What were the main ideas of Nazism and Fascism after WWI?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nazism was essentially the same thing as fascism, with only a few differences.  The major one of these differences was the virulent anti-Semitism of the Nazis.  Other than that, the two can be described in much the same way.

The main aspect of these ideologies was that they wanted the people of their countries to be as unanimous and undivided as possible.  For this reason, they tried to be totalitarian.  They believed that strength came when everyone in a society had the same beliefs and the same attitudes.  This is where the term “fascist” came from.  A “fasces” was a bound bundle of wooden sticks.  One thing this symbolized was that sticks, which are easily broken individually, are impossible to break when unified in a bundle.  Fascists wanted the people of their society to be equally unified.

The other aspect of these ideologies that is worth noting here is that they emphasized that the mass of people should simply blindly follow their leader.  The leader was seen as something of a superior being.  This was not a democratic system.  People were expected to obey those above them and everyone was supposed to obey the leader.

Thus, fascism and Nazism were totalitarian systems built around complete national unity and unquestioned obedience to a leader.