Реферат на тему Benito Mussolini

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Benito Mussolini & Adolf Hitler Essay, Research Paper

Benito Mussolini & Adolf Hitler Mussolini was born in Predappio on July 29, 1883, the son of a socialist blacksmith. Largely self-educated, he became a schoolteacher and socialist journalist in northern Italy. In 1910 he married Rachele Guidi, who bore him five children. Mussolini was jailed for his opposition to Italy’s war in Libya (1911-12). Soon after that, he was named editor of Avanti!, the Socialist Party newspaper in Milan. When World War I began, in 1914, Mussolini first denounced it as imperialist, but he soon reversed himself and called for Italy’s entry on the Allied side. Expelled from the Socialist Party, he started his own newspaper in Milan, Il Popolo d’Italia (The People of Italy), which later became the organ of the Fascist movement. Adolf Hitler was the German political and government leader and one of the 20th century’s most powerful dictators, who converted Germany into a fully militarized society and launched World War II in 1939. Making anti-Semitism a keystone of his propaganda and policies, he built the Nazi Party into a mass movement. For a time he dominated most of Europe and North Africa. He caused the slaughter of millions of Jews and other people whom he considered inferior. The Early Years Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria, the son of a minor customs official and a peasant girl. A poor student, he never completed high school. He applied for admission to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna twice but was rejected for lack of talent. Staying in Vienna until 1913, he lived first on an orphan’s pension, later on small earnings from pictures he drew. He read voraciously, developing anti-Jewish and antidemocratic convictions, an admiration for the outstanding individual, and a contempt for the masses. In World War I (1914-1918), Hitler, by then in Munich, volunteered for service in the Bavarian army. He proved a dedicated, courageous soldier, but was never promoted beyond private first class because his superiors thought him lacking in leadership qualities. After Germany’s defeat in 1918 he returned to Munich, remaining in the army until 1920. His commander made him an education officer, with the mandate to immunize his charges against pacifist and democratic ideas. In September 1919 he joined the nationalist German Workers’ Party, and in April 1920 he went to work full time for the party, now renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party. In 1921 he was elected party chairman (F hrer) with dictatorial powers. Their Rise to Power In turbulent postwar Milan, Mussolini and other young war veterans founded the Fasci di Combattimento in March 1919. This nationalistic, antiliberal, and antisocialist movement attracted lower middle-class support and took its name from the fasces, an ancient symbol of Roman discipline. Growing rapidly after mid-1920, fascism spread into the countryside, where its black-shirt militia won support from landowners and attacked peasant leagues and socialist groups. Opportunistically, fascism shed its initial republicanism, thereby winning sympathy from the army and the king. When Fascists marched on Rome, King Victor Emmanuel III invited Mussolini to form a coalition government (October 28, 1922). By 1926 the Fascist leader had transformed the country into a single-party, totalitarian regime. In his new corporative state, employers and workers were organized into party-controlled groups representing different sectors of the economy. The system preserved capitalism and expanded social services, but abolished free trade unions and the right to strike. The Lateran pacts with the Vatican (1929) ended a half-century of friction between church and state and proved to be long-lasting. Another enduring legacy of fascism was a system of industrial holding companies financed by the state. Adopting an aggressive foreign policy, Mussolini defied the League of Nations and conquered Ethiopia (1935-36). This won him acclaim in almost every sector of the populace. Il Duce’s popularity declined, however, after he sent troops to help General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), linked Italy to Nazi Germany, enacted anti-Jewish laws, and invaded Albania (1939). Hitler spread his gospel of racial hatred and contempt for democracy. He organized meetings, and terrorized political foes with his personal bodyguard force, the Sturmabteilung (SA, or Storm Troopers). He soon became a key figure in Bavarian politics, aided by high officials and businessmen. In November 1923, a time of political and economic chaos, he led an uprising (Putsch) in Munich against the postwar Weimar Republic, proclaiming himself chancellor of a new authoritarian regime. Without military support, however, the Putsch collapsed. As leader of the plot, Hitler was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and served nine months, which he spent dictating his autobiography Mein Kampf (My Struggle). The failure of the uprising taught Hitler that the Nazi Party must use legal means to assume power. Released as a result of a general amnesty in December 1924, he rebuilt his party without interference from those whose government he had tried to overthrow. When the Great Depression struck in 1929, he explained it as a Jewish-Communist plot, an explanation accepted by many Germans. Promising a strong Germany, jobs, and national glory, he attracted millions of voters. Nazi representation in the Reichstag (parliament) rose from 12 seats in 1928 to 107 in 1930. During the following two years the party kept expanding, benefiting from growing unemployment, fear of Communism, Hitler’s self-certainty, and the diffidence of his political rivals. Nevertheless, when Hitler was appointed chancellor in January 1933, he was expected to be an easily controlled tool of big business. Once in power, however, Hitler quickly established himself as a dictator. A subservient legislature passed the Enabling Act that permitted Hitler’s government to make laws without the legislature. The act effectively made the legislature powerless. Hitler used the act to Nazify the bureaucracy and the judiciary, replace all labor unions with one Nazi-controlled German Labor Front, and ban all political parties except his own. The economy, the media, and all cultural activities were brought under Nazi authority by making an individual’s livelihood dependent on his or her political loyalty. Thousands of anti-Nazis were taken to concentration camps and all signs of dissent suppressed.

Hitler relied on his secret police, the Gestapo, and on jails and camps to intimidate his opponents, but many Germans supported him enthusiastically. His armament drive wiped out unemployment, an ambitious recreational program attracted workers and employees, and his foreign policy successes impressed the nation. He thus managed to build support among the German people; he needed their support to establish German rule over Europe and other parts of the world. Discrediting the churches with charges of corruption and immorality, he imposed his own brutal moral code. He derided the concept of human equality and claimed racial superiority for the Aryans, of which he said the Germans were the highest form. As the master race, they were told, they had the right to dominate all nations they subjected. The increasingly ruthless persecution of the Jews was to inure the Germans to this task. Hitler successfully appealed to a Germany that was humiliated by defeat in World War I and the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. Many Germans, and even other Europeans, believed that the terms of the treaty were too harsh, and Hitler was successful in defying some of them. His efforts to rearm Germany in 1935 met with little protest from other European countries, and when he sent troops into the demilitarized Rhineland in 1936, France did not react. When the Spanish Civil War began in July 1936, Hitler supported Nationalist leader Francisco Franco, supplying airplanes and weapons. German aid to Franco gave Hitler the opportunity to test his strategies and weapons technology. In October 1936 Hitler signed a pact with Italy’s Fascist leader, Benito Mussolini. In November 1936 he signed the Anti-Comintern treaty with Japan. In 1940 Germany signed a tripartite alliance with both Italy and Japan, pledging mutual support. Hitler believed that Germany needed to expand to the east in order to find living space, or Lebensraum, which could be used as both agricultural and industrial land. In 1938 when Hitler occupied Austria claiming that Germans were being persecuted, he encountered no resistance. In September 1938, stating that Germans in the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia were being oppressed, he encouraged them to make demands on the Czechoslovakian government that it could not fulfill. Thus Germany had an excuse to march into Czechoslovakia. Britain and France feared the outbreak of war and agreed to the Munich Pact, which gave the Sudetenland to Germany in exchange for Germany’s promise not to take additional Czech territory. However, by March 1939 Hitler had brought the remainder of Czechoslovakia under German control. He was actively preparing for an aggressive maneuver toward the east. World War II Because of military unpreparedness, Mussolini did not enter World War II until June 1940, when the Germans had overrun France. Italy fought the British in Africa, invaded Greece, and joined the Germans in carving up Yugoslavia, attacking the Soviet Union, and declaring war on the United States. After Italy’s many military defeats, King Victor Emmanuel dismissed Mussolini on July 25, 1943, and in September obtained an armistice with the Allies, who had invaded southern Italy. At the same time, the Germans rescued the sickly Mussolini and made him organize a brutal puppet Social Republic in northern Italy. In the final days of the war Mussolini attempted an escape to Switzerland with his mistress Clara Petacci. Italian partisans captured and shot them on April 28, 1945, at Giulino di Mezzegra near Lake Como. In view of their country’s wartime disasters, few Italians regretted the overthrow of the Fascist regime and the death of its demagogic Duce. Germany signed a nonaggression pact with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in August 1939 and in the pact, the two countries secretly divided up Poland. Having neutralized the USSR, Hitler attacked Poland in September 1939. The Poles were quickly overpowered, and their allies, the British and French, who had declared war on Germany, would do nothing to help. In the spring of 1940 Hitler’s forces overran Denmark and Norway and a few weeks later routed the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. The defeat of Britain was averted by the Royal Air Force, which fended off the German Luftwaffe. Driven by his need for land and his hatred of communism, Hitler invaded the USSR in June 1941. Believing that the war would be brief, he did not allow the troops to take provisions for the winter. The German troops were initially successful and almost reached Moscow and Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) before the Soviet armies counterattacked in December 1941. Hitler, who had assumed total control of the army, severely underestimated the size and the endurance of the Soviet armies. He also misjudged the significance of the entrance of the United States into the war. Obsessed with defeating the USSR, Hitler neglected the Western Front. Throughout this period he continued the campaign to destroy world Jewry. In 1942 Hitler met with high ranking Reich officials to create the final solution to the Jewish problem. The Germans began building large extermination camps to accompany the concentration camps. Six million Jews were murdered in these camps (also known as the Holocaust). Endless trains took millions of Jews to the camps, seriously interfering with the war effort. As time passed and defeat became more likely, Hitler refused to surrender. In 1944, a group of German officers attempted to assassinate Hitler but the attempt failed. Finally, on April 30, 1945, with all of Germany overrun by Allied invaders, Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker, as did his long-time companion, Eva Braun, whom he had married the day before. Hitler had a forceful, charismatic personality. An amoral man, rootless and incapable of personal friendships, he looked on his fellow humans as mere bricks in the world structure he wished to erect. He knew how to appeal to people’s baser instincts and made use of their fears and insecurities. He was successful, however, only because many Germans were willing to be led, even though his program was one of hatred and violence. His impact was wholly destructive, and nothing of what he instituted and built survived. {uqkqgqgqcqcqgqcqgq{w{w{w{w{wswoqq_XKKKKKDDKrrrrrrrrrrrkkrrrrrrr such diverse figures as the philosopher Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo, the Galician writer

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