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Compare and Contrast the rise to power of Hitler and Lenin

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  • Essay length: 1159 words
  • Submitted: 30/04/2008
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International Baccalaureate History

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The regimes of Hitler and Lenin were both products of war. For Hitler the war gave his life purpose, and the defeat and the Treaty gave him a grudge. The army, which shared his feelings, gave him the work which led to his joining the Nazi party, and got him out of his little problem after the Munich putsch. For Lenin the War was the last convulsion of imperialism, and though he did not predict the combination of circumstances which provoked the February Revolution, these circumstances were indeed exactly the kind of thing which his analysis of imperialist war would have involved (shortages, casualties etc). Ironically Lenin, like Hitler, owed much to the German army, whose intelligence department brought him to St Petersburg on the famous sealed train. The Bolshevik USP was Peace, the Nazis were supported for promising to revise a Peace.

On the face of it Hitler and Lenin were impelled by precisely opposite ideas. Adapting Low's famous cartoon Lenin was to Hitler 'the scum of the earth' and Hitler to Lenin 'the bloody assassin of the workers'1. Closer inspection reveals similarities between Socialism as Lenin saw it and National Socialism as Hitler did: both

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