Contemporary History

Contemporary History

The Age of Totalitarianisms (1890-1956)


What’s the core issue of the 20th Century? The question of the inclusion of the masses into the political society, one may answer. But what are these “masses”? A huge number of individual citizens, or perhaps Marx’s “proletariat” or even Hitler’s “national community”? Different interpretations about the “masses”, what they are and how to deal with them have made the history of the last 200 years and are today more than ever determining our everlasting search for the perfect society. In this course we will try to inquire into the origins and the evolution of totalitarian approaches to solve the question of the “masses” from the late 19th Century up to the mid 20th Century, covering not only the regimes of Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini, but also events and protagonists that preceeded and originated their totalitarian barbarianism, their international context and ideological interaction.

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