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PROLOGUE: Roots of the Holocaust
 pg. 26 
A dramatically rendered illustration from this Hitler biography glorifies a Nazi Storm Trooper. The implication is clear: A movement worth fighting for is one worth dying for.
Photo: Philip Drell
In Nazi circles, the Munich Post became known as the "Poison Kitchen." Prior to the Nazi takeover in 1933, "the Hitler Party" tried to silence the Post with libel suits and death threats against its staff. Nevertheless, the newspaper's anti-Nazi resistance continued. Well into February 1933, the Post continued to publish reports about political murders carried out by the Nazis. Among its final anti-Hitler accounts was a three-part series that valiantly tried to counter what the Post had long regarded as Hitler's most destructive characteristic: his willful falsification of history. The Post foresaw Hitler's aims as disastrous for Germany and the world. Its views, however, did not prevail. Before the 1932-33 winter had ended, the Post's anti-Hitler reporting was smashed, its courageous journalists imprisoned or killed.

While the Munich Post attacked Hitler from the left, Fritz Gerlich and some of his journalistic colleagues became the most vociferous anti-Hitler critics among German conservatives. Moving on from his position with the Münchener Neueste Nachrichten, Gerlich led his own anti-Hitler newspaper, Der Gerade Weg (The Right Way or The Straight Path) by the mid-1920s. One of the peaks of Gerlich's mounting hatred of Hitler was Der Gerade Weg's sensational attack against him on July 17, 1932. Gerlich's paper featured a racially provocative photo composite image that aimed to assassinate Hitler's character. It suggested that Hitler had married a black woman. Headlining this "wedding" picture were provocative words that asked: "Does Hitler Have Mongolian Blood?"


Fascism was founded about 1920 in Italy by Benito Mussolini (pictured, left). Fascist governments eventually came to power in Germany, Romania, Slovakia, and Croatia. Virtually every European country spawned its own Fascist organization.

Although lacking a common political manifesto, Fascist movements shared a number of similar features. Fascism, in its many varieties, stressed movement and action, and typically had a large following among the youth. Fascist governments were antidemocratic and anti-Marxist. Some but not all Fascist movements incorporated antisemitism into their political platform. Without exception, Fascist movements were closely identified with their leaders. No Fascist regime survived the death of its founder.

Mussolini's Fasci di Combattimento (Band of Combat) came to power in 1922. A show of force by the Italian "Black Shirts" on October 27, 1922, resulted in Mussolini's appointment as Italy's prime minister. Although Mussolini acquired power legally, months of terrorist disruption and intimidation strengthened his position. As prime minister, Mussolini cautiously consolidated his power before imposing a dictatorship. By the end of 1926, Italy had been transformed into a single-party dictatorial state.
Photo: Bilderdienst SYddeutscher Verlag

 Early 1800s: A new Jewish movement, Reform Judaism, is established in Germany. One goal of the movement is to modernize Judaism in order to maintain Jewish religious life in the face of secularism.
 March 11, 1812: Prussia's Edict of Emancipation grants citizenship to Jews.
 March 29, 1814: Denmark grants citizenship to Jews.
 c. 1820: Following the defeat of Napoleon, the Russian czar approves the Pale of Settlement. Jewish residency is restricted to this area.
 November 30, 1830: Greece grants citizenship to Jews.
 1831: Belgium grants citizenship to Jews.
 1846-1926: The Jewish population of Vienna, Austria, increases from 3740 to 201,513.
 1847: London elects its first Jewish member of Parliament, Baron Lionel Nathan Rothschild. However, he cannot be seated as a member of Parliament because he will not swear the oath of office, which affirms Christianity as the true faith.
PROLOGUE: Roots of the Holocaust
 pg. 26 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.