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Hitler and Stalin

Uploaded by angelttt on Oct 31, 2011

This essay examines a chapter from Bullock’s book about the two leaders.

I Introduction

Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were two of the most monstrous rulers in history, and yet for some reason it’s Hitler’s name that is before us; the Nazis’ atrocities that live in our memories; and Hitler himself who casts an evil fascination on us to this day. I think it’s likely that Stalin actually put more people to death than Hitler, and yet somehow we overlook that, or rather, Stalin doesn’t seem to pull us the way Hitler does. Whether that has to do with the fact that Stalin and Russia fought with us against Hitler in WWII or not is not the point here, though it may have some influence on our attitudes towards the two men. What I’d like to do is look at an early chapter of Bullock’s book, and see if there is some sort of difference between the two men, as revealed perhaps in adolescence, that can explain why one holds our imagination and the other does not.

II Discussion

At this period in their lives (the chapter covers Hitler from ages 19-29; Stalin from 19-37), both men began to form the beliefs that they would act upon later. Hitler was in Vienna, destitute, and at one point was sleeping in doorways and living on the streets. He was an ardent German nationalist, and was appalled when he heard German workers agreeing with Marxist principles, such as the fact that the nation was a capitalist invention, or that the law used it authority to hold down the people. (Bullock, p. 21).
During this time, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, discussing the three-pronged belief that he had developed to explain Germany’s woes: first, that Germans should be as ardent in their nationalism as he; second, that Marxism was to be despised; and third, the Jews were the root of Germany’s problems.
At the same time that Hitler was writing, Stalin was becoming a committed Marxist. He espoused the same principles that Hitler despised (Nazism and Communism are the two opposite ends of the political spectrum). Stalin read the writings of Lenin with eagerness, and attended party meetings.
Thus, the two young men are at the beginning of their careers, and seem to me at this point to be very similar: both would become leaders...

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Uploaded by:   angelttt

Date:   10/31/2011

Category:   History

Length:   4 pages (888 words)

Views:   2995

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