HIS 2342 – Tuesday February 6 2013
- By 1920’s Europe had become divided politically in the West between the West and the
USSR in the east.
- But in the late 1930’s many of the democracies to the west started to collapse.
- Fascism was only able to gain momentum in Europe because of Hitler.
- Even though the movements whom were funded or encouraged by Mussolini never
became truly ideally fascist until the 1930’s when they picked up some of Hitler’s ideals.
- Hobsbawn doesn't negate the crisis of the Great War or the great depression in terms of
what led to fascism. He explains that fascism was able to build on this crisis because of
Hitler’s rise to power.
- Why Germany? He argues that it’s because Germany is in the middle of Europe and it’s
size in economic power and it’s central location enabled it to become a global force.
- Even though they follow a traditional rhetoric they’re using modern ways to appeal to the
past. When they do appeal to the past they do this in social mooring.
- In German fascism are singled out for special continuation.
- When we observe anti-Semitism it’s important to remember that this is emerging in a
hatred of foreigners. (Xenophobia).
- In Germany Xenophobia and anti-Semitism came together in a modern way.
- This isn’t the religious Semitism where Jews were seen as religious individuals.
- Modern anti-Semitism emerges from a more recent formulation. The Jew is presented as
an enemy of both the left and the right in the political spectrum.
- For Anti-Semites on the right Jews represents everything they dislike about the liberal
movements. They represent the enlightenment all the things that was attributed to the
right view of Europe.
- For Anti-Semites on the left they were seen as international capitalists whom made their
money on the back of the working classes.
- Both of these visions do not reflect the reality and they’re contradicting views.
- Jews in Germany and in France occupied socio-economic levels. These two extremes do
not reflect reality but representations that fuel different kinds of anti-Semitism.
- How these ideas translated into social practices and to specific policies.
- Anti-Semitism and fascism don’t always get along. Ex: many British intellectuals were
Anti-Semitic but also Anti-Fascist. And on the other hand Mussolini’s Fascism didn’t
- The fact that they do coincide in German Fascism is what led to the biggest problem.
- Hitler’s Anti-Semitic writings wouldn’t have reached a wide audience if Anti-Semitic
views had not existed in rural Eastern Europe.
- This newly independent status was not concrete in Europe. There was tension between the
traditional nation and the new European world.
- Fascists weren’t traditional enough to appeal to the peasantry. Their natural audience is
the middle class not the low class.
- BACK TO THEAFTERMATH OF WWII
- The creation fo the Weimar State takes place.
- The Weimar Republic represents the majority in 1919. The social democrats had 40% of
the votes in this constituent’s assembly.
- This democratic government was viewed negatively because they accepted the Treaty of
Versailles and all the changes. - They gave the President had many powers. He could make treaties with countries; he was
solely responsible for appointing or firing members of the cabinet, commander of the
army, could dissolve gov at any moment. These extensive executive powers created
conditions for dictatorship. This was even more likely because the way electoral law was
made, it made it difficult for a majority party to make decisions for any opposition role.
- The members of this government had to defend the treaty of Versailles. Having been
forced to sign it they then needed to defend their decision.
- The minister of reconstruction was the one whom was most disliked. He was also singled
out because he was Jewish.
- He was assassinated a year later by a right wing group. They said they were defending
- The problem with this decision is that the Weimar Republic was now responsible for these
minor’s whom had no income.
- We also have the general uncertainty about the depression. The working class with (Rosa
Luxembourg) turned into the German Communist Party out of the crisis of the Weimar
- The Middle-Classes were caught. They didn’t want to join the Communists (Working
Class) nor did they want to support the Social Democrats.
- It was this Middle-Class that began slowly to pay attention to nationalist party rather then
social democrats or the communists.
- In 1923, the German Chancellor orders that the resistance campaigns must end against the
Treaty of Versailles.
- Nationalists were furious about this decision of the Weimar Republic to resume payments.
In response Hitler does his push in Munich. He attempts a coup and announced a national
- His attempt at a coup d’etat was put down. He took advantage of his trial to publicize his
perspective. It’s during this period that he wrote Mein Kampf. My Struggle.
- Hitler represented the National Socialist Party of Workers. It was one of the many right
wing groups in Bavaria.
- Hitler is from Austrian decent, he moves to Munich in 1913 after a series of failures in
Vienna. He served in the German Army as a volunteer. When the war ended he joined the
- Quickly, he began to urge his members to fight for a greater Germany, to fight for the
expulsion of Jews from Political life. For the right to guaranteed employment for
German’s, the nationalization of Banks.
- Quickly he rose to a level of national Nazi party and became the Fuhrer. The Nazi’s had
there own militia (Brown Shirts) whom engaged in street violence.
- One of the central themes is the question of Jews and the perceived relations between
Jews and Marxism.
- He explains that the Jews are tools of Marxism, the political position of the Jewish
Movement. The Jews are not devoted to the nation because of their Marxist ideologies.
The idea of a fatherland is simply a tool used to control the workers. Because the Jews are
all Marxists they don’t believe in the nation, the power of the nation.
- This is a serious threat to the nation and others.
- In describing his evolution of this issue he explains that he didn’t always believe or
understand what threat they posed. He used to believe they could be German or Austrian but his perception changed when he travelled to cities and saw religious Jews and didn’t
believe they could be a part of the Nation.
- He also argues that it’s difficult to take Jews seriously as members of a nationality
because of the Zionist movement. If it calls for the creation of a homeland how can they
be seen as members of the society if they’re looking for another home?
- Once he begins to make