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Retreat from Democracy: The Authoritarian and Totalitarian States Italy and Germany. Chapter 26 part II. The Growth of Totalitarianism. Government control expanded during WWI May have begun like old autocracies, but went much farther Propaganda High speed communications EXTREMES.

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retreat from democracy the authoritarian and totalitarian states italy and germany

Retreat from Democracy: The Authoritarian and Totalitarian StatesItaly and Germany

Chapter 26 part II

the growth of totalitarianism
The Growth of Totalitarianism
  • Government control expanded during WWI
  • May have begun like old autocracies, but went much farther
    • Propaganda
    • High speed communications
fascist italy
Fascist Italy
  • Results of WWI
    • 700,000 dead
    • Cost of 148 billion lire
    • Italy gained some land, but not all that it asked for
    • Domestic confusion led to undermining of the middle class
    • High unemployment and angry veterans
  • Benito Mussolini
    • Unruly, rebellious child
    • Got diploma and worked at first as elementary teacher
    • Editor of Aranti, a socialist daily newspaper
    • Kicked out of socialist party because he wanted to intervene in WWI
italy s government
Italy’s Government
  • Frascio de Combattimento (League of Combat) aka Fascism
  • Parliament
    • Incapable of governing
    • 3 parties
      • Socialist
      • Liberal
      • Popolari (Christian democrats = new Catholic party)
    • Didn’t agree
    • Socialist talk of revolution frightened people of communism
  • Mussolini changed tactics
    • Anti-communism, anti-strike, and nationalist rhetoric
    • Gain support of middle class and large landowners
    • Use of brute force
  • Squadristi (bands of armed fascists)
    • Attacked Socialist officers and news
  • Mussolini allies with the Liberals
    • Liberals were led by Giovanni Gioletti
    • Both just wanted to use the other to gain control then discard
    • Alliance gained respectability and made the squadristi OK
    • Fascist won 7% of parliament in 1921
fascist gain power
Fascist gain Power
  • Violence:
    • Blackshirts
    • Appealed to WWI veteran
    • Used large amounts of castor oil on victims
  • “Either we are allowed to govern, or we will seize power by marching on Rome”
    • October 24, 1922
    • Really a bluff that worked
    • October 29, 1922 King Victor Emmanuel III made Mussolini Prime Minister
    • 24 hours later Blackshirts marched into Rome to give the appearance of created order after a civil war
mussolini and the italian fascist state
Mussolini and the Italian Fascist State
  • Had to move slowly since they were a minority
  • Acerbo Law: any party to win 25% of the votes gets 2/3 of parliament seats
  • Fascists win big and not completely due to fraud, force and intimidation
  • Campaign of Intimidation
  • June of 1924 Socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti leads major outcry against Mussolini
  • Mussolini counters, “Italy wants peace, tranquility, calm in which we work; we will give it to her, by means of love if possible, by force if necessary”
Framework for Dictatorship
    • Suspension of free speech if spoke against Catholicism, monarchy, or state
    • Prime Minister = “Head of Government”
      • Can legislate by decree
      • No due process
      • Government can dissolve political and cultural associations
      • By 1926 all anti-Fascists parties are outlawed
      • Secret police aka OVRA
      • Mussolini is Il Duce (the leader)
  • Fascism = Totalitarianism
    • Tried to control like the Nazis
    • Not as effective, couldn’t integrate all the peoples
  • Attempts
    • Mold Italy into single minded community with educational policies and Fascist organizations
    • 66% of those between 8 and 18 were in some Fascist group
    • Very militaristic so many teens refused 
    • “New Italian” hardworking, physically fit, disciplined, intellectually sharp, and martially inclined
    • “Woman into the home”
      • Chauvinistic
      • Reduce male unemployment
  • Laws to encourage larger families
    • Supplementary pay, loans, prizes and subsidies
    • Gold medals for moms with many children
    • December 24th declared “Mother and Child” holiday with fertility prizes
  • Failed
    • to destroy old power structure especially the armed forces and monarchy
    • Promises to help workers and peasants, but really helped industrialists and large land owners
  • Church:
    • Given Vatican city
    • Made “sole religion of the state”
weirmar republic
Weirmar Republic
  • Republic declared on November 9, 1918
    • Provisional Government – coalition of Majority & Independent Socialist – beset by divisions
  • Able leaders:
    • Friedrich Ebert - Majority Socialist – first Chancellor then President in 1919
    • Gustave Stresemann was Foreign Minister and Chancellor
  • Paul von Hindenburg became President in the 1920s
    • Traditional military man
    • Monarchist, not in favor of republics
    • Faced uprisings and attacks
Economic Problems
    • Territorial, manpower, & economic losses in war
    • 30.4 billion reparation debt
    • Inflation
      • Germany borrowed heavily & made payment in kind to satisfy debt
      • Spiral of inflation
      • Mark 8.4 to the dollar in 1919
      • Mark 7000 to the dollar in December 1922
      • Wiped out pensions & savings of middle classes
  • 1922 Allied Reparations Commission declared Germany in default on its debt
    • France & Belgium occupied the Ruhr

The Spartacist League

Rosa Luxemburg [1870-1919]

Rosa Luxemburg (1870 – 1919)
    • Polish-born socialist, living in Germany
    • Jailed during WW I for encouraging workers to be against the war
      • As part of the Free Corp
    • Released – she later led demonstrations against the government and Kaiser with a fellow socialist, Karl Liebknecht.
    • Agreed with Stalin that nationalism was the enemy of the workers
spartacist revolt
Spartacist Revolt
  • In January 1919, police and soldiers put down an uprising by the Spartacists, a group of far left revolutionaries who took their name from the leader of a revolt of Roman slaves in the 1st century BC. Military units began to move against the Berlin rebels, hunting down murdering Liebknecht and Luxemburg who had recently formed the German Communist Party
  • This revolt was, in part, responsible for the German fear of communism and contributed to Hitler’s rise to power.
germany the depression
Germany & the Depression
  • Worse in German then any other country
  • Import and exports dropped drastically
  • National income dropped 20 %
  • Unemployment
    • 1,320,000 in 1929
    • 6,000,000 in 1932
    • 43% of Germany work force was without a job (Compared to 25% in US at the worst of the depression)
  • Economic problems help lead to the rise of Hitler
the rise of the nazis
The Rise of the Nazis
  • Young Hitler
    • Father was Austrian customs official
    • Failure in secondary school
    • Rejected from Vienna School of the Arts
    • Lived on inheritance and orphan’s pension
    • Stayed for artist “bohemian” lifestyle
  • Mein Kampf
    • “In this period there took shape within me a world picture and a philosophy which became the granite foundation of all my acts. In addition to what I then created, I have had to learn nothing, and I have had to alter nothing.”
hitler s influences
Hitler’s influences
  • Georg von Schönerer
    • Leader of Pan-German movement
  • Karl Lueger
    • Mayor of Vienna
    • Led anti-Semitic Christian Social Party
    • Used demagogic methods and emotional slogans
  • Adolf Lanz
    • Catholic monk alias Lanz von Liebenfels
    • Published Ostara on Aryan superiority called others inferiors and “animal men” advocating sterilization, deportation, forced labor or “direct liquidation”
  • Richard Wagner
    • Nationalistic operas
    • True artists is outcast of bourgeois and in a world with his own rhythms
    • Music also spoke of power and domination

These men influenced Hitler’s ideology of:


German Nationalism


The Need for Struggle

Georg von Schöcherer

Karl Lueger

Richard Wagner

Adolf Lanz aka Lanz von Liebenfels

1913 Hitler moved to Munich
    • then joined army in WWI
    • He was a runner on the Western Front
  • 1919 – He joined the German Workers Party (DAP) which he soon took over and renamed the National Socialist German Workers Party (NAZI)
  • Also created a defense force Sturmabteilung (SA) “Storm Troopers” or “brown shirts” used to protect Party meetings & intimidate other parties
  • Party grew a great deal due to Hitler’s oratory
  • Early Party Leaders
    • Ernst Rohm – built up the SA
    • Hermann Goring – WWI flying ace – took over SA in1922
    • Rudolf Hess – became Hitler’s secretary
Nazis were strongest party by 1923
  • The Bear Hall Putsch (1923) 55,00 members attempted to seize power in Munich. The march was stopped by the police and Hitler and other party leaders were arrested & tried
    • Hitler and others are given light prison sentences (5 years)
    • In prison he dictates Mein Kamp to Hess
    • The failed coup convinces Hitler he must come to power through legitimate means
  • Party structure was strengthened with districts setup thought Germany
  • The party grew from 27,000 in 1925 to 108,000, in 1929
Prison reinforced Hitler's faith in his self and his mission

He decides to use legal means to create a mass political movement and attract votes

His autobiography:

German Nationalism, anti-Semitism, and anti-communism linked by social Darwinism

Theory says right of Lebensraum (living space) should go to superior nations

Gave voice to all his ideas and actions

Mein Kampf [My Struggle]

the nazi seizure of power
The Nazi Seizure of Power
  • Hitler reestablishes sole control after his release
    • the Nazis were in shambles
    • Total authoritarian = the good were willing to die for their Führer
    • Fuhrerprinzip – leadership principle of single minded party under one leader
  • Reorganized
    • Both regionally and nationally
    • Many were under 30 and zealots (active)
  • Urban strategy
    • win workers from Socialists and Communists
    • then onto middle and lower middle class in small towns and rural areas
  • 1930s: extremes are more attractive due to the Great Depression
  • Chancellor Heinrich Briening was relying on emergency decrees by Prime Minister Hindenburg so Germany was not really a parliamentary democracy anymore
  • Nazis campaign
    • Modern: use cars, trains, and planes with “Hitler over Germany”
    • Played on people’s fears
    • Appealed to national pride, honor, and traditional militarism
Two new leaders:
    • Joseph Goebbels – Party Chief in Berlin & later propaganda chief
    • Heinrich Himmler – became head of the SS, Hitler’s private body guards
Nazis win election to have majority in Reichstag (no real power)
  • Presidential election of 1932
    • Hitler runs against Hindenburg for president but loses in a run-off election.
    • Fear of the communists causes Hindenburg to name Hitler chancellor.
      • Safeguards: only 3 Nazis in the cabinet with Franz von Papen as Vice Chancellor (he plans to suppress Hitler)
    • Reichstag Fire – Communist blamed - Hindenburg invoked Article 48 – “Ordinances for the Protection of the German State & Nation” – removes all civil liberties as protection against the presumed Communist threat.
    • Hitler’s planned takeover:
      • Hermann Goring is Minister of Interior and Head of Police
      • all non-Nazi out of police forces and hired members of the SA
The Enabling Act (1931)
    • Allows Cabinet to pass laws & treaties without legislative backing
    • Only Social Democrats opposed
    • Gives Hitler virtually dictatorial powers
  • Gleichschaltung (organized under the Nazi)
    • No Jews or democrats in civil service
    • Concentration camps for opponents
    • Reduce state’s autonomy
    • No trade unions
    • Abolished all but the Nazi party within 7 months!!
  • “Night of the Long Knives”
    • Ernst Rohm – leader of SA and originally a rival of Hitler for Nazi leadership
    • Rohm wanted to head Germany army
    • June 1934 – violent purge led by GESTAPO & SS
    • Rohm & 84 followers were murdered
  • Death of Hindenburg (August 1934) – Hitler now chancellor & president – no restraints on his power
why was is so easy for the nazis
Why was is so easy for the Nazis?
  • Use of force
  • Ready to take control
  • Great Depression weakened faith in democracy
  • Appealed to those psychologically crushed by WWI with slogans like “Germany Awake”
  • Promised a dynamic new Germany above parties and classes
politics and economy
Politics and Economy
  • Mission
    • Total state with active citizens
  • Methods
    • Mass demonstrations and spectacles (like religion and amusement park all in one)
    • Coercion
      • SS was originally Hitler’s personal body guard directed by Heinrich Himmler
      • Basis = terror with repression and murder: secret police, criminal police, concentration camps, later execution squads and death camps
      • Ideology: to further the Aryan race
  • Reality
    • Much internal conflict and rivalry, so all decisions were Hitler’s
  • Economy
    • Industry was not nationalized
    • Some public works were begun to help end Great Depression
    • Rearmament really put people back to work, making the government stronger and more appealing
  • Nazi professional organizations for civil servants, teachers, women, farmers, doctors and lawyers
  • Hitler Jugend (youth) and Bund Deutscher Mädel (German girls association) took oath, “In the presence of the blood banner, which represents our Führer, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the savior of our country, Adolph Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God.”
racism and anti semiticism
Racism and Anti-Semiticism
  • 4-1-1933 two day boycott of all Jewish businesses
  • Nuremberg laws first
    • Excluded Jews from German citizenship
    • Barred marriage of a Jew and an Aryan
  • Laws passed excluding “non-Aryans” from:
    • Legal profession, civil service, judgeships, medical professions, teaching, cultural and entertainment enterprises, and the press
  • 11-9 & 10-1938 Kristallnacht
  • Assassination
    • 3rd secretary of German Embassy in Paris by a Polish Jew
    • Rampage burning synagogues and businesses, 100 killed, 30,000 Jewish males to camps
  • Jews Banned
    • From all public buildings
    • Owning, managing and working in retail
  • Emigration encouraged
  • Labor markets
    • Discouraged
      • Heavy industry might make it hard to increase size of families
      • University teaching, medicine and law – not “ladylike”
    • Encouraged
      • Social work and nursing
  • “Get hold of pots and pans and broom and you’ll sooner find a groom”
  • Change
    • After all the men were at war…