Do contemporary Bulgarian and Romanian radical right movements represent a legacy of interwar fascism? We argue that the key element is not that interwar movements provided legacies (of structures, ideologies, or organizations) but rather a symbolic “heritage” that contemporary movements can draw upon. The crucial legacy is, rather, the Socialist era, which in asserting its own definitions of interwar fascism created a “useable past” for populist movements. The Peoples’ Republics created a flawed historical consciousness whereby demonized interwar rightist movements could be mobilized after 1989 as historical expressions of “anti-Communist” — and, ergo, positive symbols among those of anti-Communist sentiment. Although radical right parties in both countries may cast themselves as “heirs” to interwar fascism, they share little in common in terms of ideology. Their claims to a fascist legacy is, rather, a factor of how their respective Socialist states characterized the past.
Interwar fascism and the post-1989 radical right: Ideology, opportunism and historical legacy in Bulgaria and Romania
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James Frusetta, Anca Glont; Interwar fascism and the post-1989 radical right: Ideology, opportunism and historical legacy in Bulgaria and Romania. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 December 2009; 42 (4): 551–571. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postcomstud.2009.10.001
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