Difference between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin
Although both Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are remembered world over as notorious individuals responsible for the murder of millions of innocent 20th century civilians and soldiers, they are also distinctive historical figures in their own rights and there are enough similarities between them to warrant frequent comparisons. Both were very charismatic figures for starters, and both were reviled and admired in almost equal measure. Both were also responsible for massive numbers of needless deaths and the immense suffering and of millions of people either directly or indirectly, and they changed the course of history in significant ways. Let's take a look at what else they have in common and how they differ.
Adolf Hitler’s main claim to fame was his role as the leader of the Third Reich. He was also one of the key leaders of the Nazi party and it was these dual roles that made him so instrumental in the outbreak of World War II. Joseph Stalin for his part was the leader of the Soviet Union until 1953 and he was largely responsible for the Great Purges of 1937 and the collectivization in Russia that resulted in millions of deaths in his own country.
Both men took advantage of increasingly turbulent political climates in their respective countries in order to assume positions of power. The main differences are that Hitler assumed control through a mostly democratic process and slow political maneuverings, while Stalin had to contend with numerous political adversaries, which he did so by forging–and subsequently breaking–key alliances.
Power - In the Details
Hitler first enlisted the German Workers Party in 1919, and it wasn't long before he transformed it into the Nazi Party and assumed the leadership role. By the 1930s, the party had evolved into a formidable political force and Hitler was soon appointed chancellor to replace the ineffectual Kurt von Schleicher. Subsequent political maneuverings caused the banning of all other political parties in the country and Germany essentially became a single party state with Hitler at the helm. Stalin on the other hand, was already an active member in an authoritarian state and he didn't have to contend with the struggle to gain mass acceptance as Hitler did. Nevertheless, Stalin did have to eliminate numerous obstacles to his leadership and he did this as the secretary of the Communist Party by effectively getting rid of Trotsky, former allies Kamenev and Zinoview, and the right-wing Bukharin, whom he used to get rod of the latter two and subsequently broke alliances with as well.
- Was the Fuhrer of the Third Reich and one of the leaders of the Nazi Party
- Was widely blamed for the outbreak of World War II and the holocaust
- Rise to power was much shorter than Stalin's
- Became the sole leader of Germany in only 19 months
- Joined the German Workers Party in 1919 and converted it into Nazi Party
- Was a leader of the Soviet Union until 1953
- Was widely blamed for the Great Purges in 1937 and the collectivization movement which caused untold suffering in Russia
- Came to power slowly and had to eliminate many contenders
- Came to power in an already authoritarian state in which he was previously involved