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Flag of the National Socialist Movement of Chile between 1932 and 1938, based on the first Chilean flag.

Movimiento Nacional Socialista de Chile was a political movement in Chile, during the Presidential Republic Era, which initially supported the ideas of Adolf Hitler, although it later moved towards a more indigenous form of fascism.

The movement was formed in April 1932 General Diaz Valderrama, Carlos Keller (the main ideologue of the group) and Jorge González von Marées, who became leader. The party initially followed the ideas of Nazism closely, stressing anti-Semitism. It received financial support from the German population of Chile and soon built up a membership of 20,000 people. The movement stressed what it saw as the need for one party rule, corporatism and solidarity between classes, and soon set up its own paramilitary wing, the Tropas Nacistas de Asalto.[1]

However support for Hitler was later abandoned, with González von Marées claiming by the late 1930s that the use of the name 'national socialist' had been an error on his part. Anti-semitism was also scaled back, with a more domestic form of fascism being offered instead[1]. That being said, individual members continued to look to Adolf Hitler, notably Miguel Serrano.

The party obtained three deputies (3,5% of the votes) during the 1937 legislative elections [2]. It then merged in 1938 with the Unión Socialista (Socialist Union) to create the Alianza Popular Libertadora (APL) which supported General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo's candidacy for the 1938 presidential election. However, fascist elements attempted a coup in September 1938, which was ruthlessly put down at the Seguro Obrero massacre, and led Ibáñez to oppose the National Socialists' choice of Gustavo Ross, leading to indirect support of the Radical Party's candidate, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, who narrowly won the election.[3]

In 1939, some members of the APL created an off-shoot, the fascist Vanguardia Popular Socialista, which failed to have any impact, and it was disbanded in 1941 whilst González von Marées was interned. On the other hand, the APL merged in 1945 with the Agrarian Party to form the Partido Agrario Laborista (PAL).

Of the former members of the party only Jorge Prat gained much influence. Publishing a weekly paper, Estanquero, between 1949 and 1954, he served as a cabinet minister in Carlos Ibáñez del Campo's government and attempted to run for President of Chile in 1964.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism: 1914-1945, London: Routledge, 2001, p. 341
  2. ^ Cruz-Coke, Ricardo. 1984. Historia electoral de Chile. 1925-1973. Editorial Jurídica de Chile. Santiago
  3. ^ Payne, A History of Fascism, p. 342
  4. ^ S. Cerqueira in JP Bernard et al., Guide to the Political Parties of South America, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973, p. 245

See also

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