The Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN) was a co-ordinating center for anti-Communist émigré political organizations from Soviet and other socialist countries. According to the IPS the ABN was "the largest and most important umbrella organisation for former Nazi collaborators worldwide."1 The goal of the ABN was to remove communists from power, abolish the Soviet Union and divide it into national states.
Postcard issued by the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations.
According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine "The ABN attributes its existence and its ideological foundations to an underground conference of representatives of non-Russian peoples that took place on 21-22 November 1943 near Zhytomyr on the initiative of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, and at which a platform of joint revolutionary struggle against Russian communism was formulated."2
The ABN functioned as an umbrella organisation of fascist paramilitary exile organisations of CE countries, amongst them the OUN-B, the Croatian Ustase, the Rumanian Iron Guard, and the Slovakian Hlinka Guard.3 The most active groups within the ABN were the Ukrainian and Croatian organizations. In regards to Western support the ABN had a trump in its hand until the quashing of the UPA in 1953, enabling it to argue that there is still an armed resistance against the Soviets in Ukraine.4
In the years following the war, the ABN could consolidate its power over other rivaling anti-communist umbrella organizations, such as the MI6 and Vatican-sponsored Intermarium.
“By 1948, the ABN was well on the way to becoming the premier anti-Communist exile organization. But not because of its popularity, more so due to its intimidation of rivals through political in fighting and bully boy tactics that included killings and beatings administered by the dreaded internal security wing of OUN/B, the SB. CIC confirmed that by 1948 both the “Intermarium” and the UPA (Ukrainian partisan command) reported to the ABN president, Yaroslav Stetsko. The UPA in turn had consolidated all the anti-Soviet partisans under its umbrella. Yaroslav Stetsko was also Secretary of OUN/B and second in command to Bandera, who had the largest remaining partisan group behind Soviet lines under his direct command. Thus, OUN/B had achieved the leadership role among the anti-Communist exiles and was ascendant by 1950 while the more moderate and Madisonian-oriented platforms and groups, the Prometheans, Central European Federal Club and the others had been fused with the ABN or abandoned.”5
The ABN, headquartered in Munich, was officially founded on April 16, 1946 and until its dissolution in the mid-1990s was at times supported by British, American and German secret services.6
The headquarters and cells of the ABN organized mass anti-Soviet rallies, protest demonstrations, press conferences, and international congresses, and the distribution of various memoranda. The ABN co-operated with the World Anti-Communist League (WACL) and the European Freedom Council (EFC). Representatives from the ABN and related organizations participated in the congresses of the WACL and EFC.
In several countries (the United States of America, Canada, Great Britain) national ABN and ABN support groups, such as the American Friends of the ABN, were active; in others (Belgium, Italy, Australia, Argentina, etc) the organization was represented by branch offices and groups. Youth sections of the ABN were active in Great Britain and the United States.
“When the DP camps were closed in the course of the 1950s and most of the inhabitants emigrated in the framework of the “Resettlement Program” to the US, Great Britain, Australia and Canada, the activities of the ABN shifted to these new centres of emigration.”7
The ABN was headed by Yaroslav Stetsko, a war-time resistant to Soviet power, from the time of foundation until his death in 1986. Stetsko was succeeded by his widow, Slava Stetsko. "The chairmen of the A.B.N. Peoples' Council included V. Bērziņš, V. Kajum-Khan, F. Ďurčanský, F. Farkas de Kisbarnak, and R. Ostrowski. The long-time general secretaries were Dr. Niko Nakashidze and C. Pokorný."8
With the establishment of the ABN old rivalries of the OUN-B and OUN-M cooked up again. But the OUN-B faction around Stetsko and Bandera could with the help of the ABN gain the upper hand.
The English bulletin of the ABN was called ABN Correspondence, issued bimonthly in Munich from 1950 to 1996, under the editorship of Vasyl Oreletsky (1950–4), M. Borys (1954), D. Osinsky (1954–7), and Slava Stetsko (from 1957). It published articles by Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians about the conditions in Ukraine and other communist-dominated countries of Eastern Europe and Asia and about international Communism, translations of samvydav documents, and reports on the activities of ABN and the World Anti-Communist League. The ABN Correspondence was also published irregularly in German (1949–58) and French (1952–4). The bulletin was succeeded by Volia naroda, a journal that appeared in Lviv three times in Ukrainian and Russian.
The Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations was disbanded in 1996 after the collapse of the USSR.
Member organisation for various times
- "Free Armenia" Committee
- Bulgarian National Front
- Belarusian Central Rada
- Cossack National Liberation Movement
- Croatian National Liberation Movement
- Cuba Libre
- Czech Movement for Freedom (Za Svobodu)
- Czech National Committee
- Estonian Liberation Movement (Estonia)
- For the Freedom of Vietnam
- Union of the Estonian Fighters for Freedom
- Georgian National Organization
- Hungarian Liberation Movement
- Hungarian Mindszenty Movement
- Latvian Association for the Struggle against Communism
- Lithuanian Rebirth Movement
- Slovak Liberation Committee
- National Turkestanian Unity Committee
- United Hetman Organization
- Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Bandera
- Birkholz, Stefanie. Die stärksten Verbündeten des Westens: Der Antibolschewistische Block der Nationen 1946-1996. Konkret Texte 71, 2017. (German)
- Levy, Jonathan. The Intermarium: Wilson, Madison, & East Central European Federalism. University of Cincinatti, 2006. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=ucin1147397806&disposition=attachment.
- Silver, Arnold M. "Questions, Questions, Questions: Memories of Oberursel." Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 37, No. 5 (1994): 81-90. Accessed December 20, 2018. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/unclass1994.pdf.
- 1"World Anti-Communist League," Institute for Policy Studies, January 9, 1990. Archived version of March 3, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20160303235651/http://rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/World_Anti-Communist_League.
- 2Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine, "Anti-Bolshevic Bloc of Nations." http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages\A\N\Anti6BolshevikBlocofNations.htm.
- 3Birkholz, Die stärksten Verbündeten des Westens, 38
- 4Birkholz, Die stärksten Verbündeten des Westens, 39.
- 5Jonathan Levy, The Intermarium: Wilson, Madison, & East Central European Federalism (University of Cincinatti, 2006), 318. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=ucin1147397806&disposition=attachment.
- 6 Levy, Intermarium, 319.
- 7Stefanie Birkholz, Die stärksten Verbündeten des Westens: Der Antibolschewistische Block der Nationen 1946-1996 (Konkret Texte 71, 2017), 42.
- 8Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations," Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine, http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages\A\N\Anti6BolshevikBlocofNations.htm.