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National Socialism and Fascism By Hexham, Irving

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1204-1
Published: 01/10/2016
Retrieved: 14 July 2024, from


To appreciate that the various forms of fascism, particularly German National Socialism under Adolf Hitler’s Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP, National Socialist German Workers' Party commonly known as the Nazi Party; 1920–1945) and Italian Fascism under Benito Mussolini’s Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF, National Fascist Party; 1922–1943), are embedded within modernism, one must first recognize that the reality and horror of the Holocaust has distorted our understanding of Nazism in three significant ways. First, until at least the early 1990s the crude anti-Semitism of National Socialists like Julius Streicher (1885–1946) and Johann van Leers (1902–1965) prevented scholars from taking seriously the notion that National Socialism is an ideology that intellectuals helped define. Secondly, because anti-Semitism did not obviously manifest itself among Italian modernists and fascists, it discouraged comparison. Thirdly, starting in the 1950s many surviving National Socialists, who were formerly passionate SS-intellectuals like Sigrid Hunke (1913–1999) (Poewe 2011) or like the head of the Press Division of Ribbentrop’s Foreign Office Paul Karl Schmidt (1911–1997) (Plöger 2009), among many others, reinvented themselves.

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Hexham, Irving. National Socialism and Fascism. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

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