Franz Anton Basch
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Dr. Franz Anton Basch (Hungarian: Basch Ferenc Antal) (July 13, 1901 – April 27, 1946) was a Shwovish Nazi politician, the chairman of Volksbund der Deutschen in Ungarn and the leader of the Shwoveh (Danube Swabian) community in Hungary.
Franz Basch was born in Hatzfeld on July, 13, 1901 in what was then the Hapsburg Empire's Banat and is now the Vojvodina in Serbia. He was a student of the more moderate nationalist activist Jakob Bleyer and earned his doctorate at the University of Budapest between 1920 and 1924. He matriculated from the University of Munich on Dec. 5, 1925 In 1925 he became the secretary of the German Cultural Society. He published many works in this period.
From 1930, he began to express extreme nationalist propaganda and became a follower of Nazism. In 1934 he resigned his position because he affronted the Hungarian nation with his ideas. In 1938 he founded the Racial Union Of Germans In Hungary (the Volksbund or VDU) and became its chairman, organizing it along Nazi lines with the financial backing of the Third Reich. In 1939, Basch took the title Volksgruppenfueherer (Racial Group Leader) of the ethnic Germans in Hungary. In 1940 Hitler appointed him the leader of Germans in Hungary (the Danube Swabians and the Transylvanian Saxons). In the first two enlistment periods of ethnic Germans in Hungary in 1942 and 1943, Franz Basch, as head of the VDU, actively participated and was responsible for enlisting over 40,000 Hungarian citizens in the Waffen-SS for Nazi Germany.
In the end of the year 1944 he escaped to Germany, but was delivered up to Hungary in 1945. He was marked as a war criminal and executed in Budapest on April 26, 1946. A detailed but sympathetic analysis of Basch's final trial is available in Seewann and Spannenberger (1999).
- Spannenberger, N. (2005) Der Volksbund der Deutschen in Ungarn 1938 - 1944. Oldenbourg: Munich.
- Lyon, P. W. (2008) AFTER EMPIRE: ETHNIC GERMANS AND MINORITY NATIONALISM IN INTERWAR YUGOSLAVIA. PhD Dissertation. College Park:UMd. P. 556
- Seewann, G. & Spannenberger, N. (1999) Akten des Volksgerichtsprozesses gegen Franz A. Basch, Volksgruppenfuehrer der Deitschen in Ungarn, Budapest 1945/46. Munchen.
- Paikert, G. C. (1967) The Danube Swabians. Nijhoff:The Hague
- Magyar Életrajzi Lexikon: Basch Ferenc Antal (In Hungarian)
- Lyon, P. W. (2008) AFTER EMPIRE: ETHNIC GERMANS AND MINORITY NATIONALISM IN INTERWAR YUGOSLAVIA. PhD Dissertation. College Park:UMd.
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