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The Fascist Salute by axeloxenstierna
March 17, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: history

Everyone knows what the Nazi salute looks like — there’s no need for me to post a video of it here. It was actually a variation of a salute that Mussolini had been using the beginning of the Italian fascist movement — the so-called “Roman Salute”, which was allegedly used by the Roman Empire. The Roman Salute differed from the Nazi one in that the palm was raised up. Here is a good video of the Croatian fascist dictator Ante Pavelic visiting Italy in 1941. Both the Croatian and Italian officials do the Roman Salute.

As we saw with my last post, the Slovak fascist regime straight-up copied the Nazi salute, which is to be expected given that Fascist Slovakia was a Nazi puppet. But some fascist regimes actually copied the Italian salute. See this Romanian fascist rally from 1940, for instance:

Romanian fascism seems like a stylistic blend of Italian and Nazi images. Note the Roman salute, but also the swastika-like symbol (the three crossing bars) that serves as a focal point. Most fascist regimes in eastern europe had an easy-to-draw symbol that they used in the same way the Nazis used the swastika: the “iron bars” in Romania, the Apostolic Cross in Slovakia, the Arrow Cross in Hungary, etc.

As for Ante Pavelic, it seems that when he was on his home turf in Croatia, he used what appears to be a slightly modified Nazi-style salute. The palm was certainly down, but the arm seems to be slightly bent at the shoulder. Observe:

I’m not sure if this difference is official (i.e., linked to Croat ideology in some way), or if Croatian fascists were just lazier than their German counterparts.

I was unsuccessful in finding footage of salutes in other fascist regimes. Serbia had a fascist regime led by a guy named Milan Nedic — a very rotund old man who, unlike most fascist dictators, appears to have dressed in a suit and tie for rallies. None of his rallies that are up on YouTube appear to have any salutes in them, even when he is speaking to military units. Perhaps he realized that if he wore military dress and did military salutes, it would look rather absurd given his girth. Another major problem is that authentic videos of 1940’s-era fascist rallies on YouTube are far outnumbered by recently-made tribute videos uploaded by contemporary Neo-Fascists. These guys have usernames like “WhitePowerSRB” or “HungarianGun” and make videos set to rock or techno music that are mostly montages of still pictures of fascist leaders. I suspect these are the same guys who vandalize Wikipedia articles about neighboring countries.

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