Compare and Contrast Nazi Germany With the Soviet Union Under Stalin's Rule

Compare and contrast Nazi Germany with the Soviet Union under Stalin's Rule

There were some similarities and differences in the ways that Hitler controlled Germany and Stalin controlled the Soviet Union.

Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were both considered as powerful dictatorial leaders. Hitler was in control of Germany while Stalin had the power in ruling Soviet Union during the 1930’s. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were leaders of two powerful nations. Hitler controlled Germany with Nazism, Racism, and Anti-Semitism groups and supported Nationalist parties. Stalin ruled through Communism beliefs. Both leaders ruled by terror. Hitler killed more people in a short time. The Nazi Holocaust is still considered the most horrific tragedy in European history.

“The modern totalitarian state – whether of the right (as in Germany) or of the left (as in the Soviet Union) – was to be led by a single leader and a single party. Both states rejected the liberal ideal of limited government power and constitutional guarantees of individual freedoms. Individual freedom was to be subordinated to the collective will of the masses, organized and determined for them by a leader or leaders. Modern technology also gave totalitarian states the ability to use unprecedented police powers to impose their wishes on their subjects. (Duiker – 121)

“Hitler joined the German Workers' Party and assumed total control over the party in summer of 1921. He renamed the group the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), or Nazi for short. He developed the party into a mass political movement with its own police force. The party militia was known as the SA – the Surmabteilung or Storm Troops. The SA added an element of force and terror to the growing Nazi movement. Hitler’s own oratorical skills as well as his populist message were largely responsible for attracting an increasing number of followers.” (Duiker 122)

Hitler believed that the Jews were at fault for the collapse of Germany. Hitler assumed the Jews were responsible for the assignation of a German diplomat in Paris. He had led a Nazi destructive rampage against the Jews. “There were synagogues burned, seven thousand Jewish businesses were destroyed, and at least one hundred Jews were killed. Moreover, twenty thousand Jewish males were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.” (Duiker – 124) “For its enemies, the Nazi totalitarian state had its instruments of terror and repression. This Nazi group was the SS and controlled all of the regular and secret police forces. The SS functioned on the basis of two principles, ideology and terror. This group would also play a major role in the execution squads and death camps for the extermination of the Jews.” (Duiker – 123)

Hitler showed his strong hatred of the Jewish people through the Holocaust. Jews were destroyed through awful and disturbing ways. Hitler created death camps and gas chambers to terminate the Jews, and bodies were burned in crematoria. Some Jewish people were forced through cruel and painful medical experiments. The Germans killed between five and six million Jews, more than three million of them in the death camps. Virtually 90 percent of the Jewish populations of Poland, the Baltic countries, and Germany were exterminated. Overall, the Holocaust was responsible for the death of nearly two of every three European Jews. (Duiker - 133)

“Stalin relied on allies to win a debate on how to industrialize. In 1928, the Soviet Union began a massive modernization and industrialization program called the Five Year Plan. By 1929, Stalin was an absolute dictator in control of Soviet society. To persuade people to support the Five Year plan, Stalin ordered a propaganda campaign. The “cult of personality” also served to remind people that Stalin’s agents would work to ensure compliance.” (Commentary 7) “By 1935, Stalin became uneasily aware that Hitler was not securely in power in Berlin but also represented a serious threat to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union would now seek to form a united front with capitalist democratic nations throughout the world against the common danger of Nazism and fascism.” (Duiker – 126)

Even though the drastic and disturbing executions of people in Germany and Soviet Union totaled in the millions, most people still agree that the German Holocaust did the most damage. “Despite Stalin’s persecution of the Soviet people and the Allied bombing of civilians, almost all nations viewed Hitler and Nazi Germany as a much greater threat to civilized living and national survival.” (Commentary 7) Stalin had ordered a large number of executions in the Soviet Union. The number of deaths was estimated to be tens of millions. Both Hitler and Stalin were not afraid to kill innocent people to get more power and control.

There were specific ideas of women in the work force. “In Germany, women were destined to be wives and mothers. Certain professions, including university teaching, medicine, and law, were considered inappropriate for women, especially married women. Instead, the Nazis encouraged women to pursue professional occupations that had direct practical application, such as social work and nursing.” (Duiker – 124) “In the Soviet Union, women worked in industries, mines, and railroads increasing the workplace by almost 60 percent. Women were also used in combat as snipers and as air crews in bomber squadrons” (Duiker 141).

“Increasingly, the conservative elites of Germany – the industrial magnates, landed aristocrats, military establishment, and higher bureaucrats – came to see Hitler as the man who had the mass support to establish an authoritarian regime that would save Germany from a Communist takeover” (Duiker 122). “In Germany, Hitler’s Nazi regime came to rise during a time of great economic difficulty and high unemployment. Extremist parties became more attractive to the masses because of the economic and psychological impact of the Great Depression and helped this fascist party come to power. Hitler saw his opportunity to seize power as he promised to create a new Germany free of class differences.” (Duiker 122)