Iron Wolf (organization)
Iron Wolf (Geležinis Vilkas, also known as Iron Wolf Association) was a Lithuanian paramilitary organization (active in 1927–1934). Initially established as an athletic society (founded by officer Algirdas Sliesoraitis, supported by Catholic chaplain V. Mironas), it recruited its members manly from army officers (overall numbers were minuscule). Its original raison d'être was perceived as a fight against internal destabilisation in light of political crisis, civil unrest and yet another demonstrative threat of military intervention, made by the Polish government. With the exception of glorification of youth and struggle, it featured rather few criteria of fascist ideology.
The organization gradually radicalized and became almost completely dependent on a personal will of Augustinas Voldemaras, who used it to target his political opponents. After Voldemaras's Cabinet resignation, the movement was banned in 1930, although it continued as an underground group, even more radical. In 1934, its members attempted a failed coup d'état against the president, Antanas Smetona. Voldemaras was arrested, released in 1938 and soon emigrated. Former members of the organization reorganized later in the 1930s; many of them collaborated with German authorities during the Second World War and German occupation of Lithuania.
The name of the organization comes from the story of Gediminas' dream, first recorded in The Broad Code of Lithuanian Chronicles from the 16th century. During the period of 1928–1929, Iron Wolf published its periodical Tautos kelias twice a month.
- Alan Oliver Goetz, The Iron Wolf: Lithuanian Fascism (1927-1941)
- Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism: 1914-1945, London: Routledge, 2001, p. 341
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