1. Origins of Fascism

Why many Italians were disappointed with democracy

• Rich north and poor south

• Few had a strong national identity (not long united)

• Tensions between church and state

• 600,000 dead soldiers in WW1

• At the Paris Peace Conference, Orlando failed to get some lands they expected to get (North Tyrol, Dalmatia and Fiume). Nor did they get any German colonies. Italians very disappointed with their government.

• 2 million unemployed

• Strikes and lockouts

• Peasant unrest

Mussolini’s Early Life (listed)

Blacksmith’s son

Socialist family

Quit teaching and became editor of socialist newspaper

Expelled from socialist movement for favouring WW1

Injured in grenade practice.

New newspaper ‘Il Popolo d’Italia’ called for a dictatorship to solve the problems.

Birth of Fascism

1919 M set up the first combat group ‘Fascio di Combattimento’

Fascio, Roman salute, blackshirts.

Noisy marches against socialism and communism.

Popular with unemployed.

Characteristics of Fascism

• Ultra-nationalism

• Totalitarianism (strong government)

• Cult of the leader

• Racism

• Anti- communism (biggest single reason for popularity)

Becoming popular

Won no seats in 1919 as the Fascist Party had some extreme socialist views so M dropped these (opportunist).

Wealthy capitalists gave money (Fiat, Pirelli and banks).

‘Squadristi’ were violent paramilitaries who intimidated opponents.

1922 socialists called a general strike to protest against the government.

March on Rome.

Prime Minister Facta asked King Victor Emmanuel III to call out the army.

Instead he asked M to become PM

He had only 35 seats out of 535

The March on Rome became a victory parade.

2. Becoming a Dictator

With only 35 seats M made no dramatic changes. This reassured the other parties and they gave him a huge vote of confidence.

The king allowed M to rule by decree for one year.

The ‘Acerbo Law’ was passed which gave 2/3 of the seats to the biggest party

In 1924 the Fascists became the biggest party

Fascist violence became endemic.

Matteotti, a leading socialist strongly denounced Fascism.

He was killed and the scandal made M’s position difficult.

Socialists withdrew from parliament as a protest. Now there was no effective opposition

1926 parliament gave him the power to rule by decree.

Il Duce

Superman V lazy, arrogant


OVRA secret police dealt with opponents but only 10 killed.

Only 4000 sent to concentration camps.

Only passed the Race Law under pressure from Hitler in 1938. This banned Jews from the army, government jobs and owning large businesses.


1.3 Church-State Relations

M. an atheist before 1922.

Much to gain by healing rift between Church and State.

Brought in laws restricting contraception and abortion.

Allowed religious displays in schools and public buildings.

Financial rescue for the Catholic Bank of Rome.

1925 church wedding 10 years later and baptised children.

The Lateran Treaty 1929

• Vatican independence

• Catholicism made the state religion

• Church given control of religious education

• Pius XII recognised the Italian state

• Church no longer claimed state lands

M. at his most popular

Pope saw him as a champion against Communism.

1938 church rejected Race Law

During WW2 Church quietly criticised Fascist excesses.


3. The Economy

De Stefani

Minister for Finance 1922-25

Tax concessions to attract foreign industry

Reduced government expenditure.

Unemployment fell dramatically.


M wanted self-sufficiency.

He believed that a large population and an empire were needed for this.

Economic battles:

• Battle for Grain. Expensive bread and reduced production of other foods.

• Battle for land. Pontine marshes and others

• Battle for Lira. Sacked De Stefani and revalued lira in1926. Made exports dearer and had to devalue in 1936

• Battle for births. To provide soldiers. Tax incentives and medals. Failed.

The Corporate State.

M believed that all sides should work for the common good.

Lockouts and strikes and TU s banned

Every profession and industry had its own corporation with 3 fascist members.

Corporations favoured the employers and wages fell by 10%.

Standard of living one of the lowest in Europe.

Better social insurance for workers.

Other reforms

• Trains and autostrada

• More schools. Better standards of education. Indoctrination.

• Squadrisri drove many Mafia gangsters to USA

The weakness of Italy’s economy was shown up when WW2 began.

4. Foreign Policy

Wanted to make the Mediterranean ‘an Italian lake’

Saw himself as an emperor.

1923 occupied Corfu until Greece paid compensation for 4 murdered Italians

1924 occupied Fiume

Otherwise in the early years was accepted as a moderate by other European powers.

Alliance with Hitler

1935 Italy formed the Stressa Front with Britain and France (to oppose German rearmament and expansion) as M was concerned that Hitler might invade Italy.

1935 took Abyssinia in spite of League of Nations’ sanctions.

Also in 1935 League of Nations’ sanctions were put on Germany for Rhineland.

This put Hitler and M in the same boat and in 1936 they signed the Rome-Berlin Axis.

1937 Japan joined in the Anti-Comintern Pact

1938 Italy not ready for war and M was peacemaker at Munich Conference.

1939 Pact of Steel a full military alliance.

Spanish Civil War

Joined Franco to show military might.

Between Spain and Abyssinia, Italy was exhausted militarily and economically by 1939.

World War 2

He did not join the war until June 1940 when Hitler looked certain to win.

Italian army in Greece and North Africa were a joke.

By 1943 the Allies were in Sicily despite German help.

M was also minister for War and was blamed. He was deposed and jailed.

Marshal Badoglio surrendered to the Allies and declared war on Germany.

German commandos freed M.

He was made head of a puppet government (the Salo republic).

As the Allies moved north M tried to flee

M and Clara Petacci shot and displayed in Milan.

5. Other Fascist Regimes


String of weak governments and a very poor economy 1918 to 1923.

General Primo de Rivera ruled without parliament until1931 when the King forced him to resign during the Great Depression.

1931 a Republican left wing government tried to curb the power of the church, the rich and the army.

The army under Franco revolted

1936 to 1939 Civil War.

Franco won with help from Italy and Germany

Spain neutral during WW2.

Franco’s Falange Party was the only one allowed until 1975.


Weak governments and economy after WW1

Dr. Antonio de Oliveria Salazar with the army’s help ruled from 1932 to 1968.

Generally benign.


GERMANY 1933-1939

2.1 The Weimar Republic 1919-1933

January 1919 at Weimar. Liberal and democratic.

Reichstag and Reichrat (like senate)

Crushed the Spartacist rebellion the same month.

The Treaty of Versailles

Not negotiated

Article 231 ‘guilt clause’ and loss of land angered Germans

Weimar government blamed.

Wolfgang Kapp led extreme nationalists and soldiers (freikorps) in a march on Berlin.

A general strike supporting the government ended the Putsch.

£6,600 million Reparations

1923 failure to pay French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr.

German workers went on strike.

Currency collapsed.

The Streseman Era

Foreign Minister 1923-29

Believed they should try to fulfil Versailles to make Germany ‘acceptable’ again.

Ended passive resistance and brought in a new currency (Rentenmark)

1924 the American Dawes Plan eased repayment schedule and gave a loan.

1929 the Young Plan reduced the amount to £2000 million.

Signed Locarno Pact accepting Germany’s borders.

Germany accepted into the League of Nations.

The economy picked up but he died in 1929

The Great Depression

US loans stopped.

The government cut expenditure.

Unemployment soared to over 6 million. Tenants evicted. Shops empty.

Democracy was blamed. Germans not used to it.

Weak coalition governments contrasted with Bismarck’s days.

President Hindenburg sacked the PM Heinrich Bruning and Franz Von Papen took over.

In 1933 Hitler took over. He promised a lot.

2.2 Hitler and the Nazi Party

Hitler’s Early Years (listed)

Braunau in Austria

Failed to get into Vienna art college

Iron cross for the corporal

War ended while he recovered from gas attack. He felt betrayed.

Nazi Party

Sent to investigate Anton Drexler’s German Workers Party and joined it.

His fanatical right wing views and mesmerising speeches gathered support.

He became leader and renamed it the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

The Brownshirts

SA or Stormtroopers were gangsters who protected Hitler’s rallies and broke up others.

By 1923 they numbered 15,000 and were armed.

The Swastika was party of the effort to create a religious aura.

The Beer Hall Putsch

1923 economy bad. Hitler thought it a good time for rebellion.

Had General Ludendorff’s support.

Police killed 16 and they gave up

Landsberg Prison

Got 5 years and served 9 months.

Used trial well

Wrote Mein Kampf

Nazi Ideas

• Aryan master race

• Jews to blame for Germany’s ills

• Lebensraum

• Communism evil

• Treaty of Versailles torn up

• Totalitarianism

2.3 The Nazis Seize Power

1920s economy improved and the Nazis were banned.

Hitler seemed to become democratic and the ban was lifted.

He reorganised the party.

Sections for women and children were established.

His team:

• Goebbles. Propaganda

• Goring. Second in command

• Hess. Hitler’s secretary

• Himmler Law and order

• Alfred Rosenberg. Party philosopher.

The Breakthrough

1928 got only 12 seats.

The Depression struck.

H promised jobs, land to tenants, government contracts to business and to build up the army.

1932 they had 230 seats out of 650.

Hindenburg didn’t like Hitler but Von Papen and then Von Schleicher did not have the support of the Reichstag and eventually had to make Hitler chancellor in 1933.

1933 Election

1933 H called another election

Goring turned 50,000 SA into police and opposition disappeared.

Reichstag fire blamed on a Dutch socialist.

Hindenburg issued an emergency decree and Communists were banned and jailed.

Did not get an overall majority

March 1933 the Enabling Act allowed Hitler to act without parliament.

All other parties banned.

State governments dismissed and replaced with Reich governers.

The Nazi run Labour Front replaced the trade union movement.

1934 Hindenburg died and H became Fuhrer.

The Night of the Long Knives

Rohm in charge of 2 million SA and criticised H for taking employers side.

30th June 200 killed by the SS led by Himmler.

The Nazi Economy

Minister for Finance Hjalmar Schacht. His aim was autarky (self-sufficiency)

• Public works such as Autobahn created jobs

• Rearmament created jobs and iron industry boomed.

• Conscription

• Industry encouraged (Volkswagen)

• Imprisonment of Jews, communists and other opponents created jobs.

2.4 Hitler’s Foreign Policy

Main aims were to get rid of the Treaty of Versailles and Lebensraum.


Began by asking that other countries disarm as Germany could not defend itself.

When they refused he left the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations in 1933.

1935 Goring was forming the Luftwaffe and Conscription was introduced.

1935 Naval Agreement with Britain allowed Germany to have 35% of Britains ships and the same number of submarines. Versailles was at an end.

1935 Italy invaded Abyssinia and the Stresa Front was at an end.

Invasion of the Rhineland

1936 3 battalions sent in with orders to retreat if they met resistance. They did not.

Now Hitler would continue to gamble

Rome-Berlin Axis

1935 after Abyssinia Hitler ignored the League’s sanctions.

Hitler promised not to claim German-speaking Tyrol

Both helped Franco.

1936 Rome-Berlin axis signed. Vague support of each other.

1937 Anti Comintern pact with Japan.

1939 Pact of Steel a military alliance.


Once part of Germany and German speaking.

Anchluss forbidden by Versailles.

1938 the Nazi, Seyss-Inquart, replaced Schuschnigg as PM.

He ‘appealed’ to Hitler to send in troops to prevent civil war.

France and GB protested but did nothing.

The Sudetenland

1. million Germans

Hitler told Sudeten leaders to make complaints about discrimination.

Chamberlain believed that if all Germans were in Germany, Hitler would stop (appeasement).

Munich Conference 1938

M agreed to try to persuade Hitler.

M, Chamberlain, Daladier and Hitler met.

Neither Czechoslovakia nor USSR invited.

1st October 1938 Germany took Sudetenland

Chamberlain claimed ‘peace with honour’

March 1939 Hitler took the rest of Czechoslovakia.

Polish Guarantee

Britain and France armed and introduced conscription.

Both countries gave Poland a guarantee that they would help if Poland were attacked.

The Nazi-Soviet Pact

Hitler believed a deal with Stalin would frighten Britain and France from helping Poland.

Also he did not want war on 2 fronts.

Stalin felt that he would be left alone against the germans.

Stalin also wanted time.

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

To outsiders it was a10 year non-aggression pact. There were secret clauses dividing Poland between them and giving USSR the Balkan States.


31 August 1939 Germany claimed a radio station had been attacked by Poles.

1st September Germany invaded Poland

3rd Britain and France declared war.



3.1 State Control of the Mass Media

Messages to be conveyed

• ‘One people, one empire and one leader’ more important than the individual, family, religion, class or region.

• Cult of the leader

• Anti-Semitism

• Nationalism

• Anti-communism

• Appeal to groups (workers, women, youth)

Goebbles (listed)

Working class, limped from birth, very clever.

Doctor of Literature

Started as a socialist but won over by H.

1926 Gauleiter of Berlin (party leader)

Founded Der Angriff (the attack), nazi newspaper.

Minister for Propaganda

Controlled all mass media

Exploited the Reichstag fire, the burning of the books and the Olympics.

Very anti-Semitic. Big part in the Nuremberg Laws and Crystal Night.

Poisoned family and shot himself.

The Media


Posters and paintings showed the peasant and the factory worker as the backbone of Germany


Direct contact with people.

Goebbles only allowed one radio company the Reich Radio Company.

Radios produced cheaply so that every family had one.

Played everything German.


1933 The Reich Press Law banned all opposition papers and all Jews and left wing journalists sacked.

Goebbles held a news conference every day to make sure guidelines were followed.

‘The Attack’ and ‘Peoples Observer’ were widely read

Foreign papers could only be got through the German Press Agency.


Goebbles really interested and did not use it too much.

He banned all Jews

Marlene Dietrich left for the US

Leni Riefenstahl (listed) made technically brilliant films of 1934 Nuremberg Rally and the Olympics.

‘The Eternal Jew’ was almost a horror film.

Films made to boost morale during the war were shown when they were losing.


Thousands of writers blacklisted.

1933 liberaries ransacked and books burned.

2500 writers left Germany and criticised Nazism (Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann)


Beethoven and Wagner revered.

The works of Jewish composers like Mendelssohn were banned.

Jazz considered Negro music and banned.

Others considered too modern.

Many gifted people emigrated.

Art and Architecture

Hitler considered himself an expert

All modern art seen as degenerate and left-wing.

Picasso, Gauguin, Cezanne and Van Gogh all removed from galleries.

Many left Germany.

1933 Albert Speer appointed Reich Architect.

He designed the arenas for the Nuremberg Rally and the Olympics.

Hitler liked grandiose and classical style.

Speer put in charge of armament production during the war. Slave labour was used and he served 20 years.

3.2 The Nuremberg Rallies: Case Study

Hitler adopted great medieval city of Nuremberg as the city of Nazism.

He hoped it would play the same part as ancient Rome had.

1927 the first rally was held in the town square.

1929 special trains brought over 30,000 SA, SS and Hitler Youth

1933 ‘The Rally of Victory’

Held in the Zeppelin Airfield outside the town.

500,000 enthralled by Hitler and Goebbles.

Goebbles speech was about the evils of Judaism

1934 Rally

The best remembered as 31year old Leni Riefenstahl made a film of it called ‘Triumph of the Wills’. Regarded as a masterpiece.

She also made ‘Olympia’

She always claimed the films were documentaries.

She was blacklisted after the war and only died in 2003.

It was religious in tone and Hitler was a god-like figure.

See page 59 for an analysis of the film.

1935 The Reich Party Rally of Freedom

The Reichstag was brought to the city and the Nuremberg Laws proclaimed.

Jews lost citizenship.

Sexual relations with Jews forbidden.

1936 Rally of Honour

Hitler came to believe he was the new Messiah

1 million attended.

Speer built the arena.

See page 63 for an account

Hitler announced a 4 year plan of rearmament emphasising autarky.

1937 Rally

Hitler attacked ‘Jewish Bolshevism’


1937 and 1938 Rallies

Designed to show the glory of Nazism.

At night Hitler consecrated the Nazi colours with a ‘blood banner’ supposed to be soaked with the blood of the ‘marytys’ of the 1923 putsch.

All done under a lights that shot 800 metres into the sky (Speer).



4.1 Church State Relations

Nazism favours violence, strength, hatred and blind obedience to Hitler.

Catholic Church

Though born a Catholic Hitler was irreligious but did not want to alienate support

1933 Hitler made a Concordat with Catholic Church:

• Church would not interfere in politics

• State would not interfere in the Church

This won support at home and abroad and then Hitler reneged on his side of the bargain.

The ‘Church Secession Campaign’ tried to get people to leave.

Accusations of embezzlement and sexual misconduct were levelled against the clergy.

Parents discouraged from sending children to Catholic schools. Many closed.

Pius XI condemned Nazism.

During WW2, many priests were condemned for being opponents of Nazism. Some went to Concentration Camps and one was executed in Germany.

Lutheran Church

At first Hitler seemed no threat until support was established.

Nazism was seen by many as a protection against ‘godless Communism’.

The Reich Church was set up as an umbrella organisation. Then an attempt was made to introduce Racism and anti-Semitism into Lutheranism.

Most left the Reich Church and set up the Confessional Church.

A leader of the Confessional Church was Pastor Niemoller who was freed from Dachau in 1945.

‘The German Faith Movement’

1934 set up by the Nazis to promote ‘positive Christianity’.

This had nothing to do with Christianity. It was called that to attract members.

It promoted the Aryan race and Nordic paganism.

Even though membership was a good career move, only 5% joined.

Hitler did not suppress the Churches in Germany for political reasons but in Poland many priests were executed and the Church was suppressed.

The Nazi religious policy failed.

4.2 Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust

A long tradition of anti-Semitism in Europe (killed Jesus).

The ‘superior’ Aryan race descended from Nordic tribes were to survive at the expense of Jews, homosexuals, handicapped, gypsies and others.

Hitler blamed Jews for Germany’s economic troubles and defeat in WW1.

Marx was a Jew.

In ‘Mein Kampf’ he threatened to kill them.

Limited Persecution

Until he had established his rule Hitler was restrained.

1933 a one day boycott of Jewish shops. Jews banned from the Civil Service.

1934 Jews banned from the professions

1935 Nuremberg Laws

• Mixed marriages banned

• Sexual relations outside marriage with Jews banned

• Jews could not have German female servants under 45.

1936 Olympic Games

Persecution eased off as Hitler tried to show a good image.

When the games were over Jews were forced out of the professions and forced to wear the Star of David.

Researchers were appointed to identify Jews and medical checks were sometimes given.

1938 Kristallnacht

An excuse was provided when a German embassy official had been shot in Paris by a Jew.

Jewish homes and businesses were attacked.

Goebbles blamed the Jews. 100 were killed and 20,000 arrested.

Many Jews, including Einstein, emigrated.

1940 Hitler’s Madagascar Plan was dropped because Britain had control of the sea there.


SS teams who followed German armies into Poland to round up Jews into ghettos and murder national leaders.

When they went into USSR they had orders to exterminate Jews and political leaders.

About 750,000 Jews in USSR were ‘resettled’ in pits.

Concentration Camps

1933 Dachau was the first. It was described as a ‘re-education’ camp for ‘ undesirables’

The Final Solution

1941 Hitler and other leaders had decided on extermination.

A high level meeting at Wansee outside Berlin decided that 11 million would be transported to death camps in Poland where it would be easier to keep it quiet.

Adolf Eichmann was put in charge.

Auchwitz, Belsen, Treblinka were in Poland.

Those unable to work were gassed immediately. The rest worked on poor rations until they too were gassed.

Zyklon B.

No written evidence that Hitler was responsible but plenty that he advocated extermination.

Collective Guilt

Most Germans were unaware of the Final Solution.

Anti-Semitism was strong and there was no opposition to anti-Semitic laws, but silence does not mean complicity. Intimidation was severe.

The Nazis did attempt to keep it quiet.

Many soldiers were obeying orders.

4.3 Resistance and Collaboration

Communist and Socialist Resistance in Germany.

‘The Red Orchestra’ was a group dedicated to having Russian style Communism.

It gave vital information to Moscow until 1942 until its leaders were executed.


‘The White Rose’ leaflets criticising Nazis.

Leaders Hans and Sophie Scholl (brother and sister) executed after organising the first anti-Nazi demonstration in 1943.

The Churches

Largely compromised with Nazis to protect their institutions.

They also argued that they did not interfere in politics.

1938 Pius XI condemned the Nazis and did secretly give aid to Jewish organisations but how much did they know? Did they do enough?

It was left to individuals like Pastors Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (executed)


‘The Kreisau Circle’ a group of army officers, academics, aristocrats and churchmen wanted to stop Nazi killing but many were executed in 1944, including Helmut Von Molkte who owned the estate at Kreisau.

The Army

High command regarded Hitler as an upstart.

Chief of Staff, Ludwig Beck resigned in 1938 as a protest against Hitler’s march to war.

The July Plot of 1944 organised by General Claus von Stauffenberg. Hitler saved by the leg of a table.

Executed along with Beck and Rommel

The Maquis

Ambushed the enemy, gave intelligence and used sabotage.

Very brave. Around 50,000 mainly in the South of France.


Royalist Chetniks and communist Partisans both resisted.

They also fought amongst themselves.

Partisans won out with their leader becoming Marshal Tito

Denmark and Netherlands

Did the same as the Maquis and also saved thousands of Jews

Eastern Europe

Very effective at slowing the Germans until Winter.

Severe German reprisals against civilians who sheltered resistance fighters.


State collaboration Vichy France under Marshal Petain. Some believed in Nazism, others wanted to save their countries from destruction.

Quisling in Norway



5.1 Communist Revolution

Karl Marx

Bourgeoisie V Proletariat

‘Communist Manifesto’ with Engels

‘the Proletariat have nothing to lose but their chains’

‘Workers of the world, unite!’

‘Das Kapital’

Removal of profit

Factors of production in state hands.

Worldwide revolution in industrialised countries.

Lenin (early years)

Alexander executed affected Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov.

Became a lawyer but exiled to Siberia for political activities.

Moved to Switzerland and became editor of ‘Iskra’

Engineered split between Bolsheviks (elitist) and Mensheviks (populist).

Good speaker.

5.2 Lenin’s Russia

1917 led the October Revolution and became ruler of Soviet Russia

1917 Brest-Litovsk lost 1/3 of land and ½ of industry

1918 shot. Never fully recovered.

1918-21 led the Reds against the Whites in the Civil War.

1921 dropped War Communism in favour of the New Economic Policy.

This meant:

• Stopped taking all food from peasants. Took 10% and allowed them to sell the rest.

• Small factories returned to their owners.

The NEP improved things but food was still scarce and expensive.

Many regarded as a betrayal of communist ideals.

1922 a stroke may explain failure to appoint a successor.

1924 died of a brain haemorrhage


Millions died in war and starvation.

Landlords gone

Less exploitation by industrialists.

Realistic in transitional approach.

Showed the effectiveness of terror against opponents.

Creation of elite made it possible for Stalin to come to power.

In his ‘Political Will’ he warned of the danger of giving Stalin power.

5.3 Stalin Seizes Power

Stalin, Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev in a power struggle.

Other 3 turned against Trotsky who still favoured world revolution.

Stalin proposed ‘Socialism in one country’

1927 Trotsky expelled from the Party, later banished from USSR and assassinated in 1940.

1927 Stalin turned on the other two, claiming they were too liberal and they were expelled from the Party and executed in the 1936 purge.

Stalin was now addressed as ‘Vozhd’ (leader)

5.4 Stalin’s Economic Policies

Stalin’s main aim was to turn USSR into an industrial and military power quickly.

The state planning body, Gosplan, came up with 5 year plans.

In order for these to succeed, rural workers had to be moved to the cities.

First 5 Year Plan 1928-32

State took control of all aspects of the economy.

It was a law setting targets rather than a plan.

250% increase in industrial production. 150% in agriculture.

Infrastructure (power stations, mines, railways, canals and roads), industrial and agricultural machinery were given priority.

Second Plan 1933-38

Focus on heavy industry and agricultural equipment continued.

Stakhanov (15 times his quota) became a national hero

Extra pay, holidays and prizes for great workers.

Huge hours, accidents common, dreadful conditions. Unemployment not tolerated.

Scale of projects (Magnitogorsk) was enormous

The third Plan started to produce radios, bicycles and other household goods but war put an end to that.


Great success economically.

Human cost huge.

Full employment did mean a better standard of living.

Figures were often exaggerated.

Quality of goods often poor.

Big emphasis on education.


Stalin believed peasants were hoarding grain and reducing production to push prices up.

He also wanted 25 million workers for industry

Collective farms (kolkhoz)

Kulaks preferred to destroy their farms than give them up.

Over 5 million were executed or deported.

Agricultural production dropped as farmers did little on the collectives.

1932-33 about 10 million died of famine as a result of this and bad harvests.

Eventually things improved but never reached targets



6.1 Repression Under Stalin

Stalin’s Paranoia

‘Class Enemies’ or ‘wreckers’. Engineers and industrial planners suffered.

Stalin called for the ‘liquidation of the Kulaks as a class’. 1 million killed or deported.

Half of the 35,000 officer class executed of jailed.

Informers everywhere

The Gulag

This was a prison system that was really a slave labour camp.

Millions died

Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s ‘Gulag Archipelago’

6.2 The Moscow Show Trials: Case Study

The Ryutin Platform

Many were against forced collectivisation.

Martemyan Ryutin was the most vocal.

Stalin wanted him killed but it was 1932 and he was outvoted (1932).

Sergei Kirov did most to save Ryutin (got 10 years and died in jail).

The ‘Kirov Flood’

Kirov was very popular in the Party was murdered, probably on Stalin’s orders.

Stalin used the murder as an excuse for the secret police (NKVD) to arrest all possible opponents, their families and friends.

This included Kamenev and Zinoviev.

A massive ‘cult of the leader’ propaganda campaign was in progress with an emphasis on the ‘enemies of the people’.

Thousands were sentenced to death.

1936 The First Show Trial

These trials were big media events in front of carefully chosen audience and foreign correspondents.

Kamenev, Zinoviev and 14 others accused of killing Kirov, of plotting to kill Stalin’ of being wreckers and of being Trotskyites.

All pleaded guilty and all executed within 24 hours.

Their families and friends ‘disappeared’.

The 1937 Show Trial

17 pro Trotsky supporters ‘admitted’ that Trotsky had organised wrecking.

2 were spared because they implicated Bukharin, Rykov and Kretinsky who had been members of Lenin’s Politburo. They died in jail anyway.

The 1938 Show Trial

Bukharin had wanted to continue with the NEP.

Torture, interrogation and finally threatening his family forced him and the others to confess to sabotage and spying. They also implicated others.

They were executed.

The Final Figures

At least 7 million executed or died in the Gulag.

10 million from famine.

Between 19 and 22 million in all excluding war victims.



7.1 Economic and Social Problems


A big problem throughout but peaked 1921-22 (2 million) and 1929-32 (3 million)

Governments could not decide whether to balance the budget or spend out of depression.

Social insurance schemes were brought in and contributions and benefits increased.

A dole was brought in also.

The General Strike 1926

Employers had not modernised.

Coal industry not efficient and prices collapsed when the French occupied the Ruhr.

Mines reduced wages and workers called a strike and were locked out.

The TUC called a general strike in May.

The government organised emergency supplies.

Many saw the strikers as communists and became scabs.

After a week the TUC called off the strike.

The miners saw this as a sell-out and stayed out for another 6 months. They gave in on worse terms than they had been offered before.

1927 Trade Union and Trade Disputes Act banned general and sympathetic strikes.

Midlands and South-East

Radio, motor vehicles and electrical goods brought prosperity.

Homes got electricity and standard of living increased.

Very different to the depressed North East and Scotland.


After WW1 Lloyd George promised ‘homes for heroes’

3 different housing acts led to slum clearance and one million good council houses.

The private sector built 3 million houses.

The very poor still lived in bad conditions.


Generally things improved except for the unemployed.

Infant and maternal mortality was high among the poor.

TB was rife until 1950s.

Measles and whooping cough killed children until vaccinations were introduced in the 1950s.


Thing never got as bad in Britain as in Germany, Italy and USSR.

The Labour Party was a democratic outlet for socialists.

Communism was discredited in the 1930s as news of Stalin spread.

Governments used the ‘red scare’.


Oswald Mosley started as a Conservative, then joined Labour.

His ideas were not being accepted, so in 1932 he founded the British Union of Fascists.

Violence with communists was unacceptable to the public and he never won a seat.

1936 the government banned political uniforms and the Fascists faded away.

The Abdication Crisis 1936

Edward VIII and Mrs Wallace Simpson (American, commoner and divorcee).

Baldwin’s government and the Church of England opposed.

King abdicated and his brother became George VI

They moved to Paris.

7.2 John Maynard Keynes: Profile

Cambridge educated.

Part of delegation to Paris Peace Conference and opposed the vindictive nature of it.

Believed that slumps were short-term caused by lack of demand and proposed government spending as a solution. He became a major influence on government policies.

A member of the Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals (Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and Bertrand Russel)

An expert on Isaac Newton.

A collector of books and art.

Led the British delegation to the Bretton Woods Conference that resulted in the IMF and the World Bank.

7.3 The Jarrow March

Great Depression hit shipbuilding, steel and coal industries as trade declined.

Palmer’s Yard was closed in the 1930s

By 1934 70% of Jarrow was unemployed.

The Dole was costing the government a fortune, so in 1931 they brought in a means test.

This meant families had to break up as pensions counted. The alternative was the Poor Law where men had to work for his keep and take home very little.

‘Hunger marches’ had been organised by the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement in the 1930s.

Jarrow decided to do the same but stayed clear of the NUMW as it was seen as communist.

200 men marched 300 miles

They got great support.

They had a civilised demonstration in Hyde Park and went home.

No immediate gain but a ship-breaking yard, an engineering works and a steel works were set up there by 1939

Why democracy survived in Britain.

1. Not devastated after WW1

2. No currency collapse and standard of living improved.

3. Long tradition of parliament.

4. USSR gave communism a bad name

5. Fascist violence did likewise

6. Social insurance and Housing lessened the impact of depression.


FRANCE 1920-1945

8.1 The Third Republic 1920-1940


Struggled immediately after the war:

• 1 million men dead

• Destruction

• USSR reneged on it’s debts

• Divided between right and left

• So many parties made stable government difficult.

• Large government debts and rampant inflation

1923 occupied the Ruhr


Things improved.

Strong centre-based coalition under Poincaré

Economy boomed (clothing, perfume, manufacturing and chemical industries)

But Poincaré retired and the Wall Street Crash was to change things.


France not hit as badly as other countries as 9 million were employed in agriculture.

However unemployment soared.

Rapid changes of governments.

The Stavinsky Affair

Stavinsky was a Jewish swindler, who stayed out of prison many times because of his connections with politicians.

He died in mysterious circumstances in 1934 and the right blamed the left wing government for killing him in order to keep him quiet.

The rioting, which followed, could have toppled the government and threatened democracy.

The government held firm and survived.

The Popular Front

A coalition of left wing parties formed a government under Leon Blum in 1936.

It collapsed in 1938 but some think it saved France from Facism.

Foreign Policy

During the Streseman era (1923-29) a policy of reconciliation was followed.

1925 France signed the Locarno Pact that confirmed her borders with Germany.

1928 Kellog-Briand Pact that outlawed war as a way of settling disputes.

Depended on collective security with Britain but failed to take action against Hitler on several occasions.

Deladier signed the Munich agreement.

France was slow to declare war in 1939.

8.2 A Defeated Nation

The Maginot Mentality

Not to defeat the enemy, only to prevent an invasion.

Line only went to Belgium.

Generals believed that tanks and aircraft could not break the line

Only General De Gaulle and the Prime Minister Reynaud objected.

When Germany attacked through Belgium, the French took men from the Maginot line leaving the Ardennes vulnerable.

In 8 days the Germans had reached the Atlantic.

The BEF had to withdraw from Dunkirk.

Marshal Petain surrendered.


Signed in the same railway carriage in 1918:

• 3/5ths of France to be under German occupation

• The South-East to be run from Vichy

• Heavy reparations

• 1.5 million men to remain prisoners of war.

8.3 The Vichy State

Petain was to be head of state and Pierre Laval was deputy prime minister.

Petain wanted a conservative, Catholic, rural state, with Vichy the seat of government.

Laval was a Nazi sympathiser.

Petain collaborated because:

• He believed Germany would rule Europe and therefore it was in France’s interest.

• 1.5 million men were hostages.

• German occupation.

The Vichy government had its own police force and dealt with opposition harshly (concentration camps).

Ordinary people collaborated by identifying Jews and resistance fighters.

Businesses felt they had no choice

Free France

This was a London-based resistance movement founded by De Gaulle in 1940.

Britain and the US did not recognise him until 1944 as they saw him as a potential dictator.

He was not told of D-Day.

Nor was he invited to Yalta or Potsdam.

He would never forgive them.

The Resistance

In the early days there were many different groups.

They spread propaganda, organised escape networks and gathered intelligence.

De Gaulle sent Jean Moulin in to unify them. He did a good job before he was tortured and killed.

The Maquis assassinated Germans and collaborators. They sabotaged factories, infrastructure and gathered intelligence.

The Germans responded with brutality.

After the D-day landings, the resistance sabotaged the German defences.

France and the Final Solution

Richard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann were involved in organising deportations to concentration camps.

¼ of all French Jews were exterminated.

Petain was not anti-Semitic but Laval was.

Vichy had no problem with deportations as long as the Jews were not French citizens.

The Aftermath

10,000 collaborators summarily executed.

100,000 put on trial later. 767 were executed, including Laval.

Petain got life.



9.1 Wartime Alliances

May 1939 Pact of Steel required both countries to help each other in war.

Britain would not ally with the USSR because:

• Feared Communism

• Knew about mass murder

• Believed that the Red army was useless because of purges

Stalin believed he was on his own and signed a 10-year Non-aggression Pact with Hitler.

Also called Nazi-Soviet Pact or Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, it had secret clauses that allowed Germany to take ½ of Poland and the USSR to have the rest and the Baltic States.

After Barbarossa the alliance with Britain and France happened.

The US sided with Britain and France because:

• Concern about Nazism

• Ethnic ties

• Big business would lose if Hitler took over Europe

1940 Roosevelt started the ‘Lend-lease Programme’ that would loan arms to Britain while the war lasted.

December 1941 Pearl Harbour the US declared war.

The Allies = Britain, France, USA and USSR

The Axis = Germany, Italy and Japan.

9.2 A Run of German Victories

1st September 1939 invasion of Poland.

Blitzkrieg destroyed Poland in 2 weeks.

By the end of October Poland was divided.

The Phoney War

Winter 1939-40. No fighting

France felt safe behind the Maginot line.

Germany stayed behind the Siegfried Line.

Britain sent the BEF.

In April Hitler took control of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Quisling became head of a puppet government in Norway.

In May the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium surrendered

The Fall of France

In June Churchill, who had just become PM, had to evacuate the BEF from Dunkirk.

Petain became leader of the Vichy government.

Mussolini, who sensed a German victory, declared war.

Britain Alone

Operation Sea Lion.

Goring’s Luftwaffe V Air Marshall Hugh Dowding’s RAF

The Battle of Britain July 1940 to June 1941

The Blitz.

9.3 The Soviet State at War

November 1939 the USSR invaded Finland. They made such hard work out of it that Hitler was convinced an invasion of USSR would be easy.

Operation Barbarossa

June 1941 3 million men in a 3 pronged attack on Leningrad, Moscow and the Caucasian oilfields.

500,000 died in a900 day siege of Leningrad. Still the Russians held out until help came.

General Zhukov and ‘General Winter’ pushed the Germans back in Moscow.

General Von Paulus 6th army sent to Stalingrad.

Zhukov defended at all costs. Hitler wouldn’t let Von Paulus surrender. He had to in the end.

The German army started to retreat.

Russian victory in tank battle at Kursk.

Reasons for Soviet Victory

• Hitler delayed Barbarossa for 2 months in order to help Mussolini in Greece.

• General Winter

• Russians dismantled factories and moved them east.

• Nazi brutality galvanised Russians

• Soviet scorched-earth policy

9.4 Allied Victory

American build-up

Montgomery’s victory over Rommel at El Alamein and Eisenhower’s trapping of the enemy at Tunis meant the way was clear to attack Germany through Italy.

Mussolini deposed but set up as a puppet ruler.

Germans defended Italy fiercely.

Operation Overlord

German ‘Atlantic Wall’

Eisenhower in charge of D-day, 6th June 1944.

Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword

General Patton landed in the South of France and linked with the Normandy troops.

Eisenhower and Montgomery quarrelled but Eisenhower’s more cautious approach prevailed.

General Von Runstedt lost the Battle of the Bulge. Last chance over.

April 1945 Hitler committed suicide on the same day the Russians entered Berlin.

8th May VE day

Japan Surrenders

After Pearl Harbour, Japan continued its conquest of Asia.

1942 the Battle of the Coral Sea sank the ‘Lexington’(aircraft carrier)

Battle of Midway defeated the Japanese Fleet (kamakazi)

Japan’s refusal to surrender in the battles for islands led to the use of atomic bombs.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Grand Alliance

This refers to the fact that the allied leaders were prepared to sink their differences until Hitler was defeated.

They met at wartime conferences:

1. 1943 Tehran Conference. Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that a second front be opened in France. A replacement for the League of Nations should be set up.

2. February 1945 Yalta. They advanced a charter for the UN but failed to agree on the future of Poland.

3. 1945 (after the war) Potsdam decided on division of Germany but already cracks were appearing

9.5 The Technology of War


Lighter, faster-firing rifles developed. British Lee Enfield. German Karabiner.

The mortar became the soldiers’ own light artillery.


Very prominent role.

US Sherman V Panzer

El Alamein and Kursk


V1 and V2 defeated when the launching sites were bombed.


Most important.

British Hurricanes and Spitfires (pilot’s favourite) V Messerschmidt

Stuka dive bomber used in Blitzkrieg

German big bombers Heinkel and Junker

British Lancaster and Wellington

US Flying Fortress

Use of radar important


Thousands employed at Bletchley Park to crack Enigma.

Success led directly to the defeat of Rommel in North Africa.

Allied Bombing

Luftwaffe no real threat after the Battle of Britain.

Sir Arthur Harris (bomber) started with ‘surgical strikes’ but RAF losses were high.

Then adopted ‘carpet bombing’ of German cities (Dresden, Cologne, Berlin)

Ended the war quicker. Morality?

The Atomic Bomb

1942 a team of British and US scientists embarked on the ‘Manhattan Project’

Harry Truman approved the Enola Gay.

Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Led to quick surrender.

The Sea

Germany relied on small battleships and U-Boats.

The Schnorkel tube made U-Boats very effective until escorted convoys, the centrimetric radar, and the Hedgehog depth charge were introduced.

The US and the Japanese made great use of aircraft carriers but US established dominence at the Battle of Midway.



10.1 The Home Front (Britain)

The Ministry of Information issued relevant posters and made radio broadcasts throughout.

The Local Defence Volunteers (Home Guard) guarded key installations, watched the coast, manned roadblocks and protected factories.

They released younger men for more urgent tasks.

The Air Raid Precaution workers and the Auxiliary Fire Service made up the Civil Defence and over 2000 lost their lives.

The underground was used and Anderson shelters were built.


Single women aged 20 to 30 were conscripted for clerical jobs.

A high proportion of factory workers were women.

Some worker on farms and were called ‘Land Girls’.

10.2 Rationing

1939 a Ministry for Food was set up

Rationing introduced.

Controls put on the price of many foods.

Families encouraged to grow their own.

Fuel rationed.

A Black market developed in spite of increased sentences.

There was some robbery of warehouses and peoples homes.

10.3 Evacuees

The Anderson Committee recommended the setting up of 600 schools in rural areas.

Children were evacuated to these areas.

Most had a good experience of country life and referred to their ‘aunties’

Some were used as a source of cheap or free labour and others were badly treated.

A lot of homesickness.

Some companies moved out of London.

10.4 Refugees

40 million died in WW2 and 20 million were displaced

Hitler tried to repatriate ethnic Germans into his new larger Germany. This displaced many.

Hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans were sent to labour camps.

Jews fled.

The atrocities during the attack and retreat from Russia scattered people.

The bombing of German cities added to the problem.

Poland and Czechoslovakia expelled Germans after the war.

Such ‘ethnic cleansing’ happened in many countries.

Collaborators who survived the end of the war fled.

After the war 500,000 went to America. This is called ‘the great sea change’

By 1951 there was still 2 million refugees in Europe.

This led to The Office of the United Nations Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

10.5 Winston Churchill and WW2

Early career

Son of Lord Randolph.

At 20 fought in the Sudan.

Worked as a newspaper reporter during the Boer War. Became a war hero for an escape.

Became a Conservative MP in 1900.

Switched to the Liberals in 1904 and changed back in 1924.

1911 became First Lord of the Admiralty but has to resign after Gallipoli.

Run out of Belfast during Home Rule crisis.

Unpopular for his aggression during the General Strike.

Lambasted Chamberlain for appeasement and by 1939 was popular again.

World War 2

1940 he became PM and Minister for Defence.

Chose a War Cabinet of five people including two Labour ministers.

His oratory turned Dunkirk into a psychological victory.

He was visible during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.

‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few’.

He signed the Atlantic Charter with Roosevelt

He attended Tehran and Yalta

After the War

Labour got into office in 1945.

‘Iron Curtain’ speech.

He became PM again in 1951 but retired due to bad health in 1955.

Died in 1965

An ideal wartime leader but too arrogant and opinionated for peacetime



11.1 Radio

Commercial Radio began after WW1

The BBC founded in 1922 and John Reith was its director general until 1938.

It was funded by licence fees and Reith believed in independence from politicians and business.