There were many factors contributing to a strong sense of identity felt throughout Vietnam’s lead largely by Ho Chi Minh. These were shared culture, beliefs and values as well as shared experiences. This identity was thus expressed politically and militarily. Much of which Ho Chi Minh had to do with.
The Viet Cong or Nationaliberation grant was formed in 1960. It came about due to a resentment of oppression under the Diem (presidential regime). It was made up of political groups such as the Radical Socialist group and special interest groups such as farmers and students. However, strong leadership in people such as o Chi Minh and the Vietminh were also crucial.
A primary aspect in the formation of identity was shared culture, values and beliefs. Ho Chi Minh had strong influence on this area. He was a strong leader and encouraged a village based society and culture. He was also a strong Budhist and aimed to spread this. Most significant however were his values. He believed in a free and unified Vietnam free of any foreign intervention. As well as this looked up to the Americans and shared with them the values of liberty, fraternity and equality. Ho aimed to share these aspects amongst society and this helped to create a unity and sense of belonging amongst the Vietnamese people.
Shared experiences were another factor contributing to a common sense of identity, and Ho was very influenced in this aspect as well. For nearly one thousand years Vietnam was dominated by China. And at the start and middle of the 20th century by France. Leading the people of Vietnam, Ho fought a successful war against the French. However, this was followed by dissapointment at the Geneva Conference (1954) when due to US fears of spreading communism, Vietnam was split in two. He and the people of Vietnam were left feeling dissapointed by this. Most shared a common goal of uniting Vietnam as one nation. However it did show to the Vietnamese, that with strong leadership and persistence, results could be achieved, and this could be seen as a crucial factor in the formation of a Vietnamese identity.
Further experiences were had by the people of Vietnam. In particular was the resentment towards the Diem Regime. Many saw him as a puppet of the Americans and unrepresenting of Vietnamese people. Not only was he catholic but he cancelled the elections scheduled for 1956. This most likely would have seen Vietnam become one unified state. It seemed to many Vietnamese the Diem went against virtually everything that the rest of Vietnam stood for. Resentment towards the US was also felt. They were objected for their support of the French as well as Diem. They also brought much prostitution and corruption to Vietnam. It wasn’t long before this growing sense of identity and resentment felt by people would be expressed in some way. Individuals such as Ho Chi Minh would be very significant in this.
By 1960 the Americans almost fully occupied Vietnam. In this same year, largely funded by Ho Chi Minh were the Viet Cong. Their goal was a free and unified Vietnam, free of any foreign oppressors. Further identity was expressed when land reform and propaganda campaigns were formed by the Viet Cong. They aimed to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people.
Military expressions were also significant. 1961 saw the reignighting of the Guerrilla campaigns. This was spear headed by Ho who had done this previously against the French. Strategic villages were also targeted supporting Diem or the U.S. The most significant expression however was the Tet Offensive (1968). This saw thousands of Viet Cong attack U.S. bases in the south. Although the Viet Cong lost in terms of numbers, the political repercussions were dramatic especially for the U.S. It really put it to the American people, that they weren’t winning in Vietnam and this led to anti war feeling. The USA later had to pull out. So this really showed that with persistence and belief Ho could be successful.
In conclusion, identity was formed in Vietnam through shared culture, values and beliefs as well as experiences, much of which involved strong leadership through Ho Chi Minh. This identity was expressed in a number of ways, politically and militarily.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
IDENTITY: VIET CONG
A significant leader who had a influence upon the development of the identity of the Viet Cong after World War Two was Ho Chi Minh. Many factors of shared heritage, beliefs, values and experiences helped to create this identity. In turn this identity was expressed in many ways, politically, socially and militarily.
The Viet Cong was a coalition of Vietnamese nationalists longing for independence and unification of the North and South Vietnam. They were freedom fighters which were derived from several smaller groups, including the Viet Minh. They were lead by Ho Chi Minh who believed ‘Vietnam should be for the Vietnamese’. This strong belief and inspirational leadership of Ho Chi Minh helped to develop and influence the identity of what was later known as the Viet Cong and its identity.
The first factor of shared heritage, lead to the formation and identity of the Viet Cong with strong leadership from Ho Chi Minh. The Viet Cong shared a common language and cultures of Buddhism and Confucianism. They also shared the goal of ridding Vietnam of the Chinese in earlier times and the colonial French who they had been oppressed by for many years. This helped in the development of the Viet Congs identity and was a strong factor in Ho Chi Minh’s leadership.
Another factor leading to the formation of identity of the Viet Cong was their shared beliefs and values. They all believed in a free and independent, united Vietnam and wanted ‘Vietnam to be for the Vietnamese’.
Further and significant factors were shared experiences of opposing foreign intervention. This hatred lead to uprisings and national unification and identity. The end of WWII saw the return of the hated French. This was disappointing as not long before the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was formed. However the group which the Viet Cong is derived from, the Viet Minh, had seen a successful war against the French with the help of leadership from Ho Chi Minh, in 1954. The battle of Dien Bien Phu was the one to end the first Indo-China war. This was a French military disaster and was the end to the French control in Vietnam. With the leadership of Ho Chi Minh this battle was a significant win and helped towards the development of what was later known as the Viet Cong.
Another experience was the Viet Congs opposition to Ngo Dinh Diem’s regime. Diem was the leader of the South at the time and had many enemies in the Viet Cong for several reasons. This French educated, Catholic favoured his family over others to be promoted into positions of power. He was also seen as Pro-American and out of touch and isolated from the ordinary people of Vietnam. In an attempt to get peasant support Diem introduced his land reform programme. However he did not carry it out effectively and his plan back fired due to this. In the late 1950s when the communist threat was becoming more apparent he launched his fortified Hamlets. This was a bid to get rid of communism. Villages in troubled spots were moved to less troublesome areas where they were to live in new Hamlets behind barbed wire. This angered and annoyed the villager’s affected and contributed to the negative opinion and feelings of the Viet Congs identity. These villagers then lent towards becoming Viet Cong sympathisers, growing the identity, with more people getting behind it.
The last shared experience contributing to the Viet Cong’s formation of identity with leadership by Ho Chi Minh was the increasing involvement of the US. Tow Vietnams emerged from the Geneva Conference and America didn’t want to see the South fall to communism and was determined to fight to defend this goal. The Viet Cong wanted independence and unification and the way it was going it would be through communism, thus making an enemy with America and in turn as he was seen as pro-American Diem. The economic impact on local Vietnamese saw a huge increase in prostitution, corruption, and items sold on the black market. This kind of activity was not welcome and contributed to this anti-American identity of the Viet Cong. Attacks by America were becoming more frequent and between 1965-1967 there were huge aerial bombing attacks on North Vietnam, creating further anger between the Viet Cong and the Americans. However the Viet Cong had the ability to evapourate before their enemy.
The expressions of this united Viet Cong identity lead by Ho Chi Minh were done politically, socially and militarily. The first of these expressions being political and social. The actual formation of the Viet Cong in 1960 was a significant expression. They believed in a united Vietnam free of foreign interference. Another was in fighting for the hearts and minds of the people of South Vietnam in order to unify the North with the South. They did this through propaganda, persuation and terror. By emphasising their struggle against ‘US imperialism’, and portraying Diem as an American puppet they hoped to gain support in the South.
Other expressions were done militarily. The first of these being the beginnings of the guerilla war campaign in 1961. They were using a new strategy, instead of a strike and retreat they were fighting pitched battles. Although their technology was inferior their superior tactics were winning them a significant war.
The most significant military expression of the Viet Congs identity was the battle at Khe Sanh in 1968 and the Tet Offensive. In 1968 a siege of the firebase a Khe Sanh took place. On January 31, 1968 a offensive of astonishing took place. 70,000 Communist soldiers surged into over 100 cities and towns in South Vietnam. This was a bid to show the Americans at home who was really winning the war. This was the beginning of the end of the US involvement in the Vietnam war.
The leadership of Ho Chi Minh developed a sense of identity because without his knowledge, ideas and skills the Viet Cong would have never formed. Ho Chi Minh brang the Vietnamese nationalists together and showed them determination against the injustices of the past. He lead them to their goal of a unified, independent Vietnam free of foreign oppression.
In conclusion a significant leader upon the development of the identity of the Viet Cong was Ho Chi Minh. Many factors of shared heritage, beliefs, values and experiences influenced and helped in the development of this identity. In turn this identity was expressed in many ways including, politically, socially and militarily.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
TOPIC: WEIMAR/NAZI GERMANY
IDENTITY: NAZI IDENTITY
At the end of the First World War, Germany became a democratic state known as the Weimar Republic. A group within this state who had a distinctive identity were the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the Nazis), led by Adolf Hitler.
The Nazis’ identity hinged on three main points. Firstly, they believed in the superiority of the “Aryan” race, a breed of tall, blond, blue-eyed superhumans, and the inferiority (to a point of sub-humanity) of various groups, particularly Jews. Their second major policy was opposition to the Treaty of Versailles, which they claimed shackled Germany militarily and economically. The final point of Nazi policy was the Fuhrer-prinzip or “Leadership Principle”, which taught that the will of the leader, Hitler was the will of the nation and must be obeyed.
Each of these points was present in society, but Hitler’s extremist influence shaped them into a distinctive Nazi identity.
Although Germany had a relatively large Jewish population, there was a dark undercurrent of anti-Semitism in society. Jews were resented by much of the population because they were perceived as rich and still greedy for more money. Elements of the Church preached that the Jews were “Christ-killers”, anti-Semitic “passion plays” reinforced this idea. Hitler harnessed these factors into the Nazi identity. Although opinions vary as to why Hitler despised Judaism so passionately, it is undeniable that he did everything within his power to remove the “Jewish stain” from German soil. One of the most effective techniques Hitler used to make anti-Semitism a major Nazi principle was propaganda. In his speeches, he blamed the Jews for everything from communism to ultra-capitalism, claiming they were war profiteers who forced Germany to sign the humiliating Versailles Treaty. He also encouraged the publication of anti-Semitic newspapers, such as “Dre Sturmer”. Orchestrated by Dr Goebbels at Hitler’s orders, Kristallnacht was an example of intimidation. Many Jewish synagogues, homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed that night. Although a small number of historians such as David Irving may disagree, the Holocaust was a direct result of Hitler’s desire for a “Judenrein” (Jew-free) Germany. All of these show Hitler’s influence in shaping Nazi policy because the depth of anti-Semitism came directly from his personal convictions.
The Treaty of Versailles which was signed at the conclusion of the First World War was viewed by most Germans as unfair. It prohibited “anschluss” (union) with Austria, limited the size of the German army to the barest minimum of defense forces, and imposed enormous reparations on a country which had been bankrupted by war. Although there was a level of public resentment, most German politicians believed it was best to work within the restrictions imposed on them. Hitler created a strong identity for the Nazis through his opposition to the “Diktat” (the Treaty was called by this name because it had been dictated to the Germans). The Nazis decried the Treaty as a “stab in the back”, claiming the country had been betrayed. Once Hitler had consolidated his hold on power, he set about making his opposition to the Treaty law. In 1935, he began to publicly rebuild the army through conscription; in 1938 he created a union with Austria. This deliberate disobedience created a clear identity for the Nazis, but these actions were all carried out at Hitler’s whim. Other Nazi leaders were more afraid of retaliation then he was.
The third principle of the Nazi identity was the “Fuhrerprinzip”, which meant that Hitler’s word was law. This policy was shaped by popular opinion in Germany, which saw democracy as weak and ineffective. The government of the Weimar Republic bore around its neck the albatross of the Versailles Treaty. Germans yearned for a return to authoritarian leadership, because democracy seemed to many to lack direction. The “Fuhrerprinzip” removed this concern. Actions Hitler took to enforce this principle included the “Enabling Act” effectively made the “Fuhrerprinzip” national policy; Hitler’s decrees now had the force of law. In the same year, Hitler banned political opponents such as the Communist Party. In 1934, Hitler made it clear that he was the absolute ruler through the “Night of the Long Knives”. Members of Hitler’s SA – a paramilitary organisation – who did not fall in line with his vision for Germany were assassinated. The message Hitler hoped to send to them was made clear. “I have the power.”
In conclusion, Nazi identity was composed of three main components: anti-Semitism, opposition to the Treaty of Versailles, and the “Fuhrerprinzip”. The main factor in choosing these policies was public opinion, which supported the Nazi stance on these issues, but Hitler honed the policies to match his personal viewpoints. He used chiefly propaganda and intimidation to make Nazi policy reflect his opinions, and he was very successful.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
TOPIC: WEIMAR/NAZI GERMANY
IDENTITY: ADOLF HITLER
Adolf Hitler. A strong leader in his own time, known as the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, or the Nazi’s. Today, we remember him as a madman, persecutor of the Jews, invoked of the Holocaust. But Hitler did have an influence. I have chosen to write on the topic of The Weimar republic and the Nazi state and about how this man, Adolf Hitler, influenced the development of the Nazi identity.
The distinctive sense of identity in this topic is none other than the identity of the Nazi Party themselves. The Nazi identity was composed of beliefs which they all shared and were willing to fight for. These beliefs included a need for a strong leader, which turned out to be Hitler; Anti-semetism or hatred for the Jews who became a scapegoat for the Germans, belief that the place for a woman was in the home and that being a mother was the best thing a woman could do for Germany; wanting to end unemployment in Germany, belief that Jews, Homosexuals, Gypsies, Tramps alcoholics and the mentally ill were a threat to the Nazi idea of a perfect or Master race which the Nazi’s called Aryans. Aryans were blond haired, blue eyed and tall.
Can be summed up in this slogan: “Ein Volk, Ein Reich. Ein fuhrer” or “One people, one government, one leader.”
There are a range of factors which contributed to the Nazi sense of identity. The ones with the most influence were beliefs, shared experiences and culture.
The Nazis, as I have outlined, had a vast amount of beliefs. First of all, they believed that there was “a Master race”, one that was superior to all the rest. The Aryans, as they called this race, were blond haired and blue eyed. The Nazis released a torrent of propaganda which promoted these people as being “culture creators”, and they were encouraged to marry and make more little Aryans, and soldiers for Germany. In the mid 1930’s, The Nuremburg laws were passed. These laws stated that it was forbidden for a German to engage in sexual intercourse or be married to a Jew. Any marriages made of this kind would be considered null and void.
In the country, places were created where members of the SS (german army under Hitler) could breed with approved Aryan women. The Nazis also believed that there were two strands in the bible, one Aryan, promoting a master race, and one condemning the Jews.
Another belief shared by the Nazis was the belief that they should stop unemployment in Germany. They went about this in a number of ways, by creating large work projects like building autobahns, and introducing the “Strength through Joy” movement which enabled Germans to get rewarded for working and could even quality for a cruise upon a luxury liner. They also introduced Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD) camps, or working camps. Jews and women without jobs were not counted as being unemployed, which significantly lowered the unemployment rate.
Experiences that were shared by the Nazis include the failure of the Munich hall beer putsch, when Hitler first tried to take over the Government and abolish the Weimar; opposition by the social democrats, the communists, the Church, Jews and Germany’s youth; and the Nazis shared Anti-semetism.
Hitler was incredibly influential through all of this. First of all he began the whole thing using the enabling act to appoint himself Fuhrer and constantly using Article 48. Article 48 enabled him to issue laws without them passing through the Reichstag, or German Government, and this gave Hitler almost unlimited power.
Hitler first concentrated on how he was going to influence the Nazis while he was in jail after the Munich Putsch. He wrote his book “Mein Kampf” or “My Struggle” and rethought his ideas. He decided that he would work from within the government and get the majority of the vote.
He was a wonderfully powerful public speaker, and organised mass rallies. He also had powerful and strong people working around him.
I believe that the main way Hitler influenced the Nazi identity was through creating shared experiences and expressing beliefs through propaganda. The shared experience I have outlined already, the Munich Putsch, was created by Hitler and enabled him to contribute to the Nazi identity. He also shared with the Nazis his hatred of the Jews, and ideas to get rid of them.
In conclusion, I believe that Hitler contributed to the Nazi identity and influenced it by creating experiences that were shared by him and his party. He also used propaganda and mass rallies to appeal to the German people which meant that the Nazis would be more in favour.
This was how Hitler contributed to the Nazi sense of identity and became one of history’s most well-remembered leaders.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
TOPIC: WEIMAR/NAZI GERMANY
IDENTITY: NAZI IDENTITY
GRADE: Merit The leader of the Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler, had a significant role in the development of a distinct party identity. He raised the profile of the party, unified it, reshaped it’s policies and formed the S.A.
The Nazi Party had a strong identity a dedicated membership whose beliefs were a strong part of that identity. They believed that the Aryan race was superior and that it’s opposite was the Jew. Thus they were feisty anti-semetist. This is why the party passed the ‘Nuremburg Laws’ when it was in poser, in 1936. These Laws limited the rights of Jews in such ways as preventing mixed marriages, preventing Jews from owning businesses or being given public contacts.
The party was agressive. Adolf itler formed a private army, the SA. It was uniformed and disciplined. It protected the parties meetings and disrupted the meetings of others. It had street fights with communists (whose ideas the Nazi’s hated). Hitlers forming the SA did a good deal to strengthen the identity of the party by making members feel more secure.
Hitler revamped the organisation of the party into areas, each with certain roles and a leader. This formed the identity of an organised and effective party, where each person knew their role. At the same time he introduced the ‘Fuhrer principle’, which means that everybody was totaly loyal to one leader, Hitler. This gave him total control of the party.
Hitler bought the party into the public eye. He made frequent speeches, more posters and propaganda was used and the first mass-meetings were held. Not only did this express the identity and ideas of the party in a clear way, but it strengthened member’s feelings of being part of something meaningful. The mass rallies at Nuremburg are a good example of where Hitler took the party along these lines.
Hitler himself was an important factor in the development of identity, but some others are important. The impact of the Treaty of Versallies and the economic depression are notable.
Some of the clauses of the Treaty of Versallies caused a lot of anger among German people. The war guilt clause, loss of territory and the scale of reperations were some. The Nazi identity included wanting to right these percieved wrongs and restore Germany to it’s former strength.
The economic depression in Germany when the party was formed led to the establishment of many of it’s policies. For example the Nazi solution to unemployment was to create a ‘National Labour Force’, to work on public works such as roads. It is worthy of note that the party was not successful until conditions were similar in the 1930’s.
In conclusion, Hitler was a powerful and dynamic leader who made a huge contribution to the Nazi identity. He established the SA, revamped the organisation and unified the party and bought the party into the public eye. These contributed to the identity as well as expressing it in ways like mass rallies.
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 2.6 - 90470
TOPIC: WEIMAR/NAZI GERMANY
IDENTITY: NAZI IDENTITY
Adolf Hitler was not only an influential leader of the Nazi Party but also an influential leader of the Nazi identity, creating a slick image the German public was drawn to for reasons of security and interest in a party whose policies aimed to get Germany back on track. Hitler influenced the development of the ideal Nazi, the Nazi character while preaching to the people his policies on Treaty of Versaille (to abolish it completely) the incompetent Weimer government (to oust it) and economic policies that would lead to German prosperity. His presence in Weimar Germany would be felt and pressed upon by all.
The structure of the Nazi Party was unique. It had its own private ‘force’ the SS men, the leader was charismatic and disciplined in a perceived state of chaos in Weimar Germany. They held rallies, printed propaganda effectively and packaged their policies in a way that most Germans – moderate or extreme found attractive. The party was not just a political identity, it was a way of life. After 1933 when it had full power in Germany and was in the process of ‘Nazifying’ it, it was obvious Nazi characteristics were going to seep into every factor of German life.
The members were all seen in clear uniforms, with red armbands giving off a feeling of aura and radiating power. Factors culminating in the Nazi identity were in place since 1923 – after Hitler had been sentenced to jail for starting the Munich Putsch. It was during his 9 month stay he wrote his autobiography outlining his policies and views about Jews, the Weimar Government, Leberstraum, dominance of the Aryan Race, his vision for Germany. After jail he regrouped the Nazi party and set his sights on power in the German Parliament.
The image of Nazi’s in uniform, the idea of strength and disciplined help gain monetary support for Hitler and his party as well as general support of the public. His meteoric rise to power was accentuated by his oratory skills, a factor of important in any charismatic leader. This skill he had for public speaking gained more and more support from converted believers.
Disillusionment of the German people also benefited to the growing awareness of the Nazi Identity. They were sick of the incompetent government who were weak in policy and could not tackle the important problems facing Germany. Hitlers propaganda-man Joseph Goebbles fed off this feeling of dissatisfaction with the Weimar Govt, producing leaflets, posters stating the Nazi’s strength, accenting Hitlers strength of leadership, and putting Communism, Jews and the Weimar Government in a bad light.
Hitlers political skill allowed him to manipulate certain events to the good of the Nazi party. The Reicstag Fire is an example of his technique to manipulate the President into believing his claim that behind the fire was a communist plot. He was able to use it to his advantage and be rid of Communist enemies.
His policies were a major factor in shaping the dark side of the Nazi party’s identity. He was anti semitic, a personal view which led him to believe the Jews and the Communists plotted for Germany’s demise. His anti Jew stance became a reality in the Neuremberg Laws of 1935 which effectively banned their basic rights and gradually made them aliens in their own country. Kristallnacht in 1938 came about when a Jew shot a German Official in Paris – it led the way for an all out pogom in the streets of the destruction of Jews’ property and homes, by Nazi supporters. Hitler helped to create this hate of Jews which heralded the Nazi Identity. By now everyone knew his and the Nazi view of the Jews. As they became more powerful, Jews gradually lost their rights.
Badges were immediate visionary signs of the Nazi blitzkrieg. Hitler’s tendency to go big as rallies and Nazi events was feverish and caught on with the public who got taken up in the flood of excitement generated by these images.
Hitler’s influence on the shaping of the Nazi Identity was intense, and mostly all of his making. His policies and stances gave personal support for the greater good of the country were impeccably tailored and developed to put Nazi images on every aspect of life, and to carefully hide the darker aspects for instance the extermination of Jews. He used propaganda as an important tool of work in this shaping of the Nazi Identity and other methods that many Germans were not aware of his other actions.
He developed Nazi Identity to be all powerful and present, so that other identities were suppressed.