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Sat Jun 3, 2023, 03:27 AM

March 1945 US Army information sheet on Fascism for the troops

https://archive.org/details/ArmyTalkOrientationFactSheet64-Fascism/mode/2up (you can download it here in various formats including Kindle and PDF ).

Plain text version here: https://archive.org/stream/ArmyTalkOrientationFactSheet64-Fascism/Fascism64_djvu.txt

I found this here:
Fascism!: The US Army Publishes a Pamphlet in 1945 Explaining How to Spot Fascism at Home and Abroad


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Reply March 1945 US Army information sheet on Fascism for the troops (Original post)
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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Jun 3, 2023, 04:46 AM

1. Partial transcription...

Full text of "Army Talk Orientation Fact Sheet #64 - Fascism!"
See other formats


24 March 1945


Note For This Week's Discussion:

Fascism is not the easiest thing to identify and analyze; nor, once in power, is it easy to destroy. It is important
for our future and that of the world that as many of us as possible understand the causes and practices of fascism,
in order to combat it. Points to stress are: (1) Fascism is more apt to come to power at a time of economic crisis;
(2) fascism inevitably leads to war; (3) it can come to any country; (4) we can best combat it by making our
democracy work.

You are away from home, separated from your
families, no longer at a civilian job or at school
and many of you are risking your very lives because
of a thing called fascism. Our country was attacked
by the fascist aggressor, Japan. The "Sons of Heaven"
were promptly joined by their fascist partners of
Germany and Italy.

"Fascism" is a word that's been used a great deal
these last few years. We come across it in our news-
papers, we hear it in our newsreels, it comes up in
our bull sessions. We've heard about the cruelties of
fascism, its terror, its conquest of country after coun-
try. We've heard of its concentration camps — like
Dachau in Germany and its torture chambers — like
Maidanek in Poland. We've heard of its planned
mass murder of whole peoples — which scholars call

Some of the things that have been done to people
by fascists seem too horrible to believe, especially to
Americans who believe in "live and let live." Hard-
boiled American correspondents, formerly skeptical,
now believe because they have seen. (See page 6.)

We Americans have been fighting fascists for more
than three years. When Cecil Brown, one of the
leading war correspondents, came back from the battle
fronts, he went on a trip that took him into big cities
and small towns all over America. He talked and
listened to all kinds of people. He found that most
Americans are vague about just what fascism really
means. He found few Americans who were confident
they would recognize a fascist if they saw one.

And are we in uniform any more certain what
fascism is — where it came from — what made it strong ?

Do we know how fascism leads men to do the things
done to people at Maidanek? Do we know how it
leads them to attack helpless nations? Are Maidaneks
and war inevitable results of fascism? Do all fascists
speak only German, Italian or Japanese — or do some
of them speak our language? Will military victory
in this War automatically kill fascism? Or could
fascism rise in the United States after it's been crushed
abroad? What can we do to prevent it?

Perhaps we ought to get to know the answers. If
we don't understand fascism and recognize fascism
when we see it, it might crop up again — under another
label — and cause another war.

Fascism is a way to run a country — it's the way
Italy was run, and the way Germany and Japan are
run. Fascism is the precise opposite of democracy.
The people run democratic governments, but fascist
governments run the people.

Fascism is government by the few and for the few.
The objective is seizure and control of the economic,
political, social, and cultural life of the state. Why?
The democratic way of life interferes with their meth-
ods and desires for: (1) conducting business; (2)
living with their fellow-men; (3) having the final say
in matters concerning others, as well as themselves.
The basic principles of democracy stand in the way
of their desires; hence — democracy must go! Anyone
who is not a member of their inner gang has to do
what he's told. They permit no civil liberties, no
equality before the law. They make their own rules
and change them when they choose. If you don't
like it, it's "T.S."

They maintain themselves in power by use of force
combined with propaganda based on primitive ideas
of "blood" and "race," by skillful manipulation of
fear and hate, and by false promise of security. The
propaganda glorifies war and insists it is smart and
"realistic" to be pitiless and violent.

(You may find the foregoing material a useful basis
for a brief introductory talk J

How It Starts

(Question: How does fascism get in power?
How can a violent program that enslaves the
people win any support? )

Fascism came to power in Germany, Italy, and
Japan at a time of social and economic unrest. A
small group of men, supported in secret by powerful
financial and military interests, convinced enough
insecure people that fascism would give them the
things they wanted.

They did so partly by clever propaganda and de-
ception. They promised the people that fascism would
bring them great power and prosperity. The details
differed from country to country but the general pat-
tern was the same. The Japanese spoke of a "greater
Asia co-prosperity sphere." Mussolini mouthed hu-
manitarian ideals and promised a re-born Roman
empire. Hitler and his associates adopted the name
of National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi)
and announced objectives that attracted many German
people. The official title of the Nazi party was de-
liberately worded for its propaganda value, appealing
to "nationalists," "socialists," "workers," and all
others who might be favorably influenced by these
labels. At the very time that the fascists proclaimed
that their party was the party of the "average citizen,"
they were in the pay of certain big industrialists and
financiers who wanted to run the people with an
iron hand.

The fascists promised everything to everyone: They
would make the poor rich and the rich richer. To
the farmers, the fascists promised land through elimi-
nation of large estates. To the workers they promised
elimination of unemployment — jobs for all at high
wages. To the small business men they promised
more customers and profits through the elimination
of large business enterprises. To big business men
and the industrialists they secretly promised greater
security and profits through the elimination of small
business competitors and trade unions and the crush-
ing of socialists and communists. To the whole
nation they promised glory and wealth by conquest.
They asserted it was their right, as a "superior people,"
to rule the world.

As soon as these methods had won them enough
of a following to form their Storm Troops, the fascists
began using force to stifle and wipe out any opposi-
tion. Those who saw through the false front of fascism
and opposed them were beaten, tortured, and killed.

The fascists knew that all believers in democracy
were their enemies. They knew that the fundamental
principle of democracy — faith in the common sense
of the common people — was the direct opposite of
the fascist principle of rule by the elite few. So they
fought democracy in all its phases. At the same time
that they proclaimed the "superiority" of the Germans,
the Italians, the Japanese, they proclaimed also that
the German, the Italian, the Japanese peoples were
really unfit to rule themselves. It became "Ileil
Hitler" in Germany, and "Believe, obey, fight" in Italy.

They played political, religious, social, and eco-
nomic groups against each other and seized power
while these groups struggled against each other.

How It Works

(Question: How could the fascists keep their
contradictory promises, once they got in poicer?
How did their program actually work out?)

It was easy enough for the fascists to promise all
things to all people before they were in power. Once
they were actually in power, they could not, of course,
keep their contradictory promises. They had intended
in advance to break some, and they did break those
they had made to the middle classes, the workers, and
the farmers.

As soon as the fascists were in control of the gov-
ernment, the torturings and the killings were no longer
the unlawful acts of a political party and its hoodlum
gangs. They became official government policy.
Among the first victims of this official policy were
those farmers, workers, and small business men who
had believed the promises that had been made to
them and who complained that they had been "sucked
in." Some simply vanished. Often they came home
to their families by return mail in little jars of ashes.

The concentration camps and graves filled with the
opponents of fascism. Out went equality before the
law, free elections and free political parties, inde-
pendent trade unions and independent s ools, free-
dom of speech and freedom of the press, and, in time,
freedom of religion.

Pastor Niemoeller was thrown into a concentration
camp in Germany; Cardinal Innitzer was "stoned,"
and Catholic priests were imprisoned. Jews were
murdered in cold blood and synagogues destroyed
Christian ministers were ousted from Japan.

The fascists "solved" unemployment by converting
their nations into giant war machines. Ti unem
ployed were either conscripted into the army or or
ganized in labor battalions and put to work in war

Deprived of their unions, the working people could
be driven to work longer and harder for less and less
money, so that those who subsidized and ran fascism
could grow richer. By wiping out all internal com-
petition — especially the small and medium sized busi-
ness firms — profits were increased still higher for the
handful on top. In some cases, the fascists then
gobbled control of the top corporations. The living
standards of the masses of the people declined, of
course. As they earned less and less, they were able
to buy less and less of the goods they produced.

Every last detail of life was regulated, with the
death penalty often imposed for slight violations. One
unhappy victim complained: "Fascism is a regime
under which everything not prohibited is compulsory,"

Once the fascists were in control of the government,
not even the gang on top was safe from its own mem-
bers. There would be more loot and power per fascist
leader if some fascist leaders were eliminated. Some
of the party "big-shots" and some of those who had
helped them take over were therefore "purged." Many
would-be partners in the dictatorship, including somie
industrialists, wound up in jail, in exile, or dead.

Fascism = War ?

(Question: If we leave fascist nations alone,
will they leave us alone? Or does fascism in-
evitably lead to war?)

We have seen that the people of a fascist state earn
less and less, and so are able to buy less and less of
the goods they produce with their slave labor. This
means that eventually the fascist leaders either have
to abandon the system, or look abroad for new mar-
kets to dispose of the mounting surplus of goods that
cannot be sold at home.

The fascists do not choose to abandon their system
and give up their graft, and so they are forced to
acquire foreign markets and to eliminate competing
nations. Due to their slave labor, the fascists are able
to undersell the free nations of the world. The free
nations must either resort to fascism, so that with
slave labor they can meet the cut-throat prices of the
fascist nations, or they must erect trade barriers to
keep out the ruthless fascist competition. (See Douglas
Miller: You Can't Do Business With Hitler!) In
either case, the fascist nation still wants the markets,
and it goes after them with the same methods used in
domestic affairs — intimidation, terror, and force. In
foreign affairs, force means war.

The war machine is ready, and waiting for duty.
To justify the building of the war machine as the
"solution" to unemployment, the fascists nurture a
lust for war, a desire for conquest. "Live danger-
ously," said Mussolini. "Man has become great
through perpetual strife," screamed Hitler. A Nazi
slogan was "Guns instead of butter." The hungry
people were told they would get butter and other
riches in due time — by way of conquest.

The press, radio, movies, stage — all were put to
the task of glorifying war. The school system, from
kindergarten to university, justified and exalted tyr-
anny of the strong over the weak. "The school is
the preparation for the Army," said the Nazi Minister
of Education.

The people were taught that their race was "su
perior." Since this concept of "superior" and "
ferior" race is completely contrary to the findings of
all science, science has to be as carefully controlled
and perverted as the schools. No scientist in Germany
could safely deny it when Hitler told the Germans that
they were a "Master Race" entitled to the land and
possessions of lesser folk. The Italians were told in
fake "scientific" terms that Latins were born to rule.
The Japanese were taught that as "Sons of Heaven"
it was both their right and their duty to conquer and
rule the world.

Once their people were sold on the "master race"
idea, it was easy for the fascists to make them feel
that other people were of no more consequence than
vermin. We think nothing of killing a cockroach.
They were encouraged to think nothing of killing
unarmed and defenseless men, women, and children.
Many even got to enjoy it. Hence Rotterdam, Lidice,

By all these devices, fascism creates and then is
driven by forces that cannot be stopped at will. Fas-
cism cannot stand still. Its internal and external
policies are rooted in aggression. It must expand or
explode. It must conquer or perish. Every measure
taken by fascism — its entire economic, social, political,
and military set-up — means eventual war.

The war comes when intimidation and terror fail
as instruments of fascist foreign policy. The war
comes when other nations finally refuse further to
appease the insatiable hunger of fascism for markets,
military glory, and world domination.

Can It Happen Here?

Some Americans would give an emphatic "No" to
the question "Can fascism come to America after it
has been defeated abroad?" They would say that
Americans are too smart, that they are sold on the
democratic way of life, that they wouldn't permit any
group to put fascism over in America. Fascism, some
might say, is something peculiar that you find only
among people who like swastikas, who like to listen
to speeches from balconies in Rome, or who like to
think that their emperor is god. Their reaction might
be that it is something "foreign" that Americans
would recognize in a minute, like the goose-step. They
might feel that we'd laugh it out of existence in a

(Question: Do all fascists come from Ger-
many, Japan, or Italy?)

In a good many European nations, the people felt
the same way some of us do: that fascism was foreign
to them and could never become a power in their land.
They found, however, that fascist-minded people
within their borders, especially with aid from the
outside, could seize power. The Germans, of course,
made efficient use of fascist-minded traitors whom we
have come to know generally as "the fifth column."

In France, which was considered a leading democ-
racy of Europe, the betrayal was spearheaded by a
powerful clique of native "100 percent French" fas-
cists. Norway had its Quisling who was as "pure-
blooded" a Norwegian as Laval was a "pure-blooded"
Frenchman. The Netherlands' Musserts were "100
percent Dutch," Belgium's Degrelles "100 percent
Belgian," and Britain's Mosleys "100 percent British."
The United States also has its native fascists who say
that they are "100 percent American." There were
native fascists in the Philippines, in Thailand (Siam) ,
in China, in Burma, in many other countries — all
waiting to become the willing puppets of the Axis.
Not one of these fascists is a "foreigner" who had to
be imported from Germany, or Japan, or Italy.

(Question: Have any groups in America used
fascist tactics and appeals? )

Most of the people in America like to be good
neighbors. But, at various times and places in our
history, we have had sorry instances of mob sadism,
lynchings, vigilantism, terror, and suppression of civil
liberties. We have had our hooded gangs, Black
Legions, Silver Shirts, and racial and religious bigots.
All of them, in the name of Americanism, have used
undemocratic methods and doctrines which experience
has shown can be properly identified as "fascist."

Can we afford to brush them off as mere crackpots?
We once laughed Hitler off as a harmless little clown
with a funny mustache.

In January 1944, 30 Americans, many of them
native born, were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury
on charges of conspiring with "the Nazi party to ac-
complish the objectives of said Nazi party in the
United States." These objectives, according to the
indictment, included undermining and impairing "the
loyalty and morale of the military and naval forces
of the United States." The case ended in a mistrial
caused by the death of the presiding judge. The
question of re-indictment is still under consideration.

Whenever free governments anywhere fail to solve
their basic economic and social problems, there is
always the danger that a native brand of fascism will
arise to exploit the situation and the people.

Can We Spot It?

(Question: How can we identify native Ameri-
can fascists at work? )

An American fascist seeking power would not* pro-
claim that he is a fascist. Fascism always camou-
flages its plans and purposes. Hitler made demagogic
appeals to all groups and swore: "Neither I nor
anybody in the National Socialist Party advocates
proceeding by anything but Constitutional methods."

Any fascist attempt to gain power in America would
not use the exact Hitler pattern. It would work under
the guise of "super-patriotism" and "super-American-
ism." Fascist leaders are neither stupid nor naive.
They know that they must hand out a line that "sells."
Huey Long is said to have remarked that if fascism
came to America, it would be on a program of "Ameri-

Fascists in America may differ slightly from fascists
in other countries, but there are a number of attitudes
and practices that they have in common. Followin
are three. Every person who has one of them is not
necessarily a fascist. But he is in a mental state that
lends itself to the acceptance of fascist aims.

1. Pitting of religious, racial, and economic groups
against one another in order to break down national
unity is a device of the "divide and conquer" tech-
nique used by Hitler to gain power in Germany and
in other countries. With slight variations, to suit
local conditions, fascists everywhere have used this
Hitler method. In many countries, anti-Semitism
(hatred of Jews) is a dominant device of fascism. In
the United States, native fascists have often been
anti-Catholic, anti-Jew, anti-Negro, anti-Labor, anti-
foreign-born. In South America, the native fascists
use the same scapegoats except that they substitute
anti-Protestantism for anti-Catholicism.

Interwoven with the "master race" theory of fas-
cism is a well-planned "hate campaign" against mi-
nority races, religions, and other groups. To suit
their particular needs and aims, fascists will use any
one or a combination of such groups as a convenient

2. Fascism cannot tolerate such religious and ethi-
cal concepts as the "brotherhood of man." Fascists
deny the need for international cooperation. These
ideas contradict the fascist theory of the "master
race." The brotherhood of man implies that all
people — regardless of color, race, creed, or nationality
have rights. International cooperation, as expressed
in the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, runs counter to the
fascist program of war and world domination.

In place of international cooperation, the fascists
seek to substitute a perverted sort of ultra-nationalism
which tells their people that they are the only people
in the world who count. With this goes hatred and
suspicion toward the people of all other nations. Right
now our native fascists are spreading anti-British,
anti-Soviet, anti-French, and anti-United Nations prop-
aganda. They know that allied unity now foretells
the certain defeat of fascism abroad. They know that
post-war allied unity means world peace and security.
They realize that fascism cannot thrive or grow under
these conditions.

3. It is accurate to call a member of a communist
party a "communist." For short, he is often called a
"Red." Indiscriminate pinning of the label "Red" on
people and proposals which one opposes is a common
political device. It is a favorite trick of native as
well as foreign fascists.

Many fascists make the spurious claim that the
world has but two choices — either fascism or com-
munism, and they label as "communist" everyone
who refuses to support them. By attacking our free
enterprise, capitalist democracy and by denying the
effectiveness of our way of life they hope to trap
many people.

Hitler insisted that only fascism could save Europe
and the world from the "communist menace." There
were many people inside and outside Germany and
Italy who welcomed and supported Hitler and Musso-
lini because they believed fascism was the only safe-
guard against communism. The "Red bogey" was a
convincing enough argument to help Hitler take and
maintain power. The Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis, whose
aggressions plunged the world into global war, was
called the "Anti-Comintern Axis." It was proclaimed
by Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito as a "bulwark
against communism."

Learning to identify native fascists and to detect
their techniques is not easy. They plan it that way.
But it is vitally important to learn to spot them, even
though they adopt names and slogans with popular
appeal, drape themselves with the American flag, and
attempt to carry out their program in the name of
the democracy they are trying to destroy.

How To Stop It

(Question: How can we prevent fascism from
developing in the United States?)

The only way to prevent fascism from getting a
hold in America is by making our democracy work
and by actively cooperating to preserve world peace

Lots of things can happen inside of people when
they are unemployed or hungry. They become fright-
ened, angry, desperate, confused. Many, in their
misery, seek to find somebody to blame. They look
for a scapegoat as a way out. Fascism is always
ready to provide one. In its bid for power, it is
ready to drive wedges that will disunite the people
and weaken the nation. It supplies the scapegoat —
Catholics, Jews, Negroes, labor unions, big business
— any group upon which the insecure and unemployed
can be brought to pin the blame for their misfortune.

We all know that many serious problems will face
us when the War is over. If there is a period of
economic stress it will create tensions among our
people, including us as returning veterans. The resent-
ment may be directed against minorities — especially
if undemocratic organizations with power and money
can direct our emotions and thinking along these

The fascist doctrine of hate fulfills a triple mission.
By creating disunity — it weakens democracy. By get-
ting men to hate rather than to think — it prevents men
from seeking the real cause and a democratic solution
to the problem. By fake promises of jobs and se-
curity, fascism then tries to lure men to its program
as the way out of insecurity. Only by democratically
solving the economic problems of our day can there
be any certainty that fascism won't happen here. That
is our job as citizens.

Citizenship in a democracy is more than a ballot
dropped in a box on Election Day. It's a 365-days-
a-year job requiring the active participation and best
judgment of every citizen in the affairs of his com-
munity, his nation, and his country's relations with
the world.

Fascism thrives on indifference and ignorance. It
makes headway when people are apathetic or cynical
about their government — when they think of it as
something far removed from them and beyond their
personal concern. The erection of a traffic light on
your block is important to your safety and the safety
of your children. The erection of a world organiza-
tion to safeguard peace and world security is just as
important to our personal security. Both must be the
concern of every citizen.

Freedom, like peace and security, cannot be main-
tained in isolation. It involves being alert and on
guard against the infringement not only of our own
freedom but the freedom of every American. If we
permit discrimination, prejudice, or hate to rob
anyone of his democratic rights, our own freedom
and all democracy is threatened.

What is true of America is true of the world. The
germ of fascism cannot be quarantined in a Munich
Brown House or a balcony in Rome. If we want to
make certain that fascism does not come to America,
we must make certain that it does not thrive any-
where in the world.


Aids For Discussion Leaders

A short five to ten-minute introductory talk by the
discussion leader is recommended. Suggested points:

A. We're at war because of "fascism."

B. Many Americans are vague about the meaning
of "fascism;" many doubt the horrible things we hear
about places like Dachau and Maidanek.

C. What is fascism?

D. Fascism is a dictatorship — the opposite of

E. Fascism is an authoritarian government by the

F. Fascists stay in power by force; by propaganda
based on ideas of "blood" and
of war; and by false promises of security.

Supplementary Material

Visit the site for more. I tried to transcribe after this point but it was too confusing.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 3, 2023, 04:52 AM

2. My God and I thought I had a lot of coffee so far this morning.

You are so productive In transcribing this only thing I have accomplished is taking out the trash.

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Response to Duncanpup (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 3, 2023, 04:55 AM

3. Thanks, DP. I have my moments. Just trying to help. ❤️

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 4, 2023, 01:02 AM

7. Thank you for the transcript. Good stuff. kr.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 4, 2023, 02:56 AM

8. YW! Thanks for the reply. ❤️

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Jun 3, 2023, 06:06 AM

4. Excellent read. Very prescient...

"Most of the people in America like to be good
neighbors. But, at various times and places in our
history, we have had sorry instances of mob sadism,
lynchings, vigilantism, terror, and suppression of civil
liberties. We have had our hooded gangs, Black
Legions, Silver Shirts, and racial and religious bigots.
All of them, in the name of Americanism, have used
undemocratic methods and doctrines which experience
has shown can be properly identified as "fascist."

"Any fascist attempt to gain power in America would
not use the exact Hitler pattern. It would work under
the guise of "super-patriotism" and "super-American-
ism." Fascist leaders are neither stupid nor naive.
They know that they must hand out a line that "sells."
Huey Long is said to have remarked that if fascism
came to America, it would be on a program of "Ameri-

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Jun 3, 2023, 08:13 AM

5. Kick

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Jun 3, 2023, 12:21 PM

6. Kick. Rec. Bookmark.

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