The Racial Paradigm: Hitler and the Holocaust

Both Stargardt and Kershaw discuss Hitler’s leadership style. Each specifically discusses Hitler’s leadership as it relates to the extermination of the Jewish population in Germany, or the Final Solution. Kershaw discusses Hitler’s leadership style as a bottom-up approach. Stargardt similarly argues that Hitler relied on local leaders to implement his policies.

It is commonly known that Hitler had his inner-circle of advisors whom he relied on for advice and implementation. However, both articles brought up the racial issue that was central to Hitler’s regime.… Read the rest here

German and Soviet Mass Violence

Christian Gerlach and Nicolas Werth’s essay, “”State Violence-Violet Societies” discusses the use of mass violence in camp systems. Gerlach and Werth analyzed the methods of violence, the intensity of the violence, the role of the State in the violence, and the ideology behind the violence.1 Gerlach and Werth argued that in Germany the eradication policies were multicausal and that the archival revolution in Russia allowed historians to grasp the foundation of Soviet violence.2

The part of this article that caught my attention was the section on prisoners of war.… Read the rest here

Back to the Land

Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s chapter, “Back to the Land” in Three New Deals discusses the concept of a “back-to-the-future movement” with the revival of “the region” (p 111). Fascism, National Socialism, and the New Deal all had reforms focusing on the decentralization of the state’s population. I found Stuart Chase’s perspective of this movement particularly intriguing. He argued decentralization was ideal for “maintaining and encouraging the handicrafts”(p 118). The main idea behind this movement was to restore the unity between nature and economy.… Read the rest here

Energizing the Everyday

Chapter 7 of Beyond Totalitarianism ,“Energizing the Everyday”, by Sheila Fitzpatrick and Alf Lüdtke explores bonds between people and bonds to Nazism and Stalinism. The authors attempt to explore the range of possibilities within society in each regime’s sphere. An area of this essay I found particularly interesting was Sociability Outside the Workplace.

 This section focuses on the difference between sociability in Russia and Germany, as they are strikingly dissimilar. In Russia during the Stalin period, there was great control over activities outside of Soviet productivity.… Read the rest here

Dictators… Aren’t They All The Same?

Dictators. We tend to think of Hitler and Mussolini as having similar ideals and regimes based on the sole fact that they are both dictators. However, when analyzing their doctrines’ theories, one can see their goals and philosophies were not similar. In Hitler’s The 25 Points 1920: An Early Nazi Program the focus is on the purification of Germany. Contrastingly, in Benito Mussolini: What is Fascism, the focus is on the State’s importance exercised through expansion.… Read the rest here

“We Do Our Part”: Looking at FDR, Hitler, and Mussolini

Three New Deals by Wolfgang Schivelbusch is a historical analysis comparing Roosevelt, Mussolini, and Hitler between the years of 1933 and 1939. Schivelbusch states his thesis in the introduction; he argues that the programs of FDR, Hitler, and Mussolini (specifically the New Deal, Fascism, and National Socialism) all gave a new vision to their respected nation. Each leader did this through post liberal state-capitalist or state-socialist systems, rising as autocrats through legal means, and seeking a nation of protection and equality.… Read the rest here

A New Society: Modernity in Soviet Russia

For most of Europe in the 19th century, modernity was seen as the emergence of nation-states, the establishment of a parliamentary democracy, and the rise of capitalism. Imperial Russia and Soviet modernity differed from this concept. Instead, their modernity focused on Enlightenment ideals such as the belief in progress, a focus on reason, and the belittlement of religion and tradition. The inclusion of Russian modernity broadens the definition parameters of this obscure term. The Soviet Union encompassed mass politics, population management, and socialism.… Read the rest here

The Composers’ Union and Sustainability

Elephantine marches and songs of the Motherland…these are some thoughts that might come to mind when thinking about music in Soviet Russia. Although there is some truth to these popular assumptions, there is much more detail about music under Stalinist Soviet Russia. Specifically, there is the detail of Stalin’s creations of creative unions. These unions had various sects for artists such as architects, cinematographers, and writers, just to name a few. This paper will focus on the union for composers.… Read the rest here

The Dissident Movement

In the 1960s and early 1970s, a dissident movement surfaced among Soviet intellectuals. This movement is thought to be contributed to Khrushchev lessening his control on the State. The movement illustrates the State’s inability to adapt to the expanding mobility of the people. The activists in this movement were highly motivated for their cause. Their passion and sentiments were so large, beyond their numbers.

The ways in which the people in the movement expressed their ideologies varied from protests to literature to journals.… Read the rest here