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By H. W. Koch

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This is not to say that economic factors played no role. The so-called 'golden twenties' may have been golden for a few, but less so for the majority. A Holstein dairy farmer, for example, had his livestock confiscated because he was unable to sustain the crippling tax-burden. 11 Even without the Depression, unemployment was never lower than 800,000 and by 1929/30 had exceeded the 2 million mark. A third factor often overlooked is that the Reich organisation leader of the NSDAP, Gregor Strasser, had already devised a new election strategy, which came too late to have any effect in May 1928, but had since then proved effective in Land and communal elections.

The Fascism which Mussolini founded was a double-faced phenomenon, at the BETWEEN MYTH AND REVISIONISM? 25 same time negative and positive, anti-revolutionary and revolutionary. It was negative in so far as it deviated from the western model by the suspension of political freedom and by the corporate regulation of the economy; it was positive in so far as it did not completely eliminate economic freedom and the market. Thus Mussolini spared the Italian people Stalin's perfect totalitarianism, and he was right again when he later turned against the left wing of his own party, which wanted to see in the Duce's compromise a preliminary stage of the transition to a complete collectivism, and whose representatives, incidentally, converted to Communism in great numbers after the war.

With its aid attempts at internal revolution were suppressed. What the constitutional provisional National Assembly failed to foresee was that the Reichstag, through excessive party pluralism, to mention only one factor, would deprive itself of the role of national legislator and integrator of the national will, condemn itself to impotence, and thus cause a power vacuum which was filled in the end only by the bureaucracy and presidential cabinets. Initially Bruning, too, was reluctant to govern by Article 48; when he used the rejection of his emergency legislation by the Reichstag to have the president dissolve it and call premature elections, the Reichstag still had two years to run.

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