October 1999
Cover Story

Cover Boxes

On Fascism and Nazism

The textbooks of the Gujarat State Board, apart from the inherent contradictions mentioned above, commit another grave folly. For the student of Std. X, in the section that deals with the period in world history between the two world wars, we have a section on the “Ideology of Fascism”. 

There is a positive ambivalence in the treatment of this political phenomenon, an ambivalence that stands heightened in later paragraphs that deal with “Nazism”. 

“Ideology of Fascism: The views regarding the State administration adopted by the topmost leader of the Fascist Party, Mussolini, came to be known as the Ideology of Fascism (Principles of Fascism). According to this ideology the State is sovereign. An individual exists for the State. An individual does not have freedom over and above the State. Here, everyone is absorbed within the State. Since the party firmly believed in Militant Nationalism, it opposed Internationalism. National interest and progress were its basic aim. The Party believed that the total power of the nation should be wielded by a leader endowed with Divine power. This party was a staunch opposer of democracy and individual freedom and also of communism. Thus Fascism was totally opposed to Democracy”.

(Gujarat state social studies text for Std. X)
This text-book while attempting an explanation of the political phenomenon of fascism and nazism gives a frighteningly uncritical picture of both. The strong national pride that both these phenomena generated, the efficiency in the bureaucracy and the administration and other ‘achievements’ are detailed, but the violent, uncivilised and uncritical result of the politics of exclusion – of Jews, of trade unionists, of migrant labourers, of any section that did not fit into Mussolini or Hitler’s definition of rightful citizen – just do not find any mention. The systematic extermination of six million Jews in concentration  camps, the Holocaust that is, simply does not figure in these texts.

“Ideology of Nazism: Like Fascism, the principles or ideologies for governing a nation, propounded by Hitler, came to be known as the ideology of Nazism. On assuming power, the Nazi Party gave unlimited total and all embracing and supreme power to the dictator. The dictator was known as the ‘Fuhrer’..Hitler had strongly declared that ‘the Germans were the only pure Aryans in the entire world and they were born to rule the world’. In order to ensure that the German people strictly followed the principles of Nazism, it was included in the curriculum of the educational institutions. The textbooks said, ‘Hitler is our leader and we love him’. 

“Internal Achievements of Nazism: Hitler lent dignity and prestige to the German government within a short time by establishing a strong administrative set up. He created the vast state of Greater Germany. He adopted the policy of opposition towards the Jewish people and advocated the supremacy of the German race. He adopted a new economic policy and brought prosperity to Germany. He began efforts for the eradication of unemployment. He started constructing Public buildings, providing irrigation facilities, building Railways, roads and production of war materials. He made untiring efforts to make Germany self-reliant within one decade. Hitler discarded the Treaty of Versailles by calling it just ‘a piece of paper’ and stopped paying the war penalty. He instilled the spirit of adventure in the common people. 

(Gujarat state social studies text for Std. X)

[ Subscribe | Contact Us | Archives | Khoj | Aman ]
[ Letter to editor  ]
Copyrights © 2001, Sabrang Communications & Publishing Pvt. Ltd.