Free distribution by A.P. Government 187 Russian Socialist revolution Tsarist Russia was a vast land mass spread over two continents and making it a Euro-Asian power. It had the third largest population in the world, viz. 156 million, after China and India. It comprised of several nations like the Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkomania, etc. The livelihood of most Russians was derived from agriculture and control over land was the basic cause for struggle between peasants and feudal lords. The feudal lords owned most of the lands and most peasants paid rent for the land they tilled. Tsar Nicholas II ruled over his vast Russian empire like any autocrat with the help of the army and bureaucracy. But the Russian economy was bled in the extreme by the World War. The Russian army was the largest in the world before World War I. Yet, by 1917, the Russia had lost two million soldiers and civilians and became the biggest loser of human lives in World War I. The diversion of food to the War front led to shortages in the cities. On March 8th 1917, around 10,000 women of the capital, St Petersburg, took out a procession demanding ‘Peace and Bread’. Workers joined them in this protest. Unnerved at the protest in the capital, Tsar Nicholas II ordered the army to suppress the demonstrators, even by firing at them. Instead, the soldiers joined the demonstrators. In just two days, the situation went so much out of hand that the Tsar abdicated and non- aristocratic Russians made a Provisional government. This was the first Russian revolution of 1917 and it was called the March Revolution. A bigger revolution was made later in October 1917 and it was not spontaneous. The liberals and aristocrats, who ruled Russia after the abdication of the Tsar, decided to continue the War to preserve the honour of the fatherland. CHAPTER The World Between Wars 1900-1950 Part II 14 Fig 14.1 : Bolshevickhs marching on red square, Russian Revolution of 1917

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Russian Socialist revolutionTsarist Russia was a vast land mass spread over two continents and making it a

Euro-Asian power. It had the third largest population in the world, viz. 156 million,after China and India. It comprised of several nations like the Russia, Ukraine,Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkomania, etc. The livelihood of mostRussians was derived from agriculture and control over land was the basic causefor struggle between peasants and feudal lords. The feudal lords owned most ofthe lands and most peasants paid rent for the land they tilled.

Tsar Nicholas II ruled over his vast Russian empire like any autocrat with thehelp of the army and bureaucracy. But the Russian economy was bled in the extremeby the World War. The Russian army was the largest in the world before WorldWar I. Yet, by 1917, the Russia had lost two million soldiers and civilians andbecame the biggest loser of human lives in World War I. The diversion of food tothe War front led to shortages in the cities. On March 8th 1917, around 10,000women of the capital, St Petersburg, took out a procession demanding ‘Peace andBread’. Workers joined them in this protest. Unnerved at the protest in the capital,Tsar Nicholas II ordered the army to suppress the demonstrators, even by firing atthem. Instead, the soldiers joined the demonstrators. In just two days, the situation

went so much out of hand thatthe Tsar abdicated and non-aristocratic Russians made aProvisional government. Thiswas the first Russian revolutionof 1917 and it was called theMarch Revolution.

A bigger revolution wasmade later in October 1917 andit was not spontaneous. Theliberals and aristocrats, whoruled Russia after theabdication of the Tsar, decidedto continue the War to preservethe honour of the fatherland.


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Fig 14.1 : Bolshevickhs marching on red square,Russian Revolution of 1917

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Fatigued by military reverses andupset at economic shortages, thecommon people did not want theWar. They began organisingthemselves in councils which werecalled Soviets. Such Soviets ofsoldiers, industrial workers andalso people in rural areas were theexpression of common people’spower which was channelised by a group of Russian Communist party calledBolsheviks.

The Bolsheviks were led by Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924). Bolsheviks wereable to win the confidence of the Soviets (councils of peasants, workers andsoldiers) because they took up the demand for immediate and unconditional peace,nationalisation of all land and its redistribution to the peasants and control overprices and nationalisation of all factories and banks. The Soviets under the Bolshevikleadership seized power from the Provisional Government in October-November1917 and immediately took steps to end the war and redistribute land. Full peacecould not return to Russia because there started a civil war led by White armies ofRussian monarchists and anti-communistsoldiers with help from Britain, France,USA and Japan. These were all defeated by1920. The Bolsheviks also announced theending of the Russian empire and permittedthe various nations under it to becomeindependent. However, gradually most ofthe former Tsarist empire’s nations agreedto join the Union of Soviet SocialistRepublics (USSR) which was set up in1924 by the Soviet government of Russia.

With this began a great experiment ofbuilding a country without exploiters likefeudal lords, Kings or capitalists. TheUSSR tried to build a society that wasindustrialised and modern and yet did nothave inequality or exclusion of people onbasis of birth, gender, language, etc.

Rise of StalinAfter the death of Lenin in 1924 Stalin

emerged as the leader of the Communist

Date of the Russian RevolutionRussia followed the Julian calendar until 1 February1918. The country then changed to the Gregoriancalendar, which is followed everywhere today. TheGregorian dates are 13 days ahead of the Juliandates. So by our calendar, the ‘February’Revolution took place on 12th March and the‘October’ Revolution took place on 7th November.

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party. Over the next decades heestablished his absolute controland put an end to all opposition.He used his undisputed power tobuild the economy of USSR.

USSR began a programme ofplanned economic developmentwith its Five Year Plans in 1928.This pursued a twin policy ofrapid industrialisation andcollectivisation of agriculture.USSR under the leadership ofJoseph Stalin tried to end smallpeasant production by forcing allsmall and large farmers tosurrender their lands and join‘Collective Farms’. These farmspooled in all the land in thevillage along with tools andmachines and animals. Farmersworked together and the producewas divided among the members

of the farms. The idea was to shift from small holding farming to large scale farmingso that new techniques and machines could be used. Thousands of peasantsespecially the large farmers resisted this and had to face imprisonment, deportationand even death. This caused a severe famine in 1929-30 leading to the death of a

very large number of people. After an initialperiod of decline, agricultural productionsoon rose and helped USSR to also build itsindustries on an unprecedented scale. Allindustries were owned by the state which didnot allow free market and sold the industrialproducts to the consumers directly.

However, rapid construction led to poorworking conditions. In the city ofMagnitogorsk, the construction of a steelplant was achieved in three years. Workerslived hard lives and the result was 550stoppages of work in the first year alone. Inliving quarters, ‘in the wintertime, at 40degrees below, people had to climb down

Women in the February Revolution

‘Women workers, often inspired their male co-workers … At the Lorenz telephone factory, … MarfaVasileva almost single handedly called a successfulstrike. Already that morning, in celebration ofWomen’s Day, women workers had presented redbows to the men … Then Marfa Vasileva, a millingmachine operator stopped work and declared an im-promptu strike. The workers on the floor were readyto support her … The foreman informed the man-agement and sent her a loaf of bread. She took thebread but refused to go back to work. The adminis-trator asked her why she refused to work and shereplied, “I cannot be the only one who is satiatedwhen others are hungry.” Women workers from an-other section of the factory gathered around Marfain support and gradually all the other women ceasedworking. Soon the men downed their tools as welland the entire crowd rushed onto the street.’From: Choi Chatterji, Celebrating Women (2002)

Fig 14.2 : Lenin addressing workers

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from the fourth floor and dashacross the street in order to goto the toilet’.

An extended schoolingsystem developed, andarrangements were made forfactory workers and peasants toenter universities. Crècheswere established in factoriesfor the children of workingwomen. Cheap public healthcare was provided. Model livingquarters were set up forworkers. The effect of all thiswas uneven, though, sinceGovernment resources werelimited.

USSR achieved fullemployment for all its citizensand was able to improve theirstandard of living substantially.It also managed to universaliseliteracy and primary education.Precisely during this period, thewestern world began to face the‘Great Depression’ in whichfactories closed down andmillions of workers lost theirjobs, thousands of peasantsfound the prices of their goodscrashing down as demand forthem collapsed due to theshutting down of factories. TheUSSR prided itself in escapingthe impact of the GreatDepression. USSR was able toescape the effect of theDepression because it was notintegrated with the internationalmarket. Secondly, it had aplanned economy in which the

The October Revolution and the RussianCountryside: Two Views

1) ‘News of the revolutionary uprising of Octo-ber 25, 1917, reached the village the following dayand was greeted with enthusiasm; to the peasantsit meant free land and an end to the war. ...The daythe news arrived, the landowner’s manor house waslooted, his stock farms were “requisitioned” and hisvast orchard was cut down and sold to the peas-ants for wood; all his far buildings were torn downand left in ruins while the land was distributedamong the peasants who were prepared to live thenew Soviet life’. From: Fedor Belov, The History of aSoviet Collective Farm

2) A member of a landowning family wrote to arelative about what happened at the estate:

‘The “coup” happened quite painlessly, quietlyand peacefully. …The first days were unbearable..Mikhail Mikhailovich [the estate owner] wascalm...The girls also…I must say the chairman be-haves correctly and even politely. We were left twocows and two horses. The servants tell them all thetime not to bother us. “Let them live. We vouch fortheir safety and property. We want them treated ashumanely as possible….”

…There are rumours that several villages are try-ing to evict the committees and return the estateto Mikhail Mikhailovich. I don’t know if this will hap-pen, or if it’s good for us. But we rejoice that thereis a conscience in our people...’From: Serge Schmemann, Echoes of a Native Land. Two Centuriesof a Russian Village (1997).

Read the two views on the revolution in thecountryside. Imagine yourself to be a witnessto the events. Write a short account from thestandpoint of: 1) an owner of an estate 2) asmall peasant 3) a journalist.

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state decided what has to be produceand how much. This enabled them tomaintain a balance between demandand supply.

However, all this was built throughan enormous centralisation ofpolitical power in the hands of theCommunist Party and its leaders anddenial of ordinary democratic libertiesto the citizens and doing away with anyopposition through the use of forceincluding large scale execution ofopposition leaders. All this was doneon the plea that it was necessary tobuild socialism and defeat the designsof capitalist powers which wereconstantly trying to undermine theUSSR.

The experience of the USSRinspired people all over the world whowere committed to the ideals ofequality and national liberation. A largenumber of them now becamecommunists and tried for a communistrevolution in their countries. Many ofthem like MN Roy, Tagore and Nehruwere inspired by it even though theydid not agree with many aspects ofcommunism like suppression ofopposition political parties.

Many others were also horrifiedby the violent elimination ofopposition and denial of multipartydemocracy and freedom in the USSR.George Orwell wrote his famous satire‘Animal Farm’ to highlight how theideals of Russian Revolution werecompromised in USSR.

Central Asia of the October Revolution:Views

M.N.Roy played an important role in‘comintern’ an international organisation set topromote communist revolution in the world. Hewas in Central Asia at the time of the civil war inthe 1920s. He wrote:

‘The chieftain was a benevolent old man; hisattendant … a youth who … spoke Russian … Hehad heard of the Revolution, which had over-thrown the Tsar and driven away the Generalswho conquered the homeland of the Kirgiz. So,the Revolution meant that the Kirgiz were mas-ters of their home again. “Long Live the Revolu-tion” shouted the Kirgiz youth who seemed tobe a born Bolshevik. The whole tribe joined.’M.N.Roy, Memoirs (1964).

An Indian arrives in Soviet Russia in 1920

‘For the first time in our lives, we were see-ing Europeans mixing freely with Asians. On see-ing the Russians mingling freely with the rest ofthe people of the country we were convincedthat we had come to a land of real equality. Wesaw freedom in its true light. In spite of theirpoverty, imposed by the counter-revolutionar-ies and the imperialists, the people were morejovial and satisfied than ever before. The revo-lution had instilled confidence and fearlessnessin them. The real brotherhood of mankindwould be seen here among these people of fiftydifferent nationalities. No barriers of caste orreligion hindered them from mixing freely withone another. Every soul was transformed intoan orator. One could see a worker, a peasant ora soldier haranguing like a professional lecturer.’ Shaukat Usmani, Historic Trips of a Revolutionary.

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Make a brief assessment of the Sovietexperiment. How far was it successfulin building a world based on equality,freedom and prosperity?Do you think it is justified to executethousands of people for the sake of suchexperiments?What were the criticisms raised againstcommunist system?

Rabindranath Tagore wrotefrom Russia in 1930

‘Moscow appears much lessclean than the other European capi-tals. None of those hurrying alongthe streets look smart. The wholeplace belongs to the workers … Herethe masses have not in the leastbeen put in the shade by the gentle-men … those who lived in the back-ground for ages have come forwardin the open today … I thought of thepeasants and workers in my owncountry. It all seemed like the workof the Genii in the Arabian Nights.[here] only a decade ago they wereas illiterate, helpless and hungry asour own masses … Who could bemore astonished than an unfortu-nate Indian like myself to see howthey had removed the mountain ofignorance and helplessness in thesefew years’.

The Great DepressionThe Great Depression began around the end of 1929 and lasted almost till

1939 when the Second World War began. During this decade there was a worldwideeconomic decline triggered by a decline in demand and fall in prices. The declinein demand led to closure of factory production which in turn meant further declinein the purchasing power of people leading to further decline in demand. This cyclicaleffect caused massive unemployment and decline of real incomes of ordinarypeople as well as governments across the world. It initially began with a stockmarket collapse in the US, but before long affected almost every country.

As many as 25% Americans were unemployed and nearly 33% in many othercountries. As factories closed down and trade declined cities became centers ofdecline. This in turn caused a collapse of prices (upto 60%) for agricultural producecausing pauperisation of millions of farmers and stopping of cultivation. This wasthe longest and most severe economic decline faced by modern economy till today.It had devastating social consequences sharply increasing poverty, desolation,homelessness etc.

Fig 14. 3 : A poster from USSR during World WarII saying “more metal more weapons”.

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Economists and politicians have argued ever since over the causes of this decline,ways to get over it and possible ways of preventing its recurrence. Marxisteconomists argued that this kind of crises is an essential nature of capitalism andcan be got rid of only with the establishment of socialism. On the other handeconomists like JM Keynes argued that the state has a crucial role to play in keepingthe economy going and if it fails to intervene effectively it can lead to situations ofdepression. Keynes argued that during time of economic decline when demanddecreases, the state should invest funds and generate employment which will helppeople to earn money and demand goods in the market. This generation of demandthrough state action will help the economy revive. However, the governments ofcapitalist countries in 1920s and 1930s were reluctant to intervene in the economyand this intensified the crisis.

Roosevelt who became the President of US announced “the New Deal” whichpromised Relief to the victims of depression, Reform of financial institutions andsteps to ensure economic Recovery (The Three Rs) by undertaking large publicworks. However, the real break came from the outbreak of war when state expenditureon armies and armaments suddenly increased giving a big boost to factory productionand demand for farm produce. He also introduced the much needed social securitysystem in the US. It established a permanent system of universal retirement pensions(Social Security), unemployment insurance, and welfare benefits for the handicappedand needy children in families without father present. It established the frameworkfor the U.S. welfare system. In fact Great Britain had taken the lead in this directioneven before the Depression when the war was still on. These basically consisted ofunemployment insurance and old age pension schemes. At the close of the SecondWorld War Britain too adopted extensive social security measures likeunemployment doles, sickness coverage, health schemes, Child care etc. All thiswent on to make the idea of Welfare State in which the state ensured a certain basic

minimum dignified life forall citizens and took care oftheir most elementaryneeds like food, housing,health, child and old agecare and education. To alarge extent the state alsotook on the responsibilityof providing employmentto the able bodied citizens.In this way the state triedto mitigate the ups anddowns of market basedcapitalism.

Fig 14.4 : A New Yorker offers to sell his roadster afterlosing his money in the stock market crash.

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Rise of Nazism in GermanyGerman economy faced severe crisis after the war as it was saddled with the

burden of paying war damages etc. So much so that the German Governmentbegan to print currency notes on a largescale and this resulted in unheard ofinflation. It is said that people had to carrycurrency in carts to buy one loaf of bread!USA at this stage helped to bail outGermany by giving loans andrescheduling the payment of wardamages. This helped German economyto stabilise by 1928. However this wasshort lived as USA itself was deeplyaffected by the onset of the Depressionin 1929 and could no longer helpGermany.

The German economy was the worsthit by the Depression. By 1932, industrialproduction was reduced to 40 per cent ofthe 1929 level. Workers lost their jobsor were paid reduced wages. The numberof unemployed touched an unprecedented6 million. On the streets of Germany youcould see men with placards around theirnecks saying, ‘Willing to do any work’.Unemployed youths played cards or simply sat at street corners, or desperatelyqueued up at the local employment exchange. As jobs disappeared, the youthtook to criminal activities and total despair became common place.

The economic crisis created deep anxieties and fears in people. The middleclasses, especially salaried employees and pensioners, saw their savings diminishwhen the currency lost its value. Small businessmen, the self-employed andretailers suffered as their businesses got ruined. These sections of society werefilled with the fear of pauperisation, an anxiety of being reduced to the ranks ofthe working class, or worse still, the unemployed. Only organised workers could

Imagine yourself to be a worker who lost job suddenly and had no employmentfor the next few years. Write an account of a day in your life in first person.Imagine yourself to be a farmer who finds that the price of his crop has fallen toless than half. Write your reaction in three hundred words.What aspects of the Welfare State do you find functioning in India today?

From Hitler’s speechHitler argued that it is the right of the

most powerful race to conquer the world;‘For this earth is not allotted to anyone noris it presented to anyone as a gift. It isawarded by providence to people who intheir hearts have the courage to conquerit, the strength to preserve it, and theindustry to put it to the plough… Theprimary right of this world is the right tolife, so far as one possesses the strengthfor this. Hence on the basis of this right avigorous nation will always find ways ofadapting its territory to its population size.’Hitler, Secret Book, ed. Telford Taylor.

Is Hitler the idea of Worldconquest here? Do you think worldshould belong to those who havepower and strength alone?

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Do you agree with the view thatwomen should confine themselvesto pain and suffering of bringing upthe children?Do you think men and women canparticipate equally in all aspects oflife including child rearing and workin factories, offices, and fields?

Fig 14.5 : Women accused of protecting Jewsbeing publicly punished.

IndoctrinationNazis tried to teach their children right from the beginning in only one way of thinking.

Nazi ideology of racial superiority of Germany and the greatness of Hitler and hatred forjews and other people. How was this done?

All boys between the ages of six and ten went through a preliminary training inNazi ideology. At the end of the training they had to take the following oath of loyaltyto Hitler: ‘In the presence of this blood banner which represents our Fuhrer I swear todevote all my energies and my strength to the saviour of our country, Adolf Hitler. I amwilling and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God.’From W. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

Robert Lay, head of the German Labour Front, said:‘We start when the child is three years old. As soon as he even starts to think, he is

given a little flag to wave. Then comes school, the Hitler Youth, military service. Butwhen all this is over, we don’t let go of anyone. The labour front takes hold of them,and keeps hold until they go to the grave, whether they like it or not.’

Women under NazisIn an address to women at the Nuremberg Party Rally, 8 September 1934, Hitler said:We do not consider it correct for the woman to interfere in the world of the man, in

his main sphere. We consider it natural that these two worlds remain distinct…Whatthe man gives in courage on the battlefield, the woman gives in eternal self-sacrifice, ineternal pain and suffering. Every child that women bring to the world is a battle, abattle waged for the existence of her people.

Hitler at the Nuremberg Party Rally, 8 September 1934, also said:‘The woman is the most stable element in the preservation of a folk…she has the

most unerring sense of everything that is important to not let a race disappear be-cause it is her children who would be affected by all this suffering in the first place…Thatis why we have integrated the woman in the struggle of the racial community just asnature and providence have determined so.’

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manage to keep their heads above water, butunemployment weakened their bargainingpower. Big business was in crisis. The largemass of peasantry was affected by a sharp fallin agricultural prices and women, unable to filltheir children’s stomachs, were filled with asense of deep despair. This caused acutepolitical instability as government aftergovernment collapsed and could not provide astable rule.

In such a situation Nazi Party’s propagandastirred hopes of a better future. Hitler was itsunquestioned leader. In 1928, the Nazi Partygot no more than 2. 6 per cent votes in theReichstag – the German parliament. By 1932,it had become the largest party with 37 per centvotes.

Hitler was a powerful speaker. His passionand his words moved people. He promised tobuild a strong nation, undo the injustice of theVersailles Treaty and restore the dignity of theGerman people. He promised employment forthose looking for work, and a secure future forthe youth. He promised to weed out all foreign influences and resist all foreign‘conspiracies’ against Germany.

Hitler devised a new style of politics. He understood the significance of ritualsand spectacle in mass mobilisation. Nazis held massive rallies and public meetingsto demonstrate the support for Hitler and instill a sense of unity among the people.The Red banners with the Swastika, the Nazi salute, and the ritualised rounds ofapplause after the speeches were all part of this spectacle of power.

Hitler mobilized his supporters on the promise of establishing the racialsupremacy of Aryan Germans over the world and by targeting minority communitieslike the Jews as the main cause of all problems. He also attacked Communism andCapitalism terming both of them as Jewish conspiracies and promised to build astrong state which will counter both. He appealed specially to the middle classwhich felt threatened by capitalism and the Great Depression and at the same timewas opposed to working class movement led by the Communists and Socialists.

Hitler came to power and immediately took steps to establish an undemocraticand autocratic rule and dismantle all democratic institutions like Parliament. Thisincluded arbitrary arrest of political opponents, especially the Communists andputting them in concentration camps.


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On 3 March 1933, the famousEnabling Act was passed. This Actestablished dictatorship inGermany. It gave Hitler all powersto sideline Parliament and rule bydecree. All political parties andtrade unions were banned exceptfor the Nazi Party and its affiliates.The state established completecontrol over the economy, media,army and judiciary.

Special surveillance andsecurity forces were created tocontrol and order society in waysthat the Nazis wanted. Apart fromthe already existing regular policein green uniform and the SA or theStorm Troopers, these included theGestapo (secret state police), theSS (the protection squads),criminal police and the SecurityService (SD). It was the extra-

constitutional powers of these newlyorganised forces that gave the Nazistate its reputation as the mostdreaded criminal state. People couldnow be detained in Gestapo torturechambers, rounded up and sent to

concentration camps, deported at willor arrested without any legalprocedures. The police forcesacquired powers to rule with impunity.

These powers were used to arrestand torture millions of politicalactivists, trade unionists and people ofminority communities and build astate of unprecedented horror and fear.

Hitler assigned the responsibilityof economic recovery to theeconomist Hjalmar Schacht who

aimed at full production and full

Pastor Niemoeller, a resistance fighter,observed an absence of protest, an uncanny silence,amongst ordinary Germans in the face of brutal andorganised crimes committed against people in theNazi empire. He wrote movingly about this silence:‘First they came for the Communists,

Well, I was not a Communist

So I said nothing.

Then they came for the Social Democrats,

Well, I was not a Social Democrat

So I did nothing,

Then they came for the trade unionists,

But I was not a trade unionist.

And then they came for the Jews,

But I was not a Jew – so I did little.

Then when they came for me,

There was no one left who could stand up for me.’


Fig 14.6 : Jewish slave labourers in the Buchenwaldconcentration camp near Jena Germany in 1945

Nazi ideology depended on majoritarianprinciples. Jews were merely 0.75 percentof the population in Germany. Apart fromJews others who opposed Nazi’s were alsopunished. How does the pastor capture this?

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employment through a state-funded work-creation programme. You may recall theviews of Keynes above. This project produced the famous German superhighwaysand the people’s car, the Volkswagen. This period saw an improvement of livingstandards of a section of the Germans even though it meant sub-human conditionsof life for those condemned by the racist regime. This was followed by heavyinvestment in armament industry to create further employment but this could besustained only by going on war with the neighbours. Hitler pursued an aggressiveforeign policy of recovering the territories lost after the First World War. Then by1939 he attacked Poland and as we saw earlier this triggered off the Second WorldWar.

As the War proceeded the Nazi regime unfolded its horrible programme ofbuilding the racial supremacy of Germans by mass extermination of minoritycommunities.

Under the shadow of the Second World War, Germany had waged a genocidalwar, which resulted in the mass murder of selected groups of innocent civilians ofEurope. The number of people killed included about 60,000,000 Jews, 2,000,000Gypsies, 10,000,000 Polish civilians, 70,000 Germans who were consideredmentally and physically disabled, 10,000 homosexuals besides innumerablepolitical opponents or people of different religious faith. Nazis devised anunprecedented means of killing people, that is, by gassing them in various killingcentres like Auschwitz.

The defeat and endThe tide of initial

victories scored byGerman armies wasturned back after thedefeat of the Germanforces in the famousBattle of Stalingrad inearly 1943. NowUSSR and the Alliedforces closed in onGermany. Sovietforces werewelcomed all overEastern Europe asliberators from thehated Nazi rule andeventually capturedBerlin, the capital ofGermany. Hitler and

Map 1 : Area Under JapaneseContorl 1942

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his close associates committed suicide to avoid being captured and tried. EventuallyGermany was divided into two with the eastern part named German DemocraticRepublic (GDR) and the western portion named Federal Republic of Germany(FRG). The GDR came under the area of influence of USSR while the FRG cameunder the influence of USA.

In the far east with bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan surrendered toUSA. US armies occupied Japan butkeeping in the sentiments of Japaneseallowed the Japanese Emporer to continue.But it built a Constitutional Monarchy likein England. Japan was to be ruled by theelected government responsible to theparliament (DIET).

Many of the Nazi generals and leaderswere captured and put to trial in the famousNuremberg trials. The Nuremberg Tribunalsentenced only eleven leading Nazis to

death. Many others were imprisoned forlife. The retribution did come, yet thepunishment of the Nazis was far shortof the brutality and extent of theircrimes. The Allies did not want to beas harsh on defeated Germany as theyhad been after the First World War. Infact given the economic collapse ofGermany and Japan after the war, theUSA came up with Marshall Plan to fundtheir economic revival. Likewise theUSSR came up with a package for the

revival of East European countries.The first half of the 20th century

ended with the nightmare of Hiroshimaand Nagasaki and with the hopesgenerated by the founding of the UNO.Just as the First World War saw the endof large monarchic empires the SecondWorld War also ended with ending oflarge colonial empires of the Britain,France, Japan, Italy and Germany. By1950 countries like India, China,Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Nigeria etc

In what ways was the Second WorldWar a logical outcome of Hitler’sideology and economic policies?Why do you think Hitler wanted totarget Jews as the enemy of Germanpeople?Find out more about “Holocaust” andAuschwitz camps and prepare aproject report based on it.

Fig 14.7:(TOP) from

left Churchil,Roosevelt andStalin at YaltaConference

(Left) Twodictators:

Mussolini andHitler

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became independent. Britain which was themost powerful country before the war nowbecame a secondary power. Two new superpowers emerged on the world scene, theUSSR and the USA. The USSR which borethe main brunt of Hitler’s war and facedenormous destruction, gradually rebuilt itseconomy. Its victory however, greatlyenhanced its prestige in the world and it wasnow joined by the entire Eastern Europe andChina to form a large ‘Socialist Camp’.

Improve your learning1. Russian revolution brought in many changes in their society. What were they? And

what challenges did they face?2. Compare different points of view about Great Depression, which one would you

agree with? Why?3. In what ways were Jews persecuted during the Nazi Germany? Do you think in every

country some people are differentiated because of their identity?4. List the measures taken under idea of welfare state under Great Depression and

explain how similar or different they are from that of the reforms that emergedunder the USSR?

5. What challenges were faced by Germany during Great Depression and how did Nazirulers and Hitler make use of it?

6. What were the political changes brought under the Nazi rule? Often people arguethat a single powerful leader can resolve the problems of a country. Based on theexperiences narrated in the context of Nazi Germany how do you respond to thisvision?

Compare the experiences of USSRand Germany after the First WorldWar. What similarities anddifferences do you find betweenthem?The experience of war and depressiongave rise to many new alternativemodels of national development –what were these and what were theirlimitations?


Discuss the images given on next page. Try to collect more images regarding this period.

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Key wordsSocialism Communism Revolution Centralisation of powerBolshevik Collectivisation Relief – Reform – RecoveryWelfare state Indoctrination Propaganda Racial supremacy

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In cartoon 1,artist fromUSA points

out thetreatment of

Jews inGermany ismuch like

thetreatment of

Blacks inUSA. In

cartoon 2,BritishPrime

Ministeradvices to USA that Nazi Germany is not to be afraid of.

In the firstcartoon on the

left, NaziGermany isshown as

leading peopleto slavery. Butas you wouldnotice in the

second cartoonmany peoplecontinued to

believe the propaganda generated in Germany that were biased towards the Jews.

War is expensive and deeplyaffects the people lives. Twoposters in USA were created

with the aim of gettingpeople to help their nationin fighting agaist the Nazi.What can you tell about the

images here?