Anti-Masonry as political protest: fascists and Freemasons in interwar Romania



Clark, Roland ORCID: 0000-0003-3292-282X
(2012) Anti-Masonry as political protest: fascists and Freemasons in interwar Romania. PATTERNS OF PREJUDICE, 46 (1). pp. 40-57.

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Abstract

Clark analyses the anti-Masonic discourses used by fascist groups in interwar Romania. Unlike attacks on already stigmatized groups such as Jews and communists, the objects of anti-Masonic attacks had institutional power and were socially respectable. Romanian anti-Masonry was an attempt by politically marginal parties on the extreme right to undermine the authority of their mainstream opponents. Anti-Masonry was a core doctrine for both of the major fascist parties in interwar Romania-A. C. Cuza's National Christian Defence League and Corneliu Zelea Codreanu's League of the Archangel Michael-as well as for journalists and writers associated with smaller groups or those attempting to create a united fascist front. Drawing on a large corpus of anti-Masonic texts, they claimed to be opposing a global conspiracy against the Christian world by Freemasons in co-operation with Jews and communists. Fascists slandered specific individuals, including government ministers and leading writers, accusing them of treason and heresy because of their supposed ties to Freemasonry. Romanian Freemasonry's connections with French lodges led fascists to blame Masons for their country's pro-French, pro-League of Nations foreign policy, which they saw as evidence that Romania was run by Jews. Anti-Masonry extended beyond fascist circles and was also adopted by the Orthodox Church, which declared Freemasonry to be heretical and anti-Christian. Not limiting themselves to those who actually were Masons, fascists also accused other fascists of having Masonic connections as a way to undermine the nationalist credentials of political rivals. Anti-Masonic slander continued even after Freemasonry was dissolved in Romania, but decreased in frequency once fascists gained institutional power. For them, anti-Masonry was primarily a way to attack people in power and, once the fascists ruled Romania, anti-Masonry became an excuse to replace representatives of the old regime with new fascist appointees. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: A. C. Cuza, anti-Masonry, antisemitism, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, fascism, Freemasonry, interwar fascism, Iron Guard, Legion of the Archangel Michael, Nichifor Crainic, Romania
Subjects: ?? DR ??
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2016 11:09
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2023 10:59
DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.2012.655526
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/2048782