By July 1933, the Nazis were the only legal party and Hitler was dictator of Germany.
Like Mussolini, Hitler relied on choreographed mass rallies, new mediums like film and radio,
as well as his own personal charisma to mobilize a mass following.
Hitler also unleashed a campaign of persecution against Jews.
Like many other right-wing Germans, he believed that a Jewish-socialist conspiracy had
stabbed the German army in the back, causing its surrender in World War I, and the
intermarriage with Jews was destroying the supposed purity of the Aryan race.
Hitler and the Nazis did not believe that religious practice defined Jewishness; instead, they
held, it was transmitted biologically from parents to children.
Hitler encouraged the use of terror against Jews, destroying their businesses, homes, and
marriages with non-Jews, and ultimately eliminating all traces of Jewish life and culture in
Nazi-dominated central Europe.
The Nazis won popular support for restoring order and reviving the economy, although the
economic gains and more to do with timing than Nazi policy. In any case, Germany reemerged
as a great power with expansionist aspirations.
Just as Mussolini reached back to ancient Rome to connect fascism to the Italian past, Hitler,
too, invoked history.
He called his state the Third Reich — he considered the Holy Roman Empire (or Reich) the
first, and the Reich created by Bismarck in 1871 the second — to bolster its legitimacy.
Unlike authoritarian regimes in Europe, the right-wing movement that emerged in Japan did not
spring from wounded power and pride during World War I. In fact, because wartime disruptions
reduced European and American competition, Japanese products found new markets Asia.
Although the government expanded the electorate and seemed headed toward liberal
democracy in the early 1920s, Japan veered to the political right in 1926 when Emperor
Hirohito came to power.
Adding Manchuria to its Korean and Taiwanese colonies, Japan established the puppet state of
Manchukuo. Meanwhile, at home, “patriots” carried out a campaign of terror against
uncooperative businessmen and critics of the military.
Japanese authoritarianism and an explicitly religious dimension.
The state in Japan took on a sacred aura through the promotion of an official religion,
Shinto, and of Emperor Hirohito’s divinity.