london fascists | 1922

hitler did not invent fascism, it was part of the political zeitgeist all over the western world in the early 20th century. in britain, fascism flourished for decades but never made it to parliamentary power. whereas in italy and germany the fascists took over parliament and threw all notions of democracy out. in germany that coup d’etat was totally legal due to flaws in the weimar constitution. one such flaw was that parties could be in parliament even if they openly opposed the democratic constitution.

the photo below shows a small group of british fans of italo-fascism showing off at westminster abbey in london in november 1922.

News UK archives, via Times archive an Rose Wild, Twitter

obviously, fascism became deeply unpopular in england when germany attacked the country by air in the early 1940s. however, certain deeply fascist thoughts like antisemitism had by then penetrated the political and military establishment in britain, so that jews who had fled from the nazis to the UK had a hard time there. a typical example is the jewish german judge → arnold buchthal (father of the now famous → dame stephanie shirley) who arrived in britain in 1940 and even as an anti-nazi refugee was considered an enemy alien and deported to a life threatening labour camp in australia.

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