Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 87–100 | Cite as

Post-war fascism in the Netherlands

  • Jaap Van Donselaar


In practically all the countries of western Europe attempts were made, shortly after the ending of the Second World War, to inject new life into national socialism and fascism. This also happened in the Netherlands. Such efforts were being made in the face of severe restrictions since, after 1945, fascist and racist activists could expect to encounter considerably more resistance than they had done before 1940. Nevertheless, fascist and racist organizations have continued to crop up throughout the entire post-war period.

The pursuit of fascist continuity in a post-war, anti-fascist climate evoked fierce opposition and sharp conflicts. These conflicts constituted a threat to extreme-right activists, for if such activists could be identified with fascism, they would be discredited and viewed as criminals. They were obliged to adapt to the new situation, but adaptive strategies carried a risk: disavowal of ideological principles. This dilemma has two boundaries: on the one hand the open conflict with the judiciary and, on the other, a vague and nebulous political profile. Both limitations could spell the end of the organization.

This article has been concerned with the struggle between fascist and racist organizations and the outside world in the post-war decades. The course of the struggle has had a great deal of influence on the rise and fall of organizations and on the varied forms they have taken. Fascist organizations have to withstand the pressure from without in one way or another, but how? This is the big question which has formed a divisive element for decades now.


Varied Form Adaptive Strategy International Relation Severe Restriction Racist Activist 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaap Van Donselaar
    • 1
  1. 1.Leiden Institute for Social Scientific ResearchLeiden UniversityThe Netherlands

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