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This article discusses the role played by war veterans in the various fascist and para-fascist groups present in Yugoslavia in the interwar period. The article finds that significant numbers of veterans and the nationalist associations to which they belonged contributed to proposed or actual departures from the democratic norm in interwar Yugoslavia, and were especially supportive of King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic’s dictatorship of 1929–1934. In this respect, they could be termed ‘para-fascist’. The article also notes that whilst the two groups typically identified in the literature as ‘fascist’, the Croatian Ustashe and Serbian/Yugoslav Zbor, fit into the ‘second-wave’ of 1930s fascist forces not usually marked by a strong presence of First World War veterans, their membership and ideological organisation were nevertheless significantly influenced by both the traditions of the war and the men who fought in it.

Open Access
In: Fascism
In: A World at War, 1911-1949


The article addresses some of the paradoxes of the interwar Czechoslovak Sokol Association. It shows how after 1918 Sokol historiography experienced a boom following national independence: a proliferation of accounts of the Sokol movement’s history to date told in largest part by the leadership of the association itself. These accounts re-narrated the history of the movement so that it became well-adjusted to the new culture of victory of the interwar state, positing throughout a separation between nation and empire and a struggle in which the former, aided by Sokol mobilization, was sure to emerge victorious. The article asks that we read this historiography ‘against the grain’, showing that the actual relationship of Sokol to late-Habsburg civil society was protean and shifting, and only re-cast as unswervingly adversarial in the post-1918 period. The second part of the article looks at the participation of Sokol members and leadership in the war in Slovakia (1919), presented in interwar historiography and commemoration as a culminating moment in Sokol’s participation in the national liberation of Czechs and Slovaks. In fact, there is a compelling case to be made that Sokol’s role in fighting and violence at this time also shows the ongoing contestation and conflict associated with the creation of Czechoslovakia. The article shows that re-narrating the history of the Habsburg period and the war itself to emphasize the voluntarist contribution of groups such as Sokol was an important part of establishing and maintaining the legitimacy of the interwar state.

In: East Central Europe
This innovative book explores the complexities and levels of resistance amongst the populations of Southeastern Europe during the Second World War. It provides a comparative and transnational approach to the histories of different resistance movements in the region, examining the factors that contributed to their emergence and development, their military and political strategies, and the varieties of armed and unarmed resistance in the region. The authors discuss ethical choices, survival strategies, and connections across resistance movements and groups throughout Southeastern Europe. The aim is to show that to properly understand anti-Axis resistance in the region during the Second World War historians must think beyond conventional and traditional national histories that have tended to dominate studies of resistance in the region. And they must also think of anti-Axis resitance as encompassing more than just military forms. The authors are mainly scholars based in the regions in question, many of whom are presenting their original research for the first time to an English language readership. The book includes contributions dealing with Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.


This special issue is the result of the three year-long collaboration between the contributors and a larger group of scholars on the topic of Sokol and analogous organizations and phenomena mainly in East Central Europe in the modern era. Our goal was to examine such organizations from multiple perspectives, including the history of political thought, the history of knowledge production, military history, art history, youth history, urban history, the history of religion, history of sports, as well as the history of medicine and eugenics. To that end, we organized three events whereby we identified key themes and workshopped the contributions to the prospective special issue, as well as situated our findings within broader disciplinary and theoretical frameworks.

Free access
In: East Central Europe


This review of how dolphins are portrayed in popular media (including literature, film, television, and music) reveals four themes that may influence public acceptance of current scientific research into dolphin cognition. These themes are: (a) dolphin as peer to humans, of equal intelligence or at least capable of communicating with or helping humans; (b) the dolphin as the representation of a romantic notion of ideal freedom in nature, embodying principles of peace, harmony or love; (c) the dolphin as a naïve, innocent being that is subordinate and in need of human protection; and (d) the dolphin as superior to humans, potentially affiliating with a higher power or intelligence. This review revealed that the use of dolphins in humor reinforced or lampooned the four identified themes, indicating a common acceptance of these themes. The paper concludes with a discussion of the importance of considering popular narratives in the presentation of scientific research results.

In: Society & Animals