THE INTER-WAR PERIOD
On the 23rd March 1919, Benito Mussolini formed the National Fascist Party and galvanised the support of many unemployed war veterans. He organised them into armed squads known as Black Shirts, who terrorised their political opponents. Mussolini had fought in the Italian army and in 1917 had been badly wounded and discharged. Upon recovering he resumed his position of editor-in-chief of his new paper Il Popolo d’Italia.
In July 1919, after having fought in the Great War, Adolf Hitler was still in the German Military as an acting intelligence officer. He was sent to report on an emerging right wing group, the German Workers Party (known as the DAP and later renamed the Nazi Party). Hitler was immensely unhappy by the German defeat in the Great War, and blamed the Jews and socialists, who he believed had surrendered the nation. Finding he agreed with the Anti-Semitic, Nationalist beliefs he joined the party in September 1919. At the DAP, Hitler met Dietrich Eckart, one of the founder members who became Hitler’s mentor, exchanging ideas with him. To increase its appeal, the DAP changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). Hitler designed the party’s banner of a swastika in a white circle on a red background.
The Republic of Germany-Austria signed the Treaty of Saint-Germain on the 10th September 1919, with the victorious Allies of the Great War. The peace treaty regulated the borders of Austria by dissolving the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They forced Germany-Austria to change its name to Austria. The final condition being they did not continue the union with Germany. The treaty was signed at Saint-Germain near Paris. The United States of America did not ratify the treaty and later made a separate peace treaty with Austria.
Bulgaria signed the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine with the Allies on the 27th November 1919. The peace treaty regulated the borders of Bulgaria, ceding territories back to Serbia and Macedonia. The Bulgarian army was reduced to 20,000 men and the Allies ordered Bulgaria to pay war reparations. The treaty was signed At Neuilly-sur-Seine in France.