Second World War was the bloodiest carnage Human civilization has ever witnessed. For a time span of almost six years, industrial and civilized nations of Europe fought a bloody battle of supremacy. While Western European nations and United States of America were strongly committed to democracy and capitalism, two major industrial powers of Europe, Soviet Union and Germany were in the clutches of autocratic rulers. Hitler’s rise to the power in 1933 was a death sentence for democracy in Germany. Stalin on other hand was ruling USSR from 1923. Within a quick spell both of them had successfully exercised tight control on economy, military and on social life of civilians. The paranoid dictators liquidated millions of innocent lives, anyone who threatened their ascendancy. Now, Hitler and Stalin have become synonymous with tyranny and evil.
Nazi Germany presided by Adolf Hitler and vast Soviet empire administered by Joseph Stalin aspired to conquer much of Europe. Both men were ideological opponents but they shared something in common. Brutality, ruthlessness, stubborn attitude and fanatic commitment to achieve goals were the core elements of their personality. Hitler admired National Socialism and Stalin worshiped Marxism, though the later was an atheist. Admirers, radical followers of Hitler and Stalin were greatly impressed with the charisma, aura of their dear leaders and voluntarily supported their aggressive expansionist policies.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the similarities shared by two eccentric leaders:
1. Both, Hitler and Stalin suffered troubled childhood. They were deprived from care, protection and affection offered by a father. However, both of them enjoyed close proximity with their adoring Mothers. The paranoid dictators could not easily adjust with women. Despite humble background and lacking guidance of any protégé, both of them made it to the highest offices.
2. Stalin and Hitler cared very little for human life. They demanded self-abnegation from their soldiers which often ended in a catastrophe. Millions of German and Soviet soldiers lost their life on the Eastern Front. Stalin was suspicious and convinced that some elite officers were conspiring to overthrow him. He got rid of those distrustful elements in the campaign known as “Great Terror”, many of the purged officers were once very close to Stalin. Similarly, Adolf Hitler with the intention of consolidating absolute power purged his possible adversaries and Nazi regime carried out a series of political extrajudicial executions. Soviet Leadership and Nazi regime had personal secret police and army of spies to terrorize and neutralize any dubious element. Both, Germany and Soviet Union were turned into police state.
3. Both Stalin and Hitler were anti-Semitic. While Hitler abhorred Jews and even conspired to exterminate the entire Zionist race in his titanic plan of “Final Solution”, Stalin ordered purging of Jews including the intelligentsia. Stalin liquidated twenty million Soviet citizens whereas Hitler slaughtered ten million people, mostly Jews, gypsies and homosexuals. The poison of anti-Semitism had contaminated much of Europe in 1930’s and 40’s.
4. The two dictators in the pre-war years succeeded in revamping vexed economies of their state. Hitler, a master orator, captivated audience through his provocative speeches by revealing his awe-inspiring plans of dominating the whole globe. Hitler was an extrovert, a gifted speaker but introvert Stalin was rarely seen in public. He always tried to associate people with a cause. However, Stalin also extensively used tool of propaganda to brainwash young minds. Both the dictators easily manipulated and contaminated the minds of youths.
5. Both the dictators initiated massive militarization programs to deter any aggressor. In fact, both Stalin and Hitler conspired to occupy neighboring countries by hook and crook.
Joseph Stalin emerged triumphant in Second World War. Thanks to robust determination of Red Army and assistance of Western Allies. Adolf Hitler accused international Jewry far the fall of German Reich. He committed suicide to avoid capture. Hitler’s evil Reich lasted for just twelve years but the victorious Stalin dominated the world politics for eight more years. Stalin died on March 5th 1953 but received an imposing funeral unlike his old nemesis, Hitler.
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