Traditional historiography has interpreted the inter-war period as a «European civil war» in which Fascism and Bolshevism challenged each other. By questioning this interpretation, the article contests the idea that both wars had an equal ideological nature. Even in the case of World War II, the alleged ideological dimension of the conflict must be considered in the broader context of the behavior of the single actors: rather than the Nazi ideology, it was the German threat that alarmed the democratic powers and communist Russia. Seeing in this light, the Spanish Civil War was also informed more by geopolitical reasons than by ideological ones.
Keywords: Thirty-Year European Civil War, Nazism, Communism, Nationalism