The political battle term emerged in 1921 as a self-designation by opponents of fascism in Italy and was then transferred to the active resistance against National Socialism in the German Empire , against Francoism in Spain and similar political forces in Europe and Latin America. From this resistance practice, various theories of fascism developed since 1922 in order to justify a comprehensive political alternative to fascism. Antifascism therefore contains aspects of social analysis and action, but does not designate a uniform political theory.
Today the expression encompasses all forces that actively fight neo-Nazism , neo-fascism, right-wing extremism and the New Right and want to eliminate their social causes. The actors call themselves "anti-fascists". The short form " Antifa " referred to earlier, the Antifascist Action of the Communist Party in 1932 and the non-partisan Anti-Fascist Action Committees in 1945/46. Organized groups of the Autonomous People in many states have been using this name since around 1980 if they follow this tradition.
History until 1945
In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded the folk-nationalist association of the Fasci di combattimento in what was then the Kingdom of Italy . In 1921 he converted it to the Partito Nazionale Fascista . Their black shirts went in the Biennio rosso (1919–1921) with targeted terror against striking industrial workers and the Partito Socialista Italiano (PSI). As a result, they founded local and regional self-protection groups, which joined together in 1921 to form the nationwide arditi del Popolo . He was open to anarchists, communists, social democrats, Christians, and bourgeois republicans. But the leadership of the PSI and the Partito Comunista Italiano (KPI) rejected the federal government. It was limited to a few thousand members and a few cities. This was the first organization with an explicitly anti-fascist self-image. Their followers called themselves antifascists .
Since Mussolini took office as head of state in 1922 and became dictator in 1925, an anti-fascist underground press has sprung up in Italy. In March 1925, the philosopher Benedetto Croce wrote an anti-fascist manifesto, which was signed by 40 intellectual opponents of Mussolini. In it he defended Italy's basic liberal democratic values without declaring fascism and calling for a fight against it. Anti-fascists like Piero Gobetti and Carlo Rosselli, on the other hand, saw a weakness and complicity of the liberal elite as a major contributing factor to Mussolini's victory. The priest Luigi Sturzo founded the anti-communist Catholic Partito Popolare Italiano in 1919 . In exile in 1924, he wrote the Pensiero antifascista program , in which he classified fascism and Stalinism as totalitarianism .
Mussolini murdered prominent political opponents in 1924 and banned all opposition parties in 1926. Special courts sentenced 5,600 anti-fascists, around 150,000 were observed. Around a million Italians left the country, including 15,000 anti-fascists. In order to join forces, socialists, republicans and the Italian League for Human Rights formed the umbrella organization Concentrazione Antifascista in 1927 while in exile in France . The KPI, which was also exiled, refused to join. Carlo Rosseli founded the resistance group Giustizia e Libertà in 1928 after his escape . She could only keep in touch with her fellow campaigners who had stayed in Italy. Their resistance cells were small and isolated from one another.
After Mussolini's fall (July 25, 1943) and the invasion of the Wehrmacht in Italy (September 9, 1943), the anti-fascist resistance (the Resistancea ) grew strongly there. Many Italian Jews also took part, often in leadership positions, whom Mussolini had previously imprisoned and declared in the Verona Manifesto to be foreigners and enemies.
The Communist International (Comintern), founded in 1919, was supposed to unite all communist parties that had arisen since the October Revolution ideologically and practically to the goal of the proletarian world revolution . From 1922 on, she applied the term fascism to all ultra-nationalist or corporatist-authoritarian regimes and movements in Europe, including National Socialism.
Because Mussolini's conquest of power gave other fascist movements a considerable boost, the fourth World Congress of the Comintern dealt with the subject of fascism for the first time in 1922. This was seen as an international phenomenon with country-specific characteristics and, analogous to imperialism, classified in a “period of decline” of capitalism , in which the bourgeoisie tried to stabilize its power at the expense of the labor movement . Features of fascist parties are the most brutal terror and a pseudo-revolutionary program that cleverly addresses the moods and interests of the broad masses. Their mass base is the petty bourgeoisie threatened with decline or the urban middle class . It was expected that fascist parties could gain political leadership in other states, especially Germany. Social democracy was held responsible for its rise, and its coalitions with bourgeois parties prevented a united proletarian front and drove petty bourgeois voters to the fascists. Recognizing that fascism also attacked bourgeois democracy as a whole did not infer its practical defense. In order to forestall his seizure of power , the communists should continue to prepare for a proletarian revolution in the near future.
In 1923 the Comintern founded an "Antifascist World League", which only existed until March 1924. From 1924 the Communist Party of the Soviet Union dominated the Comintern. Even then, Josef Stalin described social democracy as the “wing of fascism” and the “twin brother” of National Socialism. The Comintern now promoted the transformation of its member parties into centrally controlled organizations that disciplined, disempowered or excluded internal party critics ( Stalinization ). Nonetheless, the Soviet Union enjoyed great sympathy among Western anti-fascists in the 1920s because it appeared as a global opponent of fascism.
In 1929 Stalin gained sole rule in the Soviet Union. His foreign policy did not follow any ideological principle, but sought advantages through changing alliance agreements and played off the interests of other states against one another. To this end, he entered into a practical alliance with Mussolini and defended his attack on the Abyssinian Empire . At that time, the Comintern decided on the social fascism thesis , according to which social democracy should be fought as the main enemy. This was justified with the global economic crisis and the alleged intentions of the capitalist states to attack the Soviet Union. Therefore, their proletariat must be won over to the respective communist parties. All other parties, the free trade unions, the bourgeois state and parliamentarism were identified with fascism. The previously desired united front against fascist forces was ruled out. A “united front from below” should pull social democratic voters over to the communist parties. In doing so, the Comintern practically gave up anti-fascism.
After the transfer of power to Adolf Hitler (30 January 1933) an international congress with around 3,500 anti-fascists took place from 4 to 6 June in Paris instead, which deals with the Amsterdam Peace Congress (August 1932) by Henri Barbusse and Romain Rolland the World Committee against War and fascism (WKKF) united. The initiator of the merger was the German Comintern representative Willi Munzenberg . Many French socialists also took part in the congress despite the ban. International protests against the Nazi regime emanated from the meeting.
In 1933, the Soviet Union remained officially neutral towards the persecution of German communists and did not call itself anti-fascist. It was only under strong pressure from Western European communists that the Comintern gave up the social-fascism thesis in 1934 and allowed its members to form alliances with all anti-fascist parties and organizations. This popular front policy favored a belated rise of anti-fascism in Europe, the USA and Latin America . In 1935 at the Seventh World Congress, the Comintern under Georgi Dimitrov defined fascism in power as an “open, terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist, most imperialist elements of finance capital”. This formula referred primarily to the Nazi regime, traced its ideology back to certain socio-economic interests and their supporters and separated it from the mass base. At the same time, the Comintern called on the German communists to stand up for the everyday concerns of the workers in the mass organizations of the NSDAP and thus to prepare a “people's government” to overthrow the Nazi regime. They should create a common basis with the "National Socialist masses" for "unity and reconciliation of the peoples". That meant turning away from common illegal anti-fascist resistance. From 1936 the Comintern dissolved Munzenberg's anti-fascist International Workers Aid .
Since the Hitler-Stalin Pact of August 1939, the Comintern completely gave up anti-fascism on Stalin's orders and ended the common popular front policy against the Nazi regime. It declared the capitalist states (especially Great Britain and the USA) and again the social democracy to be the main enemy and forbade anti-fascists military activities and political mobilization for a war against the Nazi regime. Many communists could no longer support this radical change of course. Only after Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 did anti-fascism become the Comintern's main demand, now as participation in the Soviet war of liberation on the side of the western democracies. Emigrated German communists were supposed to return to their country and reorganize the illegal resistance against the Nazi regime there. In 1943, Stalin had the Comintern dissolved in order to strengthen the anti-Hitler coalition in terms of foreign policy.
In 1941, Soviet intellectuals around Ilya Grigorjewitsch Ehrenburg founded a Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in order to win supporters for the war against Hitler Germany. After the end of the war, Stalin forbade the committee to publish a black book on the Soviet Jews murdered in the Holocaust . In 1948 he had the committee dissolved for alleged espionage and murdered some of its representatives.
During the First World War , the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) split into war supporters and war opponents. In the course of the November revolution of 1918/19, anti-democratic free corps on behalf of the SPD leadership put down the January uprising in Berlin, and in the following months also the Soviet republics in some German cities with massacres of thousands of people. This made the split in the German labor movement irreversible. The SPD lost elections and there was a considerable influx of ethnic and anti-Semitic forces.
In the Kapp Putsch in 1920, right-wing extremists in the Reichswehr first tried to overthrow the young Weimar Republic . A general strike , which the SPD and trade union leaders had called against their usual line, thwarted the putsch. The Ehrhardt Marine Brigade involved in it turned into the illegal Consul organization after being banned and committed fememicides of political opponents, which were often covered by a nationalist civil service and judiciary. The NSDAP, founded in 1919, saw itself as a gathering of all right-wing extremist anti-democratic forces. Their ideological mixture of anti-Semitism, anti- Marxism , racism , militarism , nationalism and the cult of masculinity, their strategy of using parliamentary forms for a later “seizure of power”, and the methods of their Sturmabteilung (SA) in street terror against left-wing opponents were largely based on theory and Practice of the Italian fascists. From 1930 to the end of 1932, the SA grew to around 430,000 members, more than half of all NSDAP members.
The KPD did not understand fascism as an independent phenomenon compared to bourgeois democracy, but as a mere decay and final stage of capitalism, the overthrow of which was imminent. That is why it equated anti-fascism directly with anti-capitalism and tried to mobilize the workers for a social revolution: for example in 1921 with the March Action and again in 1923 during the Ruhr occupation and hyperinflation . The KPD's line of the united front gave rise to contradicting behavior towards the NSDAP: after the execution of Albert Leo Schlageter (May 26), the KPD offered his right-wing extremists an alliance and organized joint events. On July 29th, she called for a nationwide “Anti-Fascist Day” to counter the threat of a coup from the right. Starting in August, the KPD's entry into the Saxon and Thuringian state government and the proletarian hundreds were to prepare their own uprising ( German October ). The Reich government prevented this with the Reich execution (October 21) and banned the proletarian hundreds nationwide.
At the beginning of September 1923, several right-wing extremist paramilitary alliances had united in the Bavarian Order Cell to form the German Combat League in order to overthrow democracy. The Hitler putsch of November 9, 1923 was intended to initiate the “March on Berlin”. After its failure, the governing parties of the Weimar coalition founded the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold in 1924 as a protective force against anti-republican forces from the right and left. It quickly grew into the largest military association in the republic (one million members, 90% of whom were SPD supporters), but remained defensive, unarmed and relied on cooperation with the police.
Since the Hitler putsch, the SPD leadership also saw National Socialism as a variant of fascism. Paul Kampffmeyer warned that the NSDAP wanted to replace democracy with a dictatorship and that certain capital groups would use it against the workers. The KPD sees anti-fascism only as preparation for a revolutionary overthrow. On the other hand, he called for a gradual construction of socialism in line with the constitution . At that time, polemics became common in the SPD that the KPD was promoting right-wing radicalism and driving the workers towards the NSDAP. Both would work hand in hand to fight and ultimately destroy liberal democracy . Right -wing SPD representatives represented a “national socialism” related to fascist ideas and strove for cooperation with the “left” wing of the NSDAP. However, the SPD leadership and the majority of members rejected this position.
Eight people were killed when the KPD attempted to prevent the right-wing radical organizations Stahlhelm and Wehrwolf from marching on "German Day" in Halle (May 11, 1924) , which was protected by the police . Thereupon the KPD decided to form the Red Front Fighter League (RFB) against fascist forces. In order to avoid its ban, it was formally independent and had no central leadership. Many members rejected paramilitary forms because of the anti-militarist tradition of the KPD founders. After a few months, many local groups disbanded. Other RFB groups worked together with Reichsbanner groups locally, regionally and in factories despite the mutual rejection of their party leaderships. The Austrian Social Democrat Julius Deutsch therefore described these combat leagues and the Republican Protection Association he founded himself in 1926 as "anti-fascist" organizations, despite their various goals.
In 1929, the year of the Great Depression, the KPD adopted the social fascism thesis. This was approved by many KPD voters because the behavior of SPD governments confirmed it: For example, Prussia's police president Karl Zörgiebel (SPD) banned the traditional May Day demonstration in 1929 , had the police shoot at participants ( Blutmai , 33 dead), 1200 arrest, and then banned the RFB. Since November 1929 the KPD newspaper Die Rote Fahne has been calling for counter-violence against the street terror of the SA with the slogan “Beat the fascists wherever you meet them”. In December the KPD founded the Antifascist Young Guard , which continued the actions of the banned RFB. At the same time, however, she supported the NSDAP's agitation against the Young Plan .
In 1930 the NSDAP grew by leaps and bounds to become the second strongest party after the SPD. Only then did the KPD define the NSDAP as the main opponent for the first time. Some KPD representatives admitted that they had underestimated the danger of National Socialism. In July 1930, at Stalin's instigation, the KPD decided on a “national” course instead of class struggle slogans in order to win over NSDAP voters. She already saw the emergency ordinances of Heinrich Brüning ( German Center Party ) as “fascism in power” and called for a fight against the SPD because it supported Brüning. In 1931 KPD leader Heinz Neumann appeared at NSDAP meetings with Joseph Goebbels, among others, and called out that the communists did not want a "fratricidal struggle" with the National Socialists. In addition, the KPD supported a referendum initiated by the NSDAP, DNVP and Stahlhelm against the SPD state government in Prussia. Very few NSDAP representatives converted to the KPD. Although it gained around 150,000 new members by 1932, it was hardly able to integrate them and at the same time lost its anchoring in the trade unions. With reference to this KPD course, leading SPD representatives such as Rudolf Breitscheid , Karl Kautsky , Kurt Schumacher and Otto Wels publicly equated “ Bolshevism ” (Soviet communism) and fascism.
The SPD tried to curb the rise of the NSDAP with a double strategy: It supported Brüning's emergency ordinances and cuts in social benefits, and in 1931 it formed an iron front with conservative trade union associations and the Reichsbanner . Their badges, the three arrows, were not allowed to be directed against the swastika according to the will of the SPD leadership . Nevertheless, they became a symbol of anti-fascism.
The intellectual warners against National Socialism included Lion Feuchtwanger , Fritz Gerlich ("The Straight Path" 1930 ff.), George Grosz , Emil Julius Gumbel ("Let Heads Roll - Fascist Murders 1924–1931"), John Heartfield , Konrad Heiden , Theodor Lessing , Hans Litten , Carl von Ossietzky and Kurt Tucholsky . As early as 1926, Erich Mühsam had called for a “united front of all anti-fascist forces” in his magazine Fanal : Only “the united will of the German workers who were not confused by National Socialism” could prevent Hitler's seizure of power. In 1929 he warned that the Third Reich would make mass murders, pogroms and looting legal. In June 1932, the International Socialist Fighting League (ISK) also issued an urgent appeal calling for an “anti-fascist united front” of left-wing parties and unified lists in order to counter the “terrible danger of fascization”. Numerous celebrities were among the signatories. The KPD chairman Ernst Thälmann , the SPD chairman Otto Wels and Theodor Leipart ( General German Trade Union Confederation ) remained silent. The SPD leadership expressly forbade list connections, including at the lower level. The SPD unions saw “no chance of success for attempts at unification”.
In 1932, KPD and SPD supporters often formed joint house protection squadrons against physical attacks by the SA. After a fight between NSDAP supporters and KPD members in the Prussian state parliament, the KPD declared anti-fascist action on May 25, 1932 : All German workers should form independent, local self-protection units. The appeal was intended to compete with the Iron Front. A "Reich Unity Congress" with 1550 delegates, including 132 SPD representatives according to KPD information, resolved a "vow to fight" on July 10, 1932 and swore the "closed red mass self-protection of workers, the unemployed and working people in all of Germany" without accepting it to organize. The appeal was intended to win over SPD supporters, but also NSDAP voters , for the KPD in the July 1932 Reichstag elections . However, this adhered to the social fascism thesis in accordance with the requirements of the Comintern. The SPD leadership therefore rejected the action as directed against their party.
At the grassroots level, the KPD's appeal was enthusiastically welcomed as a “strategic turnaround” against the main National Socialist enemy. Because of its policy of tolerance, the SPD lost two million votes by 1932, most of which overflowed to the KPD. Even after the unconstitutional strike in Prussia (July 20, 1932), the SPD rejected the use of the Iron Front, calls to refuse orders to the Prussian police and a general strike, and limited itself to a constitutional complaint that was unsuccessful. Goebbels saw this renunciation of resistance as decisive for the victory of the National Socialists.
Only the small parties SAPD , Communist Party Opposition (KPO), Leninbund , Left Opposition of the KPD , Gruppe Funke and others sought an effective anti-fascist united front of all left to protect the Weimar Republic. In doing so, they followed the precise, essentially identical analyzes of fascism by August Thalheimer and Leon Trotsky : Once in power, the NSDAP would smash and destroy all organizations of the workers' movement, thereby setting them back by 100 years. That is why all left-wing parties must form joint, armed action committees to protect their organizations and stand up for one another in the event of fascist attacks. However, since the failure of the German October 1923, Thalheimer and Trotsky had been at odds for their part, so that their small parties remained organizationally separate. The youth group Schwarze Scharen , close to the anarcho-syndicalism of FAUD , countered the street terror of the SA with creative forms of resistance. Its few supporters were the most important anti-fascist group in some cities. When explosives were discovered in some members in May 1932, it was banned.
According to counts at the time, 143 National Socialists, 171 Communists and at least 99 Social Democrats died in street fighting between 1930 and 1932 after the ban on the SA was lifted.
German Empire 1933–1945
Large sections of the bourgeoisie supported the transfer of power to Adolf Hitler in January 1933 and most of the steps taken by the Nazi regime to enforce the dictatorship. The regime was also able to partly win over and partly neutralize the workers. The " Volksgemeinschaft " propagated by the NSDAP developed across social classes and milieu, so that contemporary historians today speak of a dictatorship of consensus and consent.
The communists had expected a temporary anti-communist terrorist regime since the end of the 1920s, prepared themselves for party bans and persecution and built structures for continued work underground. The Nazi regime feared the KPD as the most determined opponent and therefore banned it first, took around half of its 360,000 members to concentration camps and murdered around 25,000 of them. That is why only isolated small groups exercised anti-fascist resistance in the German Reich. Nevertheless, resistance cells kept forming and trying to network. In 1942, the Red Orchestra also brought in civil forces. A KPD cell around Anton Saefkow and Franz Jacob came into contact in 1944 with the conspirators around Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg , with the Social Democrats Adolf Reichwein and Julius Leber . The SPD, too, limited itself to a "strategy of survival" after being banned and tearing off its international connections.
The SPD leadership in exile Sopade maintained the demarcation of communists and continued to equate them with the carriers of National Socialism. In 1934, in the Prague Manifesto , it softened its anti-communist course and declared the unification of the working class to be a historically imposed obligation, but at the same time forbade all agreements with communists on joint action against the Nazi regime. The Socialist Workers' International (SAI), which was influenced by the SPD, also leaned differently than z. For example, the Italian or French socialists continued to abandon any cooperation with communists and forbade their member parties to participate in the WKKF, in which communists played a leading role.
The KPD's Brussels conference in 1935 reaffirmed the Comintern's popular front course. In the same year, leading communists, social democrats, socialists and left-wing liberals met in Paris to prepare a Popular Front Committee in the Lutetia district . There the writer Heinrich Mann took over the chairmanship. As a result, a small German Popular Front dominated by Social Democrats was formed in Germany . However, she refused to work with the KPD leadership and to be supported by them. In 1938/39 the Secret State Police (Gestapo) crushed the group.
Many former Hitler and Nazi opponents who did not belong to any left party and who did not call themselves "anti-fascists" are now counted among the anti-fascist resistance: for example the Edelweiss pirates , helpers for persecuted Jews, partisan groups in areas occupied by the Nazi regime, the Participants in the February strike in the Netherlands in 1941, the Jewish resistance , such as the Jewish fighting organization in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and rebels in the Nazi extermination camps .
Some prominent artists and writers have been placing their work in the context of international anti-fascism and anti-militarism since the 1920s . Since 1933 you had been persecuted by the Nazi regime. While those who stayed in Germany or areas of Europe occupied by it often chose “inner emigration” in order to survive, many artists who had fled abroad advocated fighting art based on the “principle of anti-fascist solidarity”. “Art and literature in exile” is therefore classified as “anti-fascist” to this day. Well-known works by German anti-fascists were, for example, Lion Feuchtwanger's Die Geschwister Oppermann (1933) and Exil (1940), Bertolt Brecht's Fear and Misery of the Third Reich (1937 ff.), The Unstoppable Rise of Arturo Ui (1941) and the novels The Seventh Cross ( 1942) and Transit (1944) by Anna Seghers . In the German post-war period, these authors received opposing views. Today, many anti-fascist works are part of recognized German-language literature and European culture.
In France , the Catholic monarchist Action française had existed since 1898 , which bore the characteristics of fascism. In addition, after 1918 the Faisceau party , which was based on Italy's fascists , the peasant Comités de défense paysanne , the war veterans association Croix de Feu , the youth association Jeunesses patriotes and the national union of war participants. In the 1920s they formed an action alliance called the Front National . On February 6, 1934, they marched together to the seat of the National Assembly in Paris to overthrow the new center-left government of Édouard Daladier . In a bloody street battle with the police, up to 25 marchers were killed and around 1,000 injured. Daladier then resigned. Against the following center-right coalition, which included the fascists, all left and bourgeois parties and trade unions agreed on a general strike that took place on February 12th. From this emerged the anti-fascist popular front alliance between SFIO (socialists), KPF , a left-liberal party and the anarchists. This won the parliamentary elections in May 1936 and urged the Comintern to turn away from the social fascism thesis.
After Germany defeated France in the Western campaign in 1940 , French anti-fascists concentrated on the fight against the Nazi-dependent Vichy regime and the German occupation. Patriotic motives also played a strong role here, as France had previously had a democratic tradition and non-fascist pre-war governments.
In Great Britain , the Imperial Fascist League and the British Fascisti were established in 1920 . However, they remained small and meaningless. In 1931 Oswald Mosley founded the fascist New Party , which was exposed to strong anti-fascist resistance from the start. Many supporters of the Labor Party and the Trades Union Congress also took part , although their leaderships rejected anti-fascist violence.
In 1933 Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists (BUF). Their first meeting on April 30, 1933 successfully disrupted thousands of British Jews from London's West End. For self-defense they formed the Zionist League of Jewish Youth and the Jewish United Defense Association . The ex-Servicemen's Movement against Fascism (EMAF), formed by Jewish veterans in 1936 , on the other hand, sought to attack British fascism in its core areas. This resulted in the Legion of the Blue and White Shirts . Other British Jews joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) despite ideological reservations because it wanted to "take the fight to the fascists". This is what the Independent Labor Party tried to do after it had initially debated with the BUF. The small Socialist League also acted strictly anti-fascist . There were also street gangs of Jewish youth, for example in Whitechapel (London) . In September 1934 a crowd of 120,000 anti-fascists overwhelmed a BUF gathering in London's Hyde Park . Anti-fascists also succeeded in doing this in smaller cities. In 1936 they prevented 57 out of 117 BUF conferences. They were helped by British law at the time, which allowed the police to ban events when there was a risk of rioting.
As a result of Stalin's swing to popular front policy, the CPGB welcomed parliamentarism and offered the Labor Party a coalition. This refused, but the CPGB then remained aloof from direct actions against BUF meetings. In October 1936 the BUF wanted to march through the Jewish district of London's East End . The Jewish People's Council Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism (JPC), EMAF and other Jewish organizations launched a petition against it, which received 77,000 signatures in two days. After the government rejected a ban on the BUF march, the initiators mobilized for a blockade against it. The CPGB did not want to participate. Only after massive protest from within her own ranks did she agree to the blockade. On October 4, 1936, around 100,000 anti-fascists took part and, with coordinated resistance, forced the police in the battle on Cable Street to break up the march of around 6,000 BUF supporters.
The Second Spanish Republic , founded in 1931, was fought from the beginning by the power of the right wing. The unsuccessful attempted coup by some anti-republican military in August 1932 was followed by a shift to the right by the government in 1934. This suppressed a general strike and the Asturian miners' strike with the help of the army under General Francisco Franco , which killed over a thousand people. At that time, the greeting with the raised clenched fist became a sign of anti-fascist protest. In the following parliamentary elections in July 1936, a popular front of liberals, socialists and communists triumphed. Thereupon Franco started another military coup, for which he also relied on the fascist Falange . He also received massive military and financial aid from the fascists in Italy and the Nazi regime in Germany. Mussolini sent the Corpo Truppe Volontarie (CTV) with 35,000 men and heavy weapons.
During Franco's advance on the capital Madrid, the socialist trade union federation Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) and the anarchist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) agreed on a joint armed resistance to save the republic and at the same time initiate a social revolution, initially in space Aragon , Catalonia and Valencia . Antifascism was understood and practiced there as a revolutionary, under the conditions imposed by the civil war, also violent advocacy for radical, socialist democracy in all areas of life. Foreign volunteers formed international brigades to support them. The unexpected victory of the Garibaldi battalion over the CTV in the Battle of Guadalajara (March 1937) attracted further supporters. The call No pasaran! (“You will not get through!”) Became the slogan of the anti-fascists. An important reason for their success was the non-partisan, 15-member Central Committee of the anti-fascist militias of Catalonia , which was founded on July 21, 1936 and represented all the forces involved.
As a result of the Comintern's shift towards popular front policy, the Partido Comunista de España (PCE) , which had hitherto been insignificant, formed a coalition with the socialists and liberals in 1936, but rejected their direct steps towards the expropriation of large landowners and large companies as premature and thus separated armed antifascism from social revolution. The smaller Trotskyist Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista (POUM), on the other hand, supported the CNT. Reluctantly, under pressure from the Comintern, Stalin supported the anti-fascist forces in Spain. He sent advisers and delivered (often outdated and unusable) military goods. Since only the Soviet Union and Mexico supported the anti-fascists materially, the PCE gained influence and took over the organization of the International Brigades, in which around 40,000 people from 53 countries took part.
During the Great Terror in the Soviet Union, the Soviet military intelligence service GRU and agents of the NKVD carried out attacks on anti-Stalinist leftists in Spain or took them to secret prisons. In May 1937, the Catalan police, close to the PCE, confiscated the Barcelona switchboard, triggering fighting with CNT and POUM supporters for days. Although the conflict was settled, the anti-fascist unity of the months before broke up. This contributed significantly to Franco's victory (February 1939).
Up to 3,500 of the roughly 5,000 German brigadists were KPD members. After Franco's victory, most of the brigadists did not return to their countries of origin, where they would have been persecuted, but moved to France. There they were later interned in camps by the Vichy regime and extradited to the Gestapo. Many who managed to flee joined the French Resistance .
Germany since 1945
Anti-fascist action committees
The immediate post-war period in Germany was determined by a basic anti-fascist consensus in which the political goals of the Allies conspicuously coincided with those of surviving anti-fascists from the concentration camps, groups in exile and representatives of the workers' movement in re-admitted or newly admitted parties. The Buchenwald Manifesto formulated this consensus in April 1945 as an "oath":
“The destruction of Nazism with all its roots is our watchword. Building a new world of peace is our goal. We owe that to our murdered comrades, their relatives. "
The denazification was considered urgent task. To this end, anti-fascist action committees , then abbreviated as Antifa, spontaneously formed in many German cities . they wanted
- dissolve and ban all organizational, institutional and cultural remnants of the Nazi regime, including the entire armed forces ,
- severely punish the main culprits in politics, the military, administration and business,
- Remove National Socialists and their collaborators from all public offices and replace them with reliable anti-fascists,
- forbid all fascist propaganda,
- educate about the causes, crimes and goals of fascism.
Some German states that were formed in the next few years included the demand for a ban on the Wehrmacht in their constitutions.
According to Western research, there were at least 137, according to GDR research, at least 500 local and regional anti-fascist groups in the four zones of occupation. They emerged independently of the traditional parties and trade unions, in some cases already in the final phase of the Nazi regime or shortly afterwards, as provisional administrative bodies and carriers of a reorganization in Germany. Their carriers were mostly workers, but also commoners and left-wing Christians. They organized themselves as local self-help initiatives, works committees and offshoots of the National Committee Free Germany that was created during the war . Based on the formative experience that the Nazi regime could not be stopped and overthrown domestically, they wanted to overcome the previous split in the German labor movement into communists and social democrats on a grassroots basis and promote the basic anti-fascist consensus towards the other Germans and the allies. To this end, they voluntarily offered their military administrations cooperation in building a democratic Germany. The US secret services recognized this as a “new social phenomenon” which contradicted their assumption of a politically indifferent German population completely dominated by Nazi ideology. They recommended that these “most active forces in Germany's political life” should not be suppressed, but that they should be used to build a reliable administrative apparatus. In many cases, the Antifa committees initially took on the role of operational and local administrations that provided food, accommodation, repairs and the replacement of officials. The Western Allies used them without a say as informers and advisors to the apolitical administrations they set up. In the Soviet Zone they were subordinated to a party and state apparatus dominated by the KPD. So they were given no chance to help shape the structure of society in line with their goals. Unlike the 1918/19 council movement, they could not initiate a political mass movement, found no uniform form of organization and no effective concept for unifying the workers' movement.
In the summer of 1945 the military administrations re-admitted the traditional parties and trade union organizations. First the US, then the British administration banned the anti-groups again. Because of the high proportion of socialist and communist officers from the Resistance , the French administration followed them later. The Soviet authorities called for the dissolution of the anti-fascist initiatives, but seldom with repression measures, but through their integration and participation in the local government, the city and community committees and “bloc committees” of the “anti-fascist democratic parties”. The bans deprived them of legitimacy and supra-regional influence. In the Potsdam Agreement (August 2, 1945) the Allies agreed to share responsibility for the demilitarization , denazification, decartelization and democratization of Germany as a whole in order to structurally rule out any resurgence of fascism. By then, however, they had already renewed the old administrative units and bureaucratic structures that supported the communal trade associations in the western zones and a unity party in the Soviet Zone. In the following period, against their agreements, they preferred those centrally managed parties and associations that could best be integrated into their own economic and political system. The radical denazification and the establishment of a functioning administration quickly ran into a contradiction, which led to the abandonment of the anti-fascist consensus.
From August 1945 the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) allowed and promoted anti-fascist youth committees , which were allowed to choose their leaders themselves. They should educate as many German young people as possible in a humanistic way and win them over to the reconstruction of a democratic whole Germany. They became the germ cells of the later Free German Youth .
By joint Allied order, many city administrations were affiliated with " Committees for the Victims of Fascism " (OdF), which were authorities and political representative bodies at the same time. They provided social welfare, educated people about the Nazi regime, searched for Nazi criminals and organized commemorative events. On the initiative of politically persecuted people and the Berlin “Main Committee of Victims of Fascism”, the “Day of Victims of Fascism” was introduced on September 9, 1945, which all newly admitted parties, the Jewish community, the churches and unions in Berlin supported. Hundreds of thousands took part in this nationwide memorial day. The media at the time reported widely about it. This commemoration thus formed a “counterbalance to the widespread, diffuse feeling of the 'German catastrophe'” and a “ closing line mentality ”. In 1947, politically persecuted anti-fascists in particular founded the all-German, non-partisan association of those persecuted by the Nazi regime - the Association of Antifascists (VVN). The "Day of the Victims of Fascism" became a public holiday in the GDR.
Anti-fascist party programs
The democratic political parties that were newly or re-established from July 1945 initially had very similar anti-fascist and anti-capitalist goals and ideas. The CDU's first programs rejected the capitalist economic system right from the start, calling instead for Christian socialism , state economic planning, extensive rights of co-determination for workers and the socialization of mining and the metal industry. The demands of the SPD and KPD were similar. The latter emphasized the need to complete civil liberties and refused to “force the Soviet system on Germany”. The general lesson from fascism was that a concentration of power in monopoly capitalism must be made permanently impossible. Therefore the expropriation, at least the unbundling of large corporations, state interventions and cross-party cooperation towards this goal were largely consensus between the KPD, SPD and CDU.
This cooperation was prevented, among other things, by ongoing political and ideological contradictions and the mutually exclusive claims to leadership of the SPD in the western zones and the KPD in the Soviet Zone. The SPD chairman Kurt Schumacher represented a strict anti-communism and rejected coalitions with the KPD and the CDU among the anti-fascists Karl Arnold and Jakob Kaiser who were persecuted before 1945 . The group of Moscow communists in exile led by Walter Ulbricht initially rejected attempts by the Eastern SPD to create an anti-fascist unity party in order to build up their organization for later hegemony.
Adenauer era in West Germany
In 1948, the British and US authorities banned the OdF day for Berlin's western sectors. The West Berlin magistrate did not participate and instead organized a small memorial service in Plötzensee, the place where several members of the civil resistance were executed. In 1948, for the first time in West Germany and West Berlin , a “ day of national mourning” was celebrated as a day of remembrance for the German people who died in the war.
Under the geopolitical sign of the formation of a western or eastern bloc from different economic and political systems, anti-communism has now established itself as the determining political concept in western Germany and anti-fascism in eastern Germany. Anti-communism became a state doctrine in the West ( Karl Dietrich Bracher ). Anti-fascism got the same meaning in the east. This resulted in consequences for dealing with the ethnic and Nazi heritage. Anti-communism formed an intersection between the Nazi regime and western allied anti-communist politics. The continuation of anti-communism, unlike the traditionally closely linked anti-Semitism that was compromised by mass crimes, enabled a continuity that was socially popular and politically desired in the Adenauer era . Anti-communism supported and legitimized the suppression of the Nazi past, as it took place at all levels with the transition from punishment to pardon and reinstatement of those exposed to the Nazis. According to rough minimum information, more than 430,000 people who had been dismissed as Nazi-charged were reinstated by 1950, including over 200,000 civil servants. 1951 followed with the " 131 Law " a massive boost of 98 percent of the remaining ex-National Socialists as returnees in the civil service or as pension recipients. According to Andreas Wirsching , director of the Institute for Contemporary History , 60 to 70 percent of senior officials in the Federal Ministry of the Interior remained in office after the end of the Nazi regime. All those pardoned, reinstated, and those who received good pensions were determined anti-communists. The compensation of the Nazi victims, who were politically persecuted mostly left-wing anti-fascists, was not very popular among the majority population. Only a fraction was compensated, often after years of grueling procedures.
Western anti-communism led to the ban of the KPD in the Federal Republic (1956). Their youth organization, the FDJ , had been banned as early as 1951 after the criminal offenses " high treason ", "endangering the state" and " treason " had been revised with the First Criminal Law Amendment Act ("Blitzgesetz"). Criminal offenses from the time of the Nazi regime, which the Allies had initially suspended, were reintroduced. The Federal Republic was now within the West - apart from the one-party dictatorships in Portugal and Spain - the only European state with a ban on the Communist Party and the resulting persecution of Communists. At times, 1.2 million mail items from the GDR were "stopped" and checked every month. In the 1950s and 1960s, there were around 80 bans of actual or alleged communist organizations, at least 125,000 trials against communists, left-wing socialists and other people suspected of left-wing sympathies, and far more than 7,000 prison sentences. Those affected were often persecuted as anti-fascists under the Nazi regime. The most important organization of those persecuted by the Nazis, the anti-fascist VVN, was also exposed to repression. Although it did not succeed in banning it, its members were exposed to professional bans and other forms of public ostracism.
This also continued when, in the course of normalization of relations between the two German states with the DKP, it became possible to found a new communist party in West Germany. At the same time, the marginalization and repression of the left, but above all of communists, were continued through a “ radical decree ” (1972), which made it possible to prohibit occupations. This was accompanied by the observation of suspects by West German intelligence services and the public ostracism of people with an anti-fascist self-image as "communist influenced" and "GDR-controlled". The VVN as the only nationwide cross-party anti-fascist organization did not disintegrate and was able to continue its activities.
The continuity of Nazi national community attitudes in the population beyond 1945 and the need for specialist experts also ensured that former NSDAP members and followers continued to exist in the GDR. There was, however, no "flood back" into the state apparatus like in the West. Rather, they were denied "as a rule the return to the area of internal administration, the police and judicial apparatus or as teachers in the school service" due to the state's anti-fascism.
An east-west difference is also reflected in the judicial handling of Nazi crimes. “12,890 legally binding judgments with around 17 million inhabitants in the GDR ... contrast with a little more than 6,500 legally binding judgments in the FRG with a good 60 million inhabitants.” It should be noted that “many alleged Nazi criminals have sought and found refuge in West Germany and in the west old Nazis successfully thwarted entire proceedings by using tricks ”, as Heiner Lichtenstein stated. In a more recent study (2016), the historian Klaus Bästlein affirmed the consistently higher degree of prosecution of Nazi crimes in the former GDR: “The East sentenced more than twice as many people for Nazi homicide than the West . ”According to Helmut Kramer, none of the approximately 60,000 judicial Nazi death sentences were atoned for by the Forum of Judicial History in West Germany. Ingo Müller came to the general conclusion that the nazis, however burdened, were naturally more afraid of the Soviets and therefore came to the western zones by themselves, especially since the Soviet military authorities and then the GDR found an anti-fascist “zero solution” in the Had practiced the question of reinstatement, as it was "rejected early by the Western Allies".
In May 1990, the Bund der Antifaschisten (BdA) was founded in the GDR . The East German BdA groups joined forces with the Association of Persecuted Persons of the Nazi Regime - Association of Antifascists (VVN-BdA), which has existed since 1971 for non-members of the experience generation - to form an all-German anti-fascist organization.
Since the Spiegel Affair in 1962, an extra-parliamentary opposition (APO) emerged in the Federal Republic of Germany , which pushed ahead with the confrontation with the unprocessed Nazi past and uncovered various structural, ideological and personal continuities during the Nazi era. Among other things, she fought against the resurgence of many former National Socialists in politics, justice and administration, the closing line mentality at the Auschwitz trials , the newly founded NPD , the emergency laws , the Vietnam War in the USA and the authoritarian nature of many universities. To this end, she developed new, anti-authoritarian forms of action, with which the VVN-BdA, the DGB-Jugend , GEW-Jugend , Naturfreunde , Jusos , young democrats / young leftists , socialist German workers' youth and others showed solidarity.
In the 1970s, organized and non-organized anti-fascists took part in the struggle against professional bans (from 1972), against the Augusto Pinochet regime in Chile (from 1973), for the Carnation Revolution in Portugal (1974), for the “30. Anniversary of the Liberation from Hitler Fascism and War ” (May 8, 1975), against Bundeswehr contacts with representatives of the Wehrmacht, the Waffen SS and the HIAG (for example in the 1976 Rudel affair ). Protests against and blockades of NPD events had already reached tens of thousands of participants between 1966 and 1969. After the "Germany meeting" of the NPD (June 17, 1977), which was not prevented, around 40,000 counter-demonstrators forced a ban on another NPD march in Frankfurt am Main in 1979.
In May 1980 the association of those persecuted by the Nazi regime - Association of Antifascists (VVN-BdA) organized the congress "How Fascism Arises - and Is Prevented" in Mannheim. There Reinhard Kühnl declared that anti-fascism, together with the fight for peace, had the greatest potential for alliances. For example, anti-fascists launched the Stop Strauss! Campaign for the 1980 federal election . against Franz Josef Strauss's candidacy for chancellor . He was seen as the “exponent and leader of the most reactionary forces in big business, politics and the military”, who would dismantle democratic civil and trade union rights and pursue a confrontational foreign policy. The campaign was supported by a wide range of forces and contributed to Strauss's defeat.
Since Helmut Kohl became chancellor (from October 1982) right-wing extremists increasingly attacked the German culture of remembrance during the Nazi era. On the 50th anniversary of the National Socialist " seizure of power " (January 30, 1983) around 100,000 anti-fascists demonstrated for "Never again fascism - never again war! No new nuclear missiles! ”. The VVN-BdA participated in the Krefeld appeal and various actions of the peace movement against the NATO double decision . The Jusos discussed the topic of anti-fascism and decided to integrate it with new social movements in a strategy for the democratization of all areas of life in order to remove the basis of all types of fascism. On the 40th anniversary of the end of the war (May 8, 1985), hundreds of thousands followed a call signed by 4,000 celebrities to mark this date as the “ Day of Liberation from Fascism and War”. They contradicted the national conservatives , who, like Alfred Dregger (CDU), saw the end of the war as "one of the greatest catastrophes for Europe", and Helmut Kohl, who declared his visit to the Bitburg-Kolmeshöhe war cemetery with US President Ronald Reagan on May 5th as " Reconciliation over the graves ”was also understood by SS and Wehrmacht members (see Bitburg controversy ).
Since German reunification, there have been attempts to define the term anti-fascism as an allegedly exclusive “communist use of language” (which should always be put in quotation marks), which communist parties “defined”. In this perspective, the terms fascism and, to a greater extent, anti-fascism have been avoided as “GDR propaganda language” since the fall of the GDR. Instead of fascism , the demagogic self-designation National Socialism , the term Third Reich or the personalizing Hitler are used. According to the political scientist Wolfgang Wippermann , this linguistic usage is “a linguistic special way”, because fascism is “still used” in both Europe and the USA . In Germany, too, anti-fascism is used approvingly in publications by the federal agency for political education or in Bavarian radio.
Other states since 1945
In 1972 Jean-Marie Le Pen and representatives of the Ordre Noveau founded the right-wing extremist Front National (FN) party, which was named after its predecessor and based on the fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI). She replaced the lost fight for the preservation of the French colony Algeria with the fight against North African immigrants and multiculturalism. The racist ethnopluralism in the Nouvelle Droite , created around 1978, served this purpose . Since then, right-wing extremist skinheads have targeted Arab and North African immigrants with the La Chasse aux Beurs campaign. In 1983 they murdered 23 people.
As a result of these crimes, French anti-fascism, which had not mobilized the masses since May 1968 in Paris , grew again . In 1982 colored youths from the Parisian banlieues formed self-defense groups based on the model of the Black Panther Party in the USA. In 1983 they held a march for equality against racism. This resulted in the non-governmental organization SOS Racisme , which is close to the left wing of the Parti Socialiste . However, this increasingly represented an anti-immigration policy. In 1985 radical left-wing punks formed an anti-fascist group that violently expelled right-wing extremist skinheads from their neighborhoods. They were close to the earlier Situationists and the Section carrément anti Le Pen (SCALP) founded in the same year . In 1986 anarchist students founded the group RÉFLEX against the FN, whose magazine Reflexes still exists today. Another group, named after the Francs-tireurs et partisans (FTP) of the Resistance, carried out bomb attacks on the offices of the FN and the houses of their representatives. Various anarchist groups formed the No Pasaran network in 1992 to coordinate anti-fascist actions. It was also inspired by parallel efforts by the autonomists in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
The broad anti-fascist war consensus prevented British fascists in London in 1945 not because of committing bombings and arson attacks on synagogues and British Jews with anti-Semitic posters ( Jews must go! , War on the Jews! Attack) as alleged polluters and profiteers of war and post-war poverty . 14 fascist organizations banned during the war were re-admitted, including the British League of Ex-Servicemen and Women . In contrast, the militant anti-fascist group was founded in 1946, made up of Jewish veterans and non-Jews. She organized primarily direct actions against fascist meetings, but also education and legislative initiatives. It grew rapidly and became so popular that other groups adopted its disruptive methods. In 1947, the BUF therefore moved its meetings to shielded interiors. But organized anti-fascists used forged tickets to gain access and forced over half of the meetings to be suspended. This also succeeded after the BUF held its conferences under false names. Disguised 43 Group members stole BUF documents from Mosley's house and exposed his contacts with British Conservatives. By 1949 they achieved that the BUF no longer called itself Fascists and shrank significantly. In 1950 the 43 Group therefore dissolved.
From 1954, nationalism, racism and fascism grew again in Great Britain as a result of decolonization and waves of immigration from former British colonies. Self-help groups organized against the Keep Britain White campaign by foreign workers from the Caribbean. The Movement for Colonial Freedom was formed against the League of Empire Loyalists founded by Mosley supporters . In 1959, Mosley returned to politics. From his new British National Party (BNP), which primarily fought the movement against apartheid , the National Socialist Movement emerged in 1962 , from which the British Movement later emerged. In contrast, anti-fascists spontaneously formed the Yellow Star Movement (YSM) by wearing Jewish stars as in the 1940s as a sign of solidarity with attacked Jews. The YSM soon split over the issue of violence: the nonviolent wing joined the London Anti-Fascist Committee . The militants formed the 62 Group , which followed the methods of the 43 Group and achieved similar successes.
In 1967 representatives of the Racial Preservation Society and other racists founded the British National Front (BNF). As a result of a hate speech by Tory MP Enoch Powell , she started the Stop the Asia Invasion campaign against colored immigrants, mainly from South Asia, which culminated in the 1974 march Send them back . This was successfully blocked by around 1500 anti-fascists. When police stepped in, Kevin Gately was trampled to death. After that, the NF gained enormous popularity as did anti-fascist self-defense groups, including the Southall Youth Movement , which was based on the Black Power movement in the USA, the nationwide Asian Youth Movement , the United Black Youth League , the Brixton Black Women's Group and Blacks against State Harassment . In 1977, these groups succeeded in blocking a march of the BNF with 6,000 participants through the multicultural district of Lewisham (London) and, with a coordinated approach, put them to flight. This resulted in the mass movement of the Anti-Nazi League (ANL) with hundreds of thousands of supporters, which influenced elections and carried out direct actions against the BNF.
The multifaceted Autonomia movement emerged in Italy in the 1970s . The ideas were provided by Marxist theorists such as Cornelius Castoriadis , Raya Dunayevskaya , Cyril Lionel Robert James and Mario Tronti . Associated groups demarcate themselves from the left-wing parties with a strictly grassroots and anti-authoritarian practice concept and claim a self-determined coexistence in the present. Groups like the city Indians organized rent strikes, squatting and forms of self-determined buying behavior. In 1976 new currents of radical feminism organized the first Take back the Night marches against all forms of sexual violence against women.
- Complete overview
- Mark Bray: Antifa. The Anti-Fascist Handbook. Melville House, London 2017, ISBN 978-1-61219-703-6 .
- Ulrich Schneider : Antifascism. PapyRossa, Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-89438-543-9 .
- Frank Deppe , Georg Fülberth , Rainer Rilling (eds.): Antifaschismus. Distel Publishing House. Heilbronn 1996, ISBN 3-929348-14-4 .
- Peter Brandt , Ulrich Schulze-Marmeling (Hrsg.): Antifaschismus - Ein Lesebuch. German voices against National Socialism and right-wing extremism from 1922 to the present. LitPol-Verlagsgesellschaft, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-88279-030-X .
- Until 1945
- Bernd Langer : Antifascist Action: History of a Left-Wing Movement. 2nd edition, Unrast, Münster 2015, ISBN 3-897-71581-3 .
- Ulrich Schneider, Jean Cardoen: Antifascist Resistance in Europe 1922–1945. Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-89438-589-7 .
- Hermann Weber, Jakov Drabkin, Bernhard H. Bayerlein, Aleksandr Galkin (eds.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I: Overviews, analyzes, discussions. De Gruyter, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-11-030098-7 .
- Margot Pikarski (Ed.): Gestapo reports on the anti-fascist resistance struggle of the KPD from 1933 to 1945. Dietz, Berlin (GDR) 1989
- Josef Spiegel: The KPD's concept of fascism 1929–1933. An investigation with special consideration of the communist press. Lit Verlag, Münster 1986, ISBN 3-88660-285-0 .
- Thomas Bremer (ed.): European literature against fascism 1922–1945. Beck, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-406-31597-6 .
- Peter Altmann, Heinz Brüdigam , Barbara Mausbach-Bromberger, Max Oppenheimer : The German anti-fascist resistance 1933–1945. In pictures and documents. Frankfurt am Main 1975
- Heinz Karl, Erika Kücklich (Hrsg.): The Antifascist Action - Documentation and Chronicle, May 1932 to January 1933. Dietz-Verlag, Berlin (GDR) 1965
- SBZ and GDR
- Harald Schmid : "We anti-fascists". On the tension between generational experience and political ideology in the GDR , in: Harald Schmid, Justyna Krzymianowska (Eds.), Political Memory. History and collective identity, Würzburg 2007, pp. 150–168.
- Jeanette Michelmann: Activists from the very beginning. The Antifa in the Soviet zone of occupation. Böhlau, Cologne 2002, ISBN 3412046027 .
- Manfred Agethen, Eckhard Jesse , Ehrhart Neubert : The abused anti-fascism. GDR state doctrine and the lie of the German left. Freiburg 2002, ISBN 3-451-28017-5 .
- Annette Leo , Peter Reif-Spirek: Heroes, perpetrators and traitors. Studies on GDR anti-fascism. Metropol, Berlin 1999
- Jürgen Danyel: The shared past. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002642-1 .
- Horst Schöppner: Antifa means attack. Militant anti-fascism in the 80s. Unrast, Münster 2015, ISBN 978-3-89771-823-4 .
- Klaus Kinner : right-wing extremism and anti-fascism. Dietz, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-320-02015-3 .
- Robert Erlinghagen: The discussion about the concept of anti-fascism since 1989/90. Argument, 1997, ISBN 3886196437 .
- Hans Coppi: Antifascism. In: Historical-Critical Dictionary of Marxism Volume 1, Argument, Hamburg 1994, Sp. 326–338.
- Antonia Grunenberg : Antifascism - A German Myth. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1993, ISBN 978-3499131790 .
- Thomas Doerry: Antifascism in the Federal Republic. From the anti-fascist consensus in 1945 to the present. Frankfurt am Main 1980.
- Jens Späth: Antifascism. Concept, history and field of research from a Western European perspective , in: Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte , February 4, 2019
- Ulrich Schneider: Antifascism. Cologne 2014, p. 8 f.
- Gerhard Strauss, Gisela Harras, Ulrike Haß: Controversial words from agitation to Zeitgeist: A lexicon for public use of language. (1989) De Gruyter, Berlin 2010, ISBN 3-110-12078-X , p. 155 f.
- Sven Reichardt: Fascist combat leagues. Böhlau, 2nd edition, Vienna / Cologne 2009, ISBN 3412203807 , p. 507 ; Andreas Graf (ed.): Anarchists against Hitler: anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists, council communists in resistance and exile. Lukas Verlag, 2001, ISBN 3-931-83623-1 , p. 99f.
- Mark Bray: Antifa. 2017, pp. 11–13.
- Clemens Zimmermann: Media in National Socialism: Germany 1933–1945, Italy 1922–1943, Spain 1936–1951. Böhlau, Vienna 2007, ISBN 3-205-77586-4 , p. 114.
- Giuliano Procacci, Friederike Hausmann: History of Italy and the Italians. Beck, Munich 1989, ISBN 3406339867 , p. 371
- Hans Maier: Collected Writings Volume II: Political Religions. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 3406562167 , p. 127 .
- Silvano Longhi: The Jews and the Resistance to Fascism in Italy (1943-1945). Lit Verlag, Münster 2010, ISBN 3-643-10887-7 , p. 65 f. and note 6 .
- Silvano Longhi: The Jews and the Resistance to Fascism in Italy (1943-1945). Münster 2010, p. 12 .
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 314, fn. 246 .
- Peter Haferstroh: Imperialism and Fascism. In: Helga Grebing, Klaus Kinner (ed.): Workers' Movement and Fascism. Klartext, Essen 1990, ISBN 3-88474-146-2 , pp. 96-100
- Journal of History, Volume 30, Issues 7–12, Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin (East) 1982, p. 832.
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 1 f.
- Marcel Bois: Communists against Hitler and Stalin. Klartext, 2nd edition, Berlin 2016, p. 361.
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 238 f.
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 242
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 76 f.
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 1109, fn. 188 ; Martin Sabrow: Erich Honecker: The life before. Beck, Munich 2016, p. 167 .
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 314
- Werner Loh et al. (Ed.): Fascism controversial. Culture of reflection in research, teaching and practice. De Gruyter / Oldenbourg, Munich 2003, ISBN 3828202381 , p. 233
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 319 and p. 335–341.
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 124 ff.
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, pp. 136–139
- Norman M. Naimark: Flammender Hass: Ethnic cleansing in the 20th century. Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3406517579 , p. 117
- Volker Ullrich: The revolution of 1918/19. Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 340656254X , pp. 44–118, especially pp. 76 and 115.
- Erwin Könnemann, Gerhard Schulze: Der Kapp-Lüttwitz-Ludendorff-Putsch: Documents. Olzog, 2002, p. 496
- Bernhard Sauer: Black Reichswehr and Fememorde. A milieu study on right-wing radicalism in the Weimar Republic. Berlin 2004
- Mark Bray: Antifa. 2017, pp. 17–21
- Maurizio Bach, Stefan Breuer: Fascism as a movement and regime: Italy and Germany in comparison. P. 26 .
- Bernd Langer: Antifaschistische Aktion , Münster 2015, pp. 15–24
- Bernd Langer: Antifaschistische Aktion , Münster 2015, pp. 24–32
- Mike Schmeitzner (Ed.): Criticism of totalitarianism from the left. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 3-525-36910-7 , p. 122 f.
- Stefan Vogt: National Socialism and Social Democracy. The Social Democratic Young Rights 1918–1945. Bonn 2006, p. 14, 455.
- Marcel Bois: Communists against Hitler and Stalin. Berlin 2016, p. 355 and fn. 43
- Bernd Langer: Antifaschistische Aktion , Münster 2015, pp. 34–40
- Carsten Voigt: Combat leagues of the workers' movement: The Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold and the Red Front Fighter League in Saxony 1924-1933. Böhlau, Vienna 2009, ISBN 3-412-20449-8 , pp. 83-97 .
- Peter Brandt: Antifascism and the workers' movement. Structure, expression, politics in Bremen 1945/46. Hamburg 1976, p. 32.
- Marcel Bois: Communists against Hitler and Stalin. Berlin 2016, p. 360 f.
- Ulrich Schneider: Antifascism. Cologne 2014, p. 18.
- Kurt Pätzold, Manfred Weißbecker (ed.): Keywords and battle calls Volume 1: From two centuries of German history. Militzke Verlag, 2002, ISBN 3-861-89248-0 , pp. 205 f.
- Carsten Voigt: Kampfbünde der Arbeiterbew Movement , 2009, p. 184 f. and 509 .
- Bert Hoppe: In Stalin's allegiance: Moscow and the KPD 1928–1933. Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, p. 186 .
- Marcel Bois: Communists against Hitler and Stalin. Berlin 2016, pp. 360–363 and fn. 85
- Mike Schmeitzner: Kurt Schumacher's concept of totalitarianism. In: ders. (Ed.): Critique of totalitarianism from the left: German discourses in the 20th century. Göttingen 2004, p. 255.
- Mark Bray: Antifa. 2017, p. 23 f.
- Wolfgang Benz : The fight against National Socialism before 1933. In: Federal Center for Political Education (Hrsg.): Information on political education , issue 243 (2003).
- Siegfried Grundmann: Einstein's file. Science and politics - Einstein's time in Berlin. 2nd edition, Berlin 2004, p. 220 ff.
- Bernd Langer: Antifaschistische Aktion , Münster 2015, pp. 68–73.
- Carsten Voigt: Kampfbünde der Arbeiterbew Movement , 2009, p. 544.
- Marcel Bois: Communists against Hitler and Stalin. Berlin 2016, pp. 355–357
- Marcel Bois: Communists against Hitler and Stalin. Berlin 2016, pp. 349–354 and 363–387
- Mark Bray: Antifa. 2017, p. 23.
- Mark Bray: Antifa. 2017, p. 23 f.
- Frank Bajohr: The dictatorship of consent. In: Hamburg in the “Third Reich” , Göttingen 2005, pp. 69–121; Robert Gellately: Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: Three dictators who led Europe into the abyss. Bergisch Gladbach 2007, p. 413 ff.
- Hermann Graml: Resistance. in: Wolfgang Benz, Hermann Graml, Hermann Weiß (eds.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism . 3rd edition, Munich 1998, pp. 309–321, here p. 309.
- Hermann Graml: Resistance , in: Wolfgang Benz, Hermann Graml, Hermann Weiß: Enzyklopädie des Nationalsozialismus , Munich 1998, 3rd edition, pp. 309–321, here pp. 309–311.
- Reinhard Kühnl: The German Fascism in Sources and Documents , Cologne 1975, p. 408 f.
- Ursula Langkau-Alex: History of the Committee for the Preparation of a German Popular Front Volume 1. Berlin 2004, pp. 10 and 99.
- Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern I , Berlin 2013, p. 1134.
- Jens Gmeiner, Markus Schulz: German Popular Front without a people - manifestos of resistance. In: Johanna Klatt, Robert Lorenz (Hrsg.): Manifests: Past and present of the political appeal. Bielefeld 2011, pp. 169–198, here p. 177 f.
- Ursula Langkau-Alex: History of the Committee for the Preparation of a German Popular Front Volume 2. Berlin 2004, p. 294 ff.
- Mark Bray: Antifa. London 2017, p. 37.
- Jost Hermand : Culture in dark times. Nazi fascism, internal emigration, exile. Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2010, p. 177.
- Jost Hermand: Culture in Dark Times , Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2010, p. 216.
- Jost Hermand: Culture in Dark Times , Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2010, list of literature.
- Michael Minden: Modern German Literature. Cambridge (UK) 2011, p. 204.
- Konstantin Kaiser : Literature and Resistance. The political nature and tradition of the concept of resistance. (PDF)
- Frank Pfeiffer: A Brief World History of Fascism , edition assemblage, Münster 2013, p. 90 f.
- Bernd Langer: Antifaschistische Aktion , Münster 2015, p. 127 f.
- Bernhard Nolz, Wolfgang Popp: memory work. Basis of a culture of peace. Lit Verlag, Münster 2000, ISBN 3-825-84611-3 , p. 81 .
- Mark Bray: Antifa. London 2017, pp. 26–28.
- Mark Bray: Antifa. London 2017, pp. 28-30.
- Mark Bray: Antifa. London 2017, pp. 31–34.
- Felix Morrow: Revolution and counterrevolution in Spain. Gervinus, Essen 1986, ISBN 3-88634-050-3 , p. 92 .
- Mark Bray: Antifa. London 2017, p. 34 f.
- Mark Bray: Antifa. London 2017, p. 35 f.
- Walther L. Bernecker: War in Spain 1936–1939. Darmstadt 1991, p. 112.
- Lukas Kohn: The International Brigades. German Historical Museum, 2011.
- Thomas Doerry: Marxism and Antifascism: on the theoretical and political discussion of Marxism, socialism and the international workers' movement with fascism in power (1920 to 1984). Pahl-Rugenstein, Cologne 1985, p. 108; Jürgen Reulecke: 50 years after - 50 years before. Meissner's Day of 1963 and its consequences. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2014, ISBN 3-847-00336-4 , p. 223 .
- Lothar Rolke: Protest movements in the Federal Republic. An analytical social history of political contradiction. Springer, Wiesbaden 1987, ISBN 978-3-663-14332-1 , pp. 118-120 .
- Jeannette Michelmann: Activists from the very beginning. The Antifa in the Soviet zone of occupation. Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2002, p. 369 f.
- Hans Woller: Society and politics in the American zone of occupation. The Asbach and Fürth region. Munich 1986, p. 89.
- Lothar Rolke: Protest movements in the Federal Republic , Wiesbaden 1987, pp. 118-120 .
- Christoph Kleßmann : The double founding of the state. German history 1945–1955. Bonn 1984, p. 122.
- Klaus-Dietmar Henke: Political cleansing under French occupation: The denazification in Württemberg-Hohenzollern. Stuttgart 1981, p. 37 f.
- Jeannette Michelmann: The activists of the first hour. The Antifa 1945 in the Soviet zone of occupation between the occupying power and the exiled KPD. Jena 2001, p. 380 ff.
- Lothar Rolke: Protest movements in the Federal Republic , Wiesbaden 1987, pp. 121-133 .
- Michael Buddrus: Comments on youth policy in the KPD 1945/46. In: Hartmut Mehringer, Michael Schwartz, Hermann Wentker (eds.): Conquered or liberated? Germany in the international field of forces and the Soviet zone of occupation (1945/46). De Gruyter / Oldenbourg, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-486-59370-6 , p. 301 f.
- Hans Coppi , Nicole Warmbold: The second Sunday in September. On the history of the first day of remembrance for the victims of fascism. Memorial newsletter 131, pp. 12-19.
- House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany (Ed.): Market or Plan. Economic regulations in Germany 1945–1961 , Frankfurt am Main 1997, p. 134.
- Karl G. Tempel: The parties in the Federal Republic of Germany and the role of the parties in the GDR. Springer, Wiesbaden 1987, ISBN 978-3-663-09748-8 , p. 121 .
- Helga Grebing (Ed.): History of social ideas in Germany. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 978-3-322-80785-4 , p. 366 .
- Wolfgang Kruse, Eva Ochs, Arthur Schlegelmilch (ed.): Social movement and political emancipation: Studies on the history of the workers' movement and socialism. For Peter Brandt's 60th birthday. Dietz, 2008, ISBN 3-801-24184-X , p. 192.
- Lewis Joachim Edinger: Kurt Schumacher. Personality and political behavior. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 1967, ISBN 978-3-322-96265-2 , p. 348
- Karl W. Fricke: Committed to Truth: Texts from five decades on the history of the GDR. Ch.links , 2nd edition 2000, ISBN 3861532085 , p. 160 .
- Hans Coppi , Nicole Warmbold: The second Sunday in September. On the history of the first day of remembrance for the victims of fascism. Memorial newsletter 131, pp. 12-19.
- Hans Karl Rupp (ed.): The other FRG. History and Perspectives. Marburg (Lahn), p. 17; Hans-Gerd Jaschke : Arguable democracy and internal security: Basics, practice and criticism. Opladen 1991, p. 94.
- Peter Graf Kielmannsegg: After the disaster. A history of divided Germany. Berlin 2000, p. 562 f.
- Bernd-A. Rusinek : “Western research” traditions after 1945. An attempt on continuity , in: Burkhard Dietz , Ulrich Tiedau, Helmut Gabel (eds.): Griff nach dem Westen. The “West Research” of the ethnic-national sciences on north-western Europe (1919–1960) , Part 2, Münster / New York / Munich / Berlin 2003, pp. 1141–1204, here p. 1147.
- Detlef Siegfried , Time is on my side. Consumption and Politics in West German Youth Culture in the 1960s, Göttingen 2006, p. 187.
- Stephan Buchloh, “Perverse, harmful to young people, hostile to the state”. Censorship in the Adenauer era as a mirror of the social climate , Frankfurt am Main / New York 2002, p. 301.
- See e.g. B. Jang-Weon Seo, The Representation of Return. Remigration in selected autobiographies of German exiled authors , Würzburg 2004, p. 100.
- Peter Reichel , Dealing with the Past in Germany. Dealing with the Nazi dictatorship in politics and justice , Munich 2001, p. 112.
- Adolf M. Birke / Udo Wengst , The Federal Republic of Germany. Constitution, Parliament and Parties 1945–1998 , Munich 2010, p. 81.
- Hans Kratzer, Institute researches the Nazi past in authorities. How Nazis made a career after the war, Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 6, 2017, see:  .
- Peter Reichel, Dealing with the Past in Germany. Dealing with the Nazi dictatorship in politics and justice, Munich 2001, p. 97.
- Dieter Bänsch , The Fifties. Contributions to politics and culture, Tübingen 1985, p. 81.
- July 11, 1951, see e.g. B. Ernst Schumacher , A Bavarian Communist in a Double Germany: Notes by the Brecht researcher and theater critic in the GDR 1945–1991 , Munich 2007, p. 156.
- Lukas Busche, persecution of communists in the old Federal Republic. On the situation of the politically imprisoned in Wolfenbüttel prison in the 1950s and 1960s using the example of Berthold K., in: Germany Archive of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, April 29, 2016 ( online ).
- Alexander von Brünneck , Political Justice against Communists in the Federal Republic of Germany 1949–1968 , Frankfurt am Main 1979, p. 184.
- Alexander von Brünneck, Political Justice against Communists in the Federal Republic of Germany 1949–1968 , Frankfurt am Main 1979, p. 278; Somewhat newer with higher figures, too: Rolf Gössner , The forgotten Justice Victims of the Cold War. Displacement in the West - Settlement with the East? , Berlin 1998, p. 26.
- For the entire section see also: Hans Karl Rupp, Politics after Auschwitz. Starting points, conflicts, consensus. An essay on the history of the Federal Republic, Münster 2005, passim.
- Andreas Hilger , Mike Schmeitzner , Clemens Vollnhals , Sovietization or Neutrality ?: Options for Soviet Occupation Policy in Germany and Austria 1945–1955, Göttingen 2011, p. 235.
- Heiner Lichtenstein: Zeitgeschichtliche Anniversaries. Doctors trial, GDR Nazi trials, Riga ghetto, Eichmann's death sentence , tribune. Journal for Understanding Judaism, 180/2006, p. 159 ( PDF ).
- Klaus Bästlein: Zeitgeist and Justice. The prosecution of Nazi crimes in a German-German comparison and in the historical course . In: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft , 64th year 2016, Issue 1, pp. 5–28, here p. 12.
- Press and Information Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation , Bonn 2003, p. 31.
- Dörte Hinrichs / Hans Rubinich, Harsh punishments and quick pardons. The Nazi legal process of 1947 and its consequences, in: Deutschlandradio Kultur, February 14, 2007, see also:  .
- Hans Coppi : Der Bund der Antifaschisten in: Antifaschistisches Blatt , March 27, 2000.
- Ulrich Schneider: Antifascism. PapyRossa, Cologne 2014, pp. 66–71.
- Ulrich Schneider: Antifascism. Cologne 2014, pp. 71–79.
- Ulrich Schneider: Antifascism. Cologne 2014, p. 82 f.
- Ulrich Schneider: Antifascism. Cologne 2014, p. 84 f.
- See for example: Gerhard Strauss, Ulrike Hass, Gisela Harras, Brisante Words from Agitation to Zeitgeist. A lexicon for public use of language (Writings of the Institute for German Language, Vol. 2), Berlin (West) / New York 1989, p. 158; Thomas Widera, Dresden 1945–1948. Politics and Society under Soviet Occupation , Göttingen 2011, p. 68.
- Werner Loh / Wolfgang Wippermann (eds.), "Faschismus" controvers, Stuttgart 2002, p. 52.
- JW Aust / Thomas Aust, Literature in National Socialism. Overview of works and authors, March 17, 2008, see for example:  ,  ,  ,  .
- Ties Marsen, Ernst Grube : KZ-Kind, Antifaschist, Jude, October 28, 2011 (series "Time for Bavaria"), see:  .
- Mark Bray: Antifa , London 2017, pp. 48–51
- Morris Beckmann: The 43 Group - Antifascist Struggle in Great Britain 1946-1950. Harald-Kater-Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3927170089
- Mark Bray: Antifa , London 2017, pp. 41–45
- Mark Bray: Antifa , London 2017, p. 46 f.
- Mark Bray: Antifa , London 2017, p. 51 f.