Nazi Germany And Fascist Italy

Fascism is widely recognised as a form of government with no realest principles. Unlike Marxism I doesn’t mould around one main source but morphs to the particular countries situation and the cult of personality of its leader.

The First way of analysing the two states is by looking at how Hitler and Mussolini came to power. Both Germany and Italy were suffering similar internal problems. The Great War and Wall Street Crash had ravaged economies, the countries were lead by weak governments and the threat of communism was ever increasing. These aspects were similar in the two countries were the precursors of Fascism. Of course there were other factors in both countries. In Germany anger over Germany’s capitulation during World War One and her anger over the terms of the Treaty of Versailles gave Hitler a very important point on which to build support. Hitler demonised people, creating scapegoats through propaganda, on this scapegoat he blamed Germany’s entire problem. This scapegoat was the Jews. Hitler’s rise to power was all of his own working. His incredible ability to appeal to people, his great skills as an orator and his German pride all help assert himself as a popular figure. Mussolini’s rise on the other hand was primarily based on opportunism. His policies contradicted themselves, his attitudes were dramatic and his facts were very often incorrect despite this he was able to win the hearts of Italians with his incredible speech delivery ability.

By having a smart appearance and by giving an impressive display. His opportunist rise to power was most evident during his March on Rome. Had the King of listened to his Prime Minister, Facta, the march could easily have been crushed. There was a garrison of 28,000 well armed and well trained troops available which would have easily beaten the 40,000 Black shirts who were sometimes only armed with clubs and other farming equipment. Hitler’s route to creating Nazi Germany was legal. He gained power by gaining electoral support. Then once he had become chancellor he demolished democracy well within the guidelines of the German constitution. By using the Enabling act he could dissolve all other political powers and place himself as the F�hrer. Of course the methods employed by Hitler to gain voters and be able to pass the Enabling act were not strictly legal. Mussolini on the other hand forced his way into power by marching on Rome. Nothing about his seizure of power was legal.

Once in Power Mussolini like Hitler began to dismantle all other parties, and declared Italy a dictatorship. He created censorship laws and press laws which stated that all journalists must be registered fascists so as to be able to write. With this and his brilliant use of propaganda Mussolini didn’t have any trouble from opposing groups. Mussolini took over many of the ministries within the government, this meant he could make sure that all the governments decisions were exactly as he wanted them to be. Hitler, on the other hand, took very notice in his countries running. Hitler spent much of his time away at his Berghof retreat leaving the work to his subordinates. Structuralists believe that Hitler was just a fa�ade thinking it more important to increase his popularity and better his public image. The structure of the Third Reich is seen as weak and chaotic, if anything weakened by Hitler. Both Nazism and Fascism created a police state. Hitler had his Gestapo which would weed out anti-Nazis. Mussolini created the OVRA (Organizzazione di Vigilanza Repressione dell’Antifascismo) which was a violent organisation which was designed to hunt down anti-fascists and do not particularly pleasant things to them. The final prime similarity between the two states was that they both dreamed of national regeneration. Hitler wanted to do this by purging Germany of the so called impure blood. Mussolini wanted to unite the people of Italy: “We have Italy, now we must make Italians”

The primary differences between the two states was in racism. Hitler was of the conviction that anybody non-Aryan was an enemy of the State and should be removed from the gene pool, either by sterilisation or by mass murder. Mussolini on the other hand was not an anti-Semite many of his leading fascists were Jews. Whereas Hitler wanted the creation of a Master Race, Mussolini wanted to return Italy to the glory days of the Roman Empire.

Italian Fascism and German Nazism are two different chameleons in the same habitat. On the surface they make look the same but if you scratch around a bit under the skin you find that the core is very different. From the outside they seem to be similar in there aggressive external policies, secret police forces and anti communism. But!, on both systems were different in that they were made to suit the internal problems in the countries prior to the dictatorship.