Hitler and Stalin – when the evil in a human becomes political.
Both caused the biggest mass murders in history, both had the same aims, and both hated each other, because of their different political views – one was National Socialist and one Communist – and this is probably the most important difference.
Even though they used the same methods, like propaganda, they came to power in nearly completely different situations, that is why I think, that there are more differences than similarities.
Hitler had several political enemies, because during this time there were many different parties in Germany, and also he had to go through elections, Stalin on the other side, had just one enemy: Trotsky, because by the time he wanted to get to power, Russia (at that time the whole USSR), was already communistic. But of course, Stalin was involved in the communistic revolution, but after the successful revolution he wasn’t made dictator, but it of course ensured his position within the party. So while Hitler had to start from zero with his political ideas, Stalin’s ideas were already spread over the country, and it took him only a few months to get to power, while Hitler’s fight lasted about 20 years. Also there are differences in the reasons why they came to power: Hitler came to power because of Germanys bad situation with the economy, unemployment and of course another main reason was van Papen, while Stalin was chosen by party members. So Hitler actually used violence to reach his aims, by using the SA and blaming “non-Aryans,” while Stalin put his supporters into key posts all over the country – both had success, but on completely different ways.
The only real similarity is, that as soon as they had power over their country, both effectively used propaganda and arrested or killed their opponents to ensure their position within the people, country and the party – both were totalitarianism dictators.
They had similarities in their ideas, but I think that the few differences, which differed them, are the most important.
While Hitler had racism beliefs, Stalin actually didn’t have any, because he was a Communist. And I think that the fact, that Hitler was National Socialist and Stalin Communist, is a very important difference, because this caused their hate against each other, what further probably prevented even more problems. Hitler killed millions of Jews, and other “non-Aryans,” while Stalin caused the death of millions of peasants, which died because of starvation – so on both sides millions of people died, because of the political ideas of their dictators. Both dictators wanted to industrialize their country, both used propaganda, and both wanted their country to be powerful again. But still, their beliefs were different, because even though the believed in the same topics, the context of their topics were different, again because of their political views. Also they had completely different ideas of women, Hitler’s idea of a woman were the three “K’s” (Kitchen, Children, Church) while Stalin thought of a woman equally to a man. So while women under Hitler were not allowed to work, but just to get children and take care of them and their husband, and to go to church, women under Stalin were allowed to do the same work as men, they got support for children, but though they weren’t forced to get some, and also the church was strictly forbidden. Furthermore both used education, to make children believe their political ideas, so both used school for propaganda, though children in the USSR were taught Communistic ideas, while children of Germany were taught Nazi ideas.
Both wanted to industrialize their country, they both used similar ways to do that, but though both had different ideas, because Hitler used market economy, and Stalin command economy – but still there are more similarities.
The industry was for both very important, because both wanted a strong country, and of course to reach this aim, you need a strong economy. Both had work camps, and Hitler reached full employment by preparing Germany for war, while Stalin build factories and forced many peasants to become workers in such factories, by making the conditions for peasants worse, and changing the whole lifestyle of the peasants by introducing collectivisation, furthermore Stalin used a 5 year plan. People were killed and forced to work under terrible conditions, for low pay, on both sides, and on both sides the country grew stronger. Hitler probably reached his aim sooner, because of the Germany’s size compared to they size of the USSR.
The way they treated opponents, shows many similarities, I actually think more than differences.
Both killed millions of people in their paranoia, in their hate and political views.
Hitler killed millions of Jews, and other “non-Aryans,” because of his political ideas, while Stalin killed millions of peasants also because of his political ideas. So, Hitler caused the Holocaust, while Stalin let millions of peasants die and killed thousands of kulaks, and both killed or arrested any political opposition. Even though Hitler and Stalin mostly killed all these people because of different reasons, they killed them, and I think it doesn’t matter if it was a Jew or a peasant, that’s why I think that on this point are more similarities than differences.
Furthermore both had worker camps, but while Hitler killed millions of people aimed in his concentrations camps, Stalin’s aim wasn’t really to kill people, but of course he just let them die, because the peasants were not of use for him.
And both effectively used their secret police, to prevent that any opposition could be spread over the people, and opponents were arrested and killed. Also they controlled the people, both managed to make people spy on each other, even within families. So I think the way the kept control shows more similarities than differences.
E. Home front Life
They used the same methods to control people, but though there are more differences.
While Hitler thoughts of women were, that she has to stay at home, has to get a lot of children, and has to take care of her children and her husband, and has to go to church (known as the three “K’s”), Stalin thought of a woman equal to a man. So women under Stalin were allowed to work, women under Hitler not. But both taught children their ideas in school, and outside school. But Hitler concentrated more on children than Stalin did, because under Hitler there were man youth organisations, while under Stalin there weren’t any, or just few. Also both made good use of censorship and propaganda, both erased everything what was against them, they controlled the radio, the newspaper, books, cinema, schools, and so on. Also the people were frightened by the secret police, people spied on each other, even within families, that’s how they made sure, that there wasn’t any opposition. Furthermore under Stalin church was forbidden, while under Hitler church was meant to be very important.
Fact is that Hitler and Stalin were the two biggest mass murderers in history, they both caused the death of millions of people, and I think that the fact, that Hitler was National Socialist and Stalin Communist, is a very important difference, because this difference probably prevented a even bigger mass murder, and of course Russia played a main rule in the second world war and the defeat of Hitler. If they have more differences or similarities, is of course very difficult to say, but I think the main difference is their political view, but how they tried to spread their ideas and to control their country, their methods, shows many similarities, but also many differences.
So all together I think that they have more differences than similarities, because the things where they differ from each other, are probably the most important things, such as racial or economy thoughts.