Nazi Germany Essay, Research Paper
Throughout Europe around the time of World War II, there were many countries who became totalitarian. Specifically, Italy, Germany, and Russia evolved new government systems as a result of many factors, some from World War I.
Italy converted to their government of Fascism for many reasons. During World War I, the Italian army and other Italians were beginning to see different cultures and different lifestyles from the countries they were fighting with or against. Becoming exposed, they witnessed new military equipment. Other countries, especially France, Great Britain and Germany, considered themselves advanced and more technologically educated, and viewed Italy as the backward nation. Naturally, Italy felt the bad vibes that the other countries were sending and wanted to change this. In one battle, the Italians were losing to Austria. Britain came in and helped the Italians win, but the Italians still viewed the war as a mutilated victory. After the war, they claimed Istria, but it was given to Yugoslavia instead. Economic situations also made it possible for Fascism to rise up in Italy. Inflation and unemployment made it difficult for the returning soldiers to survive. This mix made many Italians unhappy.
In 1919, Socialists began an uprise and took over many governments in the Northern Plain. This began to cause some concerns because Socialism was beginning to spread. The Fascists were the first group to oppose the Socialists. The same year, Mussolini organized the Fasci Di Combatimento, or ?The Groups of Combat?. Their main duty was to ?take care? of any socialist they came across. The Fascist group gained tremendous popularity from 1919-1922. The King of Italy decided to use Mussolini and the Fascist party to control the people. He did not realize how strong this party was. By 1925, Fascism was the only government allowed.
Nationalism in Fascist Italy was impressive. There was almost a cult personality to Mussolini. He was an intelligent and convincing speaker. Propaganda also gave simple, yet blunt statements about Fascism. Fascism wasn?t as strict as the Russian Soviets. There were three subgroups under the Italian Government, the fascists, the nationalists, and the industrialists. Mussolini acted as a good buffer between the three. The Fascists relied on hitting the emotions of the young, sending across the idea that the men were heroes, and the women were meant to be mothers. There were incentives to have more children, because more assistance was given. Unlike the German Nazi Regime, Fascism was not anti-Semitic.
Germany, like Italy, changed their government to help cope with difficult times, both economically and socially. One major cause of the formation of the Nazi Regime was the Treaty of Versailles which was signed in June 1919. This treaty changed many territories that were established during World War I. The one that was a direct hit to Germany was Alsace- Lorraine which was given back to France. Germany, which was considered the cause of the war, also had time to give up their territory in the sea of Japan. Overall, the Germans lost 10% of its land and 13% of its people. The Treaty also limited the German army to 100,000, with no air force, no tanks and no artillery. Germany also couldn?t have a navy. On top of this, Germany was also required to pay $5 Billion to the allies. Without a doubt, the Germans weren?t happy.
Hitler used the citizens? dissatisfaction to gain popularity. Like Mussolini, Hitler was a great speaker who could brainwash anyone who needed someone to believe. The Germans were very upset, and needed someone to blame for their misfortune. The Jews became a target. Hitler had served in the German army during World War I and had earned himself the Iron Cross. By 1923, Germany had inflation, high unemployment and instability. Hitler and his then unorganized Nazi party tried to take over the government. Every one is thrown into jail. While in jail (1924), he wrote Mein Kampf which stated his beliefs which were Anti- Semitism, Anti-Bolshevik and biological superiority in Aryan race (tall, blond hair, blue eyes). By early 1930?s, the Great Depression hits. There is chaos. The government (Weinmar Republic) was having difficulty maintaining control. This government signed the Treaty of Versailles. The Nazi party gained strength. In 1923, the Nazi party had 230 seats in the Parliament. In January of 1933, the president of Germany decided to form a coalition government with Hitler and his Nazis. Hitler became too strong. By July 1933, only the Nazi party is legal. Hitler self proclaimed himself as the dictator.
Nazi Germany was very nationalistic. Hitler promised to make Germany strong again. This was very appealing emotionally, but especially appealing to people who were having the most difficulty. The society was based on violence, and against socialism, liberalism and Christianity. The Nazis had a more specific ideology than the Fascists in Italy: Aryan Superiority. Nazi Germany successfully achieved a totalitarian society.
During World War I, Russia lost Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia who declared independence along with Finland and Poland. The Bolsheviks decided to create the Red Army to combat the Monarchists. By 1921, Russia was a one party state. The Bolsheviks nationalized industry which made every industry under the state. They also made it mandatory for every young male to serve in the Red Army.
The New Economic Policy was put in place. The communists run everything, and all businesses are owned by the state. All the big businesses were owned by the state. Peasants could grow their own food and pay taxes. There was a mixture of privates especially in rural areas. Stalin took over the Communist party. Many peasants weren?t happy, and they were either executed or exiled to Siberia. Stalin installed the Five Year Plan which called for heavy industry, because he felt the Russia needed to catch up to the other countries. Stalinist Communism used extreme violent force. By 1939, 90% of generals are gone! Illiteracy drops from 50% to 20%.
Germany?s Nazism was the most successful in creating a totalitarian government. This is probably due to the fact that most Germans were desperate for faith and were also very angry and bitter. Hitler, although dangerous and chemically unbalanced, made the German citizens want to be strong.