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European societies are known to be more civilized than other nations. But what was it that helped them become more advanced than other countries? What helped them become more organized nations? World War II was a tragic, unforgettable and historic event and due to this one event, there were multiple affairs. One of the major things that happened was the rise of fascism. Totalitarian governments came to ruling in many European countries, such as Germany, Italy, Norway, Croatia, Romania, Austria, etc. But what exactly is fascism? Fascism is a political philosophy that exalts a country and often race. It stands for a centralized organization, leadership, and a strong military. This began when nations were struggling with their economy. People were blaming their governments for not contributing and not being able to make a change, so they needed a leader. It’s kind of similar to United States presidential election. There is a  consistent change of the government’s political party every four years because people want that change will be granted and want to hear that the government will improve and work on their policies. That was basically the majority of European countries because people were coming out proposing new ideas and figuring out solutions to the problem. Fascists promised their people that their nations will improve if they carry out the plans of a totalitarian government.                It was the time of political experimentation in Europe. World war I damaged the credibility of governments. Many people felt the bloodshed had been to little purpose, and people proposed new systems that would not exploit ordinary people. This led to social disorder, while national economies were unstable. Some were inspired by the idea revolutionary socialism would overthrow the old traditions, but many conservatives believed an imperious government would re-establish structure and prosperity.                It seemed like a big offense in countries that were dominated by dictatorships to speak against the leader or the ruling party. Fascist leaders placed themselves in a high military position, or appeared to the public in navy uniforms, because fascist countries considered that the army represents the most important and influential branch of the government. The first fascist government was run by Benito Mussolini in Italy from 1922 until 1943. The governments of Engelbert Dollfuss in Austria and Adolf Hitler in Germany are also referred to as fascist, but every country’s outcome was different. Fascism can be considered a broad ideology that can take multiple forms and it is usually seen as a dictatorship but not always. It is possible that it can be mixed with other ideologies. Adolf Hitler organized the Nazi party regime, which resulted in the most sickening predicament. Hitler’s political regime is familiarized as the most disturbing occurrence in history. Even though this is one example of a totalitarian government that approached a negative path, it wasn’t exactly how every other fascist ran their regimes. Other fascists believed the formation of a totalitarian government can address social and economic issues. Unlike communism there is not very much economic control, big business is still allowed and is often tied in with the government. As long as it doesn’t intrude with the political or social agenda of the regime. The government controls the message and drives the agenda. Including religiously which is usually not allowed in fascist governments, as the leader should reign supreme above all else. There is not much tolerance for elaborative materialistic activities. All to put in the effort to maintain the value of the nation and leader of the people.               The idea of Fascism was to promote nationalism and focus on unity as a nation. Unlike Communism, Fascism tried to keep the division of and conflict between classes to a minimum without changing the class system. It sounds like totalitarian governments had good intentions, but their actions did not justify. Fascism has always been perceived negatively and it continues to do so. Under a totalitarian government, people had little control over their personal life and the state-controlled as much of you as they could. Those who opposed the state were suitably punished.When Hitler came to power, he established National Socialism as the principal system of government. The concept of National Socialism was a totalitarian government with a glorified dictator and the Nazi salute became a new form of bowing to the führer (leader) or an expression of loyalty to the führer and the state. Hitler also expressed the Nazi salute as his personal expression of loyalty to the German nation and the German people. Any political opponents who dared to speak out about the Government were arrested and either entered concentration camps or simply murdered. Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, disabled people and ethnic minorities considered “subhuman” and  were arrested and forced to wear the star of David and simply taken to concentration camps where they were treated brutally, forced to work in obscene conditions without food or water and either gassed, burned alive, shot or tortured to death and in some cases, in front of their family. Concentration camps were erected in places like Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrück, Theresienstadt, and etc. Experiments were conducted by doctors such as twins were being tested on by Dr. Mengele for similarities in DNA and almost always ended up seriously ill or dead. Education in schools was changed to “the greater glory of the Reich”. It was believed that the German Aryan Race (blonde hair, blue eyes) were known to be superior beings on Earth. They were brought up to believe that it was imperative to fight for the greater glory of the Fatherland and that Germany was the superior nation. Children were enrolled or signed up themselves in the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) which was a type of program of child national service. In reality, they were used as lemmings or lambs to the slaughter and were effectively brainwashed to believe that they were fighting for the right cause and that they were somehow men or women. Children were objectified of use to the Nazis rather than people. This also extended to families. Families were restricted to a certain stereotypical system. Women’s suffrage was completely unacknowledged by the Nazis and women had only one place and that was to be subservient to their husbands and maintain the family structure. Their lives were restricted to the home and the kitchen. They would be forced to obey their husbands, cook and clean for their family and basically, their only job was a walking baby machine. The husband was a woman’s only need and it was a duty for her to take care of his needs and the needs of his heirs. Women had very little rights and were not really taken seriously by the Nazis at all. On the other hand, men were expected to work to provide food for the families and had a far more liberal life than their female counterparts. Life for everyone was restricted to certain roles and stereotypes and there was no freedom for anyone. Men were forced to work hundreds of miles away from their homes and to live there for months on end away from their families. The Nazis were simply corrupted, power crazed, bloodthirsty, brainwashing barbarians and the conditions in Nazi Germany both before and during the Second World War were oppressive and intolerable. The brainwashing and the power the Nazi’s delivered both before and during World War II became so barbaric and entertaining to them that it made it impossible for them to remain alive with Victory in Europe.             Life in Italy under Mussolini’s regime was little different from other dictatorships. It was a collectivist movement, based on the assumption that the interest of the citizen is best served by being part of a powerful society and nation. Mussolini created and held the supreme military rank of First Marshal of the Empire along with King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, which gave him and the King joint supreme control over the military of Italy. Mussolini remained in power until he was replaced in 1943; for a short period after this until his death he was the leader of the Italian Social Republic. The nation was to be governed by a strong leader who made every important collective decision. Freedom of thought and expression, civil liberties and the right to oppose the government of the day were at best secondary, at worst vigorously put down. Its symbol, from which it gets its name, is the Roman fasces which an axe whose shaft is not a single shaft of wood, but a bundle of frail twigs tightly bound together. Separately, the twigs are weak; together they are immensely strong. Similarly, a state with no internal dissension is strong. It was perceived by the Italians that there were both positive and negative effects under his regime. He was able to uplift industrial production, revamped government services such as the railroads, launched a campaign for economic self-sufficiency and stabilized the currency. He also established national councils representing employers and workers to arbitrate labor disputes. Although, this only favored businesses. The landowners and the bourgeoisie believed Mussolini’s policies saved Italy because he enacted social order and imposed pro-business policies. But the proletariat saw their standard of living collapse because the regime was giving free regulation to business organizations. The working class Italians were opposed to Mussolini. Some of the Catholics opposed the regime because their associations were banned, however the church did support and assisted his regime. The peasants on the other hand, were divided. Landowners favored Mussolini, while landless peasants did not favor the ruling party at all. Opponents of the regime were often silenced with violence or assassination. Mussolini’s Black Shirts who were an armed squad, kidnapped and murdered socialist MP Giacomo Matteotti in June 1924 because he openly spoke out on going against the regime. Strikes and independent trade unions were outlawed and their leaders often went to jail. There was little acknowledgement towards workers rights and business was given free reign to more or less do what it liked. The regime was also virulently anti-feminist. Abortion was banned and women found it extremely difficult to find employment. Many women and young girls were set to get married because Mussolini believed the Italian population was too small and if the population grows, it betters the regime to grow and become more powerful. In 1936, Mussolini banned interracial marriages and in 1938, at the behest of Nazi Germany, the regime adopted anti-jewish laws. Italian Jews lost their jobs, deprived of property, and suspended from public schools. He restructured schools across the country, making fascist indoctrination and obedience to authority the center of Italian education. Teachers were forced to use textbooks created by the Fascist Party and to swear an oath of loyalty to Mussolini. But he also believed that education was unnecessary for young boys and girls. He wanted a nation full of warriors and he believed only men/boys can fulfill the task of being apart of the army. Women and girls were expected to be homemakers and build their families and basically expected to do their household jobs such as cook and clean. Although these laws in Italy were less strict observed than those in Germany, many of the events were unfair to the citizens.

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