The Story of Fascism in Europe

The Story of Fascism in Europe

2018, History  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 7.10/10 from 83 users.

Consider yourself lucky if you have heard the term fascism before. It means that you probably studied or read about it enough to know that it should NOT be making any kind of comeback today or in the foreseeable future. Fascism is a nationalist political philosophy and a form of government headed by a charismatic dictator or tyrant that holds absolute authority and controls all aspects of industry, governance, culture, and society. Fascist leaders have zero tolerance for any form of criticism and dissent and allow violence to control the population.

In the 25+ years between the end of the First World War and the start of the second, three European countries, Germany, Italy and Spain, would become Fascist states, significantly affecting human history. This film takes you back to the early 20th century where you can follow step by step and see how fascism quickly rose to power with devastating consequences.

Discover the political and socio-economic context and situation for these three countries immediately after World War I. The Great War was grueling, with loss of life in the scale never before seen in history. Many people were angry, scared and upset due to a mix of the shame from losing the war, having ineffective governments and a lousy economy. These factors made it easy for charismatic leaders like Hitler and Mussolini to manipulate and finesse an angry populace, desperate for real social change, to vote them into power legally.

Once legally elected these leaders then grabbed more power unconstitutionally and justified these acts as the only way to prevent threats to the country and their "superior" way of life. Individuality, personal freedoms and choice soon fell by the wayside and worse; it led to genocide and another, even bigger World War.

Fascism is still around in the 21st century, though maybe not in the scale as back then. But it is good to learn from past mistakes, and this film is a great way to help discover more about it, to think critically and identify the signs of any potential re-emergence in fascist beliefs.

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Michael B. Loughlin
1 year ago

After studying fascism almost my whole life, I can say that this film is better than nothing, but Rick makes some generalizations which are not very helpful. William Shirer's study of The Thrird Reich is not exactly the latest thing out. Fascism is a movement, a regime, or an ideology, however vague. It has been defined and explained in countless ways: 1) as a term of execration, 2) as a generic type, 3) in a nominalist way with each version being unique, 4) as a palingenetic form of populist ultra nationalism--make my country great again so to speak, 5) as a bit like pornography--hard to define but you know it when you see it, 6) different from Nazism or its variations, 7) as one version of totalitarianism, and on and on and on. Some definitions are helpful; some much less so. But a knowledge of the complexity tells you something about the problem of defining and explaining fascism, and Rick's three examples are each generally seen as quite different. So this film will add to you knowledge if you have read very little on fascism.

1 year ago

History is repeated.

Celestial Prophet
1 year ago

History repeats...

Ed Gleason
2 years ago

Remember that Rick Steves is a tourist and is out of his depth as a historian. The superficial parallels made here could fit any national leader. Is there anyone in politics who didn't promise more jobs? Another example might be how Hitler's promises of hope and change make him just like Obama who campaigned on the same empty terms.
If you want a serious treatment of Adolf Hitler, read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

2 years ago

What a no-sense item, this 'documentary'. It's an answer that's no answer at all. Political-correct thinking prevents people from analysing what went on in those days in correct terms.

If I would suggest to anyone one thing, it would be to take racist thinking to it's logical conclusion, that is: it is not true, therefore it does not exit as a societal phenomena, societal problem or threat. Therefore, anti-racists are the the only real racists for they keep alive the thought of humankind in terms of race.

The other suggestion is to judge the term 'discrimination' anew. Since discrimination is what all people do all the time, one may conclude it's about preferences, rather than rejection of others.

Everyone knows about the destruction the nazis displayed. There's one kind of distruction by the nazis that always remained hidden, namely the destruction of concepts of words and their original meaning, such as 'socialism' or 'race' but also of 'fatherland' or 'nationalism'.

2 years ago

Orban of Hungry is not a fascist, he's a democratic conservative in a majority culturally conservative society. The German people have rightly been well educated/indoctrinated to fear fascism and racism but also to such an extent their government adopted an immigration policy which will irrevocably change their society forever...possibly even sow the seeds for the rise of fascism again.

2 years ago

And people say it can never happen again....

2 years ago

This looks/sounds eerily familiar

Tom Pain
2 years ago

An even handed and informed documentary on a topic that is as relevant now as it ever was. Rick Steves does a brilliant job. Highly recommended.

2 years ago

Very interesting film