Lyenko Urbanchich

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Lyenko Urbanchich (alternative surname spellings: Urbančič and Urbancic; 1922–2006) was a Slovenian-born Australian political activist. During World War Two he was a Slovene Home Guard propagandist.

He had helped create a faction of the New South Wales branch of the Liberal Party of Australia,[1] and had been appointed on the party's State executive.[2] Inspired by the legacy of Urbanchich, the faction regrouped in 2015.[3]

Wartime activities[edit]

In the Jutro (Morning) newspaper in June 1944, Urbanchich wrote: “All those Anglophiles – that word is actually wrong, as they are not Anglophiles, but fruitcakes – must bear in mind that our anti-Communist battle would be all in vain if we were to make such a fatal mistake and take today’s Anglo-American invasion troops for anything other than what they are, a Jewish-communist tool”.[4]

Similarly, in a 1944 broadcast on Radio Ljubljana, Urbanchich stated:[2] " is not important that I speak to you as the youngest Slovene journalist ... [what is important] is that) the truth which is older than I, which is centuries old (be proclaimed). That is, the truth about all the vile intentions of the chosen people, the 15 million Israeli race roaming the world".[citation needed]

Later in the broadcast, he concluded with a rallying cry to his listeners to:
“... follow our leader, the experienced and homeland-loving General Rupnik, about whom we can say that God himself has sent him to us.... It is our duty to repeat over and over again, to exhaustion, that there is only one way, the way of General Rupnik”.[2][5]

When the communist Yugoslav Partisans won the war in 1945 he fled from Slovenia. He was released from British custody in May 1948, and accepted for migration under Australia's Displaced Persons scheme just 18 months later in 1950.[citation needed]

Post war[edit]

A painter and sculptor, he was president of the Liberal Party's Five Dock branch in 1974. During the 1970s and 1980s, he headed an unofficial Liberal faction in Sydney which became known by its enemies as "the Uglies". Over these two decades he was the mentor of David Clarke, now a Member of the NSW Legislative Council. Lyenko was elected as the first president of the Liberal Ethnic Council in 1977.[5]

In 1979, allegations were made in an ABC documentary and in the New South Wales and Federal parliaments that Urbanchich had been a Nazi collaborator and anti-Semitic propagandist for the Slovenian government during World War II. He was briefly suspended from the party, but avoided expulsion when the State Executive found by a majority that the claims against him were false.[1] He was replaced, however, as President of the Ethnic Council by Frank Calabro.[6] In 1986 Urbanchich admitted that "I did follow (Leon) Rupnik and I thought it was correct thing to do at that particular time",[7] but maintained "[I] never said 'Heil Hitler', I never put a Nazi uniform on, I never greeted in the Nazi way."[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Nazi propagandist and Liberal hard man dies after 30 powerful years
  2. ^ a b c Governor's Speech: Address-In-Reply, NSW Parliament, 24 September 1997.
  3. ^ "The Uglies" regroup,; accessed 21 August 2016.(subscription required)
  4. ^ Jutro, 29 June 1944,; accessed 21 August 2016.
    In original: "Vsi tisti anglofili - ta beseda je prav za prav napačna, zakaj niso anglofili, temveč zmešanci - pa si morajo zapomniti, da bi bila vsa naša protikomunistična borba zaman, če bi naredili tako usodno napako in smatrali današnje anglo-amerikanske invazijske čete za kaj drugega, kakor za židovsko-komunistično orodje"
  5. ^ a b "Ardent Nazi took Liberal to extremes",; accessed 21 August 2016.
  6. ^ Italian-born politician Frank Calabro hoped for unity,; accessed 21 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Clarke denies denigrating Jews, homosexuals",; 5 September 2005.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ian Hancock (2007). The Liberals: a history of the NSW division of the Liberal party of Australia, 1945-2000. Federation Press. ISBN 978-1-86287-659-0.