Hesse’s sheltered lifestyle could hardly serve as an inspiration for the European intellectuals to whom he directed his writings in the interwar years. Dropping out of society is impractical when society is in chaos, and barely imaginable in a totalitarian regime such as Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany. The studied impartiality Hesse adopted towards the mass movements of his time was impossible in countries where they had taken control. In reality, his pose of independence was more a psychological stratagem than a principled stance.
What does it refer to by saying “... where they had taken control” ? Where and who?