opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals
(Redirected from Antifascism)
- Anarchism had belonged to the most active resistance fighters against Nazi Germany, and their numbers had been decimated by the ruthless National Socialist persecution. Between 1919 and 1923 there had been approximately 1500,000 anarchists in Weimar Germany. By the end of the Weimar Republic, about 50,000 activists remained. In 1945 their numbers were down to 15,000, and many of those were seriously ill as consequence of torture and persecution.
- Stefan Berger, Social Democracy and the Working Class: in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany. Routledge. 2014. pp. 184-185. ISBN 978-1-317-88577-1.
- Although much smaller than their communists and socialists counterparts, the German anarchist militia Schwarze Scharen (Black Flocks, or Black Troops) was founded in 1929 to protect meetings of the Free Workers' Union of Germany (FAUD) anarcho-syndicalist union and the Syndicalist-Anarchist Youth. Outfitted entirely in black with matching berets, the Schwarze Scharen paired their Nazi street-fighting with creative propaganda including puppetry, music, and street theater. (The communist and socialist also had choirs, theater, and various forms of agitprop.) Although their ranks never exceeded the hundreds, in some towns they represented the main anti-fascist opposition. Nonetheless, their confrontational methods were opposed by some of the FAUD anarchist unionists. As the political atmosphere intensified, the Schwarze Scharen started to store explosives. In May 1932, based on a tip from an informant, their cache was raided. The arrests that followed this discovery, paired with Hitler's rise to power, sealed the fate of the Schwarze Scharen.
- There is fascism, leading only into the blackness which it has chosen as its symbol, into smartness and yapping out of orders, and self-righteous brutality, into social as well as international war. It means change without hope. Our immediate duty — in that tinkering which is the only useful form of action in our leaky old tub — our immediate duty is to stop it.
- The scale of the movement was impressive, with over 120 committees established nationwide. The Leipzieg Antifa claimed 150,000 adherents. Many of these organisations broke through entrenched social barriers to include foreign slave labourers and establish working class unity across political parties and trade unions. Their functions ranged from creating local democracy, to restoring basic services like food suply. [...] The fact that so many committees adopted similar names and policies poses the question of whether there was a centralised organisation at work. Communists were prominent in nearly every Antifa despite the opposition of Moscow. Walter Ulbricht, the KPD leader, criticised the 'spontaneous creation of KPD bureaus, people's committees, and Free Germany committees', but he could do little as the KPD central apparatus had no communication link with the rank and file. Once communications were restored he could report: 'We have shut these [Antifas] down and told the comrades that all activities must be channelled through the state apparatus.' The Western Allies were equally disconcerted by the Antifas self-proclaimed 'ruthless struggle against all remnants of Hitler's party in the state apparatus, the local authorities and public life'. The US authorities expelled the Leipzig committee from its offices, ordered the removal of all leaflets and posters from the streets, and then banned it. Any further use of the name 'Free Germany National Committee' would be punished severely. The military government stopped Solingen's workplace councils purging Nazi activists and then abolished them. Brunswick's Nazis had been arrested by the Antifa, but were liberated by Allied command. When Frankfurt Antifa housed people made homeless by bombing in apartments abandoned by fleeing Nazis, the authorities evicted them.
- Donny Gluckstein, A People's History of the Second World War: Resistance Versus Empire. Pluto Press. 2012. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-7453-2803-4.
- Two things make the future real, the artist's imagination and the worker's hope. Fascism destroys both. Therefore the artist and the worker must unite to destroy Fascism. The Fascist artist is a traitor, the neutral is already dead. Art and anti-Fascism are synonymous.
- Fascists have no interest in winning that battle. They don't care about respecting free speech or the right to a fair trial; they've openly declared their murderous intent towards people of colour (and other undesirables) and they'll pursue that goal by any means necessary. In this context, physical resistance is a duty, an act of self-defence, not an unsightly outpost of leftist moral decline. What's more - it works. From the Battle of Cable Street in 1936 to similar confrontations in Lewisham and Wood Green in London in 1977, physical resistance has time and again protected local populations from racist violence, and prevented a gathering caucus of fascists from making further inroads into mainstream politics.
- Eleanor Penny, as quoted in Noam Chomsky: Antifa is a 'major gift to the right' by Maya Oppenheim, 22 August 2017, The Independent
- The division between left and right in history is both evident and real. For example, the few detailed histories of specific anti-fascism]] that exist describe a conflict unrecognisable beside the subtle arguments of these liberal historians. The struggles between fascists and anti-fascists have been violent, lethal and real. The study of them makes it clear that the liberal historians have ignored the decisive importance of anti-socialism to the fascists. They have also overlooked the facists that in every country, socialists and communists have proven to be fascism's staunchest enemies, and that the political left has always been the first victim of fascist rule.
- I am for the legal government of Republican Spain against Franco, since Spain herself, at a properly conducted election, chose that Government and rejected the party which now supports Franco. I am also against Fascism; the reforms of Diocletian were a work of genius and made many people temporarily happy, but failed in the end and added greatly to human misery. I see no reason why this inferior modern copy of them should succeed.
- Centre for fascist, anti-fascist and post-fascist studies, Teesside University
- Remembering the Anarchist Resistance to fascism