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Comparison of Hitler and Stalin


During the period leading up to World War II, there were two men 
who were on opposing sides, the men were Adolph Hitler and Joseph 
Stalin. These men were each triumphant in their rise to power in their 
countries and they were very comparable in the ways that they 
succeeded. Their success was mostly attributed to their new ideas and 
their politics.

      Although Hitler and Stalin hated each other, the two leaders 
were similar in many ways. Hitler and Stalin each rose to the highest 
position attainable in their respective countries, and there were 
three main reasons that they were able to do this. Both men were 
skilled users of propaganda, each was amoral, and they both had the 
ambition to make their countries powerful in the world. Since each was 
a skilled user of propaganda, they could use their words to twist and 
manipulate the minds of people into believing that what they were 
saying was the absolute truth. Using this power, they would get people 
to do anything for them, which proves their amorality. Since their 
countries were still trying to recover from World War I, they desired 
to restore the power back in to their countries. These three reasons 
will prove that Hitler and Stalin were similar in many ways.

      The names Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin are synonymous with the 
word propaganda. In order to understand how Hitler and Stalin used 
propaganda, an understanding of what the word means, is required. 
According to Merriam-Webster, "propaganda is the spreading of ideas to 
further or damage a cause; also the ideas or allegations spread for a 
purpose". Hitler and Stalin each used propaganda as their tool to 
further their ideas and help them gain the backing of the people in 
their countries. The form of propaganda that Hitler used, and was 
successful in using, was his words. Hitler made many speeches, but the 
one speech that was a famous one, was his final speech at his trial 
for treason. In this speech he gave his views and opinions on the 
events preceding the trial. This is an excerpt from his speech: "...I 
aimed from the first to....become the destroyer of Marxism....The army 
that we are building grows more from day to day, from hour to hour. 
Gentlemen, not you who will be the ones that deliver the verdict over 
us, but that verdict will be given by the eternal judgement of
history, which will speak out against the accusation that has been 
made against us....That court will judge us....as Germans (who) wanted 
only the best for their people and their Fatherland, who fought and 
were willing to die. You might just as well find us guilty a thousand 
times, but the goddess of the eternal court of history will smile and 
tear up the motions of the states attorney and the judgement of this 
court: for she finds us not guilty". After Hitler gave this speech, 
the court was sympathetic towards him, he was sentenced to only five 
years in prison for his crime. After nine months of his sentence had 
been served, he received parole. Being able to gain Nazi party control 
and gain enough supporters, proves that he was an efficient user of 
propaganda. Hitler also had his own minister of propaganda when he 
became leader of the country. This proves that Hitler was an user of 
propaganda, but Joseph Stalin was not as blatantly obvious with his 
uses of propaganda. Stalin did however use propaganda in his speech
to the Fifteenth Congress in 1927. Stalin said in this speech: " 
Evidently, the opposition prefers to be outside the party. Well, let 
it be outside the party. There is nothing terrible, or exceptional, or 
surprising in the fact that they prefer to be outside the party, that 
they are cutting themselves off from the party. If you study the 
history of our party, you will find that always, at certain serious 
turns taken by our party, a certain section of the old leaders fell 
out of the cart of the Bolshevik party and made room for newer 
members. A turn is a serious thing, comrades. A turn is dangerous
for those who do not sit firmly in the party cart. Not everybody can 
keep his balance when a turn is made. You turn the cart - and on 
looking back, you find that someone has fallen out". After Stalin said 
this, an immediate applause was heard. Stalin was telling people what 
they wanted to hear and he used this speech to further his cause. This 
speech helped to further his cause by gaining support from the people, 
and by justifying why Trotsky was not the choice for leader. Stalin 
was also demonstrating with this speech that he was the "bandwagon" 
and that he was taking people in the right direction. Everyone who 
became a supporter of him, would be getting into the right cart and 
would be heading in the right direction. At least, what he believed to 
be the right direction. Hitler and Stalin did not only use spoken 
propaganda, they were masters of using propaganda, so they would
use many forms of it. Another form of propaganda that they used was 
through photographs. These photographs promoted their "nice" 
personality. In these photos they would be depicted as being a hero, 
they would be helping the poor families, or be holding a small child. 
It was these photos that these men became appealing to the public. 
These photos give you the idea that they are caring, loving and just 
completely concerned for the well-being of the people. The use of 
propaganda was a big contributor to the success of both men.

      Since Hitler and Stalin were able to manipulate people with 
their propaganda, they could convince people of just about anything. 
This proves them to be amoral. Both would do whatever they thought was 
necessary to further their cause, with no remorse about what they had 
done. In 1922 Lenin, the leader of the communist party had a stroke. 
Overtime his condition got worse and he became less involved in the 
party's affairs. When Lenin died in January 1924, it left two men in 
contention for the party's leadership. These two men were Joseph 
Stalin and Leon Trotsky. The men had opposing ideas on how the party 
should be run. Stalin was a more aggressive candidate, and therefore 
had one of his supporters kill Trotsky. This happened after Trotsky 
was exiled, but while in exile he continued to preach world 
revolution. Stalin sent one of his agents to kill Trotsky, who
was in exile in Mexico. Stalin felt that if he eliminated his only 
threat, that it would mean less opposition to his ideas. This assured 
Stalin full control over the communist party. Hitler was the other 
example of an amoral person. He demonstrated this after he got into 
power with the holocaust, but he did not foreshadow his amorality much 
before he got into power. One incidence of his amorality was when he 
killed all of his opposition. The first major victim of the Nazis was 
the powerful German Trade Union movement. It was a possible breeding 
ground for Socialism and Communism, and therefore opposition to 
Hitler. On May 2, 1933 many Trade Union leaders were arrested and 
beaten up. Their offices were looted and their funds and property 
seized. A Nazi-led "labour front" was established to control the
workers and ensure the peace in factories and workshops. A week after 
the destruction of the Trade Unions the Social Democratic Party 
suffered a similar fate, soon to be followed by the Communists. All of 
their property, possessions and funds were seized and both parties 
were banned. The Center Party, which had supported Hitler in return 
for vague promises, collapsed in July 1933, along with the few others 
still remaining. After Hitler became Chancellor Hitler passed a law 
that prohibited there being any other party in Germany other than the 
Nazis. By doing all of these things it was giving us a glimpse of what 
he was going to be like when he got into power. These examples show 
that both Hitler and Stalin were amoral and would do what was
necessary to further themselves. 

      With Hitler and Stalin being such amoral people and willing to 
do anything, they would do what they could to benefit their countries. 
Each of their countries had suffered great losses in World War I and 
were still trying to recover when they came into power. Restoring the 
power back into their countries was of great importance to both men. 
After World War I, Russia had 9,150,000 casualties and Germany had 
7,142,558 casualties. These losses were immense. Stalin believed that 
if he forced industrialization upon Russia, that it would help the 
country to rebuild. Collective farms was another one of Stalin's 
plans. "Engel's general formula about the destiny of the Socialist 
state in general cannot be extended to the partial and specific case 
of the victory of socialism in one country only, a country that is 
surrounded by a capitalist world, is subject to the menace of foreign 
military attack, cannot therefore abstract itself from the
international situation, and must have at its disposal a well-trained 
army, well-organized punitive organs, and a strong intelligence 
service. Consequently, must have its own state, strong enough to 
defend the conquests of Socialism from foreign attack". This shows 
that Stalin's aspiration was to make his country strong, and that he 
had some ideas of how to go about it. Hitler's Germany also had a lot 
to recover from. "Hitler had plans for Germanic unity and German 
living space. German unity meant the gathering together of all Germans 
in Europe, one people into one empire, ruled by one leader. This 
involved people living in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Danzig, Memel and 
other isolated pockets. Germany did not have enough farmland to feed 
her population of enough raw materials to supply her factories. New 
lands to the east would then have to be taken over. Hitler intended to 
destroy the power of France forever. He hoped to take Great Britain 
into partnership after settling the question of the former German 
colonies". This demonstrates to us that Hitler aspired to make Germany 
strong and feared. He wanted to reunite the German people. Hitler and 
Stalin both succeeded in making their countries strong once again, at 
least for a while.

      In conclusion, Hitler and Stalin were similar in many way in 
their rise to power, however three reasons stand out the most. They 
were gifted in the ability to use propaganda and brainwash people, 
which in turn proves that they were both unethical, and they desired 
to make their countries better and stronger. Both of these men 
succeeded in doing all of these things.



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