Hitler And Stalin During the period leading up to World War II, there were two famous dictators who were on opposing sides, yet had similar records. These men were Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. They were each triumphant in their rise to power in their countries and they were very comparable in the ways that they succeeded. Their success was mostly attributed to their new ideas and their politics. Although Hitler and Stalin hated each other, the two leaders were similar in many ways. Hitler and Stalin each rose to the highest position attainable in their respective countries, and there were three main reasons that they were able to do this. Both men were skilled users of propaganda, each was amoral, and they both had the ambition to make their countries powerful in the world. Since each was a skilled user of propaganda, they could use their words to twist and manipulate the minds of people into believing that what they were saying was the absolute truth. Using this power, they would get people to do anything for them, which proves their amorality. Since their countries were still trying to recover from World War I, they desired to restore the power back in to their countries.
These three reasons will prove that Hitler and Stalin were similar in many ways. The names Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin are synonymous with the word propaganda. In order to understand how Hitler and Stalin used propaganda, an understanding of what the word means, is required. According to Merriam-Webster, “propaganda is the spreading of ideas to further or damage a cause; also the ideas or allegations spread for a purpose”. Hitler and Stalin each used propaganda as their tool to further their ideas and help them gain the backing of the people in their countries.
The form of propaganda that Hitler used, and was successful in using, was his words. Hitler made many speeches, but the one that greatly stood out from the others was his final speech at his trial for treason. In this speech he gave his views and opinions on the events preceding the trial. This is an excerpt from his speech: “..I aimed from the first to…become the destroyer of Marxism…The army that we are building grows more from day to day, from hour to hour. Gentlemen, not you who will be the ones that deliver the verdict over us, but that verdict will be given by the eternal judgment of history, which will speak out against the accusation that has been made against us…That court will judge us…as Germans (who) wanted only the best for their people and their Fatherland, who fought and were willing to die. You might just as well find us guilty a thousand times, but the goddess of the eternal court of history will smile and tear up the motions of the states attorney and the judgment of this court: for she finds us not guilty”.
1 After Hitler gave this speech, the court was sympathetic towards him, and he was sentenced to only five years in prison for his crime. After nine months of his sentence had been served, he received parole. Being able to gain Nazi party control and gain enough supporters, proves that he was an efficient user of propaganda. Hitler also had his own minister of propaganda when he became leader of the country. This proves that Hitler was a big user of propaganda, but Joseph Stalin was not as blatantly obvious with his uses of it. Stalin did, however, use propaganda in his speech to the Fifteenth Congress in 1927.
Stalin said in this speech: ” Evidently, the opposition prefers to be outside the party. Well, let it be outside the party. There is nothing terrible, or exceptional, or surprising in the fact that they prefer to be outside the party, that they are cutting themselves off from the party. If you study the history of our party, you will find that always, at certain serious turns taken by our party, a certain section of the old leaders fell out of the cart of the Bolshevik party and made room for newer members. A turn is a serious thing, comrades.
A turn is dangerous for those who do not sit firmly in the party cart. Not everybody can keep his balance when a turn is made. You turn the cart – and on looking back, you find that someone has fallen out”.2 After Stalin said this, an immediate applause was heard. Stalin was telling the people what they wanted to hear and he used this speech to further his cause. This speech helped to further his cause by gaining support from the people, and by justifying why Trotsky was not the choice for leader.
Stalin was also demonstrating with this speech that he was the “bandwagon” and that he was taking people in the right direction. Everyone who became a supporter of him, would be getting into the right cart and would be heading down the proper road. Hitler and Stalin did not only use spoken propaganda, they were masters of using propaganda, so they would use many forms of it. Another form of propaganda that they used was through photographs. These photographs promoted their “nice” personalities. In these photos each dictator would be depicted as being a hero.
He would be helping the poor families, or be holding a small child. It was in these photos that Hitler and Stalin became appealing to the public. The photos gave the people of their countries the idea that they were caring, loving and completely concerned for the well-being of the people. The use of propaganda was a big contributor to the success of both men. Since Hitler and Stalin were able to manipulate people with their propaganda, they could convince the public of just about anything. This proves them to be amoral.
Both would do whatever they thought was necessary to further their cause, with no remorse about what they had done. In 1922, Lenin, the leader of the communist party, had a stroke.3 Over time his condition got worse and he became less involved in the party’s affairs. When Lenin died in January 1924, he left two men in contention for the party’s leadership.4 One was Joseph S …