In this one-hour special, Rick Steves travels back a century to learn how fascism rose and then fell in Europe — taking millions of people with it. He traces fascism’s history from its roots in the turbulent aftermath of World War I, when masses of angry people rose up, to the rise of charismatic leaders who manipulated that anger, and the totalitarian societies they built.
See how Idi Amin used lessons learned in the colonial British army to build a powerful dictatorship in Uganda. Through a combination of populist charm and brutal violence, he ruled for eight years until his strategic blunders brought him down.
Glorified at the XVIIth Congress of the Communist Party, in 1934, Stalin launched major projects that would go down in history. The NKVD, which succeeded the GPU, multiplies the camps. The number of deportees passed the one million mark in 1935. A spectacular showcase for the great terror unleashed in 1937, the Moscow trials concealed the extent of the repression that blindly fell on all of Soviet society and anonymous people. In August 1939, after the signing of the German-Soviet pact, hundreds of thousands of Poles, Balts, Western Ukrainians and Moldavians joined some 2 million Soviet deportees in the Gulag camps. Conditions of detention deteriorated appallingly with the invasion of the USSR by the Wehrmacht in June 1941; and in 1945, despite the victory over Nazi Germany, the number of oppressed increased by tens of thousands of men, women and even children who often had no other fault than to have survived the Nazi occupation...
Hitler's fame reaches its climax. Germany is simultaneously admired and feared by foreign countries. In 1936, the Wehrmacht invades the Rhineland, a demilitarized zone by the Treaty of Versailles. The Nuremberg party rallies are a magnificent spectacle of the ever-growing leadership cult. The Summer Olympics in 1936 show Hitler's popularity internationally.
Neil follows the clans as they rallied behind Robert the Bruce in his against-all-odds bid to win Scotland's crown. After their crucial role in crushing the English at Bannockburn in 1314, Bruce rewarded the loyal chiefs with land and titles. They rise to shape the fate of kingdom in the centuries to come.
Examine the process of "destructive creation"-the idea that fear, rivalry and conflict strengthen community bonds while stimulating an arms race of technological progress. The result is civilization. Ancient Mesoamerica exemplifies this development.