Food Packages as Anti-Communist Weapons: Oskar Schabert, the Baltic Action for Russia and the Mobilization of Christians in the Netherlands, 1924-1936

  • Koos-jan de Jager

Abstract

In recent years, historiography on the relation between religion and anti-communism in the interwar period has grown rapidly. Historians have argued that anti-communism in the interwar period was a global and transnational phenomenon, an ideology shared by a wide variety of actors calling for a Christian crusade against anti-religious persecutions in the USSR. This article studies two of these anti-communist actors, the German-Baltic pastor Oskar Schabert and the Dutch pastor Frederik Johan Krop. In Riga, Schabert was the founder and leader of the Baltic Action for Russia, an anti-communist organization supporting Christians in the USSR. In the Netherlands, Krop mobilized a broad alliance of orthodox Christians in support of Schaberts’ relief work. The case study of Schabert and Krop shows that the connection of religious and ideological objections against communism and relief work for Christians in the USSR turned out to be a strong narrative mobilizing Christians in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe. Furthermore, it contributes to historiography by showing how transnational contacts between Schabert and Krop shaped the development of anti-communism in the 1930s.
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