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Bulgarian National Socialist Workers Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bulgarian National Socialist Workers Party

Българска Национал-Социалистическа Работническа Партия
LeaderHristo Kunchev
Founded15 May 1932 (15 May 1932)
Dissolved1934 (1934) (banned)
Bulgarian nationalism
Political positionFar-right
ReligionBulgarian Orthodox Church
Colors     Black and      yellow
Party flag
Flag nsbrp.svg

The Bulgarian National Socialist Workers Party (Bulgarian: Българска Национал-Социалистическа Работническа Партия) was a Nazi party based in the Kingdom of Bulgaria.

It was one of a number of anti-Semitic groups to emerge in Bulgaria after the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany, with other notable groups including the Union of Bulgarian National Legions and Ratniks.[1] The party was established by Doctor Hristo Kunchev or Kuntscheff in 1932, who had studied medicine in Berlin.[2] The party sought to copy the Nazi Party by adopting the National Socialist Program, the swastika and other symbols of the German party.[2] Unlike some of its competitors on the far right like the Union of Bulgarian National Legions and the Ratniks, it was not a very influential group and had a relatively small membership with only a hundred people active in its core.[3] The party published a newspaper called Attack!, similar to Der Angriff of Joseph Goebbels. In the September 1932 municipal elections, of 68,000 voters, 47,823 voted, and Bulgarian National Socialists obtained only 147 votes (0.31%) and ranked 18th among the participants. Through 1933, it was divided and disappeared after the parties closed after the coup of 9 May 1934.[4]

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  • ✪ From Socialist to Fascist - Benito Mussolini in World War 1 I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?


The war affected all who lived through to a great extent, but perhaps it was even greater for those who would become leaders in the postwar world, as their actions had such a strong effect on their nations and on the Second World War. One such man was Benito Mussolini I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to our Great War bio series “Who did what in World War One?” today featuring Benito Mussolini. Benito Andrea Amilcare Mussolini was born July 29th, 1883. He was named Benito after Mexican politician and reformer Benito Juarez, Andrea after the founder of the Socialist party in the Romagna region, and Amilcare after an Italian patriot killed during the Paris Commune. His father was a blacksmith and his mother an elementary school teacher. Now, his father was active in left-wing politics and rabidly anti-clerical, while his mother was a devout Catholic. His father founded the local chapter of the socialist party and was elected to the City Council. He was busy with worker and farm labor movements, but Benito’s parents’ contrasting views and his father’s political activities were a big strain and a source of humiliation at school. Students were seated at the dining hall according to the fees their parents paid, and Benito sat at the lowest table. Later in life he would often recall bread crawling with ants. As a student, he was known as “never the person provoked, always the one provoking.” He was also known for his frequent use of knives. After his education he became an elementary school teacher, but an affair with a woman whose husband was in the army caused him to emigrate to Switzerland in 1902. His first purchase there was a knife, and he would eventually be expelled from Geneva Canton for using knives. He took up fencing and dueling, which only stopped when he became Prime Minister. I know the knife thing isn’t really important, but I thought it was interesting. So, 19 year old Mussolini in Switzerland. He became a labor agitator and was arrested in 1903, and spent some time going back and forth between Italy and Switzerland, but when he was called up for obligatory Italian military service, he did not go, and was sentenced for desertion in absentia. He eventually got an amnesty and returned to Italy, but only served two of 20 months in the army because of his mother’s death. At this time, he was writing articles for periodicals such as The Workers’ Future and Socialist Avantgarde, and even articles for The Proletariat that appeared in the United States. He was described in this period as, “a revolutionary socialist with deep anarchic roots and a highly-developed affinity for revolutionary labor-unionism.” He taught school for a few years before moving to Trent in 1909 where he became secretary of the local socialist party and ran its newspaper. Trent was in Austria-Hungary at the time, and he had run-ins with the Imperial police. He returned to Italy and in September 1911 a general strike was called. There were protests and violence and Mussolini was arrested and spent six months in prison. Now, around this time there was a split in the socialist party. A socialist was, for the first time, invited to join the selection for Prime Minister. Mussolini and the revolutionary socialists thought this was a capitulation to the bourgeoisie, so his section left the party and expelled all reformist socialists from their ranks. He soon moved to Milan to edit the socialist paper Avanti. That’s where he was when the war broke out. We’ve talked a lot about Italy’s descent into war so I’m not going to do it here, but Mussolini called for neutrality. Socialism saw itself as an international movement loyal only to the workers, not national boundaries. Italy was, at the outbreak of war, allied with Austria-Hungary and Germany, but Mussolini wrote much about absolute neutrality and the many reasons he felt it was necessary. But there was a struggle between neutralists and interventionists and with time, Mussolini began to vacillate on neutrality. Socialist parties in other belligerent nations supported their country’s war effort. Mussolini still called for neutrality in Avanti, but he was heard expressing sympathy for France privately, and was publicly accused of being a Francophile. Critics called him two-faced; he said he had a private and a public self. So, in October 1914 there was a war of editorials between Mussolini and his critics. On October 8th, he wrote this, “I am not a genius, but I am not an idiot either. And I am not ashamed to confess that my thoughts have gone back and forth, been filled with uncertainty and fears... who in Italy has not struggled over this?” By the end of the month he promoted active neutrality over absolute neutrality, saying that this was a war of German aggression, and that a party that wants to be part of history cannot be limited by unchallenged dogma. “Italian socialists take note: sometimes it happens that the letter kills the spirit, we will not save the letter of the party if it means killing the spirit of socialism.” The first fasci, small groups that supported intervention, were soon formed, based on a manifesto that said that workers should be on the side of France, cradle of revolution, and Britain, home of every liberty, and the socialist revolution will follow the achievement of national self-determination. Mussolini was actually expelled from the Italian Socialist Party in November, resigned from the Avanti in late October, and founded a new paper, Il Popolo d’Italia. He began taking positions that were anything but socialist, and interventionist fasci did things like setting fire to socialist offices. The French government, through its agents, gave him 100,000 francs and some members of the French workers party had the specific mission of pushing Italy into the war against the Central Powers. His paper was also financed by industrialists who saw profit in war and in spring 1915, just when Italy was heading for war, it was acknowledged that his newspaper had done “a great service to the French government.” Italy joined the war in May, Mussolini was drafted, and on August 31st joined the 11th Regiment of the Bersaglieri. I want to be clear here, by this point Mussolini was a real celebrity, one of the most famous men in the country - some issues of Avanti had a circulation of 100,000 and soldiers and officers often asked to meet him. He served in Monte Nero, Virsig, and Jaworcek, and wrote a war diary for his paper that was a mixture of ideology and reportage. In many ways he echoed the thoughts of Italian Army Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna. He thought morale and the bayonet were more important than modern firepower and that the long list of dead soldiers was an indicator of determination and the right to Great Power status. He exalted Italian characteristics and tried to define what it meant to be an Italian. He was discharged in early 1917 after a grenade supposedly went off during training. There were no eyewitnesses to this and he had an unusually long convalescence - a few months in hospital and then a year’s leave - and historian Paul O’Brien says the leave was so long because of syphilis and its complications, however strings were being pulled to get him back to work in Milan anyhow. Mussolini turned to fight the enemy within and the growing rejection of the war. He called for giving land to peasants that fought, and fasci advocated for a postwar technocracy, where the men who return from the war would be the new elite and run the nation. Britain was worried about Italian resolve to remain in the war, Mussolini said, “I’ll get all the war wounded to break the heads of any pacifists who carry out protests in Milan.” His paper began to get financing from the British Secret Service and he provided anti-pacifist propaganda, mobilizing veterans and war wounded. His newspaper changed its slogan from “newspaper of the socialists” to “newspaper of fighters and producers” and the fascists were called to paralyze the efforts of neutralists. And the war ended with Italy on the winning side. But the war did not bring the technocracy and social change, and the industrialists didn’t want to lose the benefit of the wartime economy. Italy was unsatisfied with the land it received postwar and fasci di combattimento appeared, new fascist groups that grew out of the original interventionist ones. On March 23, 1919, the movement that brought them all together, the Fascist Movement was formed, and after that? Well, that’s beyond the scope of this channel. This was just a brief - very brief - look at what Benito Mussolini was doing before and during the war. You are very much encouraged to look up all the rest. If you want to see how Italy actually joined the war, click here for our special about that. We’d like to thank Madeline Johnson for providing the research for this - and that - episode. If there’s someone you really want to see a bio of, let us know in the comments, and if you’d like to help with the research for a topic, contact Flo, our social media guy. See you next time.


  1. ^ Guy H. Haskell, From Sofia to Jaffa: the Jews of Bulgaria and Israel, Wayne State University Press, 1994, p. 111
  2. ^ a b Rupert Butler, Hitler's Jackals, Leo Cooper, 1998, p. 44
  3. ^ Ivan Ilchev, Bistra Rushkova, The Rose of the Balkans: A Short History of Bulgaria, Colibri, 2005, p. 44
  4. ^ Поппетров (2008). pp. 54 – 55.
This page was last edited on 22 August 2019, at 02:57
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