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National Fascist Community

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National Fascist Community

Czech: Národní obec fašistická
Slovak: Národná obec fašistická
LeaderRadola Gajda
FoundedMarch 1926
Dissolved22 November 1938
Merged intoParty of National Unity
Czech nationalism
Political positionFar-right
Colours     Black
Slogan"Blaho vlasti budiž nejvyšším zákonem"
(English: Let the Welfare of the Homeland be the Supreme Law)
"Hej, Slované"[3]
"Hey, Slavs"
Party flag
Flag of Slovakia (1939–1945).svg

The National Fascist Community (Czech: Národní obec fašistická, NOF, sometimes translated as National Fascist League) was a Czechoslovak Fascist movement led by Radola Gajda, and based on the Fascism of Benito Mussolini.[4]

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


Formation and ideology

The party was formed in March 1926 by the merger of a group of dissident National Democrats known as the "Red-Whites" with various other rightist groups across Bohemia and Moravia.[5] It was distinguished by a strong current of opposition to Germany, which continued even after Adolf Hitler had come to power. The NOF instead looked to Italy as its model, and based itself wholly on Mussolini's National Fascist Party. In this respect it differed markedly from its chief rival Vlajka, which was firmly in the Hitler camp.[4] Groups targeted by the NOF for criticism included the Jews, communists, the Czechoslovak government and the Magyars.[5] It set up a youth group and a trade union movement, although the latter was minor. The group also advocated a policy of Pan-Slavism, and hoped to take a joint lead with Poland of a grand Slavic alliance that would overthrow communism in the Soviet Union. They also believed in a corporatist economy with a large agricultural sector.[4] The NOF attracted some early support from veterans of the Czechoslovak Legions.[6] It was estimated by a government informer that the NOF had as many as 200,000 followers in 1926, although it had virtually no support in the Slovak area as the far right there was dominated by an indigenous movement.[5]


Badge of the National Fascist Community with official party motto.
Badge of the National Fascist Community with official party motto.

The NOF regularly indulged in street-fighting tactics, clashing frequently with the National Labour Party, a moderate left-wing party led by Jaroslav Stránský. Such was the frequency of NOF attacks on Stránský and fellow leader Václav Bouček in 1927 that both men were provided with bodyguards by the government.[7] The NOF even made plans for a possible coup d'etat and secured the support of Slovak paramilitary group Rodobrana in this endeavour although ultimately the plans were intercepted by Brno police and thus shelved.[8]


Poster of General Radola Gajda.
Poster of General Radola Gajda.

In the 1929 elections the NOF ran under the name "Against Fixed-Order Lists",[9] but won three seats. Gajda was elected to Parliament, but the party failed to maintain its support, and received only 2% of the vote and seven seats in Chamber of Deputies in the elections of 1935.[4]

The NOF attempted a comeback during the German occupation,[9] although the Nazis did not support due to their earlier criticism and their overall minor status. Ultimately the NOF were disbanded and largely absorbed into the puppet National Partnership, Gajda having been bribed to leave politics.[10] The party's demise was sealed in late 1939 when they organised a rally in Prague's Wenceslas Square and only managed to attract 300 supporters.[11]

Electoral results

Chamber of Deputies
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1935 167,433 (#12) 2.0
6 / 300
Increase 6
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1935 145,125 (#13) 2.0
0 / 150


  1. ^ Dana, Massowová (2007). "Národní obec fašistická na Bučovicku za první republiky" (PDF) (in Czech). Masaryk University. p. 11. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d Nakonečný, Milan (2006). Český fašismus (in Czech). Vodnář. p. 428. ISBN 80-86226-73-5.
  4. ^ a b c d Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-1945, London, Roultedge, 2001, p. 309
  5. ^ a b c Andrea Orzoff, Battle for the castle: the myth of Czechoslovakia in Europe, 1914-1948, Oxford University Press US, 2009, p. 100
  6. ^ Andrew C. Janos, East Central Europe in the modern world: the politics of the borderlands, Stanford University Press, 2002, p. 170
  7. ^ Orzoff, Battle for the castle, p. 102
  8. ^ Orzoff, Battle for the castle, p. 101
  9. ^ a b Vincent E McHale (1983) Political parties of Europe, Greenwood Press, p149 ISBN 0-313-23804-9
  10. ^ Payne, A History of Fascism, p. 426
  11. ^ Benjamin Frommier, National cleansing: retribution against Nazi collaborators in postwar Czechoslovakia, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 21
This page was last edited on 3 January 2020, at 20:03
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