Long Live Death: Violence & Martyrdom in Eastern Europe’s Fascist Movements, the Legion of the Archangel Michael & National Democracy, 1919–1933
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“Long Live Death” examines homegrown fascism and radicalization in Poland’s National Democracy party, also called Endecja, and Romania’s Legion of the Archangel Michael. This project examines why fascist violence and martyrdom became more prevalent in the Legion. Both Endecja and the Legion were antisemitic, nationalist, and anti-liberal, but until the 1930s, Endecja did not exhibit fanatical self-sacrificial violence and radical worldview of the Legion. Using newspapers, books, and the memoirs of Legionaries and National Democrats, this project analyzes the fascist myth of national rebirth, the relationship between politics and violence, and the convergence of religion and nationalism in the Legion, which heroized violence and martyrdom. Until 1926 Endecja was part of the Polish government. Additionally, National Democrats did not fully embrace the national rebirth or the fanaticism of fascism. Therefore, the movement could not reach the same level of martyrdom. Examining the development of Polish and Romanian fascism can assist us in understanding the rise of nationalism, authoritarianism, and radicalism that we again see today.