Colours and Symbols: How Cartoons Are Not That Innocent

It would be lying to assert that political cartoons are just there to relieve the public from difficult topics or moments but when it reaches a transnational level, we are forced to admit that their power can be dangerous. Using humoristic drawings to send a xenophobic message is the tool that ethno-nationalists have utilize to gather more partisans for their political agendas. Cartoons are an easy way to transmit an underlined message and the “black sheep” example that started to circulate in Switzerland in 2007 is no stranger to this method of reaching a massive crowd nationally and transnationally.

Nicole Doerr wrote an interesting study on the use of the “black sheep” cartoon and how its distribution and adaptation in Germany and Italy illustrate the power of visual media. In the article, the author states that the dichotomy of colours is one part of the controversy and that the written text adds a stronger signification especially when it is translated in another language or for another country. Associating the visual and verbal messages, she demonstrates that the ambiguity of the colour choice helps carrying the ideas of former fascist discourses in Italy or Germany.

Would the cartoon have the same effect if the chosen colours or the animals would have been different ? The idea of the black sheep is not racial in its general context: the difference within a group is not always based on race. However, the deliberate choice by the SVD ( Swiss People’s Party) to use this analogy makes it racial.

Once copied in Germany and Italy, the message takes a meaning that reflects the preoccupations of the country’s political agenda . The semiotic translation has gained a higher level of controversy in the fact that it encompasses the anti-immigration, xenophobic rhetoric used by respective far-right parties. Based on a possible bond that exists between these three countries, the text contains words that appeal to a nationalistic and more radical discourse about immigration.

How far can cartoonists go in their representation of actual problems ? The Netherlands and France have dearly paid for representing images that should not have been drawn. Knowing the massive role that visual media carries out and the absence of censorship in the press in many countries, the representation of tragic situations in a cartoonish manner is benefitting transnational far-right parties who then can capture the attention of an emotional public in a more or less subtle way.

Work cited :

N. Doerr, “Bridging language barriers, bonding against immigrants: A visual case study of transnational network publics created by far-right activists in Europe” Discourse & Society 28(1) (2017): 3–23.

How the Vox Party Slowly Solidifies Its Presence in the Spanish Political Landscape

What do the last general elections in Spain tell us about the rise of the far-right party Vox? That question is on many people’s mind as another call for election divides the country one more time. Four elections in four years seem to represent the inability of the present government to secure the stability needed for the country to maintain a credible status among the European nations. The questions I am trying to answer is how Vox managed to rally the citizens . What are the possible catalysts that generated such a surge in the number of seats occupied in the government after the last election? Although there are far more possibilities, I came up with five points under which Vox possibly scored.

Discourse

Like many far-right parties, Vox uses a specific rhetoric in his discourse. With words such as “restoration of national unity” and “patriotic alternative” Vox embraces the tenets of populist ideology. Drawing on immigration, Islamophobia as well as “gender ideology”, Vox uses  themes that for some observers and politicians remind of the former Francoist ideology , although the political and global context are different. For Pedro Sanchez to use such analogy in his exhortation to vote, is significant enough to be mentioned.

Political alliances

The weaken socialist party and its failed alliance with the liberal Ciudadanos did not manage to secure an absolute majority in the parliament. The PP (conservative popular party) refused to ally with the socialists giving the opportunity for Vox to claim more seats and to become the third most important party. Furthermore, the PP symbolically with Ciudadanos decided to support Vox in his demand for banning the separatists parties all together. I find shocking that the freedom of expression whether it is political or not would be prohibited in a liberal democracy and it certainly leans dangerously toward the authoritarianism practiced under the regime of Franco.

Economic power of Catalonia

 Catalonia has the status of autonomous community since 1979 but recent events starting around 2010, have triggered the more pressing push for independence. Catalonia represents roughly 20% of the GDP and resents the taxes imposed to support the rest of Spain. If separatist movements were to succeed, it would be a severe hit for the national economy. The violence that surrounded the protests for separatist movements is then an easy instrument to use in support of national unity.

History of claims for independence

The actual government has suffered from instability for some years. Spain , a constitutional monarchy since 1975, faces the misfortune to have been affected by the global economic crisis. As mentioned earlier, many elections and the threat from Catalonia to leave, fragilized even more an unstable socialist government. It is important to note that Catalonia is not the only province to ask for separation. The Basque Country, which is divided between France and Spain, also manifested the intention to become independent in the past but the violence has stopped since it received its autonomous status in 1979. It does not mean that if Catalonia succeed in becoming independent that the Basque Country will not follow in the same footsteps. That situation would most likely trigger a desire to separate as well, even though it would be more complicated due to its division with France.

Multicultural past

  Spain has a history of tolerance and multicultural acceptance. During the Middle Ages [especially under the occupation of the Umayyads in Al Andalus]  and until the Reconquista that started in 1492, co-existence of cultures and religions has been pretty peaceful and fruitful in many domains. Spain is now facing another migration crisis and this time the spectre of islamophobia is at the centre of the debate which plays in favour of right-wing parties.

Did all these points explain why Vox challenged the leading party at the last election? I believe so but other factors can weigh in and this is the case of external support such as other far-right movements in France, Italy and the Netherlands . It is doubtful that the Catalonia crisis will resolve anytime soon , which makes me wonder how Vox will play in the near future in a country that has to deal with chaotic internal politics and a migration crisis that is seen as a threat to the national unity .

Global Populism : A European Concept ?

Populist movements are not “one size fits all”. The following two examples prove that populism in its global presence is made of complex and intertwined relationships of various elements that each play a part in a greater scheme.

Through the study of the Pegida Movement in Germany  (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident) and how the activists are boxed in different categories, one can deduct that the populist movement in general cannot be define as a homogenous group and that politics and social movements contribute to the amalgamation that most people do about right-wing movements and xenophobia. According to Ina Schmidt, and based on the general definition of populism, practical and ideological categories provide a separate but complementary constructive element to what is considered right-wing activism. On one hand, autonomous nationalism drives the movement with radical demonstrations, violence and an opposition to the politics in place. On the other hand, ethnopluralism which characterizes the ideological standpoint, makes a departure from the former fascist ideology based on race to turn it into culture.

If there is one topic that encompasses the complexity of defining the strict definition of populism, it is the anti-gender campaigns that became more visible in the last ten years and which substantiate the difficulty to categorize movements within ideologies. According to David Paternotte and Roman Kuhar, the term gender ideology itself proves difficult to describe illustrating the main argument that many various groups will focus on one aspect only ( same sex-marriage, reproductive rights or sex and gender education in schools). Adding to the position of the Catholic Church, and potentially a greater audience, populism movements in Europe are easily associated with anti-gender campaigns .

This association although present in many protests, has a different history on a global scale but always uses the same rhetoric of fear. The heavy use of modern media is also a mean to gather more people, which is what populism is based on. But should we make a general assumption about Europe and right-wing movements increasing presence ? Studies have proved that this phenomenon also occurs in Latin America and North America. Can we agree to disagree on the assumption that populism is a one concept ideology, and can we consider that crossovers between different political and cultural institutions or government can alter the strict definition of populism ?

Immigration and Europe : A Difficult Co-Existence

Mass immigration presents a problem to Europe : how can so many people from various ethnicities and religions coexist in a Europe which foundation relies on modern democracy and secularism ? Islam becomes  the centre of the debate as it is its violent perception that divides many countries in Western and Eastern Europe. Using the example of Turkey as a modern country where secularism is used as a model for other Muslim countries, Nilüfer Göle argues that decentering Europe entails reaching outside of its actual borders but also acknowledging a religion that carries a long legacy in history. She mentioned the term chronotope to highlight the notion of time and space and ties it to the place that Islam occupies as a disrupting agent in secular modernity.

The same argument of time and space is used in a different perspective with Dan Stone as he correlates the situation of refugee crisis and the position of Eastern European countries to the Holocaust. He uses the term collective memory to comment on two scholars (Jan T. Gross and G. M. Tamás) who demonstrated that “the failure to come to term with the past” was a reason why Eastern Europe was not ready to deal with the refugee crisis.  But his argument reflects the error to only limit the sphere to Eastern Europe and rather to include Western Europe as well. Building arguments on mythologies and collective memories is at risk of ignoring or segregating other events in different categories and to perpetuate an exclusion rather than  an integration.

The Göle article does not mention the refugee crisis which aggravates the already sensitive immigration situation in many European countries but rather focuses on the religious and gender elements that suffer from incomprehension or rejection in neo-liberal urban settings. This limitation in searching for a consensual answer to the problem of immigration is also present and denounced in Stone article. By focusing on a specific past ( the migration of Jews during the Third Reich) , we set ourselves to miss the transnational repercussion of the recent migrations and to lean toward indifference or to feed nationalist movements with stronger arguments against immigration.

The main questions seem to be : how to face massive immigration as a whole continent and leave aside ultra-nationalist sentiment to focus on multicultural and transnational Europe ? How to depart from the past to better integrate the future ?

Works cited :

Nilüfer Göle, “Decentering Europe, Recentering Islam” New Literary History, Volume 43, Number 4 (Autumn 2012): 665-685.

Dan Stone, “On Neighbours and Those Knocking at the Door: Holocaust Memory and Europe’s Refugee Crisis.” Patterns of Prejudice 52, no. 2/3 (May 2018): 231–43.

Transnational Movements of Ideas in The Late 1960s

1968 has been a pivotal year for many European countries. The “Red” tide that was threatening Western Europe became the detonator for the rise of neo-fascist movements both in Italy and France. This transnational event which expansion all over Western Europe transformed the political landscape, found its origins in universities and youth movements.

In Italy, the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) which transitionally associated with the communists, broke away after 1968 and set itself as an all right-wing party with the intention to be more attractive and national. However, the association with the Destra Nazionale (DN) and its attraction to revive the fascist party, led to violence and terrorism in the 1970s.

In France, the newly decolonization of Algeria was resented as a failure and partisans of French Algeria favoured the creation of neo-fascist and anti-communist movements such as Occident and la Féderation des Etudiants Nationalistes (FEN). The creation of the New Order (Ordre Nouveau) and the influence of Alain de Benoist and the GRECE collaboration (Groupement de Recherche et d’Etudes pour la Civilisation Européenne) contributed to the creation of a new rightist culture.

The similarity of thoughts that was in France and Italy spread to Portugal during the aftermath of the Carnation Revolution. The influence of De Benoist was visible with the participation of intellectuals and the publication of numerous magazines and books which used scientific methods to demonstrate the inadequacy of egalitarian Marxist societies.

What Portugal and France had in common was a struggle to overcome post-colonialism and the creation of a New Right allowed a more powerful political presence that rejected the two superpowers in place at that time in order to favour a European path. Using immigration as a scapegoat, the idea of nationality and traditions laid the path for a transnational movement that substantiates itself through ideas and culture.

What transpires from these readings is the departure from rigid and old-fashioned regimes toward the creation of political movements that foster on deception and protests to present an alternative path that supports traditional values and which goal is to appeal to mass population. But, is there really a new path with new ideas or are these ideas more the antithesis of older ones ? Can the New Right rally enough people without digging too deep in a dark past ?

Works cited :

Tamir Bar-On, “Transnationalism and the French Nouvelle Droite.” Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 45, no. 3 (July 2011): 199–223.

Andrea Mammon, “The Transnational Reaction to 1968: Neo-Fascist Fronts and Political Cultures in France and Italy.” Contemporary European History, vol. 17, no. 2 (May 2008): 213–236.

Riccard Marchi, “The Nouvelle Droite in Portugal: A New Strategy for the Radical Right in the Transition from Authoritarianism to Democracy.” Patterns of Prejudice vol. 50, no. 3 (July 2016): 232–52.

Voices of The Past : Their Long Journey to Recognition

How much place was given to the voices of the Holocaust survivors in history and how was it presented to the general public ? This question rises many more interrogations about the trials conducted in the after-war period and how the then politically divided Germany reacted to testimonies of survivors and perpetrators. It all comes down to the different treatment of the information brought to light and how the de-Nazification process differed between Eastern and Western Germany.

If Eastern Germany proved to be harsher in sentencing perpetrators and accomplices, it appears that the Western Germany showed some leniency in their interpretation of the law, resulting in delayed pursuits of criminals and lesser sentences. The rationale often presented was that former perpetrators were now well integrated into a new society, that they were much older and weaker or with some farfetched logic that crimes committed without the victim being aware of, were a lesser offense.

What about the testimonies ? Right after the war, they were sometime doubtfully perceived, and many judges questioned their validity. Evidences started to weigh more in the 1960s and 70s as more modern technology allowed survivors to record their stories. Although oral history could be transcribed in writing, it still rose questions of authenticity. Ghost writers have accentuated events or contextualized them in an attempt to make a testimony stronger .

At the same time, a hierarchy between survivors emerged leading to a new state of marginalization. For example, homosexuals, Roma and prisoner functionaries found themselves in the midst of a controversial debate about victimhood and belonging to the “holocaust survivor” category. The terms holocaust and genocide are deeply connected words to the point where debates about memorials rise questions as well.

The later recognition of the testimonies paralleled a need to give a voice to the victims before it is too late. The difficulty of Germany to accept and live with this dark past is progressively fading as a new generation of historians and scholars bring these testimonies to the public. The use of videos and movies contributed to this exposition and benefitted from cultural changes starting in the 1970s. In parallel with a search for a political identity that many Western countries sake ( USA, France…), movies displayed accounts of what victims experienced. Although the American view of early movies such as “ Judgment at Nuremberg”  from Stanley Kramer was biased with the choice of the director to represent specific victims,  it nevertheless generated many significant movies in the 80s and 90s which tended for a public from a different generation.

How can we explain the different application of the law between Eastern and Western Germany before the reunification ? As we have seen how complicated and gray the classification between accomplices and perpetrators can be, why do you think the lower ranked Nazis received harsher sentences than the commanding officers who signed the orders to kill thousand of people?

Works cited:

Mary Fulbrook, “Discomfort Zones” and “Voices of the Victims” in Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice (Oxford University Press, 2018), pp: 314- 336, 361-377.

Robert Moeller, “How to Judge Stanley Kramer’s Judgement at Nuremberg” German History Vol. 31, Issue 4 (December 2013): 497-522.

Matteo Salvini: A Populist Politician with Strings Attached to Far-Right Movements. Op/Ed #1

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Italian Lega Party is a political chameleon as many sources claim including former party members. He is also a twenty-first century politician who masters the art of social networks and likes to provoke reactions with his statements. His recent political career started off when he became the leader of the Lega Party. The Northern League or Lega Nord is a political party that participated in the 2018 General Election in Italy. Started as a coalition of regional political parties from Northern Italy at first, it has been in place since 1991 and led by Matteo Salvini since 2013. If the party favoured regionalism and federal state at its beginning, it now has changed to a more nationalist view, targeting illegal immigration and particularly non-Europeans and Muslims immigrants. Whilst flirting with other far-right parties within Europe such as the National Rally in France and the Freedom Party of Austria, the Lega has progressively gained popularity within the country and stands as the third largest movement at the latest 2018 General Election.

Many newspapers and magazines wrote about the far-right rally that took place in Rome on October 19th  and how it echoed the “March on Rome” that led to the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini on October 27th, 1922. Was the date chosen on purpose? It is hard to say but the coincidence seems significant whether Salvini accepts it or not. In an interview published on October 19th in a French magazine called Le Point, Salvini when asked about the similarity refutes the term of “March” and eludes the question asked by the reporter to finally blurt out that fascism like communism was not existing anymore. The association of these two regimes is surprising and contradictory but like mentioned above, Salvini likes to create polemics.

An interesting fact mentioned in the interview is Salvini’s interest in the Middle Age period. Many articles and books demonstrated that the myth of medieval era was adopted by far-right politicians as a justification for nationalism and Judeo-Christian traditions. As Salvini defines the Middle Ages as a romanticized vision of gothic times, it reinforces his ideological views as closer to Mussolini than he wants to admit.

Opposed to Matteo Renzi, the prime minister and member of the Democratic Party , Salvini plays the card of autonomy and regionalism but nevertheless acknowledges that unity is primordial to win. When told that he is perceived as a populist by Europe, he brushes it off by taking it as a compliment.

It is tempting to make a parallel between Salvini and Mussolini’s rise to power. Although violence and repression have not been present with the Liga yet (the actions of external violent movements are considered opportunistic for now), Salvini started in politics as a socialist like Mussolini. Whereas Mussolini expressed strong anti-Semitic feelings, Salvini is determined to fight the illegal immigration which is mainly represented by non-European Muslims.

Benefitting from a major support from the Italian population who grow tired of illegal immigrants, Salvini used this situation to build a solid political agenda in which he relied on the population’s opinion, hence his definition of being populist. Playing on his image of regular Italian man and using humour, he made himself the only possible opponent to Renzi’s socialist government. But his statements about immigrants are not without consequences. As mentioned in the BBC article from September 24th, the stigmatization of immigrants was after all the beginning of persecutions during the Mussolini’s era. Also, his association with far-right European movements is not pleasing everyone, including the French president Emmanuel Macron who strongly opposed him in the matter of European unity.  His skepticism about the European Community echoes the idea of nationalism and his alliance with far-right parties (Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia), are just examples proving his determination to make some changes nationally and if possible in the European Community.

 With Italy politically divided and weaken inside its own government and with a vengeful return of Salvini after he resigned from his position of Deputy Prime Minister last August, it is likely that the populist leader has not said his last words.

Works Cited:

Geary, Patrick. Myth of Nations. The Medieval Origins of Europe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Giuffrida, Angela. “Thousands Take to Streets in Rome for Far-Right Rally.” The Guardian, October 19, 2019.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/19/thousands-take-to-streets-in-rome-for-far-right-rally-salvini

Le Fol, Sebastien and Anna Bonalume. “Je Crois au Paradis , Je Crois à L’Enfer”. Le Point, Octobre 17, 2019.

https://www-pressreader-com.proxy.library.carleton.ca/france/le-point/20191017

Mackay, Jamie. “The Far Right in Italy is Blocked but Not Banished.” The Guardian, September 26, 2019.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/26/italy-far-right-matteo-salvini

Reynolds, James. “Matteo Salvini: Can Italy’s populist leader return to power?.” BBC News, September 24, 2019.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44921974

Killer Women: A Radical View of the Holocaust

Women are often attributed to be nurturing and caring beings however survivor testimonies from the Holocaust give accounts of the gruesome killings and torture committed by women. This seemed an impossible and incomprehensible thought for the majority of the population. Wendy Lower dispels this belief  in her book called Hitler’s Furies and reveals the atrocities that were perpetrated by women on the Eastern Front during the Third Reich.  Lower categorizes the women in witnesses, accomplices and perpetrators, and she follows the journey of several women in an attempt to understand the reasons why they embarked to the East and what changed them to act in such manner.

Beginning at the interwar period when Germany was still reeling from the loss of territories and the “ unfairness” of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the author highlights the pressing campaign and the possibilities for higher and better living conditions in the East that attracted young women from various background to join the Nazi party. Under the increasing rise of anti-Semitism, women will justify their actions and participate directly or indirectly in the genocide.

The book is simultaneously intriguing yet sickening because of how the author described the women’s actions and their justifications for each. In the three chapters that describes the different categories of women, the reader is baffled as to how much cruelty and irresponsibility were manifested by some women. Because of this, gender was not determinant in committing violence. To support this, the author notes psychological studies that have been conducted in order to determine if killings were more common by men rather than women and the conclusion was that in a specific context, women could demonstrate as much cruelty as men (159).

When the war ended, testimonies against these women came about together with some memoirs from former nurses or secretaries. The author established a connection between the Nazi ideology and the women’s obedience which for some perpetrators should exonerate them from punishment. For the majority, the sentence was not proportionate to their acts (some women did not acknowledge their active participation in the Holocaust, arguing they merely signed papers or they “ helped” shorten the pain of the ill patients), some even managed to escape justice for decades. This book offers a radical vision of the role of women during the wartime. To summarize, women played the complex role of being nurturing toward their children yet vicious killers of Jewish children.

How much agency had these different women when faced with the possibility to help the victims ? How can we understand their indoctrination? Can we separate them in the aforementioned categories and put different degrees to guilt ? And lastly, were the punishments or their absence gender-biased ?  

Homosexuality and State

Sexuality under authoritarian regimes has been approached with surprising results. If masculinity prevailed in Nazi Germany [and to a lesser extent in Romania], the non-conformity to gender role for women has created suspicion and further investigation from the Gestapo. Although lesbianism was not forbidden by the Nuremberg Law, it nevertheless was used as a starting point to look for any activities that could be perceived as against the state. In the case of Ilse Totzke, her “ non-conformity” to normal female representation led to testimonies and denunciations by neighbours, just on the fact that she was not part of the community. Her actions and contacts with Jewish people were less a concern for them than for the Gestapo which patiently build a case to deport her, based on these accusations.

In another place and time, homosexuality was tolerated in Soviet gulags in a twisted way to control the population. If homosexuality was criminalized starting in 1933-34 and subject to penalties and captivities, it was nevertheless accepted in gulags in a very ambiguous way. If the Soviet state did not encourage same sex relations between prisoners, it worked in their favour on a logistic standpoint: same sex relations are infertile therefore the population did not expand and the care for infants and mothers is not weighing on the economy. Ostracized by the society, prisoners re-created a new society based on dominant and submissive sexual relations which in a way reflected the social divide that existed on the outside. But when the gulags started to close in the 1950s, prisoners found it difficult to blend with the outside population and many intellectuals violently rejected the facts, blaming the government for accentuating the difference between “socially friendly” prisoners [common criminals] and “socially alien” prisoners[opposed to the political regime].

These two examples show how much homosexuality was used by the state according to its instant needs. Ilse Totzke was not targeted at first by the Gestapo due to her sexual orientation or appearance but because she represented a threat for the collective society. Her fate was sealed once her anti-state actions became tangible. Homosexuality ban in the Soviet Union followed an ambiguous route between the 1930s and the 1950-60s, alternating between tolerance and rejection as it suited the Soviet power. Both cases illustrate the difficulty to live in a society that based its normality on gender role and where any deviation could threaten the stability of the regime.

Sources :

Dan Healey, “Forging Gulag Sexualities: Penal Homosexuality and the Reform of the Gulag after Stalin” Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2017).

Laurie Marhoefer, “Lesbianism, Transvestitism, and the Nazi State: a Microhistory of a Gestapo Investigation, 1939-1943” The American Historical Review 121: 4 (2016): 1167- 1195.

Trains, Cruises and Theatres: How Culture Impacted the Life in Italy and Germany During the Rise of Fascism and Nazism.

What transpires in Shelley Baranowski’s book Strength Through Joy is the attempt and overall success to democratize tourism and to show the social and racial harmony among the tourists who took part of these all-paid vacations. Multiple examples illustrate how this social harmony was not as simple or cohesive as hoped though. Party members benefitted from greater accommodations or access to extra activities whilst the workers were confined to small cabins and the regulated activities. The tourism en masse did not yield the expected enthusiasm among the local establishments where private clientele deliberately separated from the travellers. Single women were the subject of scrutiny due to their fraternization with the locals and their seemingly provocative attitude toward men. Another example is presented with the regional divide that fuelled some racist comments among Germans themselves.

All these trips were attended by undercover surveillance agents which role was to report on every daily event. These organized cruises and trips were the showcase of the superiority of the Third Reich and the author mentions multiple times how the racial and social component  played a role in their success. Rewarding the workers with free tourism was the way to boost the productivity, especially in the armament industry and it was also a mean to support the propaganda through the voices of the people and not only the party.

Italy which did not have the same financial power to propose such trips, used a different approach to rally more people under the fascist ideology. Like for Germany, the mass-consumption was the pitfall to avoid but the nationalization of markets helped Italy to create a national consciousness that was sustaining the build of a new “Italian” identity ( De Grazia, 152). Radio as a popular source of entertainment became the mean to reach a far-out rural population which was crucial to the idea of an Italian identity. Movies and traveling theaters (although differentiated between professionalism and amateurism), facilitated the diffusion of a regulated mass culture that reinforced the idea of collectivism . Italy favoured traditional popular pastimes which were heavily controlled by the state in order to erase class or regional differences.

The difference between Germany and Italy in the matter of popular culture diverge according to these two readings. Italy, less successfully though, did propose trips. But overall, the activities were more practiced nationwide as a way to endorse nationalism and fascism  through traditions and cultural identity. On the other hand, Germany went countrywide and  beyond its borders to display its racial and material superiority. The element of racial difference weighs heavily in the way Germany showcased itself, even toward Italy which was seen as less developed and disciplined.  

Sources:

Shelley Baranowski, Strength through Joy: Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich (Cambridge, 2004), pp. 1-10, pp. 162-98

Victoria de Grazia, The Culture of Consent: Mass Organisation of Leisure in Fascist Italy (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 151-86