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Difference Between Fascism and Nazism

Fascism vs.Nazism

Fascism and Nazism are quite often considered to be the same or at least refer to the same ideologies. However, the two are entirely dissimilar from each other. This is despite the fact that they are both totalitarian ideologies, are closely related in design, and both sprung up after the First World War in Europe.

This post seeks to prove that Fascism and Nazism may not be the same at any time. Read through for insights, possible similarities, and differences between them.

What is Fascism?

Fascism is defined as a form of radical authoritarian, strict, and controlling ultra-nationalism that is usually characterized by forcibly suppressing an opposition front, assuming dictatorial powers, and strongly regimenting the society and its economy.

Fascism sprung to popularity around in the early 20th century during the time of Benito Mussolini. Benito was then Italian leader by the time the ideology was born (around 1919). The ultimate intention of the campaign was to create a close national community especially in Italy and form an all-powerful and authoritarian state that could intervene in people’s lives everywhere.


Features of Fascists

The ideology of fascism was championed by people referred to as fascists led by Benito Mussolini and were characterized by:

  • Glorified violence
  • Strong collectivists
  • Anti-democratic
  • Anti-liberals
  • Anti-communists

What is Nazism?

Nazism is a political ideology that arose in Germany and was parallel with Benito Mussolini’s fascism. Also referred to as National Socialism, Nazism was championed by one Adolf Hitler who is famously known as the worlds ever strong dictator who led to the death of over 20 million people and the 2nd World War during his time.

The name Nazism is derived from Adolf Hitler’s political party, the Nazi Party. The ideologies started gaining momentum in the 1920s and were based on antisemitism and biological racism.

Adolf Hitler is documented to have initiated it in a move to remove or do away with the Jews who were living in Germany then. This saw about six million Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and other victims get killed in what is now called The Holocaust.

Features of Nazism

Nazism was characterized by extreme:

  • Nationalism
  • Dictatorship
  • Racism
  • Expansionism
  • Religious and racial expulsion
  • Antisemitism

Possible Similarities Between Fascism and Nazism

Despite the two ideologies springing up in different countries and led by different figures, they had striking similarities. Both Fascism and Nazism:

  • Were dictatorial and anti-democratic.
  • Were immensely anti-communist and both managed to draw solid support from all classes as a result.
  • Both tried to organize totalitarian states where the state could control the way of life of its people and curtail their personal freedom, agriculture, the economy, and industries.
  • Both tried to make their countries self-sufficient.
  • Both tried restoring the national pride their countries had lost after the First World War.
  • Both pushed for colonial expansion where they sought to increase their colonies in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Difference Between Fascism and Nazism

The two ideologies are closely related and began around the same time. However, they have the following differences between them:

  1. Origin of Fascism Vs. Nazism

Fascism originated in Italy in 1919 led by Benito Mussolini while Nazism sprung in German in 1920. The later was led by Adolf Hitler, the then leader of the Nazi party where the name Nazism is derived from.

  1. Fascism Ideologies Vs. Nazism Ideologies

Most of the ideologies of the two are closely related. However, while Nazism extolled the purity of the blood and race of the Aryan people to show proof of ‘white superiority”, Fascism did not have such racial ideologies.

  1. Fascism Atrocities Vs. Nazism Atrocities

Nazism saw the death of people in the millions while the number was smaller under Fascism. Benito’s administration saw atrocities in the thousands.

  1. Culture under Fascism and Culture under Nazism

Fascism let much of the Italian culture survive under it. Benito’s administration never applied official doctrines to purge arts, literature, and universities except when it wanted to control its opponents. As such, most of Italy’s most prolific writers and artists remained in the country.

Nazism, on the other hand, forced German artists and writers into exile or silence. Once, the administration had a big book burning event that deemed the cultural libraries useless. The European sculptures, paintings, and other arts were confiscated, sold, destroyed, taken to the Exhibition of Decadent Art, or hidden in Nazi’s private collections.

  1. Support Base

Nazism had a greater ideological penetration which meant it was deep-rooted, broader, and much stronger. Fascism, on the other hand, had less expansive ideologies which meant it was not as broader as Adolf’s Nazism.

  1. Fascism Vs. Nazism’s Stance on Religion

Hitler’s Nazism was more successful in its atrocities based on religion while Fascism had less interest in segregating people based on religious stands.

Fascism Vs. Nazism: Comparison Table





Started in 1919 in Italy and led by Benito Mussolini

Started in 1920 in German by Adolf Hitler


Benito Mussolini

Adolf Hitler


Claimed lives of people in thousands

Claimed lives of people in tens of millions

Cultural oppression

Let cultural expansion thrive and never applied cultural purging doctrines unless it was to silence its opponents

Suppressed culture, forced artists and writers into silence or exile, and confiscated their art


Suppressing the electorate by oppressing the opposition, society, and controlling the economy

Creating a divide by separating Aryan from non-Aryans and Jews from non-Jews

Summary of Fascism Vs. Nazism

Both Fascism and Nazism were ideological fronts championed by dictatorial, anti-democratic, anti-communist, and totalitarian leaders. They both sprung at around the same time, in 1919 and 1920 respectively. In the wake of the Second World War, the two ideologies are heavily associated with atrocities that led to the war. They are also both remembered for causing massive loss of lives and destruction of properties. However, each has distinct characteristics that draw the thin distinction between them.


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  1. This is a great article! I don’t teach universal history, but sometimes students ask for help and I always want to be able to do it! Thank you!

    • The above article on National Socialism (Nazism) is incorrect and biased. Nazism was NOT a racial philosophy,nor was Nazi Germany a racial state. It was a (political) NATIONAL SOCIALIST state. In his “Second Book”,written after “Mein Kampf”,Adolf Hitler described himself as a “Nationalist” and a “Socialist”. In his 1941 New Year’s Speech,Hitler said (about World War 2),”This conflict has arisen because two nations in Europe—-Italy and Germany—are challenging the world system,which is dominated by the United States and England,and the wealth interests who control those two countries.” You see? The REAL enemy of Nazism was CAPITALISM,not other races. In fact,towards the end of the war,Hitler had many different races fighting for him,in his “SS”; Norwegians,Arabs and other Moslems,Danish,Russians,Ukranians,Slavs,Indians…even Tibetans! So no,Nazism was not aboput race.

      • Everyone mind the moron who cites Hitler as his main source. If it hadn’t been for those Capitalist countries, Racial destruction in Europe would have continued on as a REALITY of the Third -fucking- Reich. Clearly, you don’t understand Nazi Genetics either; are you even aware of what the Aryan Race is? The Aryan People were an ancient warrior tribe that moved from European areas and into the land of India, the German Nazis claiming they were the purest form of this blood line. By reasonable inference we can understand why the the SS opened it’s ranks to non Nordic races, especially when the war against the Soviets turned against them. Now, in regards to Slavic units: Just because they were allowed to fight for Germany doesn’t mean they weren’t considered inferior troops; The fact of the matter is, the SS needed men who knew the country side and knew where to find Jews. Plain and simple, had Germany won the war, these SS units wouldhave been purged and dumped in nameless graves like the Jews they killed (No different then the extermination of the SA – Hilters main men in the 30’s).
        Finally, you can’t ignore the fact that the SS, regardless of who was in it, was declared a criminal organization for the relentless slaughter of POW’s and Jews. As if Hitler claiming the Capitalist powers were bullying him excuses the Schutzstaffel of all the dead, the many suffering to this day of PTSD, and of course, the Holocaust.

        Tl:dr – You stupid, ignorant Nazi puke learn the history before you pretend all the wrongs are right.

        • You should learn history too. Actually, if it hadn’t been for Soviet Union, Racial destruction in Europe would have continued on as a REALITY of the Third -fucking- Reich. 72 % of the German military forces operated on the eastern front. The western front was just an annoying distraction for the Germans.

          • You should read history outside the scope of the larger powers. If Operation Barb. had been even weeks earlier than when it actually occurred, Germany may have won the war right then and there. I recommend you take some time out of your busy day to read about the invasion of Greece which (though a German victory) led to German struggles in North Africa and a delayed start time for the invasion of the Soviet Union and their defeat to Russia’s winter.
            Even if Russia hadn’t been invaded do you serious question that the the might of the industrial United States couldn’t have beaten Germany? My friend, if Germany had still been in the war by the time the Atomic bomb was developed I can assure you Germany would still be tasting radiation like Japan is. I’m not saying that’s moral or just, but the truth stands that when her industrial might is focused in for military venture, you better not fuck with large country that is the US.

          • YOU really need to learn your history. Communism had no problem killing entire races of Eastern Europeans and oppressing thousands of others based on ethnicity, the “equality” lie be damned.

        • Woah woah woah, simmer down sparky. If Germany had won against Russia till the end of 1941 they would have had all the resources needed to finish their own nuclear project ( German advantage in nuclear project was lost just at the end of 1942). If we put in the equation the good ally the Germans had in Japan the outcome of WW2 is clear. If Russia hadn’t been invaded at all the all German military forces would’ve been deployed on the western front. Guess who would have been the first victim of German war machine. Germany may have won the war well before 1945 when the atomic bomb was developed or even come first in the nuclear competition.

          • Hitler knew about the development and stopped it because he didn’t want to have the germans associated with such an immoral weapons. The Jews liked the atomic bomb very much. Coincidence?

          • knower.. idk why I cant reply to you direct, but your comment REEKS of lies. Give some credible sources about hitler stopping that.

          • You’re right, Hitler groupie. There seem to be a few here.

        • You and your words are discredited b/c you rant, curse and call people names.
          If you can’t articulate w/o the above … you display your emotions instead of any logic you thought you had.

        • You meant they moved from India to Europe? Not from Europe to India. =) !

          • Whoooo moved 4m India 2 Europe??Pls xplain . I am 4m India and so I am very eager 2 know all about it.

        • Prefect. Totally agree.

      • My feelings EXACTLY. RACISM was but ONE aspect of nazism. It DIDnt become encompassing until the war was almost lost. Simply stating that it is all about racism is avast simplification…..and gives this article a feeling of prejudice.

        • The op states facts, the rest call names. Who BETTER to describe naxism than it’s founder? He didn’t attempt to whit wash anything in MC, HE WROTE WHAT HE BELIEVED. He nay have been wrong, he may have been fueled with hatred and contempt, but HE FORMULIZED NAZISM,and he NEVER attempted to hide what he believed. Why is it so hard to look at hitler honestly?

          • Racism and anti-semitism was the selling point because a lot of germans felt that they are scammed by jewish in particular in every day life. Nazism can’t be based solely on racism for one easy fact: Hitler was part Jewish, Joseph Mengele, the Angel of Death, was Jewish and many many many nazis were Jewish. Hitler was only getting rid of jews that weren’t subordinates which has nothing to do with race but more with destroying the dissenters. I doubt a racist movement can win a war for one big reason: not enough soldiers.

          • Because he didn’t quote Hitler to show what Hitler believed.. he quoted Hitler to prove a point he was making about the nature and ethics of Nazi Germany. One line.
            “I hate cats and it is the duty of all loyal Germans to hunt cats”
            see?? seeee??? The German Nazi party’s REAL enemy was cats!! One quote dosen’t prove anthing.

        • I was reading a book and stumbled across the term “eco-fascist”, then i remembered that my boyfriend freaks out when people confuse that term with Nazism, so I came here looking for answers. Without even reading the comments I noticed there was something off about this article. I know that Hitler had large interests in technological advances as well as social advances (especially in propaganda), but I can’t say I’m an Expert by any means, so can someone please explain to me what the real answer is to the initial question is? what is the key difference between Nazism and fascism?

          • Linkola,

            Nazism is a version of fascism. Fascism is a nationalistic socialism where as the Soviet (and for that matter, European) style of socialism is rather “international.” But note that they are all forms of government control socialism. In Fascism, as exemplified in particular by Germany, Italy and Chile, the leader is charismatic and rules partly though national pride, where as Soviet style socialists are more directly brutal to the populace. All forms of leftist government including fascism and socialism eventually succumb to erosion of personal freedom, tribalism, and some form of holocaust against some group.

            I would also say that fascism is pretty rare but particularly virulent. While socialism at least strives for a stable happy populace (if under complete control), you pretty much have to kill fascists or they will kill you. Fascism was a blip in terms of time from the Nazi’s to Pinochet. Socialism still exists.

      • @ Martin. You’re ignorant Martin. Nazis were indeed Capitalists.They were strongly against Communism. Hitler didn’t believe in social mobility and he thought elites(Whites) should rule Germany.The reason why he came to politics is because he was unhappy with the fact that Jews were controlling”White Germany” who supposedly ruined German economy and culture.Jews were selfish and they didn’t care much about ordinary non-Jew Germans.

        • Nazism was very anti-capitalist. Hitler called for the destruction of capitalism and communism.

          Nazism was socialism, but unlike Marxist Socialism it granted private property. During WWII, many Germans defected to the Red army precisely because there was little difference between the two.

          In American politics, Nazism is considered left in terms of economics. When you remove the racial element, Nazism is good ol’ socialism.

        • Who cares why? Hitler’s control was ended. Most of Europe disliked the Jews before and during that time. It is always easy to blame someone for all your problems. Especially if you can’t face up to maybe they are all your own doing. Germany’s problem started after losing WWI. Which they helped start.

      • Brilliantly put!

      • Your summary is exceptionally accurate, martin .

      • No, Mussolini was with HER. Hence we saw the attempt still towards one party rule, creating the problem while offering a solution as with Industrial Areas Foundation, then using the biased press to deter opposition candidates providing a choice. Maybe you had the complete answer but deleted the emails? Lets see. One Trillion raised by bonds to be out into deposit at even 1 percent. Collect interest of 10 billion yearly for HUD Housing. HUD sec 20 housing units at even a high 50,000 per equals 4000 per state yearly. Why could you not fix even one problem with 10+ Trillion the last 8 years? Even better spend half and the other goes back to the bond purchasers as it should. I must have made a math mistake as they spent 10 trillion and nothing was fixed but an even higher debt service added to the budget. Dang, this is survey level answers to which the elite cannot work with. Fedor’s 25 points make it pretty clear online if you cannot read a book.

      • Oh well.. What do you think Holocaust then?

      • He only enlisted other races during the end of the war because he was losing. You can’t say to anyone that a large portion of his ideology was based on the rhetoric of racial hygiene and nothing else.

      • Thank you!!!

  2. Is it just me or did everybody notice that the second and third points are essentially the same?

  3. Although,this article is well-written i must add that it emphasizes mostly towards the hate propaganda of the National socialists i know we all hate “THE NAZIS” coz its cool and easy hahaha. People always talk about “nazis” you should however should have begun by adding that the term “nazi” was actually a term among opponents of National Socialism because the nickname “Naczi”was used in World War I as a generic name in the German Empire for the soldiers of Austria-Hungary(..you know where that was going also it was used by opponents of NSDAP to mock them) its not a frightening term ^^
    Next it is true that the “Nazism” regarded racism as a vital part in its philososphy there were several other useful and quiet rightly put brilliant plans for a greater design for strenghning a nation through socio-economics all you need to do to understand National-socialism is read Mein kampf(.. and no its not waste of time :P)some parts of it are hateful but that was required as it was becoming a ploicy at the time through which hitler could gain prowess and power, to understand this all you need is a simple precedent of Emil Maurice,so when stating something like that in an article you must also incorporate the facts,that,while the NSDAP called for “racial understanding” the term was highly overlooked in prospective to project the “anti-jew” policy of the party which at the time was political and less a policy.It only came into a much hateful effect after the “chicken-farmer”(Himmler) got his way.
    Hitler was a politician not a racial profiler which showed after his return from Landsberg where he took steps to curb the movement of the S.A which was becoming a trouble for his political reforms.
    Talking about differences in fascism and “Nazism” there are few since it cannot be denied that many of the ideologies that Hitler incorporated where from Mussolinis movement and his love for roman history.(sorry for a rea..lly long post)
    (Ill make it short) ^^ ….basic differences b/w them is simple and its the outlook of there leaders while Hitler wanted to push and project Germany as a totalitarian super power of the world and in order to achieve that goal was ready to consider all methods possible, whereas mussolini so to speak didn’t have a grand design for Italy’s future, he did a lot of work to ensure for its present(for his reign) by indulging most of his effort in strengthening his Naval…^^) Armada altogether i believe when you wanna write about something you want others to opinionate upon you must first ensure you have justified your ends.
    thanks for the effort and sorry for being blunt.

  4. This article is incorrect in many ways.
    Probably the main difference between Fascism and National Socialism is that Fascism as said.. Considers the state the most important. But NS is not based on racial “hatred” its based on the importance of ones country,people and culture.

  5. Be happy communist saved ur ass. Usa was a little pawn. Communism and big russia saved the world.

    • Communism didn’t save the world. Mother Nature did. With a little help from Capitalism.

      • But remember that 9 out of 10 Wehrmacht soldiers killed in WW2 were killed by the Russians. We, the capitalist, however, supplied most the weapons.

    • Actually, Hitler himself played a big role in saving the world from the Nazis. By not knocking England completely out of the war before invading the Soviet Union guaranteed he would be fighting a two-front war. He was nowhere near the military genius he imagined himself to be. His micromanagement and impossible demands of his forces on the East Front made them all Victims of his ego. When his advisors informed him that more Panzer (armored) units would be needed for success in Russia he reorganized the armies by renaming many infantry units as armored infantry. That didn’t change the number of tanks available or the fact that most of the units were still dependant on horse-drawn wagons and carts for transportation of men and materiel. More tank units on paper might look good but it doesn’t make more tanks.

    • Your pathetic Communist dictatorship couldn’t even provide for itself. More Soviet soldiers were killed by starvation than killed any Germans.

  6. Hitler was a complete moron and Mussolini was a doofus. There’s your difference.

  7. Hitler was just insane, that’s all.

    • The world needs to stop painting people like him as abnormal insane monsters. If we don’t accept the fact that he was a normal human being it WILL happen again.

      • Suppose most normal people are capable of mass murdering men woman children. Know I could if I spoke to more people like you. Ah, but your right he did all his household chores he loved his mother and father he never told a single lie in his life yes he was very normal.

  8. So, then the far left socialists of the Democratic Party in the United States are actually more like facist and Nazis. WOW.
    No wonder so many democrats are confused and doing dumb things.
    In conclusion, the Democratic Party is much more, if not, the supporters of fascism.
    The rfar ight side of the Republican Party is about as far as possible from facisum.
    Time for people to wake up to this.

  9. Government Notebook
    The Black Book

    What really is Fascism?

    Fascism: “A political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti)

    1. That exults nation [above the individual]
    2. And often [but not always exults] race above the individual
    3. And that stands for a centralized autocratic government
    4. Headed by a dictatorial leader,
    5. Severe economic [regimentation]
    6. And social regimentation,
    7. And forcible suppression of opposition.” (Fascism, Merriam-Webster online dictionary; numbers added)

    So, what we have learned?

    1. People who believe in Fascism want everyone to treat the nation as a God figure, sacrificing everything they have for the State, willingly or not. People serve the State; the State does not serve the people.

    2. In some Fascist States they may treat a particular race higher than another and this is again, a Deity level authority. For example: In Nazism they thought that the Jews were an inferior race due to their religion of Evolution (as they thought they were the purest descendants of the Aryanism race–look up the race if you want more information); therefore, the Jews needed to be exterminated for the good of the world. Note—This is not in all Fascism as stated in the definiton, but is often enough.

    3. Those who believe in Fascism desire a centralized Totalitarian rule; though it is not required for you to believe in a Fascist State to live in one, you may still be in a Fascist State while hating your reality. The Ruler is the mouth of God and this is in the State, the State or Leader (synonymous) is the Totalitarian law.

    4. People who believe in fascism want someone who is a ruling figure, a God among men, a deified person, such as Hirohito in WW2 as the Emperor should be considered a descendant of the Gods or in an Evolutionary standpoint the highest degree of Evolution.

    5. Fascism has harsh military regulations on the economy; so, you cannot sell your apples unless you have ‘military clearance’ to do so. The entirety of the State Economy is headed by the Totalitarian ruler of the State as the sole moving force of the military. If you are told you cannot sell something or you can only sell something then that is law. These decisions are all headed or approved by one individual who cannot be contradicted.

    6. Fascist States control social norms with military oppression and rules, that if broken, will result in you disappearance or openly killed as an example of being a ‘traitor to the State’. For instance, everyone must now be Vegans because I am the State and you all live to serve me. No one can shake people’s hands, because I believe that is wrong, so you will be executed for shaking hands and we’ll also add kissing to that list.

    7. As with all Fascism the military is controlled by the sole ethics of this deified man—any and all opposition to his views on how your life should be lived is considered a violation of nature and the most heinous of crimes. If you like the color blue and the leader likes yellow and you express that love of blue in any possible way then you will be subject to execution, imprisonment, or torture. Any word from the Leader’s mouth equates to: So let it be written, so let it be done (similar to Socialism where a person or persons rule over every aspect of your life no matter your beliefs–you work hard and get 5 apples and your two neighbors see you have more than them, so they vote to beat you up and equal your apples–Robbers–Socialism in a nutshell–nothing you produce is yours–again, force, not consent, consent is not Socialism, consent is charity).

    Are there examples of Fascism in history? Yes. A few simple ones would be the Roman Catholic Church at some points in its history; such as during the time of Martin Luther when the church issued a Papal Hit on him for disagreeing asking about 95 things that bugged him about the church (not a demonetization of religion or the Catholic Church, but a true moment in their history). Another would be Hitler with the demonetization of Jews and glorification of Aryanism (which WAS a part of the regime … no matter the time stamp of its inception), which race is a part of Fascism (much to many people trying to distinguish the difference between Fascism and Nazism … Fascism is a part of Nazism).

    Did the Nazi ideology fit into the true and ACTUAL definition above? Yes, it does. May there be MORE added onto Nazism? Yes, there are even more things with Nazism than explained with Fascism, but everything in Fascism fits into Nazism; therefore, Nazism encompasses Fascism. Case and point.

  10. The soviet union would have defeated germany by itself. The soviet union would have invaded germany by summer of 1942 if germany didn’t invade them. Most germans were killed fighting soviets since that was the biggest enemy they invaded. The amount and quality of US supplies supporting the allies was important.

    • The Soviet Union couldn’t even provide food or bullets for their slave army. They had zero chance of winning the war on their own. They only managed what they did on American money.

  11. Terrific notes ‍♂️


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References :

[0]Fascism And Nazism | Encyclopedia.Com". Encyclopedia.Com, 2019, https://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fascism-and-nazism.

[1]Fascism And Nazism: The Similarities And Differences Examined". Brewminate.Com, 2019, https://brewminate.com/fascism-and-nazism-the-similarities-and-differences-examined/.

[2]"Research Topic: Nazism And Fascism - Department Of Archaeology, Conservation And History". Hf.Uio.No, 2019, https://www.hf.uio.no/iakh/english/research/subjects/nazism-fascism/.

[3]"The Origins And Nature Of Fascism And Nazism In Europe". History Ireland, 2019, https://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/the-origins-and-nature-of-fascism-and-nazism-in-europe

[4]Image Credit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

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