Author Topic: No Stalin, no Hitler?  (Read 87511 times)

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Offline klava1985

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #120 on: October 21, 2007, 10:55:24 PM »
Another great thread, brought to us by the same folks behind the abdication thread in The Final Chapter section... what is this, a conspiracy to have a civilized, thought provoking discussion in which issues are taken with positions and not with individuals? :)

I recently read a philosphical novel... I can't remember the title or the author; I'll have to scan my shelves... It was about a father grieving a daughter killed by fascist terrorists in Italy. Anyway, it viewed fascism as a reaction to both Marx and Freud. Where Marx said we were at the mercy of historical forces, Freud said we were at the mercy of our infantile longings. (I'm simplifying, clearly. And grossly.) Neither presented an image of the individual that was terribly attractive. Fascism, on the other hand, which is about traditional values and ancestry and belonging to something concrete that is nonetheless larger than oneself, offered a "way out," if you will. Assuming you were going to be radicalized, and assuming that nationalism might be a trigger point for you, fascism might be a lot more attractive to the common person, just psychologically speaking, than communism, not to mention democracy. If you want to feel a sense of agency while at the same time feeling immersed, and a sense of superiority, fascism is just the thing. A lot more localized than communism, with its emphasis (then) on transcending nationalism to connect with a huge international proletariat (not exactly a draw for the upper classes anyway), and a lot more familiar than democracy, which requires an uncomfortable focus on the individual.

You can be a member of any class and be a fascist; a bonus.

I don't think your average German was sitting around going, hmmm, Marx, Freud, or Hitler, but the communist revolution made one option more clear, and made the fascist story easier to tell. It's always easiest to define yourself against something. I think the Russian Revolution helped galvanize and clarify Nazism.

I guess the question is, was the humiliation of the German empire enough of a crucible in an of itself to account for Hitler's rise, or did it need communism as well. Were both necessary, or was one of these factors sufficient?

Offline Tania+

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #121 on: October 27, 2007, 11:24:48 AM »
I am wondering just a bit after reading all these posts, and especially after reading James 1941. There has been a lot of emigration from Germany and Russia, going to all parts of the globe. I see the news in some parts of the world of facism rising, and Communism not entirely out of the picture in Russia. Jim mentions 'new thinking' in his post, on this thread. Would you say that facism is becoming stronger, or that communism has not exactly exited the global picture ? Thanks in advance for any views offered.

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Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #122 on: October 29, 2007, 05:03:29 AM »
I guess the question is, was the humiliation of the German empire enough of a crucible in an of itself to account for Hitler's rise, or did it need communism as well. Were both necessary, or was one of these factors sufficient?

A good question, indeed. I don't think we can extricate both issues. The humilliation of Germany by the Treaty of Versailles -the Diktat, as the Nazis called it- was hard enough. But, for Hitler and many of them, the key factor that caused defeat and thus the humilliation, the so called treason myth, was the revolution -Kiel and so on- that made the continuaton of the war utter impossible. Thus, you cannot say that one of those factors was enough, as one lead to the other, I guess.

Of course, having an enemy to terrify the voters helped Hitler a lot.


Offline dmitri

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #123 on: October 29, 2007, 07:08:22 AM »
Stalin had nothing to do with the rise of Hitler. Hitler came about through a set of unique circumstances caused by the collapse of the Hohenzollern Empire, the hyper-inflation of the early 1920s, the failure of the Weimar Republic after the Wall Street crash. He was not linked at all to anything to do with Stalin until the Pact that Ribbentrop signed with Molotov.

Offline klava1985

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #124 on: November 02, 2007, 06:16:39 PM »
I guess the question is really would Hitler have been as successful absent a Boshevik revolution in Russia... perhaps not Stalin per se...


Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #125 on: November 02, 2007, 07:53:45 PM »
I agree with Dmitry.  Circumstances and  power-plays created both political magalomaniacs.
 They might have parrallled each other, but they were not in tandem.
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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #126 on: November 03, 2007, 09:02:34 PM »
I think Hitler was linked to Stalin, especially during the period in which he came to power. He used the existence of international evangelical Bolshevism as a rallying point for the nascent Nazi Party, and the de facto leader of that movement was Stalin. Although the racial nonsense tended to overshadow it by the end of the 1930s, Bolshevism was always viewed as the chief enemy after the Jews (and of course Hitler linked his two bete noires in his mind).

Had Stalin's Russia not existed, I don't think that German businessmen would have been so quick to support Hitler's party prior to 1933.
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Offline dmitri

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #127 on: November 03, 2007, 10:27:05 PM »
Read "Mein Kampf" and you will see that eradication of the Jews and Lebensraum (living space) are the two main points made by Hitler. There is no connection between the rise of Hitler and Stalin. They came from completely different backgrounds and had different agendas and political viewpoints.

Offline Lyss

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #128 on: November 04, 2007, 08:46:08 AM »
Maybe the question should be asked in a different way; What if there was no Hitler, would eastern europe never become communist? Because if there never would be a war, the would be no excuse for Stalin to enter those countries, to "save" them from the occupation. Or would it happen anyway? Without Hitler, would it be Stalin to invade eastern europe?
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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #129 on: November 04, 2007, 11:21:31 AM »
Read "Mein Kampf" and you will see that eradication of the Jews and Lebensraum (living space) are the two main points made by Hitler. There is no connection between the rise of Hitler and Stalin. They came from completely different backgrounds and had different agendas and political viewpoints.

Thanks, I've read it. Which I think is more than can be said of most people who supported Hitler during his rise to power. My point is that Hitler used the spectre of international, evangelical Bolshevism during the 1920s and 1930s to make the Nazis logical candidates for German business to support. Which it did. Check Richard Evans, William Shirer, Alan Bulloch, or indeed any historian of the Third Reich.

You forgot to mention that Anna Anderson is not the Grand Duchess Anastasia, Dmitri.
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Offline dmitri

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #130 on: November 04, 2007, 01:33:08 PM »
Lyss you are quite correct. Without Hitler there would have been no Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Hitler was quite completely insane. Sadly millions and millions had to die because of this.

Offline Lyss

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #131 on: November 05, 2007, 07:56:00 AM »
I find Hitler very difficult to understand, was he so blinded that he thought the rest of the world would permit him to invade every country? I must say, the west permitted a lot, even after he invaded Poland, England and France didn't do anything. It's weird, but in some point I believe to understand Stalin better that Hitler; Stalin needed fear and slaves to build his nation. Stalin knew he could keep on going without being disturbed, but Hitler must have known he couldn't keep invaded whole of Europe.
As for the most completely insane dictator, I vote for Pol Pot. Murdering 1/3 of your nation can realy be a proof of complete insanity.
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Offline Greenowl

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #132 on: November 05, 2007, 05:51:11 PM »
Yes, the Western countries appeased Hitler, while Stalin signed a non-aggression pact (the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact) with Germany, thus giving Hitler a free hand to do as he pleased. In this way he was able to remilitarise the Rhineland, annex Austria, the Sudetenland and cause problems in the free city of Danzig. Surely Britain and France declared war on Germany after Hitler invaded Poland on 1st. September 1939? I don't understand what you mean when you say they did nothing after he invaded Poland. Please clarify! These two allies did, however, behave in a shameful manner at the Munich conference in September 1938, and in spite of the fact that France had a defence pact with Czechoslovakia, the country was more or less handed over to Hitler. Two of the most cynical comments at that time came from Chamberlain, (1) that he had secured "peace in our times" and (2) that it seemed wrong that people in Britain were preparing for a war to defend "a people who they knew nothing about and whose name they could hardly pronounce". Had Chamberlain and Daladier NOT appeased Hitler at that stage it just MIGHT have prevented (or minimised) the Second World War. However, they appeared to be misguided and in their anxiety to prevent another war they failed to recognise the fact that Hilter was a monster who could not be trusted.

I don't think one can indulge in absolutes with regard to dictators. They were ALL extremely evil.

Offline dmitri

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #133 on: November 05, 2007, 06:41:55 PM »
It is interesting to know that the German troops had orders to withdraw if the French attacked when they went ahead with the occupation of the Rhineland. The French however were weak and did nothing. Hitler probably would have fallen if he had been humiliated at this time.

Offline Lyss

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #134 on: November 06, 2007, 08:12:43 AM »
France and England declared themselves responsable for Poland, even before the war. But They betraded Poland when Hitler invaded the country. The did declare war on Hitler, but only on paper. They didn't send any troops to help the Poles. Hitler and Stalin invaded the country from two sides (as was planned). Poland didn't stand a chance. Being a Polish emigre (I was 6 when we emigrated to Belgium) I see the Poles still blame France and England for their actions, as well at the beginning as at the end (the conference at Livadia)

Lyss
Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.