'Whether black or white – united in the fight!' Connecting the resistance against colonialism, racism, and fascism in the European metropoles, 1926-1936

Issue: 
Spring 2020
Author(s): 

‘This article focuses on the ways in which anti-colonialism, anti-racism, and anti-fascism were intertwined within the Third Period, and the extent to which these ideals were already being drawn together in the preceding era of the United Front. Drawing heavily on the articles and imagery of Willi Münzenberg’s Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung, the piece demonstrates the ways in which communist anti-fascist campaigning around the world facilitated the development of sophisticated anti-racist arguments which aimed at undermining the ideological basis of fascist movements and colonial rulers alike. It evidences the extent to which communists felt that countering the pseudoscience of race could play an important role in numerous facets of their campaigning. Furthermore, it highlights the attempts by activists and writers to develop a conception of anti-fascism and anti-colonialism as mutually-reinforcing strategies which could be deployed in tandem, and the ways that this ideological interweaving was drawn into campaigns both against the Nazis’ use of racial science to justify anti-Semitic policy, and fascist Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia based on Social Darwinist precepts.

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