Analyze the similarities and the differences between singleparty rule in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia between1933 and 1945. Answers should consider: methods ofdealing with opposition, control of media and education,control of the economy, and war time planning. Fascism asapposed to Communism Why is it that Germany’s fascismlasted a relatively short time compared to Russia’scommunism? The regimes established under Hitler and Stalinwere incredibly similar with respect to the rise and control ofthe state.
Both systems were based on entirely differentideology and goals. Hitler’s Mein Kampf established thesuperiority of the German race and the need to expand aswanted by God. Hitler wanted the world. The government inRussia established by Lenin was based on a book calledCommunist Manifesto by Karl Marx, a call to theproletariate to unite and rebel against their selfish employers.
It is my belief that Lenin had entirely good reasons for doingas he did, and felt he was helping the world as apposed toAdolf Hitler. Immediately after Lenin’s death, a man verymuch the same in nature as Hitler, Stalin, came to control theBolsheviks and throw Russia in a civil war in a quest forpower. You now have two men of equal aspirations soon tobe in control of two very similar governments. In any rise ofpower, there needs to be a period of careful planningrequiring much thought.
These two men had very little historywith which to work with which to model their revolutions. Times had been changing rapidly, technologicalimprovements in the fields of manufacturing, transportation,and communication made this period of time very differentfrom any other. Hitler spent his time imprison writing hisbook, Mein Kampf, filling it full of warped ideas of conquestand superiority of one race over another. I think it is strangethat such works would go unnoticed with nobody left towatch a man with such dangerous ideas. Lenin planned hisrevolution while in exile in Switzerland. Then he made a dealwith the German government whereby he was hid on a trainand passed through enemy Germany to Russia.
Theconclusions with respect to methods of acquiring power andcontrolling it when they did get it were very much the same. Both rulers had full run of their respective governments. Stalin was already dictator of Russia with his power andloyalty of the people guaranteed by the secret police, theCheka. This entity provided Stalin with an easy means ofdestroying the opposition and weeding out the undesirable tobe sent to prison camps in Siberia, a virtual death sentence.
For Hitler to ascend to that level of power he rammed theEnabling Act through the German Congress which gave himthe power to enact laws. Under Article 1 of his new power,Hitler decreed the only existing party shall be the NSDAP. With Article 2 he declared all association of, collaborationwith, and support of other parties would result inimprisonment in camps similar to Russia’s labor camps. WithHitler’s Gestapo, secret police, he enforced those rules andused existing policies to get rid of other unfit Germans. Political prisoners, homosexuals, Jews and other people sentto the concentration camps were given different coloredsymbols for easy identification.
At this point, no one daredspeak against their country even in the privacy of one’s homelest their children let something slip at school. If you controlpeople’s thoughts, you control them. Propaganda was animportant tool used by both Germany and Russia. Hitlerappointed a man by the name of Joseph Goebbles to headthe Ministry of Public Enlightenment in Germany. This manused newspapers, magazines, and radio to spread Nazism. Even if a man bathed in thoughts of discontent at home, hewas bombarded with propaganda in public, and at theworkplace.
Banners hung from building, posters on almostevery sign or lamppost. Anyone with a suspicious look ontheir face was first detained, and the sent to a prison camp. It was no longer just desirable to be a Nazi considering thebenefits like government contracts or being able to stand firstin line, but necessary for employment. Russia employedmuch the same tactics with much more emphasis on fear. Education was virtually unheard of in the early years ofRussia, but by 1933 children were guaranteed primaryeducation.
Huge problems resulted form the ignorance andilliteracy, workers usually did not intentionally breakmachines but did not know how to use them. In officialreports the reason for failure was terrorism by the Kulaks,rich peasants persecuted in the same way Germany’s Jews. German education was geared toward physical aspects andthe fathering of children. Membership to the German Youthfor boys was compulsory by 1936. Emphasis was placed onphysical fitness and team sports in these youth groups.
Outstanding youths went to Adolf Hitler schools forsecondary education, and Order Castles for future partyleaders. Control of the economy and war time planning wasa must for both nations. A story likened to the fact that withCommunism you must give your cows to the governmentand they give you milk back. With fascism, you got to keepyour cows and gave the milk to the government. Bothsystems were command economies and state controlled. Contingency plans were constantly drawn up and updated tofit new circumstances.
Both nations were preparing for war. Germany was going to rule the world, Russia only wanted todefend herself from Capitalism. The resulting governmentsevolving from the two different systems of thought were verysimilar. But as one can see, the aspirations were radicallydifferent. Hitler was a threat to everyone and needed to bedealt with.
Russia kept to themselves and bothered no one. A Cold War ensued with Russia complete with the irrationalfear of Communism, McCarthyism, and a peace time buildup of weapons followed. Germany was crushed in battle andRussia’s Iron Curtain is being pulled down as I write. History