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Mussolini questions Hitler’s plans

Mussolini questions Hitler’s plans


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A message from Benito Mussolini is forwarded to Adolf Hitler. Mussolini asked if it was truly necessary “to risk all-including the regime-and to sacrifice the flower of German generations.”

Mussolini’s message was more than a little disingenuous. At the time, Mussolini had his own reasons for not wanting Germany to spread the war across the European continent: Italy was not prepared to join the effort, and Germany would get all the glory and likely eclipse the dictator of Italy. Germany had already taken the Sudetenland and Poland; if Hitler took France and then cowed Britain into neutrality—or worse, defeated it in battle–Germany would rule Europe. Mussolini had assumed the reins of power in Italy long before Hitler took over Germany, and in so doing Mussolini boasted of refashioning a new Roman Empire out of an Italy that was still economically backward and militarily weak. He did not want to be outshined by the upstart Hitler.

And so the Duce hoped to stall Germany’s war engine until he could figure out his next move. The Italian ambassador in Berlin delivered Mussolini’s message to Hitler in person. Mussolini believed that the “big democracies…must of necessity fall and be harvested by us, who represent the new forces of Europe.” They carried “within themselves the seeds of their decadence.” In short, they would destroy themselves, so back off.

Hitler ignored him and moved forward with plans to conquer Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Mussolini, rather than tie Italy’s fortune to Germany’s—which would necessarily mean sharing the spotlight and the spoils of any victory—began to turn an eye toward the east. Mussolini invaded Yugoslavia and, in a famously disastrous strategic move, Greece.


Hitler and Mussolini

Nazi Germany’s obvious political and military ally in Europe was Italy. The Italians had been governed by a fascist regime under Benito Mussolini since 1925. Italian fascism was very much the elder brother of Nazism, a fact Hitler himself acknowledged. Yet for all their ideological similarities, the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini was bumpy and complex. The alignment of their two countries was consequently not as firm as many anticipated. By the late 1930s, Germany and Italy had become military allies. Their priorities, however, lay with their own national interests, rather than supporting the interests or ambitions of another country. The union between Nazi Germany and fascist Italy became a marriage of convenience and expedience rather than a firm alliance of sister states.

In his early years at the helm of the NSDAP, Hitler was a great admirer of Mussolini. The Nazi leader was particularly fascinated with Mussolini’s ‘march on Rome’ – a 1922 protest where thousands of fascists and fascist supporters strode into the Italian capital, which led to Mussolini’s appointment as prime minister. In 1923 Hitler wrote to his Italian counterpart about the ‘march on Rome’ the Munich putsch was Hitler’s attempt at replicating it. From the late 1920s, Mussolini provided some financial support to the rising Nazi Party he also allowed SA and SS men to train with his own paramilitary brigade, the Blackshirts. Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933 was publicly praised by Mussolini, who hailed it as a victory for his own fascist ideology.

In private, however, Mussolini was scornful of Hitler and his party. The Italian leader described Mein Kampf as “boring” and thought Hitler’s ideas and theories were “coarse” and “simplistic”. Mussolini, who was prone to egomania, also had a low opinion of Hitler’s elevation to power, which he thought less glorious than his own. The first meeting between the two, held in Venice in June 1934, was disastrous. Mussolini spoke some German and refused to use a translator – but he had great difficulty understanding Hitler’s rough Austrian accent. The Italian was subjected to some of Hitler’s long monologues, which bored him greatly. Both men emerged from the Venice summit thinking much less of each other. Despite this, Nazi and Italian fascist propaganda of the 1930s suggested a close working relationship and even a friendship between the two leaders.

Another important point of difference between the two was their racial views. Mussolini, like Hitler, considered white Europeans to be the architects of civilisation and culture – but his views on race did not extend to hateful anti-Semitism or eugenics. Mussolini was an Italian nationalist who often harked back to the glory and triumphs of ancient Rome. He was therefore scornful of Hitler’s rants about Aryan supremacy. In one speech, the Italian leader expressed “pity” for the racial views being expressed by the Nazis, “the descendants of those who were illiterate when Rome had Caesar, Virgil and Augustus.”

Despite their personal differences, Hitler and Mussolini did manage a degree of co-operation. Germany offered support to Rome during and after the Abyssinian crisis of the mid-1930s. Mussolini had grandiose visions of building a new Italian empire, to replicate the glories of ancient Rome. His first target was Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia), one of the few African kingdoms not yet under European control. In October 1935 Italian troops invaded and occupied much of Abyssinia. Italy was strongly criticised in the League of Nations, however, Hitler – who had pulled Germany out of the League in 1933 – backed Mussolini’s action. German-Italian relations were later boosted by their joint involvement in the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

In September 1937 Mussolini paid a state visit to Germany, where he was met with a long parade of troops, artillery and military equipment. These shows of strength were obviously convened to impress the Italian leader, and it worked. Two months after, Italy joined Germany and Japan in the Anti-Comintern Pact: an agreement to resist the expansion of the Soviet Union and prevent the spread of communism. Hitler’s influence on Mussolini became evident in the Italian leader’s Manifesto of Race (July 1938). This decree, which proved very unpopular in Italy, stripped Italian Jews of their citizenship and removed them from government occupations. In September 1938 Mussolini was part of the four-nation summit on the Czechoslovakian crisis and a signatory of the Munich Agreement.

In May 1939 the Nazi-fascist alliance was extended further, with the signing of the Pact of Friendship and Alliance between Germany and Italy. Informally called the ‘Pact of Steel’, this ten-year agreement committed Rome and Berlin to supplying military and economic aid if either nation found itself at war. The pact also contained secret discussions and protocols where Germany and Italy agreed to prepare for a future European war. Negotiators promised a rapid increase in German-Italian trade and military co-operation, while both nations secretly agreed to avoid waging war without the other until 1943.

Hitler ignored this commitment when he ordered German troops to invade Poland in September 1939. Mussolini had received advice that Italy would not be ready for war until late 1942, because of slow industrial growth and military production. The Italian leader heeded this counsel, holding off on declaring war until June 1940, by which time the German conquest of western Europe was almost complete. Mussolini’s main war aim was to seize control of British and French colonies in northern Africa. The campaign was disastrous: by late 1941 most Italian troops in Africa had been defeated. The Allies invaded Italy in July 1943 Mussolini was soon expelled from power and the new government surrendered to the Allies in September. The former fascist dictator was captured by partisans and executed in April 1945, two days before Hitler suicided in Berlin. The body of Il Duce – once the ‘saviour of Italy’ – was suspended on meat hooks and pelted with stones.

A historian’s view:
“Their relationship evolved gradually over the years they had known each other. At first, Hitler deferred to the Duce and appeared to have genuine admiration for the more senior dictator. Later, and especially after Mussolini began to play second fiddle to Hitler as a war leader, summit meetings between the two men had consisted mainly of long monologues by Hitler, with Mussolini barely able to get in a word. At one memorable meeting in 1942, Hitler talked for an hour and forty minutes while General Jodl dozed off and Mussolini kept looking at his watch.”
Ray Moseley

1. Benito Mussolini was the fascist leader of Italy, appointed as prime minister after his ‘march on Rome’ in 1922.

2. Italian fascism was a right-wing nationalist ideology that many, including Hitler, considered the ‘big brother’ of Nazism.

3. Mussolini, however, had a low regard for Hitler and Nazism, believing them to be uncultured and simplistic.

4. Despite this, the two developed a cautious alliance, meeting several times and signing the Pact of Steel in 1939.

5. When Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, years ahead of schedule, Mussolini refused to support his ally, claiming that Italian industry and military production was not yet ready.


AS - Hitler and Mussolini, List of possible Essay Questions?

-how far was italy united by 1914?
-how far did WW1 cause the collapse of the liberal Govt?
-how far do you agree that terror and violence played a minor part in Muss' power 1922-38?
-how far do you agree that education was the main tool of fascist propaganda?

italy and nazi germany have got so many similar themes that its sometimes hard to differentiate!

(Original post by andrew.P)
Dunno really, only essays iv done on muss so far are:

-how far was italy united by 1914?
-how far did WW1 cause the collapse of the liberal Govt?

-how far do you agree that terror and violence played a minor part in Muss' power 1922-38?
-how far do you agree that education was the main tool of fascist propaganda?

italy and nazi germany have got so many similar themes that its sometimes hard to differentiate!

Lol i should do that. im just learnin the key facts of them, so for example,

Why was Germany defeated in WW2?
-Strategical errors (Attacking USSR)
-Allies's strength (Britain and France)
-Faith was lost in the Nazi regime
-Economy was unprepared for a war (Germany started the war earlier than planned as well which didn't help)

Then, in the exam if "To what extent was Economic factors the cause of the German's defeat in WW2?"
I'll just pick out these 4 points and explain!

(Original post by Awesome Lawson)
Lol i should do that. im just learnin the key facts of them, so for example,

Why was Germany defeated in WW2?
-Strategical errors (Attacking USSR)
-Allies's strength (Britain and France)
-Faith was lost in the Nazi regime
-Economy was unprepared for a war (Germany started the war earlier than planned as well which didn't help)

Then, in the exam if "To what extent was Economic factors the cause of the German's defeat in WW2?"
I'll just pick out these 4 points and explain!


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Historical events involving Adolf Hitler led up to the beginning of World War II and this text explains Hitler's role in anti-Semitic practices that became an integral part of his political program. Hitler's political career is traced back to 1919 when he joined a party that is now known as the Nazis. The text takes you through to the days of Hitler's dictatorship and describes how he transformed Germany and the government as a whole.
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Although Hitler is closely associated with the second World War, his rise to power began during the 1920s. Explore the ideologies that fueled dictatorships throughout the period between World War I and World War II. Overviews of Fascism and Communism comprise the first two pages of this article. Additional pages trace the career of Adolf Hitler, and the lives of European citizens under his rule. Within these four pages, find interesting illustrations, ranging from political cartoons to intimate photographs.
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Adolf Hitler was born in Austria in 1889. Hitler dropped out of school at the age of 16 to pursue his painting career. He enlisted in the German army during WWI. He became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers&rsquo Party in 1921. In 1923 Hitler wrote his very successful book Mein Kampf while in prison for leading an uprising. By 1933 Hitler had become the Chancellor of Germany. In September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland and began WWII. He committed suicide in April 1945.
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As a child, Hitler dreamed of being an artist, but others weren't impressed with his artistic talents. As a teen on his own, he became obsessed with hating the Jewish people. Destroying the Jewish people gave him a sense of victory, even though he lost the war. He dreamed of a glorious Germany to replace the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Hitler survived for four years as a runner in World War I, a job that often had a life expectancy of days. He survived at least eighteen assassination attempts. The fear of communism, economic havoc, and civil war catapulted Hitler to power.
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How Did Hitler Rise to Power? - Alex Gendler and Anthony Hazard


Mussolini questions Hitler’s plans - HISTORY

  1. Why were there two revolutions in Russia in 1917?
  2. How and why did the First World War bring about social and economic changes in any one European country?
  3. What were the main criticisms of the League of Nations and to what extent were they justified?
  4. How far is it true to say that the Weimar Republic was a complete failure?
  5. Compare and contrast the domestic policies of Hitler and Mussolini up to 1939.
  6. What were the main causes and results of the Spanish Civil War?
  7. What do you understand by the term appeasement? How far was appeasement responsible for the outbreak of war in 1939?
  8. Evaluate the domestic and foreign policies of Khrushchev.
  9. Examine the impact of the Cold War on Western Europe between 1945 and 1965.
  10. Compare and contrast the policies and importance to their countries of Adenauer and De Gaulle.
  11. Analyze the main developments in education in any one European country in the twentieth century.
  12. What were the main economic problems faced by the Soviet bloc (excluding the USSR) between 1950 and 1990?
  1. Evaluate the relative importance of imperialism, the arms race and the failure of diplomacy in causing the First World War.
  2. Compare and contrast the roles of Lenin and Trotsky in establishing the USSR up to 1924.
  3. How far is it true to say that the Weimar Republic was doomed from its foundation?
  4. “Its frown will soon be more dreaded than a nation’s arms.” Why did this comment on the League of Nations, made in 1929 prove to be incorrect?
  5. Compare and contrast the foreign policies up to the outbreak of the Second World War of Mussolini and Hitler.
  6. Analyse the causes and results of the Spanish Civil War.
  7. Assess the impact of Hitler, and the Second World War on one Scandinavian country.
  8. How and why did the Second World War bring about the social and economic changes in one European country excluding Scandinavia?
  9. Why and with what results for Europe did the USSR become involved in the Cold War up to the death of Stalin?
  10. Explain whom you consider was more successful in his own country, Adenauer or de Gaulle?
  11. Analyze the internal history of one East European country, excluding the USSR, from 1953 to 1990.
  12. How has twentieth century Europe been affected by two of the following: increased leisure opportunities pressure groups peace movements?
  1. Analyze the part played by the failure of Tsardom in causing the February/March Revolution in Russia in 1917.
  2. “In 1914 Europe arrived at a point when every country was afraid of the present and Germany was afraid of the future.” What do you understand by this comment and how far do you agree with it?
  3. Compare and contrast the economic aims and policies of Lenin (1917 to 1924) and Stalin (1928 to 1941).
  4. How and why was Hitler able to become dictator of Germany?
  5. Why was the League of Nations ignored in the pre-war crises of 1938 to 1939?
  6. With what justification can the term “total war” be applied to the Second World War?
  7. Compare and contrast political and economic developments under Adenauer in Germany and de Gaulle in France.
  8. How, why, and with what success, did Tito follow independent policies in Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1980?
  9. “Politically Khrushchev brought new hope to the USSR and to Europe, economically he was a disaster.” How justified is this comment of Khrushchev as leader of the Soviet Union 1953 to 1964?
  10. Explain in what ways and to what extent either Spain or Portugal moved away from dictatorship in the 1970s.
  11. Assess the importance of the changes in either the media or working conditions and patterns, in twentieth century Europe.
  1. “A new France emerged out of the revolution Napoleon Bonaparte’s achievement was to organize it.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
  2. Analyse the successes and failures of the Congress of Vienna (1814�).
  3. Assess the contribution to Italian unification of either Cavour or Garibaldi.
  4. Why was Germany unified under Prussia in 1871?
  5. Assess the success of either Muhammad Ali in modernizing Egypt or Abdul Hamid in strengthening the Ottoman Empire.
  6. Analyse the causes and consequences of the Crimean War (1854�).
  7. Compare and contrast two of the crises faced by the Third French Republic between 1875 and 1914.
  8. In 1867 Disraeli said: “Change is inevitable in a progressive country.” What changes did Disraeli introduce in Britain up until 1880?
  9. In what ways, and with what success, did Alexander II attempt to modernize Russia and preserve imperial power?
  10. Analyse the impact of the First World War on Russia between 1914 and 1924.
  11. Discuss the importance of two of the following in European diplomacy between 1870 and 1914: the Alliance System global colonial rivalry changing balance of power nationalism.
  12. Assess the factors that led to the defeat of the Central Powers in the First World War.
  13. Analyse the role of religion in Saudi Arabia between 1932 and 1949.
  14. For what reasons, and with what success, were attempts made to modernize either Turkey or Iran in the first half of the twentieth century?
  15. Why did attempts at cooperation in Europe between 1919 and 1939 end in failure?
  16. “The Spanish Civil War was essentially a domestic matter that rapidly became an international issue.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
  17. To what extent did the cult of personality contribute to Stalin’s maintenance of power?
  18. Compare and contrast the foreign policies of Khrushchev and Brezhnev.
  19. Compare and contrast post-Second World War problems and recovery in two Western European states.
  20. Why was Germany divided in 1945 but reunited in 1990?
  21. Analyse the changing relations between Israel and the Arab world between 1967 and 2000.
  22. Assess the successes and failures of Nasser in Egypt between 1954 and 1970.
  23. In what ways, and to what extent, did gender issues change in the fifty year period you have studied?
  24. Analyse the impact of technology on one society in the fifty year period you have studied.

Section 12 Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855�)
23. With reference to the period up to 1914, discuss the economic developments that took place in Russia during the reigns of Alexander III and Nicholas II.
24. Evaluate the role of terror and coercion in the consolidation of the Soviet state between 1917 and 1924.
Section 13 Europe and the First World War (1871�)
25. With reference to the period up to 1914, examine the impact of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s foreign policy on Britain, France, Russia and Austria-Hungary.
26. “Domestic instability was the main factor in Germany requesting an armistice in 1918.” Discuss.
Section 14 European states in the inter-war years (1918�)
27. “Opposition to the Nazi regime was limited and unsuccessful between 1933 and 1939.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
28. Discuss the reasons for political polarization in Spain between 1931 and 1936.
Section 15 Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919�)
29. “The policy of appeasement was necessary because, by the mid-1930s, collective security had failed.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
30. Examine the impact of the Second World War on the civilian populations of two countries in Europe between 1939 and 1945.
Section 16 The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924�)
31. Evaluate the significance of propaganda to the maintenance of Stalin’s power between 1929 and 1945.
32. To what extent did Yeltsin establish democracy in Russia between 1991 and 1999?
Section 17 Post-war western and northern Europe (1945�)
33. Discuss the role of de Gaulle in stabilizing France between 1958 and 1969.
34. To what extent was there social and cultural change in West Germany between 1949 and 1989?
Section 18 Post-war central and eastern Europe (1945�)
35. Evaluate Yugoslavia’s challenge to Soviet control under Tito.
36. Between 1945 and 1968, to what extent was there support for Soviet control within two of the following: East Germany Poland Hungary Czechoslovakia?

November 2017

Section 12 Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855�)
23. “The reforms of Alexander II were mainly aimed at preserving Russian autocracy.” Discuss.
24. Discuss the view that the Provisional Government collapsed because of the power of the Soviets.
Section 13 Europe and the First World War (1871�)
25. “The Congress of Berlin (1878) was the greatest achievement of European diplomacy between
1871 and 1914.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
26. “The failure to manage the international crisis of July 1914 led to the outbreak of the First World War.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Section 14 European states in the inter-war years (1918�)
27. To what extent do you agree that Hitler was able to consolidate his power by August 1934 because he had the support of the German people?
28. Evaluate the successes and failures of Primo de Rivera’s government between 1923 and 1930.
Section 15 Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919�)
29. “Italian foreign policy was inconsistent in the period between 1922 and 1940.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
30. Evaluate the reasons for the defeat of the Axis powers in Europe in the Second World War.
Section 16 The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924�)
31. “Stalin’s Five-Year Plans and the policy of collectivization failed to improve the Soviet economy by 1941.” Discuss.
32. “Khrushchev’s foreign policy caused confusion and uncertainty.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Section 17 Post-war western and northern Europe (1945�)
33. Evaluate the reasons for the emergence of the Cold War by 1949.
34. “Kohl’s support for the rapid reunification of Germany was motivated by political opportunism.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Section 18 Post-war central and eastern Europe (1945�)
35. Evaluate the impact of COMECON and the Warsaw Pact on states dominated by the Soviet Union.
36. Evaluate the developments in one central or eastern European country, excluding Russia, following the collapse of Soviet control.

May 2018

Section 12: Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855�)
23. “Russia’s participation in the First World War was the main cause of the February/March 1917 Revolution.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
24. “Lenin’s foreign relations were motivated by practical concerns and not ideology.” Discuss.
Section 13: Europe and the First World War (1871�)
25. To what extent was Balkan nationalism a significant cause of the First World War?
26. With reference to the period up to 1918, discuss the reasons for, and the impact of, US entry into the First World War.
Section 14: European states in the inter-war years (1918�)
27. “Hitler’s consolidation of power between January 1933 and August 1934 was a political revolution.”
To what extent do you agree with this statement?
28. Evaluate the importance of economic and political problems in allowing Mussolini to gain power in Italy in 1922.
Section 15: Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919�)
29. “The Treaty of Versailles was a harsh and unfair peace.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
30. Discuss the reasons for the failure of the League of Nations by 1938.
Section 16: The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924�)
31. Discuss the causes and consequences of Stalin’s purges up to 1953.
32. Compare and contrast the domestic policies of Khrushchev and Brezhnev.
Section 17: Post-war western and northern Europe (1945�)
33. With reference to the period up to 1949, evaluate the contribution of economic factors to the division of Germany.
34. Discuss the extent of political change in one western or northern European country (other than France, the Federal Republic of Germany and Spain) between 1945 and 2000.
Section 18: Post-war central and eastern Europe (1945�)
35. “Protests against Soviet domination in central and eastern Europe were unsuccessful up to 1980.” With reference to East Germany and Poland or Hungary and Czechoslovakia, to what extent do you agree with this statement?
36. Compare and contrast the role of Walesa in Poland and Havel in Czechoslovakia.

November 2018

Section 12: Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855�)
23. Discuss the causes and consequences of the 1905 Revolution in Russia.
24. “Lenin had the most significant role in the consolidation of the new Soviet state.” Discuss.
Section 13: Europe and the First World War (1871�)
25. Evaluate the importance of the long- and short-term causes of the First World War.
26. To what extent did US entry into the First World War contribute to Allied victory?
Section 14: European states in the inter-war years (1918�)
27. Discuss the reasons for the rise to power of Mussolini. 28. Evaluate social developments in one European country (other than Germany, Italy or Spain) in the inter-war years.
Section 15: Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919�)
29. Discuss the reasons for, and the results of, the policy of appeasement.
30. “The Second World War had a devastating impact on the civilian population.” Discuss with reference to any two European countries.
Section 16: The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924�)
31. Discuss political and economic developments in the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1953.
32. “By 1991, Gorbachev’s policies had achieved his aims.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Section 17: Post-war western and northern Europe (1945�)
33. Evaluate the role of Adenauer in Germany’s economic recovery.
34. Examine the role of Juan Carlos in Spain’s peaceful transition to democracy.
Section 18: Post-war central and eastern Europe (1945�)
35. Discuss the political and economic measures undertaken by the Soviet Union to dominate central and eastern Europe between 1945 and 1955.
36. Discuss the reasons for, and the results of, the uprising in Czechoslovakia (1968).

May 2019
Section 12: Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855�)
23. To what extent did the reforms of Alexander II change Russian society by 1881?
24. Compare and contrast the causes of the February/March and October/November
Revolutions in 1917.
Section 13: Europe and the First World War (1871�)
25. “German foreign policy did not lead to the outbreak of the First World War.” Discuss.
26. Discuss the factors that led to the defeat of Germany and the other Central Powers in the First World War.
Section 14: European states in the inter-war years (1918�)
27. “Germany experienced a ‘Golden Era’ during the Stresemann years (1924�).” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
28. Evaluate the successes and failures of Mussolini’s domestic policies between 1922 and 1939.
Section 15: Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919�)
29. “In the 1920s, the League of Nations was successful in Europe.” Discuss.
30. Examine the contribution of economic and strategic factors to the Allied victory in 1945.
Section 16: The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924�)
31. “Stalin’s control of the Communist Party was the main reason for his victory in the struggle for power (1924�).” Discuss.
32. To what extent were Gorbachev’s policies responsible for improved East-West relations between 1985 and 1991?

November 2019
Section 12: Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855�)
23. Discuss the reasons for the final crisis of autocracy in February/March 1917.
24. Compare and contrast the roles of Lenin and Trotsky in Russia between 1917 and 1924.
Section 13: Europe and the First World War (1871�)
25. Evaluate the impact of the Congress of Berlin on the European Alliance system.
26. Compare and contrast the impact of the First World War on the civilian populations in two countries up to 1918.
Section 14: European states in the inter-war years (1918�)
27. Evaluate domestic resistance to the Nazis.
28. Discuss the impact of political polarization during the Second Spanish Republic.
Section 15: Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919�)
29. To what extent was German foreign policy successful between 1919 and 1933?
30. Evaluate the importance of the wartime alliance (1941�) to the defeat of the Axis powers in Europe.
Section 16: The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924�)
31. Evaluate the impact of Stalin’s economic and political policies in the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1953.
32. “Brezhnev’s foreign policy was successful in reducing Cold War tensions in Europe.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?


Compare and Contrast Hitler's and Mussolini's Domestic Policies

Initially, both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler had the same desire to make their nation a respected and economically solid Great Power. Mussolini wanted to return Italy to its glory days of the ancient Roman Empire. A strong economy and a united state were necessary for both countries in case of the outbreak of another war. WWI left both Germany and Italy with severe economic problems, which soon turned into social problems such as high unemployment and inflation - issues which had to be dealt with domestically.

Mussolini was very ambitious about his domestic policies. In a speech to the Italian Senate in 1923 Mussolini said “I want to make the people of Italy strong, prosperous and free.” Italians were expecting a lot from their new “Duce”, especially with the social and economic problems Italy was going through during the post-war years. As the new leader of Italy, Mussolini knew he had to solve these problems, one way or another, so that this success would bring more popularity to him and the fascists.

Mussolini's main economic aim was to bring Italy’s economy to a somehow same level as France and Britain to threaten them and the other great industrial powers. After 1925, he launched a series of “Battles”. The battle for grain doubled grain production between 1925-1929. The battle for land controlled migration. The battle for Lira revalued the Lira, however exports became expensive resulting in a decrease in income. The economy became severely depressed.

Mussolini reformed Italy’s transport system. The building of bridges, canals, and major road systems improved communication throughout the country. Mussolini’s government educational standards were high. The school leaving age was raised, new schools were built. Between 1922 and 1939, the number of secondary schools increased by 120%.

All the policies Hitler enacted on the German people were of a totalitarian government. The secret police force, called the Gestapo, enforced everything. One.


Bibliography: Pearce, Robert. Fascism and Nazism (Access to History). Hodder Arnold H&S, 1997.
Boxer, Andrew. Hitler 's Domestic Policy. Collins Educational, 1997.
Sassoon, Donald. Mussolini and the Rise of Fascism. HarperPress, 2008.
Bosworth, Richard. Mussolini 's Italy: Life Under the Dictatorship 1915-1945. Allen Lane, 2005.


50 Short Questions and Answers on Nazism and the Rise of Hitler

Fascism was first propagated by Benito Mussolini. Under the Fascist system power of the state is vested in one person or a group of persons.

The two fascist powers were Germany and Italy.

2. Give the name of the book written by Hitler. Mention two ideas expressed by Hitler in the book.

Name: ‘Mein Kampf Hair’ Ideas:

(i) The book expressed Hitler’s belief in the superiority of the Aryan race.

(iii) His desire to once more make Germany a powerful nation.

3. How did the US help Germany to overcome the 1923 financial crisis?

‘German bonds’ were sold to private American investors which helped Germany pay its reparations to Britain and France.

4. Name the four countries included in the Allied Powers in World War II.

England, France, Russia and USA were included in the Allied Powers.

5. Which countries were known as Axis Powers in World War II?

Germany, Italy and Japan were known as Axis Powers.

6. List the single most factor for the victory of the Allies in World War I.

The single most important factor for the victory of the Allies in World War I was the entry of USA in 1917. The Allies were strengthened by US entry.

7. What factors enabled the recast of Germany’s Political System after World War I?

The factors which enabled the recast of German policy after World War I were the defeat which Imperial Germany suffered in World War I and the abdication of the German Emperor.

8. What was the German Parliament called?

The German Parliament was called Reichstag.

9. How were the deputies of the Reichstag appointed?

The deputies of the Reichstag were elected on the basis of universal adult franchise including women.

10. How did the Republic of Germany get its name?

The Republic of Germany was named Weimar after the name of the town where the constituent assembly had met and framed the new Constitution.

11. Why was the Weimar Republic not well received by the people of Germany?

The Weimar Republic was not well received by the people because many in Germany held the Republic responsible not only for the defeat in World War I but also for the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

12. Who were called the ‘November Criminals’?

Supporters of the Weimar Republic, mainly Socialists, Catholics and Democrats were mockingly called the ‘November Criminals’.

13. Mention two most important clauses of the Treaty of Versailles.

The two important clauses of the Treaty of Versailles were:

(i) German area of the Rhine Valley was to be demilitarised.

(ii) Germany was to pay war reparation for loss and damages suffered by the Allies during the war.

14, when and between whom was the Treaty of Versailles signed?

Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919 between Germany and Britain, France and USA.

15. What does the term Great Economic Depression signify?

Great Economic Depression (1929-1934) signified the collapse of US economy which began with the crash of the Wall Street Exchange in 1929. It had repercussion all over the world and led to sustained large scale unemployment.

16. The Nazi Party was renamed after which organisation?

The Nazi Party was renamed after the National Socialist German Workers Party.

17. What was the significance of the Enabling Act?

The Enabling Act enabled Hitler to sideline the Parliament and rule by decree.

18. What were the provisions and significance of the Fire Decree (Feb. 28, 1933)?

Provisions of the Fire Decree enabled indefinite suspension of civic rights like freedom of speech, press and assembly that had been guaranteed by the Weimar Republic. It was significant because it enabled Hitler to acquire power and dismantle the democratic structure.

19. How did Hitler propose to bring about economic recovery in Germany?

Hitler proposed to bring about economic recovery by aiming at full production and full employment through state funded work creation programmes.

Secondly he sought to accumulate resources through expansion of territory.

20. Which concept of Hitler’s ideology revealed his desire for an extended empire?

The geopolitical concept or concept of living space revealed his desire for an extended empire.

21. What was the Nazi argument for their imperialist ambitions?

The Nazi argument for their imperialist ambitions was, the strongest race would survive and the weak perish. To retain purity of the Aryan race they had to dominate the world.

22. Who were the supporters of the Nazi ideology?

Nazi ideas found support in the army and the class of big landlords. They received the full backing of the industrialists who were alarmed at the growth of the socialist and communist parties.

23. Give two steps taken by the Weimar Republic in 1923, to acquire political stability in Germany.

To acquire political stability in Germany, the Weimar Republic:

(i) Introduced a new currency called Rentenmark. This considerably strengthened Germany’s monetary system.

(ii) A new method was negotiated between Germany and the Allies for payment of separation dues. Thereby the French Army withdrew from the Ruhr region.

24. What is meant by the term appeasement? Who adopted it towards whom?

Appeasement means a policy of conciliating an aggressive power at the expense of some other country.

The Western powers namely Britain and France adopted a policy of appeasement towards Germany and Italy.

25. What was the reason behind the Western powers following a policy of appeasement towards Germany in the years before World War II?

The only reason behind the appeasement policy of the western powers towards Germany was to ensure that German aggression remained directed against Communist Russia.

26. What marked the beginning of World War II?

The invasion of Poland by German>’ on September 1, 1933 marked the beginning of the World War II.

27. Who were the signatories of the 1940 Tripartite Pact?

Germany, Italy and Japan were the signatories of the 1940 Tripartite Pact.

28. Why Hitler’s attack on Soviet Union is in 1941 regarded ‘a historic blunder’?

Hitler’s attack on Soviet Union in 1941 is regarded as a historic blunder because henceforth German armies had to simultaneously fight on two fronts. While Germans were fighting the aerial bombings of the British on the western front, the eastern front remained exposed to the powerful Soviet armies.

29. Name some countries which became victims of Hitler’s aggressive policy.

Some countries which became victims of Hitler’s aggressive policy were-Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium, France, North Africa and Russia.

30. What was the immediate cause for American entry in World War 11?

Both US and Japan were competing for domination in the Pacific. The immediate cause for American entry in World War II was the sudden bombing by Japan on the American naval base at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, destroying American ships and aircraiXs.

31. Mention the msyor events of 1941 that turned the war into a global war.

The German invasion of Soviet Union, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and United States entry in the war turned the war into a truly global war.

32. Which country used atomic bombs during World War II?

USA used atomic bombs during World War II against Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

33. What event brought the end of World War II?

Hitler’s defeat and the US bombing of Hiroshima in Japan brought the end of World War II in 1945.

34. Hitler’s ideas on racialism were based on which thinkers?

Hitler’s ideas on racialism borrowed heavily from thinkers like Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer.

35. Who according to Hitler topped the racial hierarchy? Who formed the lowest rung of the hierarchy?

The Nordic German Aryans were at the top while the Jews were located at the lowest rung of the racial hierarchy.

36. Who according to the Nazis were ‘desirables’?

Pure and healthy Nordic Aryans alone were considered ‘desirables’ by the Nazis.

37. Who were regarded and treated as ‘undesirables’ during the Nazi regime?

Jews, many Gypsies, blacks living in Nazi Germany, Poles and Russian civilians belonging to German occupied territory, were treated as ‘undesirables’. Even Germans who were seen as impure or abnormal were classed as ‘undesirables’.

38. How did the common people react to Nazi behaviour and propaganda of Jews?

Many common people reacted with anger and hatred towards Jews, others remained passive onlookers scared to protest, many others protested braving even death.

39. What does the term ‘Holocaust’ refer to?

The term Holocaust refers to the atrocities and sufferings endured by Jews during Nazi killing operations.

40. What was Hitler’s World View?

As per Hitler’s World View there was no equality between people, only racial hierarchy.

41. (a) What does the term ‘Genocidial War’ refer to?

(b) List the three stages leading to the extermination of Jews.

(a) The term Genocidial War refers to the mass murder of selected groups of innocent civilians in Europe by Germany, during World War II.

(b) The three stages in the extermination of Jews were exclusion, ghettoisation and annihilation.

42. For what was Auschwitz notorious during the Nazi period?

Auschwitz was notorious for mass scale gassing chambers used for mass human killing.

43. What did Nazis fear most after the fall and death of Hitler?

Nazis feared revenge from the Allies after the fall and death of Hitler.

44. Where and when did Hitler and his propaganda minister Goebbels commit suicide?

Hitler and Goebbels committed suicide collectively in the Berlin bunker in April, 1945.

45. (i) Why did Germany attack Poland? (ii) What were its consequences?

(i) Poland’s refusal to return Danzig, and a rail road corridor through Poland linking East Prussia with the rest of Germany led Germany to attack Poland. (September 1, 1939). (ii) This led Britain and France to deliver a joint ultimatum to Germany demanding a cessation of hostilities and immediate withdrawal of German forces from Poland. When Germany refused to comply both the countries declared war on Germany, leading to the start of the Second World War.

46. Why did Germany want Sudentenland?

Germany wanted Sudentenland because:

(i) It had a substantial German population.

(ii) This area also formed l/5th of Czechoslovakia.

(iii) Had the largest ammunition factories in the world.

47. When did the Second World War end in Europe?

After the Soviet armies entered Berlin and Hitler committed suicide, Germany surrendered unconditionally on May 7, 1945. All hostilities ended on May 9, 1945.

48. Why was the International Military Tribunal set up in Nuremberg and for what did it prosecute the Nazi’s?

Germany’s conduct during the war raised serious moral and ethical questions and invited worldwide condemnation. Therefore, the International Military Tribunal was set up in Nuremberg to prosecute Nazi War Criminals.

The Tribunal prosecuted the Nazi’s for Crimes against Peace, for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

49. How did the Jews feel in Nazi Germany?

So thorough was Nazi propaganda that many Jews started believing in the Nazi stereotypes about themselves. The images haunted them. Jews died many deaths even before they reached the gas chambers. Even then many a Jews lived on to tell their story.

50. The retribution meted out to the Nazis after World War fl was far short in extent of their crimes. Why?

The retribution of the Nazis was far short of the brutality and extent of their crimes because the Allies did not want to be harsh on defeated Germany as they had been after World War I. They came to feel the rise of Nazi Germany could be partly traced back to the German experience at the end of World War I.


Why didn't Hitler tell Mussolini about his plans to invade the USSR?

I saw this on a documentary today. It was a total surprise to Mussolini. I thought the Italians were in it from the start. Why didn't Hitler tell him and when did the Italians get into the USSR war?

This one is kind of complex.

Operation Barbarossa was the operation the Axis had planned to invade the Soviet Union. Nazi Germany had started to amass troops and equipment and had a pretty substantial force at the border in February of 1941. The original plan for the operation was to take place in May of 1941. There really was no shock, Stalin knew of the amassing of German troops and was warned by Soviet military leaders of an impending attack.

Mussolini and the Italian Military were fighting the Greco-Italian War in Greece and making no headway. This is considered the start of the Balkan Campaign. The stalling of Italy in Greece lead to Hitler start Operation Marita which was the German invasion of Greece, which coincided with the Italian invasion of Greece, which had stalled. Hitler had no intentions of invading Greece at this point, but was forced into action by Mussolini.

To sum it up quickly at this point. Italy tried to invade Greece from Albania, without Hitler and a lot of other important Italian leaders knowing, and failed. Greece actually pushed back and started taking ground in Albania. Hitler pushed forward with Italy to invade and defeat Greece.

The failure of Italy to defeat Greece on their own meant that some of the troops and materials for Operation Barbarossa were used in The Balkan Campaign. Which, with some other weather related issues lead to Operation Barbarossa being delayed. The delays are questionable at this point, there is some speculation that the Operation could have continued, even with the Germany military being deployed in Greece.

Prior to the entire Greek campaign, Italian forces under Mussolini had dealt with setbacks in the North African Campaign. Which lead to Rommel being deployed to Africa to aid the Italians in that campaign.

The relationship between Hitler and Mussolini was complex and stressed. Mussolini never felt like an equal and the invasion of Greece was not advised by Hitler, rather performed by Mussolini to impress Hitler. Which basically lead to Hitler having to bail him out. Hitler commonly didn't communicate with Mussolini, so not knowing about the invasion of the USSR isn't odd.

So to answer your first question. Mussolini already had his hands full with the Greco-Italian war. Aiding Hitler at the border of the USSR would have been near impossible. Hitler delayed Operation Barbarossa to aid Mussolini in Greece.

Anecdotally, I would assume that there was some irritation on Hitler's part with Mussolini. From everything I have read about the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini, Hitler never viewed Mussolini as an equal and Mussolini never felt like an equal. Even prior to any invasions.

So while both Italy and Germany had signed the Pact of Steel, both countries had trouble with meeting the obligations of the pact.

As to when did the Italians get into the USSR? The Italian Expeditionary Corps were deployed to the USSR in July of 1941. Later the expeditionary corps were upscaled to a full sized army unit in July of 1942

Operation Barbarossa had started in June of 1941, so the assistance of the Italian military had come less than a month after the campaign started.

Then you get into the whole invasion of Northern Italy. Hitler had basically set up a puppet government and put Mussolini in charge of Northern Italy after Southern Italy was retaken by the Allied forces. Mussolini and his mistress trying to escape to the Swiss border, being captured by allied Italian fighters, both of them being shot and then their bodies were hung in a park in Milan and defaced by many, many Italian citizens.


Mussolini questions Hitler’s plans - HISTORY

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Lesson Plan: Dictatorships and Totalitarian Governments

Francisco Franco as a Totalitarian Leader

Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco's rule over Spain is discussed. The clip includes footage of one of his speeches and describes his efforts to control the Spanish people.

Description

Dictatorships and totalitarian government are types of government that rule their people by force and threat. These rulers share common characteristics in how they exert control and how they limit the rights of their people. Historic examples of these rulers include Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Stalin. More contemporary examples include Kim Jong Un, Moammar Qaddafi and Robert Mugabe. This lesson introduces dictatorships and totalitarian governments by looking at common characteristics using examples from the past 100 years.

Procedures

As a class, have the students discuss the following questions:

What do you know about dictatorships?

Go over the following terms with the class:

Dictatorship- Form of government in which one person or a small group possesses absolute power without effective constitutional limitations.

As a class, brainstorm characteristics of dictatorships and totalitarian governments. Pass out the handout below and review the characteristics that are listed to ensure students understand the vocabulary listed.

Show each clip to the class. Have the students complete the chart by providing examples of the characteristics from the clips.

Video Clip 6: Kim Jong un (1:41)

Video Clip 7: Who was Benito Mussolini? (1:38)

Video Clip 8: Mussolini's Use of Power (1:06)

Video Clip 9: Moammar Qaddafi Remarks (2:29)

After viewing the videos, discuss and review the examples as a class.

To demonstrate learning, have the students answer the following question:

ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES:

After reviewing the terms, show the clips to the students. While viewing the clips, have the students take notes.

After the clips are shown, students will come up with characteristics of dictatorships and totalitarian government on their own.

Students will present the characteristics that they came up with.

EXTENSION ACTIVITIES:

Essay Assignment- Using evidence from the clips, evaluate how well totalitarian leaders maintain power?

Reflective Writing Assignment- Imagine you live in a totalitarian government where the government controls all aspects of your life. Explain how your daily life would be different in that situation.


1 Ernst von Weizsäcker, Die Weizsäcker-Papiere, 1933–1950, ed. Leonidas E. Hill (Frankfurt am Main, 1974), pp. 117–18.

2 Renzo De Felice, Mussolini il duce, ii: Lo Stato totalitario, 1936–1940 (Turin, 1981), pp. 414–15 Gerhard Weinberg, The foreign policy of Nazi Germany: starting World War II (Chicago, IL, 1980), p. 281 R. J. B. Bosworth, Mussolini (London, 2002), p. 329 Robert Mallett, Mussolini and the origins of the Second World War, 1933–1940 (Basingstoke, 2003), pp. 146–7 idem, ‘ Fascist foreign policy and official Italian views of Anthony Eden in the 1930s’ , Historical Journal , 43 ( 2000 ), pp. 157 –87CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

3 Wolfgang Benz, ‘Die Inszenierung der Akklamation – Mussolini in Berlin 1937’, in Michael Grüttner, Rüdiger Hachtmann, and Heinz-Gerhard Haupt, eds., Geschichte und Emanzipation: Festschrift für Reinhard Rürup (Frankfurt am Main, 1999), pp. 401–17 Wenke Nitz, Führer und Duce: Politische Machtinszenierungen im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland und im faschistischen Italien (Cologne, 2013), pp. 326–7 on the importance of rituals, see Emilio Gentile, The sacralization of politics in Fascist Italy (Cambridge, MA, 1996).

4 Wolfgang Schieder, Faschistische Diktaturen: Studien zu Italien und Deutschland (Göttingen, 2008) Bernhard , Patrick , ‘ Borrowing from Mussolini: Nazi Germany's colonial aspirations in the shadow of Italian expansionism’ , Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History , 41 ( 2013 ), pp. 617 –43CrossRefGoogle Scholar for older work, see Watt , D. C. , ‘ The Rome–Berlin Axis, 1936–1940: myth and reality’ , Review of Politics , 22 ( 1960 ), pp. 519 –43CrossRefGoogle Scholar for an influential English account, see MacGregor Knox, Common destiny: dictatorship, foreign policy, and war in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany (Cambridge, 2000) for a review of recent work, see Christian Goeschel , ‘ Italia docet? The relationship between Italian Fascism and Nazism revisited’ , European History Quarterly , 42 ( 2012 ), pp. 480 –92Google Scholar .

5 Work includes Patricia Clavin, Securing the world economy: the reinvention of the League of Nations, 1920–1946 (Oxford, 2013) Mark Mazower, Governing the world: the history of an idea (London, 2012) Glenda Sluga, Internationalism in the age of nationalism (Philadelphia, PA, 2013) Susan Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the crisis of empire (Oxford, 2015).

6 Clifford Geertz, ‘Thick description: toward an interpretive theory of culture’, in idem, The interpretation of cultures: selected essays (New York, NY, 1973), pp. 3–30.

7 Johannes Paulmann, Pomp und Politik: Monarchenbegegnungen in Europa zwischen Ancien Régime und Erstem Weltkrieg (Paderborn, 2000) David Cannadine, ‘The context, perfomance and meaning of ritual: the British monarchy and the “invention of tradition”, c. 1820–1977’, in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The invention of tradition (pbk edn, Cambridge, 1992), pp. 101–64 on the organization, see Massimo Magistrati, L'Italia a Berlino (1937–1939) (Milan, 1956), p. 57.

8 See Ian Kershaw, The ‘Hitler myth’: image and reality in the Third Reich (Oxford, 1987) Stephen Gundle, Christopher Duggan, and Giuliana Pieri, eds., The cult of the Duce: Mussolini and the Italians (Manchester, 2013).

9 For a perceptive comment, see Magistrati, L'Italia a Berlino, p. 59 on the history of emotions, see Jan Plamper, The history of emotions: an introduction (Oxford, 2015) recent literature on friendship includes Bernadette Descharmes, Eric Anton Heuser, Caroline Krüger, and Thomas Loy, eds., Varieties of friendship: interdisciplinary perspectives on social relationships (Göttingen, 2011).

10 Febvre , Lucien , ‘ Sur la doctrine nationale-socialiste: un conflit de tendances’ , Annales d'histoire sociale , 1 ( 1939 ), pp. 426 –8CrossRefGoogle Scholar Plamper, The history of emotions, pp. 42–3.

11 William M. Reddy, The navigation of feeling: a framework for the history of emotions (Cambridge, 2001), pp. 63–111 Sluga, Internationalism in the age of nationalism.

12 See Paulmann, Pomp und Politik, passim.

13 Shimazu , Naoko , ‘ Diplomacy as theatre: staging the Bandung Conference of 1955’ , Modern Asian Studies , 48 ( 2014 ), pp. 225 –52CrossRefGoogle Scholar Roosen , William , ‘ Early modern diplomatic ceremonial: a systems approach’ , Journal of Modern History , 52 ( 1980 ), pp. 452 –76CrossRefGoogle Scholar Markus Mösslang and Torsten Riotte, eds., The diplomats' world: a cultural history of diplomacy, 1815–1914 (Oxford, 2007).

14 Jeffrey C. Alexander, ‘Cultural pragmatics: social performance between ritual and strategy’, in Jeffrey C. Alexander, Bernhard Giesen, and Jason L. Mast, eds., Social performance: symbolic action, cultural pragmatics, and ritual (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 29–90.

15 On context, see Jens Petersen, Hitler–Mussolini: Die Entstehung der Achse Berlin-Rom, 1933–1936 (Tübingen, 1973) on the Venice meeting, see Poesio , Camilla , ‘ Venezia. Italia. L'immagine della città e la visita di Hitler (1934)’ , Memoria e Ricera , 43 ( 2013 ), pp. 145 –66CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

16 On context, see Simone Derix, Bebilderte Politik: Staatsbesuche in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Göttingen, 2009), p. 40 Michael Meyer, Symbolarme Republik? Das politische Zeremoniell der Weimarer Republik in den Staatsbesuchen zwischen 1920 und 1933 (Frankfurt am Main, 2014).

17 Telespresso R. Consolato Generale al R. Ministero degli Affari Esteri, 4 Sept. 1937, Rome, Archivio storico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri (ASMAE), SP Germania 1931–45, b. 40.

18 Karen Peter, ed., NS-Presseanweisungen der Vorkriegszeit (7 vols., Munich, 1998), v /3, pp. 766–75.

19 Dr Walther Schmitt, ‘Benito Mussolini: Mann und Werk’, Völkischer Beobachter (VB), no. 268, 25 Sept. 1937, on Italo-German perceptions, see Klaus Heitmann, Das italienische Deutschlandbild in seiner Geschichte (3 vols. so far, Heidelberg, 2003–12).

20 Schmitt, ‘Benito Mussolini’ on racial policy in Italy, see Robertson , Esmonde , ‘ Race as a factor in Mussolini's policy in Africa and Europe’ , Journal of Contemporary History , 23 ( 1988 ), pp. 37 – 58 CrossRefGoogle Scholar Michele Sarfatti, Gli ebrei nell'Italia fascista: vicende, identita, persecuzione (Turin, 2000) Meir Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews: German–Italian relations and the Jewish Question in Italy, 1922–1945 (Oxford, 1978) for a recent survey, see Frauke Wildvang, Der Feind von nebenan: Judenverfolgung im faschistischen Italien, 1936–1945 (Cologne, 2008), pp. 9–16 de Donno , Fabrizio , ‘ La Razza Ario Mediterranea: ideas of race and citizenship in colonial and Fascist Italy’ , Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies , 8 ( 2006 ), pp. 394 – 412 CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

21 One of the most recent contributions to this debate is Geoff Eley, Nazism as Fascism: violence, ideology and the ground of consent in Germany, 1930–1945 (London, 2013) see also Tim Mason, ‘Whatever happened to “Fascism”?’, in idem, Nazism, Fascism and the working class, ed. Jane Caplan (Cambridge 1995), pp. 323–31 Ernst Nolte, Three faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian Fascism, National Socialism, trans. Leila Vennewitz (New York, NY, 1969).

22 On context, see Kevin Passmore, Fascism: a very short introduction (new edn, Oxford, 2014), pp. 17–21 Michel Dobry, ‘Le thèse immunitaire face aux fascismes: pour une critique de la logique classificatoire’, in idem, ed., Le mythe d'allergie française du fascisme (Paris, 2003), pp. 17–67.

23 Programm für den Besuch des italienischen Regierungschefs Benito Mussolini, Sept. 1937, Berlin, Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts (PA AA), Botschaft Rom (Quirinal), 695B.

24 Hence the title of Fred G. Willis, Mussolini in Deutschland: Eine Volkskundgebung für den Frieden in den Tagen vom 25. bis 29. September 1937 (Berlin, 1937) cf. Nitz, Führer und Duce, pp. 359–77.

25 Sowerby , Tracey A. , ‘ “A memorial and a pledge of faith”: portraiture and early modern diplomatic culture’ , English Historical Review , 129 ( 2014 ), pp. 296 – 331 CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

26 Wolfgang Schieder, ‘Duce und Führer: Fotografische Inszenierungen’, in idem, Faschistische Diktaturen, pp. 417–63, at p. 437 on Chamberlain's visit, see Stafford , Paul , ‘ The Chamberlain–Halifax visit to Rome: a reappraisal’ , English Historical Review , 98 ( 1983 ), pp. 61 – 100 CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

27 On the Triple Alliance, see Holger Afflerbach, Der Dreibund: Europäische Großmacht- und Allianzpolitik vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg (Vienna, 2002), pp. 229–89 on Crispi, see Christopher Duggan, Francesco Crispi, 1818–1901: from nation to nationalism (Oxford, 2002), pp. 495–531 on the cultivation of Bismarck as a precursor to Hitler, see Robert Gerwarth, The Bismarck myth: Weimar Germany and the legacy of the Iron Chancellor (Oxford, 2005).

28 Willis, Mussolini in Deutschland, pp. 6–7 on Willis, see Wolfgang Schieder, Mythos Mussolini: Deutsche in Audienz beim Duce (Munich, 2013), p. 168 on Hoffmann, see Rudolf Herz, Hoffmann & Hitler: Fotografie als Medium des Führer-Mythos (Munich, 1994).

29 Il Popolo d'Italia, no. 246, 4 Sept. 1937 ibid., no. 264, 22 Sept. 1937 for the same tenor, see also Il Duce in Germania. Con prefazione di Gherardo Casini (Milan, 1937).

30 Marks , Sally , ‘ Mussolini and Locarno: Fascist foreign policy in microcosm’ , Journal of Contemporary History , 14 ( 1979 ), pp. 423 –39CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

31 Magistrati, L'Italia a Berlino, p. 55 on Mussolini's showmanship, see still Luigi Barzini, The Italians (Harmondsworth, 1968), pp. 155–79.

32 On public radio transmissions, see Stephen Gundle, ‘Mass culture and the cult of personality’, in Gundle, Duggan, and Pieri, eds., The cult of the Duce, pp. 72–90 Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi, Fascist spectacle: the aesthetics of power in Mussolini's Italy (Berkeley, CA, 2000), pp. 84–8.

33 Il Popolo d'Italia, no. 267, 25 Sept. 1937 for the organization of the farewell ceremony, see Il Sottosegretario di stato, 23 Sept. 1937, Rome, Archivio centrale dello stato (ACS), PCM 1941–3 20/2/13100, viaggio del Duce in Germania, sf. 1 on the organization of Fascist rallies, see Paul Corner, The Fascist party and popular opinion in Mussolini's Italy (Oxford, 2012), pp. 192–200.

34 Ministero della Cultura Popolare, appunto per l'On Gabinetto di SE Il Ministro, 9 Sept. 1937, ACS, MinCulPop, Gabinetto, b. 37, sf. 2 see ibid. for a list of instructions ‘Alla Delegazione Italiana Servizio Stampa’, undated.

35 Kleiderordnung anläßlich des Besuchs Seiner Exzellenz des Italienischen Regierungschefs in Deutschland, PA AA, R 269004, fo. 53.

36 Gundle, ‘Mussolini's appearances in the regions’, in Gundle, Duggan, and Pieri, eds., The cult of the Duce, pp. 129–43.

37 For the most up-to-date work on South Tyrol in English, see Roberta Pergher, ‘A tale of two borders: settlement and national transformation in Libya and South Tyrol under Fascism’ (Ph.D. thesis, Michigan, 2007), pp. 49–82 see also Jens Petersen, ‘Deutschland, Italien und Südtirol 1938–1940’, in Klaus Eisterer and Rolf Steininger, eds., Die Option: Südtirol zwischen Faschismus und Nationalsozialismus (Innsbruck, 1989), pp. 127–50.

38 ‘Nel treno del Duce da Roma a Monaco di Baviera’, Il Popolo d'Italia, no. 268, 26 Sept. 1937 New York Times, 26 Sept. 1937.

39 Peter, ed., NS-Presseanweisungen der Vorkriegszeit, v /3, pp. 771–2.


Mussolini questions Hitler’s plans - HISTORY

Benito Mussolini's Italy posed another threat to world peace. Mussolini, Italy's ruler from 1922 to 1943, promised to restore his country's martial glory. Surrounded by storm troopers dressed in black shirts, Mussolini delivered impassioned speeches from balconies, while crowds chanted, "Duce! Duce!"

His opponents mocked him as the "Sawdust Caesar," but for a time his admirers included Winston Churchill and Will Rogers, the humorist. Cole Porter, the popular songwriter, referred to the Italian leader in a line in one of his smash hits. "You're the top," he wrote, "you're Mussolini."

Mussolini invented a political philosophy known as fascism, extolling it as an alternative to socialist radicalism and parliamentary inaction. Fascism, he promised, would end political corruption and labor strife while maintaining capitalism and private property. It would make trains run on time. Like Hitler's Germany, fascist Italy adopted anti-Semitic laws banning marriages between Christian and Jewish Italians, restricting Jews' right to own property, and removing Jews from positions in government, education, and banking.

One of Mussolini's goals was to create an Italian empire in North Africa. In 1912 and 1913, Italy had conquered Libya. In 1935, he provoked war with Ethiopia, conquering the country in eight months. Two years later, Mussolini sent 70,000 Italian troops to Spain to help Francisco Franco defeat the republican government in the Spanish Civil War. His slogan was "Believe! Obey! Fight!"



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