Kevin Passmore

British historian

Kevin Passmore is a Professor in History at Cardiff University.

Quotes edit

  • Despite the relative breadth of their appeal, the Nazis, with 37 per cent of the vote in July 1932, didn't have enough seats in parliament to govern. In a new election in November, they lost two million votes. Moreover, although conservative politicians, like the business, military, and land-owning elites, were hostile to the Republic, they distrusted the Nazis as 'brown Bolsheviks', and preferred an authoritarian government run by themselves. The problem was that the elites, rightly or wrongly, felt that no government could survive without mass support. This conviction testified to the extent to which 'democratic' assumptions had penetrated even the reactionary right. It also reflected the army's fear that it couldn't maintain order against both Communists and Nazis. For want of alternatives, the conservatives made Hitler chancellor on 30 January 1933. Like Mussolini, Hitler alone bridged the gap between parliamentary and street politics.
  • How many individuals, movements, and regimes we categorize as 'fascist' depends on definition. If we define fascism simply as a desire to manipulate the mass, or a dictatorship, then a great many would qualify. If we add the criteria of racism and/or antisemitism, a different set would be included. The impossibility of agreeing on a definition means that attempts to identify 'true fascism' can never be decisive. However, this difficulty does not prevent us from examining similarities and differences between various movements or actual interactions and borrowings—'entanglements', as scholar call them. I shall ask how and for what purposes the terms 'fascist' and 'national socialist' were used. Tracing entanglements allows us to see that relation of fascists were strongest with conservative groups, dictatorial or parliamentarian.

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