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Fascism and the Jews: from the internationalization of fascism to a 'fascist anti-Semitism'

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2010
JournalHolocaust Studies
Journal number1-2
Volume15
Number of pages20
Pages15-34
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The relationship between fascism, race and antisemitism has troubled historians ever since the end of the second world war. While National Socialist ideology and praxis were evidently dominated by an existential hatred of the Jews, discussion of antisemitism in the context of generic/comparative fascism studies reveals a wide variation amongst other fascist movements/regimes that has impeded a historiographical consensus on this matter. This essay examines how a particular, virulent form of (generic) ‘fascist antisemitism’ emerged and spread during the 1930s, under the radicalising influence and increasing kudos of the National Socialist regime, resulting in a de facto internationalisation of ‘fascism’ and a sense of a joint history-making mission against the perceived forces of ‘decadence’. However, the term ‘fascist antisemitism’ does not imply simple imitation of an otherwise imported or imposed (Nazi) model. Instead, long-term traditions and contemporary factors particular to each national setting played a critical role in shaping the relationship between fascism and antisemitism in each branch of the fascist ‘new order’.