Microcosmos of Fascism in the Age of Genocide
German Nazis, Croatian Ustaše, and the Hungarian Arrow Cross in the City of Osijek
Keywords:Ustaše, Ustasha Movement, Fascism, Nazism, Arrow Cross, Independent State of Croatia, NDH, Holocaust, Genocide, Antisemitism
By combining microhistorical and regional approaches with theoretical findings from fascism, Holocaust, and genocide studies, this chapter examines the interaction between the Nazi, Ustaša and Arrow Cross movements in the city of Osijek. By analyzing the ideologies and praxis of the three fascist movements, this paper demonstrates that the future they wanted to build remained vague, contested, and contradictory despite many shared goals and enemies. Instead of bringing the three fascist movements together, antisemitism became a tool of competitive nation-building which contributed to the failure to create a genuinely transnational fascist front in a single city. Determining the pace of genocidal destruction became an instrument in the competitive fascist-elite-building. By relying on the concept of “genocidal consolidation,” this chapter argues that the Holocaust in Osijek became one of the primary means in the attempted consolidation of power by one fascist group at the expense of the other. Attempts to neutralize rival fascist elites in the struggle for political dominance on the regional level brought unintended consequences of significantly delaying the deportations of Jews of Osijek compared to the cities in the Independent State of Croatia.
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