DescriptionThis dissertation employs what I call “living conceptual history” to examine central political dramas of twentieth-century German history through attention to the lives of the Spanienkämpfer (fighters for Spain, but literally “Spain-fighters”). It undertakes parallel explorations of the inner lives of, and state policies directed towards, these German antifascist resisters who contributed to the Spanish Republican war effort during the Spanish Civil War, from the demise of the Weimar Republic to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Following this mostly fixed group of German antifascists as they traversed both space and time, it exposes not only ideological ties between fascism and liberal democracy in Germany and beyond prior to 1945 but also genealogical ties between National Socialism and postwar liberal democracy in West Germany. It shows that these very political internationalists whom the Nazis had endeavored to neutralize in the name of anti-Bolshevism remained personae non gratae in Cold War West Germany, then on the basis of anti-totalitarianism. It proposes that these successive ideological projects by the Nazi regime and the postwar Federal Republic represented two faces and phases of an enduring anti-antifascism by which fascist and liberal-democratic political orders were unified. The collapse of the National Socialist regime gave rise to a regime of knowledge about National Socialism and resistance to it that proved similarly hostile to historical antifascists. Only after the rise of West Germany’s New Left did West Germans begin to reject the anti-antifascist consensus and rediscover the antifascist legacy of the Spanienkämpfer, whose internationalist ethos they embraced in connection with their own political goals.