ISBN: 978-963-386-657-3

Jonas Bals

Independent historian/Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO)

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In this volume, the editors have assembled a wide array of contributions covering the complex history of antifascism, fascism, and anti-anti-fascism in Italy, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Slovakia and, last but not least, Slovenia. Not just a neighbor of the world’s first fascist regime, but also the country with the first fascist movement, Slovenia sheds important light on the birth of fascism. Pirjevec’s article covers what he calls ‘border fascism’ and hate speech – ‘words as stones’, as he puts it – and the following attempt at cultural genocide. He and several other contributors broadens the scope on ‘the diversity of the anti-fascist experience’, with hitherto unexplored themes such as the anti-fascism of Slovenian and Croatian clergy in the Julian March during the interwar period. In other chapters, we learn about the intellectual sources of the German resistance group The White Rose, anti-fascist memory culture in the GDR, Slovenian memory practices, and the anti-fascism of educated women, feminists, and female activists in the Littoral in the 1920s. Kasper Braskén compares fascist repression in South Tyrol with how the language question played out in the Swedish speaking parts of Finland, and a thoughtful afterword by Nigel Copsey provides a concise summary of the book’s many contributions. We are also presented with his take on the weaponization of collective memory and the anti-anti-fascism that has dominated much of the discourse on (communist) anti-fascism since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The ongoing war in Europe, and its alleged goal of fighting Ukrainian ‘nazism’, is proof of how important such knowledge and scholarship is for historians and non-historians alike.