Hitler and Stalin: A Comparison of Traits Contributing to the Rise to Power

Best Essays
With the dawn of civilization soon thereafter followed the creation of authoritarian and totalitarian establishments. The history of man is inundated with instances of leaders rising to power over certain groups of people and through various means gaining formidable control to be used for good, evil, or an ambiguous mixture of both. However, it is an undeniable fact that once unchecked power is acquired, tyranny often ensues, and thus a dictatorial regime is born. Over the centuries, governmental establishments have risen and fallen, but as history and civilization progress, so does the potential for a larger and more powerful domination. The development of differing and contrasting theologies and structural philosophies leads not only to conflict, but perhaps more prominently to unification under one rule with a common belief, especially when that unifying belief provides a promising sense of belonging and structure to a weak society. This is what led to the rise of two of the most domineering totalitarian governments in history: Stalin’s Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Hitler’s Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich.
The establishment and success of both the USSR and Nazi Germany are largely due to one common factor. The attributes of Stalin and Hitler enabled them to successfully gain and maintain complete control over their government and enforce total rule to establish the party superiority. Schlesinger describes leadership as the ability to “move, inspire, and mobilize masses of people so that they act together in pursuit of an end” (Schlesinger 1). Stalin and Hitler themselves as individuals and leaders are as infamous and complex as the ruthless totalitarian governments they implemented. Being on polar opposite...

... middle of paper ...


Works Cited

Hoobler, Dorothy, and Thomas Hoobler. Joseph Stalin. New York: Chelsea House, 1985. Print.
Hyde, Harford Montgomery. Stalin: The History of a Dictator. London: Hart-Davis, 1971. Print.
Stalcup, Brenda. Adolf Hitler. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven, 2000. Print.
Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: A Biography. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2008. Print.
Bullock, Alan. Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. New York: Knopf, 1992. Print.
Bullock, Alan. Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. New York: Knopf, 1992. Print.
Service, Robert. Stalin: A Biography. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 2005. Print.
Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic, 2010. Print.
Fiehn, Terry, and Chris Corin. Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin. London: John Murray, 2002. Print.
Deutscher, Isaac. Stalin; a Political Biography. New York: Oxford UP, 1967. Print.
Get Access