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The differences between german nazism italian fascism and soviet communism

At the height of his success, Hitler was the master of the greater part of the European continent. German rule in the east was extended to wide areas of the Baltic states, Belorussia now BelarusUkraine, and European Russia; Poland and the protectorate… The roots of Nazism Nazism had peculiarly German roots.

It can be partly traced to the Prussian tradition as developed under Frederick William I 1688—1740Frederick the Great 1712—68and Otto von Bismarck 1815—98which regarded the militant spirit and the discipline of the Prussian army as the model for all individual and civic life. These two traditions were later reinforced by the 19th-century adoration of science and of the laws of nature, which seemed to operate independently of all concepts of good and evil. Adolf Hitler third from right participating in a Nazi parade in Munich, c.

Library of Congress, Washington, D. The defeat and the resulting disillusionment, pauperization, and frustration—particularly among the lower middle classes—paved the way for the success of the propaganda of Hitler and the Nazis. The Treaty of Versailles 1919the formal settlement of World War I drafted without German participation, alienated many Germans with its imposition of harsh monetary and territorial reparations. The significant resentment expressed toward the peace treaty gave Hitler a starting point.

The ruinous inflation of the German currency in 1923 wiped out the savings of many middle-class households and led to further public alienation and dissatisfaction. Hitler added to Pan-Germanic aspirations the almost mystical fanaticism of a faith in the mission of the German race and the fervour of a social revolutionary gospel. Posing as a bulwark against communismHitler exploited the fears aroused in Germany and worldwide by the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the consolidation of communist power in the Soviet Union.

Thus, he was able to secure the support of many conservative elements that misunderstood the totalitarian character of his movement. He stressed the fact that all propaganda must hold its intellectual level at the capacity of the least intelligent of those at whom it is directed and that its truthfulness is much less important than its success.

Hitler found this common denominator in the Jewswhom he identified with both Bolshevism and a kind of cosmic evil. Nazism attempted to reconcile conservative, nationalist ideology with a socially radical doctrine.

In so doing, it became a profoundly revolutionary movement—albeit a largely negative one. Rejecting rationalism, liberalismdemocracythe rule of lawhuman rightsand all movements of international cooperation and peace, it stressed instinct, the subordination of the individual to the state, and the necessity of blind and unswerving obedience to leaders appointed from above.

It also emphasized the inequality of men and races and the right of the strong to rule the weak; sought to purge or suppress competing political, religious, and social institutions; advanced an ethic of hardness and ferocity; and partly destroyed class distinctions by drawing into the movement misfits and the differences between german nazism italian fascism and soviet communism from all social classes.

Although socialism was traditionally an internationalist creed, the radical wing of Nazism knew that a mass base existed for policies that were simultaneously anticapitalist and nationalist. However, after Hitler secured power, this radical strain was eliminated. Totalitarianism and expansionism Working from these principles, Hitler carried his party from its inauspicious beginnings in a beer cellar in Munich to a dominant position in world politics 20 years later.

The Nazi Party originated in 1919 and was led by Hitler from 1920.

Totalitarianism and expansionism

Through both successful electioneering and intimidation, the party came to power in Germany in 1933 and governed through totalitarian methods until 1945, when Hitler committed suicide and Germany was defeated and occupied by the Allies at the close of World War II.

Between 1934 and 1939 the party established full control of all phases of life in Germany. With many Germans weary of party conflicts, economic and political instability, and the disorderly freedom that characterized the last years of the Weimar Republic 1919—33Hitler and his movement gained the support and even the enthusiasm of a majority of the German population.

In particular, the public welcomed the strong, decisive, and apparently effective government provided by the Nazis. Germans were swept up in this orderly, intensely purposeful mass movement bent on restoring their country to its dignity, pride, and grandeur, as well as to dominance on the European stage. Despite its economic and political success, Nazism maintained its power by coercion and mass manipulation. The Nazi regime disseminated a continual outpouring of propaganda through all cultural and informational media.

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The underside of its propaganda machine was its apparatus of terror, with its ubiquitous secret police and concentration camps. It fanned and focused German anti-Semitism to make the Jews a symbol of all that was hated and feared. By means of deceptive rhetoricthe party portrayed the Jews as the enemy of all classes of society.

Opposition to the regime was destroyed either by outright terror or, more frequently, by the all-pervading fear of possible repression.

Opponents of the regime were branded enemies of the state and of the people, and an elaborate web of informers—often members of the family or intimate friends—imposed utmost caution on all expressions and activities. Justice was no longer recognized as objective but was completely subordinated to the alleged needs and interests of the Volk.

In addition to the now-debased methods of the normal judicial process, special detention camps were erected. In these camps the SS exercised supreme authority and introduced a system of sadistic brutality unrivaled in modern times. This endeavour was confined, in 1938, to lands inhabited by German-speaking populations, but in 1939 Germany began to subjugate non-German-speaking nationalities as well.

His first years were spent in preparing the Germans for the approaching struggle for world control and in forging the military and industrial superiority that Germany would require to fulfill its ambitions. With mounting diplomatic and military successes, his aims grew in quick progression.

There the German master race, or Herrenvolk, would rule over a hierarchy of subordinate peoples and organize and exploit them with ruthlessness and efficiency. With the initial successes of the military campaigns of 1939—41, his plan was expanded into a vision of a hemispheric order that would embrace all of Europe, western Asia, and Africa and eventually the entire world.

AnschlussGerman troops and armoured vehicles parading through Vienna during the German occupation of Austria, 1938. Nazism as a mass movement effectively ended on April 30, 1945, when Hitler committed suicide to avoid falling into the hands of Soviet troops completing the occupation of Berlin.

Out of the ruins of Nazism arose a Germany that was divided until 1990. In the 1990s gangs of neo-Nazi youths in eastern Germany staged attacks against immigrants, desecrated Jewish cemeteries, and engaged in violent confrontations with leftists and police. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: