A black and white photograph of students demonstrating
Fascist students in Vienna, 1931.
ÖNB Bildarchiv. H 780 B

The Wiener Holocaust Library and the European Fascist Movements 1918 – 1941 project are delighted to announce a new temporary exhibition, This Fascist Life: Radical Right Movements in Interwar Europe.

Fascist political parties, militia and movements emerged across Europe in the years after the First World War. United by ultra-nationalist ideas and similarities of style and action, these movements shaped, and in some places remade politics and society. They mobilised on the streets to attack their opponents and to support the accession to power of fascist parties in countries such as Italy, Germany and Austria. Later, they helped to enable German occupations and the Nazis’ policies of persecution and genocide across Europe.

Drawing upon The Wiener Holocaust Library’s unique archival collections, first assembled in the 1930s by Dr Alfred Wiener as part of his fight against fascism, as well as the expertise of an international group of experts in interwar fascism, this exhibition focuses on the experiences of rank-and-file members of fascist movements in the interwar period. It explores the world of the young and socially diverse fascist activists and examines their motivations and activities.

Today, as extreme right-wing radicalism grows in strength in Europe and elsewhere, this timely exhibition looks back to the first manifestations of the destructive phenomenon of fascism.