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Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:13 am

7 reasons why I'm always shocked when people believe that it's legitimate to compare or equate Stalin and Hitler.

1. Nazi ideology is inherently bad and corrupt: Hitler believed that some men deserved to die because of their so-called "race", especially Jews, or because they were gay, disabled, or whatever. Stalin strongly opposed racism and even said: "Anti-semitism, as an extreme form of racial chauvinism, is the most dangerous vestige of cannibalism." 

2. Hitler supported capitalism and opposed communism: Germany was the country that privatized the biggest number of state companies in the 1930's.  Not really surprising since Hitler rose to power with the help of big business. Hitler said: "In the economic sphere communism is analogous to democracy in the political sphere." Hitler extended capitalism to its climax. It wasn't enough to exploit the workforce, the Nazis eventually transformed the dead into consumer goods: soaps made from fat, textiles...

3. Hitler opposed the very concept of democracy, Stalin didn't : Although one will argue that Stalin was a dictator, he still supported democracy as a political objective and even introduced secret ballot in the USSR in 1937. Hitler, however, directly opposed the concept of democracy: "Democracy will in practice lead to the destruction of a people's true values."



4. Hitler killed many more than Stalin:  The German fascists, in 13 years of ruling (1933-1945), caused the death of 11 to 12 million noncombatants, including 2.8 million by gassing. The Soviets, during the 31 years of Stalin's rule (1922-1953), killed 6 to 9 million, according to American historian Timothy Snyder. Those figures comprise the 3.3 million Ukrainians who died during the 1932-1933 famine, and apparently the 5 million Soviet citizens for the higher estimate. The involvement of the USSR in the famine has been criticized by Canadian historian Mark Tauger who proved with accurate figures that there was no deliberate intent to cause a famine in Ukraine. Therefore if we remove the 1932-1933 famine from the number of direct and indirect killings, we would obtain a figure of 3 to 4 millions killed during the whole Stalin era, far behind the Nazi figures.

Moreover, if you believe as I do that war itself was the logical consequence of the Nazi system and ideology, you would have to add the millions of deaths caused by the fascist war itself, including the 27 million Soviet citizens.

5. Soviet and Nazi crimes were different in nature: Many people were released from the gulag, while you would hardly be released from a Nazi concentration camp, and certainly not from a death camp. The intent behind the Nazi death camps was very different. The Soviets didn't kill people on an industrial scale with industrial methods such as the use of Zyklon B. The Soviets didn't made horrendous experiments on living people. The importance of the difference between Soviet and Nazi crimes has been stressed by Marcuse in one of his letters to Nazi philosopher Heidegger: "If however the difference between inhumanity and humanity is reduced to this erroneous calculus, then this becomes the world historical guilt of the Nazi system, which has demonstrated to the world what, after more than 2000 years of Western Dasein [Existence] , men can do to their fellow men."

6. Stalin's USSR was on the side of the Allies (in case you forgot your own side): The USSR was undoubtedly on the side of the Allies as it contributed more than any other country to the defeat of fascism. The overwhelming majority of German losses during WWII were caused by the USSR. As a consequence, equating Stalin and Hitler is nothing less than an infamous revision of history. This revision of history is especially clear when people openly endorse Nazi soldiers like Rommel while accusing Stalin of being an evil murderer. I must also recall that it was the Soviet Union that freed most of the prisoners from Nazi concentration and death camps. My old friend Georges, prisoner at Sachsenhausen near Berlin, who was lucky enough to survive the "death march", never accepted the Stalin=Hitler revisionist stance.


7. Stalin has a positive legacy, Hitler doesn't: Most people hate Stalin in Western countries, although they never suffered under Stalin's yoke. So obviously, people in Russia would have to hate Stalin even more. But no, that's the contrary. Guess why? Stalin had a fast growing economy, a stable government, and won the war against Nazi Germany. After the war, the USSR was the second superpower in the world and contributed to the decolonization of many countries. One might argue that Hitler had straighten the German economy, however all the benefits were eventually lost in the foolish war that he started. Therefore, nothing remains but the trauma that he caused to his country.

***

In conclusion, I respect Stalin as much as I respect Bonaparte. I'm no more a Stalinist than I'm a Bonapartiste. Both did horrendous things, such as gassing black men in Haiti, but both also contributed to the progress of the world. I believe that I owe to Stalin a part of the freedom that I enjoy today, especially as I doubt that the Allies would have won the war against Nazi Germany without the Soviet Union and Stalin's personal contribution. I'm proud that some Frenchmen fought on the side of the Soviet Union during the war, just as my grandfather fought in the Special Air Service. While I gladly accept any criticism of Stalin's actions and any uncover of his personal responsibility in the Soviet crimes, I have always seen and will continue to see any attempt to equate Stalin and Hitler as a dangerous and shameful revision of history that can only contribute to the inevitable return of fascism, as already observed in some European countries such as Ukraine, Austria and Poland
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:06 am

1. Stalin was antisemitic himself. Look at the campaign against rootless cosmopolites, the doctor's plot, the campaign against the jewish-antisemitic comitee and the night of the murdered poets. As well Stalin killed people of their "class" as well. Look at the kulaks. Or simply for his strength in goverment as in the great purge or against the polish in the massacre of Katyn.

2. Whether supporting communism versus capitalism depends entirely on your own political opinion and shouldn't used as an argument.

3. I don't see what Stalin did for democracy. Both Lenin and Stalin stopped the voting after the bolschewiki didn't have sucess. The moscow trials and the great purge are fundamentally against the principles of seperation of powers. The ban against fractions in the politbüro doesn't prove that point either. The soviet union and its warsaw pact allies didn't care about the voting. Look at the voting in the gdr.

Additional, I would suggest moving this thread to the admin forum, if we don't want to attract nazi and stalinist trolls.
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:42 pm

1. Stalin was antisemitic himself. Look at the campaign against rootless cosmopolites, the doctor's plot, the campaign against the jewish-antisemitic comitee and the night of the murdered poets. As well Stalin killed people of their "class" as well. Look at the kulaks. Or simply for his strength in goverment as in the great purge or against the polish in the massacre of Katyn.

2. Whether supporting communism versus capitalism depends entirely on your own political opinion and shouldn't used as an argument.

3. I don't see what Stalin did for democracy. Both Lenin and Stalin stopped the voting after the bolschewiki didn't have sucess. The moscow trials and the great purge are fundamentally against the principles of seperation of powers. The ban against fractions in the politbüro doesn't prove that point either. The soviet union and its warsaw pact allies didn't care about the voting. Look at the voting in the gdr.

Additional, I would suggest moving this thread to the admin forum, if we don't want to attract nazi and stalinist trolls.
1. "Jew" is a religion, a culture and an ethnicity. Even if Stalin was opposed to their culture or religion, that wouldn't necessarily make him "antisemitic", a very specific form of racism, especially as Semites at not necessarily Jewish. There is still a big difference between killing someone because he is a Jew or of Jewish descent and Stalin's repressions, and the difference in this regard is blatant both in terms of ideas and practice, as you are comparing small-scale purges to mass-scale industrial elimination of Jewish people. So I'm sorry but no, I can't accept this point, even if I were to admit that Stalin was antisemitic.

While it's true that antisemitism can hide behind anti-zionism, it's not necessarily the case. And in this regard, the Soviet attitude towards Jews and Zionism has been rather "open" : They created the first Jewish state in the world, Birobidzhan, and tried to attract many Jews from foreign countries. For example the Organization for Jewish Colonization in Russia and later the Ambidjan were charged with helping Americans to settle in the Soviet Union. It was the first time (and probably last time) in history that a big state would willingly give an important part of its territory to the Jews and recognize them as a people with their own traditions, language, and right to self-determination.

I must recall that the Soviet Union, even though it opposed the immigration of Jews to Palestine, eventually voted in favor of the creation of the Israeli state. I agree that the doctor's plot was an antisemitic episode in the USSR, but it cannot possibly sum-up Stalin's attitude towards Jews nor can it sum-up the doctor's plot itself. I must recall that the doctor's plot started when Dr. Timashuk basically said that Dr. Etinger made a wrong diagnosis regarding Zhdanov's health. Nobody has challenged the fact that Etinger was indeed a Zionist. This can't excuse the antisemitic campaign that followed, but that is still unfair to equate the Soviet response to an alleged plot with Hitler's madness.

2. You are totally right. However my point was to differentiate between Stalin and Hitler on the political and socio-economical level. It was an answer to those who believe that Hitler and Stalin were both "socialists" because of the "socialist" word in "national-socialism".


3. My point was that Stalin endorsed democracy as a political idea. What he did with this is another matter. Hitler, however, opposed the very concept of democracy. Now if we look at the Soviet system, it's simply not true that there was no intents to build democratic institutions or that there was no democratic elements in the USSR. For example, Getty explains that Akulov favored separating the Legislative and Executive powers in the 1936 constitution. As Getty said: "Like the other central leaders involved, [Stalin] seems to have taken the constitution seriously." So the only constitutional difference between the USSR and Western democracies was the control of the Communist Party. A very important difference of course, but that also means that there was a lot in common. Both western democrats and communists inherited from the great philosophers of the Enlightenment era, so WWII could unite the Allies in a democratic ideal.


Regarding your point that Stalin killed people of their "class", well they agreed that if they gave the right to vote to everyone and added secret ballot, kulaks and former kulaks would have the right to vote, so no. Yes, the Soviet regime was murderous, but the idea of class struggle has nothing in common with the idea of inequality between races. It is generally accepted that a great part of those who suffered the more under Stalin were members of the Communist party itself.

And regarding the thread, I don't mind if it is moved in the private area. However, since the Hitler vs Stalin or Hitler=Stalin discussion is very common on the servers, it would also make sense to have a place where players who want to give their opinion can be directed. Of course this could attract trolls, but it can't possibly become worse than FSE itself. 
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:46 pm

Nowadays communists in Russia are not popular. Support of the population is 5-10%. Almost all people who lived in the Soviet Union do not want to return there, they had nothing except 6 days of work and 1 day of rest with a small salary and a complete lack of goods. In 1950-1955 people did not know who and when will die, each of the residents could die the next night. From the stories I know that it was terrible time, the fear was like during the war. Unfortunately, a couple of my relatives and some  friends of my grandparents were killed without a reason.
Choosing from two evils, Hitler was much worse than Stalin. But I do not consider him a good leader
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:59 pm

Tue United Nations General Assembly recently adopted resolution A/C.3/71/L.45

Only three countries voted against the resolution : The United States, Ukraine and Palau


Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance  

The General Assembly

[...]

Expresses deep concern about the increased number of seats occupied by representatives of extremist parties of a racist or xenophobic character in a number of national and local parliaments, and emphasizes in this regard the need for all democratic political parties to base their programmes and activities on respect for human rights and freedoms, democracy, the rule of law and good governance and to condemn all messages disseminating ideas that are based on racial superiority or hatred and that have the objective of fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

Welcomes in this regard the call of the Special Rapporteur on political leaders and parties to strongly condemn incitement to racial discrimination or xenophobia, to promote tolerance and respect and to refrain from forming coalitions with extremist parties of a racist or xenophobic character

[...]
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:49 am

Is this an argument for the sake of argument?
I read that there is no idea how many Stalin had killed - I read numbers from 2 million to 60 million.
Is it allowed to praise the terrorists from 9/11 on our server? Their estimated amount of deaths are much lower.

Can we talk about banning Mr. Saddam Hussein? His amount of kills is estimated at 500.000?

Stalin, Fast growing economy? Stable Government? whaaaaat?
Is that the result of "Population Transfers" ? Stability and fast growing economy?
"Your unemployed, you go to Gulag!" - well, that was one way to fix the unemployment-rate.
When you do not trust the Government, you remove them. Oh, time for new government. But you didn't replace it, you just inserted what was missing?
I really do not follow your logic, and I see this discussion as being pointless and unnecessary.
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:39 am

I am just going to put there here in my belief: Hitler was far worse than Stalin. But I will put down that Stalin did create the Great Purge which he killed millions of people. However, he did fought with the Allies in WWII after Hitler betrayed him and broke the Nazi-Soviet Aggression pact. So in conclusion, I am going to say that he was good and bad meaning neutral.

If I miss anything important, post here
 
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:49 am

Is this an argument for the sake of argument?
I read that there is no idea how many Stalin had killed - I read numbers from 2 million to 60 million.
Is it allowed to praise the terrorists from 9/11 on our server? Their estimated amount of deaths are much lower.

Can we talk about banning Mr. Saddam Hussein? His amount of kills is estimated at 500.000?

Stalin, Fast growing economy? Stable Government? whaaaaat?
Is that the result of "Population Transfers" ? Stability and fast growing economy?
"Your unemployed, you go to Gulag!" - well, that was one way to fix the unemployment-rate.
When you do not trust the Government, you remove them. Oh, time for new government. But you didn't replace it, you just inserted what was missing?
I really do not follow your logic, and I see this discussion as being pointless and unnecessary.
Your point seems to be that we can't praise Stalin. And to prove your point you apparently believe that one can't rely on the death toll caused by a ruler (all rulers have one) to tell whether the ruler was good or bad, and I totally agree with you in this regard. It's obvious that Stalin can't be praised when it comes to the purges, gulag, bureaucracy or the lack of democracy in the Soviet system. But it's also true from my point of view that Stalin can be praised regarding the victory against fascism, and those who believe the contrary are either fascists or people who believe that Stalin was as bad as Hitler. 

Regarding your comparison with the Islamic terrorists, I must also say that the Nazis still stand far above them in terms of criminality. You are trying to compare the Islamic terrorists with the Nazis or Stalinists, and you are basically saying that all were bad and shouldn't be accepted on the server. This comparison isn't legitimate and seems very childish. I would rather compare the Soviet government with the Syrian government today: The Syrian government is a brutal nationalist force in the War in Syria, that has been accused of many war crimes. Yet it's also true that they have been opposing the Islamic extremists with great valour, and I respect that because I do not believe that all evils are equals. In the struggle against Islamic terrorism, and the struggle for the unity and independence of Syria, I would still praise Mr Assad. So what would you say in this regard? 


 
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:50 pm

 or people who believe that Stalin was as bad as Hitler. 
Sums up my opinion an Stalin quite well, since I believe Stalin abused someone who believed in something better.
I would still praise Mr Assad. So what would you say in this regard? 
Probably the same as above.
Mr. Assad got the praise of his people, because he wanted to go against corruption.
But how is it he maintains power? Who opposes him in "A legal" election?
I do not have high hopes for Mr. Assad, but time will tell. 
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Re: Differences between Stalin and Hitler

Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:18 pm

The Syrian government is a brutal nationalist force in the War in Syria, that has been accused of many war crimes. Yet it's also true that they have been opposing the Islamic extremists with great valour, and I respect that because I do not believe that all evils are equals. In the struggle against Islamic terrorism, and the struggle for the unity and independence of Syria, I would still praise Mr Assad.
I don't want to be that guy, but if they lie about Stalin and Hitler the same way they lie now about Assad, well... yeah.
Throughout the whole history, "fabricating claims" was a thing and starting wars on false pretenses was a common way for someone to get his way. Demonizing your enemy and false propaganda is probably as old as the mankind itself.

Still, you can only act according to the proof you currently have on a matter, and if there's no proof things happened otherwise, then there is no reason to believe otherwise. Skepticism and an open mind are always welcome however, and people should always try to find the truth.
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