Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Unholy Alliances? Nationalist Exiles, Minorities and Anti-Fascism in Interwar Europe


Ethno-nationalist exiles in the interwar period were a unique species. While some of them relied on their own diasporic networks and waited for a chance, others established agitation platforms and regarded themselves as an alternative International of the ‘oppressed peoples’. Most of these alliances ended in failure, as it proved extremely difficult to reconcile the demands stemming from divergent national claims, such as those of autonomist factions versus irredentist or pro-independence groups, or those of national minorities seeking reintegration into their motherland as opposed to groups seeking independence. This article explores the relationship between minority nationalist exiles and anti-fascism by focusing on three issues: the emergence and evolution of ‘international alliances’ of minority activists in interwar Europe; contacts and ideological exchanges between ethno-nationalist exiles and liberal and anti-fascist segments of European public opinion and, finally, the emergence of a transnational anti-fascist nationality theory.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

John A. Armstrong , ‘Collaborationism in World War II: The Integral Nationalist Variant in Eastern Europe’, Journal of Modern History, 40, 3 (1968), 396410

Thomas Davies , NGOs: A New History of Transnational Civil Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Erik Goldstein , Winning the Peace: British diplomatic strategy, peace planning, and the Paris Peace Conference 1916–1920 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991)

Derek Heater , National Self-Determination: Woodrow Wilson and his Legacy (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994)

René Fabre , ‘Un exemple de pacifisme juridique. Thédore Ruyssen et le mouvement “La Paix par le Droit” (1884–1950)’, Vingtième Siècle, 39 (1993), 3854

Daniel Gorman , ‘Ecumenical Internationalism: Willoughby Dickinson, the League of Nations and the World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through the Churches’, Journal of Contemporary History, 45 (2010), 5173

Stefan Dyroff , ‘Avant-Garde or Supplement? Advisory Bodies of Transnational Associations as Alternatives to the League's Minority Protection System, 1919–1939’, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 24 (2013), 192208

Martyn Housden , ‘Ewald Ammende and the Organization of National Minorities in Interwar Europe’, German History, 18 (2000), 439–60

Stefan Dyroff , ‘Minority rights and Humanitarianism. The international campaign for the Ukrainians in Poland, 1930–31’, Journal of Modern European History, 12 (2014), 216–30

Samuel Goodfellow , ‘From Communism to Nazism: The Transformation of Alsatian Communists’, Journal of Contemporary History, 27, 2 (1992), 231–58

John Hiden and David J. Smith , ‘Looking beyond the Nation State: A Baltic Vision for National Minorities between the Wars’, Journal of Contemporary History, 41, 3 (2006), 387–99

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Contemporary European History
  • ISSN: 0960-7773
  • EISSN: 1469-2171
  • URL: /core/journals/contemporary-european-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 16
Total number of PDF views: 117 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 519 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 14th October 2016 - 25th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.