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Anti-Slavism, also known as Slavophobia, a form of racism or xenophobia, refers to various negative attitudes towards Slavic peoples, most common manifestation being claims of inferiority of Slavic nations with respect to other ethnic groups. Its opposite is Slavophilia. Anti-slavism reached its highest peak during World War 2 when Nazi Germany declared Slavs to be subhuman and planned to exterminate the majority of Slavic people.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Anti-Slavism developed in Albania through the work of the Franciscan monks who had studied in monasteries in Austria-Hungary. They imitated and transposed national epics of the literature produced there, like Gjergj Fishta did with his Lahuta e Malcís, but substituted the struggle against Turks with struggle against the Slavs, propagating Anti-Slavic feelings. Albanian intelligentsia proudly asserted: "We Albanians are the original and autochthonous race of the Balkans. The Slavs are conquerors and immigrants who came but yesterday from Asia." In Soviet historiography, Anti-Slavism in Albania was inspired by the Catholic clergy which took position against Slavic people because of role the Catholic clergy had in preparations "for Italian aggression against Albania" and because Slavs opposed "rapacious plans of Austro-Hungarian imperialism in Albania".
Fascism and Nazism
In the 1920s, Italian fascists targeted Yugoslavs—especially Serbs—and accused Serbs of having "atavistic impulses", claimed that Yugoslavs were conspiring together on behalf of "Grand Orient masonry and its funds" and one anti-Semitic claim that Serbs were part of a "social-democratic, masonic Jewish internationalist plot".
Benito Mussolini identified Yugoslavs as a threat to Italy and as competitors over the region of Dalmatia which was claimed by Italy, and claimed that this threat rallied Italians together at the end of World War I, saying: "The danger of seeing the Jugo-Slavians settle along the whole Adriatic shore had caused a bringing together in Rome of the cream of our unhappy regions. Students, professors, workmen, citizens—representative men—were entreating the ministers and the professional politicians".
Anti-Slavic racism was an essential component of Nazism. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party movement regarded Slavic countries and their peoples as Untermenschen (subhumans), they were deemed as foreign nationalists that could not be considered part of the master race. There were exceptions for some Slavs deemed by the Nazis to be descendants of ethnic German settlers and who were willing to be Germanised. Hitler considered the Slavs to be inferior as the Bolshevik Revolution had put the Jews in power over the mass of Slavs, who were, by his own definition, incapable of ruling themselves but instead being ruled by Jewish masters. Because according to the Nazis the German people was in need for more territory to sustain its surplus population, an ideology of conquest and depopulation was formulated for Eastern Europe according to the principle of Lebensraum, itself based on an older theme in German nationalism which maintained that Germany had a "natural yearning" to expand its borders eastward (Drang Nach Osten). This drive was focused especially towards the Soviet Union, as it alone was deemed capable of providing enough territory to accomplish this goal, although they reached a much more advanced state in occupied Poland due to its immediate proximity to Germany. According to the resulting genocidal Generalplan Ost, millions of German and other "Germanic" settlers would be moved into the conquered territories, while the original Slavic inhabitants were to be annihilated, removed, or enslaved.
Hitler perceived the development of the modern Russian state had been the work of Germanic elements in the nation and not that of Slavs, but that those achievements had been undone and destroyed by the October Revolution.
The Nazis policy towards Slavs was to exterminate, ethnically cleanse and enslave the vast majority of the Slavic population and repopulate their land with millions of ethnic Germans and other Germanic peoples. a. In order to deviate from their ideological theories for strategic reasons by forging alliances with Croatia (a puppet state created after the Invasion of Yugoslavia) and Bulgaria, the Croats were officially described as "more Germanic than Slav", a notion supported by Croatia's fascist dictator Ante Pavelić who maintained that the Croatians were descendants of the ancient Goths and "had the Panslav idea forced upon them as something artificial". Hitler also deemed the Bulgarians to be "Turkoman" in origin.
- Detrez, Raymond; Pieter Plas (2005) Developing cultural identity in the Balkans: convergence vs divergence Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang S.A. p. 220 ISBN 90-5201-297-0 "it led to adoption of anti-Slavic component"
- Elsie, Robert. "Gjergj Fishta, The Voice of The Albanian Nation". Archived from the original on April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011. "Fishta was not uninfluenced or unmoved by the literary achievements of the southern Slavs in the second half of the nineteenth century...the role played by Franciscan pater Grga Martic whose works served the young Fishta as a model...by the writings of an earlier Franciscan writer, Andrija Kacic-Miosic ...by the works of Croatian poet Ivan Mazhuranic.. the Montenegrin poet-prince Petar Petrovic Njegos... His main work, the epic poem, Lahuta e Malësisë (The highland lute), ... propagates anti-Slavic feelings and makes the struggle against the Ottoman occupants secondary."
- Detrez, Raymond; Pieter Plas (2005) Developing cultural identity in the Balkans: convergence vs divergence Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang S.A. p. 220 ISBN 90-5201-297-0 "... substitution of the central motif of the fight against the Turks by that of the fight against Slavs."
- Kolarz, Walter (1972) Myths and realities in eastern Europe Kennikat Press p. 227 ISBN 978-0-8046-1600-3 "Albanian intelligentsia, despite the backwardness of their country and culture: "We Albanians are the original and autochthonous race of the Balkans. The Slavs are conquerors and immigrants who came but yesterday from Asia.""
- Elsie, Robert. "Gjergj Fishta, The Voice of The Albanian Nation". Archived from the original on April 5, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011. "Great Soviet Encyclopaedia of Moscow, ...(March 1950): "The literary activities of the Catholic priest Gjergj Fishta reflect the role played by the Catholic clergy in preparing for Italian aggression against Albania. As a former agent of Austro-Hungarian imperialism, Fishta, ..., took a position against the Slavic peoples who opposed the rapacious plans of Austro-Hungarian imperialism in Albania. In his chauvinistic, anti-Slavic poem ‘The highland lute,’ this spy extolled the hostility of the Albanians towards the Slavic peoples, calling for an open fight against the Slavs."."
- Burgwyn, H. James. Italian foreign policy in the interwar period, 1918-1940. p. 43. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997.
- Benito Mussolini, Richard Washburn Child, Max Ascoli, Richard Lamb. My rise and fall. Da Capo Press, 1998. pp. 105-106.
- Bendersky, Joseph W. (2007). A concise history of Nazi Germanyp. 161-2. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., Plymouth, United Kingdom
- Geoffrey P. Megargee (2007). War of Annihilation: Combat And Genocide on the Eastern Front, 1941. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-0-7425-4482-6.
- Hitler, Adolf (1926). Mein Kampf, Chapter XIV: Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy. Quoting the text: "If we speak of soil [to be conquered for German settlement] in Europe today, we can primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states."
- Joseph W. Bendersky. A history of Nazi Germany: 1919-1945. Plymouth, England, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2000. Pp. 177.
- Martyn Housden (2000). Hitler: Study of a Revolutionary?. Taylor & Francis. pp. 138–. ISBN 978-0-415-16359-0.
- Hans-Åke Persson; Bo Stråth (2007). Reflections on Europe: Defining a Political Order in Time and Space. Peter Lang. pp. 336–. ISBN 978-90-5201-065-6.
- Rich, Norman (1974). Hitler's War Aims: the Establishment of the New Order, p. 276-7. W. W. Norton & Company Inc., New York.
- Hitler, Adolf; Gerhard, Weinberg (2007). Hitler's table talk, 1941-1944: his private conversations, p. 356. Enigma Books. Quoting Hitler: "For example to label the Bulgarians as Slavs is pure nonsense; originally they were Turkomans."