Totalitarianism 1403E Final Exam Study Notes
Question One: Identifications (Who? When? What? Where? And clearly state the
historical significance (Why?) of each. 10 of these will appear on the exam, from
which you will choose five to answer.
Who: He was a Bolshevik revolutionary, and a Marxist theorist.
What? He helped organize the 1917 October revolution along with Lenin. During
the Soviet Union he was a People‘s Commissar for Foreign Affairs (Was
responsible for negotiating diplomatic treaties, handling soviet foreign affairs, and
leading the creation of Communism, and anti-imperialism) and later built up the
red army. There is terror going on with Trotsky and Lenin nobody will speak up.
Russia begun to steer away from a Marxist/Communistic government so Stalin
came in and said, ―I can provide communism.‖ Lenin and Trotsky oppose Stalin.
Begins to travel to speak out against Lenin, leads a failed struggle against
Stalin‘s Left Opposition in the 20s. Stalin removed him from power because of his
opposition, deported to a concentration camp where he still created problems by
opposing Stalinist bureaucracy. Trotsky saw the bureaucracy and the managerial
groups of the Soviet Union as the new privileged strata who had usurped the fruits
of the revolution and deprived the working class of its rights; he attacked Stalinism
as the ideology of the new privileged strata. Then sent to Turkey where he‘s still a
political exile, and then to Sweden, then to Mexico, where he‘s a hostage but he‘s
still promoting the death of Stalin in 1938-1939 an attack is made while he‘s in
Mexico by Stalin‘s spies but it backfires and he still remains alive, only to be
assassinated by one of Stalin‘s secret police using an ice pick (1940). His ideas
form the basis of Trotskyism, which is a major school of Marxist thought that‘s
opposed to the theories of Stalinism. One of the few Soviet Political leaders who
was never rehabilitated by the government of Gorbachev.
March on Rome
When: 22 October to 29 October 1922
Where: Rome, Italy
Who: Benito Mussolini‘s National Fascist Party
What: Mussolini declared that he wants to rule Italy. The former prime minister
advised the current Prime Minister Luigi Facta that Mussolini him to resign and
was going to March on Rome, and also had the black shirts ready on standby all
over the country. Facta thought that Mussolini would govern quietly to his side.
Facta had resigned but still held power, but to arise to the occasion he wanted the
King Victor Emanuel III to sign a military order declaring state of siege. He refused
and handed power to Mussolini who was supported by the military, business
class, and right wing.
Why: This allowed Mussolini to reach power in accordance with the Italian
Constitution. The March was a force behind the transfer of power within using the
legality of the constitution. It was made possible by the surrender of public
authorities in the face of fascist intimidation. Mussolini seemed free market and
Laissez-faire that is why financial leaders wanted him, but he was very corporatist. President Hindenburg
When: In power from 12 May 1925 to 2 August 1934. Succeeded by Adolf Hitler.
Who: Paul von Hindenburg
What: Enjoyed a long army career retiring in 1911. Germanys chief of staff from
1916, he and Erich Ludendorff rose in popularity since then, only to have him
retire again in 1919, but return to be elected as President of Germany in 1925.
Ran for re-election in 1932 because he was the only person who could beat Hitler.
Why: He dissolved parliament TWICE in 1932 and appointed Hitler as Chancellor
in Jan 1933. In February he issued the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended
various civil liberties and was used as the legal basis of imprisonment of anyone
considered to be opponent of the Nazis, and to suppress publications not
considered ―friendly‖ to the Nazi cause. Considered by historians to be one of the
key steps in establishing a one-party Nazi state in Germany. In March he signed
the Enabling act, allowing the cabinet to make laws without the Reichstag. Hitler
had administrative legislative powers. Hindenburg then died and Hitler declared
the Presidents office vacant, and as chancellor made himself Head of State.
What: After Hitler‘s takeover Nazism became an official ideology incorporating
scientific racism and anti Semitism. Rapid growth in legislation directed at Jews.
Why: Enacted laws to identify who was Jewish so little people could escape. The
laws classified people with four German grandparents as ―German or Kindred
Blood‖ while people classified as Jews if they descended from 3 or 4 Jewish
grandparents. Someone with one or two was of mixed blood. Jews were deprived
of German citizenship and prohibited marriage between Jews and other Germans.
Also a ban on sexual intercourse between Jews and non-Jews was instilled. The
laws were a legal embodiment of an already existing anti-Jewish boycotts
When: 16 July to 2 August 1945
Where: Cecilenhof, Potsdam, Occupied Germany
Who: Soviet Union (Stalin), United Kingdom(Churchill), and United States
What: A conference between the 3 nations
Why: To decide how to administer the punishment to the defeated Nazi Germany,
which had agreed on unconditional surrender 9 weeks earlier May 9. (VE day).
The goals of the conference included establishment of post-war order, peace
treaties issues, and countering the effects of war. The conference is the beginning
of the tension between USSR and US, as well as a forewarning to the Cold War.
CHECK OUT THE WIKIPEDIA PAGE FOR MORE INFO. Weimar Republic
What: A parliamentary republic established to replace the imperial form of
Why: The failure of the republic is contributed to economic problems, institutional
problems, and specific individuals. In January 1919, a National Assembly was
elected to draft a constitution. The government, composed of members from the
assembly, came to be called the Weimar coalition and included the SPD; the
German Democratic Party, a descendant of the Progressive Party of the prewar
period; and the Center Party. The percentage of the vote gained by this coalition
of parties in favor of the republic suggested broad popular support for the
republic. In mid-1919 the assembly ratified the constitution of the new Weimar
Republic. The constitution established a federal republic consisting of nineteen
states. The republic's government was a mixed strong president and
parliamentary system, with the president seen by many as a sort of substitute
Kaiser. The president was elected by popular direct ballot to a seven-year term
and could be reelected. He appointed the chancellor and, pursuant to the
chancellor's nominations, also appointed the cabinet ministers. However, the
cabinet had to reflect the party composition of the Reichstag and was also
responsible to this body. Election to the Reichstag was by secret ballot and
popular vote. Suffrage was universal. Thus, Germany had a truly democratic
parliamentary system. However, the president had the right to dismiss the cabinet,
dissolve the Reichstag, and veto legislation. The legislative powers of the
Reichstag were further weakened by the provision for presidential recourse to
popular plebiscite. Article 48, the so-called emergency clause, accorded the
president the right to allow the cabinet to govern without the consent of parliament
whenever it was deemed essential to maintaining public order. In its 14 years, the
Weimar Republic was faced with numerous problems, including hyperinflation,
political extremists on the left and the right and their paramilitaries, and hostility
from the victors of World War I. However, it overcame many of the oppressive
requirements of the treaty of Versailles, the currency and unified tax politics and
the railway system.
What: Government agency that administered the main Soviet Forced Labour
Camp systems. All the way from convicts to petty criminals, to political prisoners
were essentially worked to death. No death camps, yes the mortality rate was
high, but they weren‘t intended to kill people. 53 camps, 423 labor colonies. With Burning Sorrow
When: March 1937
Who: by the Pope,
What: Document issued in 1937 has statements about Hitler replacing God with a
weird impersonal fate. Hitler must not replace faith in God with faith in himself.
Hitler is a heretic who is destroying true faith.
Why: Raises question of how strong is totalitarianism reaching. Disapproved of
the Reichskonkordat (concordat) guaranteeing the rights of the Catholic Church in
Germany signed between the Holy See and Germany.
The Nuremberg Trials are a set of internationally recognized military tribunals held
by the Allied Forces of World War Two, which took place in Nuremberg, Germany,
from November 1945 to October 1946. At the primary trials of the major war
criminals, which will be the focus of this essay, twenty-two of some of the most
prominent members of Nazi Germany were prosecuted before the International
Military Tribunal (IMT). Although the most prominent members of Nazi German
society, and the masterminds behind the war; Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and
Heinrich Himmler, could not be prosecuted due to their committing of suicide
before the trials had begun. Great Britain, the United States of America, the Soviet
Union, and France instituted the International Military Tribunal, which would be
responsible for dealing with, for a first occurrence in history, international war
Till this day the Trials at Nuremberg are still being strongly debated. Some of the
biggest aspects of the debate surrounding the Nuremberg Trials concern legal,
political, and jurisprudential issues. Legally many argue that the trials violated the
principles of nullen crimen sine lege, nullem poena sine lege, and the rule of ex
post facto laws, as well as being legally flawed, they were a form of ‗victor‘s
justice‘, which ultimately made the trials unwholesome but necessary. Some
argue that the trials were merely political, created to set down certain lines of
conduct in international affairs, and to outline the acceptable treatment of one
population by it‘s own government. The defenders of the Nuremberg trials argue
that it was a fair and just proceeding due to the large amounts of legal rights and
allowances given to the defendants, as well as the fact that all trials were open,
thus creating fairness and justice. Furthermore others state that the Nuremberg
Trials were created as a didactic legality to reinforce order in a dismantled world
because the law could not provide a definitive answer for how to deliver justice to
such atrocities as those committed during World War Two. Regardless of whether
the Trials at Nuremberg are being criticized or defended, whether or not the trails
were legal they have left a long-standing legacy that has initiated many
international movements and provided a sound reminder of the atrocities that
mankind can commit. Whether one is arguing the legality, the historical or political
impact of the trials the verdict of history is yet to be decided, as we cannot tell
whether or not the impact of Nuremberg will be positive or negative in the years to
come. Warsaw Pact
Where: Eastern Europe
Who: 8 communist states. Albania, Bulgaria, Czech, Germany, Hungary, Poland,
Romania, and Soviet Union.
What: It‘s a military alliance created in response to Germany‘s integration in 1955
with the NATO pact. Its motivated by a desire to prevent, at all costs, the
recurrence of an invasion of Russian soil as had occurred under Napolean in
1812 and Hitler in 1941 – 44 leading to extreme devastation and losses in both
cases. ESPECIALLY the second. Socialism always has to prevail.
Where: Soviet, Russia
Who: Refers to a set of peasants in the later Russian Empire. ORIGINALLY
referred to wealthy independent farmers in the Russian Empire who emerged
suddenly from peasantry. The Kulaks were class enemies of the poorer peasants,
there would be a revolution that would render them at the same level as the
What: Soviet campaign of political repressions including arrests, deportations,
and executions of millions of the better-off peasants and their families in 1929-
1932. The richer peasants were labeled kulaks and considered class enemies.
More than 1.8 million peasants were deported in 1930-1931.The stated purpose
of the campaign was to fight the counter-revolution and build socialism in the
countryside. This policy was accomplished simultaneously with collectivization in
the USSR and effectively brought all agriculture and peasants in the Soviet
Russia under state control. The "liquidation of the kulaks as a class" was
announced by Stalin on 27 December 1929.
1929 Papal Concordat
Who: Church term for preventing future discord/looking ahead to create harmony
- a proactive document. Agreement between head of state & government
Pope resides in Italy. Agrees that church can do whatever it wants to do (run
schools, select clergy etc). Pope officially says that Mussolini is the leader of Italy
– there still is a king however. In return, Mussolini says he won‘t interfere with
pope in Vatican city
When: 27 Feb 1933
Where: Berlin, Germany
Who: Marinus van der Lubbe
What: Fire of the Reichstag building
Why: A Dutch council communist was found on site. This served as evidence for Nazis that the Communists were beginning to plot against them. Hitler urged
Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree, which he did. And mass arrests of
communists were made. Including parliamentary delegates. With them gone and
their seats empty the Nazi‘s went from a plurality party to a majority, subsequent
elections confirmed this and allowed Hitler to consolidate his power.
Kristallnacht (Night of Broken glass)
When: Nov 9 to 10, 1938.
Where: Nazi Germany and parts of Austria
Who: SA storm troopers and civilians
What: They destroyed and ransacked Jewish homes, shops, towns, and villages.
A quarter of all Jewish men were taken to concentration camps all over Germany.
Synagogues were ransacked, and 100s set on fire.
Why: Sent shock waves all around the world. It is marked as the beginning of the
Final Solution, and the holocaust.
Where: Soviet Union
Who: Youth Division of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
What: 15 – 33 year olds paramilitary. Cultural events, Stalin just wants them to be
educated. It‘s a voluntary organization. The idea is that eventually they will join
the communist party. Mechanism for teaching values of the CPSU to youngsters.
Served as a mobile pool of labor and political activism. Active members received
incentives, and privileges etc etc.
Who: Russian Telegraph Agency
Why: Satirical Rosta were stencil-replicated propaganda posters created by
artists and poets within the Rosta system, under the supervision of the Chief
Committee of Political Education during. The main topics were current political
events. They were usually displayed in windows, hence the name.
The design featured graphical simplicity suitable for viewing from distance and
often used lukbo-styled sequences of pictures according to some plot, similar to
modern comics.The posters were not printed but rather painted with cutout
stencils made from cardboard. Once the required number of posters was painted,
the stencils were sent to another city and put in circulation throughout the Soviet
When: Created by a decree issues on Dec 20, 1917
What: a soviet state security organization. Why: Important Military and security arm of the Bolshevik communist government.
They policed labor camps, ran the gulag system, conducted requisitions of food,
subjected political opponents to torture and summary execution, and put down
rebellions, riots by workers, and mutinies in the desertion plagued Red Army.
They were pretty much the terror of totalitarianism during Lenins reign.
When: July 1941
Who: Was a bishop in the town of Monsture
Why: Gestapo came in and rounded up people from the town à there is too much
German pride in the town- they take clergy off to camp & destroy town.
Bishop Galen writes a letter soon after the event, saying ―the Gestapo is our
enemy, we must be hard and immovable against the Nazi regime‖. Hitler hears
about this letter & burns down the churches, arrests people who have the letter -
but does not touch bishop Galen. Galen writes again against Hitler‘s euthanasia‘s
policy – attacking Hitler on another letter à letter spreads, even to France and
Britain & USA. Nothing is done to Bishop Galen – he eventually becomes a
Cardinal à no evident reason for keeping him around – Hitler may not have
wanted to offend the Pope
When: December 10, 1945 – August 17, 1953
Who: Founder of the Christian Democratic Party From 1945 to 1953 he was the
prime minister of eight successive coalition governments. His eight-year rule
remains a landmark of political longevity for a leader in modern Italian politics. A
conservative Catholic, he was one of the Founding fathers of the European Union.
When: 1906 to 1982
Presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year
term as General Secretary was one of the lengthiest, second only to that of Stalin,
During Brezhnev's rule, the global influence of the Soviet Union grew dramatically,
in part because of the expansion of the Soviet military during this time, but his
tenure as leader has often been criticized for marking the beginning of a period of
economic stagnation overlooking serious economic problems which eventually led
to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. As a leader, Brezhnev was a team
player, and took care to consult his colleagues before acting, but his attempt to
govern without meaningful economic reforms led to a national decline by the mid-
1970s, a period often referred to as the era of stagnation. A significant increase in
military expenditures which by the time of Brezhnev's death stood at
approximately 15 percent of the country's GNP, and an increasingly elderly and
ineffective leadership set the stage for a dwindling GNP compared to Western
nations. While at the helm of the USSR, Brezhnev pushed for détente between the Eastern and Western countries. His last major decision in power was to send
to a soviet military in afghanistan in an attempt to save the fragile regime which
fought a war against religious extremists.
Born of a Need for Action
Where: Soviet Russia
What: The Doctrine of Fascism
Why: ―Fascism was not given out to the wet nurse of a doctrine elaborated
beforehand round a table: it was born of the need for action; it was not a party, but
in its first two years it was a movement against all parties. The name, which I gave
to the organization, defined its characteristics. Nevertheless, whoever rereads, in
the now crumpled pages of the time, the account of the constituent assembly of
the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento will not find a doctrine, but a series of
suggestions, of anticipations, of admonitions, which when freed from the
inevitable vein of contingency, were destined later, after a few years, to develop
into a series of doctrinal attitudes which made of Fascism a self-sufficient political
doctrine able to face all others, both past and present.‖
Munich Beer Hall Putsch
When: 8 November 1923
Where: Munuch, Bavaria and Germany
Who: Hitler, Erich Ludendorff
What: On 8th November with the support of other Socialist groups, and
former World War One General Ludendorff, Hitler ordered 600 of his
Stormtroopers under the command of Herman Goering to surround a Beer
Hall in Munich where Conservative politician Gustav von Kahr was making a
speech to 3,000 people. Also present were the local army commander,
Lossow and the Bavarian police chief, Seisser. At about 8.30pm Hitler
entered the hall, stood on a chair and fired a pistol shot into the ceiling. He
announced to the crowd that the revolution had begun then ordered von
Kahr, Lossow and Seisser into an adjoining room. After about ten minutes
the group returned to the hall and Hitler announced that he had the support
of all three men. When the meeting ended, Hitler immediately began
planning his takeover of Munich. Von Kahr, Lossow and Seisser went
straight to the authorities.The next morning Hitler and 3,000 Nazi supporters
began a march on Munich they encountered a road block manned by 100
armed police. Shots were fired killing sixteen Nazis and four police officers.
Both Hitler and Goering were injured and ran to take cover. Other Nazis also
ran. Ludendorff however continued to march on, he later branded Hitler a
coward and refused to have anything more to do with him. Hitler was
arrested on 12th November and charged with treason. He was found guilty at his trial in February 1924 and given a five year prison sentence. While in
prison Hitler wrote his famous book Mein Kampf.
When: 24 March 1933
Where: Germanys Reichstag
Who: Pres Hindenburg
What: It was the second major step, after the reichstag fire decree through which
Chancellor Adolf Hitler legally obtained plenary powers and established his
dictatorship. It received its name from its legal status as an enabling act granting
the Cabinet the authority to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag.
The act stated that it was to last for four years unless renewed by the Reichstag,
which occurred twice.
When: World War 2
Where: Nazi Germany
Who: Nazis, Hitler
What: Decision to eradicate the entire Jewish population that the extermination
camps were built and industrialized mass slaughter of Jews began in earnest.
This decision to systematically kill the Jews of Europe was made by Reinhard
Heydrich. He was acting under the authority given to him by Reichsmarshall
Göring in a letter dated July 31, 1941. Göring instructed Heydrich to devise "...the
solution of the Jewish problem..." During the conference, there was a discussion
held by the group of German Nazi officials how best to handle the "Final Solution
of the Jewish Question". A surviving copy of the minutes of this meeting was
found by the Allies in 1947, too late to serve as evidence during the first
Nuremberg Trials. By the summer of 1942, Operation Reinhard began the
systematic extermination of the Jews, although hundreds of thousands already
had been killed by death squads and in mass pogroms. In Heinrich Himmler's
speech at the Posen Conference of October 6, 1943, Himmler, for the first time,
clearly elucidated to all assembled leaders of the Reich to what the "Final
Village Reading rooms
Where: Soviet Russia
What: Communal gathering spaces. Important after churches shut down. Schools
didn‘t exist so propaganda started here and generals could teach.They played an
important role in the elimination of illiteracy among the peasantry and in the
acquisition by the peasants of culture and agricultural knowledge. They assisted
Soviet and party organizations in carrying out the collectivization of agriculture.
With the growth of village clubs and houses of culture, the number of village
reading rooms has been decreasing. There were over 40,000 village reading
rooms in the USSR in 1948; by 1970 their number had fallen to 5,700, but there
were 79,300 village clubs and houses of culture and 16,500 kolkhoz clubs. Eugenics is the "applied science or the biosocial movement which advocates the
use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population,"
usually referring to human populations. Eugenics was widely popular in the early
decades of the 20th century, but by the late 20th century it had fallen into disfavor,
having become associated with Nazi Germany. Both the public and some
elements of the scientific community have associated eugenics with Nazi abuses,
such as enforced racial hygiene, human experimentation, and the extermination
of "undesired" population groups. However, developments in genetic, genomic,
and reproductive technologies at the end of the 20th century have raised many
new questions and concerns about the meaning of eugenics and its ethical and
moral status in the modern era, effectively creating a resurgence of interest in
eugenics. [i used the wiki page]
Pope Pius XII
When: During 2nd world war
Why: Kept Jews ―In sanctuary‖ . They would come to the church and they weren‘t
allowed to be touched. He did so much of this, there is now a movement to make
him a Saint.
When: June 1932
What:Baptisms done by SS. Swastika took place of cross – Christian symbols
taken over by Nazi symbols. Total replacement of Christian system. Formed his
own form of Christianity where he was God. Hitler must have had enough faith to
know the people wanted to be religious & he must give them a religion
When: March 12, 1947
What: Truman stated the Doctrine would be "the policy of the United States to
support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities
or by outside pressures." Truman reasoned, because these "totalitarian regimes"
coerced "free peoples," they represented a threat to international peace and the
national security of the United States. Truman made the plea amid the crisis of the
Greek Civil War (1946–1949). He argued that if Greece and Turkey did not
receive the aid that they urgently needed, they would inevitably fall to communism
with grave consequences throughout the region.
Why: The Doctrine was informally extended to become the basis of American
Cold War policy throughout Europe and around the world. It shifted American
foreign policy toward the Soviet Union from friendship to a policy of containment