Ian Kershaw denies Europe is slipping into a 1930s-style fascist mood

Historians in the News
tags: Hitler, fascism, Ian Kershaw

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s, one of the continent’s leading historians told AFP.

Despite the rise of populist and extreme right-wing parties across the continent, Professor Ian Kershaw — the acclaimed biographer of Hitler — insisted that drawing parallels with the rise of fascism was off the mark.

In fact, it is thanks to a “liberal and peaceful” Germany, which unlike some of its neighbours, is “very clear-eyed about its past”, that Europe is far more able to resist “a slide into barbarism”, he argued.

However, the historian, whose new book “To Hell and Back” spans the period from the First World War to the outbreak of the Cold War, warned that “democracy has deteriorated on every level across the continent since 2014, and not just with (the return of a belligerent, authoritarian) Russia.

“This was a very upsetting book to write in so many ways,” he added. ...

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