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Czechoslovakia in a Nationalist and Fascist Europe, 1918–1948$
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Mark Cornwall and R J W Evans

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263914

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263914.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Ambivalent Capitalists: The Roots of Fascist Ideology among Bohemian Nobles, 1880–1938

Ambivalent Capitalists: The Roots of Fascist Ideology among Bohemian Nobles, 1880–1938

Chapter:
(p.26) (p.27) 3 Ambivalent Capitalists: The Roots of Fascist Ideology among Bohemian Nobles, 1880–1938
Source:
Czechoslovakia in a Nationalist and Fascist Europe, 1918–1948
Author(s):

Eagle Glassheim

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263914.003.0003

Although fascism has often been considered a plebeian, even radically egalitarian ideology, many of its outspoken proponents were members of the old European elite: nobles, clericalists and representatives of the haute bourgeoisie. Historians of Nazi Germany have puzzled over the affinity of German conservatives such as Paul von Hindenburg and Franz von Papen to Adolf Hitler's National Socialist version of fascism. A small but extremely wealthy noble elite struggled to maintain its long-standing social, economic and political influence in Bohemia. By the late nineteenth century, the Bohemian nobility was a self-consciously traditional social group with a decidedly modern economic relationship to agrarian and industrial capitalism. This chapter examines the response of the Bohemian aristocracy to the new state of Czechoslovakia. This restricted caste of cosmopolitan latifundist families was more German than Czech in sentiment, and further alienated by land reform. The aristocrats entertained divergent assessments of Nazism and responded in different ways to the crisis of the state by 1938.

Keywords:   Bohemia, fascism, capitalism, Nazi Germany, aristocracy, land reform, Nazism, Czechoslovakia, nobles

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