As the twentieth century comes to a close the world can now look back
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As the twentieth century comes to a close, the world can now look back on a century filled with war, technology, revolution, and growth. When looking back upon the most powerful leaders that shaped past century, it canít be assumed that all of them had good intentions in mind. In fact, it is these leaders, the ones who set forth goals of destruction and massacre, that have affected the past hundred years the most drastically. The two men who fully represented this figure of dictatorship and extreme fascism are without a question Adolf Hitler of Germany and Benito Mussolini of Italy. These men strove for unrealistic and inhumane ideals, and both convinced a nation to follow them.
Hitler and Mussolini took advantage of their respective nations, capitalizing on the desperation of war and poverty stricken people who needed a direction in life. These leaders cluttered the minds of the general population with their ideas of how life could be better, even if it meant the oppression of others. Through propaganda they were able to convince the people that their way was not just the best way, but the only way to handle the times in order to ensure the survival of the nation. The two most renown publications of these men were Hitlerís Mien Kampf and Mussoliniís The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism. Any possible dangers or flaws within these texts were ignored by the masses and as a result caused unimaginably horrid outcomes.
To better understand where these men derived their ideas, built their reputations, and maintained leadership, it is imperative to first look into the history of the man and then the history of the nation. These can be combined to help analyze why they wrote what they did, and why the people responded how they did. Both of these men had an
unbelievable power over people through their speeches, propaganda, written work, and actions. These men were similar in these aspects, but differed in their approaches, structure, and goals set for their nation.
Born in Austria in the year 1889, Adolf Hitler learned at an early age how to conquer hardships with his fatherís death and failed attempts at school. As a poor, alone reject, he soon found interest in the political views and strategies of Vienna mayor Karl Lueger. Seeing the power of speech and its effect on people, Hitler certainly kept in mind many of Luegerís ideas of anti-Semitism and mass manipulation. Following his stay in Vienna, Hitler joined the Bavarian regiment, where he received the Iron Cross. After becoming a war hero in World War I, Hitler joined and eventually took over the Nazi (National Socialist German Workers) party. After his first attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government, Hitler was sent to prison. During this time, Hitler wrote his most famous work, Mein Kampf. This book attempts to make scientific explanations for Hitlerís destruction of non-Aryan races, especially the Jewish race. Using terms like Social Darwinism to explain the ďconstant struggle of the superior Aryan race against being submerged in a sea of inferior peoples,Ē (Wall, 124) Hitler convinced influential and powerful people to listen and agree with him.
Through his book, Hitler explains most of his concepts and ideals for bettering the German nation. The Germans were a defeated people looking to end a depression held over from the first World War. During the early 1930s, Germans wanted an easy solution to their discontent and depression. Hitler gave them the hope of national strength and
unity, whereas other German leaders only offered peace with the enemy and the failure of German democracy. Widely using propaganda, Hitler was able to convince a depressed nation that there was hope. The nation could boost their morale, fight wars they could win, and possibly seek world domination through nationalism, militarism, anti-Semitism, and obedience to the leader. (Brower, 109) The German people believed the only solution to their political crisis was the Nazi party and its leader. What they didnít realize is how extreme Hitler would take his ideas. Feeling the only way to compensate for their bitterness towards the Treaty of Versailles and their eagerness for German expansion, the people followed Hitler. They ignored his brutality and violence, seeing it as the only way to reach the larger goals of the nation.
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Fascism, Anti-communism, Far-right politics, Nationalism, Totalitarianism, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mein Kampf, Nazism, Nazi Germany, Fascism in Europe, Religious views of Adolf Hitler
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