How is evil measured? One of the most discussed topics of the century has been the contrast between the command of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Both leaders have had a massive impact not only in their country’s history, but also in society itself. Hitler and Stalin wanted to obtain the well-being of their country and people, but it is their attempt to achieve this victory is what truly made history. Their tactics ranged from concentration camps to mass murders and wars. Both have an endless list of crimes to their name, yet there are numerous factors to consider when determining who was worse. Heil Hitler!
Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party, who sought to exterminate or impose segregation upon “degenerate” and “asocial” groups that included Jews, homosexuals, Romani, blacks, the physically and mentally handicapped, Jehovah’s Witnesses and political opponents to maintain the supposed purity and strength of the German race. The persecution of these groups led to a systematic murder known as the Holocaust, which was the genocide of approximately six million Jews and millions of other people deemed racially inferior.
The Holocaust was divided into different areas of extermination: concentration camps including transit camps, forced labor camps, and death camps; ghettoes; experimentation in the victims; etc. Hitler was a power-blinded monster, but to the members of the Nazi Party, he was a hero. (‘’INTRODUCTION TO THE HOLOCAUST’’)(‘’The Holocaust’’) Adolf Hitler used his extraordinary power not only to push evil, but also good policies as well. The dictator was the inventor of highways and the Volkswagen (people’s car) since he wanted all of his citizens to own a car regardless of their financial state.
The Nazis were also the first to link smoking to cancer, since Hitler was vigorously anti-smoking. Before coming into power in 1933, mass unemployment crippled the German’s economy. When the Nazi Party took over, it provided work for everyone, accelerating economy and giving people an opportunity to earn money. Adolf Hitler made outstanding changes in German’s lives for good but at the cost of an outrageous disaster. (‘’Unemployment in Nazi Germany’’) All Power to the Soviets! Joseph Stalin was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for almost a quarter of a century and one of the most powerful and murderous dictators in history.
His regime of terror caused the death and suffering of millions of people. In 1922, he was made general secretary of the Communist Party, and after Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin promoted himself as his political successor and eventually surpassed his rivals. By the late 1920s, Stalin was the dictator of the Soviet Union. His forced collectivization of agriculture cost millions of lives, while his program of rapid industrialization achieved huge increases in Soviet productivity and economic growth but at great cost.
Furthermore, the population suffered immensely during the Great Terror of the 1930s, during which Stalin eradicated the party of ‘’enemies of the people,’’ resulting in the execution of thousands and the exile of millions to the system of slave labor camps. These murders severely depleted the Red Army, and despite of the repeated warnings, Stalin wasn’t prepared for Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941. His political future and the Soviet Union were very unstable, but Stalin recovered to lead his country to victory. The number of lives lost due to Stalin’s regime is approximately the twenty million.
The human cost was enormous but it was not a concern for him. (‘’Joseph Stalin – Powerful Communist Leader of the Soviet Union’’) Stalin, as any other leader, had positive accomplishments. He gave women education and jobs, and transportation throughout the country was improved (new railway lines were built). He made taxes lower and lowered prices for many common goods. Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with the Nazis and greedily took his cut out of Poland once the Nazis attacked the country. Although he was brought into the war against Nazi Germany unwillingly, the Soviets did more than any other country to defeat the Nazi power.
When Stalin died in 1953, the USSR was regarded as one of the top powers in the world, having a strong economy and nuclear capabilities something attained by only the most powerful nations of the time. Joseph Stalin clearly was not interested in his citizens’ lives as much as he was in the future of his country. (‘’Joseph Stalin – Powerful Communist Leader of the Soviet Union’’) Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin are history’s worst dictators, and both are clear examples that the end does not justify the means. In my opinion, Hitler is a worse enemy against humanity for three simple reasons.
First, Hitler killed more people in a short span of time compared to Stalin. Most of the Nazi killings were concentrated in four years of war, yet they managed to kill more people in that short time span than Stalin did over his entire twenty-four year rule. Second, Hitler had plans of killing many more people after he won the war. Although Stalin got to carry out his brutal plans after he won the war, it would have been nothing compared to what Hitler had done if he had won, since the Holocaust was just a preview of his future tyranny.
Last but not least, people tend to compare the number of lives lost in both of the regimes. The Nazis are greatly outnumbered by the Soviets in regards to murders, but then again, Adolf Hitler was the one responsible for the beginning of World War II, hence he is also responsible for the approximate seventy-eight million lives lost in this war. This pair of men caused a dramatic impact on history and society, but only one of them reigned as the best of the worst.
Courtney from Study Moose
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