Hitler and Stalin were two political leaders who had a considerable impact on the development of the world that cost millions of lives. Some tend to evaluate the impact of these historical figures calculating the death toll associated with the war, concentration camps, and the Gulag (Snyder). Both were equally responsible for people’s deaths and the destruction of the world order (Snyder). However, this is not the only similarity between the two notorious men. This paper includes a brief comparison of these historical figures that shows that they had many similarities but paved their way to power in different ways.
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Hitler and Stalin had quite similar childhood issues with their fathers. The two future leaders had many problems during their school years. For example, Hitler gave up his studies at the age of 16 due to some health problems and never entered the higher educational establishment of his dream (the Vienna Academy of Art) (Jones 394). Stalin was expelled from the Theological Seminary of Tiflis for his “propagating Marxism” (qtd. in Jones 790). The two men took part in military conflicts and gained certain respect and honors from their compatriots. They joined the parties that became their political platforms and pathways to the absolute power in their countries. They both used different tools to become leaders, and those strategies were often illegal, uncivilized, and cruel. Nevertheless, millions of people truly believed and admired them, and there are their fans even in modern society.
At the same time, the differences between the two dictators can tell even more about their personalities and the nations they led. Unlike Hitler who fought for his country in WWI, Stalin took part in terroristic activities that were against the state (Jones 790). Hitler used (mainly) legal methods to enter the political arena. For instance, his party won the elections (Jones 394). On the contrary, Stalin was imprisoned several times, was regarded as a terrorist, and he went up the political ladder without any elections (Jones 790). Hitler was a talented speaker who made his people believe in him and his ideas (Jones 394). Stalin was a “dull” speaker and was often underestimated by his rivals within the party, which was one of the major reasons for his success (Jones 790). These differences show that Hitler was regarded as a charismatic leader by the Germans while the Russians had little power to choose their own leader and accepted the one who managed to win the race within the party. Finally, the two leaders had different views concerning the most appropriate political regime.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that Hitler and Stalin had much in common as they both had difficult early years, a difficult way to absolute power and people’s love. However, unlike Stalin, Hitler used more legal tools to achieve his political goals. Irrespective of this fact, both dictators did not value human life, which resulted in the prosecution of different groups and the start of the Second World War.
Jones, Barry. Dictionary of World Biography. ANU Press, 2016.
Snyder, Timothy. “Hitler vs. Stalin: Who Was Worse.” NYR Daily. 2011, Web.