History Optional Paper-2 Solution – 1991: Q.5 (d)
Q.5 (d) “Comparison of the fascist regime in Italy with the National Socialist regime of Germany is almost inevitable. The similarities are obvious, but there is one point of difference which is worth mentioning.” Comment.
German Nazism and Italian fascism had many similarities like both:
(a) were anti-communist, anti-democracy,
(b) believed in totalitarian state,
(c) attempted to make the country self sufficient,
(d) glorified war,
(e) emphasized the supremacy of the state.
But there were significant differences between fascism and Nazism of which one is the major one: Rejection of the concept of race and anti-Semitism is what differentiated the Fascist ideology from Nazism the most.
Fascism believes in the ‘corporatism’ of all elements in society to form an ‘Organic State’. They were not racial. For Fascists, the state was the most important element. The State is all embracing and no human exists beyond it.
Fascism was fueled by nationalism but it did not reject other nationalities. Mussolini focused on territorial expansion rather than creation of ethnically “clean“ Italian state.
When Mussolini finally introduced the anti-Semitic laws and declared Italians the descendants of the “Aryan race“ in 1938 (when Mussolini adopts the policy to enumerate Hitler), they were perceived as un-Italian and even un-Fascist.
Nazism differed from Fascism by the concept of racial superiority and inferiority. According to the Nazi doctrine, the races were classified as superior and inferior with the Germanic or Aryan race on the top and the blacks and Jews on the bottom of the racial pyramid.
Unlike Fascism that glorified the state as the highest ideal, Nazism considered ‘Aryanism’ as more important and viewed the state as living space of “the master race” i.e. ethnic Germans.