Analyze the similarities and the differences between single
party rule in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia between
1933 and 1945. Answers should consider: methods of
dealing with opposition, control of media and education,
control of the economy, and war time planning. Fascism as
apposed to Communism Why is it that Germany’s fascism
lasted a relatively short time compared to Russia’s
communism? The regimes established under Hitler and Stalin
were incredibly similar with respect to the rise and control of
the state. Both systems were based on entirely different
ideology and goals. Hitler’s Mein Kampf established the
superiority of the German race and the need to expand as
wanted by God. Hitler wanted the world. The government in
Russia established by Lenin was based on a book called
Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, a call to the
proletariate to unite and rebel against their selfish employers.
It is my belief that Lenin had entirely good reasons for doing
as he did, and felt he was helping the world as apposed to
Adolf Hitler. Immediately after Lenin’s death, a man very
much the same in nature as Hitler, Stalin, came to control the
Bolsheviks and throw Russia in a civil war in a quest for
power. You now have two men of equal aspirations soon to
be in control of two very similar governments. In any rise of
power, there needs to be a period of careful planning
requiring much thought. These two men had very little history
with which to work with which to model their revolutions.
Times had been changing rapidly, technological
improvements in the fields of manufacturing, transportation,
and communication made this period of time very different
from any other. Hitler spent his time imprison writing his
book, Mein Kampf, filling it full of warped ideas of conquest
and superiority of one race over another. I think it is strange
that such works would go unnoticed with nobody left to
watch a man with such dangerous ideas. Lenin planned his
revolution while in exile in Switzerland. Then he made a deal
with the German government whereby he was hid on a train
and passed through enemy Germany to Russia. The
conclusions with respect to methods of acquiring power and
controlling 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 and
loyalty of the people guaranteed by the secret police, the
Cheka. This entity provided Stalin with an easy means of
destroying the opposition and weeding out the undesirable to
be sent to prison camps in Siberia, a virtual death sentence.
For Hitler to ascend to that level of power he rammed the
Enabling Act through the German Congress which gave him
the 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, collaboration
with, and support of other parties would result in
imprisonment in camps similar to Russia’s labor camps. With
Hitler’s Gestapo, secret police, he enforced those rules and
used existing policies to get rid of other unfit Germans.
Political prisoners, homosexuals, Jews and other people sent
to the concentration camps were given different colored
symbols for easy identification. At this point, no one dared
speak against their country even in the privacy of one’s home
lest their children let something slip at school. If you control
people’s thoughts, you control them. Propaganda was an
important tool used by both Germany and Russia. Hitler
appointed a man by the name of Joseph Goebbles to head
the Ministry of Public Enlightenment in Germany. This man
used newspapers, magazines, and radio to spread Nazism.
Even if a man bathed in thoughts of discontent at home, he
was bombarded with propaganda in public, and at the
workplace. Banners hung from building, posters on almost
every sign or lamppost. Anyone with a suspicious look on
their face was first detained, and the sent to a prison camp.
It was no longer just desirable to be a Nazi considering the
benefits like government contracts or being able to stand first
in line, but necessary for employment. Russia employed
much the same tactics with much more emphasis on fear.
Education was virtually unheard of in the early years of
Russia, but by 1933 children were guaranteed primary
education. Huge problems resulted form the ignorance and
illiteracy, workers usually did not intentionally break
machines but did not know how to use them. In official
reports 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 and
the fathering of children. Membership to the German Youth
for boys was compulsory by 1936. Emphasis was placed on
physical fitness and team sports in these youth groups.
Outstanding youths went to Adolf Hitler schools for
secondary education, and Order Castles for future party
leaders. Control of the economy and war time planning was
a must for both nations. A story likened to the fact that with
Communism you must give your cows to the government
and they give you milk back. With fascism, you got to keep
your cows and gave the milk to the government. Both
systems were command economies and state controlled.
Contingency plans were constantly drawn up and updated to
fit new circumstances. Both nations were preparing for war.
Germany was going to rule the world, Russia only wanted to
defend herself from Capitalism. The resulting governments
evolving from the two different systems of thought were very
similar. But as one can see, the aspirations were radically
different. Hitler was a threat to everyone and needed to be
dealt with. Russia kept to themselves and bothered no one.
A Cold War ensued with Russia complete with the irrational
fear of Communism, McCarthyism, and a peace time build
up of weapons followed. Germany was crushed in battle and
Russia’s Iron Curtain is being pulled down as I write.