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Fascism as a Mass-Movement: Translator’s Introduction

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Abstract This Introduction to Rosenberg’s essay starts with a brief synopsis of his life, then summarises the key arguments of the essay itself before looking briefly at the twin issues of the social base of the fascist parties (wider than just the ‘petty bourgeoisie’) and the passive complicity/compliance of ‘ordinary Germans’, as the literature now terms whole sectors of the civilian population that were defined by their apathy or moral indifference to the horrors of the Nazi state.

1. Abendroth Wolfgang Faschismus und Kapitalismus. Theorien über die sozialen Ursprünge und die Funktion des Faschismus 1967 Frankfurt Europäische Verlagsanstalt
2. Abse Tobias Bessel Richard"‘Italian Workers and Italian Fascism’" Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: Comparisons and Contrasts 1996 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
3. Bankier David The Germans and the Final Solution: Public Opinion under Nazism 1992 Oxford Blackwell
4. Browning Christopher R. The Path to Genocide: Essays on Launching the Final Solution 1992 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
5. Browning Christopher R. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland 2001 Harmondsworth Penguin Books
6. Bull Hedley The Challenge of the Third Reich: The Adam von Trott Memorial Lectures 1986 Oxford Clarendon Press
7. Fassbinder Rainer Werner Töteberg Michael, Lensing Leo A. Winston Krishna The Anarchy of the Imagination: Interviews, Essays, Notes 1992 Baltimore The Johns Hopkins University Press
8. Hainsworth Paul The Extreme Right in Western Europe 2008 Abingdon Routledge
9. Kaes Anton From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History as Film 1992 Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press
10. Kater Michael H. The Nazi Party: A Social Profile of Members and Leaders 1919–1945 1983 Oxford Blackwell
11. Kershaw Ian Paucker Arnold, Gilchrist Sylvia, Suchy Barbara"‘German Popular Opinion and the “Jewish Question”, 1939–1943: Some Further Reflections’" The Jews in Nazi Germany 1933–1943 1986 Tübingen Mohr
12. Kershaw Ian Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris 2001 Harmondsworth Penguin Books
13. Keßler Mario Arthur Rosenberg. Ein Historiker im Zeitalter der Katastrophen (1889–1943) 2003 Cologne/Weimar/Vienna Böhlau Verlag
14. Koonz Claudia Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family and Nazi Politics 1988 London Methuen
15. Koonz Claudia The Nazi Conscience 2003 Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press
16. Kulka Otto Dov, Rodrigue Aron"‘The German Population and the Jews in the Third Reich’" Yad Vashem Studies 1984Vol 16 421 435
17. Lebovics Herman Social Conservatism and the Middle Classes in Germany 1914–1933 1969 Princeton Princeton University Press
18. Lohalm Uwe Völkischer Radikalismus. Die Geschichte des Deutschvölkischen Schutz- und Trutz-Bundes 1919–1923 1970 Hamburg Leibniz Verlag
19. Mason Tim Bull"‘The Third Reich and the German Left’" 1986
20. Merkl Peter H. Political Violence under the Swastika: 581 Early Nazis 1975 Princeton Princeton University Press
21. Mühlberger Detlef Hitler’s Followers: Studies in the Sociology of the Nazi Movement 1991 London Routledge
22. Neumann Franz Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism 1942 London Victor Gollancz
23. Noakes Jeremy The Nazi Party in Lower Saxony, 1921–1933 1971 Oxford Oxford University Press
24. Poulantzas Nicos White Judith Fascism and Dictatorship: The Third International and the Problem of Fascism 1974 London New Left Books
25. Reich Wilhelm Carfagno Vincent R. The Mass Psychology of Fascism 1972, [1933] London Souvenir Press
26. Riberi Lorenzo Arthur Rosenberg. Democrazia e socialismo tra storia e politica 2001 Milan FrancoAngeli
27. Riddell John"‘Clara Zetkin’s Struggle for the United Front’" 2011 available at: <>.
28. Rosenberg Arthur Morrow Ian F.D. A History Of Bolshevism: From Marx to the First Five Years’ Plan 1934, [1932] Oxford Oxford University Press
29. Rosenberg Arthur Morrow Ian F.D. The Birth of the German Republic, 1871–1918 1962, [1928] New York Russell and Russell
30. Rosenberg Arthur Abendroth"‘Der Faschismus als Massenbewegung. Sein Aufstieg und seine Zersetzung’" 1967
31. Saldern Adelheid von Bessel Richard"‘Victims or Perpetrators? Controversies about the Role of Women in the Nazi State’" Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: Comparisons and Contrasts 1996 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
32. Salvatorelli Luigi Nazionalfascismo 1923 Turin P. Gobetti
33. Sohn-Rethel Alfred Ökonomie und Klassenstruktur des deutschen Faschismus. Aufzeichnungen und Analysen 1975 Second Edition Frankfurt Suhrkamp Verlag
34. Sohn-Rethel Alfred Sohn-Rethel Martin Economy and Class Structure of German Fascism 1978 London CSE Books
35. Stephenson Jill The Nazi Organisation of Women 1981 New York Barnes and Noble
36. Thalheimer August Abendroth"‘Über den Faschismus’" 1967
37. Trotsky Leon The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany 1971 New York Pathfinder Press
38. Weiss John Conservatism in Europe 1770–1945: Traditionalism, Reaction and Counter-Revolution 1977 London Thames and Hudson
39. FN11. Biographical data from Riberi 2001 and Keßler 2003, both of which (Keßler especially) have full bibliographies of Rosenberg’s writings. Eduard Meyer was Germany’s leading ancient historian at the time but also a staunch nationalist (a supporter of the Deutsche Vaterlandspartei) and a resolute opponent of Weimar, e.g., Keßler 2003, pp. 48–9.
40. FN22. Rosenberg 1967.
41. FN33. Dimitroff told the Seventh Congress of the Comintern: ‘Der Faschismus – das ist die Macht des Finanzkapitals selbst’.
42. FN44. Notably Thalheimer 1967 (from Gegen den Strom. Organ der KPD (Opposition), 1930).
43. FN55. The KPD was a solidly working-class party, cf. Kater 1983, p. 37: ‘[in 1927] more than 80 percent of the KPD members belonged to the working class’.
44. FN66. Zetkin cited in Poulantzas 1974, p. 84. She refers to ‘broad social layers, large masses that reach even into the proletariat’, cf. Riddell 2011.
45. FN77. Traverso 1999.
46. FN88. Weiss 1977, p. 119, with Chapter 6 on Heinrich von Treitschke, and Chapter 8 on Maurras.
47. FN99 . Neumann 1942, pp. 27ff., and his striking observation that ‘[i]n the centre of the counter-revolution stood the judiciary’.
48. FN1010. Trotsky 1971, pp. 405, 406, 155.
49. FN1111. Reich 1972, pp. 40ff., and the statement ‘fascism, viewed with respect to its mass basis, was actually a middle-class movement’ (Reich 1972, p. 42).
50. FN1212. Salvatorelli 1923.
51. FN1313. Kershaw 2001, p. 334.
52. FN1414. Neumann 1942, p. 37: the NSDAP was ‘composed of the most diverse social strata but never hesitat[ed] to take in the dregs of every section, supported by the army, the judiciary, and parts of the civil service, financed by industry, utilizing the anti-capitalist sentiments of the masses and yet careful never to estrange the influential moneyed groups’.
53. FN1515. Kershaw 2001, p. 303.
54. FN1616. Mühlberger 1991, p. 203.
55. FN1717. Mühlberger 1991, pp. 37, 77, 115, 139.
56. FN1818. Kater 1983, p. 36.
57. FN1919. Mühlberger 1991, p. 180. ‘Workers’ formed 58 per cent of all SA recruits prior to 1933 (Mühlberger 1991, p. 177).
58. FN2020. Noakes 1971, pp. 79, 19.
59. FN2121. Noakes 1971, pp. 9–11; Merkl 1975, p. 56. Lohalm 1970 calls the Bund a ‘Wegbereiter des Nationalsozialismus’.
60. FN2222. Lebovics 1969, p. 37.
61. FN2323. Merkl 1975, based on the Abel biographies.
62. FN2424. Sohn-Rethel 1975, pp. 195–6; Sohn-Rethel 1978, pp. 135–7, translation modified.
63. FN2525. Browning 2001, p. 200.
64. FN2626. Browning 1992, p. 64.
65. FN2727. Bull (ed.) 1986, p. 5. Of course, as Tim Mason never failed to point out, ‘[t]he Nazi regime set out to obliterate the German Left’, arresting anywhere between a hundred to two hundred-thousand socialists and murdering ‘tens of thousands’ of them; Mason 1986, pp. 96–7.
66. FN2828. Kershaw 1986, pp. 378ff.
67. FN2929. Kershaw 1986.
68. FN3030. Kaes 1992, p. 76.
69. FN3131. Fassbinder 1992, pp. 115ff.
70. FN3232. Mühlberger 1991, p. 90: ‘It was almost exclusively a male movement . . .’
71. FN3333. Saldern 1996, pp. 219, 217.
72. FN3434. Stephenson 1981, cited in Saldern 1996, p. 218.
73. FN3535. Bankier 1992.
74. FN3636. See, for example, the excellent paper by Tobias Abse (Abse 1996), which argues that ‘a tradition of class-conscious militancy established in Italy in particular pre-Fascist circumstances was not broken under Fascism’ (Abse 1996, p. 53) and that Italian Fascism ‘never really gained any widespread consensus of support amongst the industrial working class of northern and central Italy’ (Abse 1996, p. 42).
75. FN3737. Koonz 2003, p. 221.
76. FN3838. Kulka and Rodrigue 1984.
77. FN3939. Kershaw 1986, discussing his own earlier assessments in Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich (1983).
78. FN4040. Hainsworth 2008, pp. 95ff.

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Affiliations: 1: Department of Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London


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