Stalin And Hitler's Power Essay

1188 Words 5 Pages
Compare how two Authoritarian leaders consolidated and maintained their power.
“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” –Joseph Stalin. This quote perfectly embodies how Stalin and Hitler successfully maintained their power, by physically and mentally manipulating people into submission. Both Russia and Germany were under crisis before the respected leaders took over. After the takeover of the Provisional Government during October 1917, Vladimir Lenin was the leader of the Bolshevik party. During his final years, the fight for the new leadership was between Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, with Stalin emerging as the victor in 1924. Meanwhile during the early 1930s Germany
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Both leaders had eliminated several political members in order to control the opposition against the party. During Stalin’s rise to power, he had made several successful attempts to eliminate all opponents such as Martemyan Ryutin who along with several communists were put to trial in 1932 after he wrote a document “calling for the end of forced collectivization and the dismissal of Stalin” (Todd and Weller 34). During the next two years, due to the Ryutin Affair, nearly a million party members were removed after they were accused of being “Ryutinties”. This marked the beginning of the Great Purge as Stalin continued to expel, arrest and even execute party members after being accused of treason. Sooner or later, the Great Purge began to transform into the Great Terror as it began to use show trials as another technique to instill fear throughout the nation as prominent leaders were put on public trials to be executed. A collection of trials such as the Trial of the Sixteen, August 1936 and the Trial of the Twenty-One, March 1938 together had executed over 40 politburo members. This technique was very effective as the general population was so horrified, in order to prove their loyalty, people would rat out neighbors and friends of treason. Hitler had also executed several opponents in order to secure his rise to power. Under “Hidenburg’s decree of February 1933, over 300,000 communists were rounded up and 30,00 executed” (Todd and Weller 85), the Hidenburg decree also allowed imprisonment without trial. The State even employed ‘block wardens’ to visit homes, as this created an image of power. These strict rules enforced by the Nazis evoked fear of treason into the German population. Repression is a dark technique used on the maintenance of power, but Stalin and Hitler both prove it

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