Right wing Socialism?

A clash of political ideologies

The debate over whether the Nazis and Adolf Hitler were socialists has persisted since the end of the Second World War.

The National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), commonly known as the Nazi Party, included "socialist" in its name, which has led some to argue that the Nazis were indeed socialists.

However, a closer examination of Nazi ideology, policies, and practices reveals a complex picture that challenges this simplistic classification.

This page will explore the nature of Nazi ideology, the economic policies of the Third Reich, and the political strategies of Adolf Hitler to determine whether the Nazis were genuinely socialists.

It will also address common misconceptions and provide counterpoints to the claim that the Nazis were a socialist movement.

German Leader, Adolf Hitler. Hitler was not a socialist. His regime emphasized nationalism, racial purity, and authoritarianism, collaborating with big business and opposing Marxist socialism and communism.

Historical Context and Ideological Foundations

The NSDAP emerged in the aftermath of the First World War, during a period of severe economic hardship and political instability in Germany.

Initially, the party sought to attract disillusioned workers, soldiers, and nationalists by adopting elements of socialist rhetoric and emphasizing anti-capitalist sentiments.

However, the ideological foundation of the Nazi Party was deeply rooted in nationalism, racial purity, and anti-Semitism, rather than in the principles of socialism as understood by Marxist or democratic socialist movements.

Hitler at a Nazi rally in 1930.  Nazi rallies promoted their ideology through grandiose displays of unity, discipline, and power, utilizing propaganda, symbols, and speeches to reinforce nationalism, racial purity, and loyalty to Hitler, fostering a collective identity and unwavering support.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-10541 / Georg Pahl / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Nazi Party - Wikipedia

...a superficial resemblance to socialist demands...

The early years of the Nazi Party were characterized by a blend of ideologies aimed at garnering mass support.

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP, announced in 1920, included demands for the abolition of unearned income, the nationalization of trusts, and the communalization of department stores.

These points had a superficial resemblance to socialist demands, but they were largely populist slogans designed to attract a broad base of support rather than genuine commitments to socialist principles.

The Nazis 25 point program. The program included populist demands like abolishing unearned income and nationalizing trusts, aiming to attract support rather than reflecting genuine socialist principles.

NSDAP National Socialist 25 point program flyer 1928-1932 - German WW2 Kampfzeit propaganda collection - GreatMilitaria.com

Hitler and Mein Kampf

Adolf Hitler's personal views, as articulated in his book "Mein Kampf," were fundamentally at odds with socialist principles.

In "Mein Kampf," Hitler outlines his vision for Germany, emphasizing Aryan racial superiority, vehement anti-Semitism, and a strong nationalist agenda.

He saw the state as a vehicle for racial purity and national strength, rather than an instrument for achieving social equality or economic redistribution.

Instead of advocating for the dismantling of class structures or wealth redistribution, Hitler focused on creating a racially homogeneous and hierarchically structured society. His ideology prioritized national unity and racial hierarchy over socialist goals of equality and international solidarity.

German racial anthropologist Bruno Beger conducting anthropometric studies in Sikkim. Hitler's views on Aryan racial superiority promoted a hierarchical, exclusionary society based on race, contrasting sharply with socialist principles that advocate for equality, class struggle, and international solidarity. His ideology focused on nationalism and racial purity, opposing socialism's inclusive and egalitarian values.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 135-KB-15-083 / Krause, Ernst / CC-BY-SA 3.0


Hitler’s disdain for socialism is evident in his fierce opposition to Marxism, which he often equated with a Jewish conspiracy aimed at weakening the Aryan race and destroying national unity.

He believed that Marxist ideologies, which include both socialism and communism, were inherently destructive and sought to undermine the societal structures he valued.

Instead of advocating for the abolition of class structures and wealth redistribution, Hitler's focus was on creating a racially homogeneous and hierarchically structured society.

A Jewish-run shop in Berlin after being vandalized and covered with anti-Semitic graffiti, 10th November 1938. Kristallnacht, the 'Night of Broken Glass,' reflected Hitler's anti-Semitic views expressed in "Mein Kampf," showcasing his goal of eradicating Jews from German society. This violent pogrom contrasts sharply with socialist principles, which advocate for social justice and equality, highlighting the incompatibility of Hitler's ideology with socialism.

Kristallnacht: The 75th Anniversary Of The 'Night Of Broken Glass' (rferl.org)

...Hitler’s personal views, as expressed in "Mein Kampf," were fundamentally incompatible with socialism...

Furthermore, Hitler's economic views were centered on autarky and rearmament, aiming for national self-sufficiency and military strength, rather than socialist economic equality.

He endorsed the collaboration with big businesses and industrialists to achieve these goals, contrasting sharply with socialism’s opposition to capitalist structures.

In conclusion, Hitler’s personal views, as expressed in "Mein Kampf," were fundamentally incompatible with socialism, focusing instead on nationalism, racial purity, and state control aimed at furthering his ideological and militaristic objectives.

Nationalism vs. Socialism

National socialism, as conceived by the Nazis, was fundamentally different from Marxist socialism.

Traditional socialism advocates for the collective ownership of the means of production, wealth redistribution, and the abolition of class structures.

In contrast, Nazi ideology focused on the supremacy of the Aryan race, the unity of the German Volk (people), and the subjugation or elimination of perceived racial and political enemies.

Scene along roadway to the Fallersleben Volkswagen Works cornerstone ceremony, Germany, 1938. Crowds have gathered to see Hitler and other high ranking Nazi officials. The Nazis' concept of the Volk (people) emphasized racial purity, national unity, and Aryan supremacy, promoting a homogeneous society that excluded Jews, communists, and other groups deemed undesirable, fostering a strong, racially pure national community.

Rare color photos from pre-war Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 - Rare Historical Photos

...emphasis on racial purity and nationalism distinguished the Nazi ideology from socialism...

The Nazis sought to create a hierarchical society based on racial purity and national strength, rather than classless equality.

The emphasis on racial purity and nationalism distinguished the Nazi ideology from socialism.

While socialism seeks to unite workers across national boundaries, Nazi ideology was explicitly nationalistic and exclusionary.

The Nazis promoted the idea of a Volksgemeinschaft (people's community) that excluded Jews, communists, homosexuals, and other groups deemed undesirable.

This exclusionary and hierarchical vision was antithetical to the inclusive and egalitarian principles of socialism.

Private Property and State Control

While the Nazis did implement some state control over the economy, they did not pursue the nationalization of industries or the abolition of private property, which are key tenets of socialism.

Instead, the Nazi regime maintained a capitalist economy where private enterprise was allowed to flourish, provided it served the interests of the state.

Major industrialists and business leaders, such as those from the Krupp and IG Farben companies, were integral to the Nazi war effort and benefited from state contracts and the exploitation of forced labor.

Prisoners at forced labor constructing the Krupp factory at Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Krupp, a major German industrial conglomerate, played a crucial role in the war effort by producing vast quantities of armaments, including artillery, tanks, and submarines, significantly bolstering Germany's military capabilities during both World Wars.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Instytut Pamieci Narodowej


...extensive state intervention...

The Nazi economic system can be described as a form of state capitalism or dirigisme, where the state played a significant role in directing economic activity but did not seek to abolish private ownership.

The Four Year Plan, initiated in 1936 and overseen by Hermann Göring, aimed at preparing Germany for war through rearmament and autarky.

This plan involved extensive state intervention in the economy but did not entail the socialization of the means of production. Instead, it aimed to make Germany self-sufficient and capable of sustaining a prolonged conflict.

The Role of Big Business

The collaboration between the Nazi regime and big business is a crucial point that contradicts the notion of the Nazis as socialists.

Many large corporations supported the Nazis financially and ideologically, as the regime's policies were beneficial to their interests.

This relationship underscores the fact that the Nazis were more interested in using the capitalist system to achieve their goals of national and racial dominance rather than dismantling it in favor of socialist economic structures.

Nazi officials on their way to Fallersleben Volkswagen Works cornerstone ceremony, 1938. The Nazis' collaboration with big business, including financial support and favorable policies for major industrialists, demonstrated they were not socialists. This alliance ensured mutual benefits and highlighted their preference for capitalist structures over socialist economic redistribution and class equality.

Rare color photos from pre-war Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 - Rare Historical Photos

...fundamental differences between the Nazi economic model and socialist principles...

The regime's relationship with big business was mutually beneficial. Industrialists and business leaders provided financial support to the Nazi Party, both before and after it came to power, in exchange for favorable policies and contracts.

The regime, in turn, relied on the industrial sector to meet its goals of rearmament and economic self-sufficiency.

This symbiotic relationship highlights the fundamental differences between the Nazi economic model and socialist principles, which advocate for the dismantling of capitalist structures.

Nazis outside of the Berlin branch of Woolworth, 1933. The Nazis' collaboration with big businesses, which involved mutual benefits through state contracts and support for the war effort, contrasts sharply with socialist ideals that seek to dismantle capitalist structures and redistribute wealth. 

10 US Companies That Worked with Nazi Germany (historydefined.net)

Anti-Communism and Anti-Socialism

One of the most significant indicators that the Nazis were not socialists is their vehement opposition to communism and socialism.

The Nazis viewed Marxism, which includes both socialism and communism, as a Jewish conspiracy designed to undermine national unity and racial purity.

This animosity was evident in the Nazi suppression of socialist and communist parties, the imprisonment and execution of their leaders, and the banning of Marxist literature.

The Nazi regime's anti-communist stance was not merely rhetorical; it was reflected in their actions.

Ernst Thälmann, leader of the German Communist Party and Berlin anti-Nazi workers. A rival of Adolf Hitler for power in Berlin, Thälmann was arrested soon after the Nazi takeover in 1933, and sent to prison. He was finally executed on August 18, 1944 (some sources say August 28) in the concentration camp at Buchenwald, near Weimar. 

Ernst Thaelmann (April 16, 1886 — August 28, 1944), German politician | World Biographical Encyclopedia (prabook.com)

...the regime's fundamental opposition to socialist ideologies...

The Reichstag Fire in 1933 was used as a pretext to arrest communist leaders and suppress leftist organizations.

The Enabling Act, which followed soon after, allowed Hitler to establish a dictatorship by effectively dismantling parliamentary democracy and outlawing the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

These actions underscore the regime's fundamental opposition to socialist ideologies.

Social Welfare Programs

While the Nazis did implement social welfare programs, these were designed to foster loyalty to the regime and promote their racial ideology, rather than to achieve social justice or economic equality.

Programs like the Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude) aimed to provide leisure activities and benefits to the working class, but they were also tools of propaganda and social control.

The primary objective was to ensure the population's support for the regime and its war efforts, not to redistribute wealth or empower the working class.

Dancing class of the KdF, 1933. "Strength Through Joy" (KdF) was a leisure organization operated by the NSDAP in Nazi Germany, functioning under the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront), the national labor organization at the time. Established in November 1933, it aimed to promote the benefits of Nazism both domestically and internationally and to facilitate Germany's rearmament. Additionally, the KdF sought to offset the limited wage increases and the loss of trade union rights experienced by workers.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1974-121-28A / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Strength Through Joy - Wikipedia

...more about cultivating a sense of national unity and loyalty than about addressing economic inequality...

Winterhilfswerk Mosaic

Winterhilfswerk - Wikipedia

The Nazi welfare programs were intricately tied to their ideological goals.

The Winter Relief of the German People (Winterhilfswerk des Deutschen Volkes) campaign, for example, aimed to provide aid to impoverished Germans during the winter months.

However, participation in these programs was often linked to demonstrating loyalty to the regime and adherence to its racial policies.

These programs were more about cultivating a sense of national unity and loyalty than about addressing economic inequality in a meaningful way.

Travelers aboard a KdF cruise enjoying an orchestra performance. The KdF primarily served Nazi propaganda and rearmament goals, rather than adhering to socialist principles. It aimed to control and placate workers, not to promote economic equality or workers' rights, contrasting with true socialist ideals.

Strength Through Joy - Wikipedia

Misconceptions and Counterpoints:  The Name "National Socialist"

The inclusion of "socialist" in the Nazi Party's name has led to confusion about the true nature of Nazi ideology.

However, the term "socialist" in the context of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers' Party) was largely a strategic choice to attract a broad base of support during the party's early years.

It did not reflect a commitment to socialist principles as understood in the Marxist or democratic socialist traditions.

Excited crowds wait for the arrival of Hitler at the Volkswagen Works cornerstone ceremony, near Wolfsburg, 1938. The use of "Socialism" in "National Socialism" helped the Nazis attract a wide base of support by appealing to disillusioned workers and those dissatisfied with existing socialist parties, blending nationalist and anti-Semitic rhetoric to broaden their political appeal and consolidate power.

Hugo Jager / Life Magazine

Rare color photos from pre-war Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 - Rare Historical Photos

...by incorporating "socialist" into their name, the Nazis aimed to appeal to workers...

Instead, the Nazis used the term to exploit the political climate of the time and to position themselves as a revolutionary force against the existing political order.

The strategic use of "socialist" in the party's name can be understood in the context of the political landscape of Weimar Germany.

The early 20th century saw a significant rise in socialist and workers' movements across Europe, leading to widespread support for ideas that promised to improve the conditions of the working class.

...effective in attracting those who felt betrayed...

By incorporating "socialist" into their name, the Nazis aimed to appeal to workers who were disillusioned with the existing socialist and communist parties but were also nationalistic and anti-Semitic.

This tactic was particularly effective in attracting those who felt betrayed by the traditional left-wing parties yet resonated with the Nazi Party's emphasis on national revival and racial purity.

Reichserntedankfest rally (Thanksgiving Celebration of the Reich), 1934. Around 700,000 people participated. Even those who did not support Nazis were taken aback by the sheer size and spectacle. It promoted Nazi ideals by showcasing German agricultural achievements, fostering national unity, and emphasizing Aryan racial purity. It reinforced Nazi propaganda, celebrating the connection between the people, the land, and the Führer.

Hugo Jager / Life Magazine

Reichserntedankfest rally (Thanksgiving Celebration of the Reich), 1934 - Rare Historical Photos

...while distancing themselves from true socialist ideologies...

This move was more about broadening the party's appeal than about committing to socialist principles.

The Nazis sought to present themselves as a unique and revolutionary alternative, blending aspects of socialism that appealed to the working class with strong nationalist and anti-Semitic rhetoric.

This allowed them to draw support from a diverse array of social groups, consolidating their power while distancing themselves from true socialist ideologies that prioritize class struggle and international solidarity over national and racial concerns.

Nazi Economic Practices

The Nazi regime's economic policies were geared towards autarky (self-sufficiency) and rearmament, rather than socialist redistribution.

While the state exercised significant control over the economy, this was primarily to ensure the success of its militaristic and expansionist objectives.

The policies were designed to benefit the Aryan population and the war machine, not to create an egalitarian society.

This approach involved directing resources and efforts towards building a strong military-industrial complex, securing raw materials, and developing infrastructure that could support prolonged warfare.

Waffen SS Troops with Halftracks and Panther V Ausf G tanks during Soviet Operation Bagration in mid-1944. To support prolonged warfare and the invasion of the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany developed extensive infrastructure, including improved railways, roads, and supply depots, to ensure efficient troop movement, resource distribution, and logistical support for the military campaign.


...extensive state intervention...

The implementation of policies such as the Four Year Plan, initiated in 1936 and overseen by Hermann Göring, underscores the regime's focus on military and national objectives rather than economic equality.

This plan aimed to prepare Germany for war through a program of rapid industrialization and militarization.

It involved extensive state intervention in key industries like steel, chemicals, and armaments, ensuring that these sectors were aligned with the regime’s strategic goals.

However, unlike socialist policies that seek to dismantle capitalist structures and redistribute wealth to achieve social equity, the Nazi economic strategy maintained and even reinforced existing capitalist frameworks.

Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, who oversaw the Nazi Four Year Plan. The Nazi Four Year Plan focused on rapid rearmament, industrialization, and achieving economic self-sufficiency for war.

Item #4 (themarshalsbaton.com)

German Military Expenditure 1933 - 1939. The Four Year Plan prioritized military rearmament and industrial growth for war. Such extensive military expenditure is unlikely under a socialist government, which typically focuses on social welfare, economic equality, and reducing military spending for broader societal benefits.

...clearly distinguished Nazi economic practices from socialist ideals...

Instead of promoting economic equality, the Four Year Plan and similar policies sought to strengthen the nation's military capabilities and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

The state’s role was to orchestrate the economy to serve its nationalistic and militaristic ends, ensuring that the Aryan population benefitted from this strategic focus.

This approach clearly distinguished Nazi economic practices from socialist ideals, as it prioritized national power and racial purity over classless social equity.

The Nazi regime’s economic policies were therefore fundamentally about consolidating power and preparing for conflict, not about achieving socialist redistribution or economic justice.

Fascism and Socialism

Fascism, the broader ideological framework within which Nazism fits, is fundamentally at odds with socialism.

Fascism emphasizes the importance of the state, nationalism, and often racial purity, whereas socialism focuses on class struggle, economic equality, and internationalism.

The conflation of fascism with socialism overlooks these critical ideological differences and misrepresents the core principles of each ideology.

Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts, similar to the Nazis, embraced fascist principles, promoting nationalism, authoritarianism, and anti-Semitism. Both groups used violence and propaganda to achieve their goals, contrasting sharply with socialist ideals of class equality, democratic governance, and international solidarity, which oppose fascism's hierarchical and exclusionary nature.

...Fascism and socialism are ideologically distinct...

Fascism and socialism are ideologically distinct, and this distinction is crucial for understanding the nature of Nazi ideology.

Fascism, as articulated by Mussolini and later adopted by Hitler, emphasizes the primacy of the state, national unity, and often a form of racial hierarchy.

This ideology seeks to create a homogenous society where the state exerts significant control over many aspects of life, prioritizing national strength and purity over individual freedoms and social equality.

...incompatible with the core tenets of socialism...

Socialism, on the other hand, seeks to dismantle class structures and promote economic equality.

It advocates for collective ownership of the means of production and aims to redistribute wealth to achieve a more equitable society.

Socialism is inherently internationalist, striving to unite workers across national boundaries in the pursuit of common economic and social goals.

The Nazis' focus on nationalism and racial purity places them firmly within the fascist tradition, not the socialist one.

Their policies were designed to consolidate power within a strong, centralized state, promote Aryan racial superiority, and suppress any form of political or social dissent that threatened their vision of national unity.

This approach is fundamentally incompatible with the core tenets of socialism, which emphasize economic equality and international solidarity.

Italian leader Benito Mussolini. His political beliefs, emphasizing nationalism, authoritarianism, and the importance of a strong, centralized state, significantly influenced Hitler. Hitler adopted Mussolini's fascist principles, incorporating them into Nazi ideology, focusing on racial purity, national unity, and the use of state power to control society.

World War II in Color: Mussolini in SIGNAL Magazine (ww2colorfarbe.blogspot.com)

The Role of the SA and the Night of the Long Knives

The early Nazi paramilitary organization, the Sturmabteilung (SA), initially included many members who espoused more radical, quasi-socialist ideas.

However, as Hitler consolidated power, he moved to eliminate these elements within the party during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.

This purge targeted the SA leadership, which had become a threat to Hitler's control and the interests of the traditional conservative elites and the military.

This event underscores the regime's rejection of any genuine socialist tendencies within its ranks.

The Night of the Long Knives was a crucial turning point in the consolidation of Nazi power.

The purge targeted the SA leadership, including Ernst Röhm, who had pushed for more radical social and economic reforms that threatened the existing power structures.

By eliminating the SA's leadership, Hitler secured the support of the military and the conservative elite, further distancing the regime from any pretense of socialism.

Ernst Röhm, Head of the SA and the most well known victim of the Night of the Long Knives. The Night of the Long Knives eradicated the SA leadership, eliminating socialist elements within the Nazi Party. This purge solidified Hitler's power, aligning the party more closely with conservative and military elites, and suppressing socialist influences.

Comparison with Other Socialist Movements

Comparing the Nazi regime to other contemporary socialist movements further highlights the differences.

Socialist movements in countries like the Soviet Union, Spain, and various parts of Europe focused on workers' rights, class struggle, and economic equality. In contrast, the Nazis prioritized racial hierarchy, militarism, and national expansion.

The policies and practices of these regimes were fundamentally different, even if they occasionally used similar rhetoric to address different audiences.

Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin. Hitler's Germany focused on racial purity, nationalism, and expansionism, promoting Aryan supremacy and fascist principles. Stalin's Russia, however, emphasized class struggle, state control, and communism, aiming for a classless society and extensive government intervention.

Stalin colorized | History Forum (historum.com)

...the Nazi regime worked to strengthen the capitalist system...

Republican militia near Aragon front, during the Spanish Civil War, September 1936.

Spanish Civil War, Republican militia near Aragon front, September 1936. : r/Colorization (reddit.com)

The Soviet Union under Stalin, for example, implemented policies aimed at collectivizing agriculture and redistributing wealth, often through brutal means.

In contrast, the Nazi regime worked to strengthen the capitalist system while ensuring that it served the goals of racial purity and national strength.

The Spanish Civil War starkly contrasts socialist and communist factions fighting against fascist forces led by Franco, underscoring the fundamental ideological and practical differences between socialist movements and the Nazi regime.

While socialists and communists sought to promote equality, workers' rights, and international solidarity, the Nazis, like Franco's fascists, pursued nationalism, authoritarianism, and racial purity. This conflict exemplifies the inherent opposition between socialist ideals and the fascist principles that underpinned Nazi ideology.


The Nazis and Hitler were not socialists in the traditional sense of the term.

While the Nazi Party's name and some of its early rhetoric might suggest otherwise, the core ideology, policies, and practices of the regime were fundamentally opposed to socialist principles.

The Nazis' focus on nationalism, racial purity, anti-communism, and their collaboration with big business all indicate a movement that was more aligned with fascist and authoritarian capitalist traditions than with socialism.

...a regime that was deeply hostile to the principles of socialism...

The persistence of the misconception that the Nazis were socialists can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the party's name, propaganda efforts, and the complexities of political ideologies.

However, a detailed analysis of Nazi policies and practices reveals a regime that was deeply hostile to the principles of socialism and more concerned with achieving its goals through authoritarian control and militaristic expansion.

The dark and violent ideologies of the Nazis, centered on racial purity, authoritarianism, and systematic oppression, starkly contrast with the benign ideals of socialism, which promote equality, workers' rights, and social justice. While socialism seeks to uplift and unify, Nazi ideology aimed to dominate and exclude.

...not a reflection of genuine socialist commitments...

Understanding the true nature of Nazi ideology is crucial for historical accuracy and for drawing meaningful distinctions between different political systems.

The Nazis' use of socialist rhetoric was a strategic move to gain support, not a reflection of genuine socialist commitments.

Their actions, policies, and alliances demonstrate a regime firmly rooted in nationalist, fascist, and authoritarian capitalist traditions.

Further reading

"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" earned William Shirer a National Book Award and is regarded as one of the most authoritative books on Nazi Germany. Utilizing Joseph Goebbels' diaries and Nuremberg Trials testimony, Shirer provides a clear, detailed account of Adolf Hitler's near-conquest of the world. With millions of copies in print, this book offers a chilling and illuminating portrait of mankind's darkest hours.

Ian Kershaw's two-volume biography, "Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris" and "Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis," was universally acclaimed as the definitive work on Hitler. Now available in an abridged edition, it traces how a failed art student from Austria rose to unparalleled power, destroying millions of lives and bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon.

Adam Tooze's "The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy" offers a groundbreaking account of how Hitler gained power, mobilized for war, and led Germany to annihilation. This gripping, acclaimed history examines whether WWII's tragedy was driven by Nazi Germany's power or its weaknesses, revealing the true cost of Hitler's plans and challenging conventional views of the Third Reich.

In today's political climate, presidential candidates increasingly espouse socialist or democratic socialist policies, such as taxing the rich and healthcare for all. Socialism 101 offers an unbiased overview of socialism's nearly 300-year-old origins, complex history, key figures, and modern interpretations. As capitalism's appeal wanes and socialism gains popularity, this book clarifies the meaning and implications of socialism, sparking intense debate and interest among everyday Americans.

Fascism, a major political invention of the twentieth century, caused immense suffering. Acclaimed historian Robert O. Paxton argues that to understand fascism, we must examine its actions, not just its rhetoric. He explores its falsehoods, social and political bases, leaders, internal struggles, and diverse manifestations across countries, including Italy, Germany, and beyond. Paxton also addresses how fascists viewed the Holocaust and whether fascism remains possible today.

Understanding Adolf Hitler's ideology reveals the extremist politics that fueled the Third Reich, leading to World War II and the Holocaust. Often dismissed as irrational, this ideology drove Hitler's rise to power and colored the Third Reich. Hitler and his followers sought a racially select "community of the people" and national renewal. His ideas resonated with millions, who saw him as a necessary leader, rallying the masses towards an extremist, murderous ideology.


Evans, Richard J. *The Third Reich in Power*. Penguin Books, 2005.

Kershaw, Ian. *Hitler: A Biography*. W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.

Shirer, William L. *The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich*. Simon & Schuster, 1960.

Paxton, Robert O. *The Anatomy of Fascism*. Vintage Books, 2004.

Snyder, Timothy. *Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin*. Basic Books, 2010.

Tooze, Adam. *The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy*. Viking, 2006.

Nolte, Ernst. *Three Faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian Fascism, National Socialism*. Mentor, 1969.

Burleigh, Michael. *The Third Reich: A New History*. Hill and Wang, 2000.

Evans, Richard J. The Coming of the Third Reich. Penguin Books, 2005.




Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-10541 / Georg Pahl / CC-BY-SA 3.0



Matthew Fitzpatrick and A. Dirk Moses https://www.abc.net.au/religion/nazism-socialism-and-the-falsification-of-history/10214302



United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Instytut Pamieci Narodowej





Jay Stooksberry


David Emery


Rachael Krishna  https://fullfact.org/online/nazis-socialists/

Michael Rieger https://fee.org/articles/were-the-nazis-really-socialists-it-depends-on-how-you-define-socialism/

Scott Sehon https://jacobin.com/2020/10/nazi-socialism-rand-paul-strasser-hitler


Jennifer Llewellyn, Steve Thompson  https://alphahistory.com/holocaust/forced-labour/


Ciara Torres-Spelliscy


Alberto Mingardi  https://www.econlib.org/how-socialist-was-national-socialism/



Military Expenditure:

Overy, R. J. (1994). War and Economy in the Third Reich. Clarendon Press.

Tooze, A. (2006). The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. Penguin Books.

Aircraft Production:

Murray, W. (1984). Luftwaffe. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Williamson, G. (2004). Aircraft of the Luftwaffe Fighter Aces. Osprey Publishing.

Tank Production:

Jentz, T. L. (1996). Panzertruppen: The Complete Guide to the Creation & Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Force 1933-1942. Schiffer Publishing.

Zaloga, S. J. (1994). Blitzkrieg: Armor Camouflage & Markings 1939-1940. Arms & Armour Press.


Bundesarchiv, Bild 135-KB-15-083 / Krause, Ernst / CC-BY-SA 3.0







Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1974-121-28A / CC-BY-SA 3.0