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Posted: 6/10/2003 8:02:11 AM EDT
In the interest of a historical discussion, I thought I would ask you guys who you thought was worse; The Soviet regime under Stalin, or the Nazi regime under Hitler. I personally say the Soviets were worse. The great purge of the military leaving over 3 milion dead, the scorched Earth policy causing the death of millions of civilians due to starvation etc., the direct violation of the rules of war in using women and children in front of attacks to keep the Germans from opening fire, or the acceptance of so many losses at gun point just so a mad man would stay in power. I hear numbers ranging from 22 million - 71 million Russian dead from the Russo-Finnish war - the great purge - to the end of "the Great Partiotic war". On the German side you had roughly equal repression of the citizens, about 10 million dead, plus another 11 million in the concentration camps. In no way do I deny what the Nazis did, but as I look into history, the German invasion was meant to destroy Communism (amoung other things), the goal was [i]arguably[/i] just. The means however set off a series of events that went out of control on both sides. The outcome, to me was that the Soviets were the bigger evil. Which of the the two great evils do you think was worse, and why?
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:43:41 AM EDT
Hmmmm.... That's an interesting question. There is no argument that these two figures were evil, but to ponder which was "less evil" could be a challenge. They were both ruthless toward their opponents. There were both responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents. If you look at it in terms of numbers (which of course we understand that these "numbers" are people), I'd go with Stalin. Also, he had assembled a cult of personality around him that insulated him fairly well. Hitler wasn't quite so effective at that, as his loyalists began converting as the war went badly. Many high ranking Germans despised Hitler and there were several attempts on his life by German officers. I think these officers saw a higher responsibility to the nation than the man. To the east, Stalin [i]was[/i] Russia. So, although I despise both of them, I tend to agree that Stalin was the worse by just a shade. The world is better off with both of them gone.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 4:24:35 PM EDT
I find them equally bad on face value. If I place myself as a citizen in good standing in either regime I would have to say I would rather live under Hitler. Stalin was a bit too paranoid for me. You could never tell when he would freak and have you killed. I find Hitler ( as long as you werent one of his recognized outcasts) to be a bit more supportive of his citizens ( not taking into account the last days of his regime when he had lost it).
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:16:38 PM EDT
It must have been far worse under the dark days of Stalin. Everyone stood a good chance of attracting secret police attention and getting a bullet in the head, and life was pretty hard from the first days of Stalins reign in the 20's till he died in 1953. Between purges and forced collectivization and Communist social dogma Russian life was hard. In Germany you had it pretty good unless you were a communist or a Jew or a Gypsy. Civil unrest and street battles came to an end when Hitler was elected, and certainly did when the Enabling Acts were passed. The average German saw his life improve - the Nazi's social programs did have something to do with that. His country's self respect improved with repudiating some of the more onerous WW1 treaty provisions.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:44:09 AM EDT
Neither was worse/better. Both dictators committed horrific crimes against their own people and against the human race. Raw numbers aren't important. Both were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. They were different in WHY they were what they were and WHY they did what they did. The results were pretty much the same in either case.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:46:55 AM EDT
LWilde: You're right that this really can't be quantified. It may be an academic exercise, but in the end evil is evil and must be opposed.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:47:29 AM EDT
I think it was Stalin who said this: "One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic"
Link Posted: 6/14/2003 5:36:33 PM EDT
My take? Hitler was an insane little weasel, that had bullied his way into a position of power. he would never have lasted much longer, war or no war. Uncle Joe was sane. He knew what he was doing; and it didn't bother him. Hitler would never have done the Kulaks the way Stalin did. The real question is between Mao and Stalin. With the stories of Mao and his bed habits; I give it to Mao.
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