Indirect Correspondence between Stalin and Churchill

Winston Churchill speaks extremely highly of the Ally powers in his speech discussing the Iron Curtain and his desire to unite the English speaking commonwealth with the United States.  Although his main goal appears to be a peaceful settlement with the Soviet Union and elimination of their “expansionist” policies, he focuses much more on global security and the strength of the United States and England.  For instance, he opens his speech with the phrase “The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power.”  Churchill does so not as a warning or criticism, but rather offers praise and strategic help.  “You must feel not only a sense of duty done, but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement.”  Churchill is not berating the United States for laying the foundation of the title of “World Police”, he is instead offering support.

Churchill’s speech is seen in a very poor light by Josef Stalin.  Stalin asserts that the British are only mimicking the same racial theory that Hitler brought to Germany.  Stalin claims that Churchill’s assumption of their desire to ensure the security of their future as a means of forceful expansion is inaccurate. Stalin is sure to mention the faith that he has in the people has no limitations and that they are much smarter than Churchill proclaims them to be. The two leaders have extremely different views on how each side of the Iron Curtain operated, and both believed the other to be incorrect. Stalin proclaims power to the people while Churchill broadcasted a message of national cooperative power regardless of the people’s wants.

Mazower Chapter 5

In chapter 5 of Mazower’s Dark Continent, he describes the various approaches and policies that Hitler implemented in an attempt to convert Europe into a functioning German empire. Many of Hitler’s policies were based upon the 25 Points of 1920 that the Nazi party created during their infancy.

Within chapter 5, Mazower used the heading “Living in Historic Times,” to emphasize the drastic changes that were taking place throughout this period. Germany had conquered an enormous land mass as a result of their revolutionary Blitzkrieg tactics. Politicians were then left with the difficult task of incorporating these diverse European populations into the “New Order.” Certain countries such as Poland and Czechoslovakia were easily incorporated into the empire because they had immediate value to Hitler and also shared a common germanic ancestry. In these countries their national identities were removed. It was banned to reference them by there former namesakes. Others locations such as France and Scandinavia were difficult to incorporate because they did not share as many commonalities with Germany. These countries were given a greater amount of sovereignty compared to other more repressed regions. Many of the ultimate fates of these provisional states were not to be determined until the end of the war because Hitler did not have a explicitly defined plan in place at the moment.

Of the 25 points, a few of them seem contradictory. Point number two calls for land and expansion, while point number seven is in an anti-foreigner clause that states that only citizens can live in Germany. If Germany is to expand its land and territory, how would they incorporate these newly conquered citizens into their ranks? Wouldn’t they be considered foreigners? Does it matter which country theses people would be coming from?

What is Fascism, 1932

In Mussolini’s What is Fascism, he attempts to portray the fascist agenda and how these ideals can be applied to Italy society. He emphasized how fascism and socialism were opposites on the political spectrum. The nineteenth century overwhelmingly stressed liberal ideals and democratic initiatives towards government. Mussolini wished to break this trend and create an Italian collectivist society that views the state as an absolute; individuals would be regarded solely by their relation to the state. Expansion and empire building were also essential components of Mussolini’s doctrine because he believed that growth of the empire is “an essential manifestation of vitality.”

Mussolini stressed how the nation was in dire need of for a fascist state to provide authority, direction and order. After World War One Europe as a whole attempted to incorporate liberal ideals towards governance. The success of these governments was oftentimes very short lived, leaving countries in a dismal state of affairs. People were forced to consider other form of government that would better tackle the problems of the time. I believe that fascism was easily accepted in Italy because an overwhelming percent of the population believed that it is preferable to exchange the right to some natural freedoms in order to obtain the benefits of political order.

Both Hitler and Mussolini believed that expansion of the nation was a vital component of rebuilding their respective countries. In hindsight, do you believe that the international community should have been able to predict the impending war that would break out? After all, in order to expand the nation the land must be taken from somewhere/somebody, thus causing unavoidable violence.