Europe Between the Wars: Fascism and the Nazi Rise to Power (1919-1939)

Essay by snikolaouUniversity, Bachelor'sA, December 2004

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1. According to the excerpts from Mussolini's autobiography, why was it necessary "to beat the violent adversary on the battlefield of violence"? What did Mussolini mean by this? Did Mussolini save Italy from the destructive ennui of chaos? Why did he call himself the "avenger" of Italy?

2. According to Benito Mussolini, what are the primary tenets of fascist doctrine? Why was he especially critical of socialism (Marxism) and democracy? Do you find his arguments compelling or flawed? Why is war such an important requirement for the fascist state? What did Mussolini mean by "[the individual] is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential"? What is "harmful freedom" as opposed to "essential freedom"? In what ways was Hitler's concept of fascism (as expressed in the various documents) consistent or inconsistent with Mussolini's concept?

3. Why was the National Socialist partly able to rise to power? What were the main political, social, and economic problems of the 1920s and early 1930s, and what were the solutions offered by the Nazis? Why was the Weimar republic unable to cope with the major problems facing Germany? Was its destruction inevitable?

4. Compare the constitution of the Weimar Republic with the Nazi program of 1920. How are they similar in outlook, and what are the main differences? Pay particular attention to the presentation of specific points and the vocabulary.

5. Analyze the propaganda documents included in this chapter. In particular, what messages does Goebbels promote in "Nationalists, Socialists, and Jews"? is he logical in the presentation of his arguments, or can you find inconsistencies? What emotions does the propaganda exploit? What is the message in "Free Germany!"? Would you call it effective propaganda? Analyze the selection on Hitler Youth. How were German children propagandized?

6. Statistics often...