During the late 1920’s and 1930’s, Hitler and Stalin were leaders of Germany and the Soviet Union respectively. These states were under fascist and communist rule, which essentially were very similar. It was due to their full run of government that resulted in a dictatorial rule, also known as totalitarianism. Civilians’ lives were regulated in every aspect, some of which were their property and the military forces. Both parties used propaganda to bring awareness of their movement’s ideologies to their states in hopes that they would influence a large number of civilians, or if anything, all of them.
The most comparable and recognizable aspect of fascism and communism was the fact that both Hitler and Stalin wanted a radical change for their states. In order to attain the transformation, violence was used on both their parts, which offended and anguished peoples lives. There are minor differences in relation to all of these examples; however, fascism and communism were essentially the same. Both fascism and communism supported one-party governments in order to gain absolute power, which unfortunately resulted in negative changes for the people’s lives.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
The leaders were dictators of their time; Stalin was known to deny individual rights of business and property, while Hitler had total control over the state’s military forces. The ideology that both parties shared was the fact that their respective governments were directly influencing a certain sector of the citizens’ lives. Stalin did this by having a complete authority on all production and distribution of resources. Along with that, communism believed in public ownership, meaning the rights to private property were abolished.
This affected citizens by not allowing them to make a profit off of their land and by disabling them from receiving the added benefits the land had to offer. The fascist party favored their military forces, and made sure it portrayed a courageous, disciplined, and strong image to the people. This is why he used Germany’s youth to represent him. Hitler believed that fighting was the most efficient way to appear as the most powerful and G-d like leader, and the strongest state in Europe; however, it did not benefit citizens in any way.
His way of thinking was influenced by other fascist leaders; for example, Mussolini’s statement, “A minute on the battlefield is worth a lifetime of peace” suggesting that a strong military is crucial, and that is why all non-Jewish youth were sent to participate. The soldiers were forced to comply with the army regulations, such as paramilitary uniforms and salutes to authority. This ideology can be summed up by the Hitler Youth motto “Blood and Honor”.
Hitler and Stalin’s main reason for creating strict policies on production and property ownership, youth, and military forces was because they believed that the well being of their state was more important than of their citizens. Even though Hitler and Stalin were appointed head of their parties by different manners, one through voting and the other without, they both resulted in dictatorships. This gave them total rights to govern their people in whichever way they wanted, which unfortunately hurt the citizens.
Fascism and communism both used propaganda as a way to target their state’s citizens in order to manipulate them, in hopes that they would accept their movement’s ideologies. The power that propaganda can have as a government becomes more centralized is massive, in the sense that people become easily influenced by what they see and hear. Hitler’s goal was to instill the image of a strong and proud nation that followed its one and only leader. One of Stalin’s most important goals was to make sure his image abroad targeted the working class, to show them that the Soviet Union was ideal for them.
Certain techniques that fascism and communism used were news reports, radio, music, and television; however, film and posters were the most influential techniques used during those times. One example of how the fascist culture took over the film industry was the publication of a film called “The Eternal Jew”. It was shown in Germany theatres to destroy the image of the Jews by comparing them to rats that spread diseases. Stalin’s objective was to promote himself as a heroic leader.
One way he did this was by promoting his Five Year Plan through presentations of posters that showed his efforts and the benefits the plan would bring. Whatever the propaganda method was, it was crucial that it had the interest of the people passing it. This way, Hitler and Stalin were able to get their message across to all citizens in Germany and in the Soviet Union easily, efficiently, but most importantly, positively. Hitler and Stalin took the lives of countless innocent people for no reason but to bring radical change to their states and to solidify themselves as leaders.
It is evident that violence was the major part in getting the transformation that each party wanted, but what was most parallel between the two were the number of killings executed by each ruler individually. This is significant to understand because both leaders intentions were not to plan genocide; however, they quickly and surely resulted in one. It is believed that each death toll was approximately 10-20 million for Hitler and Stalin, which shows an intolerable statement on both of their parts. In order to have reached these profound numbers, each leader employed different approaches.
In Hitler’s revolting mind, he made the decision to eliminate an entire religion, the Jews. He did this systematically throughout his entire leadership, to the point where approximately 6 million of the people he killed were Jewish. It should be noted that this was only a segment of Hitler’s killings, for approximately 5 million non-Jewish Europeans were murdered, along with 250,000 disabled citizens, 15,000 homosexuals, and 5,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses. Stalin was also responsible for mass murders of a specific group; however, it was not religion but race that he decided to separate.
In communist societies, men were ripped apart from their wives and children to be sent to labor and death camps. It is estimated that 7 million of Stalin’s victims were sent to these camps, where the survival rate was only 3 percent. As a result, the women lived terrible lives since they had no source of income, and lived every day in fear that someone would knock on their door to take them away. Shockingly, the officers chose to do this at night when the women and children felt most vulnerable.
What makes fascism and communism very similar is the fact that both leaders made it their business to segregate, torture, and murder different groups of people, whether it was by gender, race, or religion. The fascist and communist governments that evolved from two different thoughts are in fact, very similar. Even though the objectives of Hitler and Stalin may have been to different extremes, it is important to realize that both governments resulted in dictatorships. Each leader had alike ideologies, and used propaganda to influence certain behaviors and beliefs to the people of their states.
With the use of posters and movies, Stalin and Hitler were able to get their message across perfectly to all their citizens. The most significant aspect that should be considered is the unfortunate ruling and discipline systems of both Hitler and Stalin. It is bad enough on their parts to have murdered people for not obeying their every word; however, it is horrifying to have tortured and slaughtered the most innocent people of their countries. What is an exceptional underlying similarity between fascism and communism is the fact that their policies have made a negative impact on our lives today.
People once looked up to true heroes that depicted respectable qualities, but once Stalin and Hitler came to power, people were worshipping false heroes, as do many teenagers today. As stated earlier, the media portrayed the dictators as icons to be reverenced, and today it has turned into celebrity worship. Both of these parties are on completely opposite ends of the political spectrum, but it is obvious that they are conjoined at one single point on the line that represents totalitarianism.