme, he did not attempt to introduce a fascist-style economy in Yugoslavia. Stojadinović’s personal ambition and belief in his own invincibility ultimately led to his downfall. He did not realize that although in the short term his foreign and economic policies were successful, in the long term they were likely to fail once the international conditions of the 1930s changed. Moreover, he underestimated Prince Paul’s political skills. Although Stojadinović was regarded as the most powerful person in the country, Paul swiftly replaced him with Cvetković, who had been an unremarkable cabinet minister. While Cvetković’s political career was temporarily highly successful – he reached an agreement with Maček over the establishment of autonomous Croatia in August 1939 – Stojadinović was finished as a politician by early 1939, aged just 50. He briefly attempted to revive his career by establishing a new party – the Serbian Radical Party – but the regime curbed the party’s activities in early 1940. Seen as a potentially dangerous opponent, Stojadinović was interned in his native western Serbia in April 1940, only to be transferred to Bosnia several months later. On 17–18 March 1941, a week before the Cvetković–Maček government signed the Tripartite Pact, Stojadinović was handed over to the British in Greece, whence he was sent to Mauritius. Paradoxically, perhaps, the very Yugoslav government which was about to join the Tripartite Pact regarded Stojadinović as a dangerous internal enemy on account of his contacts with the Axis powers. Prince Paul and Cvetković were overthrown on 27 March 1941 in a military coup provoked by Yugoslavia’s adherence to the Tripartite Pact. In the short war in April, the country was invaded and partitioned by Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary, while a greater Croatia was proclaimed independent and placed under Ustasha rule. Stojadinović spent the war in Mauritius, living in relative luxury, but under constant surveillance. Churchill regarded him as ‘a potential Quisling and an enemy’.41 His wife and children were able to join him only in 1948, in Argentina, where he was granted asylum.

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He spent the years before his death in 1961 editing the El Economista journal, which he founded, periodically advising President Peron on economic matters, painting and writing memoirs. He lived relatively comfortably as an émigré, which suggests that rumours of his immense personal wealth and corruption were probably not unfounded. In 1954 Stojadinović caused one final controversy, by meeting with Ante Pavelić, the Ustasha leader, also exiled in Argentina. The two reached an ‘agreement’ on the creation of an enlarged Serbia and an enlarged Croatia that would replace communist Yugoslavia. The meeting caused a stir in émigré circles, but in reality it was an act without any real significance.42 In the final analysis, Stojadinović displayed sympathies for fascism, but he never developed a fascist programme. He was in many respects a prototype East-Central European inter-war politician: conservative, anti-communist, disillusioned both with democracy and with the Western democracies, partly forced to deal with the Axis dictators and party choosing to do so. His political career coincided with one of the most turbulent eras in modern history. The old order could not survive in the post-war East-Central Europe, except in emigration, Stojadinović’s final destiny. Regardless of how his supporters and opponents described him, ultimately Stojadinović was neither ‘Leader’ nor ‘Devil’.

Notes 1. Bachmeteff Archive, Columbia University, New York, Prince Paul Papers (hereafter BAR PPP), box 13, Milan Aćimović to Prince Paul, Belgrade, 24 November 1938. 2. Milan M. Stojadinović, Ni rat, ni pakt: Jugoslavija izmedju dva rata, Buenos Aires, 1963, p. 590. 3. The National Archives, FO 371/23875, Campbell to Halifax, Belgrade, 13 February 1939. 4. Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia, London, 1940, p. 478. 5. In fact, the 1929–41 period was often described in socialist Yugoslavia as the ‘monarcho–fascist dictatorship’. Stojadinović’s life and career have not been studied extensively by historians, with the exception of Todor Stojkov’s unfinished monograph, Vlada Milana Stojadinovića, 1935–1937, Belgrade,

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17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

22. 23.

24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.

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1985. See also, Dušan Biber, ‘O padu Stojadinovićeve vlade’, in Istorija XX veka. Zbornik radova, 14 vols, Belgrade, 1959–83, 8, pp. 5–71. For an analysis of Stojadinović’s economic policies, see Lazar Pejić, ‘Ekonomske ideje dr. Milana Stojadinovića i balkanski privredni problemi’, Balkanika, 7, 1976, pp. 241–68. Galeazzo Ciano, Ciano’s Diary, 1937–1943, London, 2002, pp. 33–4. Quoted in Jacob B. Hoptner, Yugoslavia in Crisis, 1934–1941, New York, 1962, p. 82. Ciano, Ciano’s Diary, p. 33. Stojadinović, Ni rat, ni pakt, pp. 486–93. Ciano, Ciano’s Diary, p. 33. Stojadinović, Ni rat, ni pakt, pp. 463, 492–3. Hoptner, Yugoslavia in Crisis, pp. 83–5. Stojadinović, Ni rat, ni pakt, pp. 494–511. Ibid, p. 502. Ibid, pp. 502–03. See the chapter entitled ‘A U-turn in Yugoslavia’s Foreign Policy’, in ibid, pp. 463–77. The title of Stojadinović’s memoirs is also indicative: Ni rat, ni pakt (‘Neither War, nor [the Tripartite] Pact’). Hoptner, Yugoslavia in Crisis, p. 61. For what follows see, Stojadinović, Ni rat, ni pakt, and Pejić, Ekonomske ideje. Stojkov, Vlada Milana Stojadinovića, pp. 13–46. For inter-war Yugoslav politics and Serb-Croat relations see Dejan Djokić, Elusive Compromise: A History of Interwar Yugoslavia, London, 2007. Following the proclamation of the dictatorship, the Radicals split into two main groups: a majority supported the regime, but the party’s Main Committee remained in opposition. Stojadinović, previously supportive of the Main Committee, joined and took over the pro-government faction in 1934–35. Stojadinović, Ni rat ni pakt, p. 318. BAR PPP, box 12, Prince Paul to Stojadinović, Belgrade, 19 December 1936; ibid., box 12, Stojadinović to Milan Antić, 16 January 1937. See also Vladko Maček, In the Struggle for Freedom, University Park, PA, 1957, pp. 178–9 Stojadinović, Ni rat, ni pakt, p. 516. For details, see Djokić, Elusive Compromise, chs 3–5. Pravda (Belgrade), 11 December 1938. ‘Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!’ Milan Stojadinović, Jedan kralj, jedan narod, jedna država, Belgrade, 1939. Stojadinović, Ni rat, ni pakt, pp. 514, 516, 533. Stojkov, Vlada Milana Stojadinovića, p. 55.

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31. As Stojadinović implicitly suggests in his memoirs. See, Ni rat, ni pakt, p. 533. 32. For details, see Archives of Yugoslavia, Belgrade (hereafter AJ), 37/25/195, ‘Projekt zakona o Konkordatu izmedju Sv. Stolice i Kraljevine Jugoslavije’, Belgrade, 20 July 1937. 33. See Primedbe i prigovori na projekat Konkordata izmedju naše države i Vatikana, Sremski Karlovci, 1936. 34. AJ 37/2/9–11, draft of Stojadinović’s speech to the parliament, [Belgrade], 23 July 1937. 35. John R. Lampe, Yugoslavia as History: Twice There was a Country, Cambridge, 2000, p. 181. For what follows, see ibid, pp. 181–4. 36. When the government Stojadinović’s successor Dragiša Cvetković (usually referred to as the Cvetković–Maček government) signed the Tripartite Pact on 25 March 1941, a secret clause promised to take into account Yugoslavia’s interests in the Aegean in the event of the re-drawing of borders in the Balkans. 37. Hoptner, Yugoslavia in Crisis, p. 89. 38. Djokić, Elusive Compromise, pp. 144–47. 39. The numerus clausus, limiting the number of Jewish students, was introduced in Yugoslavia in October 1940 by the Cvetković–Maček government. 40. A British journalist reported that following the May 1935 elections Jevtić’s deputies ‘greeted the Prime Minister with cries of “Vodz!” [sic] or “Leader!” so infectious in these days are the methods of National Socialism and Fascism’: ‘The Yugoslav Regency: Is Reconciliation in Sight?’, The Times, 10 July 1935. 41. The National Archives, CO 968/107/4, Case of M Stoyadinovic, former Yugoslav Prime Minister, 21 May 1943. 42. Bogdan Krizman, Pavelić u bjekstvu, Zagreb, 1986, pp. 261–89, and ‘Sporazum Pavelić–Stojadinović’ (priredio Vjekoslav Vrančić), Hrvatska revija, 39/3 [155], September 1989, pp. 508–67.

CHAPTER 10 COR NELIU ZELEA CODR EANU: THE ROM ANIAN ‘NEW M AN’ Rebecca Haynes

No one can deny the adulation with which Corneliu Codreanu (1899– 1938) was regarded by his Legionary followers. According to Horia Sima, his successor as leader of the movement, Codreanu ‘exercised a veritable fascination upon people of all classes. His spiritual authority was indescribable [...]. With his virile good-looks, calm words and his magnetism, he seemed like a god of the ancients descended amongst mortals [...].’1 The Legionary commander, Vasile Iaşinschi, described Codreanu’s character as ‘perfect’.2 The veneration surrounding Codreanu has led one historian to interpret the movement within the framework of Max Weber’s theory of charismatic leadership.3 While this illuminates the emotional appeal of Codreanu’s leadership, my purpose is to examine of his role as an ideologue and organizer which, in only a decade, brought the Legionary movement from its core of five founder members to the brink of political power. Through its organized membership structures, work camps and commercial ventures, Codreanu created a Legionary ‘parallel society’ in which the legionaries could develop safe from the allegedly corrupting influences of mainstream society. Most importantly, it was Codreanu himself who

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served as the personification of the ‘New Man’ to which his followers were to aspire. The growth of the movement, and Codreanu’s immense popularity, were considered such a threat by King Carol II and the Romanian political elite that Codreanu’s imprisonment and murder were ultimately considered necessary. Codreanu’s background and early experiences were crucial for his later career and outlook. He was born on 13 September 1899 in Iaşi in Moldavia, close to the border with the Russian empire.4 Corneliu’s father, Ion, was a committed nationalist who strove for the unification of all the Romanian-speaking regions of the Habsburg and Russian empires with the Kingdom of Romania. Ion, a teacher by profession, acted as secretary to Nicolae Iorga and to A. C. Cuza’s National Democratic Party (Partidul Naţionalist Democrat), which was a nationalist, antisemitic party that aimed at the unification of all the Romanians and at the reduction of Jewish influence in Romanian public life. Cuza became Corneliu’s godfather and acted as his mentor when Codreanu was a student at Iaşi university. Cuza was professor of political economy at the university, from which post he disseminated his antisemitic views. Codreanu relates in his memoirs that, at a tender age, he had read all the articles written by Iorga and Cuza which were kept in his father’s attic.5 Between 1912 and 1916, Codreanu attended the school at Mănăstirea Dealului, north of Bucharest. Here Codreanu, who was clearly not ‘bookish’, imbibed a strict military discipline and love of the outdoors through sports, military exercises, Sunday marches in the countryside and such communal work as tree planting. The importance of Orthodox Christianity, already a central feature of Codreanu’s parental home, was reinforced at the school by a strong clerical presence. Religious services were held eleven times a day, beginning at five in the morning in the school chapel. In 1917, Codreanu spent a year at a military school in Botoşani in Moldavia where he was described as being decisive, energetic and good material for a commander.6 Like the majority of future Legionaries, Codreanu was too young to serve in the First World War. As he later explained, however, he felt a responsibility towards the ‘front generation’ to preserve the ‘Great Romania’ that had resulted from its sacrifices. Codreanu feared that

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the newly-enlarged Romania would soon be torn apart by the combined territorial revisionism of Hungary and Bolshevik Russia and by revolutionary forces inside Romania itself. Neither Hungary nor Russia accepted the loss to Romania of Transylvania and Bessarabia respectively. Romania, with its small but growing working class, was beset by ‘class warfare’. Strikes reached a peak in 1920, when there were 750 strikes, 112 in Bucharest alone.7 In the same year, Max Goldstein, a communist from Codreanu’s native Iaşi, blew up the Senate in Bucharest, killing a minister and a bishop. Goldstein’s Jewish origins only served to increase the identification in Codreanu’s mind of the Jews with communism. As he subsequently wrote in his memoirs, ‘when I say “communists” I mean Jews.’8 In July 1919, with units of the Red Army stationed just beyond Romania’s new borders, Codreanu, together with some high-school students, swore to take refuge in the forest and fight for the defence of Romania in the event of a Russian invasion. He and his companions procured weapons and undertook battle exercises in the woods. They also established a ‘cultural-national association’ in the local high school and gave lectures on the dangers facing the Romanian nation. Anti-communism, military discipline and the education of the young were to be central to the future Legionary movement. In the autumn of 1919, Codreanu went up to Iaşi university to study law. Codreanu’s earliest political activities, however, took place outside the university in a nationalist workers’ movement known as the ‘Guard of National Consciousness’ (Garda Conştiinţei Naţionale) that had been founded by Constantin Pancu, a plumber and electrician. Pancu sought to divert the city’s workers away from communist internationalism (to which they had allegedly been lured by the machinations of the city’s Jews) and back towards loyalty to the Romanian throne and ‘Orthodox altar’. In February 1920, Codreanu hoisted the Romanian flag above the Iaşi railway depot where workers were demanding a general strike. Codreanu’s involvement with Pancu’s movement was a formative experience. It was his first significant contact with the Romanian working class and their plight, and he was impressed by the cooperation between workers, students and Orthodox priests within Pancu’s movement. At the same time, it became increasingly clear to Codreanu

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that the Romanian people could expect no help from the Romanian political elite (the ‘oligarchic and tyrannical class’, as he called it) to ameliorate their conditions. Rather, ordinary Romanians would have to rely on their own resources. Self-help and cross-class cooperation were to be central components of future Legionary ideology. Codreanu subsequently became involved in student politics at Iaşi, which he described as being dominated by fashionable left-wing and anti-Christian thinking amongst both students (especially those from adjoining Bessarabia) and academic staff. He and fellow nationalist students took particular delight in seizing and burning the Leninstyle caps worn by left-wing students. Codreanu was also deeply troubled by the apparently high number of Jewish students present at Iaşi and other Romanian universities. In his attitude towards the Jewish minority, Codreanu was greatly influenced by his godfather, A.C. Cuza. Codreanu thus regarded the Jews as a threat due to their alleged tendency towards communism and he believed that they endangered the Romanian middle class through their domination of industry and commerce. Codreanu considered that the large number of Jewish students at the universities must eventually lead to a Jewish domination of the Romanian state and its culture. Codreanu accused Romania’s political elite, which he described as the ‘low-level servants of Judaism’ (since he believed them to be in the pay of wealthy Jews) of failing to protect Romanians from political, economic and cultural annihilation.9 In 1923, Codreanu and Cuza, founded the League of National Christian Defence (Liga Apărării Naţional Creştine) to campaign against the planned constitution under which the country’s Jewish population would receive Romanian citizenship. In October, following the failure of the campaign, Codreanu, together with other students including Ion Moţa, the son of a nationalist Orthodox priest from Transylvania, were involved in a plot to assassinate the liberal politicians responsible for the new constitution, as well as senior Jewish figures. The plot failed and the would-be assassins were imprisoned at Văcăreşti prison in Bucharest from October 1923 until March 1924. The granting of Jewish citizenship by the Romanian parliament led to the alienation of Codreanu and his followers not only from the older

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generation of nationalists, such as Cuza, who still remained willing to work entirely within the parliamentary system, but also from liberal democracy as a whole. As Codreanu saw it, not only did the party system divide the newly-enfranchised Romanian nation into mutually antagonistic class-based parties, but the democratic system favoured the interests of the Jewish minority against those of the Romanian majority. Codreanu, much to Cuza’s displeasure, wished to create a disciplined, Romanian nationalist youth movement outside the political system. During his sojourn in prison, Codreanu drew up a plan for a youth organization and in May 1924 the first Brotherhood of the Cross (Fraţia de Cruce) was set up. Together with his young followers, Codreanu established his earliest work camp at Ungheni on the border with Bessarabia, an area which was regarded, not without some justification, as a hotbed of pro-Soviet and anti-Romanian sentiment. Here, Codreanu and his followers set about constructing a ‘Christian cultural home’. While at the camp, however, a number of participants, including Codreanu himself, were brutally beaten by the Iaşi chief of police, Constantin Manciu. As a result of his humiliation, and the failure of the authorities to take any action against Manciu, Codreanu took the law into his own hands and shot Manciu dead on the steps of the Iaşi courthouse. Despite his admission of guilt, the government was unable to secure Codreanu’s conviction due to his growing popularity amongst the Romanians who regarded the murder as an act of heroism against what they saw as a corrupt police force in the pay of an equally corrupt government. The jury thus refused to convict him.10 That Codreanu’s fame was spreading rapidly was evident on the occasion of his wedding in June 1925 to Elena Ilinoiu, the daughter of a railway worker. The wedding attracted tens of thousands of spectators and the proceedings were even filmed and shown to audiences in Bucharest.11 The Legion of the Archangel Michael (Legiunea Arhanghelul Mihail) was formed on John the Baptist’s Day, 24 June, 1927. Its first members were the so-called Văcăreşteni, who had been gaoled in Văcăreşti prison for the failed student plot of 1923. While at Văcăreşti, Codreanu had been inspired by a large icon of the Archangel Michael

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in the prison chapel, and the Archangel was now designated the movement’s protector. New members of the organization were accepted into the movement on the day dedicated to the Archangel Michael, 8 November 1927, and received, as a token of their faith, a bag of soil taken from the historic battlefields of Romania to wear around their necks. In 1930, the Iron Guard (Garda de Fier), a militant wing of the organization, was established to fight communism and the name also served as the movement’s political wing. The Guard was, however, dissolved several times by authorities before Codreanu created the party, ‘All for the Country’ (Totul pentru Ţară), to fight elections. Codreanu won a seat in parliament in 1931, representing Neamţ in his native Moldavia, on an anti-corruption platform. In his maiden speech he demanded that public officials should work honestly and conscientiously and that the death penalty be imposed for defrauders of public funds and for those who damaged ‘the national interest’. In 1932, five Legionaries, including Codreanu’s father, Ion, won seats in parliament. As the effects of the Great Depression deepened and the public became increasingly dispirited with the mainstream political parties, the Legion’s political fortunes rose. Dissemination of a political programme was not, however, the primary function of the Legionary movement. The Legion was rather ‘a great spiritual school [which] strives to transform and revolutionize the Romanian soul.’12 The end product of this spiritual revolution would be the emergence of the ‘New Man’, a morally and spiritually regenerated individual who would in turn be capable of resurrecting the Romanian nation. Codreanu’s vision of the Legionary ‘New Man’ was intimately connected to his attitude towards the Romanian political establishment and the Jewish minority. The Jews, he believed, were only able to dominate Romanian society on account of the moral failings of the native Romanians and the consequent corruption of their political elite. ‘A country has only the Jews and the leaders it deserves,’ he wrote.13 It followed that political life could not be transformed by party programmes unless individuals were first perfected by a return to Christian morality, discipline and love of nation. ‘A new state,’ Codreanu wrote, ‘presupposes in the first place, and as an indispensable element, a new type of man.’14 As Horia Sima put it, ‘the creation

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of the “New Man” was [Codreanu’s] principal objective with regard to our people; because this man, once created, would be able to resolve all the problems of the nation.’15 It was within the basic unit of Legionary organization, the nest (cuib) consisting of up to thirteen members, that the nascent ‘New Man’ was to be nurtured. All nest meetings began with prayers, and the six rules of the nest were discipline, work, silence, mutual help, honour and education. The last of these was viewed not as the acquisition of academic knowledge, but rather as that which was conducive to Christian morality, spiritual growth and an increase in national awareness. It was within the system of work camps, in particular, that Codreanu believed these principles could best be elaborated.16 By 1936, there were throughout the country 71 Legionary work camps, as well as thousands of smaller work sites, dedicated to such schemes as building or restoring churches, parish halls, schools, bridges, roads, Legionary hostels, or helping the peasantry with agricultural work. The work camp was regarded by Codreanu as a ‘school’ par excellence for the creation of the ‘New Man’. Here, in an attempt to bridge the gap between intellectuals and workers and peasants, male and female Legionaries were taught the value of manual work. The importance of the communal life of the camps, where people from different social classes and regions of Romania worked and lived together, was also stressed. Discipline and austerity were instilled into the nascent ‘New Man’ through military drills, frugal meals and gymnastics, with which the day began at 5.30. In this way, so it was believed, a healthy national elite would be forged to replace the ‘sick’ and ‘parasitic’ Romanian political elite and their ‘Jewish’ economic allies. Following manual work, educational sessions took place in the evening with topics conducive to moral and spiritual development. At the Carmen Sylva work camp, these discussions were led personally by Codreanu during the summer of 1936. The education of the ‘New Man’ was also at the heart of the ‘Battle for Legionary Commerce’, inaugurated in 1935. Codreanu wished to win back the economic position which the Romanians had allegedly lost to Jewish traders and overcome the Romanians’ neglect of commerce and their sense that only Jews possessed commercial talent.

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Codreanu, accusing the Jews of profiteering, insisted that Legionary commerce should be based on fair prices, quality and honesty, which he described as ‘Christian’ commerce. Over the next few years, a number of restaurants, co-operatives and shops were established to act as an ‘economic school’ for the ‘New Man’. Codreanu regularly appeared in person at the restaurant at the movement’s administrative headquarters on Strada Gutenberg in Bucharest and conversed with the customers, exhorting people of all classes to mix politely with one another. Codreanu detested negligent appearance and coarseness and thus stressed the smart appearance and good behaviour both of Legionaries working in the movement’s outlets and of customers at its restaurants. Even the poorest were to wear clean clothes, and hair and beards were to be neatly cut. The ‘New Man’ was, after all, not only to be a morally rejuvenated individual, but socially refined.17 That Codreanu himself was the model for the ‘New Man’ seems clear. As Horia Sima wrote in connection with Codreanu’s presence at the Carmen Sylva camp in 1936, ‘he was a commander but also a father, adviser, and example.’ Ion Banea, Legionary commander for Transylvania, concurs that Codreanu created ‘New Men’ out of the Legionaries through the example of his own life.18 As George Mosse has written in respect of the Italian Fascist variant, the ‘New Man’ was ‘personified in ideals of male strength and beauty.’ The external image was thus one of ‘strong and invulnerable masculinity’ and athleticism, while the internal characteristics included perseverance, self-denial and a spirit of sacrifice. The ‘New Man’ was, moreover, also energetic, courageous and laconic: ‘the very opposite of muddleheaded, talkative, intellectualizing liberals and socialists’.19 Clearly, therefore, in this context Codreanu’s relative lack of talent as a public speaker was no disadvantage since he could be portrayed instead as the ‘man of action’ and spiritual ascetic.20 In his memoirs, Codreanu was at pains to portray himself precisely in these terms. Writing in 1936, he commented that he had not entered a cinema, theatre, beer hall, or ballroom or gone to a party in fourteen years.21 During the election campaign of 1937, he was presented as a man of exceptional virtue, in contrast to mainstream politicians, and as one who understood through personal experience the hardships and needs of ordinary

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Romanians. He had, it was claimed, no interest in self-enrichment and lived a morally irreproachable private life.22 Pictures of Codreanu were also widely circulated during the election campaign of 1937 as election posters, many being ostentatiously designed to portray him as the ‘man of action’. One showed him hard at work amongst his Legionaries in the Carmen Sylva work camp breaking up the soil with a pick-axe.23 In keeping with the seriousness of his role as the exemplary ‘New Man’, Codreanu did not, apparently, have much of a sense of humour and was rarely seen to smile. On the other hand, he could inspire his followers to emulate him.24 Most importantly, perhaps, Codreanu’s ‘film star’ good looks and ability to dress the part, whether in a slick city suit or romantic peasant costume, was plainly an asset for the movement.25 As Sima wrote, the ‘New Man’ which Codreanu presaged ‘was not an intellectual abstraction, but was reflected in his majestic appearance, which was exceptionally handsome.’26 At the same time, Codreanu regarded the ‘New Man’ as ‘Christian man projected into public life’.27 He in turn was seen by his supporters as personifying the ‘Christian man’, and his life was seen as one of sacrifice and imitatio Christi even before his early death turned him into a Legionary martyr. Describing Codreanu’s educational discussions at the Carmen Sylva work camp in 1936, Sima wrote, ‘You could believe you were living a scene from the Scriptures: Christ speaking to the multitude on the water’s edge.’28 Indeed, it was through Orthodox Christian imagery that Codreanu put forward his message of moral and national renewal, especially in the remote rural areas that the Legion penetrated through its work camps and expeditions. The Legion was assisted in these activities by its strong links with the Orthodox village clergy who frequently officiated at Legionary ceremonies. Icons, ubiquitous in the Orthodox religion, were taken into the countryside, with Codreanu even painted upon them. When Codreanu was present in person, he might appear in white peasant costume astride a white horse, alluding thus to Christ’s Second Coming as a warrior on a white horse and so conveying his analogous message of Romania’s national regeneration. Writing of just such an encounter with Codreanu in a village, Nagy-Talavera records that, ‘An old white-haired peasant woman made the sign of the cross on her breast and whispered to us: “The

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emissary of the Archangel Michael!” ’29 The year was 1937: the election year that was to prove the high point of Codreanu’s popularity. Legionary students (the largest single group within the movement) were well-organized both at a local and national level and were crucial to the electoral campaign in the autumn of 1937, especially in rural areas. It has long been recognized that the Legion’s penetration of rural Romania paid dividends during the election. Codreanu’s attention to the working class has, on the other hand, received less attention. Although small, the working class in Romania was growing due to government policies aimed at establishing manufacturing industries. As we have seen, Codreanu’s earliest political activities took place within a nationalist workers’ organization and he himself married, amidst much fanfare, the daughter of a railway worker. The creation of the Legionary Workers’ Corps (Corpul Muncitoresc Legionar) in 1935 was set up to combat the appeal of socialism and communism amongst workers, and Legionary nests were established with particular success amongst transport workers in Bucharest and other cities. The targeting of workers paid off, since in the elections of December 1937, the Legion’s political wing, ‘All for the Country, apparently won 23% of the vote in Bucharest.30 ‘All for the Country’ was almost certainly the first political movement in Romania to use election material in the form of posters, postcards, badges and other symbols to politicize Romanians. We have already noted that the photogenic Codreanu at work at the Carmen Sylva work camp was the focus of one election poster. His portrait was also regularly reproduced on political manifestos. Election symbols were utilized not only on written material but were also painted on walls during the campaign period. These included three horizontal lines crossed by three vertical lines, representing the prison bars behind which many Legionaries had languished. Clearly, in a country with high illiteracy levels, such easily recognized symbols were immensely important for the Legion’s electoral success. Although ‘All for the Country’ officially came third in the elections of 20 December 1937, there is evidence that the Legion may in fact have come second before the government falsified the election results. When further elections were scheduled for March 1938, the ministry of the interior predicted a Legionary victory.31

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This was too much for King Carol, who had long oscillated between cajoling Codreanu to give him leadership of the Legion and attempts to murder him. To make matters worse, in 1937 Codreanu had entered into a pact with Iuliu Maniu, the popular leader of the National Peasant Party (Partidul Naţional Ţărănesc). Together with Codreanu, Maniu, whose ‘incorruptibility was in the sharpest possible contrast to the laxness and opportunism of Romanian public life,’32 opposed the king’s attempts to accumulate personal power and undermine political life through the so-called ‘camarilla’. The latter consisted not only of Carol’s mistress but also of the king’s unscrupulous business, diplomatic and political allies. Maniu and Codreanu were resolved to remove the camarilla and lift the state of emergency and censorship under which Romania languished, as well as to prevent the king and the government manipulating the elections through violence and fraud.33 On 20 February 1938, a new constitution was introduced, thereby creating the royal dictatorship which Carol had long desired. Measures directed against the Legion were also introduced. On 21 February, Codreanu dissolved ‘All for the Country’ in order to pre-empt the government’s suppression of the movement. Codreanu remained optimistic, however, believing that the royal dictatorship would not have sufficient popular support to be of long duration. He was convinced that once political parties had resumed their legal existence, the country would vote for the Legion.34 Early in 1938, and especially following the Anschluss, it was perhaps easy for Codreanu to assume that the forces of the right throughout Europe were gaining ascendancy. Codreanu’s belief that, in such circumstances, the Legion would inevitably triumph over the royal dictatorship led him to underestimate the regime’s determination to destroy him. The government arrested Codreanu on 16 April 1938, together with leading members of the Legion. On 19 April, he received a sixmonth prison sentence for allegedly impugning the honour a royal minister, Nicolae Iorga. Allegations of German support for the movement were a major factor in Codreanu’s second trial, held in May, in which he was accused of having written to Hitler in 1935, proposing a revolution in Romania with German support. Much was made in this

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matter of Codreanu’s statement prior to the election of December 1937 that ‘Within 48-hours of a legionary movement victory, Romania will have an alliance with Rome and Berlin.’35 Codreanu was sentenced to ten-years hard labour, although the prosecution failed to establish that he had indeed secretly communicated with Hitler. Indeed, the most comprehensive investigation to date of Codreanu’s links with Nazi Germany flatly contradicts the notion that the movement was financed and coordinated by the Third Reich.36 Although loose links existed with Nazi organizations, and Codreanu’s admiration for both Hitler and Mussolini were well known, during Codreanu’s lifetime the Legion was not dependent on foreign support. It was only following Codreanu’s murder in November 1938 and the subsequent flight into German exile of many Legionaries, including their new leader Horia Sima, that the movement fell under direct Nazi influence. By November, Carol finally felt emboldened to eliminate his rival once and for all. On the night of 29–30 November, Codreanu, together with thirteen other Legionaries, was transported to Jilava prison. En route, in the Tâncăbeşti forest, near Bucharest, all fourteen were strangled and then shot in the back of the head to make it look as though they had been ‘shot while trying to escape’. The corpses were buried in the grounds of Jilava prison, after having been doused in acid in an attempt to hide their identities. The government now moved against the rest of the Legion, driving many into exile or underground. Between Codreanu’s death and the establishment of the National Legionary State in September 1940, the royal regime executed around 3,000 Legionaries, most notably following the Legion’s murder in September 1939 of Armand Călinescu, the prime minister who had presided over Codreanu’s death. On this occasion, the corpses of executed Legionaries were left out in the streets as a warning. This, and similar executions, served to eliminate most of the leadership cadre created by Codreanu. Codreanu had, however, correctly predicted that the royal dictatorship would be unpopular. Public feeling was eventually brought to a head by the loss of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union in August 1940. Popular demonstrations, many of which were coordinated by remnants of the Legionary movement, forced Carol

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to abdicate in early September, and the National Legionary State, an alliance between General Ion Antonescu of the Romanian army and the Legionary movement, led by Horia Sima, was proclaimed on 14 September 1940. The National Legionary State, however, proved to be of short duration. In January 1941 the Legion rebelled against General Antonescu, who was perturbed by the Legion’s violence and lack of experience in government. The Legion’s shortcomings had shown themselves during the autumn of 1940 both in the violent large-scale expropriation of property (especially Jewish property) and the murder of 64 political prisoners at Jilava prison who had been involved in the earlier suppression of the Legion. In January 1941, Antonescu and the Romanian army defeated the Legion in three days of bloody street fighting, which included a pogrom against Bucharest’s Jewish population. The National Legionary State was dissolved and the Legion outlawed, its remnants being once more forced underground or into exile. Thus Codreanu’s attempt to create a generation of ‘New Men’ to lead a regenerated Romania came to an inglorious end. What then are we to make of the life, career and personality of Corneliu Codreanu? He was perhaps fortunate to have died in 1938. The violence of the National Legionary State, the closer coordination with Nazi Germany and the wartime atrocities committed by individuals with a Legionary past, can thus be laid at Horia Sima’s door. Indeed, as early as November 1940 the so-called codrenişti were arguing that Sima had betrayed Codreanu’s essentially spiritual and moral legacy through his recourse to violence. Codreanu’s followers, led by his father, Ion, created a ‘black shirts’ cohort to signify mourning for Codreanu and the ‘real Legionaries’ whom they believed had been supplanted by Sima and his supporters.37 Simişti and codrenişti wings persist even within contemporary Legionary manifestations, with the former arguing that Sima was in fact an authentic follower of Codreanu.38 In respect of all this, it is first of all clear that Codreanu had made entry into the movement relatively difficult. Thus, he exhorted local leaders to take great care to enrol into their nests only the best and most capable.39 With the creation of the National Legionary State

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the movement was, however, opened up to a mass membership. It now consisted overwhelmingly of new members and was led largely by Legionaries who had not been close to Codreanu. Sima, moreover, had not been Codreanu’s designated successor and had profited from the murder by the royal regime of men such as Ion Banea, Legionary chief for Transylvania, and Gheorghe Clime, the head of the Legionary Workers’ Corps, whom Codreanu had favoured as his potential successors. Secondly, Codreanu had been aware of the need to build up the movement gradually through the process of creating the ‘New Man’ within a Legionary ‘parallel society’. In August 1936, he stated that it would take three to four years to create the necessary cadres for the Legion to be able to take power effectively.40 In January 1938, faced with the possibility of a victory in the new elections scheduled for March, Codreanu announced his decision to open schools to train future Legionary mayors and prefects. Honesty was high on the list of moral qualities that potential candidates had to possess.41 This process of creating cadres capable of government was brought to an end by Codreanu’s imprisonment and murder in 1938 and that of so many of his senior followers in the following months and years. Notwithstanding his attempt to ensure high moral standards, Codreanu’s Legion, nevertheless, included murderous elements. Codreanu himself had murdered the Iaşi chief of police, and between 1924 and 1937 a total of 11 known murders were committed by the Legion.42 It is also clear that groups within the movement were involved in antisemitic outrages under Codreanu’s leadership, and the depth of Codreanu’s own antisemitic feeling is plain. It has been argued that as a result of his links with the democratic Iuliu Maniu, Codreanu moved away from a belief in totalitarian solutions towards democratic ones.43 It is true that Carol’s attacks upon parliament forced Codreanu to assist Maniu in defending the system through which he himself might one day win power. As Codreanu informed Maniu, he wished to base any future Legionary regime on genuine popularity proven through the electoral process, rather than through a coup or revolution, adding that in this respect he wished to emulate Hitler.44 It thus seems unlikely that Codreanu seriously

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adhered to Maniu’s conception of liberal democracy. Yet the austere and puritanical Maniu was clearly drawn to Codreanu personally. Maniu acted as a character witness during Codreanu’s trial in May 1938, arguing that while he disagreed with Codreanu’s anti-democratic stance, he saw ‘sincerity in his actions, consistency and perseverance, qualities rarely found in our political life and amongst its leaders.’45 Codreanu was, of course, a man of his time: a fanatical Romanian nationalist, antisemite, anti-communist,46 an admirer of Hitler and Mussolini who was, in his early youth at least, prepared to commit murder. Yet if he was an extremist, the age was itself one of extremes, and in the country in which he lived neither the rule of law nor the principles of parliamentary democracy were upheld. This was a country, moreover, whose very existence was threatened by the Soviet Union which espoused a political creed potentially attractive to impoverished Romanians. To this, Codreanu responded with a unique brand of mystical nationalism which had at its core a concept of ‘social justice based on Christianity.’47 There is no reason to doubt that Codreanu’s Christian belief was genuinely held, albeit utilized for political ends. Moreover, as Maniu’s comments at his trial suggest, Codreanu’s personal standards and private life were, at the very least, better than those of most of his contemporaries. While he held rural Romania in high regard, Codreanu was plainly neither a romantic reactionary nor an ‘anti-modernist’ who wished to preserve the peasantry in aspic. While peasant leaders, such as Ion Mihalache of the National Peasant Party, believed that once students of peasant origin had completed their university education, they should return to their villages to develop Romanian agriculture, Codreanu encouraged such students to remain in the towns and cities in order to wrest them from the Jews.48 To this end, and as we have seen, Codreanu had advocated that the ‘New Man’ should concern himself with commerce. By the time of his death, Codreanu was even moving into manufacturing pharmaceuticals (such as toothpaste) and the timber industry.49 Nevertheless, the vast majority of Romanians lived off the land and thus it was the peasantry that would inevitably form the majority of Codreanu’s ‘New Men’. This primacy of the peasantry is brought out

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very distinctly in the memoirs of a Legionary who was ‘converted’ to the cause in 1935 during a train journey to a student congress. At each station, some 40 Legionary students descended onto the platform to sing rousing Legionary songs. The youngsters were, we are told, the children of peasants and ‘their élan, their vigour, their tenacity, their seriousness and conviction told me that they were the real Romanian nation of the present and the future. That evening when I got on the train at Bucharest, I had not been a Legionary, but by the morning when the train arrived at Craiova, I was a convinced Legionary [...]. The Legionary movement of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu had found the solutions for the reconstruction of Romania.’50 As the same Legionary records, before the Legionary students began cooperating with teachers, priests and doctors in the countryside to politicize rural Romanians, politicians had taken no notice of the peasantry, who were expected to vote with the government, either passively or under duress.51 Herein, lay Codreanu’s greatest achievement. Through his appeal to the peasantry, as well as to the working class, students, and even intellectuals and members of the armed forces and aristocracy, Codreanu can truly be said to have created Romania’s first, genuinely popular mass movement. In particular, through the use of religious liturgy utilized to nationalist ends, as well as the Legionaries’ well known penchant for national dance and song, Codreanu ‘nationalized the masses’ and ‘transformed the [Romanian] crowd into a coherent political force’ for the first time in its history.52

Notes The research and writing of this article was made possible through the generosity of the AHRC under its Research Leave Scheme. 1. Horia Sima, Istoria mişcării legionare, Timişoara, 1994 (originally published in 1967), p. 196. 2. Corneliu Z. Codreanu în perspective a douăzeci de ani, Madrid, 1959, pp. 13, 55. 3. Constantin Iordachi, Charisma, Politics and Violence: The Legion of the ‘Archangel Michael’ in inter-war Romania, Trondheim, 2004. 4. The infant was given the name Corneliu in honour of St Cornelius the Centurion, the first gentile to convert to Christianity, whose Holy Day fell on 13 September.

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5. Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, For my Legionaries (The Iron Guard), Madrid, 1976 (first published in 1936), pp. 6–7. 6. Petre Pandrea, Garda de Fier. Jurnal de filosofie politică. Memorii penitenciare, Bucharest, 2001, pp. 31–8. 7. Lucien Karchmar, ‘Communism in Romania 1918–1921’, in Ivo Banac (ed.), The Effects of World War One: The Class War after the Great War. The Rise of Communist Parties in East Central Europe, 1918–1921, pp. 127–87 (p. 162). 8. Codreanu, For my Legionaries, p. 277. 9. Ibid, p. 117. 10. Nicholas M. Nagy-Talavera, The Green Shirts and the Others: A History of Fascism in Hungary and Rumania, Stanford, CA, p. 264. 11. Unfortunately, the film was subsequently burned by the authorities: Grigore Traiain Pop, Garda, Căpitanul şi arhanghelul din cer, 3 vols, Bucharest, 1995–7, 2, p. 115. 12. Corneliu Codreanu, Cărticica şefului de cuib, Munich, 1987, p. 111 (originally published in 1933). 13. Codreanu, For My Legionaries, p. 131. 14. Codreanu, Cărticica şefului de cuib, p. 65. 15. Sima, Istoria mişcării legionare, p. 143. 16. For much of what follows, see Rebecca Haynes, ‘Work Camps, Commerce, and the Education of the ‘New Man’ in the Romanian Legionary Movement, The Historical Journal, 51, 2008, 4, pp. 943–67. 17. Sima, Istoria mişcării legionare, p. 196. 18. Ibid, p. 142; Banea, Căpitanul, p. 111. 19. George Mosse, ‘Introduction: Towards a General Theory of Fascism’, in George Mosse (ed.), International Fascism: New Thoughts and New Approaches, London, 1979, pp. 1–41 (pp. 26–7). 20. Sima confirms that Codreanu was not a good orator: Istoria mişcării legionare, p. 142. 21. Codreanu, For my Legionaries, p. 255. 22. Cristian Sandache, Istorie şi biografie. Cazul Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, Bucharest, 2005, p. 301. 23. Arhivele Naţionale Sediul Central, Bucharest, (hereafter, Arh. Naţ.), Ministerul de Interne, Diverse, dosar nr 13/1937, p. 119. 24. Author’s interview with Dr Şerban Milcoveanu on 19 April 2006. Until his death on 30 August 2009, Dr Milcoveanu was the oldest surviving Legionary to have known and worked with Codreanu. When asked what he believed Codreanu’s greatest quality to have been, Dr Milcoveanu replied that Codreanu possessed ‘ţelenergie’, i.e. the ability to project his energy and create ‘little Codreanus’ in distant towns and villages.

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25. For various photographs of Codreanu, sartorially elegant or otherwise, see, Din luptele tineretului roman 1919–1939 (culegere de texte), Bucharest, 1993. 26. Interview with Horia Sima in Gheorghe Buzatu et al. (eds), Radiografia dreptei româneşti (1927–1941), Bucharest, 1996, pp. 319–32 (p. 319). 27. Ibid, p. 321. 28. Sima, Istoria mişcării legionare, p. 142. 29. Nagy-Talavera, p. 247. 30. Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes, Berlin, PA, Politische Abteilung IV, Po5, Rumänien. Innere Politik, Parlaments und Parteiwesen, vol. 2, 9.37–1.38, pp. 98–101, German ministry Bucharest, 28 December 1937, daily report nr. 3675/37–IA5. Contents: Parliamentary election in Romania. To the foreign ministry, Berlin. Fabricius. 31. Constantin Argetoianu, Însemnări zilnice, 7 vols, 2 February 1935–22 November 1939, Bucharest, 1998–2003, vol. 3, pp. 295–7, 21–22 December 1937; ibid., vol. 4, p. 70, 28 January 1938. 32. Henry Roberts, Rumania: Political Problems of an Agrarian State, New Haven, CT, 1951, p. 135. 33. Rebecca Ann Haynes, ‘Reluctant Allies? Iuliu Maniu and Corneliu Zelea Codreanu against King Carol II of Romania’, Slavonic and East European Review, 85, 2007, 1, pp. 105–34. 34. Arh. Naţ., Ministerul de Interne, Diverse, dosar nr.1/1938, pp. 25–7, C.D., 24 Feb. 1938. 35. Buna Vestire, 30 November 1937, ‘Statement of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu’. 36. Armin Heinen, Die Legion ‘Erzengel Michael’ in Rumänien. Soziale Bewegung und politische Organisation, Munich, 1986, pp. 322–41. 37. Arh. Naţ., Fond Preşedinţia consiliului de ministri, Cabinet militar 1940–1944, dosar nr. 199/1940, p. 30, unmarked note dated 22 November 1940. 38. Until his death in 2009, Dr Şerban Milcoveanu was the oldest surviving member of the codrenişti wing. He argued that the Legions of Codreanu and Sima were essentially different movements. See, for example, his Corneliu Z. Codreanu altceva decât Horia Sima, 2 vols, Bucharest, 1996, esp. 1, pp. 87–255. 39. Codreanu, Cărticica şefului de cuib, pp. 39–40. 40. Ioan Scurtu (ed.), Ideologie şi formaţiuni de dreapta în România,1919–1938, 4 vols, Bucharest, 1996–2003, 4, pp. 205–6, nr 108, 31 August 1936, Bucharest, Note by the Detective Corps regarding activities taking place at the Carmen Sylva Legionary work camp. 41. Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, Circulări şi Manifeste, 1927–1938, Munich, 1981, Circular Nr. 126, Bucharest, 20 January 1938, p. 240.

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42. Meanwhile, the Romanian authorities retaliated by condemning over 500 Legionaries to death in the same period: Zev Barbu, ‘Rumania’ in S. J. Woolf (ed.), Fascism in Europe, London, 1968, pp. 151–70 (p. 162). 43. Şerban Milcoveanu, Memorii (1929–1989), Bucharest, 2008, p. 92. 44. Haynes, ‘Reluctant Allies?’ p. 114. 45. Quoted in ibid, p. 128. 46. He once quipped that ‘the communists are the great criminals of the twentieth century, and the socialists are the great imbeciles of the twentieth century.’ Quoted in Şerban Milcoveanu, Cum am cunoscut şi ce-am înţeles de la Corneliu Z. Codreanu (1899–1938), Bucharest, no date of publication, p. 27. 47. Nagy-Talavera, p. 287. 48. Milcoveanu, Memorii, p. 113. 49. Haynes, ‘Work camps’, pp. 965–6. 50. Milcoveanu, Memorii, p. 29. 51. Ibid, p. 100. 52. For the nationalization of the German masses, see George Mosse, The Nationalization of the Masses: Political Symbolism and Mass Movements in Germany from the Napoleonic Wars through the Third Reich, New York, 1975, p. 4.

CHAPTER 11 ‘FOR US, BELOVED COMM ANDER , YOU WILL NEVER DIE!’ MOUR NING JUR E FR ANCETIC´ , USTASHA DEATH SQUAD LEADER Rory Yeomans

‘Why do we follow Francetić?’ This was the rhetorical question posed by Pavao Lučić, an official of the ministry of armed forces, on Croatian State Radio, a day after the death of the commander of the elite Black Legion death squad, Jure Francetić (1912–42), was announced. Why had young Black Legionaries rushed to the side of their ‘beloved’ commander? The answer, Lučić asserted, lay in the fact that Francetić had taught the youth of Bosnia and Hercegovina how to struggle and perish for the homeland. Seeking neither riches nor military honours for himself or his warriors, he aimed only to defend the homeland. Ultimately, the riches and honours bestowed on Croatian youth were ‘the graves of Koševo and all the other places where on a wooden cross it states: “Here lies a warrior of the Black Legion!” ’ And this was the way Francetić had lived his own life: he accepted not riches but ‘two metres of warm Croatian earth in which his body rested.’1

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Perhaps no single member of the Croatian Ustasha movement (Ustaša, meaning insurgent or rebel) was perceived as embodying the values of the Ustasha ‘new man’ as much as Colonel Jure Francetić, commander of the Black Legion (Crna Legija) and the man many thought would succeed Ante Pavelić as leader (Poglavnik) of the Ustasha movement and dictator of the Independent State of Croatia from 1941 until 1945. In his lifetime and even more so after his death, Francetić was immortalized as a model for all Croatian men while the soldiers of his Black Legion were extolled as the progenitors of a new race of militant warriors. This is the story of that death and the reactions it provoked among officials and personalities in the State as well as among his legionary comrades. It is also an account of the means by which those reactions were transmitted to the masses and activists of the movement in ceremonies of mourning and ritual, and the political uses to which these ceremonies were put. According to Mijo Bzik, the official historian of the movement, the early members of the Ustasha Croatian Revolutionary Organization – commonly known as the Ustasha movement – were saviours of the nation. Founded in 1929 by radical nationalist student organizations gathered around Ante Pavelić’s Croatian Party of Rights, the movement aimed to save the Croatian nation from ‘annihilation’ at the hands of a rapacious Serbian dictatorship. For the Ustashas, Croatia needed to be liberated from the ‘foreign’ occupation of Croatia by the Serbs, who, they believed, were using the Yugoslav ideology as a Trojan horse for the destruction of not merely the identity but also the very existence of the Croatian nation. In place of Yugoslavia, they wished to establish a Greater Croatia, comprising not just Croatia and Slavonia but also Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sriijem (Srem) in the Vojvodina region of Serbia, purified of Serbs, Jews and all other ‘racially-degenerate’ and ‘alien’ elements. As far as they were concerned, this programme of national regeneration could only be achieved through purgatory violence which was the sacred duty of every Ustasha ‘warrior’. The impetus for the creation of the movement was the assassination of the leader of the Croatian Peasant Party, Stjepan Radić, which sent shock waves through Croatia and led to weeks-long violent protests by nationalist students in Zagreb that were suppressed by police batons. For some

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time prior to this, however, it appears, Pavelić had been planning some kind of anti-Yugoslav insurgency movement. The nucleus of the Ustasha movement comprised members of nationalist youth groups; nonetheless, its activists and sympathizers were drawn from various social backgrounds and political persuasions. Almost immediately after its founding, the Ustasha movement divided into two distinct groups: one, the so-called ‘émigré’ Ustashas, fled abroad with Pavelić and established terrorist training camps in Italy and Hungary; the other group, the so-called ‘home’ Ustashas, remained in Croatia. Initially, there was little ideological difference between the two groups. While the émigré Ustashas engaged more often in terrorist acts – the most infamous of which was the assassination of King Aleksandar in Marseilles in 1934 – the home Ustashas, who tended to be better educated and more intellectually inclined, also carried out assassination attempts on politicians as well as engaging in agitation and propaganda. By the time the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska) was created in 1941, though, they had developed into two opposing factions, with the émigré Ustashas increasingly looked upon by home Ustashas as uneducated and fanatical. For their part, the émigrés disdained the home Ustashas as bourgeois chatterers who, because they had not lived in the tough Ustasha terrorist camps, could not be considered ‘real’ Ustasha men. They rejected the intellectual pretensions of the home Ustashas, seeing themselves as an elite warrior-class of men leading Croatia into the new age. In 1936, the Yugoslav government entered into negotiations with Mussolini’s regime to have the camps closed down and the Ustashas repatriated. The Yugoslavs hoped the offer of amnesty would cause ordinary Ustashas to leave the movement and, given the miserable conditions in the camps, some of them did. Many, however, took the opportunity of being back in Croatia to agitate for the Ustasha cause through front organizations. Among these ‘refuseniks’ was Jure Francetić, who was frequently gaoled for spreading propaganda amongst local youth in his home town of Otočac, in the mountainous Lika region in central Croatia.2 Francetić’s return to Croatia coincided with an upsurge in support for the Ustasha movement, especially in

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regions of Croatia and Bosnia, such as the Lika and western Herzegovina where support for extreme nationalism had traditionally been strong. The movement also enjoyed increasingly close links with the Croatian Peasant Party which, by the late 1930s, under Vladko Maček’s leadership had almost entirely abandoned its original peasant agenda for a form of Croatian nationalism ranging from the mainstream to the extreme. Its militias, the Croatian Defence Force and the Peasant Civil Force, for example, enlisted en masse in the Ustasha death squads after 1941 and a significant minority of the party membership joined the movement in the first few months of the new state.3 Furthermore, in the late 1930s, Ustasha supporters infiltrated and gained control over many cultural organizations and institutions. At the University of Zagreb, ultra-nationalist and separatist students, many of whom were active members of the Ustasha movement, constituted the largest single faction on campus.4 The creation of a semi-autonomous Croatian Banovina in 1939 was meant to alleviate the causes of national tension between Serbs and Croats and to undermine support for the Ustashas. In reality, the new Croatian authorities quickly developed their own highly nationalistic agenda in which discrimination against non-Croats and the ‘Croaticization’ of cultural and political institutions were important elements.5 The inevitable Serb backlash, both inside and outside Croatia, led in turn to heightened Croatian nationalism which proved a fertile recruiting ground for the Ustashas. The increasing popularity of ultra-nationalism was demonstrated in the Croatian local elections in late 1940 when pro-Ustasha parties made sweeping gains at the expense of the Croatian Peasant Party. According to an idealized account of his life, Francetić was born into a Likan peasant family in 1912 and fell under the influence of nationalist teachers at high school. Like a number of other young nationalist students of his generation, while at the University of Zagreb in the 1930s, he joined the Ustasha movement and abandoned his studies for the cause. In Hungary, he became deputy commander of the Janka Pusta camp and, in the process, a fanatical Ustasha. Having returned to his native village in the late 1930s as part of the general amnesty, he was intermittently gaoled or conscripted into the Yugoslav army on

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account of his continued nationalist activities which included greeting all the inhabitants of the village with the slogan ‘Long live Ante Pavelić! Long live the Independent State of Croatia!’6 Eventually, he fled Yugoslavia to Germany from where he continued the struggle for an independent Croatian state. Accounts of this period of his life tended to emphasize the sacrifices he made – forsaking marriage, a career and material possessions in favour of the movement and in such a way proving himself worthy as a national revolutionary.7 With the creation of the Independent State of Croatia in 1941, following the German invasion and dismemberment of Yugoslavia, Francetić was appointed adjutant for the Ustasha Station (Ustaška postaja) of Eastern Bosnia where he distinguished himself by his ruthlessness towards Serbs and Jews and by his bloodcurdling speeches. In 1941, the First Ustasha Regiment (Prva Ustaška pukovnija) was established in Bosnia by Francetić and Ante Vokić. It comprised the units of the Sarajevo Ustasha Camp (Sarajevski ustaški logor) commanded by Bećir Lokić, a Muslim.8 With the death of Lokić in battle in September 1941, the regiment was placed under Francetić’s command. Its original function was to serve as a small counter-insurgency force of some 800 men in eastern Bosnia to crush the Chetnik and communistled rebellions amongst the Serb population which were themselves a reaction to persecution by the Ustashas. Under Francetić the regiment rapidly expanded, was renamed after its recruits’ black uniforms the ‘Black Legion’, and earned a reputation for fanaticism and violence. The first members of Francetić’s Black Legion were Sarajevo youths. The concept of indolent youth transformed into merciless young men symbolized the idea of a renewed Croatian race and lay at the heart of the Legion’s ideology. Writers eulogized the bravery and energy of what the writer Ivo Balentović called the ‘Unit of Invincible Youth’.9 Once they had become members of the Legion, the youths were subjected to a Spartan life. Dressed in the all-black uniforms of the Legion, they ‘worked and laboured all day and all night. Youths who previously liked to sleep the whole morning and who were used to the easy life, were now introduced to the strict life of the soldier warrior whose bed is the Croatian earth and whose party and dance is struggle and battle.’10

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Regime propagandists were keen to emphasize the harsh training to which the youth of Sarajevo were exposed. The Black Legion propagandist, Sulejman Sakić, boasted that ‘even before the sun had risen above the turrets of Sarajevo and the peaks of Koševo, the young soldiers of the Legion were already marching, handling firearms, exercising and training, running – and singing.’11 The incessant singing of the legionaries as they marched into battle and almost certain death was also stressed by journalists and writers since it demonstrated the fanaticism of the legionaries and their willingness to die. Many of the youths who fought in the Black Legion did not survive the battles, but propagandists assured their readers that they had demonstrated ‘their sublime national feelings which are taken in with their mothers’ milk.’ In dying, they had demonstrated their ‘unshakeable will to live and work in and for the Poglavnik’s Ustasha Croatia.’12 The official aim of the Black Legion was to protect the borders of the Croatian State with wartime Serbia, which ran along the River Drina in Bosnia and which for Croatian nationalists had an almost mystical significance. The method used to protect the territorial integrity of the new state was through the mass murder and deportation of the Serbs of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Legionary propagandists portrayed this as a legitimate act by the Croatian state to protect its borders and defend innocent Croatian and Muslim peasants from the depredations of cowardly, racially degenerate Serbian and communist ‘bandits’ whose aim was to destroy the state. According to legionary writers, among the first youths from Sarajevo to join the Legion were some who had been orphaned as a result of atrocities committed by these bands of outlaws and criminals. Naturally, Legionary youth were idealized as the antithesis of the Serb barbarians – racially-pure, fanatical, clean-cut young men with a keen sense of virtuous vengeance who went willingly to their deaths, never surrendering to the enemy.13 In a book written to commemorate the legionary assault on the Kozara Mountains in 1942, Franjo Rubina evoked a hellish scene in which innocent Croatians were subject to abominable cruelties by groups of Serbian, Jewish and Marxist cut-throats. Photographs showed harrowing pictures of murdered pensioners, children and young Ustashas. Rubina described in lurid detail the torture, execution and

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martyrdom of Andjela Šarić, a young female member of the Ustasha Youth (Ustaška mladež) who, before being executed by the Partisans in Prijedor in 1942 allegedly had the letter ‘U’ – for Ustasha – carved into her breast. In an acknowledgement of the mystical power of suffering in Ustasha ideology, however, the writer described how the mutual suffering of Croatians of the Catholic and Muslim faith had strengthened the bonds between them.14 Such suffering strengthened the legitimacy of the Legion. In a region in which ‘so much martyred Croatian blood had flowed’, Francetić and his legionaries were compelled to intervene. In March 1942, Francetić had called on all Croats to join the ranks of the Black Legion and fight for the liberation of the homeland by answering the avenging call of ‘our murdered brothers and sisters’. Who, he asked, could turn a deaf ear to this call?15 The sense of brotherhood forged in blood between Muslims and Croats was also identified as one of the sources of the strength of the Legion. As the Muslim propagandist Sulejman Sakić put it, ‘irrespective of whether they were Catholic or Muslim, every member of the Legion was a fiery Croat and Ustasha. As such they remain until the cold grave.’16 Given the preoccupation of the Ustasha regime with national regeneration through racial purity, it is hardly surprising that the rhetoric of purification was also integral to the propaganda of the Legion, with writers frequently making reference to legionaries ‘cleansing’ eastern Bosnia of ‘aliens’ who were ‘invading’ Bosnia from across the Drina. Possibly the most infamous massacres committed by the Black Legion were those carried out in Prijedor and the Romanija mountains in the winter of 1941 and 1942, when thousands of defenceless Serb civilians were murdered and their bodies thrown into the river Drina. Francetić was rumoured to have personally ordered the murder of over 3000 civilians. None of this was ever mentioned in legionary propaganda. Instead the Legion was clothed in an aura of noble death and righteous violence by its supporters as well as a genuine sense of pride at its daring.17 Both for the Legion and for the Ustasha regime, ‘purification’ not only meant the violent removal of all racially degenerate elements but also pointed to a new ideologically purified spirit and élan as the path

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to national regeneration. In the eyes of admiring Muslim writers, at least, the Legion was interpreted not just as a militia for the physical liberation of the Muslims of Bosnia from Serb ‘bandits’ but also an organization for the emancipation of Muslim youth from over-intellectualization and a provincial identity. ‘The school which the young heroes of the Black Legion passed through taught them to be steely warriors for Croatia. From the very first moment there existed genuine brotherly and mutual love which knows no borders,’ one Bosnian newspaper exulted. In short, joining the Legion had taught young Muslims how to be Croats.18 Another important aspect of the Black Legion was the blood brotherhood which bonded the legionaries together. The Ustashas understood the revolution of 1941 to have ushered in not just the ‘new man’, but also a new attitude towards human relationships personified in the concept of ‘manly love’. In his romanticized account of life in the Ustasha training camps, Mijo Bzik wrote of how the Ustashas lived an intensely intimate life, with the Poglavnik taking on the role of father to the members of his movement. He also detailed the fanatical love Ustashas felt when first meeting their leader.19 Yet, ‘manly love’ implied more than simple male bonding and had its roots not so much in fascist ideology as in the Balkan and Slavic tradition of sworn blood brotherhood (pobratimstvo), a semi-religious ceremony in which two men formally declared loyalty and brotherhood to each other for life. As late as the end of the 1920s, the British anthropologist Edith Durham claimed this Orthodox custom could be found throughout the Balkans.20 Notions of comradeship and shared kinship were everywhere apparent in legionary propaganda and the Black Legion exhibited an intense family structure. Legionaries boasted to journalists that they did not have girlfriends because they were committed to each other until death. According to legionary propaganda, Francetić shared a strong emotional bond with the young men he commanded and was personally affected by their deaths. Francetić knew the name and surname of every member of the Legion and, ‘as the father of this large army, knows the soul of every one of his soldiers just as every father knows the soul of his son.’21 Articles written following Francetić’s death appeared to

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confirm that his soldiers often considered him as their surrogate father. Josip Križanac, for instance, wrote of Francetić: ‘We love him like our own father, because he shares good and evil with us.’22 Even Serbs, such as Milenko Ećimović, who deserted the Partisans for the Black Legion after being taken prisoner by legionaries, could fall under his spell. Ećimović went on to become Francetić’s personal bodyguard.23 Some friends such as Ivo Balentović believed that Francetić’s selection of young men, most of whom were under the age of seventeen, to be his comrades filled an emotional need. Since Francetić did not have a son of his own, his Legionaries became his symbolic family. ‘With much love he looked after their upbringing. And they loved him intensely,’ Balentović recalled.24 Nevertheless, Francetić left his surrogate sons under no illusions that, in joining the Black Legion, they had made an irrevocable commitment to the nation and the State. In a speech in the winter of 1942, he commanded his legionaries to ‘fulfil your duty to the end, even if it means following in the footsteps of those whose lives have already been extinguished in the foundations of the Independent State of Croatia.’25 From its inception, the masculine ideal had been central to the identity of the Ustasha movement. Its ideologues argued that to achieve the liberation of Croatia a new kind of man needed to be created: instead of the ‘nervous’ and ‘suicidal’ urban bourgeois man, a new breed of warrior-men was required to liberate the Croatian nation from the Serbian yoke.26 With the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia, poets canonized the concept of man as warrior.27 Regime hacks were also moved to eulogy. In Dragutin D. Došen’s study of the elite Poglavnik Bodyguard (Poglavnikov tjelesne sdrug), he depicted the unit as a breed of mythical supermen.28 The cult of masculinity within the Black Legion resulted in the deification of death and violence. Since one of the aims of the Legion was to transform callow young men into steely warriors, the violence and killing of the Legion became a transformative experience. One writer immortalized Francetić’s legionaries as a race of avenging supermen: ‘burnt by the sun and the wind, the Ustashas of Jure Francetić, with guns and bombs in their hands and on their belts, smashed the brood of bandits and cut-throats.’29

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This fanaticism was also evident in their commander’s personality. In interviews with the Sarajevo press, Francetić demonstrated the Manichean world view which was an integral aspect of the Legion. Talking with pride of the ‘cleansing’ operations of his legionaries in 1942, Francetić warned that he and his men would show little ‘sentimentality’ to those who had harmed the Croatian nation and would destroy them all if necessary. Since the propaganda of ‘the Jewish communist hydra’ had succeeded in misleading a majority of the Serb Orthodox population in eastern Bosnia into committing ‘criminal acts against the state’, the ‘most drastic means’ would have to be employed against them.30 Nonetheless, he also made it clear that the fervour of the legionaries meant that they could have no regard for their own lives either. On 23 December 1941, three months before the assault on eastern Bosnia began, Francetić declared that ‘our faith in the Poglavnik, our love towards him and the Croatian nation leads us to the fanatical decision to scorn every difficulty, including our own lives for the attainment of the ultimate goal [of cleansing Croatia]’.31 Given its simultaneously murderous and suicidal nature, the Legion was not just deadly for its enemies; it could also be fatal for its foot soldiers. The Independent State of Croatia was obsessed with notions of death and sacrifice. The cult of death lay at the centre of the Ustasha world view which it drew partly from the ideology of fascism and partly from Roman Catholicism. It believed that the dead as well as the living were all part of one nation and Ustasha newspapers, journals and songs provided countless examples of the interaction of the living and the dead. The cult of death and sacrifice was also reflected in the mass rituals and ceremonies of mourning which were celebrated as national holidays. The most important national day in the State was 20 June, the Day of Croatian Martyrs (Dan hrvatskih mučenika), which commemorated all those who had died for the cause of a liberated Croatia. On this day, all public places were draped in black flags and officials and personalities of the State (such as the relatives of the dead) attended a requiem mass for the deceased, before making a pilgrimage to the graves of dead national heroes at the cemetery of Mirogoj.32 Another key day in the State calendar was the Day of the Dead which was held on the 1 November, commemorating all the Ustashas who had

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sacrificed their lives for the movement. In allusions rich with biblical notions of martyrdom, crucifixion and resurrection, the State held as an article of faith that Ustasha warriors who had fallen in battle would rise from the grave to command the living. Deceased Ustashas became leaders of what Jure Prpić called ‘an eternal legion of the dead’, forever watching over the nation.33 This thinking was also reflected in the valedictory oration at Ustasha funerals, ‘He is with us!’ More so than perhaps any Ustasha militia, the Black Legion was united by a cult of death not just in terms of the glorification of aggression, but also in the recounting of the suffering and deaths of its legionaries. These were portrayed in semi-religious and mystical terms as if they were Christian martyrs and saints. For example, in his editorial introduction to the posthumous collection of poetry written by Josip Križanac, the writer Vilim Peroš devoted more space to the manner of the young legionary poet’s dying than the achievements of his life, detailing his death at the hands of a ‘horde of bandits’ who roasted him on a fire. Shot through with chiliastic iconography, Peroš related how, like the early Christian martyrs, Križanac’s fortitude was such that he remained ‘unshakable in his faith towards the Poglavnik and Croatia’, crying out as he burnt to death, ‘Long live the Independent State of Croatia! Long live the Poglavnik! Long live Jure!’ Križanac thus perished a martyr, ‘giving his life for the Independent State of Croatia’.34 Fictive blood brotherhood, the belief that the dead guided the fate of the nation, the cult of violence, death and martyrdom: all these elements were also present in the memorials and funerals which were held for Jure Francetić after his death from wounds inflicted by vengeful axe-wielding Serb peasants. Although Francetić died in a Partisan military hospital in December 1942, so concerned were the authorities about the effect his death would have on supporters of the movement that news of his death was delayed until the beginning of March the following year. With the official announcement of his death on 31 March 1943, the State declared eight days of official mourning. On 1 April, the Poglavnik received Francetić’s mother, father and widow to express his condolences. On the same day, the newspapers announced that Francetić was to be named leader of a military unit of the Ustasha

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army and, in honour of him, the unit would also carry his name.35 On the following day, requiems were held in Zagreb and Sarajevo. In these ceremonies of mass mourning, relatives, state officials as well as legionaries and ‘throngs’ of ordinary citizens, gave thanks for his life. In keeping with the solemn nature of the occasion, an order was issued by the authorities requesting that on 2 April all businesses should be closed for the duration of the funeral and that shop fronts should be draped in black flags. The memorial service held in Zagreb was the official commemoration of Francetić’s life, attended by the Poglavnik as well as the immediate members of Francetić’s family. The mass was a prosaic affair and the subsequent newspaper reports gave more attention to Pavelić’s walk-about in Zagreb following the ceremony, accompanied by prominent Ustashas and his bodyguards, than to the mass itself. The main regime newspaper, for instance, reduced the description of Francetić’s death to little more than a footnote and the outpouring of grief among supporters of the regime was interpreted as a demonstration of popular support for the Poglavnik and the regime rather than an expression of sorrow at Francetić’s passing.36 By contrast, the requiem mass that took place in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Sarajevo, where the Legion had been founded, was quite different. The Cathedral clearly made a powerful, symbolic setting for the mass. A catafalque was placed in the middle of the main aisle draped in the flag of the movement and the State, and surrounded by flowers, Ustasha emblems and six lighted candles. Emotionally charged, with calls for vengeance, the emphasis of the ceremony was on Francetić’s life which stood as an inspiration for supporters of the regime to continue the struggle against the nation’s enemies. Following the mass, there was another commemoration in the Croatian State Theatre at which leading personalities of the movement honoured his life.37 It was not just ordinary citizens who might be expected to feel the loss of Francetić. His legionaries were present in sizeable numbers at the requiem mass too. Ustashas, unlike ordinary men, were not supposed to demonstrate tender emotions, even at the funerals of beloved comrades. This was because, as Mijo Bzik explained, the Ustasha ‘is not an ordinary man’ and therefore ‘he

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should not and cannot shed tears because the enemy would consider these tears a weakness.’38 On this occasion, however, the legionaries ignored their own strictures: such was the grief that many felt at the loss of their commander that they openly wept. ‘Wounded warriors from Francetić’s Black Legion’, who ‘were wearing visible bandages from the wounds they had received in countless battles’, were deeply moved by the news of the death of their ‘beloved commander’. Fierce uncompromising legionaries though they were, ‘one could see sincere pain in their faces’. As Božidar Brale, a radical young Catholic priest and close confidant of Francetić, read his eulogy, his young comrades who had ‘many times looked death in the eyes’ could bear the pain no longer and ‘wept over their fallen commander.’ Such emotionalism was not, however, simply a manifestation of grief, news reports of the event sternly pointed out, but ‘an expression of firm decisiveness’ to avenge their leader’s death.39 Later, in the Croatian State Theatre, eulogies were delivered by Ustasha functionaries and cultural commissars. Against the backdrop of a Ustasha flag and a portrait of the deceased commander, they lined up to pay their respects to the fallen death squad commander. One of the most striking speeches was given by the commander of the Croatian armed forces, Ante Vokić, with whom Francetić had established the nucleus of the Legion. Recalling those heady early days, Vokić remembered his dead comrade’s love towards the youth of Sarajevo which was ‘touchingly fatherly’ and his absolute devotion towards the Poglavnik. Yet he also argued that the movement should not dwell on the past; instead the memory of his life and the manner of his death should be used to inspire future generations. The ‘beautiful and utterly saintly face of our national model hero whose spirit fortifies us, refreshes us and steels us’, he explained, could be used in the incarnation of a new ‘fanatical phalange of warriors which will not hesitate even before the most terrible tasks.’ Holding his burnished image in their mind’s eye, this new generation of Ustasha warriors should ‘faithfully carry out his oaths and dutifully fulfil his commands, to the nation, to the homeland, and to our fallen warriors.’40 The oration was followed by Beethoven’s Funeral March and a speech by the Ustasha commissar for propaganda, Hasan Hadžiosmanović, who asserted that Francetić

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exemplified the best qualities of the Croatian ‘new man’: militancy, a preparedness to sacrifice his life for the good of the homeland, a willingness to shed blood, and a warrior mentality. He concluded by addressing Francetić directly: ‘We salute you and thank you, our dear Jure!’41 In a commemoration on Sarajevo radio a few days later, Ante Vokić also communicated with Francetić, addressing him directly as Hadžiosmanović had done, and used the occasion to call for vengeance against those who had been responsible for his untimely death: ‘Beloved Jure! For us you are not dead because you live with us forever. We will swear, beloved Jure, before your unforgettable memory, that we mean to avenge you [...]. With fanatical belief in the Poglavnik and Croatia we will continue your work; we will follow your path. We give you our word and solemn oath before your bodily remains and your shining face.’42 Likewise, Emil Lasić, a battalion leader in the youth section of the movement in Sarajevo, declared in a newspaper article that ‘Jure died, but he is not dead. He lives through his work, in the greatness of his heroism, and in the strength of his warriors. And today, whenever the Black Legion appears, in front of them, with easy supple strides, is their great commander. His spirit cannot die.’43 The belief in Francetić’s immortality was not just meant to inspire young men to follow in Francetić’s footsteps: it was quite consciously designed to provoke a desire for vengeance on the part of the fanaticized legionaries as well as young members of other Ustasha militias more generally. Nor was it a belief solely propagated by regime officials and its propagandists. In a series of letters addressed through the Sarajevo press to their dead commander in April 1943, young legionaries expressed precisely these emotions, combining a mystical belief in the afterlife with vows of violent revenge. In one typical letter, a legionary wrote that ‘your strong and great spirit still proudly marches in the first battle ranks of the Black Legion [...]. For us, you are not dead and nor will you ever die. Countless enemies will pay for your death. If it should happen that after this cleansing a new wave of cleansing is needed, believe us, immortal Jure, that we will be more resolute than ever when stepping into new battles.’44

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Sentiments of this type were replicated in poems written in tribute to Francetić by his legionaries. A poem of April 1943 by Vladimir Jurčić put into verse the widely-held archetype of the afterlife of the death squad leader. Declaring that ‘the dead live’ and Francetić is ‘the hero of the dead’, the poem considered the immortal nature of the dead commander. ‘The voice of Jure will sound out like the scream of a trumpet!’ Jurčić wrote, ‘And he will again be with his warriors,/ And dead he will again inspire heroes/ and again be the source of living strength.’45 By contrast, Branko Klarić’s tribute was imbued with intimacy, sentimentality and a tenderness that stand in sharp contrast to the violence and fanaticism of the Legion and its commander. Addressing Francetić directly as ‘my Ustasha, my brother, my hero, my dear son, darling one, the only one,’ Klarić wrote that the earth in which the fallen commander is buried ‘glistened/ with your fertile blood (like with young wine).’ Like a lover, in the ‘late and lonely hours’, he would visit Francetić’s grave to be near him and ‘tell you all the thoughts of my heart/ and never will wilt the blooming flowers/ which are fed by warm, young, strong blood.’46 With the death of Jure Francetić in 1942, the leadership of the Black Legion was assumed by his deputy Rafael Boban. Although the Legion continued to be lionized in the national press, and Boban was fêted as the natural successor of Francetić, the Black Legion never regained the prominence it had held in the period between its formation in the winter of 1941 and Francetić’s passing. Ultimately, it was subsumed into other units of the Ustasha army. Despite the sorrow which activists of the movement felt at Francetić’s death, they believed, like many fascists, that his death would strengthen the regime. Watching from above, Francetić and a legion of the dead would guide the destiny of the living. They were also convinced that the movement’s tragic heroic martyrs would inspire the rank and file. They were to be disappointed. Rather than presaging a renaissance, the death of the legionary commander coincided with the onset of the irreversible demise of the Independent State of Croatia. Moreover, the death of Francetić, one of the few genuinely charismatic personalities of the movement, led to a feeling of malaise amongst activists which the extravagant displays of mourning and ritual did little to disguise.

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At the same time, the State’s enemies and the victims of his ruthless campaign of mass murder received the news of Francetić’s death with jubilation in the belief that the destruction of the hated Ustasha regime was imminent. With Francetić’s posthumous appointment as commander of a military unit, his promotion to the rank of general in the armed forces, as well as the endless exhortations for soldiers to follow his commands and ask themselves at every turn: ‘What would Jure do?’,47 the Ustasha state was in effect being partly led by a dead man. In reality, however, while the Ustashas continued to declare that Francetić was still with them, the Black Legion’s commander was as dead as any man would be who had been struck in the head with an axe. Ironically, along with the requiem masses for Francetić, who had at one time been anointed as the heir of Pavelić, the Ustashas were also burying the Ustasha state.

Notes 1. Pavao Lučić, ‘Zašto sliedimo Francetića?’ Sarajevski novi list, 2 April 1943. 2. ‘Život i djelo ustaše Jure Francetića,’ Hrvatski narod, 4 April 1943; Nikola Šabić, ‘Jure Francetić, junak naših dana’, Nova Hrvatska, 2 April 1943. 3. In 1941 especially, there were numerous letters from regional branches of the Croatian Peasant Party in which members, seemingly spontaneously, declared their support for the Ustasha regime and requested permission to join the movement en masse. See, for example, Hrvatski Državni Arhiv (HDA – Croatian State Archive, Zagreb), Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska (NDH – Independent State of Croatia), Hrvatska izveštajna sluzba (HIS – Croatian Investigatory Service) 2400–3199/3/2478/49; HDA, NDH, HIS, 31/9961/1503–1995/1911/1912; HDA, NDH, HIS, 31/9961/1925; HDA, NDH, Ministarstvo unutrašnjih poslova (Ministry of the Interior), 1036– 10296/304/223/6641. See also, ‘Organizacije HSS stupaju u ustaškom pokretu’, Hrvatski narod, 15 August 1941; ‘Kotarska organizacija b HSS prihvatila ustaška načela’, Hrvatski branik, 6 September 1941; ‘Novi odsjek u životu hrvatskog naroda’, Hrvatski branik, 16 August 1941. 4. Ljubo Boban, Sporazum Cvetković–Maček, Zagreb, 1964, pp. 266–73; ‘Klub medicinara zagrebačkog sveučilišta zbog lijevičarske uprave izkljućen je iz medjuklub odbora sveučilištaraca’, Novosti, 19 December 1939. 5. See, for example, ‘Hrvatski dnevnik’, Hrvatski dnevnik, 29 August 1940. 6. ‘Odjek smrti Jure Francetića’, Sarajevski novi list, 3 April 1943.

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7. ‘Život i djelo ustaše Jure Francetića’, Nova Hrvatska, 3 April 1943; ‘Jure Francetić: junak naših dana’, Nova Hrvatska, 2 April 1943; ‘Jure Francetić kao revolucionarac i vojnik’, Hrvatski narod, 2 April 1943. 8. ‘U spomen Bećir Lokmiću’, Osvit, 2 August 1942. 9. Ivo Balentović (ed.), Crna legija: odredi nepobjedive mladost, Zagreb, 1942. 10. ‘Ustaška Crna Legija i njezine borbe’, Hrvatski narod, 30 March 1943. 11. Sulejman Sakić, ‘Jure Francetić’, Osvit, 10 April 1943. 12. ‘Utvrdena je povijesna granica na Drini’, Osvit, 17 May 1942. 13. Balentović, ‘Godišnjica borbe i uspjeha’, in Balentović (ed.), Crna legija, p. 68. 14. Franjo Rubina, Krvave tajne planine Kozera, Zagreb, 1942, pp. 3–8. 15. ‘Na obrane rodne grude!’ Osvit, 29 March 1942. 16. Suleiman Sakić, ‘Jure Francetić’, Osvit, 10 April 1943. 17. Sulejman Sakić, ‘ “Crna legija” junaka Jure Francetića’, Osvit, 13 September 1942. 18. S., ‘U spomen pukovnika Jure Francetića’, Osvit, 4 April 1943. 19. Mijo Bzik, Ustaška pobjeda u danima ustanka i oslobodjenja, Zagreb, 1942, pp. 23–25, and Bzik, Ustaška borba od prvih dana ustaškoga rada do poglavnikova odlaska u emigraciju: počeci i bit ustaškoga pokreta, Zagreb, 1942, pp. 20–21. 20. Edith M. Durham, Some Tribal Origins, Laws and Customs of the Balkans, London, 1928, pp. 153–79. 21. ‘Ustaška Crna Legija i njezine borbe’, Hrvatski narod, 30 March 1943. 22. Križanac, Junačka djela Jure Viteza Francetića u stihovima, p. 49. 23. Vilko Ivančić, ‘Vitežko srdce’, Nova Hrvatska, Easter 1944. 24. Ivo Balentovic, ‘Francetić – legendarni junak nove Hrvatske’, Hrvatski krugoval, 4 April 1943, p. 2. 25. Sakić, ‘Jure Francetić’, Osvit, 10 April 1943. 26. Mijo Bzik, Ustaški pogled, Zagreb, 1942, p. 20. 27. See, for example, Matija Marčinko, ‘Borči’, in Vinko Nikolić (ed.), Lovori: Novije Hrvatske rodoljubne pjesme, Zagreb, 1943, p. 54. 28. Dragutin D. Došen, Poglavnikovi tjelesni sdrugov, Zagreb, 1944, p. 27. 29. ‘Kako se borio Jure Francetić ...’ Sarajevski novi List, 3 April 1943. 30. ‘Utvrdena je povijesna granica na Drini’, Osvit, 17 May 1942. 31. ‘Uništavanje četničkih banda u Bosni: izjava ustaškog bojnika Jure Francetića’, Nova Hrvatska, 23 December 1941. 32. ‘Dan hrvatskih mučenika’, Hrvatski narod, 20 June 1941. 33. Jure Prpić, ‘Naše žrtve’, Ustaški godišnjak, 1, 1942, pp. 91–97. 34. Vilim Peroš, ‘Život i djelo pjesnika Josipa Križanaca’, in Josip Križanac, Junačka djela Jure Viteza Francetića, pp. 54–55. 35. ‘Poglavnik je imenovao pukovnika Juru viteza Francetića vlastnikom 7. domobranske pješačke pukovnije’, Hrvatski narod, 2 April 1943.

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36. See, for example, ‘Poglavnik je prisustvovao zadušnicama za pukovnika Juru viteza Francetića’, Nova Hrvatska, 3 April 1943. 37. ‘Sarajevo u počast Jure viteza Francetića’, Nova Hrvatska, 3 April 1943. 38. Mijo Bzik, ‘Ustaša Mijo Babić ustaški je pao u borbi’, Ustaša, 19 July 1941, p. 3. 39. ‘Dirljiva komemoracija za Jure Francetića u Sarajevu’, Nova Hrvatska, 4 April 1943, ‘Komemorativa svečanost Ustaške vojnice u Kasindolu’, Sarajevski novi list, 3 April 1943. 40. ‘Sarajevo je dostojno odužilo uspomeni narodnog junaka’, Sarajevski novi list, 3 April 1943. 41. Ibid. 42. ‘Sarajevo nad mrtvim Francetićem duboko spušta glavu ...’, Sarajevski novi list, 1 April 1943. 43. ‘Francetićev duh ne može umrieti ...’ Sarajevski novi List, 1 April 1943. 44. S.I., ‘In memoriam pukovniku Juri Francetiću’, Sarajevski novi list, 31 March 1943. 45. Vladimir Jurčić, ‘Pukovnik Jure Francetić’, Sarajevski novi list, 1 April 1943. 46. Branko Klarić, ‘Ustaši koji je pao’, in Nikolić (ed.), Lovori, pp. 45–6. 47. Lučić, ‘Zašto sliedimo Francetića?’ Sarajevski novi list, 2 April 1943.

CHAPTER 12 THE CZECHOSLOVAK SPHINX: ‘MODER ATE AND R EASONABLE’ KONR AD HENLEIN Mark Cornwall

Konrad Henlein (1898–1945) was a controversial personality during his turbulent decade as leader of the Sudeten Germans, and he has remained so in Czech historiography. In the Czech national imagination and public discourse, he is usually perceived as the ultimate traitor. It was he above all others who facilitated the Third Reich’s destruction of the first Czechoslovak Republic in 1938, and whose behaviour as a ‘fifth-columnist’ seemed to mirror the mentality of a generation of Sudeten Germans who (notably in Czech communist historiography) could simply be labelled as Henleinovci.1 From Prague’s perspective, it was this ‘Nazi wolf in sheep’s clothing’, posing as an ordinary Sudeten German, who managed to hoodwink the British during his four official visits to London from 1935 to 1938. Those whom he met, whether politicians or Foreign Office officials, lined up to tell a similar story: that Henlein was ‘moderate and reasonable’; ‘serious and reliable’; ‘essentially moderate and only too anxious for his Germans to settle down in Czecho-Slovakia if the Czechs would

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give them a chance’.2 It might of course be expected that Sir Joseph Addison, the anti-Czech British minister in Prague, would side with Henlein as some ‘modern Moses [...] moderate and a man of his word’.3 More surprisingly, Sir Robert Vansittart (permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office), though later disparaging Henlein as a ‘dreary gymnast’, warmed to him at the time, considering as late as October 1937 that he was ‘a decent, honest and moderate, or anyhow relatively moderate, man’.4 Even Winston Churchill, lunching with Henlein in May 1938, reported that he was ‘most moderate in his conversation’, not a bare-faced liar.5 For the many commentators who have viewed Henlein as a Nazi dissembler, there is nothing particularly complicated about his personality. According to the social democrat historian J. W. Brügel, he was ‘from top to toe the perfect Nazi official’ who assumed a mask for tactical reasons. Later, in Vienna in March 1941, Henlein would (in a much quoted speech) claim that from the start he had camouflaged his true intentions.6 Although in the Second World War Henlein was forced on a number of occasions publicly to ‘rewrite’ his past, Brügel and others have taken these manoeuvres at face value, deciding quite clearly where Henlein was a dissembler and where he was not. Similarly dismissive was the approach taken in 1937 by one influential Czech social democrat analysis of the Henlein movement.7 The authors admitted that in Henlein there was ‘something boyish and something extraordinarily trustworthy and honest’. But otherwise they described him as a ‘totally inconspicuous man’, who was a hard subject even for cartoonists, impossible to draw if it were not for his trademark spectacles. By this measure, Henlein was a characterless, empty vessel into which others poured their ideas, for he had none of his own apart from a simple commitment to Pan-Germanism and national socialism. In short, Henlein was anything but the ‘Czechoslovak sphinx’ as portrayed in the Czech and foreign press: ‘In truth there is nothing mysterious about this very simple man.’8 These clear-cut assessments were grounded in the ideological stereotypes of the 1930s and seemingly proven correct by Henlein’s behaviour in 1938 and by his ‘loyalty’ to Nazism until the bitter end. Nevertheless, something of the ‘Czechoslovak sphinx’ has remained

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in more recent historiography, the riddles enduring as different facets of Henlein’s life are gradually uncovered.9 Andreas Luh and Ronald Smelser have explained the obstacles confronting Henlein when head, respectively, of the Sudeten gymnastics movement (Deutsche Turnverband) and the Sudeten German Party (Sudetendeutsche Partei or SdP); in the former environment up to 1933 he was highly successful as a leader, in the latter far less so. Smelser convincingly suggested that Henlein after 1933 was attractive to the Sudeten population precisely because of his ordinariness, his ability to be an Everyman who represented the average Sudeten German’s grievances.10 The image was well captured by one British observer of Henlein in 1937: Stolid and rather dull, Konrad Henlein bears no resemblance to the familiar type of dictators. He wears spectacles and moves with the suggestion of the goosestep. In private he talks quietly and seriously. In public, he reads his speeches from a typed script, occasionally striking out with a sudden movement as if he had just remembered that a public speaker is expected to show liveliness. It is only when he speaks to small meetings of simple country folk that he lets himself go. [...] His simplicity and lack of intellectual airs gain him the confidence of the masses.11 While sustaining this contemporary picture of an individual lacking charisma, although attractive because of his grassroots ordinariness, Smelser challenged those like Brügel or Radomír Luža who had portrayed Henlein from the start as a calculating Nazi ‘fifth-columnist’. Rather, although Henlein was imbued with a Sudeten German völkisch (but non-Nazi) mindset, he was otherwise a poor political operator, ‘a man who [in 1933] unwittingly stumbled into a position far more demanding than his abilities to cope with it’.12 As we shall see, this rings true on the evidence of the following five years, when Henlein showed a tendency to be swayed by influential colleagues from both the conservative and radical wings of the SdP, and not least displayed at times an ‘inner turmoil’ when unable to control the movement he had called into being. It can be said that he went with the flow in gradually assuming a Nazi allegiance by late 1937.

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The same traits have been revealed in Ralf Gebel’s recent study of Henlein as Reichsstatthalter during the Second World War. There he is at times a tortured soul, highly sensitive to how he is treated and perceived, someone above all committed to the fate of the Sudeten Germans, yet unable to avoid being fully drawn into the national socialist camp, employing its rhetoric and executing many Nazi policies with verve. Hitler never seems to have doubted his loyalty, and in the end other influential party leaders also recognized his steadfastness, with Martin Bormann writing in July 1944 of an ‘especially reliable party comrade’.13 Gebel, rather than suggesting that Henlein was a convinced Nazi official, usefully compares him to two other right-wing personalities from an Austrian context. On the one hand, there is the ex-Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, authoritarian in outlook, committed to his territorial roots, but consistently opposed to Nazism; on the other – the better example – Arthur Seyss-Inquart, similarly devoted to Austria and to preserving its singularity within a Greater Germany, yet slowly pulled into the Nazi vortex, ending as a complete loyalist who was executed at Nuremberg.14 If, on a fascist spectrum, Henlein fits somewhere between these two case studies, his particular development over thirty years illustrates well the degree to which Sudeten German fascism – in other words, the völkisch phenomenon that permeated so many inter-war Sudeten communities – retained its own characteristics while overlapping with German national socialism.15 There were three main phases to Henlein’s career: 1919–1933, 1933– 1937/8 and 1937/8–1945. In each he assumed a leading role among the Germans of Bohemia–Moravia and found himself caught in a conflict between major völkisch factions. In each, his own role proved decisive to some degree (itself proof that he was not just a figurehead), but only from one phase, the first, did he emerge really triumphant on his own terms. Like all those of his generation, Henlein’s life was to be framed by twentieth-century Europe’s ‘Thirty Years War’. In the three phases mentioned, the spatial framework shifted and expanded, but there was a central consistency, a certainty of outlook, about an ongoing völkisch crusade on behalf of the Sudeten German population. It was a German struggle in a Czechoslovak context that employed the language and

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trappings of militarism, even though Henlein, unlike Hitler, always seems to have wanted to shield his people from war. This is just one of the riddles that Henlein continues to pose: the discrepancy between his aims and his tactics. Unscrambling it means investigating the mentality of those German Bohemian veterans, whom Henlein ably personified, who returned from the war in 1918–19 to find themselves citizens of a Czechoslovak national state. Some contemporary Czech commentators dismissed Henlein’s education in the First World War as ‘nothing special’.16 Yet it seems crucial in explaining how his Sudeten German mission took shape in the 1920s and why he drew respect from both an older and a younger male generation. Although over half his wartime experience (1917–19) was spent in Italian captivity on the island of Asinara near Sardinia, Henlein later tended to ‘talk big’ about the personal impact of the trenches.17 Like Heinrich Rutha, the north Bohemian veteran who became his mentor in the 1920s, Henlein had been gassed on the Italian front and returned to Bohemia with the reputation and mentality of a serious Frontkämpfer, someone who had made sacrifices for a German-Austrian or Bohemian homeland that was now ‘victimized’ in Czechoslovakia. Henlein never fully subscribed to Rutha’s idealistic national mission that was encapsulated in Sudeten German youth, but he shared a firm völkisch outlook which demanded new channelling in the post-First World War environment (and this activity quickly overtook his mundane job as a bank clerk).18 For Henlein, the conduit for the mission was hardly a radical choice. It was the Turnverband, the gymnastics association where his father and grandfather had flourished, which, with its grassroots network and role in Sudeten culture, had far more substance than outsiders imagined.19 By 1923 he was responsible for völkisch training in his local Turner region, seeking to recapture the essence of the early-nineteenth-century Turner movement for application in the current ‘national crisis’. By 1925–6 he was being drawn into the intellectual circle of those from northern Bohemia (notably Walter Heinrich, a mentor to Rutha) who were disciples of the Viennese sociologist Othmar Spann. Out of a small discussion group there emerged a loose circle which as a ‘comrades union’ (Kameradschaftsbund or KB) sought to spin a web of ‘Spannist’ contacts across the Sudetenland

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in order to construct a corporatist state in the region. Henlein was a KB member but seems to have been on the fringes of the corporate vision, more interested in practical organization than in intellectual theory. Indeed, while others grappled with the overall national mission (evolving into a ‘Sudeten German’ vision as many reconstructed their identity within the Czechoslovak context), Henlein’s passion was to perfect its vehicle in the shape of a centralized and semi-militarized Turnverband: a highly disciplined body of men trained physically and mentally to serve the nation. His was a heavily gendered as well as völkisch outlook, privileging the type of ‘German male hero’ that he knew from history and the trenches. Thus in 1925, in a first article for the Turnzeitung, he rather pompously urged his followers to be ‘complete men’ and to ‘dress in a manly way!’: ‘Our age bears all the signs of decadence and decline. Maleness [Mannestum] and a sense of heroism have been rare amongst us Germans; a weaker, slacker, more effeminate trait is dominant, something emasculating which will never be constructive for our people!’20 It was, moreover, through playing on his own image as a Frontkämpfer that Henlein was able, in the generational crisis afflicting the Turnverband in the 1920s, to act as a mediating figure between older members and the post-war recruits. His calm and serious exterior, then as later, seemed to make him the ideal moderator or at least someone perceived as a reliable leader.21 When he moved to western Bohemia in 1926 as the chief Turner instructor in Asch, he put his reform agenda into practice, quickly establishing a ‘Turn region’ in the Egerland that was admired elsewhere in the movement. From May 1928 when he became a member of the Turnverband national leadership, his voice was increasingly heard. In seeking to impose discipline and uniformity, he was inspired by the example of the Czech Sokol movement (witnessing it at first hand in the 1926 Prague Slet, the Czech gymnastics festival). But more importantly in these years, he was mentored behind the scenes by Heinrich Rutha, whose obsession was to train a youthful male elite – a Männerbund – as a vanguard for the national mission. Intertwined with this was the principle of a tight hierarchy, of obedience to a Führer at every level, which Henlein readily accepted. Secure in his role as a Turn

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leader, steadily transforming the former gymnastics association into a semi-military organization, it is nevertheless far less certain whether Henlein himself formulated the idea, publicized in the Turnzeitung in May 1928, that the Turnverband should become an educational body for the Sudeten nation.22 Most probably, Rutha was responsible for the intellectual arguments, while Henlein was primarily interested in the Turn infrastructure. Yet, by the end of the decade, we can glimpse more clearly Henlein’s own anti-liberal credentials and, perhaps most significant for the future, the way that he tended to view the various shades of the völkisch spectrum as one and the same. In an article of December 1930, he condemned liberalism, democracy and the party state as ‘un-German’. Rather, he stressed, it was ‘disciplined Männerbunde [who] rule the present: Fascism, the Hitler movement, the Heimwehr, etc’ – his own local body of men was proclaimed as fully in tune with these ‘modern’ phenomena.23 In the late 1920s, when German ‘activist’ parties entered the Czechoslovak coalition government, the Turner movement represented a parallel but ‘negativist’ phenomenon with deep roots in the local community. Because it was working outside the existing Czech political structures, it largely went unnoticed until 1933. In May 1931, Henlein was elected head of the whole movement and could expand his horizons to match those of idealists like Rutha; the next two years saw a strict hierarchical framework imposed from above and a transformation of the training programme to befit what its new leader lauded as the ‘heroic spirit of the German frontline soldier’.24 The climax of this development was the festival staged at Saaz [Žatec] in July 1933, a meticulously choreographed display of discipline and uniformity that even the Czech Sokol commended. In front of 20,000 Turner and 50,000 guests, Henlein proclaimed that his movement had become ‘the educational body of the Sudeten Germans’.25 Since he was singlehandedly declaring a national purpose for his organization, one that his KB colleagues had long wished to exploit for their wider corporate vision, it was logical that the Saaz festival was a watershed. While many on the moderate or radical Sudeten right were greatly impressed by the national fusion on display, Henlein seems to have sensed that he might now have a higher calling to lead the Sudeten Volk.

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Why exactly Henlein took up this baton in 1933, moving beyond the Turn movement with its newly-stated educational remit, is a riddle that even contemporary critics found hard to answer.26 It foreshadows the second phase of his career, when he stepped onto the Czechoslovak and then the European stage as the self-proclaimed leader of the Sudeten Germans. Close colleagues like Brand and Rutha certainly knew that Henlein might become the national leader from his base in the Turnverband, but expected five years of preparation first. Despite consulting them, Henlein proceeded to act unilaterally in announcing a new movement on 1 October 1933.27 The move can be explained by his confidence after Saaz, his own delusional self-perception as the ‘man of the hour’, but perhaps above all by the atmosphere in Czechoslovakia that autumn. He knew that the Czech authorities planned to ban both völkisch political parties (the German National Party and the National Socialist Party) leaving an ideological vacuum for the Sudeten Germans; he was pressed by Sudeten German Nazi leaders like Hans Krebs to launch a party of unity as a substitute. To this extent, and since the new movement was entitled the Sudeten German Home Front (Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront or SHF: a Sudeten Nazi designation), Czechs might be forgiven for seeing it from the outset as a Nazi ‘Trojan Horse’ for Hitler’s Germany. It is also clear that Henlein was anything but frank within his own KB milieu; indeed, it was the first of many betrayals of those who put their confidence in him. Even so, what one of them termed Henlein’s ‘leap into ice-cold water’ was not a straightforward pro-Nazi jump. Henlein naively seems to have thought that he could forge a new Sudeten movement, blending all the völkisch streams in line with the idealistic notion of a ‘national community’ (Volksgemeinschaft). His own lack of firm political principle made him accessible to all these persuasions, KB or Nazi, yet his underlying priority was the fate of the Sudeten Germans – something more akin, therefore, to a KB perspective than to any Nazi Reich German one. In fact, there slowly developed a chasm between Henlein’s self-perception as the Sudeten Führer and the reality of a man who lacked both charisma and political acumen. He could certainly lead independently on occasions, making abrupt, obstinate decisions that affected the movement’s direction. But his constituency was too broad and divided, and

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his personality too bland, to ensure in the following years that all in the movement were ‘working towards the same Führer’. Just as Henlein’s new movement represented a broad church which any one individual would find hard to hold together, so its sudden creation and its lofty ambitions were confronted by the realities of Czechoslovak politics. Henlein’s probable ideal – or at least that pushed by his advisers – was to embed the SHF so deeply within the national community that the Sudeten Germans, as ‘one body’, would be strong enough to negotiate with the Czech nation, Volk to Volk. Henlein would secure for ‘his people’ full territorial autonomy, and then implement an authoritarian Spannist or corporate structure across the Sudetenland.28 Until 1938 this was not an irredentist or Nazi programme and, probably, its guidelines were only loosely formulated. In keeping with German Bohemian traditions of the past half-century, it was firmly Sudeten in focus, yet it was still highly provocative in challenging the existing Czechoslovak state structure. Not surprisingly, Henlein in the SHF years (1933–5) became accustomed to mouthing platitudes about democracy and loyalty in order to preempt any Czech clampdown. At the same time he possessed a sincere desire for a Czech-German accommodation within the ‘common space’, or more precisely a righting of the ‘injustice’ dealt to the Sudeten Germans in 1918. In October 1934, in a major speech in Böhmisch Leipa, he even spoke of a new golden age of reconciliation as in the days of Emperor Charles IV. His speech was disingenuous in professing the movement’s support for liberalism and denying its fascist affinities, but it rang true when it spelt out what he and his Spann-influenced colleagues envisaged implementing. This was that the Sudeten Germans had an identity that bridged the Central European space – within the Czechoslovak state framework but also within the wider German cultural framework; therefore the Czechs needed to negotiate over their Czechoslovak national state.29 Yet it was the SHF that was forced to compromise, most strikingly when it decided to take part in the 1935 parliamentary elections. If it was the ultimate paradox that a movement so averse to party politics should take this route, it matched the manoeuvres felt necessary to confirm SHF strength both in the eyes of Prague and of its own constituency.

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In view of his beliefs, it was then quite natural that Henlein (like Rutha and Brand) declined to become a parliamentary deputy, for that would be a compromise too far with detested liberalism. During the election campaign, when Henlein undertook a punishing tour of the ‘Sudeten German space’, he showed surprising anxiety about his security among the public, but otherwise posed well as the committed leader. It was an image that he also successfully retained amidst the SHF/SdP elite. Although it was a collective leadership, the acknowledgement of a ‘Führer hierarchy’ meant that Henlein was always primus inter pares, and he periodically asserted this status. This is clear from the SdP committee minutes, where he sometimes reserved decisions for himself, or in the post-election euphoria, when he summoned all SdP deputies and officials to Eger to swear a personal oath to him. Yet disunity threatened: by 1936 the conflict between the party’s Nazis and moderate fascists (‘traditionalists’) was ever more evident.30 It was a sign of Henlein’s frustration, a realization that he was not adequately in control, that he regularly threatened to resign and return to the Turnverband. His own tendency to compromise or at least to dissemble, suggesting agreement with those around him, also exacerbated the fluid party discourse. Indeed, it seems clear that just as Henlein from late 1935 might dissemble in London (playing down the SdP’s growing relationship with Germany), so he could behave with close colleagues, either deliberately or as a result of his status as the ‘Führer’ working alone. Thus, negotiations in Germany from April 1934 with Hans Steinacher (head of the Verein für das Deutschtum im Ausland) to secure financial aid seem to have been a personal affair: a secret possibly concealed from ‘moderate’ mentors like Rutha, but known and exploited by radical confidantes like Karl Hermann Frank. Henlein in short became accustomed to pretending on many fronts, not only to the British but also perhaps to Berlin and even to those within his own party. It was an ‘Everyman’ stance which could not last. While the radicals were disappointed early on, when Henlein did not keep promises supposedly made to them in September 1933, for the moderates the disillusionment came later, from 1936, when he slowly veered in Germany’s direction and finally transferred fully into the radical camp.

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Ronald Smelser has convincingly portrayed Henlein in the mid1930s as a man struggling to survive at the pinnacle of a movement of his own creation. Just as in October 1933 he had not adequately thought through the practical consequences of launching the SHF, so the 1935 election victory left the SdP vacillating about how to capitalize on its sudden notoriety. There could only be frustration when the Czech government closed ranks and refused to negotiate (and brief talks with the Czech right wing also quickly dried up); at the same time, Henlein needed to fulfil the promises made to the electorate in order to retain momentum. Out of sheer necessity therefore – and stimulated by interest abroad – the SdP began to pursue a ‘foreign policy’, especially towards Britain, with Henlein as an acceptable face. The Sudeten Führer seems to have reserved much of this role for himself and was flattered at the reception he received as a ‘moderate statesman’ in London. With a remit to publicize the Sudeten ‘plight’ so that Prague would be pressurized to negotiate, he understood well that the liberal Czechoslovak state framework was the only one officially countenanced in the West. Therefore, he played down the SdP’s authoritarianism and its Nazi links and denied its increased funding from the Reich (even when talking to Colonel Grahame Christie, his chief conduit to the British, who was ‘convinced of the entire sincerity of the man’).31 This did not mean that Henlein was secretly bent on irredentism or fully in cahoots with the Reich. He admitted quite truthfully (both in London and Berlin) that he was struggling to control Nazi radicals in his own party, for they were indeed damaging the much vaunted Sudeten unity, but they also threatened Henlein personally, viewing him as under KB influence. It is from 1936 that we witness Henlein’s real personal determination to survive (and occasional despair, reflected in his thoughts of resignation). Yet ironically, in the major internecine crisis of May–June 1936, it was to Berlin that he felt forced to look for mediation and decision. A few months later, during the Berlin Olympics, he secured his first brief audience with Hitler and explained the SdP programme.32 Although it seems to have been a strictly formal occasion, the door was being opened to Reich intervention, and by 1937 to ever more radical irredentist influence at all levels of the party. Henlein in short began to see the Reich as offering the only real solution.

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It was in mid-November 1937 that Henlein took a decision as personal and abrupt as the SHF launch, writing a private letter to Hitler and putting the fate of all the Bohemian lands in his hands. This, on the one hand, was a question of self-preservation, of outflanking SdP radicals at a time when former advisers like Rutha and Brand had left the scene and he was increasingly isolated. On the other hand, it was a logical shift in an irredentist direction for a movement making little progress in the Czech state framework; as Henlein informed Colonel Christie shortly before writing his letter to Hitler, ‘the policy which I have represented up to now is only sustainable if it results in concrete successes’.33 Undoubtedly, he could convince himself that with this new assertion of control he had the best interests of the Sudeten Germans at heart. His Sudeten völkisch outlook remained intact. On 28 March 1938 in Berlin, however, in his first real interview with Hitler, he acknowledged his own allegiance within Nazi Germany’s ‘Führer hierarchy’. Surely thereby he secured a degree of calm for himself? While sensing a fresh viable framework for what had become a Sudeten–Czech cul-de-sac, he had also shifted previously overbearing responsibility onto the shoulders of a higher Führer, one whom he would now obey unreservedly. There seems to have been a new confidence about Henlein after March 1938, not least after Germany’s recent Anschluss with Austria galvanized Sudeten nationalist expectations. Having now agreed with Hitler to push the ‘Sudeten problem’ to a head on the understanding that he would intervene (‘we must always demand so much [from Prague] that we cannot be satisfied’), Henlein increased the stakes a month later at a rally in Carlsbad.34 He not only demanded complete territorial autonomy for Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia, with a legally enforced German–Czech division of its citizens, but expected full recognition for the German Weltanschauung. Since this was mentioned in the same breath as a cry for national socialism to be tolerated and for Czech foreign policy to be reoriented towards Germany, the revolution required in Central European space and politics was evident. By this time, Henlein had long been cultivating his public performances, and his less athletic figure, tending in a ‘Goeringesque’ direction, added to his gravitas. One hostile journalist who observed

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him at a rally noted that ‘the effort to produce the authentic dictatorial glare through gold-rimmed spectacles had something of mechanical perfection.’35 When encountering British diplomats in the following months, Henlein clearly relished his role as Sudeten leader in the corridors of Whitehall. It was, as Paul Vyšný’s recent study shows, the highpoint of his dissembling and was grounded in firmer backing from Berlin. Yet there is still scope here to question the image of Henlein as a total puppet of Hitler and to note his underlying nervousness about what might ensue. It is especially doubtful that he was privy to Hitler’s exact plans for Czechoslovakia; he still hoped all could be resolved without a war which he feared would devastate the Sudetenland. As Hitler allowed international tensions to mount in August 1938, it was testimony both to Henlein’s exaggerated self-perception and to his peaceful goal for the Sudeten Germans that he saw himself as an ideal mediator between London and Berlin.36 His visit to Hitler on 1 September in Berchtesgaden was with this remit, yet with regard to Nazi strategy it left him still uncertain, dissembling to the British while waiting for some final move from the Führer. Indeed, his own incapacity was shown when, in the space of a month, he experienced both disaster and glory. In the wake of a spontaneous Sudeten uprising in mid-September, he fled to Germany only to find that, since Hitler failed to use the excuse to intervene, his flight was widely interpreted as cowardice. Neville Chamberlain’s intervention occurred the next day, however, and the subsequent Munich agreement which detached the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia was for Henlein an unexpected miracle. The photograph on the cover of this book, taken in early October 1938 as Henlein accompanied Hitler on a triumphant tour of the Sudetenland, is striking testimony to his joy at the peaceful resolution of the crisis and the gratitude he felt to his Führer for securing Sudeten German ‘liberty’.37 If his self-confidence was boosted by tumultuous acclaim from most of the local population, it was not only they who viewed him as a trusted leader. Hitler too, from the handful of meetings in 1938, drew the standard conclusion that Henlein was moderate and reliable. Not only was he now appointed Gauleiter of a

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new ‘Reichsgau Sudetenland’, but he also became Reichskommissar (later Reichsstatthalter) for the Sudeten region, overall manager of the new administration and directly responsible to the Führer. Although he probably never saw Hitler again after the occupation of Prague in March 1939, he crucially retained his confidence and therefore survived in post during the war years against all odds.38 Indicative of his loyalty was the mad scheme he conceived at the end of the war: his hope that Hitler would move his headquarters from Berlin to the Sudetengau and there rebuild Germany’s defensive position, ready for a fresh assault upon the Soviet Union.39 Henlein’s period as Reichsstatthalter was characterised by personal assimilation into the Nazi ideology and establishment, mirroring the Gleichschaltung enforced in the Sudetenland from late 1938 as Sudeten organizations were absorbed into their Nazi counterparts. In the euphoria of the annexation, he seems to have had few qualms about this effective elimination of Sudeten culture or about the rapid cleansing of the region of the Reich’s enemies. Having several times publicly announced that all his opponents would be ‘imprisoned until they turned black’, he bore considerable responsibility for the violence that ensued against socialists, Czechs, Jews and their property.40 His attitude towards what remained of Jewish culture is particularly instructive. A latent, non-racial antisemitism was naturally part of his völkisch mindset. While the inter-war Turnverband had retained an Aryan-only paragraph in its statutes and boasted about careful selection, Henlein as head of the SHF/SdP had made occasional references to the movement’s Christian ‘world outlook’, something that audiences would interpret as excluding Jews.41 By 1938, as the SdP was increasingly Nazified, the stigmatization of Jews was more public, fortified after the Carlsbad rally when an Aryan paragraph was adopted. Although the evidence is thin, there seems little doubt that Henlein fully adhered to the rising antisemitic discourse and participated in it. As Reichskommissar, he apparently raised no objection to the terrorizing of Jews in the Sudeten Kristallnacht, as synagogues were burnt to the ground, or to the introduction of the Nuremberg laws at the end of 1938. Over the next year he personally oversaw the ‘de-Jewification’ of the Sudeten economy and the expropriation of Jewish property to

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make sure that it occurred in an orderly fashion. He himself took up residence in a suburb of Reichenberg in a comfortable Jewish villa.42 Yet the confidence Henlein gained from adopting Nazi credentials was to be severely challenged. In partial continuation of the pre-1938 internecine SdP conflict, many Reich and Sudeten Nazis could not forget Henlein’s ‘traditionalist’ background and grimaced at the Sudeten loyalty he still manifested in trying to place trusted KB colleagues in governmental and party posts. Specifically, the head of the SS security service, Reinhard Heydrich, who had closely monitored ‘KB/Spannist machinations’ since 1935, began from early 1939 a crusade against suspect Henlein loyalists, exploiting the police and SS network over which Henlein had no control. In essence this was a power struggle between groups who were ideologically close, yet Heydrich’s cue came from knowledge of past ‘Henleinist’ aberrations and the continued evidence of Sudeten German particularism. The official excuse found for the purge was the existence of a Sudeten homosexual conspiracy. Referring back to a scandal which in October 1937 had led to the downfall and suicide of Heinz Rutha, Henlein’s former mentor, the police proceeded in 1939 to arrest 50 former KB officials and put them on trial.43 Although Henlein tried to intervene, the climax came in early 1940. In an interview in Berlin with Heydrich, the latter bullied him into agreeing to the removal of key officials, such as his Gau deputy Fritz Köllner who was replaced by a Heydrich acolyte, Richard Donnevert. For Henlein it was a third major turning point, almost as dramatic as those of 1933 and 1937. In March 1940, at a rally at Hohenelbe, he surrendered and proceeded to rewrite the past. He completely disowned Rutha (a loyalist who had even been best man at his wedding in 1926), and went on to proclaim that there was no longer any difference between Sudeten Germans and Reich Germans. It was his final break with the ‘traditionalists’, those followers from the Kampfzeit whom he now betrayed out of fear for his own position.44 Not coincidentally, it was during the period of Heydrich’s real ascendancy in the region, from 1940 to 1942, that Henlein gave his notorious speech (in Vienna in March 1941), further falsifying his career by claiming that he had been a Sudeten Nazi from the very beginning. It was in keeping with his custom since the SHF days of twisting reality

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to suit the occasion, in this case posing as the Sudeten German whose loyalty had always been to the Reich.45 In the circumstances of 1941 it was unsurprising. On the one hand, since his bruising encounter with ‘the criminal’ Heydrich, he needed to be far more circumspect;46 on the other, Hitler seemed to be victorious in his European war. Pragmatically, Henlein recognized that the Sudeten future was in a Reich context, yet from his exalted position of Reichsstatthalter he still felt personally destined to champion the Sudeten German cause. This may partly explain why he did not resign during the miserable ‘Heydrich years’ of 1939–42. When Heydrich was assassinated in mid-1942, an event which Henlein celebrated by getting drunk, he recovered his confidence, reasserted his Sudeten credentials, and proceeded to move against Donnevert.47 In an altercation with Donnevert in October 1942, he exclaimed that he was ‘not a clown’ who would permit anything to happen, a statement that speaks volumes about his sensitivity and wounded pride. Donnevert was not finally dismissed until August 1943 – further proof of his superior’s typical vacillation – but, in fact, Henlein had already publicly announced in February that he was recovering full control of the Sudetengau. It meant that in his final years he regained an authority and also a respect in the Nazi hierarchy after a period of submission to Heydrich’s intrigues. In the eyes of Martin Bormann, and doubtless also of Hitler, Henlein had long proved himself to be ‘a historic personality’.48 We can conclude that during the war the chameleon Henlein turned, at least ostensibly, into a Sudeten national socialist, his loyalty to Nazi Germany consistently on display. Yet this should not blind us to the continuum of his Sudeten German mission. It was particularly evident in his merciless treatment of the Sudetengau’s Czech inhabitants, numbering over 300,000 or ten per cent of the population.49 Since he wanted Czechs to assume the status of helots in the new German order, he welcomed in March 1939 the creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia–Moravia which seemed to be restoring a ‘natural’ Czech subservience in the Bohemian lands. While he argued that this Czech resource, demographically and economically, should now be placed at Sudeten disposal, in the Sudetenland he expected a complete apartheid between Germans and Czechs and, ideally, the

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removal of the Czech presence altogether. His obsession resulted in moves to eliminate completely the Czechs’ political and cultural life in the border region, including a block on Czech children proceeding beyond primary school. And in a reversal of the inter-war land reform, devious ways were found to confiscate as much Czech property as possible, land onto which new settlers were invited from the German diaspora (numbering almost 3000 after a resettlement drive in 1942–3). All this indicates how Henlein could never lose sight of the Czech problem that had been his focus for over 20 years. The Reich authorities, however, were far less interested and they effectively scuppered his national mission. Not only did the racial policy that emanated from the Protectorate advocate a Czech–German assimilation at variance with Henlein’s concept of apartheid; wartime priorities ironically necessitated an influx of thousands of Czech migrant workers from the Protectorate into the Sudetengau, their numbers rising rather than diminishing as hostilities continued. So here, as elsewhere with the anticipated economic benefits, his vision of a pure and prosperous Sudeten future in the Third Reich slowly disintegrated. In the course of two decades, and especially after 1931, Konrad Henlein had been encouraged within the Sudeten nationalist ‘Führer culture’ to see himself as embodying the regional community, as the man leading his people to justice and prosperity. Thus, in his final public appeal from Reichenberg, on 8 May 1945, he described how he had acted as ‘a child of my era, as the executor of all your desires and yearnings, as the representative of your will’.50 His was a mission that was fundamentally Sudeten and völkisch, unremitting in its goal of German assertion against a Czech-dominated space, and unable ever, even after the revolution of 1938, to escape the framework of the Bohemian lands. If in the early 1930s the struggle was to secure accommodation within the ‘rigid’ Czechoslovak nation-state, from 1937 – with Henlein’s explicit acquiescence – it became a struggle in alliance with Nazi Germany to reconfigure Central Europe altogether. In pursuing this mission after 1933, Henlein proved by any standards to be a duplicitous individual, regularly shifting his position to suit the audience, whether London, Prague or Berlin. These shifts reflected not only political naivety, but also a lack of confidence in

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the political arena which he concealed behind self-confident assertions. This twist to his character always makes him more than a weak cipher, more of an enigma. Periodically, he realized his shortcomings and undoubtedly indulged in some self-flagellation; thus, late in the war after his battering as Reichsstatthalter, he seems to have hoped that in peacetime he might be appointed leader of Germany’s sporting organization, thereby resuming the Turner career in which he had excelled.51 And a final irony was that until the end he seems to have felt he was a man of integrity because of his Sudeten commitment, and perhaps even came to believe the accolade of ‘moderate’. When, on 10 May 1945, he killed himself in American custody, he used the outward symbol of that moderation and respectability – his spectacles – to cut his wrists. This ultimate act of despair serves as a fitting metaphor for the way a seemingly moderate individual had helped Hitler to propel the Sudeten Germans into a violent future.

Notes 1. See, for example, Otto Novák, Henleinovci proti Československu. Z historie sudetonĕmekého fašismu v letech 1933–1938, Prague, 1987. The same tone pervades the standard biography in Czech: Stanislav Biman and Jaroslav Malíř, Kariéra učitele tĕlocviku, Liberec, 1983. 2. Three quotations in order: Owen Malley, head of Foreign Office Southern Department; Harold Nicholson MP (both in The National Archives [TNA], FO 371/20373, Nicholson to William Strang, 14 February 1936); Leo Amery MP, diary entry of 17 July 1936, in John Barnes and David Nicholson (eds), The Empire at Bay: The Leo Amery Diaries 1929–1945, London, 1988, p. 425. 3. TNA, FO 371/19493, Addison to Samuel Hoare, no. 246, 21 December 1935. 4. TNA, FO 371/21131, FO memorandum by Vansittart, 18 October 1937. For Vansittart’s later self-censorship: Lord Vansittart, The Mist Procession, London, 1958, p. 470. 5. Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, 8 vols with 10 companion parts, London, 1966–86, vol 5, companion part 3, p. 112. 6. J. W. Brügel, Czechoslovakia before Munich: The German Minority Problem and British Appeasement Policy, Cambridge, 1973, pp. 110, 119. For the Vienna speech, interpreted at face value, see Radomír Luža, The Transfer of the Sudeten Germans: A Study of Czech-German Relations 1933–1962, London, 1964, pp. 71, 78–80.

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7. Josef Fischer, Václav Patzak, Vincenc Perth, Jejich boj. Co chce a čemu slouží Sudetendeutsche Partei, Prague, 1937. 8. Ibid, pp. 21, 57–8, 60, 62. The Czech newspaper Lidové noviny had referred to Henlein as a sphinx: see Heidrun and Stephan Dolezal (eds), Deutsche Gesandschaftsberichte aus Prag. Innenpolitik und Minderheitenprobleme in der Ersten Tschechoslowakischen Republik, 4, 1933–1935, Munich, 1991, p. 296. 9. Suitably critical of a black–white portrayal is Keith Robbins’s article, ‘Konrad Henlein, the Sudeten Question and British Foreign Policy’, The Historical Journal, 12, 1969, 4, pp. 674–97. 10. Ronald M. Smelser, The Sudeten Problem 1933–1938: Volkstumpolitik and the Formulation of Nazi Foreign Policy, Folkestone, 1975, p. 68; Andreas Luh, Der Deutsche Turnverband in der Ersten Tschechoslowakischen Republik. Vom völkischen Vereinsbetrieb zur volkspolitischen Bewegung, Munich, 1988. 11. Richard Freund, Watch Czechoslovakia! London, 1937, p.70. This is an incisive assessment of the Czech–German problem by someone who talked to the Czech and SdP leadership. 12. Smelser, The Sudeten Problem, pp. 65–6. 13. Ralf Gebel, ‘Heim ins Reich!’ Konrad Henlein und der Reichsgau Sudetenland 1938–1945 , Munich, 2000, p. 198. 14. Ibid., pp. 201–3. Parallels with Seyss-Inquart had been made in 1938. See, Robbins, ‘Konrad Henlein’, p. 693. 15. Christoph Boyer and Jaroslav Kučera, ‘Die Deutschen in Böhmen, die Sudetendeutsche Partei und der Nationalsozialismus’, in Hort Möller et al. (eds), Nationalsozialismus in der Region. Beiträge zur regionalen und lokalen Forschung und zum internationalen Vergleich, Munich, 1996, pp. 273–85. 16. Fischer et al, Jeijich boj, p. 58. 17. Walter Brand, Auf verlorenen Posten. Ein sudetendeutscher Politiker zwischen Autonomie und Anschluss, Munich, 1985, p. 50. The gas poisoning affected Henlein’s later health: ibid, p. 67. 18. For these early years, see Rudolf Jahn, Konrad Henlein. Leben und Werk des Turnführers, Carlsbad and Leipzig, 1938, although its publication date means that Heinrich Rutha’s influence on Henlein is completely excised. 19. For example in 1938, Lord Walter Runciman described Henlein as ‘a gymnast without much intelligence’: Paul Vyšny, The Runciman Mission to Czechoslovakia, 1938: Prelude to Munich, Basingstoke, 2003, p. 173. 20. Gaudietwart Henlein, ‘Turner, kleidet euch männlich!, Turnzeitung des Deutschen Turnverbandes [hereafter TZ], 1 January 1925, p. 84. 21. See Luh, Der Deutsche Turnverband, p. 165. 22. Henlein, ‘Grundsätze über unsere Erziehung und Führung’, TZ, 1 May 1928, pp. 117–20.

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23. Henlein, ‘Der Neuaufbau unserer Führung’, TZ, 1 December 1930, pp. 361–3; and Elizabeth Wiskemann, Czechs and Germans: A Study of the Struggle in the Historic Provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, London, 1938, p. 201. See also an earlier article: ‘Die politische Bedeutung der Jahnschen Turnidee’, TZ, November 1929, pp. 355–7, where Henlein noted parliamentary government as un-German and called for an above-party Volkspolitik. 24. Jahn, Konrad Henlein, p. 101, quoting him at a regional festival in Kaaden (July 1931). 25. Ibid, pp. 114–16. 26. Fischer et al., Jejich boj, p. 61. 27. For the following, see Mark Cornwall, ‘ “A Leap into Ice-Cold Water”: The Manoeuvres of the Henlein Movement in Czechoslovakia, 1933–1938’, in Mark Cornwall and R. J. W. Evans (eds), Czechoslovakia in a Nationalist and Fascist Europe 1918–1948, Oxford, 2007, pp. 123–42, and Ronald Smelser, ‘Die Henleinpartei. Eine Deutung’, in Karl Bosl (ed.), Die erste Tschechoslowakische Republik als multinationaler Parteistaat, Munich and Vienna, 1979, pp. 187–201. 28. This vision is clear in Henlein’s first press conference speech on 8 October 1933: Rudolf Jahn (ed.), Konrad Henlein spricht. Reden zur politischen Volksbewegung der Sudetendeutschen, Carlsbad and Leipzig, 1937, pp. 11–17. It was, however, envisaged by Henlein at least a year earlier. See his viewpoint, including his reserves about national socialism, in Ernst von Salomon, Die Fragebogen, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1961, p. 175. 29. Ibid, pp. 22ff. See also Brand’s discussion of how the SHF leaders argued over details of the Leipa speech – notably its anti-Nazi dimension – with Henlein having the final say: Auf verlorenen Posten, pp. 93–6. 30. For the best discussion, see Smelser, The Sudeten Problem, pp. 153ff. 31. UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London: R.W. SetonWatson MSS, SEW/10/6/4, W.G. Christie to Seton-Watson, 12 December 1935. 32. Biman and Malí ř, Kariéra učitele tĕlocviku, pp. 168–9. Previously Henlein had only seen Hitler once, from afar, in early 1936 at the winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. 33. Churchill College Archives, Cambridge, Christie MSS, Henlein to Christie, 3 November 1937. 34. See the detailed account of the SdP meetings in Carlsbad in Novák, Henleinovci, pp. 177–82. 35. G. E. R. Gedye, Fallen Bastions: The Central European Tragedy, London, 1939, p. 406.

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36. See Vyšný, The Runciman Mission to Czechoslovakia, pp. 171, 179, 234–5, 237ff. Henlein’s outlook was perhaps authentically set out in a private interview to a British journalist in May 1938, where he again expressed his fear of a European war: G. Ward Price, Year of Reckoning, London, 1939, pp. 228–9. 37. This photograph from the Liberec city library is unusual in catching Henlein off guard. Others in the Czech National Archives in Prague, from the period of the tour with Hitler, suggest Henlein’s more serious demeanour. 38. Volker Zimmermann, Die Sudetendeutschen im NS-Staat. Politik und Stimmung der Bevölkerung im Reichsgau Sudetenland (1938–1945), Essen, 1999, p. 268; Gebel, ‘Heim ins Reich!’, pp. 179–80. 39. Mark Cornwall, ‘The End of the War in Northern Bohemia: A New Diary’, Central Europe, 5, November 2007, 2, p. 140. 40. Gedye, Fallen Bastions, p.405; Gebel, ‘Heim ins Reich!’, p. 140. 41. Jörg Osterloh, Nationalsozialismus Judenverfolgung im Reichsgau Sudetenland 1938–1945, Munich, 2006, pp. 80, 92, 133–4. It may be an exaggeration to suggest that in the Turnverband ‘the Jewish question was ever present’ (p. 135). 42. Ibid, pp.250, 286, 332, 443. Henlein’s role in the deportation of remaining Jews to Theresienstadt from late 1942 remains unclear. 43. Mark Cornwall, ‘Heinrich Rutha and the Unraveling of a Homosexual Scandal in 1930s Czechoslovakia’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 8, 2002, 3, pp. 319–47. 44. Zimmermann, Die Sudetendeutschen, pp. 237–46; Gebel, ‘Heim ins Reich!’, pp. 171–5. 45. A further example of Henlein’s attempt to rewrite the past came in February 1943 when he justified his behaviour in 1933 to Hans Krebs and other Sudeten Nazis: Gebel, ‘Heim ins Reich!’, pp. 192–3. 46. Ibid, p. 151. 47. Ibid, pp. 185ff; Zimmermann, Die Sudetendeutschen, pp. 261–5. 48. Gebel, p. 195. 49. See the full discussion in Zimmermann, Die Sudetendeutschen, pp. 279–329. 50. Gebel, ‘Heim ins Reich!’, pp. 358–9. This echoed what others had written a decade earlier: see, for instance, Walter Rohn, ‘Der Durchbruch zur Volksgemeinschaft’, Volk und Führung, June 1935, pp. 97–8. 51. Ibid, p. 203.

CHAPTER 13 STEPAN BANDER A: IN SEARCH OF A UKR AINE FOR UKR AINIANS David R. Marples

The Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera (1909–59) remains a political enigma even though more than fifty years have passed since his death in Munich. Worshipped and vilified in different regions of his native Ukraine, he left little of note in terms of a political philosophy. Much of his life was devoted to political activism directed towards the cause of an independent Ukraine. This manifested itself in acts of terrorism against the Polish state in the 1930s and subsequently in directing the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrains’ka povstans’ka armiya) against the Soviet regime. From the outset, the political movement that he led, the Bandera branch of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Orhanizatsiya Ukrains’kykh Nationalistiv, OUN), was tarnished by its association with some unsavoury bedfellows (especially through its links with Hitler’s Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s) and for its intolerant attitude to other groups that shared the territory of western Ukraine, particularly Poles and Jews. After the First World War, when self-determination was adopted as a defining creed of the Paris peace treaties, Ukraine was one of the largest potential national states not to receive independence.

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The eastern regions suffered a series of bloody conflicts before being incorporated into the Soviet Union. The western region was in turn awarded to the restored Polish state, which had agreed in principle to offer autonomy to its large Ukrainian minority in eastern Galicia, while other areas with large Ukrainian populations in the region were ceded to other states. Thus, Bessarabia and Bukovyna (Bukovina) were given to Romania, and the Transcarpathian region came under the control of the newly-created Czechoslovakia. But it was in Poland that Ukrainian integral nationalism was born, in response to the perceived failure of the resurrected state to live up to its treaty obligations, and in response to harsh measures deployed against Ukrainian villages, particularly the military pacification of the early 1930s. The situation was intensified by the growing power of Nazi Germany and its violations of the Versailles treaty, culminating in the annexation of Austria in 1938 and the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1939. This essay will examine the life of Bandera as a ‘personality of the right’ and then assess his legacy and memory in contemporary Ukraine. It will analyse his links to extremism and his personal role in some of the cataclysmic events of the Second World War. At the same time, a proviso needs to be made that many of the events took place in the name of Bandera but without his direct participation. To what extent he can be linked with things that happened during his imprisonment in Germany is debatable. On the other hand, there is little dispute that he remained in command of his own followers at least until his emigration abroad, where he became involved in the fractious disputes that continued until his death. What follows will begin with Bandera’s biography and family details, and go on examine his life in conjunction with the pivotal events of the pre-war and war years and in the post-war environment when the cause of Ukrainian nationalism appeared to be lost. Stepan Bandera was born on 1 January 1909 in the village of Staryi Uhryniv in western Ukraine (now Kalush district of Ivano-Frankivs’k region) into the family of a Greek Catholic priest, Andrii Bandera, and his wife, Myroslava Hlodzin’ska, who died of tuberculosis of the throat in 1922. The family lived in modest circumstances. Andrii and Myroslava had eight children: Marta-Mariya (born 1907), Stepan

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(1909), Oleksandr (1911), Volodymyra (1913), Vasyl’ (1915), Oksana (1917), Bohdan (1921), and Myroslava (who died in infancy in 1922). After the death of his mother, Stepan’s brothers and sisters lived with relatives of the family. On 22 May 1941, Andrii Bandera and two of his daughters (Marta-Mariya and Oksana) were arrested and deported to Kyiv, where Andrii was sentenced to death and shot 18 months after the trial. Two of Stepan’s sisters, Marta and Oksana, were deported to the Krasnoyarsk region and the latter returned to Ukraine only in 1989.1 Another sister, Volodymyra, had an equally tragic existence. On 7 September 1946, she and her husband, a Greek Catholic priest called Teodor Davydyuk, were sentenced to 10 years in a labour camp.2 After three years of living in camps, Teodor died in Soviet Moldova. His wife served her sentence and survived. In 1956 she returned to Ukraine where she resided with her daughter. Two brothers of Stepan, Vasyl’ and Oleksandr,3 were also involved in the OUN. Vasyl’ was sent to the Polish concentration camp at Bereza Kartuz’ka because of his political activity and was freed only in 1939 with the collapse of the Polish state. In 1942, both Vasyl’ and Oleksandr were imprisoned by the Nazis in Auschwitz, where they died on 21 July 1942. The fate of Bohdan Bandera is uncertain; there are no references to him after 1944. It is probable that he was shot by the German occupation regime in Ukraine in 1943. Stepan’s childhood ended when the First World War began. Immediately after the war, politically-active Ukrainians made two abortive attempts to form an independent state: the Ukrainian National Republic (Ukrains’ka Narodna Respublika, UNR) formed in January 1918, and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic (ZakhidnoUkrains’ka Narodna Respublika), formed in late 1918, which united briefly in January 1919 with the UNR. By the terms of the Treaty of Riga of 19 March 1921, however, most western Ukrainian territories were included in Poland. In 1919, while Ukraine’s future was still being determined, Bandera started his education in Stryi gymnasium. Since studying was costly, Stepan needed to work in the household of his grandfather with whom he lived during this period. Evidently he was an excellent student because by his fourth year of study he was giving lectures to the younger students. In the 1920s in Galician schools, now

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under Polish rule, illegal nationalistic organizations of school youth were created. These organizations, as well as the mass national movement among Ukrainians in Galicia, were founded to counter the policy of the Polish government, which promoted the Polish language as the main vehicle of education for Ukrainians and attempted to polonize the Ukrainian regions that had fallen under its jurisdiction. In the 1920s, the first illegal political organizations such as ‘The Group of Ukrainian Nationalist Youth’, ‘The Organization of Upper Classes of Ukrainian Gymnasia’, and ‘The Union of Nationalistic Ukrainian Youth’ (Soyuz Ukrains’koi Natsionalistychnoi Molodi) were established. Many of the members of these organizations were students at Ukrainian Galician gymnasiums. In the mid-1920s, Stepan Ohrymovych, who was a friend of Bandera and one of the most active participants of the political youth movements in Galicia, drew him into political activity. In 1927, Stepan Bandera graduated from the gymnasium and applied to the Ukrainian Academy of Rural Economy in Poděbrady (Czechoslovakia). Although he was accepted by the Academy, Bandera did not receive the documents necessary to cross the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia and was unable to take up his studies. Consequently, he returned to his native village where, in addition to household and agricultural activities, he became involved in cultural and organizational work in the local Ukrainian community. In 1928 he traveled to L’viv and began to study in the Department of Agronomy at the University of L’viv Polytechnic.4 Immediately following his arrival in L’viv, Bandera was involved in intellectual and political activity. In particular, he was a member of the Ukrainian nationalist student organizations Osnova and Prosvita as well as some sporting organizations created by Ukrainian students engaged in the political life of L’viv. Nevertheless, the most important influence upon the young Bandera that was to be highly significant in the formation of his political views, resulted from his membership of the OUN, which was already well known amongst Ukrainians as the political organization with the most radical nationalistic ideas and programme. The development of the OUN was a result of several overlapping factors. Most important was the perceived failure of Ukrainian

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intellectuals at rapprochement with the Polish regime. Ukrainians made up a significant majority of the rural community of eastern Galicia and had anticipated a significant degree of autonomy under the restored Polish state that had superseded the former rule of the Habsburg monarchy over this region. Yet not only did these rights fail to materialize, but the main legal political party, the Ukrainian Democratic Union (UNDO),5 seemed to be too conciliatory toward the Poles. Another alternative, communism, enjoyed some success in the northern region of Volhynia (formerly part of the Russian empire), but by the late 1920s the Communist Party of Western Ukraine had been purged on account of its affiliation with what was termed Shumskyism, after the Soviet Ukraine’s commissar of education who had successfully and enthusiastically complied with a Moscow-decreed policy to promote Ukrainian culture and education in order to make the Soviet regime more popular in the Ukrainian SSR. The failure of these other political alternatives opened up the way for a nationalist variant. By 1929, the OUN was formed from the former Ukrainian Military Organization (Ukrains’ka Viis’kova Orhanizatsiya, UVO) and several nationalist student organizations, with a nine-man leadership structure headed by Colonel Yevhen Konovalets’. The UVO had been originally founded under Konovalets’ because of dissatisfaction with the border agreements reached by the Paris peace treaties and the Treaty of Riga. It based its activities on a socalled Decalogue of Commandments, drawn up by Stepan Lenkavs’kyi for the Union of Ukrainian Nationalist Youth and published in UVO’s journal Surma (The Horn) in 1928, which were as follows: 1. Attain a Ukrainian state or die in battle for it. 2. Do not allow anyone to defame the glory or honour of your nation. 3. Remember the Great Days of our efforts.6 4. Be proud of the fact that you are an heir of the struggle for the glory of St. Volodymyr’s Trident.7 5. Avenge the death of Great Knights.8 6. Do not speak of the cause to anyone, but only to those necessary. 7. Do not hesitate to commit the greatest crime, if the good of the cause demands it.

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8. Regard the enemies of your nation with hate and perfidy. 9. Neither requests, nor threats, nor torture, nor death should compel you to betray a secret. 10. Aspire to expand the strength, riches, and size of the Ukrainian state, even by means of enslaving foreigners.9 In addition to the Decalogue, which duly guided the UVO’s successor, the OUN, the young Bandera would have been influenced by the writings of Dmytro Dontsov, a former socialist from southern Ukraine, who had served in the government of Pavlo Skoropadsky, which operated under German auspices in 1918. In 1923, Dontsov moved to L’viv and authored numerous pamphlets, of which the most famous was his 1926 Natsionalizm, which called for individuals to use violence and the consolidation of the national will to attain statehood.10 Like the Decalogue, Dontsov’s philosophy was anti-democratic and close to fascism. Although he confined himself to writing rather than to the direction of political activity and was not a member of the UVO or OUN, Dontsov came closest to encapsulating the beliefs of the nationalist Galician youth of the 1920s and 1930s.11 Bandera’s initial role in the OUN was as a distributor of underground nationalist literature, including the magazines Surma, Rozbudova Natsii, and Ukrains’kyi Natsionalist and as a consultant to the OUN department of propaganda. At the beginning of 1933 Colonel Konovalets’, impressed by Bandera’s success in these positions, began to find him more responsible work. Bandera participated in the conferences of the OUN in July 1932 in Prague and in Berlin and Gdańsk in 1933. In December 1933, Bandera became head of the regional executive of ZUZ (the regional branch of the OUN for Western Ukrainian lands, Zakhidno-Ukrains’ki Zemli). Under Bandera’s command, this organization protested against polonization in the schools of Galicia and carried out two assassinations in 1933–34. First it organized the murder of A. Mailov who was a secretary of the Soviet consulate in L’viv.12 The members of the OUN planned his murder as an act of protest against the Soviet-engineered famine of 1932–33 in Ukraine.13 The second assassination took place on 15 June 1934, in Warsaw: the murder of Bronisław Pieracki, the Polish minister of the interior.14 Following the

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murder, Bandera was arrested by the Polish police, imprisoned and interrogated in prisons in L’viv, Kraków and Warsaw. The trial of the 26 year old Bandera, and eleven other members of the OUN who were charged with membership of the OUN and organizing the murder of Pieracki, began in Warsaw on 18 November 1935 and continued until 13 January 1936.15 According to letters and articles published during and immediately after the Warsaw trial, some foreign journalists, most notably in Britain, became more sympathetic to the cause of Ukraine. Some began to comprehend the motives behind the struggle of Ukrainian youth for the independence of Ukraine.16 From the perspective of foreign observers, the refusal of the accused OUN members to use the Polish language during the trial, their courageous and bold behaviour and frequent exclamations like ‘Long Life to Independent Ukraine!’ transformed them into national heroes rather than simple terrorists. Another trial, which also brought an action against Bandera and all members of the regional executive led by Bandera, took place in L’viv during the summer of 1936. As a result of the two trials, Bandera was sentenced to death. Due to an amnesty offered by the Polish Sejm, however, Bandera’s sentence was reduced to life imprisonment (in the prison of Święty Krzyż (The Holy Cross) near Kielce, and in the prisons of Poznań and Gdańsk). Bandera wrote in his autobiography: ‘Five years and three months I spent in the cruellest Polish prisons, and the major part of this time I spent in a severe isolation. During this time I went on nine-, thirteen-, and sixteen-day hunger strikes. One of them I arranged with other Ukrainian political prisoners; and two by myself, which took place in the prisons of L’viv and Berestia [Brest].’17 Bandera was still in Brest prison when the Polish forces retreated from the invading Germans in September 1939. On 13 September, the prison was evacuated and all the prisoners were freed. Bandera then continued his political activity and was appointed to several important positions in the OUN. His imprisonment had distanced Bandera from the OUN activities at a time when dramatic events were occurring. The shocking assassination of Yevhen Konovalets’ by a Soviet agent (24 May 1938, in Rotterdam)18 resulted in organizational problems for the OUN, which split into two separate political organizations: the

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OUN(b) and the OUN(m). The OUN(m) was unofficially created immediately after the death of Konovalets’ when Andrei Mel’nyk was voted leader of the organization. The major reasons for this split were the disagreement between the regional executive of the OUN and the command of the OUN (whose members lived in various countries outside Poland) with the PUN (Provid Ukrains’kyh Natsionalistiv, Leadership of the Ukrainian Nationalists); the personal ambitions of Bandera and his refusal to accept Mel’nyk as leader; differences concerning future cooperation with Germany and the Nazis; and contrasting opinions on the methods and ways to attain independence for Ukraine. Whereas the prime aim of the OUN(b) was to proclaim the independence of Ukraine, the OUN(m) wished to expand Ukrainian territories at the expense of Russia.19 The split developed in several stages. In January 1940, Bandera and Tymchyi Lopatyns’kyi’s negotiations with Mel’nyk in Italy indicated disagreements over the continued membership in the PUN (led by Mel’nyk) of the alleged betrayer of Bandera, Yaroslav Baranivs’kyj,20 and over the attitude to be adopted toward the Germans in achieving Ukrainian independence. On 10 February 1940, Bandera initiated the creation of a revolutionary command for the OUN, membership of which was separate from that of the PUN and mutually exclusive. At the second Grand Assembly of the OUN in Kraków in April 1941, Bandera was officially approved as head of the revolutionary command. The election of Meln’yk as OUN leader and successor to Konovalets’ was declared to have been illegal. Yet despite the conflicts, both wings of the OUN had many common aims. They both wished to use the opportunity offered by the prospective German invasion of the USSR to establish an independent Ukraine. Both were prepared to cooperate with the Germans, and both possessed some common traits with the Nazi regime: emphasis on the priority of the nation above all else; hatred of perceived enemies, including Jews; a Führerprinzip with plenipotentiary powers invested in a single leader; and anti-Soviet sentiment with the goal of resisting Bolshevism. In the General Government established in Poland under German rule, both groups began to organize expeditionary forces of young volunteers who would enter Ukraine with the Germans and politicize the

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cause of an independent Ukraine in the eastern regions of the republic. The OUN(b) was more radical and impatient, however, and decided on a pre-emptive move to declare Ukrainian independence as soon as the former capital of Western Ukraine, L’viv, was occupied. In April–May 1941, with the collusion of German military intelligence (the Abwehr), two Ukrainian military legions, ‘Roland’ and ‘Nachtigall’, were created. The former was established at Saubersdorf near Vienna, and the latter in Silesia. Membership of the two legions was made up from the OUN(b) and the Karpats’ka Sich, a military formation established in Carpatho-Ukraine in the late 1930s.21 The uniforms of the troops were similar to those of the Ukrainian National Republic formed in 1918, and they both had Ukrainian commanders, but a German officer corps. Roland’s commander was Riko Yary, an OUN leader with close links to German intelligence in the 1930s, and Nachtigall was led by Roman Shukhevych, the future commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). While Bandera, based in Kraków, did not intend to accompany the troops into Ukraine, he was one of the chief architects of their formation and of the proclamation of a Ukrainian state from L’viv by members of the OUN(b) on 30 June 1941 (the Akt), which followed the German attack on the Soviet Union that had begun eight days earlier. The Ukrainian activists had accompanied German troops and the Nachtigall legion over the border into Ukraine. Thus, on 30 June 1941, in the administration building of the Prosvita society in L’viv, the revolutionary command of the OUN(b), led by Bandera’s subordinate Yaroslav Stets’ko (1912–86), announced the creation of an independent Ukrainian state that would be closely linked with National Socialist Greater Germany. This news was broadcast on L’viv Radio to all regions of Ukraine and abroad. The text was also sent by telegraph directly to Hitler, Mussolini, Goering, Franco and others.22 It received support from some church leaders, such as the metropolitan of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Andrii Sheptyts’ky (a representative of this church, Iosyf Slipyi, had been present at the meeting in the Prosvita building), and by the metropolitan of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Polikarp Sikorsky.23 To many Ukrainian activists, and particularly those in the

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OUN(m), however, the Akt appeared premature, since it was clearly pre-emptive and issued from L’viv rather than from the capital Kyiv. Moreover, despite the obsequious references to Hitler and Greater Germany, the Bandera faction had not consulted with the Germans beforehand, thus presenting them with a fait accompli. Bandera’s name is associated not only with this proclamation, in some ways the culmination point of his collaboration with the Nazi regime, but also with the assault on L’viv’s Jews that had accompanied the German invasion and resulted in the deaths of around 4,000 Jews.24 Accounts of the event and its aftermath by adherents of the Bandera cause claim unconvincingly that the OUN(b) was an opponent of the Germans throughout the war.25 This statement is incorrect. It is true to say, however, that the rift that developed between the Bandera movement and the Germans dates from this moment. The Hitler regime was interested in Ukrainian political and military organizations as a force that could be deployed in the war against the USSR, but did not approve or anticipate the establishment of an independent Ukrainian state. Several days after the declaration of independence and following Bandera and Stets’ko’s refusal to renounce these actions, both were arrested by the Germans. Bandera was sent to Kraków and later to Sachsenhausen concentration camp as a political prisoner, where he remained until December 1944. The Germans disbanded the independent state and incorporated the western Ukrainian lands into the Polish General Government as District Galicia on 1 August 1941. Still, there was no concerted movement against the Bandera group until mid-September 1941, and a complete break only occurred after 25 November, when all members of the OUN(b) were made subject to arrest.26 In September 1941, during a secret conference, the OUN(b) decided to continue the struggle for an independent Ukraine. It dispatched units that in October 1942 formed the basis for the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Ukrains’ka Povstans’ka Armiya). The UPA was led by Roman Shukhevych (1907–1950), and existed until 1953, with the OUN(b) serving as its political and ideological arm, as well as playing the main role in its security force. Bandera could be no more than a distant observer of these events, although his name was used

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in Soviet propaganda, which attacked the Banderivtsi as traitors to the Ukrainian nation and as collaborators with the Germans throughout the Soviet period. By comparison, the figure of Shukhevych, who in fact led the UPA on the ground, received much less attention. Yet it was in Bandera’s name that UPA acts were carried out. Thousands of Ukrainians took part in the UPA’s activities, which ranged from a lengthy war with Soviet security forces, an attempt to remove the Polish population en masse from Volhynia in the spring and summer of 1943, and fratricide between the OUN(b) and the now outnumbered members of the OUN(m). In 1947 the police forces of the USSR, Poland, and Czechoslovakia were deployed to try to eliminate the UPA, forcing it into an underground existence. Yet it continued to resist Soviet rule in a guerrilla conflict that continued into the 1950s, even after the death of Shukhevych in March 1950.27 Along with the OUN(m), the Bandera units carried out expeditionary raids into eastern Ukraine during the period of German occupation, but faced the problem of a lack of comprehension of the goals of the OUN and UPA in this part of Ukraine. The political slogan ‘Ukraine for Ukrainians’ was not effective in eastern Ukraine with its multinational population and strong Russian influence. In August 1943, therefore, at the third Extraordinary Assembly of the OUN(b), its ideology was moderated in order to appeal to easterners. The declared goal was the defence of the national interests of Ukrainians from both western and eastern Ukraine and the struggle against exploitation by Soviet Russia. According to the new programme, all Ukrainians should have equal rights in the independent state with no ethnic discrimination. The OUN declared its disapproval of both fascist programmes and the communist political concepts of the Soviet Union. By the autumn of 1944 almost all the territory of Ukraine had been occupied by the Red Army. Prior to their retreat, the Nazis, recognizing that the OUN and UPA would continue the fight with the Bolsheviks, released Bandera as well as Yaroslav Stets’ko and other leaders of the OUN from the concentration camps. After his discharge, Bandera began to develop the organization of the OUN abroad,28 and he was still recognized as a member of the leadership of the OUN(b) at a conference in February 1945 and as head of the organization in 1947.

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The OUN(b) became divided, however, between Bandera’s faction and a group of revisionists who wished to adhere to the more moderate version of the programme adopted in August 1943. This breakaway group was known as the OUN-Z or dviikari. Bandera appears to have retained his hard-line views and to have become disillusioned with the OUN, although he was officially regarded as the leader of the revolutionary branch of the foreign sections of the OUN until his death. After the war, Bandera remained in Germany, living quietly in Munich with his wife, Yaroslava Oparivs’ka, and their three children: Natalka (born 1941); Andrii (1942); and Lesya (1948). On 15 October 1959, at 1.05pm, he was found lying on the floor of the entrance to his apartment on Kreittmayrstrasse. He was still alive but had been seriously wounded by a pistol shot to his face which led to his subsequent death in hospital. A medical examination indicated that the cause of death was from potassium cyanide, delivered in the form of a poison bullet. Bohdan Stashyns’ky (born in 1931 in Borshchovychi near L’viv) was arrested and convicted of the murder of Bandera as well as that of OUN(b) member Lev Rebet two years earlier. The court learned that Stashynsky had been hired by KGB chief Aleksandr Shelepin and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who had ordered Bandera’s murder. Bandera was buried at the Waldfriedhof cemetery in Munich on 22 October 1959. The murder of Bandera was an important psychological victory for the leaders of KGB in their struggle with Ukrainian nationalists.29 According to the testimony of Stashyns’ky, he was encouraged to assassinate Bandera with the promise of future residence in Moscow with full protection; however, he decided to flee the Soviet Union, and live in West Germany. The trial of Stashyns’ky was held in Karlsruhe in October 1962.30 He was sentenced to eight years in a high security prison, although little is known about his subsequent life. Even after the trial in Karlsruhe and the imprisonment of Stashyns’ky, many myths about the murder of Bandera circulated. According to one of them, Bandera was murdered by OUN member, Dmytro Mas’kiv, who was also an agent of the West Germany government, which was uncomfortable with Bandera’s presence in the country. Such stories remain uncorroborated.31

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There are many different interpretations of Bandera’s life and goals. While he is still revered in some circles of the Ukrainian diaspora in the west, he has received very negative assessments in other works, such as the collection of materials of a 1961 press conference in Berlin.32 Indeed, the Polish historian Edward Prus has even compared Bandera with Hitler and Stalin.33 In Russia and parts of eastern Ukraine, the former Soviet image of him remains largely intact: that of a protofascist who collaborated with the Germans against his own people. Bandera’s image has also been tarnished by the ethnic cleansing carried out by the OUN(b) in Volhynia in the spring and summer of 1943, when thousands of Polish families lost their lives.34 In western Ukraine, however, statues of Bandera proliferate, museums are devoted to his life, and even major streets have been named after him. Several comments need to be made of what was a rather incomplete life. First, unlike other demagogues of the 1930s he has not left behind any corpus of literature. The philosophy he adopted and pursued so ruthlessly was adopted from other writers, philosophers, and politicians. Integral nationalism was seen as a means of attaining Ukrainian statehood, but it was similar in many respects to Italian Fascism or to the other forms of fascism prevalent in the 1930s. Secondly, most of the tumultuous events that occurred in Ukraine, and with which Bandera’s name is linked, took place during his incarceration in Germany. Thus, there is a contrast between Bandera of the 1930s as a young activist committed to the OUN cause and subsequently refusing to bow to the more moderate elements under Mel’nyk, and the figure of the 1940s, who after his arrest could only watch events from afar. Nevertheless, it seems clear that it was Bandera who organized the Ukrainian legions, ordered the declaration of independence, and supervised the expeditionary groups into eastern Ukraine. Although émigré sources suggest that his movement was dedicated to fighting against two totalitarian powers (either through the OUN or UPA, or both together), it is more logical to see Bandera as a figure betrayed by those whom he trusted, namely the German authorities. The Germans refused to accept the announcement of an independent Ukraine after months of preparation, and even the two Ukrainian legions were soon disbanded. At the same time, Bandera’s collaboration was

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conditional: he may have admired Hitler and adopted some of the more extreme tenets of fascism, but his single and overriding goal was to attain Ukrainian independence. Thus, wartime cooperation was seen as expedient rather than as an act of loyalty to Germany or to fascism. Bandera’s legacy is disputed: he may be seen as a forerunner and pioneer of Ukrainian independence but only within a narrow and distorted perspective. Particularly after the Orange Revolution, the Ukrainian state formed in 1991 has little in common with the sort of political structure envisioned by Bandera that was both exclusionist and highly authoritarian. After the end of the Second World War, his policies seemed moribund and obsolete. Moreover, he never put his ideas into written form, thus adding to speculation about some aspects of his outlook. The place of Bandera in Ukrainian history is, however, increasingly recognized in his homeland. Three recent events serve to illustrate his growing reputation. On 24 January 2008, the L’viv branch of the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists created a ‘Stepan Bandera Medal’ that can be awarded to all ‘fighters for the independence of Ukraine’ regardless of their political affiliation.35 Four days later, the Zastava town council in Chernivtsi region in south-western Ukraine declared that 2008 was the ‘year of Stepan Bandera’.36 Lastly, Ukrainian Television in 2008 held a competition, emulating the British series Great Britons, in which viewers were invited to vote for the greatest Ukrainian in history. By May, thousands of votes had been submitted. The winner was declared to be the medieval prince of Kyivan Rus, Yaroslav the Wise, a figure also celebrated in Russia, the historians of which lay claim to the Kyivan period as part of Russia’s own past. But according to the programme’s editor, Vakhtang Kipiani, there was a spate of suspicious voting on the last day that elevated Yaroslav the Wise into first place over the real winner, Stepan Bandera.37 In a country so divided about its past, it would evidently have been too controversial a move to have declared Bandera the winner. Whether a TV show represents national sentiment is uncertain, but what is likely is that the depth of feeling for Bandera in areas where he is popular – the Western Ukrainian regions and particularly the oblasts of Halychyna (L’viv, Ivan-Frankivs’k, and Ternopil’) – remains very high. The image

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of Bandera in these parts of Ukraine seems significantly greater than the reality of the leader of the OUN, who ceased to play an active role in the political life of Ukraine after 1941.

Notes 1. Halyna Hordasevych, author of a book about the life and activity of Stepan Bandera, spoke in person to Oksana who survived 49 years in Krasnoyarsk region and returned to Ukraine in 1989. See Halyna Hordasevych, Stepan Bandera: ludyna i mif, L’viv, 2001, pp. 34–35. Oksana Bandera stated that neither she nor Marta-Maria had families and that they had been living in deplorable conditions. The two sisters lived together prior to the death of Marta-Maria in 1960. 2. Volodymyra and Teodor had six children who were sent to an orphanage but were soon removed by relatives. The main reasons for dispatching Teodor and Volodymyra to camps were their affiliation with the Greek Catholic Church and Volodymyra’s family background. According to Hordasevych, during Volodymyra’s time in the camps, camp officials used her maiden name ‘Bandera’ in reports about her to Moscow: Hordasevych, Stepan Bandera, p. 35. 3. Oleksandr was studying politics and economics in Italy. He married and subsequently resided in Italy, but returned to Ukraine with the outbreak of war. 4. It was so difficult for Ukrainians to become students of this university that some of them adopted Polish surnames in order to be accepted: Hordasevych, Stepan Bandera, p. 49. 5. The full name of the party, which was founded on 11 July 1925, was Ukrains’ke natsional’ne demokratychne obyednannya. 6. Lenkavs’kyi may be referring here to medieval Rus’, to the period of Cossack rebellions under Hetman Bohdan Khmelnyts’kyi in the seventeenth century, and to Ivan Mazepa’s rebellion against Russian rule in the eighteenth century. 7. The trident was the coat of arms of the Riurik dynasty that founded Kyivan Rus in the ninth century and was consolidated under Volodymyr the Great (980–1015), although its origins may be much older. Volodymyr accepted Christianity as the religion of his principality in 988. The trident was also used as the state symbol of the short-lived Ukrainian National Republic formed in January 1918. See Alexander J. Motyl, The Turn to the Right: the Ideological Origins and Development of Ukrainian Nationalism, 1919–1929, Boulder, CO, 1980, p. 188. 8. The reference is also to the Kyivan Rus era.

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9. According to one author, this clause was elaborated at the First Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists held in Vienna in late January and early February 1929, which produced documents advocating something akin to ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Ukrainian lands by removing all occupants, i.e. the nonUkrainian populations of Eastern Galicia. See Tadeusz Piotrowski, Poland’s Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918–1947, Jefferson, NC, 1998. 10. D. Dontsov, Natsionalizm, Toronto, 1966. 11. The then head of the OUN(b), Yaroslav Stets’ko, acknowledged this in his oration at Dontsov’s funeral in 1973, when he remarked that Dontsov’s book Natsionalizm had influenced the young activists of OUN, especially those who created the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), announced the restoration of Ukrainian statehood in 1941, and led the battle against the German and Russian occupants of Ukraine: Homin Ukrainy, 14 April 1973. 12. Hordasevych, Stepan Bandera, p. 65. 13. Mykola Lemyk, the member of the OUN who was charged with the murder of Mailov, was instructed to surrender to the Polish police and explain in court why he had murdered the consul in order to show the community the importance of the OUN’s activity. 14. Pieracki was murdered by Hryts’ Matseyko, who was not caught by the Polish police and fled abroad. 15. During the trial, Polish police used materials from The Archive of Senyk, which included documents about OUN activities before the murder of Pieracki. Bandera was probably right when he accused Yaroslav Baranivs’kyi, who was responsible for this archive, of working for the Polish police. For this, and more information on The Archive of Senyk, see Petro Baley, ‘Iz dzherel polskii rozvidky pro arkhiv Senyka’, in Fronda Stepana Bandery, Las Vegas, 1997, pp. 53–57. 16. For an analysis of the Warsaw trial in the Polish press, see Petro Mirchuk, Stepan Bandera: Symvol Ukrainskoi Bezkompromisovosty, New York and Toronto, 1961, pp. 55–58. 17. Moi zhyttyepysni dani in Vbyvstvo Stepana Bandery, L’viv, 1993, pp. 3–11. 18. In his brochure Khto vbyv Konovaltsia? Winnipeg, 1938, M. Nastivs’kyi describes the reasons behind the disagreement in the OUN in the late 1930s and states that the murder of Yevhen Konovalets’ was carried out by members of the OUN (the author does not provide any names) and was a result of internal conflicts in the organization. Biographers of Bandera, and historians who have studied the OUN (such as Petro Mirchuk and Halyna Hordasevych), disagree with Nastasivs’kyi and maintain that the murder of Konovalets’, as well as that of Bandera, was initiated by Moscow.

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19. Hordasevych, Stepan Bandera, p. 91; Wolodymyr Kosuk, Rozkol OUN u svitli dokumentiv, Kyiv, 2002, p. 15; Volodymyr Nykyforuk, OUN–UPA: doroga z nochi, Gorodenka, 1992, p. 17; S. Kul’chyts’kyi, ‘Akt 30 chervnya 1941 roku,’ Istoriya Ukrainy, 23–24, June 2000, pp. 6–9. 20. Stepan Bandera thought that Baranivs’kyi was the traitor who had given the materials of The Archive of Senyk to the Polish police. See note 15 above. 21. The Karpats’ka (Carpathian Sich) was a military formation created to defend the Carpatho-Ukrainian state that was formed after the disintegration of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. Many of its members were from Ukrainian territories in Galicia under Polish rule. See, for example, Paul Robert Magocsi, A History of Ukraine, Toronto, 1996, pp. 614–15. 22. V.P. Troshchyns’kyi, ‘Proty vyhadok pro tak zvany ‘antyfashysts’kyi rukh oporu’ Ukrains’kykh natsionalistiv’, Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal, 5, 1988, pp. 79–80. 23. For the letters of blessing of both church leaders, see Anatol’ Bedrii, Ukrains’ka derzhava vidnovlena aktom 30 chervnya 1941 roku. Kyiv, 2001, pp. 77–78. 24. The Toronto-based scholar Sol Littman blames the Ukrainian military formation Nachtigall for the massacre of Jews. Cited in Piotrowski, Poland’s Holocaust, p. 313. 25. See, for example, Taras Hunczak, ‘OUN-German Relations, 1941–5’, in Hans-Joachim Torke and John-Paul Himka (eds), German–Ukrainian Relations in Historical Perspective, Edmonton, 1994, pp. 178–186, and esp. p. 179. 26. About 500 people were arrested and 15 OUN leaders were murdered in September 1941. Some of the imprisoned were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and others to Auschwitz, where about 200 of them died, including two of Bandera’s brothers. See, Nykyforuk, OUN–UPA: doroga z nochi, p. 23. 27. These events are examined in detail in David R. Marples, Heroes and Villains: Constructing National History in Contemporary Ukraine, Budapest and New York, 2007, pp. 167–202. 28. By October–November 1944, Bandera was involved in the Ukrainian National Committee (Ukrains’kyi Natsional’nyi Komitet, UNC) in Germany, an organization which defended the interests of Ukraine. The UNC included many anti-Bolshevik immigrants. 29. In an interview for the newspaper Komsomol’skaya Pravda (6 December 2005), former KGB leader Vladimir Kryuchkov claimed that the murder of Bandera was the last attempt of the KGB to eliminate an enemy by means of a hired assassin with a poison gun.

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30. Probably Stashyns’ky did not know that had shot Bandera. He was informed only that his victim went by the name of Stepan Popel’: Hordasevych, Stepan Bandera, p. 146. 31. For this version of Bandera’s murder, see Pravda pro te khto spravdi vbyv Stepana Banderu: Chorni dila helenivs’koi rozvidky: Materials of press conference in Berlin, 1961, Toronto, 1961. On Bandera’s murder, see also P. Goy, B. Stebelski, R. Sanotska (eds), Documents and Materials concerning the Assassination of Stepan Bandera, Toronto, 1989. For Bandera’s life, see Danylo Chaykovsky, ‘Stepan Bandera: His Life and Struggle’, in Murdered by Moscow: Petlura – Konovalets – Bandera. Three Leaders of the Ukrainian National Liberation Movement assassinated at the orders of Stalin and Khrushchev, London, 1962. Available online at [last accessed July 2010]. 32. Ibid, p. 25. In this brochure Bandera is described as cruel and dishonest. 33. Edward Prus, Stepan Bandera (1909–1959): Symbol zbrodni i okrucieństwa, Wrocław, 2004. 34. For a discussion of the Volhynia massacres, see Marples, Heroes and Villains, pp. 203–37. 35. Zik, 24 January 2008. 36. Ibid, 28 January 2008. 37. BBC News, Kiev, 5 June 2008.

CHAPTER 14 THE CHR ISTIAN SOCIAL ROOTS OF JOZEF TISO’S R ADICALISM, 1887–1939 Thomas Anselm Lorman

Jozef Tiso (1887–1947), priest, publicist, party apparatchik, cabinet minister, prime minister, president and, from 1942, simply ‘leader’ of the independent Slovak State, remains a controversial figure. Although he presided over a totalitarian regime closely allied to Hitler’s Germany and was, in 1947, executed for crimes against humanity, the campaign for his (legal) rehabilitation continues.1 Tiso’s life may be divided into a series of distinct stages. Before 1918, he prepared for the priesthood, served as a parish priest and, at least publicly, demonstrated his loyalty to the Hungarian state, of which at that time the Slovak lands were a part. From December 1918 onwards, however, he rose through the ranks of the ultra-nationalist (Hlinka’s) Slovak People’s Party (Hlinková Slovenská Ľudová Strana, HSLS),2 where his prodigious work rate, organizational flair, and tough anti-Czech rhetoric marked him out as a rising star in the Slovak nationalist firmament. In 1925, he was elected to parliament, promoted to the party leadership and paved the way for the HSLS’s entry into a coalition government in which he served, from 1927–29, as minister for public health. In 1929, following the HSLS’s return to opposition, he was appointed the party’s

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deputy president, became its foremost ideologist, oversaw a series of negotiations with parties both inside and outside the government and, following the death in August 1938 of the party’s leader, Andrej Hlinka, was able to seize control. In the autumn of 1938, he ruthlessly exploited Germany’s designs on Czechoslovakia (after October 1938, Czecho-Slovakia) to win concessions from the Prague government. On 6 October, he proclaimed in Žilina Slovakia’s autonomy, and was richly rewarded: Prague fully accepted his party’s autonomy plan, and he was appointed as minister for Slovakia in Prague, and prime minister of an autonomous Slovak government in Bratislava. In these posts, he waged a futile diplomatic campaign to prevent Hungary taking control of a broad swath of southern Slovakia, populated mainly by ethnic Hungarians. He oversaw the absorption of all other Slovak parties into the HSLS (unacceptable parties were banned), and suppressed civil liberties. On 14 March 1939, he announced the creation of an independent Slovakia and the destruction of the Czecho-Slovak state. Under Tiso’s tutelage, Slovakia proved to be a functioning state. It preserved its de facto independence, achieved widespread diplomatic recognition, secured economic stability and built up the institutions of statehood. At the same time, it was a one-party state without free elections, freedom of association or freedom of speech, and was financially dependent on the German Reich. Tiso’s regime also joined Hitler against Poland, the Soviet Union, Britain and America, ruthlessly suppressed the partisan resistance (in the so-called Slovak National Uprising), and deported the bulk of Slovak Jewry to extermination camps in Poland. As the Soviet army completed its occupation of Slovakia in early 1945, Tiso took refuge in Austria and southern Germany, but was repatriated by the United States to a reconstructed Czechoslovakia which tried him as a war criminal. He was executed on 18 April 1947.3 This essay argues that Tiso’s actions as leader of the wartime Slovak state stemmed from an ideological outlook which had already crystallized by 1938. Indeed, that ideological outlook, a desire radically to transform Slovakia according to Christian Social principles, had underpinned his career as both priest and politician throughout the previous four decades. It will further argue that, until 1938, Tiso’s radicalism was constrained by a pragmatic ambition to maximize his (and

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his party’s) influence in the inter-war Czechoslovak state. Only from late 1938 onwards, with the creation of an autonomous – and then independent – Slovakia, did such pragmatism lose its value. As prime minister, and eventually supreme leader, Tiso finally had the power to transform his country. There was no need for further compromise. Jozef Gašpar Tiso was born in 1887 in the town of Bytča (formerly Nagybiccse) in north-west Slovakia, an area which was, and remains to this day, a stronghold of Slovak nationalist and Catholic sentiment. He came from a butcher’s family, the second of seven children, and after showing promise at elementary school transferred, in 1898, to a grammar school in Žilina (Zsolna), before proceeding to school and a seminary in Nitra (Nyitra) and, in 1906, to the University of Vienna. In Vienna he resided at the Pazmaneum, the seminary established by Bishop Péter Pazmány in 1623 to house the future elite of the Hungarian clergy, where, as in each of the previous institutions, he was lauded as a disciplined student who excelled at his studies.4 It was at the University of Vienna that Tiso was imbued with the Christian Social ideology that would mould his career as priest and politician. The Austrian Christian Social Party (Christliche Soziale Partei) was part of a wider movement across Catholic Europe which sought to reverse the secular tide that had assailed the Church during the nineteenth century. The secular tide manifested itself in the selfconfidence displayed by free-market capitalism, in socialism’s ability to present itself as the sole defender of the ‘impoverished masses’, and in the relentless assault on religious dogmas by the scientific community and philosophical enquiry.5 One group of Austrian priests, led by Franz Martin Schindler, Joseph Scheicher and the publicist, Karl Vogelsang, was particularly critical of their colleagues’ ‘passivity’, ‘laziness’, excessive concentration on ‘mere sacramental–ritualistic duties’ and ‘sterile’ theology.6 These priests were inspired by the writings of St Thomas Aquinas, who had argued that the Church should engage with the wider society, and their ideas provided the intellectual foundations for the Christian Social movement. This ‘neo-Thomist’ approach revealed itself in the Austrian priests’ call for a ‘socially orientated moral theology’ and active engagement with modern society in order to ‘compete successfully with secular rivals’.7

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Bolstered by a series of papal encyclicals, such as Aeterni Patris (1879) and Rerum Novarum (1891), which both lauded the revival of interest in Aquinas and condemned liberalism, socialism, materialism and modernity, as well as being influenced by the series of Catholic interest-defending parties and movements that were then being founded across continental Europe, Schindler, Scheicher and their followers opted for ‘a return to society through politics’ and founded the Christian Social Party which, by 1897, had taken control of Vienna city council.8 Tiso, himself, who was taught directly by such luminaries of the Christian Social movement as Schindler, Ernst Commer and the future chancellor of inter-war Austria, Ignaz Seipel, embraced both their ideas and their methods.9 He was imbued with their hostility to liberalism, capitalism and socialism, but he also absorbed their neoThomist intellectual self-confidence, their conviction that the Church should actively engage with society, and their belief that the political arena provided the right venue for reversing the secular tide. By 1911, Tiso had obtained his doctoral degree in theology, had been ordained into the priesthood, and was ready to return to Hungary to put his religious calling and Christian Social ideology into practice.10 Within Hungary, the Austrian Christian Social Party had already inspired emulation. The Catholic People’s Party (Katolikus Néppárt or KNP) had been founded in 1895. It immediately attracted strong support from the Slovak-speaking clergy. This was unsurprising: 70 per cent of Slovaks were Catholics; the existing parties had made little effort to appeal to Slovak voters; and the KNP’s opposition to the secularizing policies of prime minister István Tisza (civil marriage, secular schools, equality for the Jewish faith) also dovetailed with Slovak hostility to the Tisza government’s ‘magyarizing’ policies.11 Moreover, the economically backward and intellectually impoverished, yet devout, rural Slovak parishes were a natural breeding ground for a new generation of activist priests eager to apply Christian Social principles by assuming the intellectual leadership of their communities and the mantle of social reform. Tiso serves as an excellent example of such a priest. Posted to a series of impoverished rural parishes from 1910–14, (Oščadnica, Rajec, Bánovce nad Bebravou), he responded by energetically promoting public works

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projects, the establishment of local organizations to improve the lives of his parishioners, and, in the words of one biographer, ‘directed his social activities in accordance with the [Christian Social] papal encyclicals.’12 In 1915, however, after a short spell on the front line as an army chaplain, Tiso was given a teaching post at the central seminary in Nitra by the bishop of Nitra, Vilmos Battyány.13 Here, Tiso stepped up his cooperation with the KNP. He had already, in 1913, contributed a series of articles denouncing alcoholism to the KNP’s (Slovak-language) journal, Kresťan,14 and from 1916 he contributed a further series of patriotic articles to the KNP’s local (Hungarian-language) newspaper in Nitra, Nyitramegyei Szemle. He also began attending meetings of the local Christian Social Union (Keresztény Szociális Egyesület), which served as the local branch of the KNP and, in November 1918, became a founding member of the Nitra branch of the Hungarian National Council (Magyar Nemzeti Tanács). When, however, the Czechoslovak army appeared outside Nitra, Tiso negotiated its peaceful entry into the town, resigned from the Hungarian National Council, severed his links with the KNP, became the secretary of the newly-established local Slovak National Council (Slovenská Národná Rada), and threw himself into the task of ‘slovakizing’ the inhabitants.15 Considerable energy has been expended in attempts to determine whether Tiso’s actions prior to December 1918 were determined by either his Slovak or his ‘magyarone’ identity (i.e. as an ethnic Slovak who had ‘magyarized’ himself to gain social and political advancement).16 Yet, although the question of Tiso’s national identity may be of paramount importance to those who believe that a Slovak ‘martyr’ must be shown to have been a life-long Slovak patriot, it is not intended here to engage in any such myth-making or myth-breaking. The key question to ask about Tiso is not whether he was selfconsciously Slovak before 1918, but why he became an ultra-nationalist Slovak after 1918. That transformation formally commenced with Tiso’s attendance at the meeting on 19 December 1918 which re-founded the HSLS. The HSLS swiftly marked itself out as the standard bearer of a Slovak nationalism that rejected not only the recreation of the Hungarian kingdom but also the incorporation of Slovaks into a unitary, centralized, Czechoslovak state.

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There were a number of reasons why Tiso attached himself to the HSLS. First, in 1918, Tiso was not particularly close to the party’s founder and leader, Andrej Hlinka (he had not been, for example, included in the Slovak council of priests or Knažka Rada that Hlinka had established in November 1918 to reorganize the church in Slovakia). In 1917, however, Tiso had contributed articles, under the pseudonym ‘Spiritualis’, to a Slovak-language religious journal (Duchovný Pastier) that was edited by Hlinka.17 Moreover, a number of his friends and fellow priests from Nitra, (including his childhood friend Jozef Randik and prominent Slovak nationalists Jozef Buday and Karol Kmetko) had been included in Hlinka’s council of priests, and may have persuaded Tiso to join them in the HSLS.18 Secondly, the HSLS presented itself as the representative party of Slovak Catholics and Christian Social ideas. Its leading figures were devout Catholics (often priests), the party’s ideology emphasized its opposition to the Christian Social bugbears of liberalism, capitalism, socialism and secularization, and initially it proudly appended the name ‘Christian’ to its name.19 The HSLS could also easily position itself as a successor party to the old KNP: it had first been formed as a splinter group of the KNP in 1905,20 and at its re-formation in 1918 it reached out to former KNP members, appointing as its first party secretary a former secretary in the KNP, František Unger.21 Indeed, a number of Tiso’s colleagues in the Nitra branch of the KNP joined the HSLS and obtained senior positions in the party.22 Thirdly, Tiso found in the HSLS a party that shared his hostility to socialism. Christian Socials had denounced socialism for its atheistic principles and the divisive nature of its class-based politics, while Tiso’s personal hostility to socialism can only have been intensified by his flight from Nitra in the spring of 1919, when Béla Kun’s Hungarian Red Army briefly occupied the town. The Slovak nationalism of the HSLS, which rejected divisive class-based politics and denounced all things ‘internationalist’, provided Tiso with a new, and welcome, stick with which to beat his socialist opponents.23 Finally, the HSLS’s ideology redefined Slovak nationalism as a struggle to preserve a distinct Catholic identity and therefore allowed it to become a suitable vehicle for Tiso’s Christian Social convictions.

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While the HSLS’s nationalism manifested itself in demands for the full application of the non-binding 1918 Pittsburgh agreement (which had promised Slovakia significant autonomy in the new Czechoslovakia),24 it was actually rooted in earlier, nineteenth-century theories of Slavonic national identity. Although the HSLS rejected the ‘pan-Slavism’ of writers like Jan Kollár and Pavel Josef Šafařík, it perpetuated their mythical depictions of the Slavonic people as an intrinsically moral yet downtrodden, rural folk.25 This myth was, however, updated so that Kollár and Šafařík’s Slavs were transformed into Slovaks, whose intrinsic morality was now defined as devotion to the Catholic faith.26 This allowed the HSLS to present the entire Slovak nation as downtrodden Catholics, oppressed and (on account of the non-application of the Pittsburgh agreement) betrayed by the antiCatholic Czech authorities. The struggle for Slovak autonomy within Czechoslovakia (and for the application of the Pittsburgh agreement) was, therefore, presented as the continuation of the ancient struggle for both national survival and the survival of the Catholic faith.27 The HSLS’s nationalism, with its transformation of Kollár and Šafařík’s critique of an oppressive, immoral, non-Slavonic elite into a critique of an oppressive, immoral, non-Slovak elite (anchored, before 1918, in secularizing Budapest and, after 1918, secularizing Prague), appealed to Tiso because it gave concrete form (Slovak versus Czech) to traditional Christian Social theory (Catholic versus secular). Thus Tiso could remain dismissive of Kollár and Šafařík’s praise of the Slavonic ‘biological instinct’, but still enthusiastically embrace the HSLS’s notion of a Slovak nation defined by its Catholic ‘moral character’.28 After 1918, Tiso repeatedly made clear that he regarded Slovak nationalism as a struggle to defend Catholicism. He claimed that Slovak nationalism had over the previous thousand years operated concurrently with the struggle to preserve Catholic ‘religious tradition’. In fact, these ‘Christian and national traditions [...] are so tightly connected that it is not possible to separate them’; it was indeed the ‘preservation of its Christian beliefs that had made the Slovak nation possible’ and that rendered the struggle for ‘autonomy’ the culmination of a ‘holy struggle’ (sväty boj) which had been waged by the Slovak people for an entire millennium.29

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Not only did Tiso’s Christian Social principles propel him into the nationalist HSLS but these principles also continued to inform Tiso’s new-found nationalism, his activities within the party and, of course, his religious duties. It is important in this regard to recognize that Tiso’s rise through the ranks of the HSLS occurred in tandem with his clerical responsibilities. He continued his teaching at the Nitra seminary until 1923, oversaw the publication of a new catechism, served from 1921–23 as secretary to the new bishop of Nitra, Karol Kmetko, and, following his refusal to forsake his political activism, was in 1924 returned to his earlier parish of Bánovce nad Bebravou, where he was appointed deacon for the entire district and where his pastoral responsibilities continued to occupy a portion of his week right up until 1945.30 Besides serving as an inspector of Catholic schools and later as editor of the Slovak clerical journal, Duchovný Pastier, he also devoted considerable energy to applying the basic Christian Social ideals in his home parish, using the pulpit as a platform to improve the social conditions of his parishioners.31 In his political activities, Tiso also applied, and at the same time updated, Christian Social thinking. He took the old idea that the Church needed to actively engage with the wider population, and applied it to the HSLS. In party newspapers and speeches, he argued that the party needed to engage with, and mobilize, the wider Slovak population by building up its press organs, associations, branch organizations and membership.32 In Nitra, from 1919–21, Tiso put his ideas into practice. He founded a branch of the HSLS, launched, edited and wrote most of the bi-lingual newspaper Nitra-Nyitra,33 helped found a new HSLS newspaper called Ľudová Politika and established both a local club, the ‘Slovak Catholic Circle’ (Slovenský Katolicky Kruh) and a local Catholic gymnastics organization, Orol, to rival the Czechdominated Sokol organization.34 Tiso’s efforts to build-up the HSLS in Nitra were recognized, and rewarded, in November 1920, when he was elected deputy president of the party’s Organization of Catholic Priests (Klub Katolického Duchovenstva Slovenskej Ludovej Strany). He was also entrusted with presenting a situation report on the party’s press organs to the annual party conference where he called for a renewed push to expand the

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party’s publishing activities and, thereby, expand the party.35 Tiso’s emphasis on the importance of party organization dovetailed with a determination within the HSLS to respond to the disappointing parliamentary elections of 1920 by transforming ‘Red’ Slovakia into ‘White and Christian’.36 Over the next three years, Tiso and the HSLS redoubled their efforts, expanded the party’s local organization, and established Slovak Catholic Circles and branches of the Orol across the country.37 By 1923, the party also published at least seven newspapers, and it was these newspapers which were credited by perceptive observers with popularizing the HSLS’s message and enabling the party’s organization to mushroom.38 Certainly, these efforts paid off when, in 1923, local elections confirmed that the HSLS was the most popular party in Slovakia. It would repeat that feat in every subsequent election for the remainder of the inter-war period, never winning less than 35% of the vote.39 Tiso’s belief that the HSLS should actively engage with the wider Slovak population was rooted in the Christian Social principles he had absorbed in Vienna. The old Christian Social parties had pragmatically recognized the advantages of engaging with, adapting to, and even compromising with, modern society in order to advance their Catholic values. It was this Christian Social model of pragmatic engagement which inspired Tiso to advocate the expansion of the HSLS’s local organization and it was this model which prompted him to advocate that the HSLS enter into a coalition government in 1927. Following the HSLS’s strong showing in the 1925 parliamentary elections, his own election to parliament and his subsequent promotion, in 1926, to the party’s five-member leadership committee, Tiso led the HSLS into the governing coalition of Antonín Švehla in order, as he put it at his trial, ‘to try in the practical field to achieve something [...] for the nation.’40 From 1927–1929, Tiso personally served as the senior of the two HSLS ministers in the government and took control of the ministry for health and education, where he presided over a number of improvements in Slovakia’s public health facilities, reflecting his (and the Christian Social movement’s) long-standing obsession with reclaiming (from the socialists) the progressive mantle in social policy. He also helped secure a modus vivendi between the Vatican and the

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Czechoslovak state and the establishment of a new tier of local government in Slovakia, the National Committee (Krajinský Výbor). This National Committee had limited powers but its establishment meant at least that the Prague government had formally recognized the separate status of Slovakia within the new republic.41 Although the HSLS returned to opposition to contest the 1929 elections, Tiso continued to advocate the HSLS’s active engagement with both opposition and governing parties. In 1932, Tiso oversaw the creation of a short-lived Slovak autonomous block formed from a coalition with the overwhelmingly Protestant Slovak National Party led by Martin Rázus. He also led (ultimately unsuccessful) negotiations with the Czech Catholic-dominated Czechoslovak People’s Party, with the Hungarian Christian Social Party and with the Sudeten German Party, led by Konrad Henlein. Moreover, Tiso repeatedly engaged in, abandoned, and re-engaged in discussions with the Prague government, most notably supporting Eduard Beneš’s election to the presidency in December 1935 and later, in 1938, joining in a united front against the growing German pressure on Czechoslovakia.42 This willingness to engage in negotiations and enter coalitions with other parties has encouraged scholars to view Tiso as a ‘moderate’ who stood in opposition to the anti-Czechoslovak ‘radical’ wing of the HSLS, concentrated around the journal Nástup and led in the 1920s by Vojtech Tuka (who edited the party’s premier journal, Slovák) and in the 1930s by the young Slovak nationalists Karel Sidor, Ferdinand Ďurčanský and Alexander Mach.43 Nevertheless, while a division between Tiso and the ‘radicals’ did exist, this was not due to Tiso’s supposedly ‘moderate’ pro-Czechoslovak orientation. Indeed, he repeatedly demonstrated his ‘radicalism’ throughout the inter-war period. In 1923 and 1924, he received suspended prison terms for his anti-Czech rhetoric. He repeatedly clashed with, and helped drive from the party, several supporters of the Czechoslovak state (J. Koze Matejev, Florian Tománek, Ferdiš Juriga), and his on-off negotiations with the government in the 1930s contrasted with periods of hardline opposition and a willingness to question the very legitimacy of the Czechoslovak state. In 1936, for example, he echoed Hlinka’s declaration that Slovak autonomy would be achieved even ‘at the price of the

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Republic’.44 Indeed, his willingness to consider a coalition with a wide range of parties (non-Catholic, non-Slovak, government-supporting) suggests that his support for such coalitions was a tactical ploy rather than a reflection of moderate views. Moreover, a willingness to cooperate with other parties did not prevent Tiso from rejecting the notion that any other party had the right to represent the Slovak nation. Indeed, he developed the Christian Social critique of individualism and class-based movements into an all-encompassing hostility to democracy that arrived at the same conclusions as the corporatist fascist state. He repeatedly denounced all other political parties in Slovakia as mere representatives of specific interest groups. He accused them, by their very existence, of undermining social cohesion and thereby national unity, and he rejected any political system that was based on the ‘will of the voters’. Only the HSLS, he repeatedly declared, had ‘the right to speak in the name of the Slovak people.’45 While Slovakia remained part of the centralized Czechoslovak state, however, Tiso rejected the calls of the ‘radicals’ for an uncompromising oppositional stance that denied legitimacy to either the Czechoslovak government or any other political party. Such an estrangement from the political process, he recognized, would be as futile as the Church’s earlier detachment from secular society. His thinking was, therefore, once again conditioned by the old Christian Social call for the Church to engage with secular society through the political process. As Tiso himself declared at the HSLS’s 1936 party congress, his advocacy of negotiations, coalition building and compromise was ‘simply a question of tactics’ and these tactics had to ‘fit the conditions of the time and the needs of the people and the party.’46 It was, therefore, a dispute over tactics, not over ideology, that pitted Tiso against the inflexible ‘anti-Czechoslovakism’ of the so-called ‘radical’ wing of the HSLS. A similar point can be made about Tiso’s attitude towards the Jews. Although he avoided aggressively antisemitic rhetoric in the period 1920–1938, this should not be seen as anything more than a tactical recognition that aggressive antisemitism would isolate the HSLS from the political mainstream. Antisemitism was a core element of the Christian Social ideology, which criticized Jews as both un-Christian

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and bourgeois exploiters. The Austrian Christian Social and the Hungarian Christian Social parties, as well as the first incarnations of the HSLS, were openly antisemitic, and in 1918–1919 Tiso used the pages of his newspaper Nitra-Nyitra to publish a series of articles that were aggressively antisemitic.47 Moreover, Tiso’s repeated assertion that the Slovaks were ‘Christians’ implicitly rejected the idea that Jews could be part of the Slovak nation. Tiso’s avoidance of blunter antisemitic rhetoric in the period 1920–1938 stemmed, therefore, not from a purportedly ‘moderate’ outlook but rather from a pragmatic recognition that antisemitic outbursts would lead to his party’s, and his own, political marginalization. By discarding the ‘moderate’ canard we are able to recognize that Tiso’s actions in 1938–39 – his dismantling of parliamentary democracy, his antisemitic policies and his role in the destruction of Czechoslovakia – were perfectly consistent with his underlying Christian Social ideology. Following the Prague government’s acceptance of full Slovak autonomy in October 1938, Tiso was appointed prime minister of the new Slovak government. Having for the first time gained genuine political power, he immediately revealed the radicalism of his ideology. As head of the autonomous Slovak government, Tiso authorized a botched effort to expel all Jews who had entered Slovakia after 1918 and succeeded in having the bulk of the Czech ‘colonists’ who had moved to Slovakia expelled.48 He also effectively eliminated all domestic opposition. The first Tiso government tightened the censorship laws, restricted freedom of association, banned communist and Jewish parties and associations, and induced the other Slovak parties to merge with the HSLS.49 When, on 10 March 1939, the government in Prague dismissed him as prime minister, Tiso once again revealed a pragmatic willingness to seek support from any party which could help realize his objectives. On 13 March, he travelled to Germany, obsequiously placed the fate of his country in the Führer’s hands, and obtained guarantees of German support. The following day, in Žilina, Tiso declared that Slovakia was now an independent state. He thus formally dissolved Czechoslovakia and thereby legitimized the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia on the grounds that the Czecho-Slovak state had

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disintegrated. In doing so, he also dispensed with the last remaining de facto check on his power, namely the Prague government. That same day, 14 March, Tiso was once again proclaimed prime minister, replete with the power to transform his country as he desired. On one level, Tiso’s actions up to 1938 can be described as essentially pragmatic. His ‘magyarone’ sensibilities prior to 1918, his embracing of Slovak nationalism after 1918, his willingness to negotiate with, and even join, the Czechoslovak government, his deference to Hlinka, and his alliance with Hitler’s Germany reveal a figure always able to recognize the value of cooperating with (potential) adversaries. At the same time this pragmatism was always in the service of Tiso’s adherence to Christian Social values. His conviction that priests had a duty to perform both a clerical and a political role, that Christian teachings should be directed towards social improvement, that secularism, socialism, modernity, democracy and Jewry posed a threat to his Church and his nation, all flowed from his earlier absorption of Christian Social teachings. Indeed, Tiso’s pragmatism was itself the product of his Christian Social principles which stressed the need to engage with, and even compromise with, the modern world. Until 1938 that engagement persistently moderated, and even concealed, Tiso’s radicalism. After 1938, however, as Tiso’s own power grew, the need for further compromises diminished and the radicalism of his ambitions to transform his country became rapidly apparent.

Notes 1. For an excellent discussion of the debate over Tiso’s rehabilitation, see James Mace Ward, Blank Pages: Slovakia’s Struggle to Reevaluate Jozef Tiso, 1989–2001, unpublished MA dissertation, University of Washington, 2001. See also, Milan Kleň, Spory o Jozefa Tisu: hl’adanie pravdy, Bratislava, 2002. 2. The ‘Hlinka’s’ was added in 1925. 3. Anthony Sutherland, Dr Jozef Tiso and Modern Slovakia, Middletown, PA, 1978. This is the only study of Tiso available in English. It is, however, dated and hagiographic. Similar hagiography pervades two other Slovak-language biographies of Tiso by Konštantin Čulen, Po svätoplukovi druhá naša hlava, Cleveland, OH, 1947 and by Milan Durica, Jozef Tiso – Slovenský Kňaz a štátnik, 1887–1939, Martin, 1992. For the best of the Slovak–language

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biographies, see Ivan Kamanec, Tragédia politika, knaža a človeka, Bratislava, 1998. Also of value are the proceedings of a 1992 conference on Tiso held in Bratislava: see Valerián Bystrický and Štefan Fano (eds), Pokus o politický and osobný profil Jozefa Tisu, Bratislava, 1992. For an overview of Tiso’s schooling, see Sutherland, Dr Jozef Tiso, pp. 30–31; on Tiso’s studies at the University of Vienna, see Walter Lukan, ‘Študenské roky Jozefa Tisu vo viedni (1906–1911)’, in Valerián Bystrický and Štefan Fano (eds), Pokus o politický and osobný profil Jozefa Tisu, Bratislava, 1992. For the problems of the Catholic Church within the Habsburg monarchy, see John Boyer, Political Radicalism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement 1848–1897, Chicago, IL, 1981, pp. 122–58. Ibid, pp. 156–57 Ibid, p. 157; an overview of the philosophical underpinnings of NeoThomism can be found in Gerald McCool, The Neo-Thomists, Milwaukee, WI, 1994. Boyer, Political Radicalism, pp. 158–66. For Seipel’s Christian Social thinking at this time, see Klemens von Klemperer, Ignaz Seipel, Christian Statesman in a Time of Crisis, Princeton, NJ, 1972, pp. 31–41. Jörg Hoensch, ‘Slovakia: “One God, One People, One Party!” The Development, Aim, and Failure of Political Catholicism’, in Richard Wolff and Jörg Hoensch (eds), Catholics, the State, and the European Radical Right, 1919–1945, New York, 1987, pp. 159–77 (esp. 165–66); Alena Bartlová, ‘Jozef Tiso – funkcionár HSĽS a poslanec národného zhromaždenia (1918– 1938)’, in Valerián Bystrický and Štefan Fano (eds), Pokus o politický and osobný profil Jozefa Tisu, Bratislava, 1992, pp.76–88 (pp. 77–8). For the Hungarian Christian Social movement and Catholic People’s Party, see Jenő Gergely, A keresztényszocializmus Magyarországon, 1903–1923, Budapest, 1977, pp. 9–133. See also Gyula Mérei, Magyar politikai pártprogrammok, (1867–1914), Budapest, 1934, pp. 155–78. Kamenec, Tragédia, p. 21. Ibid, pp. 20–25. Michal Potemra, ‘Publicistická a verejná činnost Jozefa Tisu pred rokom 1918’, in Valerián Bystrický and Štefan Fano (eds), Pokus o politický and osobný profil Jozefa Tisu, Bratislava, 1992, p. 35 Potemra, ‘Publicistická a verejná činnost Jozefa Tisu’, pp. 40–41; Róbert Letz, ‘Vývin slovenského národného povedomia u Jozefa Tisu do roku 1918’, in Valerián Bystrický and Štefan Fano (eds), Pokus o politický and osobný profil Jozefa Tisu’, Bratislava, 1992, pp. 58–60; Slovenký Národný Archív (Slovak National Archive, hereafter SNA), Trial of Jozef Tiso, Records, December

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1946–April 1947, Microfilm No. A9965, Box 1 (hereafter, Trial of Jozef Tiso), unnumbered; see also Kamenec, Tragédia, pp. 28–29. On claims that Tiso was a Slovak patriot prior before 1918, see Letz, ‘Vývin slovenského národného povedomia u Jozefa Tisu’, and Durica, Jozef Tiso, pp. 40–79. Duchovný Pastier, 1917–1918; see also Elena Mannova, ‘Zmeny vo vedomi slovenskej spolocnosti za prvej svetovej vojny’, in Milan Podrimavský and Dušan Kováč (eds), Slovensko na začiatku 20.storičia, Bratislava, 1999, p. 355. SNA, Fond Vavro Šrobár, Box 21, 976–978; Tiso, at his trial, claimed a fellow priest from Nitra, Jozef Buday, had introduced him to Hlinka, but there is no evidence for this claim. See, also SNA, Trial of Jozef Tiso, unnumbered. Slovak, 20 Feb. 1919. Hlinka had been a member of a KNP organization until 1901. Another leading member, Ferdiš Juriga, had formed the first Christian Social trade union in Slovakia and František Skyčák had actually represented the KNP in parliament: Henrik Fabro and József Ujlaki (eds.), Sturm-féle országgyűlési almanach, 1905–1910, Budapest, 1905, p. 339. Juraj Kramer, Slovenské autonomistické hnutie v rokoch 1918–1929, Bratislava, 1962, pp. 121–23; Karel Sidor, Andrej Hlinka, 1864–1926, Bratislava, 1934, pp. 238, 296. For example, Jozef Hamaj replaced Unger as party secretary, and Eugen Filkorn was given control of the Lev publishing house, which published the party newspaper, Slovak. See Eugen Filkorn, Verný svojmu svedomiu, Martin and Toronto, 2004, pp. 235–44. SNA, Trial of Jozef Tiso, pp. 211–266. See also Kamenec, Tragédia, pp. 27–28, 37. For an analysis of the Pittsburgh agreement, see James Felak, ‘At the Price of the Republic’: Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party, 1929–1938, Pittsburgh, 1994, pp. 39–42. For a critique of the myths omnipresent in the writings of Kollár and Šafařík, see Robert Pynsent, Questions of Identity: Czech and Slovak Ideas of Nationality and Personality, London, 1994, pp. 43–99. Tiso’s updating of Slavic myths is also discussed in Hoensch, ‘Slovakia: “One God, One People, One Party!” ’, p. 166. For a balanced discussion of the parallels between Hungary’s policy towards the Slovaks prior to 1918 and the policies of the Prague government after 1918, see István Borsody, Magyar–Szlovák kiegyezés, Budapest, 1946, pp. 83–7. Štefan Polakovič, Tisova náuka, Bratislava, 1941, p. 92; Jan Rychlík, ‘Ideové základy myšlení Jozefa Tisa a jejich politický dopad’, in Valerián Bystrický and Štefan Fano (eds), Pokus o politický and osobný profil Jozefa Tisu’, Bratislava,

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30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42.

43.

44. 45. 46. 47.

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1992, p. 266. It should also be noted that Tiso’s belief in the ‘moral character’ of the Slovak nation echoed his former teacher, Ignaz Seipel’s belief in Austria’s Christian ‘mission’: von Klemperer, Ignaz Seipel, pp. 54–5. Polakovič, Tisova náuka, pp. 31–3. A good summary of the Christian Social basis of Tiso’s nationalism is given in Sutherland, Dr. Jozef Tiso, pp. 39–44; see also, Felak, At the Price of the Republic, p. 42. For the politics behind Tiso’s transfer, see Durica, Jozef Tiso, p. 87. Kamenec, Tragédia, pp. 38–40; see also, SNA, Trial of Jozef Tiso, pp. 224–50; Durica, Jozef Tiso, pp. 88–108. See, for example, M. Fabricius & L. Susko, (eds), Jozef Tiso, Prejavy a clanky, Bratislava 2002, pp. 103–104. James Mace Ward, ‘Black Monks’, Kosmas, 1997 (hereafter Ward, ‘Black Monks’), pp. 36–9; Filkorn, Verný svojmu svedomiu, pp. 223–6. Kamenec, Tragédia, p. 36. Slovák, 11 November 1920. Durica, Jozef Tiso, p. 126. See, for example, Štefan Polakovič, Z Tisovho boja, Bratislava, 1941, p. 34. Sidor, Andrej Hlinka, p. 219. Slovak, 21 November, 1920. SNA, Trial of Jozef Tiso, p. 267. Kamenec, Tragédia, pp. 46–9. On these negotiations, see Felak, At the Price of the Republic, pp. 94, 116, 149, 181–93; Béla Angyal, Érdekvédelem és önszerveződés, Galánta-Dunaszerdahely, 2002, pp. 171–92; Bartlová, ‘Jozef Tiso – funkcionár HSĽS’, pp. 83–6. See, for example, Kamenec, Tragédia, pp. 56–7; Dorothea El Mallakh, The Slovak Autonomy Movement, 1935–1939: A Study in Unrelenting Nationalism, New York, 1979, pp. 70–1; Felak, At the Price of the Republic, pp. 120–6. Felak, At the Price of the Republic, p. 167; see also, Polakovič, Tisova náuka, p. 79. Kamenec, Tragédia, pp. 54–5. Sutherland, Dr. Jozef Tiso, p. 54. On early HSLS antisemitism, see Kramer, Slovenské autonomistické hnutie, pp. 116–20; on Tiso’s antisemitic writings in 1918–1919, see Ward, ‘Black Monks’, pp. 36–9. On the night of 4–5 November 1939, the Tiso government sought to deport 7,500 Jews to Hungary but, confronted by domestic and international criticism, aborted the operation and many of the affected Jews returned to Slovakia. See Eduard Nižňanský (ed.), Holokaust na Slovensku, Bratislava, 2001, pp. 328–9. Ibid, pp. 323–33.

CHAPTER 15 FER ENC SZÁL ASI, ‘HUNGAR ISM’ AND THE AR ROW CROSS Martyn Rady

Ferenc Szálasi (1897–1946), a retired army major, was leader of the Hungarian Arrow Cross, a self-proclaimed national socialist organization that he founded in 1935. At the behest of Nazi Germany, the Arrow Cross assumed power in Hungary on 16 October 1944 and Szálasi was appointed ‘National Leader’ (Nemzet-Vezető). For a few months the government that he headed contributed both to the German war effort and to the murder of about 50,000 Hungarian Jews. Nevertheless, from October to early December 1944, when it resided in Budapest, the Arrow Cross government was seldom much more than a puppet of the Nazis. After December, and its removal to the Hungarian border, it barely constituted a government in any sense. With the end of hostilities, Szálasi was arrested in Austria and returned to Hungary in October 1945. He was tried on charges of high treason and war crimes and was hanged on 12 March, 1946. It is probable that Szálasi was insane; for what it may be worth, he was later diagnosed in captivity as both psychopathic and schizophrenic.1 His derangement may have been fed by spiritualism and seances, to which Szálasi had been introduced while serving in the First World

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War.2 The extent of Szálasi’s delusion and megalomania is suggested by the brand of national socialist ideology that he invented in the 1930s and which he called ‘Hungarism’. Szálasi explained Hungarism and his own role in the following grandiose terms: The New Hungary has to be based on my personal prestige. Luckily I am here, because there cannot be a New Hungary without me, and only with the expansion of the Hungarist principle will the reorganization of Europe be possible. Without my Hungarist principle there cannot be a new Europe either.3 Although Szálasi claimed that Hungarism had a different starting point from other ideologies then prevailing in Hungary, his Hungarist programme still assumed a strongly revisionist agenda. The ‘historic’ Hungary was to be restored as a ‘Carpatho-Danubian Great Fatherland’ and even extended to encompass the Black Sea coast, Bosnia and Croatia. Within the territory of the Great Fatherland, the national minorities were to be granted cultural, educational and linguistic rights, and in several small areas a measure of self-government.4 Szálasi’s desire to accommodate the nationalities within his territorial scheme partly explains his selection of the term ‘Hungarism’. For its part, the Arrow Cross emblem was chosen as supposedly featuring on the arms of the eleventh-century Hungarian saint and king, Ladislas I. The ‘Roman salute’ of the Arrow Cross movement together with its watchword, ‘Endurance! Long live Szálasi!’ owe more, however, to broader fascist traditions. Szálasi was never clear whether the Hungarians constituted a people, tribe, nation or race, for he used these terms indiscriminately. Nevertheless, in the first months of his rule, Szálasi worked to develop an Institute for Racial Research in Budapest. He also drew up a checklist of over sixty indicators of Hungarian racial origin – including the shape and size of nostrils and earlobes – which led him to concede Armenian elements in his own parentage.5 Szálasi was, nevertheless, convinced that Jews constituted not a religion but a race, and that, as both Bolsheviks and capitalist exploiters, there was no place for them in his Great Fatherland. He accordingly advocated their

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deportation, until which time Jews should live in a legal vacuum.6 In interviews conducted after the war, Szálasi rejected the accusation of antisemitism, explaining that he was instead an ‘a-Semite’ and that he admired Zionism as a form of national socialism. He also explained, unconvincingly, that he had no knowledge of the atrocities and deportations committed during his brief rule.7 Szálasi rejected any suggestion that Hungarism was derivative of other ideologies and explained it as ‘my child, without a mother’. He alone had worked it out, along with the discovery that Christ, David and Solomon were not Jews after all, but descended from a mysterious Gordvanian race which was itself related to the Hungarian.8 Nevertheless, Szálasi’s ideas on the state, society and the economy conform to conventional organic theories of the nation. Instead of being divided by classes and parties, society was to work for the nation as a whole in a ‘united socialist community of workers’. Workers were to be paid justly; peasants were to be given land; intellectuals, once their ranks were purged of Jews, were to educate the nation; the armed forces to protect it, and so on. Thus would be born the ‘armed and working nation’, consisting of ‘one body, one soul, one will and one action.’9 Meanwhile, the economy was to be reconstructed on national principles. The value of currency was to be maintained through commanding that inflation never exceed the yield on agricultural land. For its part, the National Bank was to be brought into public ownership and its board restructured to include representatives of interest groups.10 As Szálasi summed up, ‘In social nationalism, capital serves the state and the state the nation.’11 As it turned out, Szálasi’s social and economic reforms never went further than the drawing board. At the beginning of December 1944, Szálasi announced the establishment of fourteen corporations – industrial workers, peasants, soldiers, artisans, mothers, and so on – whose delegates would meet the following May in what would become a representative body set alongside the parliament.12 On account of his experience in a prison factory, Szálasi proposed that he personally head up the industrial workers’ corporation. Around the same time, Szálasi abolished all ranks and titles and put an upper limit on earnings. In respect of foreign policy, Szálasi emphasized what he called ‘con-nationalism’. This he distinguished from the internationalism

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of communism and ‘World Jewry’ and from the imperialism of Nazi Germany. Con-nationalism, he explained, depended upon the cooperation of national socialist states which recognized each other’s integrity and independence.13 To begin with, Szálasi had a low opinion of Hitler, considering Mein Kampf, which he claimed to have read only in 1937, to be ‘the outbursts of a frustrated politician, no more’, and he considered Mussolini to be the greater politician.14 Responding to Hitler’s military successes, he later readjusted his thinking to permit Hitler’s ultimate leadership of Europe as ‘European Tribal Leader’. Mussolini would be Hitler’s deputy, while Szálasi himself would be Hungary’s Tribal Leader. Besides the European Tribal Leader, there would be a corresponding Asian one from Japan and, once America had adopted national socialism, a third Tribal Leader, possibly from Argentina.15 Szálasi’s entire discussion of Hungarism was shot through with religious references and with claims of the inseparableness of Hungarian national socialism from Christ’s teachings. These, however, never extended beyond generalizations and, although Szálasi was a devout Catholic, there is no explicit appeal in his writings to Catholic social teaching. Szálasi saw Christianity not just as oppositional to Judaism but as a spiritual binding force that would serve to re-equip the nation morally. In the several slogans he embraced to sum up Hungarism’s meaning, ‘Faith’ thus took a leading role beside ‘Patriotism’, ‘Tolerance’, ‘Vigilance’ and ‘Struggle’, and ‘God’ alongside ‘Homeland’, ‘Nation’ and ‘Family’.16 To this amalgam, Arrow Cross ideologues added a concept of martyrdom which might be applied both to imprisoned comrades and, collectively, to the Hungarian nation, the redemption of which only Szálasi might bring about. For Ödön Málnási, a former specialist on shepherding turned Arrow Cross historian, the Hungarian nation was engaged in a spiritual journey along the Stations of the Cross. It now stood before its own Crucifixion and ‘national death’ from which it might only arise through the work of its ‘Messiah’.17 Most commentators have considered Hungarist ideology and Szálasi’s writings as being ‘as incomprehensible in the original as [...] in translation’, and as being made up of ‘barely understandable but strongly emotional and associative texts.’18 Nevertheless, Szálasi’s Hungarism was neither completely incoherent nor particularly original. It was

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revisionist and envisaged a thorough reorganization of the CarpathoDanubian region. Such territorial scheming was a common enough hobby of politicians and one which, with the rise of Nazi Germany, might now be carried through to effect. Antisemitism was likewise so rooted in popular attitudes that even schoolchildren could be relied upon to recount anti-Jewish slurs in machine-like fashion.19 The identification of nation with race and the basic elements of racial science had also by the 1930s gained a measure of acceptance in Hungary.20 Again, Szálasi’s organic notion of society, his corporatism and stress on his own personal leadership, have obvious parallels elsewhere; likewise the infusion of Christian motifs of martyrdom and deliverance. Where Hungarism differed from most other varieties of national socialism, especially in Hungary, was the emphasis which Szálasi laid upon the working class and the rural proletariat. In his speeches and writings he drew attention to the exploitation of the masses, and put forward remedies, however fantastic, to improve working conditions and pay. He promised a living wage for the workers and, in the countryside, a far-reaching land reform that would transform Hungary into a ‘peasant state’.21 Although the ‘three million beggars’ of the Hungarian countryside scarcely contributed much political muscle, the majority of industrial workers were first- or second-generation immigrants from the villages who still maintained close links and sympathies with the rural proletariat. It was on this group, as well as on junior army officers and underpaid civil servants, that the more radical promises of Hungarism wove a special spell. Moreover, despite his poor qualities as a speaker, Szálasi was capable of impressing audiences with the apparent sincerity of his wish to benefit both the working class and the poor in his new ‘Hungaro-socialist’ state.22 For these, ideological coherence counted for less than bombast, metaphor and mystical appeals to a national destiny and divine calling.23 Underscoring Hungarism was a decisive rejection of the ‘old Hungary’, although not in its territorial sense. Szálasi contrasted the dogmatic approach of previous generations of politicians with the idea of a movement which was in a constant process of regeneration. He accordingly repudiated formal methods of government which looked towards bureaucratic and administrative remedies, and embraced

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instead a ‘living dynamic’. As Szálasi explained in 1945, ‘The constitution, law and rights are necessary but temporary and they will pass away when the nation embraces the new life and the new truth and wishes to live.’24 In its promise to reconstruct national institutions from first principles, Hungarism presented itself as a new order that was entirely removed from the failed politics of the inter-war years. Szálasi’s own relatively late entry into national politics, in 1935, further emphasized the distance between himself and the established generation of politicians. During the 1930s, Hungarian politics was divided on the right between several groups: the conservative heirs of Count István Bethlen, most obviously Pál Teleki and Miklós Kállay; the more radical wing of the ‘government party’ which, until his premature death in 1936, looked towards Gyula Gömbös, and thereafter towards Béla Imrédy, and swastika formations which were almost entirely derivative of their Nazi counterpart. Although they differed in their emphases, these groups were united by their antisemitism, anti-Bolshevism and their commitment to restore the historic Hungary’s boundaries. Moreover, by 1938, most were reconciled to German hegemony in Central Europe, albeit with unequal enthusiasm. There was, however, little that was radical or socially reformist in respect of their domestic policies. Gömbös immediately discredited himself by doing a deal with Jewish banking interests and then panicking over the budget. His successors, Béla Imrédy (1938–9), himself of Jewish descent, Pál Teleki (1939–41), and the vicious László Bárdossy (1941–42) sought to balance the budget by plundering Jews and, in diplomacy, to shuffle close to Nazi Germany. In all this period, it was only during Darányi’s ministry (1936–38) that measures of social reform were enacted: the 48-hour working week, paid holidays and Sunday rest.25 It may well be that the ‘gentroid’ composition of the leadership of the right worked against the introduction of radical social reform, but two further factors were also at work. First, parliamentary politics rested on the existence of a broadly-based ‘government party’, membership of which was vital for political influence. Secondly, office depended on the will and confidence of the regent. As regent, Admiral Horthy was committed to a conservative course, unconvinced that any

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large social reform was possible. But Szálasi was unprepared to compromise his principles either by joining the ranks of the government party or by watering down his programme. As Macartney shrewdly observed, had Szálasi done so then he might have obtained power or a place in government the sooner.26 Nevertheless, by standing aside from practical politics, Szálasi was able to preserve his Hungarist principles while augmenting his reputation for probity. Unable to treat with Szálasi on their own terms, government party politicians endeavoured alternately to steal parts of his programme and to ban his party altogether. Repeated crackdowns on the Arrow Cross leading to Szálasi’s own imprisonment both in 1937 and between 1938 and 1940, on trumped-up charges of subversion, added the ‘nimbus of a political martyr’ to his popular reputation.27 On account of its frequent banning by the government, Szálasi’s party operated under a succession of names: ‘Party of National Will’; ‘Hungarian National Socialist Party’, and ‘National Socialist Hungarian Party – Hungarist Movement’. Only in March 1939 did the party adopt the title of its emblem and formally become the ‘Arrow Cross Party’.28 On top of these changes of name, Szálasi’s party frequently entered into political and electoral coalitions with the swastika parties of the right. Despite these confusions, it is possible to establish the broad measure of support which Szálasi’s party was able to muster. In the elections of 1939, the government party secured an absolute majority of seats in the Lower House: 183 as opposed to the 49 on the National Socialist (NS) list, of which 31 went to the Arrow Cross. In terms of the vote, however, the NS list received 25% of the total of ballots cast, with a particularly heavy concentration of support for the Arrow Cross in the working-class districts of Budapest.29 In contrast to election results, party membership is more difficult to ascertain on account of poor record keeping and of the need to keep membership lists secret. From no more than 20,000 members in 1938, just one year later the Arrow Cross had a membership reckoned at being between 250,000 and 300,000: that is, almost 10% of Hungary’s adult male population.30 Now, it may well be that a good number of these were, in the words of Miklós Lackó, the leading Marxist historian of the Arrow Cross, ‘pimps figuring in the police

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registers, sadistic non-commissioned officers [...], the jobless, depraved clerks of private firms’, and so on. Nevertheless, and as Lackó concedes, there were among party members not only proletarians without class consciousness and interstitial groups such as postmen and railwaymen, but also skilled workers, miners and agricultural labourers.31 To their number we may add a large number of civil servants, whose political affiliations sufficiently alarmed Imrédy to have them forbidden from joining political parties. Many of these civil servants were in fact crypto-army officers and sergeants who had been given administrative sinecures as a way of covertly maintaining the strength of Hungary’s armed services. Among the regular officer corps, Szálasi’s standing was particularly high. After service in the First World War, Szálasi had graduated with the highest honours from the prestigious Ludovika Academy and he had served on the Hungarian general staff. His ideology comported with the equally nebulous ‘Szeged idea’ of antisemitism, anti-Bolshevism and national renewal which persisted in the myriad of secret societies and brotherhoods that continued to infiltrate the military establishment.32 Support for the Arrow Cross was never more than fickle. Despite Szálasi’s early release from prison in 1940 at Germany’s behest, the movement which he headed went into a sharp decline. By 1943 its membership was down to fewer than 100,000.33 A number of factors were responsible for this decay. First, and as Szálasi conceded, the Arrow Cross lacked any real infrastructure of party agents and offices capable of sustaining its appeal over the long term.34 It was thus unable to rally support in the face of a government-inspired press onslaught that unremittingly spread stories of sabotage and prospective coups. Secondly, Szálasi consistently refused to make compromises with new groupings on the far right, thus permitting the political initiative to pass to others. As a consequence, the Arrow Cross suffered defections in parliament, most notably to Imrédy’s Hungarian Renewal Party.35 Additionally, the leader himself became the subject of criticism. Szálasi’s administrative ineptitude and unwillingness to compromise had by 1943 conjoined with the realization that passages in his speeches were actually incomprehensible and that Szálasi himself was nearing the end of his mental strength.36 Responding to this

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criticism with new vigour, Szálasi announced that 1944 would be the ‘year of decision’ and called for the total mobilization of the party.37 His summons was prescient. On 19 March 1944, German troops occupied Hungary in ‘Operation Margarethe’. The primary aim of the occupation was to forestall Prime Minister Kállay’s attempts to extricate Hungary from the war. Apart from a general understanding that Horthy should remain as head of state, the various German authorities that now competed for power in Hungary had differing opinions as to the composition of the new government. For Reich Plenipotentiary Edmund Veesenmayer, it was obvious that Imrédy, as the most competent politician, should be given the premiership and the untested Szálasi kept out of government.38 By contrast, the local SS and Gestapo, led by SS Obergruppenführer Otto Winkelmann, were entirely opposed to Imrédy on account both of his Jewish ancestry and of his lack of social radicalism, preferring instead a broadly-based government which would also include Szálasi as well as leaders of the pro-German national socialist parties. In the end a compromise was struck. The government was handed over to a ‘third-rank politician’ but convenient puppet, Döme Sztójay, who had previously been Hungarian ambassador in Berlin.39 After a suitable interval, Imrédy was admitted to the government.40 Szálasi was not. The immediate consequence of Operation Margarethe was the almost complete destruction of Hungarian Jewry. Between 1938 and 1941, three anti-Jewish laws had been passed in Hungary, squeezing the Jews out of the professions and as employees, and forbidding ‘interracial’ marriage. In 1941, moreover, Hungarian forces were complicit in the massacre of Jews in the Vojvodina and in the murder by German units of over 20,000 Jewish refugees in Kamenets-Podolsk – the first ‘five-figure’ massacre in Nazi history.41 Jews eligible for military service were likewise conscripted into ‘labour units’ where they were subject to much casual brutality. Nevertheless, until March 1944, Hungary remained a relatively safe haven for Jews, and in Budapest the majority of shops were still Jewish owned. Although subject to legal discrimination, economic disabilities and harassment, over 800,000 Jews were still living in Hungary at the time of the German occupation.42 But now, in the wake of the German occupation came Eichmann and his

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‘special units’. Jews living in the countryside were speedily rounded up and despatched mostly to Auschwitz where a new ramp had to be built to receive them.43 About 400,000 were subsequently killed.44 Those who remained in Budapest were obliged to wear the yellow star and were concentrated in specially marked tenement blocks. Although the work of identification, rounding up and transporting was overseen by Eichmann and Winkelmann, the staff that they could dedicate to this purpose amounted to only a few hundred. For the rest they relied upon the services of the ministry of the interior and gendarmerie, about 20,000 persons in all. German dependence, however, on Hungarian staff to bring about the ‘final solution’ in Hungary provided the opportunity for remission. Faced with incontrovertible evidence as to the fate awaiting Hungarian Jews, a barrage of complaints from neutral missions in the capital as well as from the papal nuncio, and an allied bombing offensive ostensibly aimed at halting the deportations, on 7 July the regent ordered an end to all further transports. His action saved a part of what was left of Hungarian Jewry. By this time, the regent’s own commitment to Germany was waning and his involvement in discussions with the Allies no longer in doubt. In August, immediately after King Michael of Romania’s own change of side, Horthy dismissed Sztójay, banned all political parties, and purged the government of its more right-wing elements. In Sztójay’s place as prime minister, Horthy appointed General Béla Lakatos, an army commander whose opposition to the Nazis was well known. Although Horthy and Lakatos agreed that Hungary should sue for an armistice, matters were delayed by difficulties in opening lines of communication and by discussion over the terms of surrender. Thus it was only on 15 October that the regent proclaimed over the radio that Hungary was actually seeking an armistice. The German authorities in Budapest reacted by first kidnapping the regent’s son and then occupying the royal palace, strategic points in the capital and the radio station. Completely outmanoeuvred, Horthy withdrew his proclamation, abdicated as regent on 16 October and was removed forthwith to involuntary exile in Germany. In the weeks preceding 15 October, Veesenmayer, Winkelmann and Berlin had discussed how to react politically to any attempt by

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Hungary to leave the war. Right until the end, Veesenmayer hoped that Horthy could be kept in power. By the middle of September, however, Veesenmayer recognized that Szálasi could not be left out of any new government but must inevitably be put at its head. First, the Arrow Cross was the only party that enjoyed any popular support and, as Winkelmann explained, after the ban on political parties in August, it was ‘the only one in the whole country which had any properly functioning organization.’45 Secondly, the Arrow Cross constituted a military force in its own right, having been armed by the SS with a large quantity of rifles, sub-machine guns and grenades.46 Accordingly, in Winkelmann’s plans for a counter-strike in the event of Horthy changing sides, increasing reliance was placed on Arrow Cross support for the German cause. Thirdly, there was by October simply nowhere else to turn, for the other parties of the right were by now largely discredited, their memberships in disarray, and their leaderships mostly in hiding. Nevertheless, Veesenmayer continued a double game, even negotiating as late as 12 October with Lakatos on the composition of a new government.47 In the mean time, he obtained Szálasi’s agreement that any new government formed by him would not be exclusively Arrow Cross but a coalition of the right. Szálasi had originally hoped to come to power in consort with the regent, enjoying much the same relationship as Mussolini to Vittorio Emanuele III and Hitler to Hindenburg. Although he distrusted the regent, he still hoped to achieve power by constitutional means. Accordingly, Szálasi visited Horthy on 15 October, even as the regent’s hopes for an armistice were crashing down around him, and asked him to hand government over to himself.48 Horthy treated Szálasi with contempt, refusing the request: in Horthy’s own words, he ‘threw him out’ of his office.49 Veesenmayer’s intervention proved, however, decisive, and, under his influence, the next day Horthy concluded his instrument of abdication with a clause entrusting Szálasi with the formation of a new government.50 This Szálasi completed on 17 October, and although the majority of portfolios went to the Arrow Cross, he abided by Veesenmayer’s wish for a more broadly-based government of the right.51 With excessive deference to historical form, Szálasi proposed at his first cabinet meeting that the office of regent be abolished

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and its powers vested in himself, holding the ancient title of palatine. This antique solution proved unacceptable to the assembled ministers. Accordingly, Szálasi took as a temporary measure the title of National Leader, agreeing that at some unspecified date a council of regency would determine the identity of the new regent. As National Leader, Szálasi combined the duties hitherto exercised by the regent with the role of prime minister. On 4 November, before the Holy Crown and in the presence of the assembled parliament and selected dignitaries, Szálasi took the oath of office in the Marble Hall of the royal palace. Its text followed almost verbatim that previously delivered by Horthy, Franz Joseph and Maria Theresa.52 It may well be that even at the first meeting of the new government, held in the Yellow Hall of the Sándor Palace, everyone knew the war to be lost.53 Nevertheless, Szálasi continued to maintain that military victory was imminent. In order to hasten it, he extended conscription, pressed two new Hungarian SS divisions into existence, and put all remaining industry on a war footing. Nevertheless, these measures did not halt the Soviet advance. Accordingly, Szálasi announced in early November plans to evacuate the government and key personnel from Budapest to the far west of the country. By the middle of that month, Budapest was effectively surrounded. In the chaos attending the siege of Budapest and the Soviet advance, the Germans helped themselves to the contents of the National Bank as well as to 26,000 cars, 793 steam locomotives and the contents of 415 factories and 25 hospitals.54 Upon taking power, the Arrow Cross resumed the hounding of Hungary’s Jews, by now almost entirely confined to the capital. The yellow star, abolished a few months earlier by Horthy, was reintroduced and the transfer begun of Jews from their tenements into two hugely overcrowded ghettos.55 Jews not confined to the ghettoes were put to work in labour battalions. 50,000 of these were moved on foot, in the middle of winter, to Hegyeshalom to assist in the construction of a new defensive wall. Certainly, Szálasi complained to the Nazis of the transfer of Hungarian Jews to German soil, famously remarking, ‘Are we rich enough that we can do without four million work hours a day?’56 In the mean time, individual Arrow Cross members, stirred by vicious propaganda, exacted their own punishments. The main ghetto

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was repeatedly raided and its occupants murdered. Indeed, the gunning down of Jews on the Danube embankment was so frequent as to prompt protests from Winkelmann, who was concerned for the effect upon public order.57 These ‘excesses of zeal’, as one Arrow Cross minister explained them, spilled over to affect the population at large.58 As General Kálmán Shvoy recorded in his diary, ‘On the streets it is anarchy; the Arrow Cross go shopping with guns.’59 Szálasi was later to maintain that a strict order prevailed among the Arrow Cross.60 The best that can be said of his statement is that by November he was ensconced in the royal castle, ‘like a king, shut off from the world, surrounded by a clique.’61 Jenő Szöllösi, deputy prime minister, admitted, however, that with its coming to power the Arrow Cross had proved too successful in terms of recruitment with the result that extremists had entered its ranks and party discipline had suffered.62 This may well be, but the Arrow Cross government only added to the atmosphere of violence through its malevolent propaganda and the establishment of its own Gestapo, party militia and military police. These combed the population for deserters, communists and shirkers. Notwithstanding their efforts, the bulk of the Hungarian armed forces simply melted away, with many soldiers either returning home or deserting to the Red Army. The claim advanced by apologists of the Arrow Cross that Hungary’s resistance to the Soviets prevented yet more of Central Europe passing to Stalin is not demonstrated by the record of Hungarian military activity in 1944–45. With its removal in December to the impotence of the west Hungarian border, the government could now concentrate on planning the reorganization of both Hungary and the globe on Hungarist principles. In early December, Szálasi visited Hitler and was pleased to offer the Führer his scheme for the world. Thereafter, he was ever proud to report Hitler’s greeting to him: ‘I am most glad to receive at last in Berlin the representative of the Hungarian nation and not the delegate of a clique.’63 In fact, Hitler was appalled by his conversation with Szálasi. Heinz Guderian, who was present at their meeting, reported that Szálasi seemed ‘of little ability and less tact’: ‘The conversation was awkward. The new man did not give the impression of one from whom much might be expected. He seemed to have risen in the

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world almost against his will. We had no allies anymore.’64 Inspired by his visit to the Third Reich, Szálasi threw himself into a frenzy of organization: the planning of a corporate state; the merger of party and state offices; workers’ councils, and an ambitious land reform, the fruits of which were to depend upon how many children an individual peasant sired. As late as March, Szálasi was still promising that Hungarian forces would soon be on the Dniester.65 Most concretely, the street names of Győr were adjusted to include ‘Endurance Street’, ‘Victory Square’ and ‘Faith Road’, while Szálasi himself went on tour to introduce himself to the people.66 Even in captivity, Szálasi maintained a frenzy of activity, designing a new cathedral, and, in his cell, rewriting the party statutes. The only personal concession he permitted himself was marriage to his long-time fiancée, Gizella Lutz, on 28 April, 1945, although in order to perform his political duties the more exactly, he refrained from husbandly relations with her.67 It is easy both to make fun of Szálasi’s delusions and to draw breath at the crimes over which he presided. We should not, however, overlook the genuine affection and respect which he inspired, particularly among those lesser Hungarians whom the politicians and parties of inter-war Hungary had so studiously ignored. As one historian has personally recalled: In the late 1940s, by strange coincidence and even stranger fortune, I visited the Passau-Pocking Displaced Persons’ Camp in Bavaria, then in the American Zone of Occupation in Germany. On entering one of the barracks, I was struck by the almost religious atmosphere inside [...]. The inmates, all of them Hungarians and members of the Arrow Cross party, were commemorating in the cold, damp darkness of the room the anniversary of the ‘martyrdom’ (execution) of Ferenc Szálasi, their former leader. I was about to erupt: It was shortly after 1945, and in addition to possessing a youthful (17) bad temper, I had experienced Fascist persecution and was inclined to look at such Fascist ‘memorial services’ in the US Zone of Germany rather seriously. But as the ‘memorial service’ concluded and the ill-fed, illdressed crowd dispersed, speculating in awed tones about the

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possible survival of Szálasi’s son ‘who will grow up one day to succeed him’, murmuring in hurt and indignation about ‘how Szálasi saved the ungrateful West from communism,’ as my ears caught snatches of remembered tales about their dead leader, my fury turned to irony. Then as I observed more closely the sincere, ravaged faces of these unfortunate compatriots of mine, I realized that without exception they were the faces of the poorest, lowest, most abysmally miserable agrarian and industrial proletariat of Hungary. There was little in these people to recall the cynical, cruel Aryanizers and changers of the guard of the nouveau riche of 1944.The longer I looked at these simple folk and heard their impotent protests, their inane hopes, and their impossible loyalties, the more my irony dissolved in pity.68

Notes 1. Rezső Szirmai, Fasiszta lelkek. Psychoanalitikus beszélgetések a háborús főbűnösökkel a börtönben, Budapest, 1946 (reprinted 1993), pp. 228–32. 2. C.A. Macartney, October Fifteenth: A History of Modern Hungary, 1929–1945, 2 vols, Edinburgh, 1956–7, 1, p. 161; ibid, 2, p. 468. See also Szirmai, Fasiszta lelkek, p 211. 3. Roger Griffin (ed.), Fascism, Oxford, 1995, p. 225, citing Szálasi Ferenc ideológiája. Idézetek Szálasitól, no date (1943?). See also Macartney, 1, pp 160–1. 4. Nicholas M. Nagy-Talavera, The Green Shirts and the Others: A History of Fascism in Hungary and Rumania, Stanford, CA, 1970 (reprinted 2001), pp 115–6. 5. László Frank, Zöld ár, Budapest, 1975, pp. 165–6. 6. Szálasi, Út és cél, Buenos Aires, 1955 (first published, 1936), p. 10. 7. Szirmai, Fasiszta lelkek, p. 225. See also, Ferenc Fiala, Zavaros évek, Budapest, 2003, p. 159 8. Szirmai, Fasiszta lelkek, pp 204, 220. 9. Ibid, p. 28. 10. Ibid, pp. 30–33. 11. Ibid, pp. 24–6. 12. The full list of corporations is given in Éva Teleki, Nyilas uralom Magyarországon 1944. Október 16 / 1945. Április 4, Budapest, 1974, pp. 250–1. 13. Út és cél, p. 10. 14. Szirmai, Fasiszta lelkek, pp 223–4.

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15. Elek Karsai (ed.), ‘Szálasi Naplója’. A nyilasmozgalom a II. világháború idején, Budapest, 1978, p. 100. He also discussed the proposal with Hitler in 1944. See also Frank, Zöld ár, pp 71–5. 16. Út és cél, pp. 7, 11, 40. 17. Margit Szöllösi-Janze, Die Pfeilkreuzlerbewegung in Ungarn. Historischer Kontext, Entwicklung und Herrschaft, Munich, 1989, p. 225. 18. István Deák, ‘Hungary’, in Hans Rogger and Eugen Weber (eds), The European Right: A Historical Profile, London, 1965, pp 364–407 (p. 392); Szöllösi-Janze, p. 220. See also Macartney, 1, p. 164. 19. Béla Zolnai, ‘Bepillantás egy gimnáziumba’, Magyar Szemle, 41, 1941, pp. 270–8 (p. 272). 20. Marius Turda has indicated Central European nationalisms’ debt to racial thinking and Darwinism. See his The Idea of National Superiority in Central Europe, 1880–1918, Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter, 2004. 21. Út és cél, p. 34–7. 22. Nagy-Talavera, p. 128. 23. Szöllösi-Janze, p. 221. 24. Ibid, p. 224. 25. Nagy-Talavera, p. 126. 26. Macartney, 1, p. 160. 27. The phrase is Veesenmayer’s. See Igor-Philip Matic, Edmund Veesenmayer. Agent und Diplomat der nationalsozialistischen Expansionspolitik, Munich, 2002, p. 201. 28. Miklós Lackó, Nyilasok, Nemzetiszocialisták 1935–1944, Budapest, 1966, p. 333. 29. Miklós Lackó, Arrow-Cross Men, National Socialists, 1935–1944, Budapest, 1969, pp 68–71. 30. Lackó, Arrow-Cross Men, pp. 61, 109–110. 31. Ibid, pp 37–45. 32. On the failure of the army to ‘demobilize’ intellectually after 1918, see Thomas Lorman, ‘Right-Radical Ideology in the Hungarian Army, 1921–23’, Central Europe, 3, 2005, 1, pp 67–81. 33. An internal memorandum written in November, 1943, put party membership at 90,000. See Szöllösi-Janze, p. 281. 34. Karsai, p. 133. 35. Szöllösi-Janze, p. 269 36. Lackó, Arrow-Cross Men, p. 103. 37. Szöllösi-Janze, p. 282. 38. Matic, pp 201, 242; Nagy-Talavera, p. 201. 39. The quotation is from Joseph Goebbels, Tagebücher, vol 5 (1943–1945), ed. R.G. Reuth, Munich and Zurich, 1992, entry for 7 June, 1944.

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40. Imrédy resigned again from the government in August 1944 following further disclosures concerning his Jewish parentage. 41. Randolph L. Braham, The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary, Detroit, 1994, p. 34. 42. Randolph L. Braham, ‘The Holocaust in Hungary: A Retrospective Analysis’, in (eds) Braham, Attila Pók, The Holocaust in Hungary: Fifty Years Later, New York, Boulder, Budapest, 1997, pp 293–4. This figure includes some 100,000 converts to Christianity who were deemed Jews on racial grounds. 43. Rudolf Vrba, ‘The Preparations for the Holocaust in Hungary: An Eyewitness Account’, in Braham, Pók, The Holocaust in Hungary, pp 227–83 (p. 227). 44. Braham, Politics of Genocide, p. 152. 45. Matic, p. 275. 46. Éva Teleki, Nyilas uralom Magyarországon 1944. Október 16 / 1945. Április 4, Budapest, 1974, p. 34. 47. Macartney, 2, pp. 385–6. 48. Veesenmayer arranged the interview. 49. Macartney, 2, p. 437. 50. The text is given in translation in Macartney, 2, pp 440–1. 51. The key economic ministries went to moderately sensible Imrédyists. 52. Macartney, 2, pp. 447–8. 53. Ferenc Fiala, Zavaros évek, Budapest, 2003, p. 142. 54. Elek Karsai, A budai várról a gyepűig 1941–1945, Budapest, 1965, pp. 591–2. 55. Braham, Politics of Genocide, p. 192. 56. Teleki, Nyilas uralom, p. 147. 57. Ibid, p. 136. 58. Ibid, pp 279–80. 59. Shvoy Kálmán titkos naplója, p. 300; see also Krisztián Ungváry, Battle for Budapest: One Hundred Days in World War Two, London and New York, 2003, p. 229. 60. Szirmai, Fasiszta lelkek, p. 227. 61. Shvoy Kálmán titkos naplója és emlékirata, ed. M. Perneki, Budapest, 1983, p. 295. 62. Ibid, pp 295–6. 63. Szirmai, p. 268. 64. General Heinz Guderian, Panzer Leader, London, 1952, pp. 379, 417. Guderian curiously forgets Germany’s alliance with Japan. 65. Frank, Zöld ár, p. 26. 66. Karsai, A budai várról, p. 641. 67. Szirmai, Fasiszta lelkek, p. 228; Frank, Zöld ár, p. 165. Lutz died in 1992. 68. Nagy-Talavera, pp 113–4.

CHAPTER 16 ION ANTONESCU: THE PAR ADOXES OF HIS R EGIME, 1940 –44 Dennis Deletant

Ion Antonescu (1882–1946) was a complex and inconsistent figure. Under his leadership Romania joined the Tripartite Pact on 23 November 1940 as a sovereign state, participated in the attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 as an equal partner of Germany, and was never occupied by the Wehrmacht. Antonescu enjoyed Hitler’s personal respect. He headed the third-largest Axis army in the European war: 585,000 Romanian troops participated in the attack on the Soviet Union in June–October 1941.1 Under his rule Romania sustained the German war effort with oil and other raw materials. All of this places Romania on a par with Italy as a principal ally of Germany and not in the category of minor Axis satellite. Yet in September 1940, Antonescu inherited the Axis alignment, which is not to say that he saw an alternative to it, and he bore no responsibility for the pre-existing condition of internal political chaos. This is one major paradox of his regime. There were others. He was a war criminal, sending tens of thousands of Jews to their death in Transnistria, and yet he refused to send other Romanian Jews to the death camps in Poland. He was an antisemite and yet, despite the

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deportations to Transnistria, more Jews survived under his rule than in any other country within Axis Europe. While up to 300,000 Jews were victims of Antonescu’s policies, some 375,000 Jews are estimated to have survived, principally in Wallachia, Moldavia and southern Transylvania.2 He briefly led a fascist-style government, yet in January 1941 he removed that government after three days of street fighting and replaced it with a military dictatorship. These inconsistencies were known but could not be fully explored until the downfall of communism in Romania opened up the archives. This chapter is based on such an exploration.3 Fear of the Soviet Union drove Romania into alliance with Nazi Germany. ‘Nothing could put Romania on Germany’s side,’ remarked a member of the Romanian foreign ministry to the British minister Sir Reginald Hoare in March 1940, ‘except the conviction that only Germany could keep the Soviets out of Romania.’4 That conviction formed quickly following the collapse of France, the Soviet seizure of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina at the end of June 1940, and the loss of northern Transylvania to Hungary under the Vienna Award in late August 1940. One third of Romania’s territory was ceded in 1940 and with it Romania’s population fell from 19.9 million to 13.3 million. The loss of the three territories led King Carol II to accept Hitler’s frontier guarantee, given only after Carol’s agreement to the Vienna Award. The loss of a population, of whom half – some three millions – were ethnically Romanian, was too much for most Romanians to stomach. Protests organized on 3 September by the antisemitic Iron Guard – which had never forgiven Carol for the assassination in November 1938 of its leader Corneliu Codreanu – led to the seizure of government buildings. Fearing a breakdown of order Wilhelm Fabricius, the German minister in Bucharest, advised General Ion Antonescu, a former minister of war, to demand dictatorial powers from the king. Fabricius’s move illustrates clearly the degree to which Romania had fallen within Germany’s orbit. Carol accepted and on 5 September granted Antonescu, who enjoyed the respect of the army, unlimited powers in the hope of saving his throne. The Iron Guard, however, demanded the king’s abdication. Antonescu was driven to echo the

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demand and, on the following day, Carol gave way in favour of his son, Michael. Carol and his entourage fled the country. On the same day, King Michael issued a decree granting Antonescu unlimited powers as the Leader of the Romanian State (Conducătorul Statului Român), thereby relegating himself to the position of a ceremonial figure. A further decree, signed by Michael two days later, defined Antonescu’s powers. The Conducător had the authority to initiate and promulgate all laws and to modify those already in force; to appoint and dismiss ministers; and to conclude treaties, declare war and make peace.5 Some Romanian historians have argued that Antonescu and the Iron Guard were brought to power under German pressure.6 This is overstating the case. At no time did any German official call for Carol’s abdication, even during the crucial events of 3–6 September.7 Certainly, a withdrawal of German support from Carol was instrumental in leading him to abdicate, but it was the mood of the Romanian population that proved decisive. The protests against Carol’s supine surrender of territory during the summer made the Germans realize that the king had lost the confidence of his people. They had no use for a lame duck. Consequently, the German minister, Fabricius, gave Antonescu his backing – and made this clear to Carol. Fabricius offered German support on condition that Antonescu implement the Vienna Award, receive the German military mission already requested by Carol, and strengthen economic ties with Germany, conditions which Antonescu accepted. *

*

*

Ion Antonescu had the army in his blood. Born on 2 June 1882 into a middle-class family in the southern Romanian town of Piteşti, and baptized into the Orthodox faith, his father, an army officer, mapped out a military career for him. Antonescu made a name for himself as a tactician during the First World War but his personal qualities left a different kind of impression with some of those he met. General Victor Petin, France’s military attaché in Bucharest, in an assessment of Antonescu dated 21 July 1922, expressed reservations about him: ‘A well-tried intelligence, brutal, duplicitous, very vain, a ferocious will to succeed – these are, together with an extreme xenophobia, the

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striking characteristics of this strange figure.’ In an ambiguous yet also prophetic sentence, Petin added, ‘Antonescu deserves a special place in the Romanian army.’8 According to Paul Schmidt, Hitler’s interpreter, Antonescu made an extremely favourable impression on Hitler, whom he met for the first time in Berlin on 21 November 1940, despite the Romanian leader’s two-hour rant against the Vienna Award.9 In subsequent meetings, his experience as a military commander sometimes put Hitler on the defensive. The Führer’s personal regard for Antonescu contrasted sharply with the reservations he had for the militarily-inexperienced Mussolini. Yet behind this respect for the Romanian leader lay a more pragmatic assessment, expressed by Hermann Goering: ‘One must be very cautious with Antonescu. He is quite a stubborn mule but the only one in Romania who sticks to a pro-German line.’10 In order to govern, Antonescu turned to the principal political parties but both the major democratic parties – the National Liberals (Partidul Naţional Liberal) and the National Peasants (Partidul Naţional Tărănesc) – refused to participate. He was therefore thrown back on the Iron Guard, sympathy for which had grown considerably following the disasters of the summer, and whose political profile had been given a major boost when Carol included it in the Gigurtu government of 4 July.11 A National Legionary State (Statul Naţional Legionar)12 was proclaimed on 14 September and in the cabinet formed on the following day Horia Sima, the leader of the Guard, was appointed deputy prime minister. Five other ministries were given to Guardists, among them the foreign ministry and the ministry of the interior. A distant relative, Mihai Antonescu, was made minister of justice. General Antonescu’s alliance with the Guard was basically a matter of convenience.13 Touching upon his relations with the Guard during his meeting with Hitler on 22 November 1940, he maintained that he had ‘no political connection with the Iron Guard, but merely sympathized with it spiritually and supported it in its struggle for justice and international recognition.’14 It was not long, however, before the Guard’s penchant for violence and rigid antisemitism sowed discord between Antonescu and Sima, and exasperated the Germans by compromising their attempts to

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increase their stranglehold over the Romanian economy. The Guard’s pledge to avenge its murdered leader Codreanu was honoured when they stormed into Jilava prison on the night of 26–27 November and massacred 64 ministers and senior police officers whom they held guilty of murdering Guardists. This lawlessness dismayed Antonescu and disquieted Hitler. Romania was of vital strategic importance in the Führer’s plan to attack the Soviet Union and he wanted stability in the country. Antonescu, concerned about the Guard’s activities, requested a meeting with Hitler and travelled to Obersalzburg to meet the Führer on 14 January 1941. Hitler told Antonescu that he was the only person in Romania who could cope with any situation, but that it was impossible for anyone to govern in Romania in opposition to the Iron Guard. Antonescu would ultimately have to become leader of the Guard and the best thing would be for this proposal to be put by Antonescu to the Guard itself.15 Antonescu felt sufficiently encouraged by the Führer’s support to act against his advice. The opportunity was provided by the murder of a German officer, Major Doering, on 19 January in Bucharest. Antonescu used the murder as justification for the dismissal of the Guardist minister of the interior on the following day. He also removed the Guardist head of the police, the chief of the Bucharest police, and the chief of the Siguranţa, the security police. All three refused to obey Antonescu’s decree and on the following day, 21 January, the latter two barricaded themselves in the Siguranţa headquarters, together with a group of about 50 Guardists, and opened fire on the troops who had been sent to eject them. The shots marked the beginning of the Iron Guard uprising. The revolt was largely confined to Bucharest but the Guardists did not limit themselves to defending their positions in public buildings. During the morning of 22 January, Guardists moved against defenceless Jews, looting and burning their homes, and murdering 120 of them.16 That afternoon Antonescu ordered the army to use tanks against the barricaded Guardists and by the evening they had occupied most of the buildings. Twenty-one soldiers were killed in the operations. Acting through Hermann Neubacher,17 Sima accepted Neubacher’s dictation of ceasefire terms to which Antonescu also

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agreed. Some Guardists laid down their arms, while others took refuge in the houses of German officials from where they were smuggled to Germany. On 27 January 1941, after unsuccessfully approaching the National Peasant Party leader, Iuliu Maniu, and the National Liberal head, Constantin Brătianu, Antonescu appointed a new cabinet formed almost entirely of officers. By bringing military discipline to government, he hoped to avoid the rifts of the past. The Guard’s indiscipline, and treachery, ruled it out as a partner. A decree law was introduced on 5 February outlawing any unauthorized political organization. The death penalty would apply to any person found in possession of arms without authorization. The National Legionary State was dissolved on 14 February and a massive operation was launched to round up those who had taken part in the uprising. To all intents and purposes a military dictatorship was established under Antonescu and was rubber-stamped by a popular plebiscite in March 1941. Antonescu outlined his strategic goals at his third meeting with the Führer in Munich, on 12 June 1941. He repeated his declaration, made at previous meetings between the two leaders, that the Romanian people were ready to march unto death alongside the Axis since they had absolute faith in the Führer’s sense of justice. The Romanian people had bound its fate to that of Germany because the two peoples complemented each other both economically and politically, and they had a common danger to confront. This was the Slav danger, which had to be ended once and for all. It was Antonescu’s opinion that a postponement of the conflict with Russia would prejudice the chances of an Axis victory. The Romanian people, he continued, wanted the moment of reckoning with Russia to come as soon as possible so that they could take revenge for all they had suffered at the hands of the Russians.18 Ten days later, Antonescu got his chance to regain the lost eastern provinces of northern Bukovina and Bessarabia when Operation Barbarossa was launched. Antonescu’s motive was not solely revenge. He saw the German attack as an ideological crusade against the infidel of communism and his participation in it as an act of Christian righteousness. In an order of the day, Antonescu told his troops that the hour had arrived for the

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fight against Bolshevism. The fact that Romania joined Germany in the attack on the Soviet Union without a declaration of war, albeit to regain the territories annexed by the Soviet Union, meant inevitably that Britain and the United States would brand it an enemy state. The public regarded the recovery of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina as legitimate war aims. The General had regained these provinces by 27 July 1941, yet some Romanians had misgivings about going further. Iuliu Maniu and Constantin Bratianu urged the marshal not to let Romanian troops go beyond Romania’s historical frontiers.19 Antonescu did not heed this advice. His reasoning was strictly military – as one would expect. He recognized that Bessarabia was secure only as long as Germany defeated the Soviet Union. Of even more importance was his belief that the road to northern Transylvania lay through Russia and allegiance to Hitler. After all, if the Führer had awarded northern Transylvania to Hungary in large part to preempt a war between Bucharest and Budapest, and then guaranteed the new border of Romania to ward off a possible Soviet intervention that would have threatened Romanian oil fields, he might be amenable to changing his mind once the Soviet threat had been eliminated. Antisemitism was a fundamental feature of Antonescu’s ideology. Antonescu was responsible for the deaths of almost 300,000 Jews. Yet the Holocaust in Romania was unlike the Holocaust in other parts of Europe and the Soviet Union. First, the deaths of Jews at the hands of the Antonescu regime were the result not only of the systematic killing of Jews, but also of deportation and its consequences. The systematic murder of Jews is exemplified by the deaths of between 12,000 and 20,000 Jews in Bessarabia and Bukovina estimated to have been shot by the Romanian and German armies in July and August 1941, while Romanian forces alone put to death an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Jews in Odessa in a similar manner in October 1941. Of the 147,000 Jews deported from Bukovina and Bessarabia between 1941 and 1943 to Transnistria at least 90,000 died, the majority of typhus and starvation. During the same period, between 130,000 and 170,000 local Ukrainian Jews are also estimated to have perished in the same province.20 These figures – totalling almost 300,000 Jews – give the Antonescu regime the sinister distinction of being responsible for the

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largest number of Jewish deaths second only to Hitler’s Germany (the deportation of 500,000 Jews from Hungary, including 151,000 from northern Transylvania, to the death camps in Poland was carried out only after the German occupation of Hungary on 19 March 1944).21 Secondly, Romania’s ‘Jewish policy’ was independent of Germany since Antonescu acted of his own volition regarding the Jews, albeit in a context established by Nazi domination of continental Europe. Proof of this is the fact that Antonescu changed his mind in the summer of 1942 about acceding to German requests that the remaining Jewish population of Romania – from the Banat, southern Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia – be deported to the death camps in Poland. Just as Antonescu’s solution to the ‘Jewish problem’ differed from Hitler’s, so too did his antisemitism. Whereas for Hitler Jews were a deadly disease, debilitating the Aryan race, for Antonescu they were unpatriotic, disloyal to Romania, and economic exploiters. But the greatest danger which the Jews posed to Romania in Antonescu’s mind was their predilection for Bolshevism. The epithet ‘Judeo-Bolshevik’ was frequently employed by Antonescu and his vice-president Mihai Antonescu to characterize Jews, especially the Russian-speaking ones in Bessarabia – the Jews in Bukovina were predominantly German speakers. Expulsion was the tool for implementing Ion Antonescu’s policy of ‘ethnic and political purification’.22 Mihai Antonescu made this clear at a cabinet meeting on 25 June. He revealed that Antonescu had already taken the decision to round up the Jews in preparation for deportation ‘from all the villages in Moldavia, Bessarabia and Bukovina. This measure is already being applied in Moldavia.’23 The immediate purpose of the measure in Moldavia was to clear the area behind the Romanian and German lines of Jews on security grounds. Antonescu felt that Jews represented a threat to the army on the eve of the attack on the Soviet Union. It was in this atmosphere of feverish anticipation of the attack on the Soviet Union, and of obsessive security and distrust of Jews, a distrust cultivated by Antonescu himself, that the events of 28–30 June in the Moldavian capital of Iaşi, known as the Iaşi pogrom, took place. Reconstructing these events, in which an estimated 1000–1500 Jews were massacred in Iaşi and a further 2713 died during deportation

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southward by train, is no simple matter. The numbers themselves of those shot in the city are the subject of dispute.24 The self-serving nature of official reports, some of them contradictory, and the absence of an accurate record of the number of victims are impediments to providing a clear account of the murderous behaviour of, principally, German forces, and of the criminal incompetence on the part of the Romanian military authorities.25 It was Ion Antonescu himself who gave the order for the next phase in the torment of the Jews to begin: the ‘forced migration’ of the Jews in Bessarabia and Bukovina. The deportations – the preferred term in Romanian official usage was ‘evacuation’ – were carried out by the Romanian army and gendarmerie and were in retaliation for the hostility which, Antonescu alleged, Jews had shown towards the Romanian army during its withdrawal from these provinces in June 1940, and their subsequent behaviour towards the Romanian population there during the period of Soviet rule from June 1940 until July 1941. Romanian gendarmes drove columns of Jews on foot from Bukovina and Bessarabia towards the north of Bessarabia and over the river Dniester into what was at the time German-controlled territory. The mass character of the deportation – children, women, the aged and infirm included – shows clearly that Antonescu’s intention was to ethnically cleanse the two provinces of Jews. The Germans were, however, unwilling to accept large numbers of Jews and sent them back. In the words of a German SD report, the Jews were ‘chased back and forth until they dropped [...]. Old men and women lay along the road at short distances from each other.’26 With nowhere to send the Jews, the gendarmerie set up transit camps in Bukovina at Secureni and Edineţi, and in Bessarabia at Vertujeni and Mărculeşti, into which more than 50,000 Jews were herded. Poor sanitation, a shortage of water and a lack of food quickly led to the outbreak of disease. The mortality rate soared. Antonescu and his senior officials had never regarded the camps as anything more than a way station. The initial thrust to deport the Jews had been frustrated by objections from the Germans in command of the area between the Dniester and the Bug, but once Antonescu had been given control of it under the Tighina Agreement

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of 30 August – creating in the process Transnistria – the second stage of the deportations began. Romanian rule of Transnistria gave Antonescu a ‘dumping ground’ for the Bessarabian and Bukovinan Jews, but this was envisaged by Antonescu as a temporary location for the Jews, since, as the agreement specified, their eventual destination was to be on the other side of the Bug. A balance sheet of the progress of deportation, dated 21 August 1942, reported that 55,867 Jews from Bessarabia had been deported to Transnistria, and 45,867 Jews from Bukovina, via Bessarabia. Pressure was exerted by SS Hauptsturmführer Gustav Richter, the counsellor for Jewish problems at the German legation in Bucharest, upon Romania to apply the ‘Final Solution’ to its own Jews and, on 22 July 1942, he reported to Berlin that Mihai Antonescu had given his government’s agreement to the deportation of Romanian Jews to the death camps in Poland.27 Antonescu’s real intentions on this subject are a puzzle. Steps to implement the deportation of Romanian Jews to Poland were never taken. Antonescu may well have considered capitulation to German pressure as an affront to Romanian sovereignty, since the German plan not only targeted Jews from the Regat, the Banat and southern Transylvania, but proposed their deportation to a foreign territory.28 Cancellation of the plans to deport Romanian Jews to Poland seems to have been the result of appeals and actions by the Romanian Jews themselves, by King Michael and Helen, the queen mother, by representatives of foreign governments, and by a small number of Romanian intellectuals.29 At a meeting of the council of ministers on 13 October 1942, Mihai Antonescu announced the marshal’s decision to suspend (my italics) the deportations of Jews to Transnistria.30 The marshal never explained his decision. He was, however, aware that the deportations had exacerbated Romania’s already negative image in Washington – this was underlined by a call to the Romanian government by the US secretary of state Cordell Hull in September 1942 for a halt to the deportations to Transnistria on pain of measures being taken against Romanians living in the United States. Instead of deportation, Antonescu turned to emigration to Palestine as a solution to the ‘Jewish problem’.

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Jews were not the only victims of deportation. On 22 May 1942, the marshal’s orders were communicated to the ministry of internal affairs to deport certain categories of Roma who were considered to be ‘a problem’. Those included were nomadic Roma and their families and sedentary Roma who had a criminal record or were unemployed. A total of 40,909 Roma were recorded, of whom 9,471 were nomadic and 31,438 were sedentary. The 25,000 or so Roma who were deported to Transnistria were, with a few exceptions, those who figured on these lists.31 By spring 1943, thousands of Roma had perished. The scale of death can be gauged from a report sent by the authorities in Landau district to the prefect’s office in Berezovka county in connection with a typhus epidemic which broke out in mid-December 1942: the disease had reduced the number of Roma from about 7,500 to roughly 1,800 to 2,400.32 Many more died in Transnistria from hunger and illness. The total number of Roma who died in Transnistria is unknown. A gendarmerie assessment in May 1944 of the numbers who had made their way back to Romania after the abandonment of Transnistria two months earlier, found only 6000 persons, but this census was made at a time of upheaval when areas of eastern Romania were already occupied by Soviet troops. It is unlikely, then, that as many as 19,000 of the 25,000 Roma deported to Transnistria died, but it is almost certain that more than half did. The deportation of the Roma to Transnistria was carried out on the orders of Ion Antonescu. As with the Jews of Bessarabia and Bukovina, the question remains as to whether deportation to desolate parts of Transnistria was not tantamount, in Antonescu’s mind, to sending the Roma to their death. Leaving speculation aside, the blunt truth is that Antonescu bears responsibility for this tragedy. No doubt aware of his Romanian ally’s wishes regarding northern Transylvania, on July 27 1941 Hitler first dangled before Antonescu the prospect of Ukrainian territory south-west of the Bug, inviting him to assume responsibility for the region. On 17 August, Antonescu asked Hitler to specify the rights and duties of a Romanian administration in what would become Transnistria.33 Consequently, Romanian and German commands signed an agreement at Tiraspol

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on 19 August that allowed Antonescu to establish a Romanian occupation government in the territory between the Dniester and Bug rivers. The agreement was consolidated by a convention signed on 30 August at Tighina in Bessarabia, giving the Germans control of the main railway lines and the port facilities of Odessa that were vital to supplying their armies in the east, but leaving almost everything else to the Romanians. On 17 October, the day after the fall of Odessa, Antonescu officially decreed the creation of Transnistria, with Odessa as its capital.34 This new territorial entity had no historical pedigree as an administrative area; it had never been ruled by Romanians and in the population, put at 2,500,000 in the 1926 Soviet census, the Romanian element amounted to just over 10 per cent (290,000). The majority of its inhabitants were Ukrainians and Russians, but there were also 125,000 Germans, and 300,000 Jews. For the Jews, both indigenous and Romanian, and for the Roma deported there, Transnistria was for much of the period of Romanian rule synonymous with death. Under Antonescu, Transnistria was the graveyard of between 200,000 and 250,000 Jews, and of up to 20,000 Roma. Most of these deaths resulted from inhuman treatment and a disregard for life rather than from industrialized killing. The forced marches of Jewish deportees – including young, old and sick – to the eastern extremity of Transnistria with the intention of driving them across Bug into German hands; the murder by Romanian and Ukrainian guards of those unable to keep up with the columns; the massacre by the Germans of those who did cross; the Germans’ eventual refusal in late summer 1941 to accept any more for fear of spreading typhus beyond the Bug; the consequent herding of Jews into makeshift camps without proper food or health care: all resulted in an initial wave of deaths in the autumn and winter of 1941. Later, several thousand Jews were shot in 1942 and 1943, largely by SS units in the south-eastern part of the province, aided by German colonists there. On the evening of 22 October 1941, the former NKVD headquarters in Odessa on Engels Street, where General Glogojanu, the Romanian military commander of the city, had set up his headquarters, was blown up by Soviet agents. Romanian records show that there were 61 victims, including General Glogojanu and four German

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naval officers. Antonescu ordered immediate indiscriminate reprisals: ‘For every Romanian and German officer killed in the explosion, 200 communists are to be hanged; for every soldier, 100 communists; the executions will take place today.’35 By daybreak on 23 October, 450 Jews, considered communists, were left hanging on the streets of Odessa. In addition, many thousands of Jews were machine-gunned to death. According to a German officer’s report, ‘on the morning of 23 October, about 19,000 Jews were shot on a square in the port, surrounded by a wooden fence. Their corpses were doused with gasoline and burned.’36 Among the areas for concentrating the Jews on the Bug, in preparation for their expulsion into the German-controlled area of Ukraine, was Bogdanovka, a large state farm in Golta county. The large numbers of deportees involved, however, created logistical problems for the Romanian authorities, who had made no plans for feeding or caring for the Jews either en route or at their destination. A typhus epidemic amongst the Jews led the Transnistrian government to divert all Jewish convoys in southern Transnistria to Golta county. The prefect, Modest Isopescu, a lieutenant-colonel in the gendarmerie, was ordered to concentrate the convoys around the Bogdanovka state farm. By the middle of December, Isopescu estimated the number of Jews in Bogdanovka at 52,000. Overcrowding, typhus and temperatures of minus 30 degrees centigrade, all contributed to a sudden rise in the death rate. Isopescu’s pleas that no more columns should be sent to his camp prompted Governor Alexianu of Transnistria to take drastic measures. The records relating to events at Bogdanovka indicate that a verbal order was delivered by Alexianu through a special envoy to Isopescu that the Jews in the camp should be shot. The massacre began on 21 December 1941. Some 4000 to 5000 souls were crammed into a stable block which was then torched. The remaining 43,000 Jews were driven in groups to a nearby forest and shot. On the orders of Isopescu, the bodies were cremated. Such was the number of dead that the cremations lasted throughout January and February 1942.37 During the Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad two German armies, two Romanian armies and one Italian and one Hungarian

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army were vanquished. The Romanian losses in the Third and Fourth Armies between 19 November 1942 and 7 January 1943 were put at 155,010 dead, wounded and missing, most of the survivors being taken prisoner.38 This represented over a quarter of all Romanian troops engaged on the eastern front. The German army now began to be thrown back across Europe, and Antonescu began to realize that Hitler could no longer win the war. As the military situation deteriorated, Antonescu tolerated peace feelers, both from his own government and from the opposition leader, Iuliu Maniu. Mihai Antonescu, the marshal’s deputy, attempted direct contact with Allied diplomatic representatives in neutral countries with a view to concluding a separate peace. Eventually, agreement on armistice terms was reached with Britain and the US in Cairo in April 1944 and confirmed by the Soviets through the Stockholm channel in June. No Romanian representative was, however, empowered by Antonescu to sign them. The more Antonescu delayed, the closer the Red Army advanced towards Romania and the greater the threat of Soviet occupation and dictation of Romania’s fate. Only King Michael and his advisers grasped the fact that the Soviets might withhold their assent to armistice conditions if they thought they could impose terms through military might. Antonescu’s refusal to accept what he considered unsatisfactory terms from the Allies, and his reluctance as an officer to abandon the German army, determined the opposition parties, led by the king, to plot his overthrow. It was the young king who took the initiative in arresting Antonescu on 23 August 1944, thus taking Romania out of the Axis camp. Antonescu’s predicament on the eve of the war was that of a leader of state caught between two totalitarian giants who considered they had the right to impose their interests upon continental Europe. Had Romania defied the Soviet Union in June 1940, she would probably have gained, like Finland a year earlier, widespread sympathy, but little else. Germany could not help her since her hands were tied by the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. When Romania did go to war against the Soviet Union in the following year, she did so as Germany’s ally and thus incurred the enmity of Britain. Romania’s alliance with Germany was not embodied in any treaty, merely signified by adherence to the Tripartite Pact. Romania

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was a partner and not a vassal, and remained under the control of a Romanian ruler. Yet, although Antonescu remained master of his own country, any attempt to withdraw from the war before 1944 would have invited German occupation. But by 1944, the attrition of German forces had deprived Hitler of the force necessary to punish Romania for doing just that. As long as Romania was able to preserve her internal cohesion and some military might, she was able to retain her freedom of action. This she did until the invasion of the Red Army. Antonescu’s self-description as ‘a man of European formation’39 is a chilling reminder that in his case, as in that of many other antisemites, the values of Western civilization were only a veneer that, if scratched, would reveal a darker core in which base instincts festered. Antonescu’s claim at his trial that he had ‘never supported the murders of anyone’ is contradicted by his order to carry out mass reprisals against ‘Judeo-communists’ in Odessa in retaliation for the destruction of the Romanian headquarters in October 1941. Yet he did not deny responsibility for his actions at the time. Antonescu delegated authority to the governors of Bessarabia, Bukovina and Transnistria, but at a meeting of the council of ministers on 6 September 1941, he made it clear that he accepted responsibility for their actions with his words, ‘The responsibility is mine before the judgement of history.’40 That judgement can now be given.

Notes 1. Mark Axworthy, Cornel Scafeş, Cristian Craciunoiu, Third Axis, Fourth Ally: Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941–1945, London, 1995, p. 216. After Italy signed an armistice with the Allies on 8 September 1943, Romania became the second Axis power in Europe. 2. Radu Ioanid, The Holocaust in Romania: The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies under the Antonescu Regime, 1940–1944, Chicago, 2000, p. 289. 3. This chapter draws on my own study of the Antonescu regime: Dennis Deletant, Hitler’s Forgotten Ally: Ion Antonescu and his Regime, Romania, 1940– 1944, London, 2006. 4. Quoted in Maurice Pearton, ‘British Policy towards Romania 1938–1941’, Anuarul Institutului de Istorie ‘A.D. Xenopol’, 23, 1986, 2, pp. 527–52 (p. 551). 5. Keith Hitchins, Rumania, 1866–1947, Oxford, 1994, p. 476.

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6. Aurel Simion, Regimul Politic din România în perioada sept. 1940–ian. 1941, Cluj-Napoca, 1976, pp. 9–34. 7. Rebecca Haynes, ‘Germany and the Establishment of the Romanian National Legionary State, September 1940’, Slavonic and East European Review, 77, 4, 1999, pp. 700–25 (p. 704). 8. Valeriu Florin Dobrinescu, ‘Documente şi mărturii: Ion Antonescu văzut de contemporani’, Dosarele istoriei, 7, 2002, 6, pp. 16, 18. 9. Paul Schmidt, Statist auf diplomatischer Bühne, 1923–45. Erlebnisse des Chefdolmetschers im Auswärtigen Amt mit den Staatsmännern Europas, Bonn, 1949, pp. 511–12. Antonescu spoke through an interpreter, which drew out the length of his tirade. 10. Quoted in Axworthy, Third Axis, p. 26. 11. Rebecca Haynes, Romanian Policy towards Germany, 1936–40, London, 2000, p. 159. 12. The Iron Guard was the paramilitary successor to the antisemitic ‘Legion of the Archangel Michael’, hence the adjective ‘legionary’. 13. Paul D. Quinlan, Clash over Romania: British and American Policies Towards Romania: 1938–1947, Los Angeles, 1977, p. 71. 14. Documents on German Foreign Policy, Series D: 1937–45, 14 vols, Washington, D.C., London and Arlington, VA, 1949–1976, (hereafter, DGFP), D, XI (September 1, 1940–January 31, 1941), doc. 381, pp. 662–70. 15. A. Hillgruber, Les Entretiens Secrets de Hitler, septembre 1939–decembre 1940, Paris, 1969, pp. 432–41. 16. Matatias Carp, Cartea Neagră. Suferinţele Evreilor din România, 1940–1944, 3 vols, Bucharest, 1946–48, 1, 1946, pp. 219–323. 17. The special commissioner for economic questions, sent by the German foreign ministry to Bucharest in January 1940. 18. ‘Minute of the meeting between General Ion Antonescu and the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler on 12 June 1941’, in Andreas Hillgruber, Staatsmänner und Diplomaten bei Hitler. Vertrauliche Aufzeichnungen über die Unterredungen mit Vertretern des Auslandes 1939–1941, Munich, 1969, pp. 276–91. 19. Aurel Simion, Preliminarii politico-diplomatice ale insurecţiei române din august 1944, Cluj-Napoca, 1979, p. 208. Antonescu was promoted to the rank of marshal by the king on 22 August 1941 for the recovery of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. 20. Deletant, Hitler’s Forgotten Ally, p. 314, notes 2–5. 21. Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Hungary numbered 564,000. 63,000 were murdered before German occupation. The 501,000 murdered afterwards included 132,000 Jews from Hungarian-annexed Northern Transylvania: see Randolph L. Braham, ‘Northern Transylvania’, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 4 vols, New York and London, 1990, 4, pp. 1476–78.

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22. Marcel-Dumitru Ciucă, Maria Ignat, Aurelian Teodorescu (eds), Stenogramele şedinţelor Consiliului de Miniştri. Guvernarea Ion Antonescu (hereafter, Stenogramele), 9 vols, Bucharest, 1998–2008, 3, (aprilie–iunie 1941), 1999, p. 618. 23. Ibid. 24. For a discussion of the possible number of victims, see Radu Ioanid, ‘The Antonescu Era’, in Randolph L. Braham (ed.), The Tragedy of Romanian Jewry, New York, 1994, pp. 117–72 (pp. 136, 144), and Jean Ancel, Preludiu la asasinat. Pogromul de la Iaşi, 29 iunie 1941, Bucharest, 2005, p. 11. 25. Alex Mihai Stoenescu, Armata, Mareşalul şi Evreii. Cazurile Dorohoi, Bucureşti, Iaşi, Odessa, Bucharest, 1998, p. 229. 26. Alexander Dallin, Odessa, 1941–1944: A Case Study of Soviet Territory under Foreign Rule, Iaşi, 1998, pp. 198–206. 27. Larry Watts, Romanian Cassandra: Ion Antonescu and the Struggle for Reform, 1916–1941, Boulder, CO., 1993, p. 362. 28. Such was Richter’s enthusiasm for the deportation of Romanian Jews to death camps in Poland that he drew up his own detailed plan: Jean Ancel (ed.), Documents concerning the Fate of Romanian Jewry during the Holocaust, 16 vols, New York, 1986, 4, pp. 197–202. 29. Deletant, Hitler’s Forgotten Ally, pp. 205–12. 30. Lya Benjamin (ed.), Evreii din România între anii 1940–1944, 3 vols, Bucharest, 1996, 2, Problema evreiască în stenogramele Consiliului de Miniştri, doc. 147, pp. 455–59. 31. Viorel Achim, ‘Deportarea ţiganilor în Transnistria’, Anuarul IRIR 2002, Bucharest, 2003, p. 132. 32. Ibid, p. 136. 33. Vasile Arimia, Ion Ardeleanu, Ştefan Lache, Antonescu–Hitler. Corespondenţă şi întîlniri inedite (1940–1944), 2 vols, Bucharest, 1991, 1, pp. 116, 119–122. 34. Jipa Rotaru, Octavian Burcin, Vladimir Zodian, Leonida Moise, Mareşalul Antonescu la Odessa. Grandoarea şi amărăciunea unei victorii, Bucharest, 1999, p. 224. 35. Alesandru Duţu, Mihai Retegan, Război şi societate. România, 1941–1945, 2 vols, Bucharest, 1999, 1, pp. 416–20. 36. Report of Colonel Rodler dated 4 November 1941 from Bucharest (‘Bericht über Wahrnehmunngen in Odessa’), Bundersarchiv–Militärarchiv Freiburg im Breisgau, RH31–I, v.108, Abwehrstelle Rumaenien nr, 11035/41 g Leiter , p. 4. I am grateful to Ottmar Traşca for showing me this document. 37. Ioanid, The Holocaust in Romania, pp. 185–90. 38. România în anii celui de–al doilea război mondial, 8 vols, Bucharest, 1989, 1, p. 489. 39. ‘Răspunderea o am eu în faţa istoriei’, Stenogramele, 4, p. 587. 40. Ibid.

CHAPTER 17 WILLING BYSTANDER S: DIMITR IJE LJOTIC´ , ‘SHIELD COLL ABOR ATION’ AND THE DESTRUCTION OF SER BIA’S JEWS Jovan Byford

The post-communist transition in Eastern Europe has brought about an extensive rewriting of history aimed at overturning communist interpretations of the past. This development has not bypassed Serbian society and has helped to shatter the consensus on the wartime activities of such Serbian collaborators such as Milan Nedić, Dragoljub Mihailović and Dimitrije Ljotić (1891–1945). For example, in 2002 the Serbian ministry of education approved a new secondary school history textbook which contains a sympathetic account of Nazi collaboration and a critical appraisal of the Partisan uprising. General Milan Nedić, head of the Serbian collaborationist government between September 1941 and October 1944, and Dragoljub Mihajlović, leader of the Chetnik insurgents, both of whom became collaborators in the autumn of 1941, are portrayed as essentially moral figures motivated by their desire to protect the Serbian people from the wrath of Hitler. The Partisans, on the other hand, are presented as fanatics whose uprising

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led to reprisals against the Serbian nation.1 Also, in recent years local councillors in the town of Smederevo have campaigned to have the city’s largest square named after Dimitrije Ljotić, one of Serbia’s most notorious Nazi collaborators. Revisionist interpretations of Nazi collaboration and the rehabilitation of its main protagonists rest primarily on the contention that cooperation with the German occupiers in Serbia was an example of ‘shield collaboration’, an alliance with the enemy that was designed to protect the civilian population from annihilation.2 Nebojša Jovanović, editor of the textbook mentioned above, told the daily Politika that collaboration with the Nazis was a way of preserving the ‘biological substance of the Serbian people’.3 Similarly, in the controversy over the renaming of the square in Smederevo, supporters of this initiative defended Ljotić’s wartime record of collaboration, ‘because this is what the biological survival of the Serbian people demanded.’4 The essay will examine the ideological and political dynamic of Nazi collaboration in Serbia with a view to challenging the revisionist view of collaborators as ‘saviours of the people’. It will be shown that the so-called ‘shield collaboration’ reflected the fascist and antisemitic viewpoints of its principal exponents, and moreover played an important role in the tragic fate of the country’s Jews. The case will be made through an exploration of the career of Dimitrije Ljotić , who is often seen as the quintessential Serbian fascist and collaborator.5 Dimitrije Ljotić was born on 12 August 1891. His father was an influential political figure in the town of Smederevo, a Danube port downstream from Belgrade. In memoirs written in 1938, Ljotić remembered his childhood in Smederevo as marked by devotion to the Orthodox Christian religion.6 He even contemplated a career in the church, although, following his father’s advice, he ended up studying law. In the autumn of 1913, Ljotić, now a law graduate, accepted a state scholarship to Paris where he became acquainted with the right-wing, monarchist and proto-fascist ideas of Charles Maurras. Ljotić’s dislike of revolutionary movements and contempt for democracy, which were to became the main tenets of his political agenda, may be explained by the period of almost a year during which he was exposed to the influence of French nationalist and conservative circles. During the First

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World War, Ljotić fought in the Serbian army and remained in active service after the conflict ended. He was placed in charge of the border crossing at Bakar, between the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and Italy. The time he spent at Bakar helped to foster Ljotić’s fascination with power and authority. In 1920, during a national railway workers’ strike, Ljotić arrested all the strikers in his area, convinced that they were involved in a communist conspiracy. The experience brought home to him the importance of the fight against communism and the need for political activism.7 By the time Ljotić left the army later that year, he had decided on a career in politics. During the 1920s, he was an active member of the Radical Party and in 1931 he became minister of justice in King Alexander’s royal dictatorship on account of his known loyalty to the dynasty. Shortly after becoming minister, Ljotić approached the king with a draft constitution proposing an ‘organic constitutional hereditary monarchy, undemocratic and non-parliamentary, based on the mobilization of popular forces, gathered around economic, professional, cultural and charity associations, that would be politically accountable to the king.’8 Disappointed but undeterred by Alexander’s rejection of this radical solution to the country’s constitutional arrangement, Ljotić resigned as minister of justice after obtaining the monarch’s permission to form a new political party. In 1934, following the assassination of King Alexander, Ljotić founded the Yugoslav movement, Zbor (Zadružna Borbena Organizacija Rada, United Active Labour Organization), an amalgam of a number of right-wing political organizations and activists. The mainstay of Ljotić’s support came from the urban middle classes, including doctors, lawyers, judges, civil servants, teachers and traders, as well as right-wing students, priests and army officers. The majority of Zbor’s membership was Serbian, with a small and gradually diminishing number of Slovenes and Croats.9 Zbor’s membership fluctuated primarily because of disagreements over Ljotić’s authoritarian leadership and frustration at its lack of popularity and political power. During the premiership of Milan Stojadinović (1935–39), many of the movement’s founding members left in order to assume more prestigious positions within Stojadinović’s Yugoslav Radical Union.10

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Zbor’s political programme advocated the abandonment of individualism and parliamentary democracy. Ljotić argued that the nation should rally around a charismatic leader (preferably the king), and return to its religious and cultural traditions.11 He promoted the idea of a strong state based on the categories of ‘God, King and pater familias [domaćin]’, in which the teaching of Christianity, traditional values and corporatism would provide the main organizing principles. Ljotić favoured a centrally-organized state, and regarded Yugoslavia as a historical and political inevitability. He believed that Serbs, Croats and Slovenes shared ‘blood kinship and a feeling of common fate’.12At the same time, however, the Yugoslavia promoted by Ljotić was one characterized by Serbian dominance. A further dimension of Ljotić’s political outlook was his virulent antisemitism. In his published collection of speeches delivered in 1939–40, Ljotić alleged that behind all the world’s problems was the ‘Great Director’. This was a ‘collective personality’ consisting of ‘a people without land, language, a stable religion, a people without roots’, i.e. the Jews.13 Ljotić traced the origins of the Jewish conspiracy to the French Revolution and claimed that every significant historical event since 1789 (including the Russian Revolution) had been brought about by the Jews, and by the European Masonic Lodges which Ljotić called the ‘Jewish Continental Comintern’.14 In Ljotić’s writing, Jews are portrayed as the force behind Zbor’s three main anathemas: liberal democracy, freemasonry and communism, and therefore as the movement’s (and by extension the nation’s) principal enemy. In fascism, Ljotić saw a form of resistance to global Jewish control and he praised Hitler for uncovering the conspiracy of ‘World Jewry’. The antisemitic argument also dominated Ljotić’s interpretation of the domestic political scene. He claimed that ‘liquidating the influence of Masons, Jews and every other spiritual progeny of Jews’ was the only way of saving Yugoslavia from the threat of war.15 Furthermore, he attributed the unpopularity of Zbor and its political programme to the subversive influence of Serbia’s Jews on education and the media. Ljotić’s antisemitism was, however, largely devoid of a racialist element. Race played a secondary role in Ljotić’s ideology, primarily because of its incompatibility with his Christian beliefs.16 Rather, his

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antisemitic arguments were couched in quasi-Christian rhetoric. In an anti-Soviet speech of July 1941, Ljotić claimed that Moscow’s ultimate aim was ‘the destruction of the national and Christian order, which would be followed by the rule of the Jew over all other nations.’17 Despite Zbor’s best efforts, anti-Jewish prejudice in pre-Second World War Serbia did not reach the intensity found in other European states.18 Before the arrival of German troops in April 1941, the Jewish community in Serbia was by and large spared from violence. Zbor’s political programme bears significant points of resemblance to other European fascist movements. Yet Ljotić tended to emphasize the differences between his own ideology and its Italian and German counterparts, while carefully neglecting the obvious similarities. Ljotić rejected the primacy attributed to the state in Italian Fascism and to race in German Nazism. For him, both were incompatible with an autochthonous Serbian–Yugoslav and Christian perspective.19 Nevertheless, Ljotić was a staunch advocate of closer ties with Nazi Germany. His esteem for Germany stemmed from a simultaneous fascination with Germany’s military might and fear of Hitler’s imperialist ambitions. There was also perhaps a more pragmatic reason. Ever since the foundation of Zbor, Ljotić had been of interest to the German intelligence services and the SS. In 1937, Ljotić was exposed by Milan Stojadinović’s government as an alleged beneficiary of Nazi funds. Zbor had apparently received financial resources to spread Nazi propaganda and promote Germany’s economic interest in Serbia.20 Zbor lacked popular support in Serbia mainly because of Ljotić’s openly pro-German stance and religious fanaticism. Despite the movement’s objection to parliamentary democracy, Zbor participated in the elections of 1935 and 1938. In 1935 it polled 0.84 per cent of the vote, insufficient for any parliamentary seats, while in 1938 it attracted just over 30,000 votes, about one per cent of the total cast, but still not enough to win any mandates. The movement had no more than 10,000 active supporters, most of them citizens of Smederevo or members of the ethnic German community in Vojvodina, who had been exposed to Nazi propaganda after 1933. Ljotić tried to overcome this lack of popular support by increasing his influence among the country’s significant social institutions,

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above all the army and the Serbian Orthodox Church. The movement’s influence amongst the military became especially apparent after August 1939 when Ljotić’s cousin, General Milan Nedić, was appointed minister of the armed forces. Nedić’s cabinet secretary was Colonel Milan Masalović, an active member of Zbor and a close associate of Ljotić. Ljotić’s influence in the military dwindled after a purge of pro-German elements in the armed forces in 1940, although many of Ljotić’s acquaintances in the officer corps, most notably Nedić himself, took up active duty in the collaborationist administration during the occupation. As a profoundly religious man, Ljotić played a significant role in church life in his native Smederevo. He was vice-president of the diocesan council in Požarevac, and represented the diocese at the patriarchal council of the Serbian Orthodox church.21 He also maintained links with the nationalist Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović, one of the most revered Serbian religious figures of the early twentieth century.22 The religious component of Ljotić’s political beliefs echoed the clericalist dogma of Bishop Velimirović who, as early as the 1920s, had propounded many ideas subsequently propagated by Zbor. In fact, the two can be said to have been part of the same broader Christian nationalist political movement. In one of his last interviews, Velimirović claimed that Ljotić was his ‘pupil and faithful follower in Christ’.23 Also, one of the bishop’s disciples, the theologian and priest, Dimitrije Najdanović, was one of Zbor’s main ideologues and an ally of Ljotić throughout the occupation.24 Other elements within the Serbian Orthodox Church were less impressed by Ljotić’s pro-German agenda and antisemitism. Ljotić’s links with the church leadership deteriorated further during the occupation, when the Serbian Orthodox church, much to Ljotić’s annoyance, refused to denounce the Partisan insurgency unequivocally. Metropolitan Josif of Skoplje, who took over the leadership of the Serbian church following the arrest of Patriarch Gavrilo Dožić in April 1941, was wary of attempts by Ljotić and his associates to draw the Church into the collaborationist project.25 In 1940, following a violent clash between Ljotić’s supporters and members of the youth wing of the Communist Party (Savez

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komunističke omladine Jugoslavije , SKOJ), Zbor was outlawed by the authorities. Its leadership was arrested, while Ljotić went into hiding, where he remained until April 1941. Notwithstanding this and the other setbacks he had experienced, Ljotic’s enthusiasm and self-belief did not waver and he continued to believe that he operated ‘under God’s guidance and protection’.26 Politics seemed to be inseparable in his mind from what he saw as a divine and messianic mission to implement ‘God’s will’ and save his people from destruction. Ljotić’s ‘rescue plan’ inevitably entailed closer ties with Germany, a policy that not only made his movement unpopular in Serbia in the 1930s, but also determined his actions after April 1941.27 On 27 March 1941, two days after the Yugoslav government had signed the Tripartite Pact which committed it to an alliance with the Axis, General Dušan Simović launched a military coup which unseated the government. In response, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia on 6 April. Within days of the official surrender of Yugoslavia on 17 April, the country was carved up by Nazi Germany and its allies. Parts of Serbia were annexed to Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, and the newly formed Independent State of Croatia, while the remaining territory was placed under direct German control. German military commanders in Serbia were aided by a loyal civilian collaborationist administration. The so-called Commissars’ Administration, set up in April 1941, was led by two police officials, Milan Aćimović and Dragi Jovanović, both of whom had well documented links with the Nazi intelligence services dating from the mid-1930s.28 Ljotić too was invited by the Nazis to join the administration. He was initially allocated the commissariat for economy, but never took up office. Nazi officials felt that his unpopularity might be detrimental to the credibility of the Commissars’ Administration. Moreover, Ljotić’s ‘Führer complex’ made him reluctant to accept what was a secondary role in the administration.29 Ljotić thus exercised his influence indirectly, through two commissars handpicked from amongst his closest associates.30 By the end of the summer, however, it was clear that the Commissars’ Administration could not stem the insurgency of the nationalist Chetniks and the communist Partisans. It was, moreover, in a perpetual state of crisis stemming from the rivalry between Ljotić and

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Aćimović.31 On 29 August 1941, the German military commander in Serbia, General Heinrich Danckelmann, replaced Aćimović’s administration with the government of General Milan Nedić. During Nedić’s administration, Ljotić expanded his influence. The ministers of industry and justice in Nedić’s cabinet were Ljotić’s followers. More importantly, in September 1941, the Germans entrusted Ljotić with the formation of the Volunteer Corps, a paramilitary force of between 3,000–4,000 combatants who fought alongside the Wehrmacht against the growing communist insurgency.32 Ljotić’s associates were also in charge of most of the collaborationist press and propaganda machinery which published some 50 antisemitic titles between 1941 and 1944.33 Former Zbor officials were also behind the ‘Great AntiMasonic Exhibition’, organized in Belgrade in October 1941 under the auspices of the German authorities, which aimed to expose an alleged Judeo-Masonic-Communist conspiracy. One of the main tasks of the collaborationist propaganda was to justify collaboration. Cooperation with the occupiers was portrayed as a necessity rather than as stemming from a desire for political power or arising out of any ideological affinity to Nazism. Phrases such as ‘ensuring the survival of the Serbian nation’ soon became axiomatic in the discourse of justification. The official title of Nedić’s administration was ‘Government of National Salvation’, and its leader was promoted as Srpska Majka, the caring and shielding ‘Mother of the Serbs’. In August 1941, 546 public figures signed an ‘Appeal to the Serbian nation’ which appealed to the ‘patriotic duty’ of all Serbs to respect the German authorities in order to ‘preserve Serbian existence’.34 Ljotić, who took every opportunity to remind the public that his pro-German policy would have prevented the war and the occupation, now portrayed the collaborators as ‘advocates of the people’ who would safeguard the ‘vital interests of the Serbian nation’.35 The plausibility of such assertions rested on two aspects of life under Nazi occupation. The first was the genocide practised against the Serbian minority in the newly created Independent State of Croatia (NDH). By late 1941, tens of thousands of Serbian refugees had fled to Serbia with news of the mass murder orchestrated by the Ustasha government. The second was the reprisal policy introduced

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by the German military to deal with the Partisan insurgency. The German supreme military commander in the Balkans, Generaloberst von Weichs, had already proposed in April 1941 that a 100 Serbs be executed for every German killed or wounded, adding that the bodies should be displayed in public places as a warning.36 By the time Nedić took up office on 29 August 1941, about 1000 civilians had been killed by the Germans.37 In October, faced by a growing Partisan rebellion, so-called ‘measures of atonement’ were introduced by the German military authorities requiring the execution of 100 civilians for every German soldier killed and of 50 for every one wounded. A related argument used to legitimize collaboration was that the war was a battle between superpowers in which a small and endangered nation like the Serbs could make no difference. For this reason, Serbia’s priority should be survival through compliance. Serbia was to act as an ‘oasis of Serbdom’ and a sanctuary for refugees from Croatia.38 While collaborators undoubtedly believed in the prospect of annihilation and the necessity of cooperation with the Nazis, the German authorities, keen to ensure the complicity of Nedić’s government, nourished these fears by articulating even greater threats. In August 1941, Harald Turner, chief of the Nazi administrative staff in Serbia, and the local military commander General Heinrich Danckelmann, threatened Nedić with the obliteration of the Serbian people and partition of the country.39 Given that there is no evidence that such measures had been planned by Berlin, it is likely that the threats were merely a ploy to induce obedience. Against the backdrop of daily reprisal shootings, they must, nevertheless, have seemed genuine enough. Moreover, the suffering of the Serbs in Croatia provided a nightmare scenario which the collaborators sought to prevent in Serbia proper. In this climate of fear, Ljotić and Nedić believed they were preventing total destruction, while the Germans used the doctrine of collective responsibility to ensure the cooperation of the Serbian government. Concealed, nevertheless, in this dynamic was the role of the collaborators in the destruction of Serbia’s Jews. Between July 1941 and May 1942, approximately 16,000 Jews were killed in Serbia. This number includes 11,000 Jewish citizens of Serbia, mainly from Belgrade, 3,800 Jews deported from the Banat region in

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the first months of the occupation, and 1,100 Jewish refugees from Central Europe (mainly Austria) whose flight to Palestine via Serbia had been brought to an end by the German attack on Yugoslavia in April 1941. The final death toll represents almost 90 per cent of Serbia’s pre-war Jewish population. The remainder survived either by joining the Partisans, by fleeing to those parts of Yugoslavia occupied by Italy, or by hiding in provincial towns and villages. Serbia was the second Nazi-occupied territory in Europe (Estonia being the first) to be formally declared Judenrein and the first outside the Soviet territories to witness the systematic mass murder of Jews. As early as 29 May 1942, the German foreign office representative, Franz Rademacher, noted that ‘the Jewish question is no longer an issue in Serbia. All that is left is to sort out is the question of property.’40 The majority of Serbia’s male Jewish population were shot between July and November 1941, as part of the retaliatory executions carried out by the Wehrmacht in response to acts of insurgency and sabotage. The official order regarding the use of Jews as hostages was formally issued in October 1941, although it had been regular practice since early summer.41 Mass internment of Jewish men in the concentration camp in Belgrade (Topovske Šupe) was ordered in late August.42 Following the introduction of the ‘measures of atonement’, Jews and Gypsies held in the Topovske Šupe concentration camp and suspected communist sympathizers incarcerated at the nearby Banjica camp were used to fulfil the quotas for reprisal shootings. Hostages were taken from the general Serbian population mainly in provincial towns and cities where the number of Jews was insufficient to fill the required quota of hostages, or where the local population was suspected of collusion with the Partisans.43 In the two months following the introduction of ‘atonement’, between 20,000 and 30,000 civilians were murdered, including 5000 or so Jewish men.44 In December 1941, approximately 7000 Jewish women, children and elderly, who did not qualify for reprisal shootings because of age, gender or physical condition, were interned at the Semlin Judenlager, located on the river Sava, separated from central Belgrade only by a bridge.45 Between early March and 10 May 1942, 6200 inmates who had survived the harsh winter were killed with the use of a gas van, brought from Berlin especially for the purpose.

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Literature on the Holocaust in Serbia emphasises the responsibility of the German military authorities for the near-total eradication of Serbian Jewry. This emphasis is justified since decision making relevant to the so-called ‘Jewish question’ remained during the Nazi occupation the prerogative of the German bureaucracy rather than of the Commissars’ Administration or of the Nedić government. Nevertheless, in the early stages of the occupation, the collaborationist administration played a notable role in the enforcement of antiJewish measures. The order concerning the registration of all Jews and Gypsies in Serbia, which state councillor Harald Turner issued in April 1941, stated, ‘The Serbian authorities are responsible for the implementation of all measures contained in the Order.’46 Ljotić’s involvement in this process was particularly noteworthy. During the initial months of occupation, Ljotić’s sympathizers in Belgrade were notorious for their participation in the round-up of local Jewish residents.47 For the duration of the occupation, moreover, Ljotić’s Volunteer Corps provided invaluable assistance to the Gestapo and the collaborationist special police in tracking down Jewish citizens who had eluded registration.48 In the early stages of occupation, the decision to murder the country’s entire Jewish population had not been reached. Initially, the Nazi leadership in Serbia favoured deportation, especially after August 1941 when the mass internment of male Jews started to present a logistical burden to the German authorities. However, repeated attempts to have the Jews deported to Romania, Russia or Poland during August and September failed.49 When advice was sought from the authorities in Berlin, the response was simply, ‘Eichmann proposes shooting.’50 The decision to use reprisal shootings as a means of eliminating Jews was motivated by a combination of ideological and practical concerns. The Nazis identified the communist insurgents with Jews, making Jews (and suspected communists) an obvious choice for retaliatory executions. In October 1941, at the height of the communist uprising, Harald Turner noted in a memorandum that hostages were to be drawn from among interned Jews and Gypsies, because those two groups ‘represent an element of insecurity and thus a danger to public order and safety.’51 In addition, in line with Eichmann proposal, the

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‘measures of atonement’ provided an expedient means of dealing with the ‘Jewish question’. As one German soldier remembered after the war, ‘the shooting of Jews bore no relation to the Partisan attacks’: the retaliations were used ‘as an alibi for the extermination of the Jews.’52 A further reason for shooting Jews in retribution for Partisan sabotage, which is particularly relevant for the present discussion, is that it ‘obviated the need for the bothersome and unreliable screening procedures usually employed on Serbian prisoners.’53 Harald Turner’s endeavours to build a reliable collaborationist administration and police force were continuously threatened by the political repercussions brought on by the arbitrary shootings of Serbs. Executions of Serbian civilians were a major source of dissatisfaction in collaborationist circles, if only because their reputation rested on the claim that they could ‘save the Serbian nation.’ Throughout the occupation, Ljotić and others intervened with Nazi officials, calling for stringent vetting procedures to ensure that ‘innocent civilians’ were not caught up in acts of retaliation.54 Such interventions were, however, confined to instances where ethnic Serbs were affected, such as prior to the Kragujevac massacre in October 1941. No protests preceded or followed the execution of Jews in camps in Belgrade. Interned Jews represented ‘an expendable group whose elimination entailed no politically disadvantageous repercussions’ for the Germans, and whose extermination elicited no concern from the collaborators.55 The vetting of hostages in reprisal shootings was among Nedić’s principal demands during negotiations with the German military authorities over the powers to be held by the collaborationist government. At a meeting with General Felix Benzler, Nedić promised that the Serbian administration would not only help to combat the communist insurgency but also ‘deal in the strictest possible way with Jews’, freemasons and suspected communists, and ensure that these groups were ‘interned in concentration camps.’56 Given that arrested Jews were already being held as hostages, it is difficult not to see in this arrangement the drawing of boundaries between ‘innocent Serbian civilians’, whose wellbeing was regarded by the collaborationist administration as a priority, and Jews, whom the Serbian government now calculatedly put beyond its own reach. In other words, having made saving

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Serbs their main concern, the collaborators abandoned their Jewish compatriots to the mercy of the Nazis. This dissociation from the fate of the Jews is apparent in Ljotić’s activities. In early November 1941, the Gestapo and the collaborationist special police arrested some 300–500 suspected freemasons, who were then placed among the hostages facing execution. Ljotić intervened with Harald Turner, and after offering guarantees that the charges of freemasonry were false, persuaded the German commander to remove the prisoners from the pool of hostages.57 Boško Kostić, Ljotić’s personal secretary and translator, who claims to have witnessed the encounter, notes in his memoirs that before leaving Turner’s headquarters, Ljotić also asked the state councillor ‘not to kill Jews’. Turner was apparently taken aback, given Ljotić’s reputation as an antisemite. Ljotić then explained that he was ‘against Jews ruling my country’s economy, but I am also against their murder’, adding that ‘their innocently-spilled blood cannot bring any good to the people who do this.’58 Although the comment about the ‘innocent blood’ suggests that Ljotić did not necessarily condone the murder of Jews, it is clear that he regarded the Jewish prisoners in a very different light to the Serbian detainees. This apparent ‘intervention’ on behalf of the Jews took place at a time when most Jewish men had already been shot. The casual observation about the innocence of the Jews and the culpability of the Germans, without any genuine or concrete attempt to intercede on behalf of the Jews, points towards the compartmentalization of Ljotić’s mind. The very fact that he mentioned the killing of Jews after successfully securing the release of the suspected freemasons reveals that he was aware that once Serbian suspects had been taken off the list of hostages, the quota would probably be filled by the remaining Jews. The disregard for the fate of the male Jewish hostages was extended to their wives, mothers and children, who were interned shortly afterwards in the Semlin Judenlager. There is no evidence that the collaborationist authorities ever attempted to intervene with the German military commanders on their behalf. The first attempt at intervention regarding the activities at the Semlin camp took place in August 1942, when the Jews had already been killed. It was only then, in

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response to (inaccurate) rumours that – having murdered the Jews – the Nazis were using the gas van to kill the remaining Serbian prisoners that Nedić protested with German officials.59 The roots of the collaborators’ indifference towards Jews lie in the interplay between their ideology and the circumstances of their relationship with the German occupiers. Ljotić and Nedić had both advocated the social exclusion of Jews long before the Germans arrived. The equation of Jewry and communism was ubiquitous in Zbor’s propaganda before 1941, and was one of Ljotić’s favourite themes during the German occupation. Consequently, in the early stages of the occupation, collaborators willingly assisted in the implementation of Nazi policies of exclusion, pauperization and incarceration of the Jewish community. Later, when the Nazis decided that Jews were to be killed, the native administration – whose moral judgment was paralysed by fascist indoctrination and the obsession with preserving Serbian lives – simply stepped onto the sidelines and looked on as the Nazi administration proceeded to make Serbia Judenrein. Nazi officials in Serbia were certainly well aware that the killing of Jews played a significant part in their relationship with Nedić, Ljotić and other collaborators. At his post-war trial in Yugoslavia in 1946, the head of the SS in Serbia, Colonel Wilhelm Fuchs, cited as a mitigating factor that ‘he ordered the Jews to be shot in order to save the lives of Serbs.’60 Although the prosecutors did not consider this argument relevant to his status as a war criminal, the fact that Fuchs raised it indicates that German officers in Serbia considered the murder of the Jews, instead of Serbs, as something which would be seen as compatible with Serbian ‘national interests’ as defined by the collaborationist elite. In October 1944, two and a half years after the country was declared Judenrein, the Germans discharged Nedić and took full control of the country in preparation for the Red Army’s invasion. Ljotić and most of his volunteers, accompanied by groups of Chetniks, retreated to Slovenia for a final showdown with Tito’s Partisans. Ljotić expected an imminent Allied landing in Istria, and believed that the Allies would support Serbian and Slovenian nationalists in their anti-communist efforts and help them establish an independent Kingdom of Yugoslavia.61 In the spring of 1945, therefore, Ljotić, was stationed in the town of Ilirska

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Bistrica, fighting under the command of SS Obergruppenführer Odilo Globocnik, in anticipation of the Allied landing. Ljotić did not live long enough to have to face the implausibility of his aspirations. On 23 April 1945, he died in a car crash and was buried in the town of Gorizia, in an abandoned crypt belonging to a local Hungarian count.62 Most of Ljotić’s followers then fled Slovenia and surrendered to the Allies who interned them in a refugee camp in Italy.63 Others emigrated to the United States, Britain, Germany and Australia, where they continued to propagate Zbor’s political agenda through a network of émigré organizations. The rest were extradited to Yugoslavia, executed by the communists and buried in mass graves at Kočevo in Slovenia. More than 60 years after the end of the occupation, the legacy of the quisling administration in Serbia remains a matter of controversy. In examining collaboration in Serbia relation to the Nazi ‘Final Solution’, this essay has sought to challenge the revisionist claim that cooperation with the occupiers was driven by the rationale that resistance would have been too costly to the Serbian nation. As we have seen, the way in which Serbian collaborationists, whose mindset was rooted in the ideological traditions of European fascism, sought to ensure the collective survival of the Serbian nation, involved a wilful detachment from the fate of the country’s Jewish community, thus making them accomplices to the destruction of Serbia’s Jews.

Notes 1. See, for example, Kosta Nikolić, Nikola Žutić, Momočilo Pavlović and Zorica Špadijer, Istorija za III razred gimnazije prirodno-matematičkog smera i IV razred gimnazije opšteg I društveno–jezičkog smera, Belgrade, 2002. 2. Peter Davies, Dangerous Liaisons: Collaboration and World War Two, London, 2004, p. 24. 3. ‘Novi pogled na istoriju iz novih udžbenika’, Politika, 26–28 September 2002. 4. ‘Ljotić i Smederevci’, Politika, 2 November 2002. 5. Miloš Martić, ‘Dimitrije Ljotić and the Yugoslav National Movement Zbor, 1935–1945’. East European Quarterly, 14, 1980, 2, pp. 219–39; Mladen Stefanović, Zbor Dimitrija Ljotica, 1934–1945, Belgrade, 1984.

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6. Dimitrije V. Ljotić, ‘Iz moga života’, Odabrana Dela, 2 vols, Munich, 1981, 1, p. 272. 7. Stefanović, Zbor Dimitrija Ljotića, p. 19. 8. Ljotić, ‘Iz moga života’, p. 397. 9. Stefanović, Zbor Dimitrija Ljotića, pp. 41–4. 10. Ibid., pp. 54–6. 11. Nebojša Popov, ‘Srpski populizam od marginalne do dominantne pojave’. Vreme, 133, 1993, 1–35. 12. Dimitrije V. Ljotić, ‘Osnovni načeli i smernice JNP Zbor’, Odabrana Dela, 1, Munich, 1981, p. 262. 13. Ljotić, Drama Savremenog Čovečanstva, Belgrade, 1940, pp. 9–11. 14. Ibid, p. 22. 15. Dimitrije V. Ljotić, Ko i zašto goni Zbor?, Belgrade, 1940, p. 73 16. Branko Petranović, Istorija Jugoslavije, 1918–1988, vols 1–3, Belgrade, 1988, vol. 1, p. 278. 17. Speech delivered on Radio Belgrade, 5 July 1941: Dimitrije V. Ljotić, Sabrana Dela, vols. 1–11, Belgrade, 2003, 8, p. 30. 18. Nebojša Popović, Jevreju u Srbiji, 1918–1941, Belgrade, 1997, pp. 158–71. 19. Dimitrije V. Ljotić, ‘Ni Fašizam ni Naconalsocijalizam, nego Zbor’, Odabrana Dela, 1, pp. 149–52. 20. Stefanović, Zbor Dimitrija Ljotića, pp. 63–71. 21. Metropolitan Josif (Cvijović), Memoari, Cetinje, 2006, p. 213. 22. See Jovan Byford, Repression and Denial of Antisemitism: Post-Communist Rehabilitation of the Serbian Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović, Budapest, 2008, chapter 2. 23. Quoted in Nebojša Popov, ‘Srpski populizam od marginalne do dominantne pojave’, p. 3. 24. Dimitrije Najdanović, U Senci Vladike Nikolaja, Belgrade, 2001, p. 108. 25. See Metropolitan Josif (Cvijović), Memoari, pp. 213–223. 26. Dimitrije V. Ljotić, ‘Iz moga života’, Odabrana Dela, 1, p. 356. 27. Ljotić, ‘Čuvar na pruzi’ Odabrana Dela, 1, pp. 258–261. 28. Branislav Božović, Beograd pod komesarskom upravom 1941, Belgrade, 1998, pp. 79–94. 29. Petranović, Istorija Jugoslavije, 1918–1988, 1, p. 280. Ljotić’s only official function within Nazi-occupied Serbia was that of the administrator of his native Smederevo. He was in charge of the city’s reconstruction after large parts of it were destroyed in an explosion of an ammunition depot in June 1941. 30. Božović, Beograd pod komesarskom upravom 1941, p. 88. 31. Ibid., pp. 362–63. The animosity between Ljotić and Aćimović went back to 1937, when the latter quit Zbor to join Stojadinović’s ruling Yugoslav Radical Union.

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32. Milan Borković, Kontrarevolucija u Srbiji, vols 1–2, Belgrade, 1979, vol. 1, p. 220. 33. Borković, Kontrarevolucija u Srbiji, 2, pp. 273–84. 34. ‘Proglas srpskom narodu’, Novo Vreme, 13 August 1941. 35. Ratko Parežanin, Drugi Svetski Rat i Dimitrije V. Ljotić, Munich, 1971, p. 319. 36. Božović, Beograd pod komesarskom upravom 1941, p. 14. 37. Jovan Marjanović, Ustanak i narodno-slobodilački pokret u Srbiji, Belgrade, 1981, p. 169. 38. Parežanin, Drugi Svetski Rat i Dimitrije V. Ljotić, p. 339. 39. See Milan Borković, Milan Nedić, Zagreb, 1985, p. 30. 40. Ženi Lebl, Do Konačnog Rešenja. Jevreji u Srbiji 1521–1942, Belgrade, 2001, p. 332. 41. Jaša Romano, Jevreji Jugoslavije 1941–1945, Žrtve genocida, učesnici NOR-a, Belgrade, 1980, p. 69. 42. Christopher R. Browning, Fateful Months: Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution, London, 1985, p. 49. 43. Walter Manoschek, ‘The extermination of Jews in Serbia’, in Ulrich Herbert (ed.) National Socialist Extermination Policies: Contemporary German Perspectives and Controversies, Oxford, 2000, pp. 163–185 (p. 176); Christopher R. Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939–March 1942, London, 2004, p. 343. 44. Manoschek, ‘The extermination of Jews in Serbia’, p. 177. 45. Browning, Fateful Months, pp. 68–95. 46. Quoted in Božović, Stradanje Jevreja u okupiranom Beogradu, 1941–1944, Belgrade, 2004, pp. 282–86. 47. Zdenko Levntal, Zločini fašističkih okupatora i njihovih pomagača protiv Jevreja u Jugoslaviji, Belgrade, 1957, p. 6. 48. Božović, Stradanje Jevreja, p. 112. 49. Christopher R. Browning, The Path to Genocide: Essays on the Launching of the Final Solution, Cambridge, 1992, p. 128. 50. Quoted in Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, London, 1985, p. 437. 51. Quoted in Browning, Fateful Months, p. 54. 52. Quoted in Manoschek, ‘The extermination of Jews in Serbia’, pp. 177–78. 53. Christopher Browning, Fateful Months, p. 50. 54. Parežanin, Drugi Svetski Rat i Dimitrije V. Ljotić, p. 50. 55. Browning, Fateful Months, p. 54. 56. Borković, Milan Nedić, Zagreb, 1985, pp. 35–36. 57. Krakov, Na oštrici noža, p. 262.

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58. Kostić, Za istoriju naših dana, p. 65. 59. Milan Koljanin, Nemački logor na beogradskom Sajmištu, Belgrade, 1992, p. 266. 60. Levntal, Zločini fašističkih okupatora i njihovih pomagača protiv Jevreja u Jugoslaviji, p. 33. 61. S.M. Lazarević, ‘Kako je nastradao Dimitrije Ljotić u automobilskoj nesreći’, in Borivoje Karapandžić, Srpski Dobrovoljci 1941–1981, Clevelend, OH, 1981, pp. 277–282 (p. 279). 62. See Kostić, Za istoriju naših dana, pp. 250–58. 63. Stefanović, Zbor Dimitrija Ljotica, 1934–1945, pp. 326–30.

CHAPTER 18 ‘FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, I NEVER CEASED BEING A GOOD AUSTR IAN.’ THE IDEOLOGY AND CAR EER OF EDMUND GL AISE VON HOR STENAU1 Georg Christoph Berger Waldenegg

‘We little men’: Edmund Glaise von Horstenau (1882–1946) wrote these words in April 1941, five years before he committed suicide in July 1946.2 Glaise’s self-assessment comported with the opinions of contemporaries who knew him. Even during the period from mid1936 to the Anschluss in March 1938, when he held his most senior positions (first as Austrian minister without portfolio, then minister of the interior, although without control over the important department of internal security, and finally, albeit briefly, vice-chancellor), he was likened to a ‘letter-box, in which the government placed letters for people of a National Socialist orientation with whom it did not wish to communicate directly.’3 Even today, scholars still characterize Glaise as an ‘interesting man without any importance’.4 It is hardly surprising,

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therefore, that he has received scant attention in the English secondary literature, or that the situation in Austria is hardly better.5 Is such a man really a personality worth writing about? There are at least two reasons which justify examining Glaise. First, he has left to posterity nearly 2000 pages of fragmentary diary entries, personal notes, and reflections on the general political situation that have been edited by the archivist and military historian, Peter Broucek.6 These edited volumes have been described as ‘without question [...] the most important edition of the last 20 years dealing with the Nazi state and the Second World War, with the exception of the diaries of [Joseph] Goebbels.’7 Secondly, Glaise can be regarded as a fairly typical Austrian, especially with regard to his political experiences and ideological views. He was born in the Habsburg Monarchy in 1882 and experienced the far-reaching consequences of the Finis Austriae:8 the transformation of the powerful monarchy into a small and powerless state, along with the attendant identity crisis and acute economic problems. He went on to experience the Anschluss and the subsequent seven-year period of Austria’s incorporation into the Third Reich. Glaise was, moreover, of German-Austrian origin, as was the majority of the population of the western part of the former monarchy; he was Catholic, as were most German Austrians; and originally he had been kaisertreu (loyal to the dynasty), like most of his compatriots. Yet, even before 1914, Glaise, along with many others, combined loyalty to the dynasty with German national feelings. As he wrote, ‘there existed still a second fatherland for me: the unity of the German Nation’.9 After 1918, Glaise actively sought to realize the goal of a Heimkehr ins Reich, as contemporaries called it. This aim was shared by many German Austrians of non-National Socialist orientation even after Hitler came to power in 1933. Following the Anschluss, Glaise also experienced the ‘coordination’ (Gleichschaltung) of Austrian institutions and traditions with those of the Reich, and then participated in the Second World War. Finally, as we shall see below, Glaise’s conduct reveals some typical traits of those German collaborators with the Nazi regime, whom Daniel Goldhagen has described as ‘ordinary Germans’.10 Analysis of Glaise’s career and beliefs can be divided into three phases that correspond with historical periods in Austrian and European

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twentieth-century history. The first phase spans the period from Glaise’s birth in 1882 to the end of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1918–19. The second phase runs from 1918–19 to mid-March 1938 (the Anschluss), and the third from March 1938 until the end of the Second World War and Glaise’s own death in 1946. With regard to the first phase, Glaise considered the end of the Habsburg Monarchy as a tragedy and a catastrophe,11 which sometimes led him to ‘despair’.12 Nevertheless, he considered the proclamation of the Austrian Republic as favourable for realizing unification with Germany, effectively forbidden by the Treaty of St. Germain. Moreover, unlike many of his fellow citizens, he regarded the collapse of the monarchy as having been brought about not only by outside aggression but also by internal disintegration and unwise military and foreign policy decisions.13 Thus, he was not nostalgic for the Habsburg Monarchy as such. Glaise was, however, already interested in politics before the onset of the war, mainly because in about 1910 he had come into contact with the entourage of the heir apparent, Franz Ferdinand.14 As a result, as Glaise himself put it, ‘my heart was filled with various ambitious hopes that were not only directed towards purely military matters but also towards political affairs’.15 Yet, prior to 1918, he had also thought of becoming a priest, and towards the end of his life he noted that for a ‘long time’ he had hoped to enter the ‘clerical profession’, while he also ruminated as to whether ‘journalism would have been the right vocation.’16 His second aspiration came true insofar as Glaise wrote many articles of a military and political nature which were published in newspapers and journals. He also became a well-known military historian and, as director of the War Archive (1925–38), the author and editor of important official works, such as the massive Österreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg (AustriaHungary’s Last War).17 Glaise’s father had died in 1889, however, and his mother lacked the money for a clerical education. He was in any case a Tornisterkind (knapsack child), as sons of members of the officers corps were dubbed.18 Traditionally, such children were expected to follow in their fathers’ footsteps. Thus, Glaise embarked upon a military career and became a member of the Habsburg General Staff. Apart, however, from

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temporary deployment as a captain on the Russian–Austrian front in the first months of the First World War, he led the life of a ‘peaceful warrior’, as he himself put it, until the end of the war.19 After 1918, Glaise’s national and political attitudes brought him into sharp opposition to social democracy and republicanism, and close both to the Christian Social Party and to anti-democratic movements. He joined right-wing organizations such as the German-Austrian Volksbund, which promoted the Anschluss, and even the SA. He appears to have joined the SA even before Hitler came to power in Germany and may well have been motivated by the movement’s pro-Anschluss position.20 Glaise publicly articulated his desire for Anschluss without reservation. As early as 1929 he wrote: ‘I am [...] of German origin and feel German [...]. I will not deny my conviction that for my present German-Austrian fatherland there is only one possibility of salvation, and that is return to the Reich.’21 Glaise publicly professed his support for Anschluss in 1937.22 He did, however, want the Anschluss to be realized through an evolutionary process rather than by force.23 Indeed, this ‘evolutionary’ policy was the very one pursued by Hitler following the failed Nazi coup d’état in Vienna in 1934. Glaise’s longing for German-Austrian unity was obviously based on a deep emotional conviction rather than on political pragmatism. Yet his claim that he favoured and worked for Anschluss, ‘on condition that Austria would obtain a role [...] corresponding to its historical individuality’, seems credible.24 Hence his great disappointment at the actual process of Gleichschaltung also seems genuine, as does his frequent self-recrimination for his naivety in failing to realize before 1938 that Hitler had always aimed at ‘dreadful centralization’.25 Yet was Glaise really so naive? In his writings he admits that even before 1938 he had recognized the ‘totalitarian nature’ of Nazism, even if only subconsciously.26 Moreover, he later confessed that as early as in 1937 he had ‘become more and more aware that for Berlin the Anschluss question was not a national issue as such, but rather a National Socialist issue in a totalitarian sense.’27 How can these apparent contradictions be explained? Glaise was perhaps unwilling to admit, even to himself, that due to his overriding wish for unification (and on account of an anti-communist attitude, the importance of which is difficult to

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assess),28 he was ready to gloss over any of the objections to Nazism that had existed in his mind. At any rate, throughout his life Glaise never ceased to believe that the Anschluss was both a ‘historical necessity’ and ‘inevitable’.29 He admitted his satisfaction with Hitler’s proclamation, delivered on 15 March 1938 on Vienna’s Heldenplatz, that ‘as Führer and Chancellor of the German nation and of the Reich, I announce that henceforth history will reflect the entry of my homeland into the German Reich!’30 Glaise’s satisfaction, however, rapidly gave way to disappointment. He later claimed to have had misgivings as early as 18 March 1938 when, as an Austrian deputy, he entered the Reichstag in Berlin with a ‘grave face’.31 According to his diary, this change in attitude was a result of his grievances over the way in which Austria had been treated immediately following the Anschluss. Glaise articulated his frustration to Ulrich von Hassell, the former German ambassador to Rome, who noted in October 1938 that Glaise had referred to the Reich as a ‘robber-state’ (Räuberstaat) in relation to Austria and that ‘the old Austrian administration has been completely smashed without the substitution of better structures.’32 Yet Glaise’s growing frustration with the ‘prussification’ of Austria was also the product of other factors. The first is connected to Glaise’s words cited in the title to this chapter: ‘From my point of view, I never ceased being a good Austrian!’ Although feeling intensely German, Glaise never lost his identity as a German Austrian. Indeed, he wrote in the autumn of 1943 that since the events of 1938 he had ‘become a fanatical Austrian.’33 A second factor is closely related to his personal and professional fortune after the Anschluss. Glaise had expected that Hitler would reward his commitment during the Kampfzeit (the ‘time of struggle’ that had preceded the Anschluss) by bestowing upon him important official functions. He did not differ in this hope from other Austrians who had often taken personal risks while campaigning for the Anschluss. Most of them, even convinced Nazis, were passed over after the Anschluss or ‘deprived of their power and shunted into merely representative functions.’34 In Glaise’s case, he was at least appointed a minister in the Austrian provincial government and became a member

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of the Greater-German Reichstag. These rather modest positions did not, however, meet his expectations, for he had hoped to be nominated Austria’s Gauleiter. When war broke out in September 1939, Glaise expected that this would afford him new opportunities for advancement. As we will see, however, his aspirations were to be frustrated once again. At this point, we enter the somewhat perilous realm of what used to be called psycho-history but which is perhaps better understood as the analysis of historical motivation. It is, however, perhaps worth considering an alleged character trait which contemporaries have ascribed to Glaise: vanity.35 It genuinely seems that Glaise was deeply hurt by the way in which Hitler had treated him. Nevertheless, his frustration in this regard may have been mitigated and his vanity appeased by the privileges accruing to him as a member of the apparatus of the Third Reich. This could explain, at least in part, why he accepted his new assignments despite the fact that they did not match his expectations. Another factor in Glaise’s collaboration with the regime was the allure of power. Reflecting upon his time as a minister under Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, Glaise stated that he had ‘experienced not a little satisfaction in belonging to the chosen few who comprised the first men of Austria.’ Even at the end of his life, he admitted when alluding to the time Hitler had summoned him into his presence, that ‘It is nice [...] to be in power.’36Ambition and proximity to power thus seem to have greatly influenced his decision to remain in the Third Reich’s service, notwithstanding his increasingly critical attitude to the process of Gleichschaltung. Furthermore, Glaise clearly became habituated to the perquisites of office and to the exploitation of the privileges that pertained to it. He commented retrospectively in his notes on his behaviour only a few months after the Anschluss that ‘Long ago I lost all shame and resolved to enjoy the privileges of the world.’37 He also noted that ‘the external conditions of life, a car and so forth, are so agreeable that one does not like to part with them.’38 Such an attitude is important in explaining why people involved in a political system hesitate or refuse to leave its service even when critical of many aspects of the system. Glaise was clearly frustrated at his own treatment and that of

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his homeland at Hitler’s hands, but, at the same time, he had specific motives which prevented him from resigning his appointments. The third phase of Glaise’s life covers the period from the outbreak of the war to August 1944 when he was stripped of all official rank. During this time, he held different positions in the Wehrmacht, which he had joined as soon as war started. Soon after the attack on Poland in September 1939, he was appointed General for Special Projects. Initially, he was employed as liaison officer to the Supreme Command in Poland and later as inspector for the upkeep of German war graves. His only assignment of real importance and relative permanence, however, took him to Croatia in April 1941, following the destruction of Yugoslavia by German troops, and the establishment of the semiindependent state of Croatia under the Ustasha. In the middle of April 1941, Glaise was appointed to the office of full general in Croatia. In this role, Glaise had two main responsibilities: to advise the Croatian government in Zagreb on how to establish a properly functioning army, and to represent the interests of the Wehrmacht in Croatia. In addition, he temporarily acted as Wehrkreisbefehlshaber (commander of a specific military district) and as commander of a small unit of the Wehrmacht. Although these were the only occasions where he enjoyed direct military authority, he has been rightly characterized as ‘one of the most interesting representatives of the German occupying forces in Yugoslavia’.39 Glaise himself described his role in Croatia as ‘extremely delicate’.40 Two questions arise in this regard. The first results from the claim in the secondary literature that Glaise, albeit unsuccessfully, tried to prevent war crimes being committed by both the Wehrmacht and the Ustasha against Jews, Roma and, above all, those Serbians of Orthodox creed who were unwilling to convert to Catholicism.41 But to what extent can this claim be verified? Glaise’s own answer was clear-cut: ‘I did not have enough power [to impede Croatian atrocities]. But I can console myself to a certain extent with the conviction that I have saved the lives of thousands of people.’42 This self-evaluation, which cannot be easily dismissed,43 comports with contemporary assessments. Ulrich von Hassell in particular stressed Glaise’s ‘remarkable manly courage’ in this regard.44

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Subsequent historians have also emphasized not only his ‘genuine humanity’45 but also his ‘courage [...] as a territorial commander over German troops and as a military diplomat.’46 Jonathan E. Gumz affirms that, as far as atrocities were concerned, Glaise ‘voiced his scepticism in utter isolation’,47 while Jonathan Steinberg notes that Glaise clearly regarded such atrocities as ‘murder’.48 The second question relating to Glaise’s role in Croatia concerns war crimes committed by units of the Wehrmacht during their struggle against the Yugoslav Partisans. Was Glaise responsible for some of these crimes? As far as we know, there is no proof that he personally ordered war crimes; nevertheless, he acted, at least on a few occasions, in concert with other authorities in such a way that could be considered complicity in war crimes.49 As such, he cannot be absolved from indirect responsibility, the more so as he was the highest official of the Wehrmacht in Croatia.50 Klaus Schmider, for example, describes him as ‘in many respects the major responsible party’51 for all German civil and military authorities stationed in Croatia, although he admits that Glaise had only limited competencies. Schmider, furthermore, stresses a fact that has been noted by other historians, namely that Glaise had the ‘particular gift of being able to make himself heard by Hitler.’52 This gave him an important advantage, especially in comparison to the German minister in Zagreb, Siegfried Kasche, who regarded Glaise as a rival, and perhaps even to Heinrich Himmler, who gained substantial influence in Croatia only in 1943 with the deployment of SS-Division, ‘Prinz Eugen’.53 There is another inference that can be drawn from Schmider’s comments, namely that Glaise did not, despite his subsequent claims, commit himself sufficiently to the saving of lives. Glaise certainly had the opportunity to intervene more often and more assertively than he actually did with the authorities in Zagreb and with the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW), to whom he was directly responsible. Moreover, his interventions aimed at limiting atrocities seem to have been motivated by practical and technical considerations, such as the effect of atrocities on political and military stability in Croatia in particular and in the Balkans in general.54 In Glaise’s defence, it could be argued that in putting forward such practical objections to

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the atrocities he was more likely to impress Hitler. In reality, however, to save more lives Glaise would have had to have taken much greater risks, although in this case he would probably have fallen out of favour with Hitler far earlier than August 1944. At the same time, Glaise himself clearly felt he could not be exonerated from all moral responsibility. In a ‘declaration’ that Glaise wrote in November 1945, while appearing as a witness at the Nuremberg trials, he stated, ‘For me [...] there cannot be any doubt that there is something like a collective guilt of the German and the Austrian people.’55 Elsewhere, Glaise even confessed to his ‘individual guilt’,56 which originated from the fact that he was cognizant of the war crimes committed by organs of the Third Reich in Croatia and elsewhere.57 Sometimes he tried to rationalize such excesses: ‘War is war’, he once declared.58 But although he might be described as sharing the attitudes of a Herrenmensch,59 Glaise was not a racist. To be sure, Glaise spoke of inferior Russian ‘human material’,60 but much more typical is his comment in 1940 regarding an article published in the National Socialist journal, Das Schwarze Korps, ‘I have to say that the “biological perception” of things is reaching boundless dimensions.’ He also mocked the National Socialist ‘Blood and Soil’ doctrine and criticized the fact that the Poles ‘were still [...] characterized as an inferior race, as half-human.’61 In 1943, he wrote with regard to the Slavs in general that, ‘[...] I conclude that there is nothing like a Slavic race.’62 Thus, his assertion in December 1943 seems genuine: ‘I ask myself whether I have ever felt superiority or even hate against foreign nations. I don’t think so. The Slovenes [...] have always been equally good brethren to me.’63 Moreover, he frequently deplored the fate of the Serbs.64 With regard to Jews, Glaise was certainly not free of generalizations. He attributed to them, for example, a specific sense of humour and a Jewish ‘haste’.65 Nevertheless, he expressed great respect towards certain individual Jews: Heinrich Friedjung he judged as a ‘great historian’ and, although he described Franz Werfel as a ‘podgy Jew’, he considered him an ‘important poet and novelist’.66 He described a number of Jewish women whom he knew as ‘real ladies’.67 He was also aware that on account of the systematic murder of European Jewry, all Jews might come to feel a deep dislike, if not hatred, for Germans

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and Austrians.68 While he stood up for individual Jews,69 he never, however, tried to intervene to change the fate of Croatian Jews or Jews in the Balkans more generally. Indeed, the contrary was the case. In October 1942, Glaise and two other German officials in the Balkans sent a lengthy memorandum to Hitler which they classified as secret and in which they tried to summarize the current situation in Croatia. This memorandum is frequently cited by historians, although the most explosive passage is often passed over:70 The implementation of the Jewish laws of the Croatian state is being hindered by Italian officials to such an extent that in the coastal zones [...] many Jews are under Italian protection and many others are being helped over the border into Italian Dalmatia or Italy. Thus the Jews gain help and can continue their treasonable activities, especially those directed against our war aims.71 Why did Glaise countersign a memorandum with a content that could be read as proof of his direct approval of the extermination of Jews in the Balkans? Apart from the fact that in November 1942 Glaise may not have expected that it would ever see the light of day, we may be confronted here with an attitude which Hans Mommsen has described as ‘moral indifference’.72 According to Hans Umbreit, the Germans in Croatia ‘were preoccupied with the chaotic conditions and the terror against the Serbs, but not with the terror against Jews and Gypsies.’73 This clearly holds true for Glaise also, but since his ideology was not based on anti-Jewish racism, he could hardly rationalize the crimes committed against Jews (and other groups) with racist arguments. It was therefore no accident that he admitted to feeling ‘ashamed to be German’ because of what he described as the ‘mass slaughter [of Jews]’.74 Why then did Glaise not intervene to prevent these crimes, especially given that he ‘always remained wedded to Habsburg methods of ruling conquered peoples,’ which he believed had emphasized political, not military, ‘solutions’?75 The question is even more pertinent in view of evidence suggesting that Glaise was convinced after the attack

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on the Soviet Union that Germany would lose the war. He assumed that once the war was over he would be treated as a war criminal, extradited to Yugoslavia (or Austria) and, ultimately, executed.76 As we have seen, he may have felt some genuine guilt as regards to German policies. The further we explore Glaise’s possible motives with regard to treatment of the Jews, however, the nearer we come to what Hannah Arendt has described as ‘the banality of evil’. For example, Glaise palpably enjoyed a certain satisfaction in being able to assist in what he described as ‘the struggle’.77 Another factor in Glaise’s response towards the Third Reich’s Jewish policy was his attitude towards Hitler. Evan Burr Bukey states that Glaise ‘stood in awe of Hitler.’78 While Glaise’s diary entries were frequently irreverent with regard to Hitler,79 he was obviously drawn towards him at the same time. Reflecting on his first encounter with Hitler in 1937, Glaise noted his ‘fascinating personality’, and years later he could still write that ‘Hitler somehow fascinates me.’80 In this respect, Glaise did indeed stand in the shadow of Hitler. The most important reason for Glaise’s decision to remain in the service of the Third Reich, at least until January 1944, may, however, have been financial. Due to the high mortgage which accompanied the purchase of a property in Vienna in 1938, Glaise needed a good and regular income. According to Schmider, this was an important reason for his remaining in post.81 Thus, as far as ‘the banality of evil’ is concerned, it is not implausible that Glaise’s complicity was primarily motivated by material gain. In addition, his love of cars might also have been a motive. As Glaise himself confessed, ‘If I had held myself in higher self-esteem and had not been tempted by the ministerial privilege of having a car, etc, I would have resigned.’82 Towards the end of his life Glaise wrote in his diary that ‘if I had had the knowledge I now possess, I would have overcome my ambition and definitely rejected the Anschluss.’83 Can this claim be regarded as trustworthy? As we have seen, Glaise had recognized the totalitarian and criminal nature of the Nazi regime and of the war long before he wrote these words and, in mid-1944, he had received information that he would probably be handed over to the Yugoslav authorities on the charge of being at least indirectly responsible for war crimes. Thus, he

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was aware that, in all probability, he would be condemned to death. In the light of these circumstances, it seems fair to ask whether Glaise should not have engaged with the anti-Nazi resistance of whose existence he was well aware. Yet what might seem reasonable to us may not have appeared so to Glaise at that time. For members of the Austrian resistance, Glaise was indelibly tainted with his pro-Anschluss attitude. For them Glaise was a ‘traitor’, as he himself had recognized as early as 1941.84 Perhaps Glaise, therefore, had no choice except to hold out until the bitter end. Even if he was afraid about his future, it seems that he sometimes managed to exchange grim reality for sweet illusion, by escaping into a kind of fictional, utopian world. He imagined, for example, that a ‘miracle of God [...] will bring us a half-way endurable denouement.’85 In the summer of 1944, he cherished the illusion that the employment of a ‘new weapon’ would change the outcome of the war decisively.86 Nevertheless, regardless of his illusions, Glaise had in 1943 already procured for himself the poison which he was to use in 1946. On 21 July of that year, Glaise was found dead in his cell in an American camp. Let us recall the phrase: ‘We little men’. Would Glaise have been a somewhat greater man, if, instead of committing suicide, he had assumed responsibility for his actions and inactions? The historiography on Glaise and his career is still far from conclusive. It seems that in many ways Glaise was, however, genuinely a personality of his times, mediocre perhaps and someone with whom it may not be easy to sympathize, but quite typical of ‘ordinary Germans’ (or German Austrians), and perhaps even of ‘ordinary men’, living in extraordinary times.87

Notes 1. The quotation in the title is taken from Peter Broucek (ed.), Ein General im Zwielicht. Die Erinnerungen Edmund Glaises von Horstenau, 3 vols, Vienna, 1980– 1988, 2, Minister im Ständestaat und General im OKW, p. 54 (7 November 1943). 2. Ibid, 3, Deutscher Bevollmächtigter General in Kroatien und Zeuge des Untergangs des ‘Tausendjährigen Reiches’, p. 107. 3. Guido Zernatto, Die Wahrheit über Österreich, New York, 1938, p. 229; cf. p. 258.

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4. Marcel Stein, Österreichs Generale im Deutschen Heer 1938–1945. Schwarz/ Gelb–Rot/Weiß/Rot–Hakenkreuz, Bissendorf, 2002, p. 255. 5. A short biographical account of Glaise’s life can be found in: Peter Broucek and Kurt Peball, Geschichte der österreichischen Militärhistoriographie, Cologne, 2000, pp. 363–66. 6. See note 1, above. 7. Klaus Schmider, Partisanenkrieg in Jugoslawien 1941–1944, Hamburg, 2002, p. 15. 8. Broucek (ed.), Ein General im Zwielicht. Die Erinnerungen Edmund Glaises von Horstenau, 1, K. u. k. Generalstabsoffizier und Historiker, Vienna, 1980, p. 501; cf., p. 239 (1945–46). 9. Glaise reflected on this at the end of his life. See, ibid, p. 238; cf., ibid, p. 123. 10. Goldhagen’s thesis could perhaps also be applied to German-Austrians. See, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, London, 1996. 11. Broucek (ed.), 1, pp. 441, 491 (1945/46). 12. Broucek, ‘Introduction’, in ibid, p. 8. 13. Ibid, pp. 154, 159, 176, 181 (1945/46). 14. Broucek, ‘Introduction’, in ibid, p. 8. 15. Ibid, p. 392 (1945/46). 16. Broucek (ed.), 1, pp. 85, 91, p. 529 (1945/46). 17. Österreichisches Bundesministerium für Heerwesen und vom Kriegsarchiv (ed.), Österreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg, 7 vols. and 7 supplementary vols, Vienna, 1930–38. 18. Siegfried Westphal, Der Deutsche Generalstab auf der Anklagebank. Nürnberg 1945–1948, Mainz, 1978, p. 91. 19. Broucek (ed.), 1, p. 247 (1945/46). 20. Stein, Österreichs Generale im Deutschen Heer 1938–1945, p. 236. 21. Edmund Glaise v. Horstenau, Die Katastrophe. Die Zertrümmerung ÖsterreichUngarns und das Werden der Nachfolgestaaten, Zurich, 1929, p. 6. 22. Broucek (ed.), 2, p. 209 (October 1944–1 January 1945). 23. Ibid, p. 120 (Summer 1939); cf. ibid, p. 172 (October 1944–1 January 1945). 24. Ibid, (ed.), 2, p. 222 (spring 1942). 25. Ibid, p. 123 (October 1944–1 January 1945). 26. Ibid, p. 177 (October 1944–1 January 1945), p. 273 (Spring 1942). 27. Ibid, p. 203 (October 1944–1 January 1945). 28. Cf. Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 200 (April 1943), p. 246 (July–August 1943), p. 300 (October 1943), p. 538 (22 April 1945). 29. Ibid, 2, p. 84 (Summer 1939); ibid, 3, p. 347 (October–December 1939).

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30. Speech of Hitler at the Heldenplatz in Vienna, 15 March 1938, in Archiv der Gegenwart (Keesings Archiv), Vienna, 1938, p. 3475A. 31. Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 106 (April 1941). 32. Friedrich Freiherr Hiller v. Gaertringen (ed.), Die Hassell–Tagebücher 1938– 1944. Ulrich von Hassell. Aufzeichnungen vom anderen Deutschland, Berlin, 1989, p. 58, 7 and 15 October 1938. 33. Broucek (ed.), 2, p. 54 (Summer 1939). 34. Adam Wandruszka, ‘Österreichs politische Struktur. Die Entwicklung der Parteien und politischen Bewegungen’, in Heinrich Benedikt (ed.), Geschichte der Republik Österreich, Vienna, 1977, p. 417. 35. On this characteristic, see, for example, Ernst Hanisch, Der lange Schatten des Staates. Österreichische Gesellschaftsgeschichte im 20. Jahrhundert, Vienna, 1995, p. 161. 36. Broucek (ed.), 2, p. 85 (Summer 1939), p. 164 (October 1944–1 January 1945). 37. Ibid, p. 304 (January 1945); cf. p. 284 (January–February 1945). 38. Ibid, 2, p. 164 (October 1944–1 January 1945). 39. Holm Sundhaussen, Wirtschaftsgeschichte Kroatiens im nationalsozialistischen Großraum 1941–1945. Das Scheitern einer Ausbeutungsstrategie, Stuttgart, 1983, p. 254. 40. Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 81 (April 1941). 41. See, for example, Broucek and Peball, Geschichte der österreichischen Militärhistoriographie, p. 365. 42. Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 168 (September 1942). 43. Cf. a letter written by Glaise to the commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht, Alexander Löhr (15 January 1943), in which he asked, amongst other matters, that the women and children of male partisans should not be deported (ibid, p. 176, February 1943). Cf. Klaus Schmider, ‘Auf Umwegen zum Vernichtungskrieg? Der Partisanenkrieg in Jugoslawien, 1941–44’, in RolfDieter Müller und Hans-Erich Volkmann (eds), Die Wehrmacht. Mythos und Realität, Munich, 1999, pp. 910–2. 44. Friedrich Freiherr Hiller v. Gaertringen (ed.), Die Hassell–Tagebücher 1938– 1944, 2 August 1941, p. 263. 45. Rudolf Kiszling, Die Kroaten. Der Schicksalsweg eines Südslawenvolkes, Graz, 1956, p. 193. 46. Broucek, ‘Introduction’, in Broucek (ed.), 1, pp. 10ff. 47. Jonathan E. Gumz, ‘Wehrmacht Perceptions of Mass Violence in Croatia, 1941–1942’, The Historical Journal, 44, 2001, 4, pp. 1015–38 (p. 1023). 48. Jonathan Steinberg, All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941–1943, London, 1990, p. 174.

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49. Walter Manoschek, ‘Partisanenkrieg und Genozid. Die Wehrmacht in Serbien 1941’, in Manoschek (ed.), Die Wehrmacht im Rassenkrieg. Der Vernichtungskrieg hinter der Front, Vienna, 1996, pp. 50, 59. 50. Ibid, p. 153. 51. Schmider, Partisanenkrieg in Jugoslawien 1941–1944, p. 533. 52. Ibid, pp. 47ff., 533. See also, Ladislaus Hory and Martin Broszat, Der kroatische Ustascha-Staat 1941–1945, Stuttgart, 1964, p. 58. 53. But this last point is very difficult to assess and would demand further research. 54. Cf. Gumz, ‘Wehrmacht Perceptions of Mass Violence in Croatia, 1941– 1942’, pp. 1036ff. 55. Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 581 (9 November 1945). 56. Ibid, p. 582 (9 November 1945). 57. For Glaise’s knowledge of German war crimes in Russia and Croatia, see Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 101 (April 1941), p. 127 (27 August 1941), p. 202 (April 1943), p. 254 (July–August 1943). 58. Ibid, 2, p. 425 (November 1939). 59. Gerhard Schreiber, Deutsche Kriegsverbrechen in Italien. Täter, Opfer, Strafverfolgung, Munich, 1996, p. 23. 60. Broucek (ed.), 1, p. 100 (1945/46); ibid, 3, p. 295 (October 1943). 61. Ibid, 2, p. 464 (25 January 1940), p. 577 (November 1940), p. 533 (4 September 1940). 62. Ibid, 3, p. 191 (February 1943). 63. Ibid, p. 337 (December 1943). 64. See for example, ibid, 3, p. 169 (November 1942). 65. Ibid, 2, p. 148 (October 1944–1 January 1945), p. 429 (November 1939). 66. Ibid, 1, pp. 537, 520 (1945–46). 67. Ibid, 2, p. 138 (October 1944–1 January 1945). 68. Ibid, p. 553 (May–June 1945). 69. For example, ibid, p. 488, p. 513ff. (January 1945). 70. See, for example, Hory and Broszat, Der kroatische Ustascha-Staat, pp. 137ff. 71. Aufzeichnung für den Führer, betrifft: Lage in Kroatien, 1. Oktober 1942, in Akten zur Deutschen Auswärtigen Politik, Series E, 4, 1. Oktober 1941. Dezember 1942, Göttingen 1975, p. 7. 72. Hans Mommsen, ‘Die Realisierung des Utopischen. Die “Endlösung der Judenfrage” im Dritten Reich’, in Lutz Niethammer and Bernd Weisbrod (eds), Der Nationalsozialismus und die deutsche Gesellschaft, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1991, p. 230, note 144. 73. Hans Umbreit, ‘Die deutsche Herrschaft in den besetzten Gebieten 1942– 1945’, in Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt (ed.), Das Deutsche Reich

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74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81.

82. 83. 84.

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und der Zweite Weltkrieg, vol. 5: Organisation und Mobilisierung des deutschen Machtbereichs, 2. Halbband: Kriegsverwaltung, Wirtschaft und personelle Ressourcen 1942–1944/45, Stuttgart, 1999, p. 88. Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 127 (27 August 1941); cf. p. 292 (October 1943). Gumz, ‘Wehrmacht Perceptions of Mass Violence in Croatia, 1941–1942’, p. 1023. Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 303 (October 1943), cf. p. 305 (November 1943), p. 465 (22 September 1944). Ibid, p. 188 (February 1943). Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler’s Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938– 1945, Chapel Hill, NC, and London, 2000, p. 54. See, for example, Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 133 (August 1942); ibid, pp. 101, 109 (April 1941). Ibid, 2, p. 80 (Summer 1939); ibid, p. 208 (October 1944–1 January 1945). Schmider, Partisanenkrieg in Jugoslawien 1941–1944, p. 48, p. 534; cf. Gerd Überschär and Winfried Vogel, Dienen und Verdienen. Hitlers Geschenke an seine Eliten, Frankfurt a/M., 1995, p. 175–178. Broucek (ed.), 2, p. 228 (Spring 1942). Ibid, p. 122 (October 1944–1 January 1945). See ibid, 2, p. 122 (October 1944–1 January 1945), p. 210 (Spring 1942). Glaise tried to get in contact with American officials in the summer of 1944 to negotiate secretly over ‘cooperation with the Allies to free Austria’: coded radio message from Allen Dulles, then wartime head of OSS operations in Switzerland, to Colonel Edward J. F. Galvin in OSS Caserta, Summer 1944, quoted in Franklin Lindsay, Beacons in the Night: With the OSS and Tito’s Partisans in Wartime Yugoslavia, Stanford, CA, 1993, p. 220. It seems probable that Glaise’s main, if not only, motive was to save his skin. Broucek (ed.), 3, p. 127 (27 August 1941). Ibid, p. 418 (June 1944). On ‘ordinary men’ and their response to the Holocaust, see, C. R. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, New York, 1992.

INDEX

Adler, Victor 39, 41, 51 Alexander (Aleksander) I 155–9, 161, 190, 297 Anschluss 156, 179, 217, 313–8, 323 antisemitism 6, 8–10, 16, 24, 113, 124; and Antonescu, 10, 15, 279, 284–90, 292; and Bandera, 234, 236; and Codreanu, 171–6, 182–3; and Dmowski, 9, 92–3, 96–102; and Finland, 10; and Francetić, 189, 193, 197; and Fritsch, 73–85; and Gömbös, 124, 125, 127, 134, and Glaise von Horstenau, 321–2; and Henlein, 219, 220; and Ljotić, 298, 299, 302–9; and Sima, 282; and Stojadinović, 164; and Szálasi, 262, 263, 265, 266, 269, 270, 272, 273; and Schönerer, 39–53; and Tormay, 106–13 Antonescu, Ion 3, 10, 15, 19, 33, 181, 277–94 Antonescu, Mihai 10, 281, 285, 287, 291 Aquinas, St Thomas 247, 248 Arrow Cross 16, 261–75 Austria 1, 9, 10, 20, 38–52, 75, 156, 157, 179, 217, 228, 246, 261, 304, 313–24

Badeni, Ordinances 41, 48, 50, 51 Bakar 7, 297 Bandera, Stepan 15, 16, 227–44; murder of 238 Beneš, Eduard 254 Bessarabia 7, 15, 171, 173, 180, 228,279, 283, 284, 286–9, 292, 293 Bethlen, István 14, 123–5, 128, 131–6, 266 Billroth, Theodor 44 Bismarck, Otto v. 46 Black Legion 188, 189, 192–8, 201–3 Böckel, Otto 76, 77, 80 Bosnia 188–203 Bukovina 180, 228, 279, 283, 284, 286–8, 292, 293 Bulgaria 14, 165, 301 Carol II 16, 170, 179, 180, 279, 280 Catholicism 6, 9, 10, 11, 14, 42, 45, 46, 97–101, 161, 247–57, 264, 314 Christian Social 9, 38, 41, 49, 246–57, 259, 264, 316 Churchill, Winston 165, 207 Codreanu, Corneliu 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15, 33, 169–87, 279, 282 Corporatism 132, 135, 211, 214, 255, 263, 265, 274, 275

330

IN

THE

SHADOW

Croatia 1, 7, 10, 12, 154, 155, 159–64, 166, 188–203, 297, 298, 301–3, 319–22 Cuza, A.C. 170, 172, 173 Czechoslovakia 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, 53, 206–22, 228, 230, 237, 246–57 D’Annunzio, Gabriele 13, 30, 31, 33, 55–72; and Mussolini 13, 30–1, 67–70 Darányi, Kálmán 127, 133, 266 Darwin, Charles 43 Dmowski, Roman 9, 14, 33, 89–104 Dollfuss, Engelbert 1 Dühring, Eugen 73, 75 Eichmann, Adolf 269, 305 ÉME 133 Endecja 92–6, 99, 100, 102 eugenics 25, 28, 30, 82 fascism 3–5, 7–10, 12, 15, 16, 23–5, 29–35, 53, 68–70, 125, 153–5, 211, 212, 299, 316, 321 Finland 10, 138–52, 291 Fiume 13, 30, 31, 67, 68 Francetić, Jure 12, 33, 188–205 Freemasonry 98, 298, 302, 307 Fritsch, Theodor 9, 33, 73–88 Führerprinzip 45, 234, 301; ‘Führer hierarchy’, 215, 217 Galicia 43, 44, 110, 229–32, 236, 242 Gentile, Emilio 29 Germany 1, 14, 20, 21, 24, 25, 33, 34; and Austria, 317; and Codreanu, 179, 180; and Croatia, 319–23; and Czechoslovakia, 206–23, 246, 254, 256; and D’Annunzio, 69; and Dmowski, 98, 101; and Fritsch, 73–85; and Hungary, 129, 132, 264, 268–73; and kleindeutsch solution, 43; and Romania, 15, 16, 179–81,

OF

HITLER

278–92; and Schönerer, 46, 47, 53; and Serbia, 295–6, 299, 301–9; and Slovakia, 246, 256; and Stojadinović, 154, 157, 158, 163; and Yugoslavia, 154–7, 163–5, 301; Sudeten Germans, 206–23, 254; Buda Germans, 107 Giolitti, Giovanni 23, 24, 31, 66, 70, 71 Globocnik, Odilo 2, 309 Gobineau, J. de 43, 82 Goering, Hermann 132, 156, 217, 235, 281 Gömbös, Gyula 4, 5, 7, 14, 33, 108, 121–37, 266 Gypsies see Roma Heidegger, Martin 29 Henlein, Konrad 5, 15, 33, 206–26, 254 Hentschel, Willibald 82 Heydrich, Reinhard 220, 221 Hitler, Adolf 1, 4, 15, 16, 34; as European Tribal Leader, 264; debt to Schönerer, 38, 42, 45, 47, 50, 52; and Antonescu, 15, 16, 278, 281–5, 288, 291; and Bandera, 16, 227, 235, 236, 239, 240; and Codreanu, 14, 15, 179, 180, 182, 183; and conservatives, 4, 15, 16; and D’Annunzio, 69; and Dmowski, 101; and Fritsch, 74, 84, 85; and Glaise von Horstenau, 317, 318, 322, 323; and Gömbös, 128; and Henlein, 15, 209, 213, 216–21; and Lueger, 49; and Stojadinović, 15, 56; and Szálasi, 15, 264, 273; and Tiso, 256, 257 Hlinka, Andrej 8, 245, 246, 250, 254 Holocaust 15, 101, 102, 219, 256, 269, 270, 272, 273, 279, 284–90, 293, 303–9, 319, 321 Horstenau, Edmund Glaise von 8, 33, 313–28

INDEX Horthy, Miklós 13, 16, 106, 115, 118, 123, 125, 130, 133, 135, 136, 266, 269–71 HSLS 245–56 Hungarism 261–67, 273 Hungary 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 20, 43, 53, 75, 105–15, 121–36, 165, 171, 190, 191, 245–50, 254, 261–75, 284, 301, 309; SS Divisions 272 Iasi pogrom 285–6 Imrédy, Béla 136, 266, 268, 269, 277 Iron Guard 174, 279–83, 293 Italy 1, 4, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24, 29, 34, 96, 101, 125, 130, 132, 155, 190, 234, 239, 241, 301 Jacobins 2, 3 Jäger officers 146, 151 Junge, Gertraud 17 Junger, Ernst 29 Karelia 142, 143, 147, 149 Károlyi, Mihály 108–11, 122 KNP 248–50 Konovalets’, Yevhen 231–4 Kun, Béla 7, 9, 13, 108, 111, 117, 119, 123, 250 Lapua movement 143–49 Legion of the Archangel Michael 15, 169–84; Legionary Workers’ Corps, 178 Ljotić, Dimitrije 7, 8, 33, 164, 295–312 Los von Rom 42, 46, 50 Lueger, Karl 41, 49 Macartney, C.A. 129, 126, 133, 134, 137, 267 Maček, Vladko 160–65, 191 Maniu, Iuliu 179, 182, 183, 283, 284, 291

331

Mannerheim, Carl Gustaf 146–9 MANSZ 105–15 Marr, Wilhelm 73, 75, 78, 86 Maurras, Charles 17, 296 Messianism 11, 12, 264, 301 Michael of Romania 270, 280, 287, 291 Milcoveanu, Serban 185–87 Modernism 25–29, 183 Mota, Ion 172 MOVE 7, 122, 123 Munich Agreement 157, 218 Mussolini, Benito 4, 5, 13–16, 24; and Codreanu, 180, 183; and D’Annunzio, 13, 30, 31, 67–70; and Dmowski, 14, 101; and Gömbös, 14, 126, 132, 135; and Szálasi, 14, 264, 271; and Stojadinović, 14, 155; and Tormay, 108, 114; and Yugoslavia, 14, 190 Napkelet 105, 107, 108, 113, 114, 116, 118, 119 National Democratic Party see Endecja Nedić, Milan 295, 300, 302, 303, 306, 308 ‘new man’ 31, 131, 170, 174–77, 181–83, 195, 201 Nietzsche, Friedrich 22, 26, 27, 30, 36, 55, 58, 59, 70, 75, 76 Nitti, Francesco 67, 68, 70 Nordau, Max 29 Nyugat 105, 114, 116 Operation Barbarossa 283 Operation Margarethe 269 Orthodoxy, Christian 10, 11, 14, 162, 170, 171, 177, 280, 296, 299, 300 OUN 227, 230–43 Pan-German Party 41, 45, 47, 52, 83 Päts, Konstantin 147

332

IN

THE

SHADOW

Paul, Prince 153, 154, 159, 160, 163–5 Pavelić, Ante 1, 158, 166, 189, 190, 192, 193, 195, 197–9, 201, 203 Pilsudski, Józef 93, 94, 96 Pittsburgh Agreement 251 Poland 7, 9, 14, 53, 89–102, 148, 229–37, 239, 242, 246, 287, 305, 319; see also Galicia Protestantism 10, 11, 46, 51, 52 Protocols of the Elders of Zion 78 Radić, Stjepan 159, 160, 189 Riga, Treaty of 229, 231 Roma 288, 304, 305, 319, 322 Romania 1, 7, 10–12, 14–16, 20, 53, 123, 169–84, 277–92, 305 Rosenberg, Alfred 83 Russo-Japanese War 93 Rutha, Heinrich 210–13, 215, 217, 220 Sakić, Sulejman 193, 194 Schönerer, Georg v. 9, 33, 38–54 Schuschnigg, Kurt v. 209, 318 Seipel, Ignaz 248 Serbia 1, 8, 11, 20, 157, 161, 165, 166, 189,191–7, 295–309, 319, 321 Seyss-Inquart, Arthur 209 Sima, Horia 169, 174, 176, 180–2, 281, 282 Sitwell, Osbert and Sacheverell 68, 72 Skoropadsky, Pavlo 232 Slovakia 6–8, 10, 11, 14, 244–60 Smetona, Antanan 147 Sokol 211, 252 Soviet Union 7, 8, 29, 124, 149, 180, 183, 219, 228, 234–8, 246, 272, 278, 279, 283, 284–6, 288–91, 299, 308, 323 Spann, Othmar 210, 214, 220 Stalingrad 290–1 Stojadinović, Milan 3, 8, 14, 33, 153–68, 297, 299

OF

HITLER

Sudetenland 5, 206–23 Svinhufvud, Pehr Evind 144, 146 -8, 151 Szálasi, Ferenc 5, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 33, 261–77 Taylor, A. J. P. 46 Tiso, Msgr Jozef 3, 6, 7, 9, 14, 33, 244–60 Tormay, Cecile 12–14, 33, 105–20 Transnistria 7, 284, 286–90, 292 Transylvania 15, 114, 171, 172, 279, 284, 285, 287–90, 292 Treitschke, Heinrich von 73 Trianon Treaty 111, 119, 123, 124 Tripartite Pact 164, 165, 168, 277, 278, 291, 301 Tuka, Vojtech 14, 254 Turner, Harald 303, 305–7 Turnverband 210–13, 215, 219, 223 Ukraine 7, 16, 227–41, 284, 288–90; SS Divisions 235, 239 UPA 234–7, 239 Ustasha 12, 14, 155, 164, 166, 188–203, 302, 319 Veesenmayer, Edmund 2, 269–71 Versailles Settlement 23, 66, 98, 111, 119, 123, 124, 227, 228, 315 Vittorio Emanuele III 63, 71, 271 Vienna Award 279–81 Wagner, Richard 43, 78 Weber, Max 23, 26, 31, 169 Weimar Republic 7, 83, 86, 148 West, Rebecca 154 Yugoslavia 14, 20, 153–66, 189, 190, 192, 297–9, 301, 304, 308, 309, 319, 320, 323 Zbor 297–302, 308