Fascism is a political movement that arose in Italy at the start of the 20th century. The fascists used the ancient Roman “fasces”, a bundle of rods tied around an axe, as a symbol on their flags and badges. Soon after the fascist party was founded, it seized power in Italy amid violence and terror
. The members’ first duty was to unconditionally obey the leader of the movement, who was called Benito Mussolini. Mussolini demanded that his followers completely accepted an extremely right-wing
, racist and xenophobic way of thinking. The democratic
parliament had become powerless. Only the leader and his most important supporters had control over what people did and thought. People had longed for a strong leader because they were economically very badly off at the time. They hoped that he would be able to rescue them from their plight. Fascism was also able to gain a foothold in other countries where people were badly off, particularly in Germany, where it was called National Socialism
. The leader of this movement in Germany was called Adolf Hitler
. Its symbol was the swastika. It wasn’t until the Second World War
ended in 1945 that the fascist terror in European countries also came to an end. It was occasionally revived in South American countries when dictators came into power.
Gerd Schneider / Christiane Toyka-Seid