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               The Age of Totalitarianism: Stalin and Hitler

               We live, not feeling the country beneath us,
               Our speech inaudible ten steps away,
               But where they're up to half a conversation --

               They'll speak of the Kremlin mountain man.

               His thick fingers are fat like worms,
               And his words certain as pound weights.
               His cockroach whiskers laugh,
               And the tops of his boots glisten.

               And all around his rabble of thick-skinned
               He plays through services of half-people.
               Some whistle, some meow, some snivel,
               He alone merely caterwauls and prods.

               Like horseshoes he forges decree after decree
               Some get it in the forehead, some in the brow,
                   some in the groin, and some in the eye.
               Whatever the execution -- it's a raspberry to
               And his Georgian chest is broad.

                        ---Osip Mandelstam, We Live, Not Feeling, 1934?

     The Age of Anxiety, the age of the lost generation, was also an
     age in which modern Fascism and Totalitarianism made their
     appearance on the historical stage. By 1939, liberal democracies
     in Britain, France, Scandinavia and Switzerland were realities.
     But elsewhere across Europe, various kinds of dictators reared
     their ugly heads. Dictatorship seemed to be the wave of the
     future. It also seemed to be the wave of the present. After all,
     hadn't Mussolini proclaimed that this century would be a century
     of the right? Of Fascism? And this is what bothered such writers
     as Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), Yevgeny Zamayatin (1884-1937),
     Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), Karel Capek (1890-1938) and George
     Orwell (1903-1950). It was a nightmare world in which human
     individuality was subsumed under the might of totalitarian
     collectivism. The modern totalitarian state rejected liberal
     values and exercised total control over the lives of its subjects.
     How this indeed occurred is the subject of this lecture.

     It goes without saying that the governments of Europe had been
     conservative and anti-democratic throughout their long histories.
     The leaders of such governments -- whether monarch or autocrat --
     WERE the government, and by their very nature, prevented any
     incidence of social or political change that might endanger the
     existing social order. Of course, there have been enlightened
     monarchs but few of them would have been so enlightened to have
     removed themselves from the sinews of power.

     Before the 19th century these monarchs legitimized their rule by
     recourse to the divine right theory of kingship, an idea which
     itself appeared in medieval Europe. Such was the case in France
     until the late 18th century when French revolutionaries decided to
     end the Bourbon claim to the throne by divine right by cutting off
     the head of Louis XVI. Of course, France ended up with Napoleon
     who also claimed the divine right of kingship. Only this time,
     divine right emanated from Napoleon himself. In a country such as
     England, on the other hand, twenty years of civil war in the 17th
     century as well as the  Glorious Revolution of 1688, produced a
     constitutional monarchy.

     In the 19th century, it was the dual revolution -- the Industrial
     and French Revolutions -- which created the forces of social
     change which monarchs, enlightened or not, could not fail to take
     heed. A large middle class had made its appearance in the 18th
     century but lacked status. Now, in the 19th century, this large
     class of entrepreneurs, factory owners, civil servants, teachers,
     lawyers, doctors, merchants and other professionals wanted their
     voices heard by their governments. They became a force which had
     to be reckoned with and the government began to utilize its
     talents by creating large, obedient bureaucracies. In this way,
     government seemed to reflect the interests of all when in actual
     fact, they represented the interests of the bourgeoisie. So
     European governments maintained order by giving the middle classes
     a stake in the welfare of the nation. Governments also built
     strong police forces and armies of loyal soldiers. Meanwhile, the
     great mass of people, the "swinish multitude," lay completely
     unrepresented. And radicals were either imprisoned or exiled
     because of their liberal, democratic, socialist, communist or
     anarchist inclinations.

     Despite these measures, and there were others as well, traditional
     authoritarian governments were not completely successful. Their
     power and their objectives were limited. These governments lacked
     modern communications and modern transportation. They lacked, in
     other words, the ability to totally control their subject
     populations. The twentieth century -- thanks to improved
     technology -- would change all that. In fact, it can be said that
     true totalitarian regimes are limited only by the extent to which
     mass communications have been made a reality. And, of course, with
     mass communications comes mass man, and the capability of total

     Following World War One, there was a revival of traditional
     authoritarian regimes, especially in Eastern Europe. By 1938, of
     all the central and eastern European countries, only
     Czechoslovakia remained true to liberal political ideals. It has
     been remarked that the reason for this development was the
     perception that liberal democracy was a failure. It was not "made"
     for Eastern European nations. These nations lacked a tradition of
     self-government but they did have lengthy traditions of ethnic
     conflict as well as a steady growth in nationalism. As agrarian
     nations, the large landowners and the Church opposed any efforts
     at land reform. These countries also contained a small and
     relatively weak middle class. In a way, the 18th century seemed to
     have ignored these countries. Finally, for nations such as Greece,
     Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Estonia, it was the Great
     Depression that dashed any hopes for a liberal government based on
     the western model.

     Although many of these central and eastern European countries
     would adopt fascist characteristics, their general aim in doing so
     was not to become fascist themselves. Instead, their aim was to
     maintain the established order. They wanted to avoid revolution
     and more important, they wanted to avoid another world war.

     Modern totalitarian regimes made their appearance with the total
     effort required by the Great War. The reason for this is quite
     simple -- war required all institutions to subordinate their
     interests to one objective at all costs: victory. The individual
     had to make sacrifices and so their freedoms, whatever they might
     have been, were constantly reduced by increasing government
     intervention. The invisible hand of Adam Smith had to be replaced
     by the visible hand. Governments could not longer remain idle
     hoping that some "laissez-faire" mentality would carry them
     through the day. No. Governments had to intervene and the great
     event which made this notion of intervention a necessity, was the
     Great War.

     Beyond this, the crucial experience of World War One was Lenin,
     the Bolsheviks and the Russian Civil War. Lenin had shown how a
     dedicated minority -- the Bolsheviks -- could make a dedicated
     effort and achieve victory over a majority. This was as true of
     the Revolution as much as it was of the Civil War when the
     Bolsheviks overcame the White Army who were numerically superior.
     Lenin also clearly demonstrated how institutions and human rights
     might be subordinated to the needs of a single party and a single
     leader. So, Lenin provided a model for a single party
     dictatorship, i.e. the Bolsheviks. It was Lenin, who provide the
     model for Stalin as well as Hitler and Mussolini.

     Totalitarian regimes -- thanks to technology and mass
     communications -- take over control of every facet of the
     individual's life. Everything is subject to control -- the
     economy, politics, religion, culture, philosophy, science, history
     and sport. Thought itself becomes both a form of social control as
     well as a method of social control. Those of you familiar with
     Orwell's premonitionary novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, should have
     an easy time understanding this development.

     The totalitarian state was based on boundless dynamism.
     Totalitarian society was a fully mobilized society, a society
     constantly moving toward some goal. Which begs the question: Is
     democracy the means to an end or the end itself? Paradoxically,
     the totalitarian state never reached its ultimate goal. However,
     it gave the illusion of doing so. As soon as one goal was reached,
     it was replaced by another. Such was the case in Stalin's Russia.
     Stalin implemented a series of Five Year Plans in an effort to
     build up the industrial might of the Soviet Union. Production
     quotas were constantly announced well before they had been reached
     in order to supply the illusion that the Five Year Plan was
     working. But before the Five Year Plan had run its course, another
     Five Year Plan was announced. Hopefully, you can intuit the
     psychological necessity of such an act on Stalin's part.

      In the end, totalitarianism
                                       meant a "permanent revolution,"
     an unfinished revolution in which rapid and profound change
     imposed from above simply went on forever. Of course, a permanent
     revolution also means that the revolution is never over. The
     individual is constantly striving for a goal which has been placed
     just a hair out of reach. In this way, society always remains
     mobilized for continual effort. The first example of such a
     permanent revolution was Joseph Stalin's "revolution from above,"
     which he instituted in 1927 and 1928. After having suppressed his
     enemies on both the left and the right, as well as the center,
     Stalin issued the "general party line." Anyone who deviated from
     that line was condemned to either exile or execution -- in most
     cases, execution. Stalin's aim was to create a new kind of society
     and a new human personality to inhabit that society: socialist man
     and socialist woman. At the same time, a strong army would have to
     be built as well as a powerful industrial economy. Once everything
     was owned by the State, Stalin believed, a new kind of human
     personality would emerge. The Soviets under Stalin were by no
     means successful. Just the same, the Soviets did build a new
     society, one whose basic outlines survived right down to the late

     However, Stalinist society did have its frightening aspects and
     none was more frightening than the existence of brutal,
     unrestrained police terrorism. First used against the wealthy
     peasants or kulaks during the 1920s and 1930s, terror was
     increasingly used against party members, administrators and
     ordinary people. No one would ever be above suspicion -- except
     Stalin, of course. Some were victims of terror for deviating from
     the party line -- others were victims for no apparent reason other
     than Stalin's moodiness. One Soviet recalled that in 1931, "we all
     trembled because there was no way of getting out of it. Even a
     Communist can be caught. To avoid trouble became an exception."

     As we now know, Stalin's second wife also publicly rebuked Stalin
     for the destruction the terror famine was working and she
     committed suicide in 1932. And on December 1, 1934, Sergei Kirov,
     the man who in some circles was rumored to be Stalin's heir, was
     assassinated in Leningrad on Stalin's orders. Using Kirov's death
     as an excuse, Stalin systematically purged the Communist Party of
     his opponents. Hundreds of party members were shot for their
     alleged complicity in Kirov's death. Kirov was a full member of
     the ruling Politburo and leader of the Leningrad party apparatus
     as well as an influential member of the ruling elite. His overt
     concern for the welfare of the Leningrad workers and his skill as
     an orator earned him considerable popularity. It is doubtful that
     Kirov represented a serious threat to Stalin, however, Kirov did
     disagree with Stalin on several key issues.

     But Stalin had already begun to doubt the loyalty of the Leningrad
     party and he looked for a pretext to begin a broad purge. The
     murder of Kirov was necessary. Although it was Leonid Nikolaev who
     committed the assassination, it is now clear that the whole
     episode had been, over a period of two years, crafted by Stalin
     and the NKVD. Stalin, of course, then used the crime as an excuse
     to introduce severe laws against all political crimes. So,
     following the death of Kirov at the end of 1934, there began the
     Soviet witch-hunt which culminated in the Great Terror of the
     years 1935-1939.

     In 1936, Stalin brought his old comrades Zinoviev and Kamenev to a
     staged public trial. An international press corps was invited to
     lend a sense of legitimacy to the proceedings. When their trial
     had ended Zinoviev, Kamenev and fourteen other old Bolsheviks
     either admitted involvement in the Kirov Affair or signed
     confessions that had been fabricated for them. These men had not
     been conspirators but they did satisfy Stalin's paranoia. As to be
     expected, they were all executed. The confessional process was
     helped by the black jack, continuous interrogation and the swan
     dive, where towelling was put between the jaws and the feet and
     tightened, arching and breaking the back. But often, the
     confession was voluntary because the Party demanded it. As one
     survivor recalled, "serving the party was not just a goal in life
     but an inner need."

     In January 1937 a second great show trial was held in which
     seventeen leading Bolsheviks declared that they had knowledge of a
     conspiracy between Trotsky and the German and Japanese
     intelligence services by which Soviet territory was to be
     transferred to Germany and Japan. A crowd of 200,000 packed Red
     Square in frigid weather to hear Nikita Khrushchev read out the
     death sentences. All seventeen were executed. Then on June 11,
     1937, the cream of the Red Army, stripped of their medals and
     insignia, were ushered into the courtroom. They included Marshal
     Tukhachevsky, the most brilliant soldier of his generation and the
     pioneer of armored and airborne warfare. The generals were accused
     of spying for the Germans, found guilty, shot and dumped in a
     trench on a construction site, all within eighteen hours. Six of
     the officers who condemned them were soon shot. Of 85 corps
     commanders 57 disappeared within a year. Of the 100,000 Red Army
     officers on active duty in 1937, perhaps 60,000 were purged.

     The last of the public trials took place in March 1938, as
     twenty-one leading Bolsheviks, including Nikolai Bukharin
     (1888-1938), confessed to similar charges and were executed. Also
     to go was Yagoda, Stalin's hand-picked head of the NKVD.

     These public show trials and the secret trials of the generals
     provide only a faint idea of the extent of the Great Terror. Every
     member of Lenin's Politburo except Stalin and Trotsky were either
     killed or committed suicide to avoid execution. A partial list of
     those who ceased to exist would include:

          --two vice-commissars of foreign affairs
          --most of the ambassadors in the Soviet diplomatic corps
          --numerous members of the Central Committee of the
          Communist Party
          --almost all the military judges who had sat in judgment
          and had condemned
          --the Red Army generals
          --two successive heads of the NKVD
          --the prime ministers and chief officials of all the
          non-Russian Soviet republics
          --the director of the Lenin Library
          --the man who had led the charge against the Winter
          Palace in 1917
          --a 70 year old schoolteacher who owned a book which
          included a picture of Trotsky
          --an 85 year old woman who made the sign of the Cross
          when a funeral passed
          --a man who took down a portrait of Stalin while
          painting a wall

     Not since the days of the Inquisition had the test of ideological
     loyalty been applied to so many people. And not since the days of
     the French Revolution had so many died for failing the test.
     Arrests multiplied tenfold in 1936 and 1937. Anything was used as
     an excuse for an arrest: dancing too long with a Japanese
     diplomat, not clapping loudly enough or long enough after one of
     Stalin's speeches, buying groceries from a former kulak. People
     went to work one day and simply did not return -- they were either
     killed immediately or sent to the GULAG. The NKVD employed
     millions of secret informers who infiltrated every workplace. Most
     academics and writers came to expect arrest, exile and prison as
     part of their lives. A historian could be sent to exile for
     describing Joan of Arc as nervous and tense just when the general
     party line wished her described as calm in the face of death. When
     a linguistic theory that held that all language was derived from
     four sounds was accepted as official, professors who opposed this
     view had their books confiscated. By 1938 at least one million
     people were in prison, some 8.5 million had been arrested and sent
     to the GULAG and nearly 800,000 had been executed. In fact, before
     the KGB was dissolved in 1991, it was revealed that 47 million
     Soviet citizens had died as a result of forced collectivization
     and the purges. That figure, of course, represents the recorded
     tally. How many more people died without being recorded is a
     matter of conjecture.

     There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Stalin wanted to destroy
     any possibility of future conspiracies. So he trumped up charges
     against anyone who could conceivably become a member of a regime
     that might make the attempt to replace his own. He did this to
     maintain his power. He also did this, as his biographers are quick
     to point out, because he was paranoid. Despite the upheaval of the
     constant purge trials, the Soviet state did not break down. New
     bureaucrats were found to replace the old. New Stalin-trained
     officials filled all top-level posts and terror became one of the
     principal features of the government itself. In the end, the
     purgers were also purged. They were the scapegoats used by Stalin
     to carry out the Great Terror. Meanwhile, Trotsky had been out of
     Russia for years but he continued to use his pen to attack Stalin
     in his journal, The Bulletin of the Opposition. In Stalin's eyes,
     Trotsky could not be left free.

     Stalin's purges baffled nearly all foreign observers. He saw
     threats everywhere. Were they real? Leading Communists confessed
     to crimes against the State they never committed. Some were
     brainwashed, others tortured. Still others, like Nikolai Bukharin,
     were shot in the head. And eventually, even Trotsky was murdered
     in Mexico City in 1940, an ice pick to the head.

     Soviet life in the 1930s, purge trials aside, was one of constant
     propaganda and indoctrination. Party members lectured to workers
     in factories and peasants in the field. Newspapers, films and
     radio broadcast endless socialist achievements and capitalist
     evil. Art, literature, film and science were politicized --
     sovietized. The intellectual elite of the 1930s were ordered by
     Stalin to become "engineers of human souls." Russian nationalism
     had to be glorified. Capitalism was portrayed as the greatest of
     evils. Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great were resurrected and
     depicted as the forerunners of Stalin. History had to be
     rewritten. "Who controls the past, controls the future; who
     controls the present controls the past," wrote Orwell. Stalin
     rarely appeared in public but his presence was everywhere:
     portraits, statues, books, films and quotations from his idiotic
     books surrounded the Soviet man and woman.

     Life was hard inside Soviet Russia and the standard of living
     declined in the 1930s, despite Stalin's claim that the Five Year
     Plans had modernized the nation. Black bread and shabby clothes
     came to represent the Russian masses. There were constant
     shortages of food although heavily taxed vodka was always
     available. Housing was poor and in short supply.

     Although life was hard, the Soviet people were by no means
     hopeless. The average Russian saw himself heroically building the
     world's first socialist society while capitalism was crumbling in
     the west. On the positive side, the Soviet worker received social
     benefits such as old age pensions, free medical services, free
     education and even day care facilities. Unemployment was
     technically non-existent and there was the possibility of personal
     advancement. The key to advancement was specialized skills and a
     technical education. Rapid industrialization under the Five Year
     Plans required massive numbers of experts, technocrats, skilled
     workers, engineers and managers. So the State provided economic
     incentives for those people who would faithfully serve the needs
     of the State. But for the unskilled, low wages were the rule. But,
     the State dangled high salaries and special housing to those
     members of the growing technical and managerial elite. This elite
     joined forces with the "engineers of the human mind" to produce a
     new social class -- and all this in a supposedly classless

     Stalin's ego mania and paranoia eventually contributed to the near
     destruction of Soviet Russia. His perpetual and pathological lying
     and deception, culminating in the infamous purge trials of the
     1930s, took the Soviet Union down a road out of which it is now
     slowly recovering, if, in fact, it ever will recover. I am
     reminded of the political history of the Roman Empire following
     the death of Augustus Caesar in 14 A.D. First Caligula, then Nero,
     Commodus, Severus and so on -- 250 years of military
     assassinations, strangulations and poisoning.

     In the 1770s, Edward Gibbon sat down to complete his major work of
     historical scholarship, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
     In it, he says, "The story of Rome's ruin is simple and obvious
     and instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed we
     should rather be surprised that it had subsided for so long....
     The stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight."
     Now, I don't mean to take the position that Soviet Russia was
     identical to the Roman Empire, but I do think that we should be
     surprised that Stalinist Russia existed for so long. In
     retrospect, however, we should acknowledge the terror, criminality
     and totalitarian regime of Joseph Stalin. This is indeed what
     Nikita Khrushchev did in his SECRET SPEECH of 1956, three years
     after Stalin's death.

     Despite all that has been said, popular memory reveals that of all
     the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, none was more
     terrifying than that of Nazi Germany. As a product of Hitler,
     Germany's social and political situation, and the general attack
     on liberalism, Nazi Germany emerged rapidly after 1933 when Hitler
     came to power. The Nazis smashed all independent organizations,
     mobilized the economy and began the systematic extermination of
     the Jewish and other non-German populations.

     The story of Hitler is well-known -- there is an entire Hitler
     industry of book publishing these days, unmatched only by books on
     the JFK assassination. Why this might be the case is rather
     obvious. Hitler seemed to be evil incarnate. So too was Stalin.
     But then again, the west did not fight a war, not a hot one, at
     least, against Stalin. We also have more information regarding the
     Nazis than we do Stalin, whose regime was always clouded in
     secrecy. The Nazis, on the other hand, kept good records. In his
     now classic work, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William
     Shirer mentions that in 1945 the U.S. First Army seized 485 tons
     of records of the German Foreign Office in the Harz Mountains as
     they were about to be burned on orders from Berlin. Such a figure,
     it must be added, represents only part of the whole.

     Hitler was born in Austria in 1889. He dropped out of school at
     age 14 and then spent four years as a tramp before he left his
     home for Vienna to become an artist. He applied to the Imperial
     Academy of Fine Arts and was denied admission. He was told he had
     no artistic talent. Back on the streets, the tramp Hitler began to
     absorb a nationalist ideology. In Vienna he discovered that the
     Germans were a superior race of people and the natural masters of
     the inferior races of Europe. He also learned his anti-Semitism,
     racism and hatred of all Slavic people. An ex-monk by the name of
     Lanz von Liebenfels inspired Hitler's twisted Darwinism.
     Liebenfels stressed the superiority of the Germans, the
     inevitability of racial conflict and the inferiority of the Jews.
     The master race, by its very nature, had to grow. Selective
     breeding and the systematic sterilization of inferior races was
     the answer.

     When war broke out in 1914, Hitler believed he had found
     salvation. The struggle and discipline of war gave meaning to
     Hitler's life. Life was struggle and so too was war. What better
     atmosphere for Hitler to further develop his nationalist and
     social Darwinist sentiments. But when defeat came in 1918,
     Hitler's world was shattered. The war had been his reason for
     living. What could have happened? Well, for Hitler, the Jews and
     Marxists had stabbed Germany in the back. Therefore, these
     parasitic intellectuals ought to be removed.

     Back home following the war, Hitler began to make wild speeches to
     small audiences in the streets. He didn't care if many people
     heard him out, only that he could articulate his message of
     anti-Semitism and German nationalism. And people did listen to
     Hitler. And they began to take seriously what he gesticulated on
     the streets. By 1921, Hitler had become the leader of a small but
     growing political party. It is interesting to note that Hitler
     shared very little of the interests of this party, instead, he
     simply took it over because he needed a party of his own. The
     German Workers' Party denounced all Jews, Marxists and liberals.
     They promised national socialism. They used propaganda and
     theatrical rallies. They wore special badges and uniforms and as
     they marched, robotlike, through the streets of Münich, they
     rendered their special salute. Most effective of all their tools
     was the mass rally -- a rally made for mass man. Songs were sung,
     slogans were cast about. It was a revivalist movement, or at least
     it had the atmosphere of a religious revival. Hitler was a
     charismatic speaker and easily worked his audiences up into a

     Party membership began to grow. In 1923, Hitler launched a plot to
     march on Münich, a plot that eventually failed and sent Hitler to
     prison for five years. At his trial, Hitler presented his own
     program to solve Germany's problems. The audience listened and he
     began to attract their attention. He dared utter what everyone
     knew all along but were afraid to express. A new wave of converts
     began to side with the German Workers' Party. While in prison,
     Hitler wrote Mein Kampf. Its basic themes were German racial
     superiority, virulent anti-Semitism, the concept of Lebensraum, or
     living space, pan-Germanism and the necessity of yet another war.
     The Nazis now had their Bible.

     By 1928, the Nazi Party now had 100,000 members and Hitler had
     absolute control. The Nazis were still a marginal political group
     but world events in 1929 and 1930 produced a new mania for the
     Hitler program. Unemployment stood at 1.3 million in 1929. The
     following year, it had risen to 5 million while industrial
     production in 1932 fell by more than 50%. In that same year, 43%
     of all Germans were unemployed. Hitler now began to promise
     Germany economic salvation as well as military and political
     restitution for the "war guilt clause" specified at Versailles. He
     focused on the middle and lower middle classes---the office
     workers, civil servants and teachers. These were the people who
     had barely survived through the period of wild inflation following
     World War One. These were the people who were begging for

     The Nazis also made their appeal to GERMAN YOUTH. Hitler and his
     aides were, in general, much younger than other leading
     politicians. In 1931, for instance, 40% of all Nazis were under
     thirty years of age, 70% were under 40. This is quite different
     from what we would find in Stalinist Russia at the same time.
     National recovery, rapid change and personal advancement formed
     the main appeal of the Nazi Party. By 1932, Hitler had gained the
     support of key people in the army and in big business. These
     individuals thought they could use Hitler for their own financial
     interests. So, they accepted Hitler's demand to join the
     government only if he became Chancellor. Since the government was
     a coalition consisting of two Nazis and nine conservatives, they
     reasoned that Hitler could be used and controlled. And so, on
     January 30th, 1933, Hitler legally became the Chancellor of

     Hitler moved quickly to establish a dictatorship. He used terror
     to gain power while maintaining an air of legality throughout. He
     called for new elections to Parliament and then had the Parliament
     building burned to the ground. He blamed the Communists for this
     act thus helping to get them out of the way and out of any
     possible public following. He convinced President Hindenburg to
     sign an emergency act that [1] abolished the freedom of speech and
     [2] abolished the freedom of assembly. On March 23, 1933, the
     Nazis pushed the Enabling Act through Parliament, thus making
     Hitler dictator for a period of four years. Communist Party
     members were arrested, the Catholic Center Party withdrew all
     opposition and the Social Democratic Party was dissolved. So it
     was that Germany, like Soviet Russia under Stalin, became a one
     party State.

     In the economic sphere, all strikes were made illegal and unions
     were abolished. The members of professional organizations such as
     doctors, lawyers, professors and engineers were swallowed up in
     Nazi-based organizations. In the cultural sphere, the press now
     feel under total state control. Blacklisting became the rule,
     books were burned, modern art was prohibited and
     anti-intellectualism became the rule of the day.

     Hitler promised the German people work and bread and he delivered
     both. As most shrewd politicians are capable, Hitler gave the
     people what they wanted the most. He launched a massive public
     works program to pull Germany out of the Depression.
     Superhighways, office buildings, huge stadiums and public
     buildings were constructed at a rapid pace. By 1936, however,
     government spending was now being directed almost entirely to the
     military, necessary for the coming war Hitler had already
     specified in Mein Kampf. Meanwhile, unemployment dropped steadily.
     In January 1937, unemployment stood at 7 million. Twelve months
     later it had fallen to 1 million and by 1938, Germany witnessed a
     shortage of labor. The standard of living increased by 20% and
     business profits were finally increasing.

     What all this recovery showed was that Hitler was more than show
     -- he was no Mussolini who made the trains run on time. No, Hitler
     had accomplished something for Germany and the German people. For
     those Germans who were not Jews, Slavs, Gypsies or communists,
     liberals, non-Germans, or insane or weak, Hitler's government
     meant greater opportunity and greater equality. Older class
     barriers were replaced by individuals who, like Hitler, were
     rootless and had risen to the top. The Nazis tolerated privilege
     and wealth, but only when it served the Party. Big business was
     constantly ordered around thus making, once again, the invisible
     hand of Adam Smith, a thing of the past. Of course, you can
     identify a similar tendency in the United States with the New Deal
     and Stalin's Five Year Plans in Soviet Russia. Planning was, in
     other words, essential.

     Although economic recovery and increased opportunity won Hitler
     support, Nazism was totally guided by two main ideas: Lebensraum
     and race. As Germany regained economic strength and built up its
     military, Hitler formed alliances with other dictators and began
     to expand. Meanwhile, western Europe simply sat back and tried to
     appease Hitler in order to avoid another World War.

     War did break out in 1939 for one specific reason -- Hitler's
     ambitions were without limit. The Nazi armies scored impressive
     victories until late in 1942. Hitler's aggression was so strong
     that a mighty coalition of nations was needed to destroy his
     growing empire. By the summer of 1943, the tide had turned and two
     years later, Germany lay in ruins, utterly defeated. The one
     thousand year Reich was decidedly short-lived.

     The Second World War marked the climax of the Age of Anxiety.
     Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany rejected all liberal ideas.
     They tried to subordinate everything to the State. Basic human
     rights were subjected to brutality and to terror. Whereas Stalin,
     however, was content to extend his control over the Soviet Union,
     it was Hitler who aimed at unlimited territorial and racial
     aggression of a master race. Hitler made war inevitable: first
     with France, then with Britain and Russia and ultimately with the
     United States.

                       by Steven Kreis