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SOME HISTORIANS SPEAK OF THE INTERWAR PERIOD AS THE “ERA OF FASCISM” Several movements arose to imitate Mussolini’s political style, including Le Faisceau.

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Presentation on theme: "SOME HISTORIANS SPEAK OF THE INTERWAR PERIOD AS THE “ERA OF FASCISM” Several movements arose to imitate Mussolini’s political style, including Le Faisceau."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOME HISTORIANS SPEAK OF THE INTERWAR PERIOD AS THE “ERA OF FASCISM” Several movements arose to imitate Mussolini’s political style, including Le Faisceau and the “Cross of Fire” in France, Hitler’s Nazis, the Austrian Home Guard, and Spanish Falange. Their common features: 1. The search in national history and traditions for role models and values, and attacks on “internationalism”. 2. The call for rule by a warrior elite, and close cooperation with a paramilitary league. 3. Imitation of the techniques of the socialist labor movement, with the aim of suppressing it. Historians still debate whether fascism necessarily implies imperialist expansion or racism.

2 Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 in an Austrian Empire wracked by ethnic tension; he soon became “Pan-German”.

3 Munich’s Odeon Square, August 2, 1914 “To me those hours seemed like a release from the painful feelings of my youth. Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time” (Mein Kampf, p. 161)

4 Adolf Hitler with two fellow dispatch runners in his Bavarian regiment and his dog, Foxl, in Fournes, France (1915)

5 Anton Drexler, the railroad machinist who invited Hitler into his “German Workers’ Party” in September 1919 and renamed it the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) in 1920

6 25-Point Program of the German Workers’ Party (Feb. 1920) #1. We demand the union of all Germans to form a Great Germany. #3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the nourishment of our people and for settling our excess population. #4. None but members of the nation may be citizens of the state. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew therefore may be a member of the nation. #7. If it is not possible to nourish the entire population of the state, foreign nationals (noncitizens of the state) must be excluded from the Reich. #8. All non-German immigration must be prevented. #11. Abolition of incomes unearned by work. #13. We demand nationalization of all businesses (trusts). #14. We demand that the profits from wholesale trade shall be shared. #16. We demand creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, immediate communalization of wholesale business premises, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders….

7 Hitler dictated vol. 1 of Mein Kampf in Landsberg Prison in 1924 (see Bell, pp ). TOTAL GERMAN SALES: 1929: 23, : 80, : 1,500, : 10,000,000 In Vol. 2 (1925) he argued that Germany must acquire enough Lebensraum in Eastern Europe to feed a population of 250 million. He advocated alliances with Great Britain & Italy against France & Russia.

8 THE POLARIZATION OF THE GERMAN ELECTORATE IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION: In the election campaign of July 1932, many felt that Germany was on the brink of civil war.

9 “A combat veteran votes for Adolf Hitler!” (presidential campaign poster from 1932)

10 The Hitler-Papen “Cabinet of National Renewal” appointed on January 30, 1933 (only 3 of 11 ministers were Nazis)

11 Franz von Papen accepted General Werner von Blomberg as minister of defense without realizing that his wife was a secret Nazi. Blomberg brought his fellow generals to meet with Hitler on February 2, when Hitler promised them unlimited funding for rearmament.

12 “In our deepest need, Hindenburg chose Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor. You too should vote for List #1” (February 1933)

13 HITLER’S “PEACE SPEECH,” May 17, 1933 “This generation of young Germans has suffered too much from the madness of war to inflict it on anyone else…. Just as we love and are faithful to our own nationality, so too do we recognize the national rights of other peoples and desire with all our hearts to live with them in peace and friendship.” ….National Socialism, Hitler declared, sought only to save Germany from the threat of Communism, put the millions of unemployed back to work, and restore a stable government with law and order.

14 German map of the arms race (1934)

15 Germany restored universal conscription in March 1935 New draftees report in 1935 How they looked a few months later

16 New Luftwaffe bombers and army tanks on display for the Nazi Party “Congress of Freedom,” Nuremberg, September Rearmament helped Germany to achieve full employment by 1936.

17 FROM LENIN TO STALIN 1921: Lenin favors small business and the family farmer with the New Economic Policy : Succession struggle after the death of Lenin leads to the victory of Stalin and exile of Trotsky : In the first Five-Year Plan, Stalin decrees the “collectivization” of agriculture to accelerate industrialization. The results are catastrophic. 1934/35: USSR joins the League of Nations and signs treaties of alliance with Czechoslovakia and France : Criticism of collectivization leads to the “Great Purge,” i.e., the execution of two million army officers, civil servants, and C.P. functionaries.

18 Joseph Vissarionovich Jugashvili, code-named “Stalin” ( ): photographed with Lenin in 1922

19 Rewriting history: Lenin & Trotsky address Red Army recruits in Moscow’s Red Square, May 1920 (photographs published before and after Stalin gained power)

20 “Industrialization is the path to socialism!” (Soviet poster, 1927)

21 “Imperialists cannot stop the triumphal march of the Five- Year Plan” (USSR, 1930): Industrialization was needed, Stalin declared, because an Imperialist onslaught was ever more likely….

22 “Religion is poison. Safeguard the children” (USSR, 1930)

23 “We will smite the kulak who agitates for reducing the cultivated area” (USSR, 1930): Food production plummeted after Stalin ordered collectivization, and millions of Ukrainian peasants starved.

24 “We will smite the lazy workers!” (USSR, 1931)

25 “Long Live the Workers’ & Peasants’ Red Army!” (Stalin & Marshal Voroshilov, USSR, 1935)

26 THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF THE C.P. CENTRAL COMMITTEE (names in red all executed on Stalin’s orders)

27 “Stalin cares about everyone in the Kremlin,” USSR, 1940

28 “TOTALITARIANISM,” according to Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy (1956) 1. A one-party state. 2. A “charismatic” leader who heads both the Party and the State. 3. An official ideology with a comprehensive theory of history demanding the assent of all citizens. 4. A secret police empowered to imprison anyone without trial and monitor opinions. 5. Centralized control of all mass media and information. 6. Centralized control of all armed force. 7. State control of the economy [?].

29 TOTAL DEFENSE SPENDING IN MILLIONS OF 1952 DOLLARS YEARJapan*Italy Ger- many USSR ** U.K.FranceUSA , ,6075, ,1492,3322, ,6211,2353,2983,4461, , , ,4155,4291, ,131 * Japan’s total is hard to measure because of major charges to Manchukuo and other overseas dependencies. ** Stalin’s command economy and slave labor camps make the Soviet total the most difficult to calculate.

30 NATIONAL INCOME IN 1937 (in billions of U.S. dollars) AND THE PERCENTAGE SPENT ON DEFENSE Country National Income Percentage on Defense USA681.5% British Empire225.7% France109.1% Germany1723.5% Italy614.5% USSR1926.4% Japan428.2%


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