What was the impact of Fascism and Nazism on the world?  

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German Nazism and Italian fascism led to a world war, much loss of life, racism taken to genocidal levels and the destruction of European Jewish culture in Central Europe—not to mention the death of six million Jews. Both Germany and Italy experimented in creating backward-looking and hierarchical societies based on...

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German Nazism and Italian fascism led to a world war, much loss of life, racism taken to genocidal levels and the destruction of European Jewish culture in Central Europe—not to mention the death of six million Jews. Both Germany and Italy experimented in creating backward-looking and hierarchical societies based on the supposed superiority of Aryans over other "racial" groups and the supposed superiority of men over women. They also created ultra-nationalist governments that rejected international cooperative institutes such as the League of Nations and saw warfare as "purifying" the "blood" of a people. These ideologies, based on "strength," also saw extreme vengeance against perceived enemies as justified. These governments instituted totalitarian regimes that attempted to control every aspect of the lives of their people. 

But the larger legacy of both Nazism and fascism was to completely discredit these ideologies for many decades. After the war, people were utterly horrified at what these nationalistic, militaristic, vengeful and racist ideologies had wrought: death, destruction and genocide. The war's aftermath led to a high level of soul searching and introspection. Italy and Germany had not been alone in their anti-Semitism, and following World War II, Western nations created Israel and abandoned the racially-based immigration quotas that had made it impossible for many Jews to escape the Nazi regime. The West also became more committed to creating international institutions, such as the United Nations, which were meant to support humanitarian gestures and democratic institutions. 

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The Fascist government of Italy under Benito Mussolini and the Nazi government of Germany under Adolf Hitler were dangerous to the world because they were inherently aggressive. Both men (though Hitler to a far greater degree) preached their own national superiority, and saw their nations' destinies in expansion and conquest. This led Mussolini to launch invasions of first Ethiopia, then North Africa, and then the Balkan peninsula. Germany under the Nazis was even more aggressive than Italy. Hitler's vision was essentially German hegemony over the European continent. He also thought that peoples he deemed inferior, like Slavs and Jews, should be either enslaved or destroyed. This ideology, and Hitler's recklessness in acting upon it, plunged first Europe and then the world into war. The racial beliefs that were inherent to Nazism found their brutal expression in the brutality of the German invasion of the Soviet Union as well as, most horrifically, the Holocaust, the organized mass murder of much of Europe's Jewish population. These terrible events were the direct consequence of Fascism and especially Nazism.

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