18 February 2017
With the refugee crises in Europe and Southeast Asia, and middle-class wages stagnating in the West, observers are warning of parallels between the global political and socioeconomic climate of the present, and that of the 1930s – just before the onset of World War II.
A significant driving factor that led to World War II was the impact of the Great Depression on the middle class communities in the West, said Dr Benjamin Schupmann, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale-NUS College.
Coupled with the influx of migrant Jews from Eastern Europe and Russia, this created the basis for the instability, fear and exclusion in Western countries that contributed to the outbreak of the world war.
… “The way Hitler rose to power, he appealed to the lower middle classes. They felt that because they had seen a lot of their savings evaporate through hyperinflation, the system wasn’t looking out for them,” said Richard Bitzinger, coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 21/02/2017