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Fascist Italy to Nazi Germany - Essay Example

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Nazism was making a push for state control in Germany while Fascism was gaining ground in Italy. Both Nazism and Fascism have similar…
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Fascist Italy to Nazi Germany
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German Nazism and Italian Fascism The period between and during the Second World War led to the rise of two new forms of totalitarian political movement and government system. Nazism was making a push for state control in Germany while Fascism was gaining ground in Italy. Both Nazism and Fascism have similar natures and causes. Both systems sprung from the influences of Socialism, focusing more on a state regulated society than a liberal one. Another common aspect is that both Nazism and Fascism grew from the frustrations that were caused by the First World War. The Treaty of Versailles not only demanded Germany to make reparation payments, but also restricted them from having any real military. This embarrassed Germany to a point of grudge. In the case of Italy, factions who were against its involvement during the First World War blamed its regime for taking part on the costly war that crippled their economy and prestige.
However, both German Nazism and Italian Fascism had different goals and treatment on how they run their government and national affairs. Italian Fascism seeks to create an organic state by incorporating all aspects of national society. The focus was an economically self-sustaining and expanding empire with a strong and unified society. This was seen during Benito Mussolini’s initial act to create a strong government by uniting all political factions for national progress. Macdonald (1999) stated that, “Mussolini set up the Fascist Grand Council to work alongside the government Council of Ministers which included non-Fascists” (p.20). The goal of Italian Fascism was to try to restore Italy’s old glory while expanding its sphere of influence in Europe and its neighboring regions. This resulted to Italy’s early invasion of North Africa and Ethiopia during the opening stages of the Second World War.
German Nazism also aims for national development and progress. In the case of Nazism, however, the way toward this goal was through their idea of a purity of race. In the eyes of Nazism under Adolf Hitler, Germany was in ruins because the Jews in Germany never took part in the First World War for Germany. Hitler also considered the Jews, who were mostly prominent businessmen and merchants, to have weakened German economy by making a fortune only for themselves. At the same time, German Nazism also abhorred the Slavic people and communists. Homosexuals and gypsies were looked down upon as a lesser group of people compared to the German populace. Hitler had a special hatred for the Jews though, and this fueled his sense of Nazism that influenced his followers in general. Shirer (1960) observed:
There is a great deal of morbid sexuality in Hitler’s ravings about the Jews. This was characteristic of Vienna’s anti-Semitic press of the time, as it later was to be of the obscene Nuremberg weekly Der Stuermer, published by one of Hitler’s favorite cronies, Julius Streicher, Nazi boss of Franconia, a noted pervert and one of the most unsavory characters in the Third Reich. Mein Kampf is sprinkled with lurid allusions to uncouth Jews seducing innocent Christian girls and thus adulterating their blood. Hitler can write of the ”nightmare vision of the seduction of hundreds of thousands of girls by repulsive, crooked-legged Jew bastards.” (p.23)
In both Nazi and Fascist societies, women played similar distinct roles. German Nazism and Italian Fascism viewed women as important in their society as child-bearing citizens. However, this idea is treated differently between Nazism and Fascism. Forcucci (2010) noted tha,t “while the regime exalted Italian women as child bearers, men assumed their traditional role as bread-winners while Mussolini emphasized the importance of motherhood for women” (p.6). Italian Fascism was focused more on the practical social roles women have for national progress. On the other hand, German Nazism believed heavily on the role of women as child bearers as a means to keep their race pure. German women were just meant to reproduce other pure Germans to keep their race free from foreign genetic traits.
Reference List
Focucci, Lauren. (2010). Battle for births: The fascist pronatalist campaign in Italy 1925 to 1938. Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, 10 (1), 5-13.
Macdonald, Hamish. (1999). Mussolini and italian fascism. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes, Ltd.
Shirer, W.L. (1960). The rise and fall of the third reich. New York: Simon and Schuster. Read More
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