- List of Contributors
- The Ideological Origins of Fascism before 1914
- The First World War as Cultural Trauma
- The First World War as Totality
- The Aftermath of War
- Culture and Intellectuals
- The Peasant Experience under Italian Fascism
- Corporatism and the Economic Order
- Fascism and Catholicism
- Propaganda and Youth
- Women in Mussolini's Italy, 1922–1945
- Crime and Repression
- Fascism and War
- Dictators Strong or Weak?: The Model Of Benito Mussolini
- State and Society: Italy and Germany Compared
- Diplomacy and World War: The (First) Axis of Evil
- Communism: Fascism's ‘Other’?
- Yugoslavia and its Successor States
- The Netherlands
- Britain and its Empire
- Comparisons and Definitions
- Memory and Representations of Fascism in Germany and Italy
Abstract and Keywords
This article compares the state and society ruled by Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy. In regard to fascism's accession to power in Italy, another factor separated it from the Nazi path. There were some similarities between the two cases: a constitutional monarchy with a crumbling parliamentary system on the one hand, and a parliamentary and democratic republic with its own deepening crisis on the other. Yet, the institutional weakness of the Weimar state was so great and its lack of legitimacy so pervasive that it did not take a great effort on Hitler's part to shake himself free. Notwithstanding some similarities, most blatantly the tactical alliance with sectors of the old ruling elites, there was a profound difference in the acquisition of power between the two regimes. Hitler could always rely on an ample popular consent, hardened by the Nazis' promise of economic recovery.
Gustavo Corni is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Trento, Italy. His most recent publications include Hitler's Ghettoes: Voices from a Beleaguered Society 1939–1944 (London, 2002); Il sogno del ‘grande spazio’: le politiche d'occupazione nell'Europa nazista (Rome, 2005), and Hitler (Bologna, 2007).
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