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The Far Right in the Balkans:
Roots & Perspectives


Ioannis Metaxas, 1871–1941

4,825 words


“Rest assured . . . that after . . . years of suffering we have sufficient moral strength left to find an honourable exit from life.”[1]

It is in these very words that the soul of Corneliu Codreanu and his followers was expressed. Needless to say that Capitanul has been the noblest figure among the Far Right leaders in Europe during the interwar period. And paradoxical as it may appear, he was conscious of this. Julius Evola had met him in Bucharest and gave a fair description of his physical appearance and his mind. He was a young, large and slim man, in sporting behaviour, with an open face which immediately gives an impression of nobility, force and honesty.[2] And it was with honesty that Codreanu explained to Evola the differences between the Legionary Movement, Italian Fascism and German National Socialism by analogy with the human body: Italian Fascism was reviving the “Roman form of politics,” representing in the human organism the physiological form; German National Socialism focused on the “race instinct” of the “vital forces,” whilst Romanian Legionary represented “the element of the heart,” both spiritual and religious.[3]

He was right. Codreanu’s Legionaries used to live as ascetic warrior-monks, working freely for the People and even fasting three days a week.[4] They were not “criminals” as an American lady, author of an extremely well-written book on “Dracula surviving,” described them.[5] In point of fact, they did not use to gather in woods’ clearings at midnight, to stand there “two rings deep” around bonfires, “facing them and chanting.” Their faces were not “stiff and unsmiling”; and their eyes did not “glitter.”[6] In short, they were by no means Dracula’s protagonists. And if they grew truly enragés, it was after their Captain suffered a martyr’s death at the hands of the royal authorities.

The Legionaries’ message was clear. Unlike the Italian Fascists that rose to power thanks to the latent still involuntary support of the Roman Catholic Church, because the Pope wished the dispute between the secularized Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See to be ended;[7] and unlike the National Socialists of Germany that gradually adopted a latent but still hostile attitude vis-à-vis the Church, because the clergy, as a rule, side with the enemies of the Christ,[8] Romanian legionaries started from the very beginning. And in this case “very beginning” means: religiosity. Hitler himself was clear: “True religiosity is to be found whenever deep knowledge [of the things] goes with acknowledgement of human inadequacy.”[9] And Mussolini had declared as well: “Fascism is a religious concept, in the framework of which, man is seen in his immanent relationship with . . . an objective Volition that transcends the individual and enables him to be the conscious member of a spiritual community.”[10] Still, only in Romania the Far Right movement dared to proclaim that religiosity was the very basis of its ideology. As early as 1919, Codreanu termed his doctrine “National-Christian Socialism”;[11] and if truth be told, he was not only an intelligent man but a man of character as well. Let us recall the famous phrase uttered by Grigore Filipescu in the Romanian Parliament, in December 1934: În România sunt mulţi oameni inteligenţi, mai puţin oameni capabili şi foarte puţini oameni de character.[12] It was this very national lack that Codreanu tried to remedy: “My programme is a creative one,” he stated to Virginio Gayda, director of the Italian newspaper Giornale d’Italia, in January, 1938. I think of the most important and most difficult creation [namely] the New Man. [And I mean this] not only from the physical and intellectual viewpoint; for we already have such a Man in Romania. [I talk] from the moral viewpoint. I want at all costs to create a type of Hero.”[13]

He was aiming at achieving his own “Triumph of the Volition” through the principles of Faith and Work.[14] Work nay, Toil was for Codreanu and his Legionaries a sacred duty.[15] Yet he failed tragically but not miserably. As aforementioned, he was the noblest figure of the 1919-1939 European Far Right. Therefore, his death had a tremendous impact on Romanian and international politics.[16] Still, he was a Balkan figure; and this is important, because in the Balkans, namely Greece, the European Far Right was actually born. 

I. The Dogma 

The dogma of the Right was written down by Ioannis Metaxas, Prime Minister of Greece during the years 1936-1941 and organizer of the Reservists Movement. This movement was the first ideologically clear-cut Far Right movement in Europe, and emerged in Greece during WW 1, i.e. before Mussolini founded his Fasci di Combattimento. Metaxas was explicit:

Democracy [as conceived in the U.S.A. and Western Europe] is the offspring of Capitalism. It is the instrument through which Capitalism rules the masses. It is the instrument through which Capitalism displays its own will as the one of the populace. . . . This variety of democracy [i.e. the U.S. and Western Europe one] relies on universal suffrage by individual and secret ballot; i.e. it needs well-built political parties – hence the need of capital [= money]. It needs [moreover] newspapers, hence the need of capital [anew]. It . . . needs electoral organizations and electoral combats; that means money. [And] it needs a lot of other things that presuppose money as well. In short, only big capitalists or their puppets are able to fight in [the framework of] such a democracy. Men or [even] groups of people in short of money, even if they defend the noblest ideals, are doomed to failure. For if one has the control of the newspapers, is in a position to shape the public opinion according to his own views [and will]; and even if he defends principles abhorred by the people, he can conceal them [by means of the Press that he controls] in such a way, that the people swallow them at last. But even if the people do not swallow them, he can declare, through the newspapers he controls, that the people did swallow them. And then everybody believes that the others have swallowed the ‘principles’/lies [of the big capitalist] and surrenders as well.” The corollary: “Democracy is the unique kid of Capitalism [as Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God]: it is thanks to Democracy that Capitalism displays its  own will as it were the People’s one.”[17]

Paradoxical as it may appear, Metaxas agreed with Lenin. For the Soviet leader had written, as early as 1917, that “Democracy is the best [political] form of Capitalism.”[18] Here is the essence of the social analysis of politics – and it is surprising to notice that Metaxas, in full agreement with Lenin, was in sharp contrast with almost every other Far Right leader in Europe. Mussolini, for instance, was against Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy; yet his analysis was ‘entrenched’ in a strictly national framework[19] — most likely dictated by political necessities. Antonio Salazar, further, used to avoid such analyses, because he put into practice a peculiar economic system aiming above all and beyond everything to the balance of the State budget.[20] Franco did alike – as far as it is known; for he aimed to redress Spain after the Civil War ended and from 1960 on to develop Spanish industry.[21] And Hitler criticized mainly the system of “State Monopolist Capitalism,” gradually implemented in Germany from 1870, because it stripped the Germans of their wealth.[22] No wonder that to Lenin this very State Capitalism was all but a kind of Socialism.[23]

II. The Birth of the Far Right

In contrast, Metaxas had no such concerns. His ideas were clear-cut from the early 1910s on and stamped on the Reservists Movement. These Reservists were people who had taken part in the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars, somewhat like the French anciens combattants. This Greek variety of the Far Right had, therefore, the following characteristics:

  1. It was a truly social movement, because its rank-and-file was composed exclusively from the so-called “Working People”: small-land-owning peasants, craftsmen, petty merchants and workers; in other words the people that were regarded as conservative/reactionary by Marx and Engels.[24] Wealthy people[25] and what is termed “Lumpenproletariat”[26] were suspected and a priori excluded.
  2. The Diaspora Greeks were excluded as well. As a matter of fact, only people born in the heartland of Greece, namely the Peloponnesus, Mainland Greece, the Cyclades group of islands and the Ionian Islands were considered to be fully and truly Greeks.[27]
  3. Any territorial expansion of Greece was rejected a priori;[28] therefore, any involvement in the 1914-1918 Great War and, further, in international antagonism (“Europe’s business” as it was called) was rebuffed.[29]
  4. King Constantine of the Hellenes was ‘universally’ recognized as the virtual leader of the movement;[30] for he was credited with the victory of the Greek Army in the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars, and used to observe socially and nationally speaking, a really “Folkish Behaviour.”

Under these circumstances it was quite natural that the Entente Cordiale saw in “Royalist Greece” a bitter foe. King Constantine and his followers were by no means willing to enter the war at the side of Great Britain and France. Eleutherios Venizelos, nonetheless, Prime Minister of Greece in 1915, an ardent follower of the Entente Cordiale, invitedFrench and British troops to occupy Salonika after the Gallipoli debacle – Greece being still a neutral country notwithstanding.

Following the occupation of Salonika, operations took place in Macedonia against the Bulgarians, allies of the Germans. The Commander-in-Chief of the Entente troops in Salonika, therefore, the French general Maurice Sarrail, feared aggression of the “Royalist Troops” in his rear. Such a thought was not “nonsensical”; for the people in Southern Greece grew more and more friendly to the Second Reich.[31] As a result, a serious blockade was set up by the [British] Royal Navy around the littoral of Greece; and this blockade that caused famine in Southern Greece with a lot of fatalities, was enhanced due to advice given by Ronald Burrows, professor at the King’s College, London.[32] In November, 1916 (Old Style), moreover, French troops, reinforced by some British, Italian and even Russian ones, tried to conquer Athens, but they failed. Angered, Sophia, Queen Consort of the Hellenes, wrote to her brother, the Kaiser: La page s’est tournée, c’étant une grande victoire contre quatre grandes Puissances desquelles les troupes fuirent devant les Grecs . . .[33]

Still, in the spring of the following year, 1917, the French came back; and now the King deserted his followers. The Reservists, under Metaxas’ leadership, were ready to defend the King against the liberal Powers of the West. Yet the Sovereign, motivated by the interest of his House, preferred to give up and establish himself in Switzerland. Such an attitude notwithstanding, the Reservists and lato sensu the People kept adoring him. Late in May and early in June, 1917 (Old Style), the French literally conquered Athens,[34] imposed E. Venizelos as Prime Minister, and endowed him with dictatorial powers. Venizelos thought that territorial gains in Asia Minor would help him to consolidate his regime. But the Reservists did not agree; and when elections were held at last on November 1, 1920 (Old Style), they had set up such a tremendous “leaderless network”[35] that Liberals (i.e. the Venizelists) suffered a crushing defeat. It was now the turn of Venizelos to flee abroad; as a result, Constantine was back on his throne in December of the same year. He could abandon the Asia Minor peripeteia, actually a Venizelist one; but he did not; yet the analysis of his ‘bellicose’ policy would be beyond the scope of this paper.

The people nonetheless, led by the 1912-1913 Reservists, fought in Anatolia against the Turkish Nationalist troops of Mustapha Kemal, and after they were defeated by the Turks, did not abandon their King. But the Liberals stirred up a military coup, following which the King was removed anew: he was to die in Palermo, Sicily, early in 1923, aged only 55. His outstanding followers were shot at Goudi, near Athens, in November, 1922.[36] Only Metaxas proved to be able to survive; for he was smart enough to reject any involvement of himself in the Asia Minor Campaign.

The Royalist administration, nevertheless, gave the evidence of very essence of its social basis. On July 20, 1922, the compulsory Social Security of all workers and private employees was enacted. It was the first time in Greece that such a step was taken.[37] As a matter of fact, King Constantine, Metaxas and the Reservists wished Greece to be a country without very rich and very poor people. That is why, when Metaxas became Prime Minister, under King George II, son and heir of King Constantine, put in effect a policy of ‘social homogenization’. Workers, in whom Metaxas saw “potential petty bourgeois,” were protected against “capitalists” through hard and fast rules. His way of thinking was clear: Only authoritarian/totalitarian governments are able to protect the Folk against the capitalists who try to “enslave” it, by making it “swallow the bait of democracy.” As a matter of fact, Capitalism wants slaves; but slaves having the illusion that they are “free men.”[38]

Metaxas was successful in his effort to homogenize the Greek society. That is why when Italy declared war on Greece late in October, 1940, the Greek People were unanimous in defending their “fascist regime.” It was a virtual yet bloody tragicomedy: the defenders of the Greek variety of Fascism fighting against another Fascist country.[39] But this is another story to be told . . .

III. The Russian Roots

It is said that the Far Right, commonly termed as “Fascism,” was born in Russia after the 1905 upheaval. It is true – but only in letter, not “in spirit.” In point of fact, two Far Right organizations were active in the Tsars’ Empire up to 1914: the “League of the Russian People” and the “League of Michael the Archangel.” [40] It is likely that Codreanu ‘christened’ his own movement after his Russian forerunners. Yet the Russian embryonic Fascism was not adopted either by nobility or the Tsar himself. That is why the Bolshevists had no serious problems as to their extermination.[41] If truth be told, the main factors that favoured the 1917 major political change in Russia were — ironically enough — the nominal or virtual enemies of Marxism, namely Tsardom, the Church and the peasantry.

Tsar Nicholas II was apathetic and believed that the Church was to assist him in his effort to “unite” the Russian People. He was wrong. For the Patriarchate of Moscow was in practice abolished by Peter I the Great early in the eighteenth century; and the clergy was full of rancour against the Russian Monarchy. No matter that the Bolshevists persecuted and eventually murdered hundreds of priests. The Church was revived; and the first Patriarch of Moscow and All Russias to be elected after the fall of Tsardom, namely Tikhon, was explicit in his famous 1925 Testament: “. . . In the years of civil collapse, the Soviet Government was placed at the head of the Russian State by God, without the will of Whom nothing can be done on earth.” And further:

Upon taking power, the representatives of the Soviet regime in January 1918 issued a decree recognizing the full religious freedom of citizens. Thus the principle of freedom of conscience was recognized by the [Soviet] Constitution to any religious congregation and to our Orthodox Church as well. . . . That is why we in time recognized the new order of things in our letters to our flock and . . . [priests] and we sincerely and publicly acknowledged the Worker-Peasant government of Russia. . . . It is time for the faithful to recognize the Christian point of view that says ‘everything works out for the divine’ and adopt all that happened as God’s will. While admitting no compromise with our conscience and yielding nothing with regard to our religion, we must be sincere towards the government and the work of the USSR for the good of everyone and arrange our religious life in accordance with established order.[42]

No wonder, therefore, that the Church sided with the Soviet regime against National-Socialist Germany from 1941 on; and of course no wonder that the Orthodox Church became speedily one of the main pillars of the Soviet administration.

Peasants used to see in the Patriarch a ‘substitute’ for the Tsar. What is more peasants did not want the Soviet regime to be overthrown. The explanation of such a paradoxical attitude was furnished initially by Enver Pasha, the Young Turks’ leader, who after a tour in Russia walked into the British Military Mission at Berlin in January, 1920, and declared the following: “Whenever the Denikin danger approaches, the result is the determined, unanimous and united effort on the part of the peasants to defend their own [land]. . . . In the whole of Soviet Russia there is an iron military discipline. The only people starving are the former aristocracy and bourgeoisie, whilst the peasants, soldiers and officials of the Soviet government have more than sufficient food.”[43]

He was right. The Soviet regime tried to compromise with the peasantry, “foe par excellence” of Marxism,[44] and appointed Mikhaïl Kalinin as Head of the State.[45] Born in 1875, Kalinin was the typical figure of the Russian peasant.[46] His informal appearance, lack of culture, the very fact that he used to spend holidays in his countryside dwelling, the ease of being approached by “everybody” made the Soviet regime all but popular among the peasants.[47] In 1925, furthermore, the crop was “quite good.” Soviet officialdom grasped the chance and: a) reduced by 1/3 the taxes on land property;[48] b) reintroduced the golden ruble.[49] Peasants, reassured by the Patriarch, “another Tsar,” believed that “their time had come”: Communism “was over.”[50] The climax was reached when Nikolai Bukharin, at the “highest degree of power,” i.e. during the years 1926-1927, and with the support of Alexei Rykov, launched the famous slogan (for the benefit of peasants): Enrichissez-vous![51]

Needless to say that the in the late 1920s it was the time of “we had a good laugh, but enough.” On December 2, 1927, the Fifteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union began its works in Moscow; a decision was passed there calling for the fullest development of collectivization in agriculture.[52] A “determined offensive against the Kulaks” was launched which ended in millions and millions of fatalities among the Soviet peasantry.[53] In 1929 Bukharin was expelled from the Politburo and put to death in 1938 – and Rykov, too.[54]

Conclusions and Perspectives

Unlike the Greek variety of the Far Right, which saw in the Crown its natural leader and was subsequently termed “monarchical fascism,” the Romanian Iron Guard found in the person of the King Carol II its bitterest foe. The story is too known to be repeated here. The point, however, is that, quite paradoxically, Hitler and Ion Antonescu are the ones to be blamed for the slaughter of the Iron Guard. To be sure, the Guard had grown somewhat anarchical following the murder of Capitanul;[55] yet it was unlikely to be otherwise. Since even the Church had proved to be the ally of the establishment,[56] the only way out from the terrible impasse was the slogan: Trăiască moartea![57] The Iron Guard proved to be loyal to this slogan. Still it was Hitler who gave the green light to Antonescu uttering the words: Ich brauche keine Fanatiker. Ich brauche eine gesunde rumänische Armee.[58] The Stalingrad debacle may be regarded as Nemesis’ answer to whom needed only “a sound Army.”

* * *

The salient characteristic of the Greek Far Right was social; and Romanian’s was mysticism.[59] That is why the establishment saw in Codreanu a person without ‘true’ political experience, who was not able to conduct the State business.[60] Such critics are exaggerated, nay, nonsensical. The point, however, is that, if the roots of Europe’s Far Right are to be found in Russia, its most spiritual and, socially speaking, most efficient varieties are to be found in the Balkans, namely Romania and Greece. In the other Balkan countries, serious Rightist movements did not exist; for the populace saw in the Fascists the collaborators of invaders.

Albania is a well-known case; for the Communists had the peasantry’s support, because they were considered to be the only ‘serious’ Resistance fighters against the Italians. (That is why the Balli Kombëtar (= National Front) and the Legaliteti, viz. the monarchists, did not prove able to rouse public opinion.) Fascists, on the other hand, were regarded as unscrupulous people in the pay of the Italians.[61] In the former Yugoslavia, furthermore, the Far Rightist movements had a so salient nationalist character that it is not feasible to study them without taking into consideration the national/nationalist sentiments of the relevant peoples. Such a case was Bulgaria, too. The Far Right was closely associated with the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO);[62] and IMRO murdered cruelly Aleksandar Stamboliyski not for his liberal policies but because it feared the abandonment of Macedonians’ national aspirations.[63]

* * *

What are the perspectives of the Far Right in the Balkans? The answer to such a question is twofold; for the Far Right has two problems to cope with, namely Nationalism and Capitalism. Nationalism, first of all, is a leftist invention, and the evidence is Romania herself. Les quarante-huitards ont fait la Roumanie, I have been told several times by an eminent Romanian historian. He is right; but it should be never forgotten that the 1848 revolution in the Romanian lands was enthusiastically — and justly — hailed by Karl Marx, because it was a radical one.[64] And further, the Communist regimes in Europe proved to be far more nationalist than the so-called bourgeois ones. On the other hand, it is sure now that WW 2 was lost for Germany and her allies, because Fascism proved to be “too national.”[65] As a result, only if the Balkan Far Right rejects its “nationalist exclusiveness,” that is more or less nonsensical today, will it be able to become an important political factor.

Still, the Balkan Far Right has one more question to handle: its alleged association with Capitalism. Such an association proved to be all but a fraud;[66] yet the Far Right’s unparalleled ability to defend the interests of “peasants, craftsmen, workmen and petty merchants” has to be displayed orbi et urbi. But this depends on the skillfulness of the Far Right’s leaders – both present and future ones. For, all things considered, in our world Man bears the responsibility for his life.


[1] K. R. Bolton, “A Martyr’s Life” in Codreanu. Thoughts and Perspectives. Edited by Troy Southgate (London: Black Front Press, 2011), p. 7

[2] Ibid., p. 8.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., p. 9.

[5] Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian (London: Little, Brown, 2005), p. 395. (A charming description of Târgovişte to be found on pages 384-385.)

[6] Ibid., p. 394.

[7] That is why the Sovereign Victor Emanuel III did not sign the Decree imposing the state of war in Italy late in October 1922, and agreed that Mussolini be the Prime Minister On this very important subject, several articles have been published in the journal L’Uomo libero (Milan). See mainly: Sergio Gozzoli, “La rivolta della volontà,” No 66 (September, 2008), p. 45- 46; and also Fabio Calabrese, “Il grande equivoco,” No 70 (November, 2010), p. 69.

[8] Adolf Hitler, Riflessioni sulla religione, le chiese, il Vaticano; in Alfred Rosenberg, Introduzioni al Mito del XX Secolo, accompagnate da pagine della polemica cattolica contro il Mito (1930-1938), Genoa: Effepi, 2006, pp. 63-64.

[9] Ibid., p. 59.

[10] Benito Mussolini, “Fascismo,” Enciclopedia Italiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, vol. XIV (Edizioni Istituto G. Treccani, 1932), p.847.

[11] K. R. Bolton, “A Martyr’s Life,” p. 17.

[12] Cited by Gheorghe Barbul, Memorial Antonescu. Al Treilea Om al Axei (Bucharest: Editura Pro Hitoria, 2001), p. 13.

[13] Archives of the Foreign Ministry of Greece (hereafter: AYE), 1938/A/7/2. The French translation of Codreanu’s statement is attached to the dispatch no. 201 (Bucharest, January 26, 1938) of Kōnstantinos Kollas, Greek minister at Bucharest, to the Foreign Ministry of Greece.

[14] K. R. Bolton, “A Martyr’s Life,” p. 8.

[15] Ibid.

[16] AYE, 1938, A/ 7/2, Raoul Vivika-Rōsettēs, Greek minister at Beograd, to the Foreign Ministry of Greece, No. 31883/A, Beograd, December 24, 1938; cf. Gh. Barbul, Memorial Antonescu…, pp. 42-43.

[17] I. Metaxas. To prosōpiko tou hēmerologio (= The Diaries of I.Metaxas), vol. 4. Edited by Phaidōn Vranas (Athens: Ikaros, 1960), p. 446.

[18] V. Lénine, « L’État et la révolution », Œuvres choisies en trois volumes, vol. 2 (Moscow: Éditions du progrès, 1975), p. 293.

[19] Benito Mussolini, “Fascismo,” p. 849ff.

[20] AYE, Kyvernēsē Kairou (the Cairo Government), 1942-1943, A/GE/k, Kimōn K. Kollas, Greek minister at Lisbon, to the Foreign Ministry of Greece (at Cairo), No. 951/A, Lisbon, September 4, 1942; the same to the same, No. 245/B, March 12, 1943; the same to the same (at London), No. 1164/A, Lisbon, November 4, 1943; the same to the same (at London), No. 212/A, Lisbon, March 3, 1943. His economic policy was explained in the speech he deliveredat at Braga, on May 28, 1966. (The French translation: AYE, 1966, 12.10.)

[21] AYE, 1967, 48.1, G. E. Bensēs, Greek Ambassador in Madrid, to the Foreign Ministry of Greece, No. 2075/II, Madrid, November 6, 1967.

[22] Αdolph Hitler, Mein Kampf. Translated into Greek by Andreas Pankalos and Dēmētrēs Kōstelenos (Athens: Daremas, n.d.), σ. 266.

[23] V. Lénine, « L’État et la révolution », pp. 321, 334.

[24] Cf. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto. Translated into Greek by Giōrgos Kottēs (Athens: Themelio, 1982), p. 56.

[25] Cf. Roger Pereyfitte, Les ambassades (Paris: Flammarion, 1971), p. 23 : Vous devez savoir, d’ores et déjà,.qu’à Athènes la société est divisée en deux camps : royalistes et vénizélistes – on appelle encore ainsi les républicains… Moyen de les reconnaître : les royalistes sont mal vêtus, car ils sont pauvres ; les vénizélistes sont élégants, car ils sont riches.

[26] Cf. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto. Translated into Greek by Giōrgos Kottēs (Athens: Themelio, 1982), p. 56.

[27] Cf. G. Ventērēs, Hē Hellas tou 1910-1920 ( = The 1910-1920 Greece), Athens: Pyrsos, 1931, vol. II, p. 272.

[28] Viktōr Dousmanēs, Apomnēmoneumata (= Memoirs), Athens: Dēmētrakos, n. d., p. 43.

[29] K. G. Zavitzianos, Hai anamnēseis tou… 1914-1922 (= His Memoirs… 1914-1922), vol. I (Athens, 1946), p. 148.

[30] Cf. V. Dousmanēs, Apomnēmoneumata, p. 43.

[31] Aus den Geheimarchiven der Entente, vol. 5 (Dresden: Carl Reisner, 1932), doc. 188: the Russian minister at Athens to the Foreign Minister of Russia, Athens, August 15/ 28, p. 126.

[32] Parliamentary Archives (London [hereafter: PA]), F/ 55/ 1/ 1.

[33] Dēmētrēs Michalopoulos, “Hē kata ton Prōto Pankosmio Polemo allēlographia tou hellēnikou vasilikou zeugous me ton autokratora tēs Germanias” (= The correspondence of the Royal Couple of Greece with the Emperor of Germany during WW 1), Anakoinōseis hēmeridos (16 Martiou 2006) gia tēn epeteio tou thanatou tou Eleutheriou Venizelou (= Proceedings of the Congress held on March 16,2006, on the anniversary of Eleutherios Venizelos’ death), doc. 27, p. 109.

[34] Général Regnault, La conquête dAthènes (Juin-Juillet 1917), Paris: L. Fournier, 1919, pp. 51-52.

[35] Their leaders having been arrested by the French and interned in Corsica.

[36] See the volume Hē Dikē tōn Oktō kai hē ektelesē tōn Hexi (= The Trial of the Eight and the Execution of the Six Ones), Athens: Historical Institute for Studies on Eleutherios Venizelos, 20102.

[37] Ephēmeris tēs Kyvernēseōs tou Vasileiou tēs Hellados (= Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Greece), I, No. 119 (July 20, 1922), pp. 554-555.

[38] I. Metaxas. To prosōpiko tou hēmerologio, vol. 4, pp. 446-447.

[39] Cf. Arthur Koestler, The Yogi and the Commissar. Translated into Greek by Alexandros Kotzias (Athens: Galaxias, 1969), p. 158.

[40] History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [Bolsheviks]. Edited by a Commission of the C. C. of the C.P.S.U. (B.), Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1939, p. 78.)

[41] Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin (London: Phoenix, 2007), p. 205.

[42] Dimitris Michalopoulos, “The Testament of Patriarch Tikhon,” Ab Aeterno (New Zealand), issue No. 7 (April-June 2011), p. 38.

[43] PA, LG/F/206/4/10.

[44] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto. Translated into Greek by Giōrgos Kottēs (Athens: Themelio, 1982), p. 48.

[45] Literally: President of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. (AYE, 1925, A/5/VII, Iōannēs Kokotakēs, chargé d’affaires of the Greek Legation at Moscow, to the Foreign Ministry of Greece, No 2961, Moscow, November 20, 1925.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Ibid.

[48] AYE, 1925, A/5/VII, I. Kokotakēs to the Foreign Ministry of Greece, No. 2779, Moscow, October 30, 1925.

[49] AYE, 1925, A/5/VII, I. Kokotakēs to the Foreign Ministry of Greece, No. 2706, Moscow, October 20, 1925.

[50] Ibid.

[51] AYE, 1928, 65.3, L’URSS en 1927.(Written in January, 1928, by an agent of the Greek Legation at Moscow.)

[52] History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union…, p. 288.

[53] A chilling description in A. Koestler, The Yogi and the Commissar, p. 161.

[54] Ibid., p. 294ff.

[55] Drept anachic. (Gh. Barbul, Memorial Antonescu, p.68.)

[56] Due to the Government headed by the Patriarch Miron. (AYE, 1938, 7/A/2, K. Kollas to the Foreign Ministry of Greece, No. 373, Bucharest, February 14, 1938.)

[57] Gh. Barbul, Memorial Antonescu, p.68.

[58] Ibid., p. 97.

[59] AYE, 1938, 7/A/2, K. Kollas to the Foreign Ministry of Greece, No. 373, Bucharest, February 14, 1938.

[60] Ibid.

[61] AYE, 1940, 54.1, D. Argyropoulos, Consul General of Greece at Tirana, to the Foreign Minister of Greece, No. 194, Tiranë, January 27, 1940; the same to the same, No. 366, Tiranë, February 19, 1940; D. A. Tsankrēs, vice consul of Greece at Vlorë, to the Consul General of Greece at Tiranë, No. 276, Vlorë, March 9, 1940.

[62] See Albert Londres, Les comitadjis ou le terrorisme dans les Balkans, Paris : Albin Michel, 1932.

[63] See mainly Georges Castellan, L’Albanie (Paris : Presses Universitaires de France, 1980), p. 49ff.

[64] Dan Berindei, La Revolution roumaine de 1848-1849, Bucharest : Editura enciclopedică, 1998.

[65] K. R. Bolton, Thinkers of the Right challenging Materialism (Luton: Luton Publications, 20032), p. 81.

[66] Cf. Arthur Koestler, The Yogi and the Commissar, p. 212.

Source: Ab Aeterno, no. 12, April-June, 2012



  1. Lucian Tudor
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    This is an interesting and well-written essay, but there are some things I find debatable.

    “It is likely that Codreanu ‘christened’ his own movement after his Russian forerunners.”

    You don’t seem to provide a source for this assertion. It is possible that he may have taken inspiration from the Russian group, but neither he nor his successor Horia Sima seem to acknowledge it. I am not per se an expert on the Legionary Movement, but I probably know more than most here since I have looked into works on the subject beyond what is available to English-speakers (such as Horia Sima’s works), and I must say that I have never seen any acknowledgement of connection between the Russian group and the Romanian Legionary Movement out of anything I have ever read. All evidence seems to indicate that the Movement’s name comes purely from the inspiration of Saint Michael.

    “Unlike the Greek variety of the Far Right, which saw in the Crown its natural leader and was subsequently termed “monarchical fascism,” the Romanian Iron Guard found in the person of the King Carol II its bitterest foe.”

    This actually does not put into perspective the situation between King Carol II and the Iron Guard. The fact is that it was King Carol who rejected the Iron Guard, and not vice versa. When King Carol II came back to Romania in 1930, Codreanu and his followers were the first to welcome him. But Carol realized that the Iron Guard was not a group that was willing to give him complete and unlimited power. They were not going to be his puppets nor would they tolerate any corruption or decadence that he was accustomed to getting away with. In the Iron Guard’s version of monarchy the King is guided and assisted by the Iron Guard’s elite. The king in this situation would not have the unlimited power that Carol desired.

    “the roots of Europe’s Far Right are to be found in Russia.”

    I have to say that I entirely disagree with this statement because it ignores, first of all, the diverse roots of the European far-right (consider, for example, the German Conservative Revolution, which had an influence on the thought and ideology of many nationlist and right-wing movements across the whole of Europe) and also completely disregards the possibility that far-right or authoritarian nationalist movements in Europe were perfectly capable of arising via purely indegenous roots or thought (and in some cases they did).

    “Nationalism, first of all, is a leftist invention, and the evidence is Romania herself…And further, the Communist regimes in Europe proved to be far more nationalist than the so-called bourgeois ones.”

    This is all relative to how you define “nationalism.” The will for different ethincities to live in their own territories is hardly new or “leftist.” It is very ancient and very natural, in fact. As for the Communist regimes versus the “bourgeois ones” in their nationalism, Communism in general was for the most part only superficially nationalist, not in any deep or meaningful sense like, for example, the Iron Guard.

    • Razvan
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      “Nationalism, first of all, is a leftist invention, and the evidence is Romania herself. Les quarante-huitards ont fait la Roumanie, I have been told several times by an eminent Romanian historian. He is right; but it should be never forgotten that the 1848 revolution in the Romanian lands was enthusiastically — and justly — hailed by Karl Marx, because it was a radical one.[64]”

      That’s would be funny because other historians are citing Engels saying that the Romanians should be exterminated because they are the most reactionary people in Europe.

      The author is citing Dan Berindei “Baleanu”… one can’t seriously cite the opinions of a left wing impostor and spy(!!) on any aspects of the far right. It’s interesting how the former snitch, without enough Romanian blood to fill in a small vile is called “eminent Romanian historian”. He snitched his own son, for Gods sake!

      There is such a flow of lies from these decrepit members of the former elite, ready to do whatever crime to retain some privileges; it will take a huge effort to clean up their toxic propaganda and the political interests that agitate it.

      ““the roots of Europe’s Far Right are to be found in Russia.”…” is simply winking toward Kremlin. It’s a dangerous political game, when one hopes to attain some national goals, while catering for an Empire and against another people. Alexander Ypsilanti anyone?

  2. TM2
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Kai pali bravo ston Michalopoulo! Another great post. Thanks for posting it here Greg.

  3. Catiline
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    “Metaxas was successful in his effort to homogenize the Greek society. That is why when Italy declared war on Greece late in October, 1940, the Greek People were unanimous in defending their “fascist regime.” It was a virtual yet bloody tragicomedy: the defenders of the Greek variety of Fascism fighting against another Fascist country. But this is another story to be told . . .”

    I look forward to it’s telling. I’ve always found the Italo-Hellenic war puzzling and odd. I once asked someone about this (A Frenchman) and he told me Metaxas was a puppet of the British, and that the Brits were angling to enlist Greece through Metaxas in their war against Italy. The Italian invasion was a preemptive strike. I don’t know whether any of this is true or not. Greek Rightist perspective is most welcome.

  4. Lucian Tudor
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    One other thing that I forgot to mention here which I take issue with in your essay, is where you state: “it is sure now that WW 2 was lost for Germany and her allies, because Fascism proved to be ‘too national.’ As a result, only if the Balkan Far Right rejects its ‘nationalist exclusiveness,’ that is more or less nonsensical today, will it be able to become an important political factor.”

    Actually, I don’t think it was the nationalism of the Axis nations that caused them to lose WW2 (which is what “too national” implies), but rather that the major nations in the Axis (Germany and Italy especially) were too chauvinistic, too supremacist, and imperialistic towards fellow Europeans. This issue does indeed have something to do with them being “too national,” but these characteristics such as chauvinism, imperialism, and supremacism, do not necessarily have to be a part of nationalism. Nationalism can be just and free of these defects. Therefore, it is wrong to assume that the nationalism of the Axis powers was what caused their downfall. We must focus on specifically on the defects of chauvinism, imperialism, and supremacism when studying why WW2 was lost. Additionally, regarding the “Balkan Far-Right” in its “nationalist exclusiveness,” the various Far-Right movements in the Balkans cannot be equated as one homogenous grouping that we can call the “Balkan Far-Right.” Each of the movements in the various countries of the Balkans had their own unique issues and defects. We cannot equate the issues or character of, for example, the Romanian Iron Guard, the Greek Far-Right, and the Croatian Ustaša. They are entirely different movements with differing doctrines and behaviors, despite having certain similarities (some more than others), and cannot be merely lumped together and equated in character.

  5. TM2
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Some info on the character of Gen. George Kondyles regarding Greece would be much welcome Mr. Michalopoulos. Not much is known or said about the man.

  6. Razvan
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    “That is why the establishment saw in Codreanu a person without ‘true’ political experience, who was not able to conduct the State business.”

    The establishment was utterly exposed by Codreanu taking bribes from Marmorosh-Blank jewish bank. Huge amounts of jewish money. Of course Codreanu was unable to deal softly with this establishment of heavily mixed ancestry. The author is citing reports of Greek diplomats usually very well connected with this establishment. The Queen Elena of Romania was also Greek, like it was a huge part of the so called “Romanian establishment”.

    Codreanu was in fact a very good organizer and fund raiser. As the NSDAP (as Mr. Hamilton proves), the Legionary Movement was funded by the small people, including school kids donating scrap iron (it was very efficient)!

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