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Nazi Germany - Fascist Italy

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Autor:   •  November 11, 2010  •  1,505 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,540 Views

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During a world economic crisis, two similar totalitarian regimes were able to emerge in Germany and Italy. The fascist party was led by Benito Mussolini in Italy, while the National socialists were led by Adolf Hitler in Germany. The education played a key role in these two nations, as since the future of Italy and Germany was in the schools. The public image of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were key factors in the popularity of the two leaders. Propaganda was an essential tool in both countries because it allowed for the political parties to sway the viewpoints of the public to their liking. These two natural allies, Italy and Germany, however very diverse from each other, can be equated in many respects.

Largo ai giovani, Italian for "make way for the young" was one of many mottos used by Mussolini's regime. This saying highlights an extremely vital aspect of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, the education system. One of the main, if not key purposes in the education system was the creating of future soldiers. Another chief element in the education system was the existence of after school youth movements. Another interesting aspect was the role females served in the education system under both dictatorships. The education systems in Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy were both very similar.

The main priority in the education system of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany was the creation of future soldiers. In Italy, boys were told that, "War is to the male what childbearing is to the female." The boys were stressed that fighting was as natural to the male as giving birth to the female. In Germany, the Nazis had modified the science curriculum to include the study of the principles of shooting, military aviation science, bridge building and the impact of poisonous gasses. (History) In both nations, physical training was a major part of school. If students did not pass these tests, they would be expelled from the school. Those with outstanding physical fitness were placed into special schools where they were to become high-ranking military officers or members of the SS. According to Hitler, "a young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel."

Another important component of the education system was the after school youth movements which students participated in. In Italy, there existed the Opera Nazionale Balilla (ONB). The goal of the ONB was to create "Fascist soldiers who would be conservators of national values and to secure military garrison of the new Italy." In the ONB, boys participated in many military exercises such as marching and using imitation guns. Benefits were included in the ONB; members were promised a head start in their careers and special treatment in their military services. In Germany, students were part of the Hitler-Youth. The task of the Hitler-Youth was to prepare boys for military service. In this program, some of the exercises boys participated in were marching, bayonet drills, grenade throwing, trench digging, map reading, gas defense, use of dugouts, how to get under barbed wire, and pistol shooting. (History) These youth movements were important parts of the education system and society as a whole.

An interesting ingredient of the education system in these two regimes is the role females played. The main objective of teaching girls was to produce ideal mothers. In Italy, activities for girls consisted of courses in first aid, exercises, games, competitions, trips, and lectures on fascism. (History) In Germany, the girl's curriculum included domestic science and eugenics. In domestic science girls were taught how to become the perfect mother and wife, while in eugenics they were taught how to find the perfect husband. (History) Girls even had their own section in the Hitler Youth, where they were prepared for motherhood. In both countries, girls were taught to bear as many children as possible. The role females played in the education system of these two nations are solely for producing the epitome of the perfect mother.

One thing every great leader must have is a strong public image. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini are no exceptions. Hitler stressed his public image as an almost divine superman. Likewise, Mussolini stressed his public image as an aggressive macho man. Both of these figures placed strong emphasis on their public image.

Adolf Hitler paid excessive attention to maintaining his ideal public image. Hitler always kept select posture and style during his public engagements. He never allowed the public to see any human faults, such as wearing glasses. His celibacy was portrayed as the sacrifice of personal happiness for the welfare of the nation. It also stressed his bachelor status which was used to favor his popularity with the female population. This bachelor image was again stressed by that fact that he was never seen in public with his long time girlfriend Eva Braun. Pictures of Hitler constantly portrayed him as aloof, proud, sexless, distant, and almost divine. (Pollard) At the time, Hitler, with the aid of propaganda, was successful in creating his ideal public image.

As well, Benito Mussolini spent extensive time in building his public image. However, his image slightly differed from the Nazi leader. Mussolini's public image showed him as an aggressive, even macho man. Many of the photos or posters depicting Mussolini show him in extraordinary, theatrical, natural poses. These pictures and posters show Mussolini in many different


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