Chapter 5: Irredentism, Hitler and the “New European Order”
As a consequence of the conflicting events that marked WWI until 1923, this chapter focuses on the frustrations of the defeated countries and Italy, facing the peace settlements that ultimately prevailed. The Italian “invention” of “irredentism” and the intensification of demands for the peace treaties to be amended to the benefit of Hungary and Bulgaria spread uncertainties and tensions even before Hitler seized power in Germany in 1933. The chapter describes the limits of the nation-state peace arrangements between the two world wars, the nationalist rhetoric that grew Europe-wide under those circumstances, and the controversial approach to minority rights, particularly in Central Europe and the Balkans. The narrative then focuses on the ethno-national Nazi politics of partitions, its brutal implementation between 1938 and 1943 including the Holocaust, racism, ethnic cleansing, and mass deportations. The redesigning of the European map during WWII and the role of USSR before and after the Munich agreement are also illustrated in detail.
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