Economic Depression and Dictators: Crash Course European History #37

Hi I’m John Green and this is Crash Course
European History. So, despite improvement in living conditions
across much of Europe after 1925, wartime resentments and disruption lingered.
and then a momentous event in 1929 gradually turned into a wide-ranging disaster: in that
year, the U.S. stock market crashed.What came after is known as the Great Depression, and
today, we’re gonna talk about how that impacted Europe, and how it coincided with the rise
of dictators in Europe. [Intro]
the stock market crash came after several years of citizens enthusiastically “playing
the market” with borrowed money, and commentators had fueled the rise in stock prices by saying
that the stock market was on a permanently high plateau, implying that prices could never
fall so borrowing funds to “buy on margin” was a sure thing. Listen, I’m not a financial advisor, so
take this with a grain of salt, but when people start saying that buying stocks is a sure
thing, it ain’t! You can’t time the market, and there are
no sure things! Except for death…even taxes are not a sure
thing. Just ask Amazon. Anyaway, having made a ton of money while
Europeans were bankrupting themselves in World War I, the United States had become a huge
source of loans for financing postwar recovery in Europe and elsewhere, as well as agricultural
and industrial modernization, and the creation of new businesses. But as the stock market dropped, bankers began
demanding payment for loans that had been used to buy stocks or invest in major projects,
including international ones. And in many cases, these loans couldn’t
be paid back, causing banks to fail; businesses also failed as consumers had less
money to make purchases, and workers lost jobs by the millions. When the economy is working, its virtuous
cycles seem endless; and when the economy stops working, its vicious cycles also seem
endless. And by 1933, six million Germans were unemployed,
that was one-third of the total workforce. In terms of keeping their jobs, women were
actually sometimes better off than men–but only because they received drastically lower
wages, and so single women at least were less likely to be laid off. It was men who came to epitomize the unemployed. Unemployed women could pick up bits of outwork
such as laundering and childcare, but men had few such opportunities. And so the ideology of men as the main breadwinner
was threatened; some men pretended to go to work even after they had lost jobs. Adolf Hitler, like Benito Mussolini, said
he wanted to restore not just the reputation of his country but the war-shattered masculinity
of the individual man. Hard times further undermined that sense of
strong and secure manhood, but Stormtroopers felt they were reviving German masculinity
by marching through neighborhoods and beating people up Communists and Jewish People. Their violence also discredited the democratically
run Weimar Republic, which couldn’t keep order. And Nazis did employ men via this paramilitary
organization, the kind of jobs that the Weimar Republic seemed unable to create. Of course, this is ultimately an example of
only solving problems that you yourself have created…a long-standing tradition in authoritarian
regimes. Meanwhile in the Soviet Union, youth were
flocking to Joseph Stalin as they did in Germany to Hitler. By 1929 Stalin had consolidated his power
in part by bringing thousands of new people to serve in the post-Lenin government, at
the local, regional, and national level. But the Soviets had big problems, beginning
with food scarcity, even though it contained huge amounts of fertile land. Stalin put the blame on kulaks, or well-to-do
peasants, which was an extension of Lenin’s demonization of Kulaks. Lenin once ordered, “Hang (absolutely hang,
in full view of the people) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks.” Lenin ordered many such killings, actually,
and believed ongoing violence was essential to revolution, a practice that Stalin dramatically
expanded. So, in Russian kulak means “fist” and
for Communists the property-owning kulaks held communism in their greedy grip, by hiding
surplus crops from the government. So Stalin roused Soviet youth to a war on
kulaks, calling them enemies wedded to individualism and personal wealth. However, as with Nazism, neighbors often denounced
anyone whose property they coveted. In Germany, Hitler built unity among his followers
by pointing to the false worldwide Jewish conspiracy that supposedly had one goal—the
annihilation of the Aryan race. and likewise, Stalin continued the Bolshevik trend of slaughtering
supposed enemies of the people, in this case the “bloodsuckers, cattle, swine, loathsome,
repulsive [kulaks]; they had no souls, they stank” as one Soviet citizen recalled in
his memoirs. In both cases, the dehumanization of the Other
was profound–I mean, you can see it in that quote, actually, as people are not called
people but “cattle” and “swine.” But Stalin’s goal was not only to fortify
communism through the murder of enemies. He also wanted to reorganize the agricultural
economy by seizing individual farms and converting them into collective farms that would replace
private ownership. and Ukraine was one of the major agricultural
regions of the USSR, which made Ukrainians especially vulnerable to the widespread violence
of the Stalin regime. Rebelling against the murder and oppression
of their friends and neighbors, individual farmers sometimes even slaughtered livestock
and destroyed crops. But the execution and persecution of kulaks,
friends of kulaks, and anyone else against whom there were grudges did nothing to increase
agricultural productivity. In fact, the communalization of farms lowered
yields and caused a famine. In total, Stalin’s purges and the resulting
famine likely resulted in at least 10 million deaths by the mid-1930s.
and then Stalin turned to other elements in the population to “purge.” As famine unfolded, Communist leaders found
more enemies, this time Bolsheviks themselves—both high and low—as well as the military, many
of whom confessed in their “show” trials (after having been tortured for days). Some faithful friends of Stalin even admitted
to having disloyal thoughts if not deeds, which was adequate sin to justify execution. On the eve of his death, one old Bolshevik
thanked Stalin for devising “the great and bold political idea behind the general purge.” Which speaks to how deeply propaganda can
work on humans. Rapid industrialization in a series of five-year
plans accompanied the purges. Stalin especially admired the United States
and aimed to match their modernization. He had entire cities built around new factories
and mining operations. For instance, with the assistance of U.S.
and German consultants, the city of Magnitogorsk became the center of Soviet steel production. The government summoned workers, both men
and women, from across the vast Soviet lands to work there and in other factories. The living conditions were often terrible. The working conditions difficult or even lethal. Yet, as one woman lathe operator explained
proudly, “We mastered this new profession—completely new to us—with great pleasure.” And to many both inside the was utopia in
the making. Idealists from all over the world flocked
to what promised to be a wonderland of egalitarian achievement. And its important to note that Hitler also
attracted admirers from outside of Germany, such as industrialist Henry Ford and aviator
Charles Lindbergh in the United States. Which brings us back to Germany. In the fall of 1932, elections in Germany
saw the communists and the Nazis receive similarly strong support, although the Nazis actually
lost a few seats in the election. But afterwards, conservative leaders persuaded
President Hindenberg–for whom, incidentally, history’s most disastrous airship was named–to
appoint Hitler chancellor. The theory was that he would be easier to
control than the Communists, but with the backing of his passionate supporters, Hitler
began to dismantle Germany’s democratic system–which at that point had only really
existed for a bit more than a decade. Through intimidation and brutal treatment
of elected representatives, Hitler soon passed an Enabling Act that allowed him virtually
unchecked power. I mean, rarely has an act been more aptly
named than the enabling act. He then moved in many directions in order
to create a “people’s community” or volksgemeinschaft. He had a protection squad created—the SS
(Schutzstaffel)—that rounded up dissenters or anyone not seen as meeting Nazi standards
of proper German-ness. Ways of ‘not being properly German’ included
being Jewish, being gay, being a Communist, or being of Roma ancestry, among many others. The SS had vast powers to imprison so-called
“enemies” in concentration camps or to execute them. In “the night of the long knives” in 1934
Hitler’s forces massacred hundreds of Nazis who had called for a restoration of Nazi purity
by ending alliances with businessmen and military elite. That massacre purged the so-called “socialist”
or anti-elitist element in the original Party in order to emphasize German nationalism alone. Nazis held massive book burnings; Nazi youth
groups built loyalty from an early age; and it became common for young Nazis to turn in
anyone who uttered criticism of the regime, including their own parents and other relatives. Alongside arrests and purges, Nazi policy
turned to deficit financing to build infrastructure such as modern highways that would put men
back to work; by 1936, fewer than 1.6 million men were still unemployed. Hitler justified deficits by saying he would
pay for them via future conquests. The Nazis were also concerned with reversing
population decline, and so they instituted loans for couples giving birth to babies that
were deemed pure Aryans, with the wife agreeing to surrender her employment as part of the
deal. Birth control and abortion were forbidden
to German women, but they were readily available for those the Nazis considered inferior. And then, in the 1930s, foreshadowing broader
policies, the government began to murder physically or mentally disabled people in mobile gas
chambers that traveled to hospitals and other institutions. The aim was the creation of a master race,
purged of purportedly “inferior” types such as Roma, Slavs, and above all, Jewish
people, whose supposed inferiority, in Hitler’s word, was documented by “the greatest of
scientific knowledge.” We’ve talked before about “negative integration”
and “positive integration” techniques for building a community–positive integration
techniques involve celebrating shared values and finding a definition for what “we”
are. Negative integration techniques involve defining
a community by what we aren’t–especially by finding enemies or targeting outsiders
to unify a community. In Hitler’s Germany, the population coalesced
into a volksgemeinschaft by a shared dehumanization and shared hatred of outsiders, especially
Jewish people. German feelings of worth, and even superiority,
were restored and strengthened by hating others. And this was a long term, and very public
practice that people both inside of Germany and outside of it knew about. For instance, The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 removed
Jewish peoples’ German citizenship and barred them from most jobs and from marriage to Aryans. The government moved Jews from their housing,
reduced the food they were allowed, and forced them to work at lowly jobs for virtually no
pay. Officials and neighbors then stole Jewish
housing and personal property, showing that Nazi claims to high ideals masked outright
theft and greed. Jewish people first suffered what historians
call a “social death” as their lives were degraded by the Nazis, making any harm that
might come to them appear natural. Indeed, so-called Social Death often precedes
widespread murder. In 1938, the son of a harassed Jewish couple
killed an official, which the Nazis used an excuse for a rampage against synagogues, businesses,
homes, and individuals—a horrific event that came to be known as “The Night of Broken
Glass” or Kristallnacht. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. 1. The Nazi regime rampaged and plundered internationally
as well. 2. In 1935, Germany began openly boosting military
power, 3. which had been curtailed by the Versailles
treaty. 4. In 1936, German troops occupied the Rhineland 5. —an area in western Germany bordering
France. 6. In 1938, Germany occupied Austria to cheering
crowds, and then absorbed Austria into the Reich 7. (which was forbidden by the Peace of Paris), 8. and proceeded to seize Austria’s large
supply of gold 9. —an act that would be repeated across
Europe alongside the seizure of Jewish wealth. 10. Later that year, Hitler claimed the Sudetenland
in Czechoslovakia 11. because of its large German population 12. and secured that claim with a meeting
in Munich 13. that included British Prime Minister Neville
Chamberlain, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and Mussolini. 14. Crowds rejoiced at the peace Hitler promised
in exchange for this “appeasement” of his demands, 15. but as future Prime Minister Winston Churchill
commented “Those poor people. They little know what they will have to face.” 16. In March 1939, Germany annexed all of Czechoslovakia. 17. In addition to making deals with the French
and British, Hitler made deals with Stalin, 18. trading Soviet grain for German machinery
and other industrial goods. 19. And it should be noted that Hitler was not
alone in authoritarian conquest at the time. 20. Mussolini joined in, sending the Italian army
to Ethiopia in 1936 21. and announcing “the Roman legions are
on the march again” as fascism thrived. Thanks Thought Bubble. So, meanwhile, in Japan, military officers
saw the need to expand. They had already built an effective modern
army, defeating China in 1894 and 1895 and Russia in 1904 and 1905. In 1931, they blew up a train in Manchuria
and used that event to justify taking over Manchuria, as part of a plan to free Asia
(and eventually the world) from western imperialism…and then, you know, replace it with Japanese imperialism. In 1937, Japan invaded China, which from a
non-Eurocentric perspective was probably the real beginning World War II–unless it began
in 1931, with the invasion of Manchuria. all of which is a reminder that in some ways,
violence was everywhere even before World War II was said to have begun: Like, the Spanish
had overthrown dictatorial rule in 1931 and set up a republic in a burst of democratic
enthusiasm, but amid trouble setting up a government that could maintain public order,
many different political groups began to jostle for power, including. liberals, and constitutionalists, and socialists,
and communists, and Trotskyites, anarchists. And this fractured and frail democracy created
an opening for an authoritarian military uprising in 1936 led by Francisco Franco. That was war…and in some ways it was world
war, because the ensuing Spanish Civil War involved many of the European powers, with
German and Italian bombers practicing the strafing of civilians from airplanes, a tactic
the British had used in their colonies and that would be deployed throughout the battlefields
of World War II. So, when we look back on history, it is easy
to forget that dictators like Franco, and Stalin, and Hitler, and Mussolini had enthusiastic
supporters. Teenage girls painted their fingernails with
swastikas—a Buddhist symbol that was appropriated by the Nazis—while parents gave children
toy SS men to play with and other adults listened enraptured to Hitler’s (or Mussolini’s)
speeches. As we’ve discussed before, even tyrants
require support from at least some institutions and individuals to survive. And what makes such evil so terrifying is
not that tyrants can rise to power–but that they often do so with broad swaths of support. History isn’t just something that happens. It’s something each of us helps make, a
responsibility we all need to take seriously. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Economic Depression and Dictators: Crash Course European History #37

  1. It's almost like trying to use and treat the economy as an inorganic entity is not the way to go.

  2. My parents knew an old couple who moved here from Germany. The husband died by the time I heard about this, but the wife still supported Hitler, even in the 1990s. Thats how powerful brainwashing of supporters can be.

    Also, I am very scared that ICE is going to become the SS but for Latinx people. They already are paramilitary and are not answerable to anyone but the president. All they need is an economic collapse as an excuse to start blaming all latinos because you never know who was descended from "illegals".

  3. So people played the stock market with borrowed money, and as a result caused an economic crash? And yet no one seems to have learned that it might not be a good idea.

  4. This so called "social death" the Jews experienced at the hands of the Nazi seem awfully similar to what Palestinians received at the hands of the Jews.

  5. For those unfamiliar with the geography of East Asia, Manchuria is the part of China to the north of the Korean Peninsula. And if you are wondering how the Japanese army was able to reach Manchuria it's because Japan had annexed Korea in 1910. And that's just the start of why Japan-Korea relations remain tense to this very day. In fact last year in South Korea there was a boycott of Japanese goods that was related to compensation of forced labor.

  6. People say there's going to be a new recession soon thanks to Trump's trade war with China.

    it's my turn to shine

  7. As a grad student in military and European history, there’s no way I could cover as much as you did in such a condensed video. John Green, you are an inspiration. 📚 ✏️

  8. This underscores a view I've had for almost 20 years: It is not Bravery, or Principle, not Power or Charisma, nay, not even Eloquence or Style that makes one a Leader, because while those are all fine qualities for a Leader to HAVE, they are not what MAKES a Leader. For better or worse, what makes a Leader is chillingly simple; The lone requirement for Leadership is that people are willing to follow you. Without that then you are just a babbling fool marching in the wind.

  9. Please fact-check the statement in 7:24: "In the fall of 1932 elections in Germany saw the Communists and the Nazis received similarly strong support […]

  10. And I think “Erst Ist Wiedsda” or Look Who’s Back might be a recommendation, except Hitler became provocative comedian and use anti PC culture to promote his views.

  11. Great vid I personally find the interwar very interesting possibly the most interesting historic time. So much political and economic diversity in a sense and so many events that are crucial to modern history.

  12. I am communist but i recognize that what stalin did is not our movement. Yes he did all of that, some people in the left will say that all this is propaganda, and i reply is not. But we are the left not the nazis and we can learn from history what happens when an authoritarian takes lead of our movement. Even Lenin said not stalin when he was in his dead bed, but i have my criticism to Lenin also subverting the votes in the many socialists conventions is not for what i stand. As i said the alt right will deny the existance of the genocide that the nazis did, we should learn of history not denial, i stand with the people that wacthed with horror how our movement derrail from emancipation to subjugation, with george Orwell and his principles of democratic socialism. and all people that say that this this the inevitable outcome of socialism, are willfully ignorant of the socialist experiments that were made in spain in the civil war and even more recent in Kurdistan. So no we dare to dream of a better society,we want hope not hate. People who will attack this comment are consume by fear and hate, a fear to change or with more malice hate so profund to whatever has relation with socialism. I stand with what socialism represent peace and love.

  13. The Great Purge of 1937 in USSR was not mentioned, but it was really Great – not only kulaks, but many of city dwellers were arrested and sentenced to death or long imprisonment in Siberia, they were working practically for free (even though they were receiving some money), just a slave labour for Stalin great factories and railroads.

  14. The best part about crash course is that it gives history a new perspective. A different view to see history other than just dates and wars

  15. Lots of parallels to the US right now. Hopefully this next election sets us on the right course, but I doubt that

  16. "History isn't just something that happens it's something that each of us helps to make, a responsibility we all need to take seriously,"-John Green 15:56–16:07

    Thank you John.

  17. From what I've read and heard, the swastika used in Nazism is from old Germanic/Norse runes, which themselves are descended from the Vedes from India. Language has connected us for a long time. So ironically, the Nazi symbol and language were actually complicatedly and long derived from people they saw as inferior.

  18. Slovakia was not annexed in 1939.

    Hungary and Poland annexed portions of Czecho-Slovakia in 1938-9.

    Details matter.

  19. Everyone who wants even more in-depth WWII and interwar coverage, check out the World War 2 channel here on Youtube. They have a Between Two Wars series on the interwar years and are covering WWII week-by-week!

  20. Id use the 1937 as the non-Eurocentric start of WW2 over the 1931 Invasion of Manchuria. The Invasion of the 2 Chinas in 1937 started a war that did not end until 1945 with the atomic bombings. The 1931 war to control Manchuria only lasted a year and only involved the Manchurians/Han.

  21. Buying stocks, as a whole, not individually, is actually the closest thing to a sure thing we have as the stock market has been rising since it's foundation (or at least as long as its been studied), there have of course been temporary crashes but the market has always recovered from them and gone on to grow even bigger. Bonds from developed countries are also very safe but earn less. Obviously don't take advice from a youtube comment, The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing is a good book on the subject.

  22. Who doesn't see much of this history repeating itself today, or at least starting down the same road???

  23. 5:43 Stalin: See how I purged and starved 10 million to death
    Mao: Hold my Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward

  24. 1937 was not the start of WW2, it only becomes a World War when every continent is involved, and so it wasn’t a World War until Britain joined.

  25. This is exactly what is happening in India today, where people the government deems unacceptable (Muslims) are having their citizenship revoked. The Modi government there is almost a duplicate of Hitler. Don't think the west is safe either, Donald Trump has expressed similar views and wishes. Remember the thousands of Mexican children he stole under racial justification. When you vote these people in, you open the door to tyranny,.

  26. I am really pleased in how you covered this John. It was non-partisan, and correct. In these dark times, clarity is hard to come by.

  27. I really like to commend Crush Course on rather indepth, neutral and monstly non-partisan overview of Russian history through the series.
    It's a breath of fresh air seing an English language history digest describing 1932 famine in the Soviet Union as a result of horrific mismanagement, not a targeted genocide of Ukrainian people.

  28. you young Americans need to come out and vote. How is it acceptable for a trillion-dollar company to not pay taxes in the face of such jaw-dropping inequality?

  29. The one where John green burns the hell out of Amazon. Oh god i just forgot the Amazon rainforest is burning down this is not a bad taste pun i'm talking about the megacorporation monopoly.

  30. Why the double standard regarding famines and starvation? When discussing communism, hunger is seen as the damning feature of socialism, but I've never heard anyone use something like the Dust Bowl, Irish Potato Famine, or the Great Depression to justify calling capitalism a "murderous regime".

  31. John Green became John Green’s boring older brother. Please review former John Green “Crash Course” videos and rewrite/shoot this again. Then previous ones John did were engaging and he’ll of informative.. these put people to sleep 🙁 And I say that being a long-time supporter of Crash Course!

  32. I clicked this video just to see how would Crash Course/John Green would explain the great depression and it's effect in Europe because I'm currently following Indy Neidell post world war I channel.

    I give this video a 3/10, really bad, superficial and sometimes missing the best points, this video basically ties the great depression to the raise nazism then talks about Nazis in power and their anexation of other countries (Huge jumps in time frame) while Indy goes deep explaining the different paramilitaries groups their ideals and actions post World War I, how Australia fell and how the great depression (Were Indy presents evidence that Germany was healing from it way before the Nazis took control) impacted the average german citizen in great detail.

    Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible video, just something i would not recommend to have a accurate depiction of the events during the great depression and the raise of totalitarianism.

  33. I have to speak for that female lathe operator, just as a machinist myself, running a lathe makes you feel good. Its neat, you make stuff, you never stop learning and improving: i love it and i understand why she did too. That likely had nothing to do with propaganda, she enjoyed that work because it is challenging and engaging. Frankly, most women of that era loved factory and fabrication work and in my personal experience id say their arts and crafts tendencies are perfectly suited to industrial fabrication. Women find solutions guys miss and vice versa, and because of that i would consider women necessary personnel to have in a machine shop. Some things are so fun it sounds like propaganda but i swear lathes make you feel something special and creative and expressive. And that young woman simply got lucky and found a great outlet for art, crafting, aesthetics, engineering and design that probably didnt otherwise exist in those areas before the factory work came to town. Im not ignoring or excusing the evil just pointing out that people still found their passion and explored themselves with all that going on around them. It should be celebrated that she found such joy in such times, not lamented as seems to have been done at 7:00. Its fun work, i swear lol

  34. Kulaks: *burns field and kills cattle to oppose Stalin's economic plan
    Stalin: let them starve
    Kulaks: surprise pikachu face

  35. A very well done episode, but I have one major quibble. Every time you use "Jewish person" or "Jewish people" instead of the noun "Jew", I roll my eyes. Speaking as a Jew, the word "Jew" is not a profanity that needs to be couched in a politically correct term. You are going to soon be focusing on the Shoah; are you going to use "Jewish person" every time?

  36. You talk about the kulaks as if their persecution was equivalent to the persecution of minorities by the nazis and that is misleading at best. The kulaks weren’t viewed as subhumans because of circumstances they couldn’t change like ethnicity. Being wealthy and hoarding that wealth is not equivalent to being a victim of genocide. They were criminals undermining the system for the sake of greed and selfishness. In America today they call that theft and treason.

  37. It would be neat if the next CrashCourse history series was of Japanese history, or rather I suppose of East Asian history. For a lot of Americans, all their impression of Japanese history is just World War II.

  38. I… please, tell me I'm not the only one who also moves their head when seeing those animated people's heads move 😀

  39. I figured out why none of these systems never worked. The leaders behind them. Always cruel or evil or racist or malicious or lying…you get the point. It's the same in present day by the way. 100% of the places where there is suffering is a direct result of the stupidity and malicious nature of it's leaders.

  40. A little nitpick: saying 10 million people died because of famine caused by Stalin's collectivisation isn't entirely true since agriculture was ravaged by both the Civil and First World wars. Collectivisation worsened it tho

  41. A few annotations i would like to make:

    It should be mentioned that the Nazis immediately started heavy propaganda, brainwashing the children. Participating in the Nazi youth organization, the Hitlerjugend was mandatory with no choise to evade unless you wanted to risk persecution.

    The night of broken glass has two names in Germany. Kristallnacht is an older term rarely used as it is a rather cynical view on what happened back then hiding the horrid events behind a nice name, thus it shouldn't be used anymore. The currently used name is Progromnacht or Reichsprogromnacht as it says what it is: violence against a national, religous or ethic minority.
    The night of nov 9th was s influencial that germany didn't concider to take nov 9th as holiday, the day the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 which lead to the German reunification not even a year later. It was feared that right extremists would use that day for their propaganda.

  42. Socialism is evil. Fascism = Racism + Socialism. The USSR was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Socialism is the denial of individual rights to life, liberty and property, in favor of the power of the collective, and of the state. For the Soviets, Socialism was supposed to be a road to communism, which was a form of anarchy in which people voluntarily worked for the collective. But socialism is implemented by force. It is evil.

  43. How can u forget he oil they traded for with the USSR their mechanized war machine would have never ran without it.

  44. Some constructive criticism for the CrashCourse writing team: Our history teachers taught us that "Kristallnacht" (literally translates to crystal night) is a cynical euphemism invented by the Nazis to glorify the destruction they caused that night. It's better to call it "Pogromnacht", since the word "Pogrom" describes an organised massacre of helpless people, which accurately described what happened.
    Much love from Germany

  45. Short note from a German: In Germany the word Kristallnacht or Reichskristallnacht actually has propaganda implications now. The more neutral term is considered Progromnacht or Reichsprogromnacht.

  46. You're right, the Weimar government was incapable or unwilling to repress the actions of overtly violent and destructive socialist groups like the Spartacist league, leading to them leaning on the paramilitary Freikorps to maintain order. If the communist revolutionaries hadn't been violent or destructive, there would have been less tacit tolerance for the reactionary fascists and paramilitaries.

  47. I just want to say that calling that swastika a "Buddhist symbol" is an incredibly incomplete historical statement. Use of the swastika has been recorded as far back as 10,000 BCE, and it has been found in Bronze and Iron age art throughout Asia AND Europe in pretty much every single culture, as well as some places in Africa. Yes, it was misappropriated and had its image destroyed, yes it was a Buddhist symbol, but the implication made with that statement is that the Nazi party based their use of it on an appropriation of the symbol FROM Buddhist art, but this is clearly not the case. They used it as a reference to historical Germanic art, where it was also prevalent. Along with Celtic art, Sami art, Greco-Roman art, Illyrian, Armenian, Slavic, Polish, Hindu, Jainist, Ashanti, and interestingly enough various native American cultures from Panama to Canada, including Navajo art, based on which it had been used on Arizona roadsigns.
    In the time immediately preceding the rise of the Nazi party, it had been used in symbolism for the Theosophical society, a Danish brewery, an Icelandic shipping company, an Irish laundry company, both the Finnish and Latvian Air Forces, parts of the Polish military, a Swedish industrial company, the Oslo municipal power station, the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army…there is even a town in Ontario founded in 1908 which is named "Swastika".

    The place where the Nazi party likely appropriated it from was the Order of the New Templars, which was the first to use it in the context of "racial consciousness" and "Aryan aesthetics". But that group also used the Fleur-de-Lys in their symbolism, so the Nazis could have easily taken and destroyed that symbol, as well.

    Basically, the only point I am trying to make here is that I think it is incomplete to the point of inaccuracy to simply say that the swastika was a Buddhist symbol that had been misappropriated.

  48. The "wounded masculinity led to Nazi rise" thing is new to me. Felt like that one was pointed at the present.

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