INTERWAR EUROPE Interwar Europe,
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PERCENTAGE OF LABOR FORCE UNEMPLOYED
SOME HISTORIANS SPEAK OF THE INTERWAR PERIOD AS THE “ERA OF
FASCISM”Several movements arose to imitate Mussolini’s political
style, including Le Faisceau and the “Cross of Fire” in France, Hitler’s Nazis, the Austrian Home Guard, and Spanish Falange. Their common features:
1.The search in national history and traditions for role models and values, and attacks on “internationalism”.
2.The call for rule by a warrior elite, and close cooperation with a paramilitary league.
3.Imitation of the techniques of the socialist labor movement, with the aim of suppressing it.
Historians still debate whether fascism necessarily implies imperialist expansion or racism.
Benito Mussolini as “il Duce”
THE CONSOLIDATION OF FASCIST RULE
1924-26: Matteotti Crisis induces Mussolini to impose outright dictatorship. Fascists suppress all other parties and independent trade unions.
1927-29: A network of state-sponsored “syndicates” organizes workers, industrialists, artisans, and farmers.
1929: Mussolini signs Lateran Treaty and a Concordat with Pope Pius XI.
Mussolini often talked about reviving the glorious Roman Empire, but the Corfu Incident of 1923 was his ONLY act of blatant aggression before 1935, and Italian forces evacuated the island after four weeks.
Mussolini with his wife and five children in 1930
At a Vatican reception with
Magazine cover for Fascist Youth
promises you neither honors nor luxury nor
riches but rather duty and struggle.”
See P.M.H. Bell, 66.
Mussolini launches a
construction project and
then helps to fight the “battle
of wheat” in Littoria in 1932.
FASCISTS PROCLAIMED A GRAND PROGRAM OF INDUSTRIALIZATION BUT HAD ONLY MODEST
SUCCESS:Steel production (1,000’s of metric tons)
YEAR FRANCE ITALY1922 4,538 9831924 6,670 1,3591926 8,617 1,7801928 9,479 1,9601930 9,444 1,7431932 5,638 1,3961934 6,155 1,850
Italian production did not decline as much as French during the Great Depression because of increased spending on arms….
Mussolini reviews a new detachment of mini-tanks, 1932: Western leaders believed that his bark was worse than his
Munich’s Odeon Square, August 2, 1914
“To me those hours seemed like a release from the painful feelings of my youth. Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy
enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to
live at this time” (Mein Kampf, p. 161)
Adolf Hitler with two
runners in his Bavarian
regiment and his dog, Foxl, in Fournes,
Anton Drexler, the railroad machinist who invited Hitler into his “German Workers’
Party” in September 1919 and renamed it the National Socialist
German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) in 1920
25-Point Program of the German Workers’ Party (Feb. 1920)
#1. We demand the union of all Germans to form a Great Germany.#3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the nourishment of our people and for settling our excess population.#4. None but members of the nation may be citizens of the state. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew therefore may be a member of the nation.#7. If it is not possible to nourish the entire population of the state, foreign nationals (noncitizens of the state) must be excluded from the Reich.#8. All non-German immigration must be prevented.#11. Abolition of incomes unearned by work.#13. We demand nationalization of all businesses (trusts).#16. We demand creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, immediate communalization of wholesale business premises, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders….
Hitler dictated vol. 1 of Mein Kampf in
Landsberg Prison in 1924
TOTAL GERMAN SALES:
1929: 23,0001932: 80,000
In Vol. 2 (1925) he argued that Germany must acquire Lebensraum:See P.M.H. Bell, pp. 87-92.
THE POLARIZATION OF THE GERMAN ELECTORATE IN THE GREAT
DEPRESSION:In the election campaign of July 1932,
many felt that Germany was on the brink of civil war.
1919 1928 1930 Jul-32 Nov-32
CommunistSocial DemocratModerate (Libs + RC)Con./ NationalistNazi
“A combat veteran
votes for Adolf Hitler!”
(presidential campaign poster
appointed Hitler as Chancellor on
January 30, 1933.“In our deepest
need, Hindenburg chose Adolf Hitler
as Reich Chancellor. You
too should vote for List #1”
Defense Minister Werner von Blomberg
brought his fellow generals to meet with Hitler on February 2, and Hitler promised
them unlimited funding for
HITLER’S “PEACE SPEECH,” May 17, 1933
“This generation of young Germans has suffered too much from the madness of war to inflict it on anyone else…. Just as we love and are faithful to our own nationality, so too do we recognize the national rights of other
peoples and desire with all our hearts to live with them in peace and friendship.” ….National Socialism, Hitler declared, sought only to save Germany from the threat of Communism, put the millions of unemployed back to work, and restore a stable government with law and order.
German map of the arms race (1934)
FROM LENIN TO STALIN
1921: Lenin favors small business and the family farmer with the New Economic Policy.1924-27: Succession struggle after the death of Lenin leads to the victory of Stalin and exile of Trotsky.1928-32: In the first Five-Year Plan, Stalin decrees the “collectivization” of agriculture to accelerate industrialization. The results are catastrophic.1934/35: USSR joins the League of Nations and signs treaties of alliance with Czechoslovakia and France.1937-38: Criticism of collectivization leads to the “Great Purge,” i.e., the execution of two million army officers, civil servants, and C.P. functionaries.
“Stalin” (1878-1953):photographed with Lenin in
“Industrialization is the path to socialism!”
(Soviet poster, 1927)
“We will smite the kulak who agitates
for reducing the cultivated area”(USSR, 1930):
Food production plummeted after Stalin ordered
collectivization, and millions of Ukrainian peasants starved.
“Imperialists cannot stop the triumphal march of the Five-
Year Plan”(USSR, 1930):
See P.M.H. Bell, pp. 136-40.
“Long Live the Workers’ &
Peasants’ Red Army!”
(Stalin & Marshal Voroshilov,
THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF THE C.P. CENTRAL COMMITTEE
(names in red all executed on Stalin’s orders)
“Stalin cares about everyone in the Kremlin,”
TOTAL DEFENSE SPENDINGIN MILLIONS OF 1952 DOLLARS
YEAR Japan* Italy Ger-many
USSR** U.K. France USA
1930 218 266 162 722 512 498 699
1933 356 351 452 707 333 524 570
1934 384 455 709 3,479 540 707 803
1935 900 966 1,607 5,517 646 867 806
1936 440 1,149 2,332 2,933 892 995 932
1937 1,621 1,235 3,298 3,446 1,245 890 1,032
1938 2,489 746 7,415 5,429 1,863 919 1,131
* Japan’s total is hard to measure because of major charges to Manchukuo and other overseas dependencies.** Stalin’s command economy and slave labor camps make the Soviet total the most difficult to calculate.
Wall Street on “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929
Wall Street crashed on “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929
HERBERT HOOVER (1874-1964)
A trained mining engineer, raised as a Quaker
1917-19: Director of American Relief Administration
1920-28: U.S. Secretary of Commerce
June 1931: Hoover Moratorium suspends all payments on war debts and reparations
1931/32: Demands worldwide disarmament
Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937) Raised a Scottish
Presbyterian, became a Christian pacifist
Resigned as Labour Party chair in August 1914
First Labour prime minister, 1924 and 1929-31
Formed a National Government with the Conservatives in September 1931
Sponsored Round Table Conference with Gandhi and Statute of Westminster in 1932
Hunger Marchers have arrived in Chester on their way to Washington DC, December 2, 1932
THE FAILURE OF DIPLOMACY IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION
The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 outlows the “recourse to war for the solution of international controversies.” Ratified by 34 countries, including France, the USA, Germany, and the Soviet Union.
Geneva World Disarmament Conference, February 1932—January 1934
Lausanne Reparations Conference, June 1932
London World Economic Conference, June-July 1933