WHAT SHOULD SOCIOLOGY LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF FACISM AND THE HOLOCAUST? Fascism, political ideas or systems based on the notion that some races are more superior than others are. Something that seems ridiculous in to enlightened modern day thinkers, which unfortunately makes it all the more difficult to try and understand for someone who has not experienced it. However by looking through history and taking into account some of the results of practised fascism, we can maybe begin to understand why so many people took up, and are still taking up fascism. Hopefully then we can understand exactly what we should learn from it, and possibly understand how we can prevent it appearing on the scale it did in the Second World War. Firstly I will look at some of the effects of fascism, starting with one of the most devastating tragedies the world has witnessed, the holocaust. It is not known who first proposed the term holocaust, but we can draw assumptions as to why it was adopted. The Jewish community are likely to have adopted this name in order to distinguish it from what unfortunately, become the routine cases of war crimes and genocide. When we look at the figures of deaths in the holocaust, we do not even need to examine the way in which many of the victims died, to understand just how horrific the effects of fascism had been. Three and a half million men women and children died in concentration camps, after they had been worked half to death in the use of slave labour. Two million were killed by mobile extermination squads. Half a million died of hunger and disease throughout Eastern Europe, running from the fascists. But what drove the German people to do such a brutal act? Could it just have been the influence Adolph Hitler, or are there other areas that can be explored. Looking at the historical aspects of the second world war, we can see why so many people may have been eager to turn to fascism, or indeed any form of leadership structure.