Electing Fascism: The German Referendum of 1934

Hitler used the referendum to legitimize his move to take the title Führer und Reichskanzler (Führer and Chancellor). Introduction and Background A referendum on merging the posts of Chancellor and President was held in Germany on 19 August 1934,[1] seventeen days after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg. The leadership of Nazi Germany sought[…]

Fin De Siècle and the Rise of Fascism

The fin-de-siècle generation condemned the rationalistic individualism of liberal society and the dissolution of social links in bourgeois society. Defining Fascism and Its Early History Overview Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, then spread[…]

Shirt Movements in Interwar Europe: A Totalitarian Fashion

Shirt movements embodied the idea of a homogeneous community, based on a racial social or cultural identity. Abstract The article deals with a typical phenomenon of the interwar period: the proliferation of socio-political movements expressing their “mood” and identity via a paramilitary uniform mainly composed of a coloured shirt. The analysis of 34 European shirt[…]

Why the Axis Powers Were Called the Axis Powers

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini declared an axis between Berlin and Rome, coining a term that would be used by both sides in WWII. By Jason Daley In 1936, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini gave a speech in Milan celebrating a new treaty of friendship with Germany and a political realignment of Italy. “This Berlin-Rome protocol is[…]

The True Story of the Reichstag Fire and the Nazi Rise to Power

When the German parliamentary building went up in flames, Hitler harnessed the incident to seize power. By Lorraine Boissoneault Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s fire, conspiracy theories are sure to follow. At least, that’s what happened in Germany on February 27, 1933, when a sizeable portion of the parliamentary building in Berlin,[…]