How similar or different were Hitler and Stalin (in terms of rule/leadership/ decisions)?
HitlerStalin vs One of the most important aspects of
their similarity is their governing/ leadership methods. Other than that other aspects will also be explored namely, their similar extremely violent methods, their similar upbringing and background. Lastly, another argument on the issue that I will be considering will be the Military in both Germany and the Soviet Union.
Can you think of any other way Hitler and Stalin are the same?
One assumption that would be made about this topic from the start would be the fact that Hitler and Stalin were both known to be great leaders in History and they were also known to be very dictatorial in their leadership. Hitler joined the Nazi Party before he became a prominent figure and during that time he was dissatisfied with the way Germany was led. Hitler also
viewed the nation of Germany and Germans to be the superior race. He sought to maintain order in Germany in a time where there was little order after the Great Depression. However, despite being a respectable leader to the Germans, his methods lacked morals (as seen during the holocaust where he was responsible for the death of 6 million Jews). Also, Hitler was definitely a great speaker (as he managed to convince the German population to support him despite not having many connections when he first join the Weimar political scene). However, despite all this he did not have a strong relationship with many of his followers; he gained most of his support by his charisma alone. Similar to Hitler, Stalin also sought to keep the then Soviet Union in order despite their poverty.
Like Hitler, Stalin also ruled with an iron fist, being very vicious in some of his methods, leading to many executions during the time of his service. These executions led to widespread fear in the Soviet Union at that time, even leading to friends and family betraying one another to escape the death penalty. However, unlike Hitler, Stalin was not such a great speaker; he depended greatly on actions more than talk (The Purge). Things that he did included rewards for good behaviour, execution (stated above) and also many propaganda posters. Hitler and Stalin’s vicious methods led to them being viewed as tyrants. Backgrounds Both Hitler and Stalin came from very similar backgrounds. They both came from poor families that could not really afford to properly groom them (provide them with the proper life skills such as education). Hitler came from a family with a strict and brutal father that was shorttempered; his mother on the other hand was overly supportive of him. During his time in school, he was identified by the teachers to be bad-tempered and lacking control (first signs of his father’s influence on him). Hitler also refused to submit to school discipline and was lazy. Later on, his mother indirectly caused him to have insufficient education (because his mother supported him when he decided to quit school). Without qualification he was not able to achieve his dream as an artist and with the loss of his mother later on when he was 18, he was stranded. This later forced him into the army for a better life. This was the hardship that Hitler went through in the earlier part of his life. Stalin, similar to Hitler, came from a poor family, his father was a cobbler and his mother was a peasant. During his childhood his parents had many disagreements, one of this disagreements was concerning Stalin’s future, whether he would become a labourer or a priest. In
Photo taken in the Coral School in the Lambach Monastery in 1899, Adolf Hitler is in the upper raw second since the right. HARRY SCHULZE WILDE Private Collection.
the end, Stalin’s mother prevailed and got him into a seminary. He became an excellent student (unlike Hitler) and had a scholarship. Leading to his exposure to Marxism in the seminary he was posted to, eventually he turned to very radical forms of Marxism. These backgrounds, were tough (and during their childhood, they lacked direction) and this led to Hitler and Stalin both becoming very strong willed people, and this gave them the drive to get to a level where they could be in control and that only by achieving this could they not allow other citizens in their country to suffer as they did. So these backgrounds in turn led to both Hitler and Stalin to very Radical forms of political ideology which would eventually influence them so strongly, that they too became radical leaders. Military Other than the above stated points of argument, the Military in both the countries of Germany and the Soviet Union can also be considered as
Stalin as a boy
Source C Picture of The Nazi Army, the Wehrmacht, between 1935-1945
Wehrmacht the unified armed forces of Germany , consisting of the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy) and the Luftwaffe (air force).
Source D In the second half of the twentieth century, Americans were taught to see both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as the greatest of evils. Hitler was worse, because his regime propagated the unprecedented horror of the Holocaust, the attempt to eradicate an entire people on racial grounds. Yet Stalin was also worse, because his regime killed far, far more peopleâ€”tens of millions, it was often claimedâ€”in the endless wastes of the Gulag. http://www.nybooks.com/ blogs/nyrblog/2011/jan/27/ hitler-vs-stalin-who-wasworse/, Timothy Snyder, Hitler vs. Stalin: Who Was Worse? , January 27, 2011, 3:30 p.m.
another factor of comparison. At that time, there was a strong emphasis on a strong military power in the country and men in those countries were often encouraged to join the military, as doing so was considered honorary. Other than this the militaries in both countries were also controlled solely by the state leader (being Hitler and Stalin). Adding on to this, many of the military leaders who were under Hitler were loyal to only their state leaders and these leaders were also chosen personally by the state leaders. As such they (Hitler and Stalin) had great influence on the military, as they basically sway the direction in which the army in going in, if they wanted the war to go on the army was to follow their orders. Hitler and Stalin also invested a large amount of resources and capital into the military, thus developing a relatively strong army. Both the Soviet Union and Germany had different reasons for their huge investment in their country's military. The Soviet Union was forced to do this because after the defection during the First World War, the Soviet Union lost their only ally which was the western powers. This left them vulnerable to any kind of attack either from the west from Germany or from the east from Japan. However, the reason that Germany had a huge military investment was due to the fact that Germany was focusing on aggressive military expansion. Hitler felt that the Treaty of Versailles had cheated his country on land such as Austria
and the Sudetenland. With his strong military force, he proceeded to carry out the Anschluss and the invasion of the Sudetenland. Ideology A point of difference between Hitler and Stalin would be the fact that Hitler and Stalin had greatly opposing ideologies (Fascist/Communist) and were considered enemies. It can be identified that the main motive of Hitler was to eliminate the Jewish race as much as possible to ensure that the Germans were to become the superior race that he saw it to be. This was due to fact that Hitler felt that the Jewish race was a threat to German superiority. Stalin on the other hand was a communist leader and being communist he believed in equality among all people and so he openly denounced anti-Semitism in the spirit of being a communist. This tells us that Hitler and Stalin had absolutely opposing ideologies and their goal was different despite their similar harsh methods (Hitler to kill those that he felt was below the society and Stalin to kill his political enemies or any enemies due to his paranoia). Both Hitler (Germany) and Stalin (Soviet Union) also plotted against each other on many occasions in History, eventually leading to the Operation Barba-
rossa in June 1941 and then German invasion on the Soviet Union Stalingrad in August 1942, where the Germans were defeated.
Soviet Union by bringing the Soviet countryside to communist control and also continued to eliminate enemies of his ideology.
One other point of argument that I will Hitler and Stalin are in fact surprisingly make will be in terms of similar in many ways. Firstly, their childthe domestic policies Source E hood was shockingly similar. Although adopted by Hitler and Stait was not to become a lin. The domestic aims of "Agriculture is developing slow- politician they eventually the two dictators were ra- ly, comrades. This is because both became influential ther different, Hitlerâ€™s goal we have about 25 million indi- politicians. Secondly, was to remove all non- vidually owned farms. They are both Hitler and Stalin the most primitive and undevelNazi influences and also oped form of economy We employed the use of dicto sway the attitudes the must do our utmost to develop tatorship as their main public in Germany to- large farms and to convert form of governance and wards his goal of German them into grain factories for the their similar use of vioelitism. He started to exe- country organised on a modem lence to get rid of their cute his plan by targeting scientific basis." undesired enemies. the youth in Germany as Thirdly, was the military his main priority as he felt Words spoken by Stalin in focus in both the counthat they were the future 1928 tries of the Soviet Union of Germany and their loyand Germany at that alty would be advantageous to his rule time. over Germany. he did this by first changing the curriculum of the German Hitler tried to extend the reach of Nastudents at that time, adding in huge zism domestically as much as possible amounts of Nazi politics and also Nazi gaining much support. Although Stalin propaganda. Even textbook contents also promoted communism his focus and teachers were under the control of was the standards of living of the citithe Nazi regime, adding Nazi ideology zens. They also adopted different ideointo textbooks and purging unreliable logies (Nazism & Communism) the two teachers, in turn leading to 97% of ideologies blatantly contradicted each teachers joining the Nazi Teacher's other (as the crux of Nazi which was League in 1937. During his rule, Hitler very similar to Fascism was to have managed to garner a lot of support from one supreme leader but the idea of the German people, but the fact that communism was for equality). the German people no longer pursued the Nazi ideology after the Second World War proved that his domestic policies were in fact not as effective as previously thought. Whereas for Stalin, his goal was to increase grain supply in Further Study the Soviet Union and end the dependTimothy D. Snyder (2010) Bloodlands: ence of the countryâ€™s economy on a Europe Between Hitler and Stalin backward agriculture system that was beginning to fail. At the same time, StaAlan Louis Charles Bullock (1993) Hitler lin also sought to improve standards of and Stalin: Parallel Lives living and to catch up with the West in terms of standard of living that the west http://www.studymode.com/essays/aenjoyed. Stalin in fact managed to Comparison-Of-Hitler-And-Stalinachieve this due to, collectivisation in 351746.html, Angelica Calvillo, A Comparison of Hitler and Stalin, April 26, farms which helped to increase the 2010 amount of produce in the Soviet Union and industrialisation saw the decrease in dependence in the system of agriculture and the increase in industrial output. Lastly like Hitler, Stalin also tried to extend the reach of communism in the
Citations http:// www.historylearningsite .co.uk/ collectivisation.htm http:// www.nybooks.com/ blogs/nyrblog/2011/ jan/27/hitler-vs-stalinwho-was-worse http:// freedomoutpost.com/wp -content/ uploads/2013/10/0040207071013-nazi.jpg http:// img239.imageshack.us/ img239/4885/ explorar0016et5.jpg http:// www.studenthandouts.c om/Photo-Gallery-01/ Photos/Joseph-Stalin1894.jpg http://agoradialogue.com/wpcontent/ uploads/2011/06/StalinHitler-1.jpg