Why the German Republic Fell (1938) is a book that was published in 1941 by Bruno Heilig after the fall of the German Republic. Heilig’s credibility comes from his experience as an Austrian-German journalist before and after the fall of the German republic. In this book, Heilig argues that Nazism has grown “out of a rotten democracy” and natural democracy is a consequence of unequal economic conditions in the country. He said, “seven million men and women (one-third of the wage-earning people) unemployed, the middle class swept away: that was the position in Germany about one year after the climax of prosperity…produced the most dreadful poverty.” In other words, Heilig believed that unemployment was caused by the economic depression, which caused the corruption in Germany. In addition, he argued that the growth of unemployment and poverty allowed the Nazi Party to take control of the country by making false promises of helping the people. He said, “I do not believe that the Germans would have followed Hitler in his hates and revenges if the people had been living under reasonably good social conditions.” In this book, Heilig promotes communism over fascism and blames money and the unequal distribution of wealth to cause the “rotten democracy.” Overall, I believe he is credible in several ways. Even though Heilig was born in Austria, he lived the rest of his life in Germany which gives him the credibility of describing what happened before and after the rise of the Nazi Party. Furthermore, since this paper was written in the 1930s after Adolf Hitler was announced as a German chancellor and invaded Austria, Heilig is credible in describing why he thought fascism had a negative impact on Germany and the countries around it. However, since Heilig wrote this in a book, it could be that the purpose of his writing was to advertise for himself, especially if a specific party funded the book.
Benito Mussolini is an Italian politician and journalist who was elected as the prime minister of Italy. After 1925, he unconstitutionally established dictatorship to eliminate democracy in his country. His credibility comes from his experience in working as the Prime Minister and being the leader of the National Fascist Party in Italy. He explained in the book Encyclopedia Italiania (known as “Treccani”), what fascism is. He said, “Fascism is the complete opposite of Marxian Socialism…fascism denies that the majority can direct human society…and affirms the immutable, beneficial, and fruitful inequality of mankind.” In other words, Mussolini preferred fascism over communism since fascism “denies the absurd conventional untruth for political equality dressed out in the grab of collective irresponsibility.” In terms of credibility, he could be somewhat credible because he gave some historical facts and explained the rise of fascism in Italy since he lived during that period. However, I think Mussolini was ultimately not credible because he was the dictator of Italy, which gave him the ability to use propaganda to convince his people that he is doing good for them and nobody had the power to stop him. Also, he occupied industries and killed his opponents. Therefore, in this book, I think he was self-advertising and advocating for his Fascist Party over communism. He wanted the reader to accept fascism and not show any weakness as a ruler.
Overall, I believe that Bruno Heilig was more credible than Benito Mussolini for several reasons. First, Heilig experienced the repression of the Nazi Party in Germany and Austria. He wanted to make a change to the government, while Mussolini was a dictator who wanted to sustain his power over Italy by propaganda and suppression. Second, Heiling’s background as a journalist made him more credible since he had to interview people and search for information to find the truth, while Mussolini was more of a politician who wanted to win more votes and say what people wanted to hear. Third, Heilig believed that the corrupted democracy led to unemployment and poverty in Germany while Mussolini believed that democracy is a sign of weakness to the government.