The ‘New Man’ Symposium
Conveners: Jorge Dagnino (de los Andes) & Matthew Feldman (Teesside)
The ‘New Man Symposium’ will examine fascist movements and regimes through the lens of an attempted anthropological revolution. This attempt to create a ‘homo fascistus’ during the fascist epoch is approached via a comparative angle, with presentations by leaders in the field of Fascist Studies. Taking different perspectives and looking at national movements across Europe, as well as in Latin America, it is hoped that this interdisciplinary conference will revive interest in this much neglected topic.
Dr Tudor Georgescu (Oxford Brookes) – When New Men Dig Ditches Too: The Transylvanian Saxon Self-Help’s Youth movement and volunteer work camps in 1930s and 1940s Romania
This paper investigates the Transylvanian Saxon Self-Help’s youth movement and its attempts to fashion a new generation through volunteer work camps in 1930s and 1940s Romania. While the Self-Help founded in the 1920s had its own roots in Fritz Fabritius’ 1912 ‘Jugendwehr’ organisation, the rapidly expanding fascist movement’s youth work gained a whole new dimension with incorporation of the veterinarian Dr. Alfred Bonfert’s ‘Southeast German Wandervogel’ in the early 1930s. In particularly, this paper looks at the subsequent creation of Self-Help Work Teams and the organisation of volunteer work camps as core means of ideological indoctrination, of social engineering, and the extent to which they can offer a valuable case study for comparison with similar programmes so characteristic of the fascist bid to renew man.