Adolf Hitler And Mussolini

     At the close of World War One tensions still rode high between countries, trade
slowed and unemployment rose. A new form of government was also used,
totalitarianism. This form of government means there is only one leader to make
decisions and thus they killed or jailed all opponents. Mussolini and Hitler
used this form of government after World War One to make their countries world
powers. Although Hitlerís Germany and Mussoliniís Italy were both fascist
their lives were extremely different. This is evident in their early life,
wartime experiences, aims, how the came to power and how they ruled their
respective nations. There was very little similarity between Hitler and

Mussoliniís early lives. Schooling was not compulsory in Germany but Hitler
accepted the privilege of education and became an exceptional art student. It is
quite a different story for Mussolini who very rarely attended school but
educated himself. Hitler and Mussolini were different in their original career
choices as much as they later realised they wanted to be supreme leaders. After

Hitlerís mother died in 1907 and he failed school, he moved to Vienna to gain
entrance to the Academy of Fine Arts. He was rejected and the next 6 years he
spent in Vienna shaped him into the Jew and Aryan hater he is seen as today.

After being forced to do military service Mussolini moved regularly joining many
socialist newspapers before settling in Italy. In Italy he joined the Avanti and
soon became the editor in 1912. Both Hitler and Mussoliniís early lives were
totally different but it still shaped them as leaders of much the same political
parties. There is very little similar in the achievements made by Hitler and

Mussolini whilst in power. Prior to Hitler and Mussoliniís instatement a
leader of their respective nations there was a large employment problem in both
countries. In Germany, 1933, the unemployment rate was almost 26%, after just
six years of Nazi rule over Germany the rate had dropped dramatically to just

0.5% (Wilmat, Eric: 1977 pg 42). Mussolini also rectified Italyís unemployment
problem but over a longer period of time. Both Hitler and Mussolini built up
their armies while in power however, it was Hitler that really loaded his army
in fact he conscripted five times the legal number. Hitler made better use of
his army seizing Poland in 19 days, Denmark and Norway in two months, Holland,

Belgium, Luxembourg and France in six weeks. Whereas it took Mussolini many
months just to take Ethiopia. Hitler achieved more than Mussolini did whilst in
power and what gave him the advantage over his opponents was the experience he
gained from World War 1. The similarities between Hitler and Mussoliniís
wartime experiences are very limited. At the outbreak of World War 1 Mussolini
aroused anger by suggesting to the socialist party leaders that Italy enter the
war against Germany. In 1914 Mussolini was expelled from the socialist party. At
the same time Hitler was being found unfit after a physical examination to join
the Austrain army. Hitler later moved to Munich to join the German army where he
was enlisted as a front line soldier. Mussolini entered the war some months
later also in the front line. During Hitlerís time in the war he was quoted as
saying "Conquest is not only a right, but a duty". Hitler also won the Iron

Cross, one of the most prestigious medals of the German army before being
wounded in 1916. Mussolini was likewise forced out of the war because of wounds
in 1917. The military experience gained by both later helped them conquer
nations. Hitler and Mussoliniís goals are surprisingly different for both
being based on fascism. The basic aims of both parties were similar with the
leaders wanting the citizens to believe in their superior culture and to exist
for the good of the state. Hitler also expressed very right wing goals where as

Mussoliniís were more confined. Some of the more right wing goals expressed by

Hitler were to conquer and colonise Eastern Europe, prevent non-German
immigration and eradicate Jews. This statement from Wilmat backs up that Hitler
loathed Jews, "was there any form of filth or crime ... without at least one

Jew involved" (page 54:1997). These extreme aims from Hitler made the
difference between Hitler and Mussoliniís aims. These aims were expressed in
the way the leaders ruled their respective nations. The most similar section in
both Hitler and Mussoliniís totalitarian regime was the path they took to
power. Whilst in parliament Hiltler and Mussolini gathered small groups of
followers they would use to bully voters, Hitlerí SS and SA and Mussoliniís

Brown Shirts. These gangs did influence the parliament because voters feared for
their lives so their parties did benefit from this. The real driving point
behind their parties was they both expressed what voters wanted to hear. They
spoke of greater job prospects and rejuvenation of their country, which was
essential in Germany with 4.2 billion marks equalling $1 (1923) (Wilma: 1997 pg

14). Both were finally given the opportunity to form a government and carried
out their election promises. The way in which the similarities were shown in
both of their roads to power helped make their way of ruling so alike. Their
goals were also made alike by their fascist ideas. The ruling of Germany and

Italy were done very differently by the two leaders. Hitlerís rule was cold
and calculating, his only joys were the tramping of military boots in Nazi
parades and the huge applause at Nazi rallies. On the other hand Mussolini tried
to appear to his people as a "superman" wrestling bear cubs, skiing the Alps
an piloting his own single engine plane. Mussoliniís rule was very dramatic in
uning extremely exaggerated hand gestures during his speeches, some even refer
to his speeches as a performance from a talented actor. It is these determining
factors that make Hitler and Mussolini extremely different leaders. Apart from
both being fascist and being the leader of a totalitarian regime, Hitler and

Mussolini were very different people. Hitlerís early life, wartime
experiences, aims, how he came to power and how he ruled Germany were all
different to Mussoliniís rule over Italy. Hitlerís dour and colourless view
of life contrasted greatly with Mussoliniís larger than life approach to his
leadership. Both leaders left their countries with a economic and social debt to
the Allies which is still strong in the minds of many older members of the


Brooman, Josh. Germany 1918-45. 1996. Addison Wesley Longman. England. -

Crystal, David. Biographical Dictionary. 1996. Cambridge University - Douglas,

Roy. The World War 1939-1945. 1990 Routledge London - Geary, Dick. Hitler

Nazism. 1993. Lancaster. New York. - Greg, Thie. Nazi Power in Germany. 1989.

Hutchinson Education England -
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