Do you think Communism is as bad as Nazism?

Jan 2017
1,307
Durham
I'm not sure the term "psyche" is applicable in regards to any nation. Perhaps, if by it we mean a set of values, traditions and prevalent tendencies.
Yes, well put. I'm not for one minute suggesting that Germans were born with some sort of war like tendencies. They were, however, born into a country with a certain geography that helped generate certain ideas. And, once that country industrialised and united it was a dangerous mix in a world of Imperialism.

It's hard to determine a single "root cause" for the rise of Nazism. I'd argue, however, that without the Great Depression, it is quite possible that all that explosive material, all that dark matter that would take shape in Nazism and the carnage that followed, would fizzle with little or no actual impact on history. Or at least with a much, much less painful one.
I'd argue the opposite. Germany prospered prior to WW1 and made the decision to go to war. Clearly, the German Nazis and those who supported them were unique in the barbarity, but Hitler and associates didn't just make up their racial policies and supporting logic out of thin air: those ideas existed prior to WW1. It may not have been a Hitler or the Nazis, but someone advocating war as the answer to Germany's 'problems' would have filled that vacuum, and I dare say support would have been significant enough to put that someone into a position of power. 'Problems' meaning second rate status in world politics.

A reading of 19th and early 20th century German history would leave no one in any doubt that while they always had a significant liberal element, they also had entrenched conservative ideas that ultimately were borrowed by the Nazis and those who supported them.

I don't think it's enough to focus on economic and domestic turmoil. As I said, Britain experienced significant turmoil as a result of WW1, but it was left-wing ideals that prospered during that period of turmoil, and they campaigned on peace, cohesive international relations and social equality. So, in Britain the answer to our 'problems' was deemed to be curtailing jingoism and involvement in international friction. I think the answer as to why Germany didn't take that road, lies in 19th century Germany.
 
Jan 2017
1,307
Durham
It seems to me that you did not read Hitler’s Mein Kampf very carefully. This book was written 8 years before Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and Fuhrer of the German people. In the book he describes the situation in the mid-1920s, with an excursion into the events of previous decades. A separate chapter is devoted to Germany’s relations with Russia.

And if we briefly retell what Hitler writes in his book about Russia, then this comes down to this:

- Russia is ruled by "Jewish Bolshevism"
- The main enemy of Germany is France
- Alliance with England and Italy is extremely important for Germany
- Russia is technically extremely weak - there is not a single plant in Russia that could produce at least a truck (in the mid-1920s)
- Hitler considers the alliance with Russia as an option, but it is unacceptable because of “Jewish Bolshevism” and Russia's extreme technical weakness. It can only be a military alliance, according to |Hitler. At the same time, Poland is located between Russia and Germany, and the German-Russian (military) alliance is possible only after the victorious war of Russia with Poland and Russia's access to the German border
- Russian authorities do not even think about an alliance with Germany in mid 1920s

At the same time, the German Drang nach Osten is not detailed in this book and looks just like an abstract idea. And Hitler mentions in this drang the capture by Germany of non-Russian territories captured by Russia during her advance westward

As you know, the situation in 1939 has changed radically compared to that described in Mine Kampf. Why?

- Russia conducted the Great Purge of 1937-1938, during which thousands of Jews were removed from her administrative and military leadership
- after that it would be incorrect to say that "Jewish Bolshevism" rules over Russia
- Russia in her domestic policy and propaganda indicated the dominance of “Russian priorities” and showed a sharp tilt towards Russian nationalism
- Russia itself proposed to Germany the Secret Protocol - that is, the project of cooperation between Germany and Russia in the capture of the territory of foreign countries
- Russia replaced the Jew Litvinov with Russian Molotov as head of the foreign affairs agency - People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs
- Russia carried out industrialization in the 1930s and began to produce not only trucks, but also tens of thousands of tanks and combat aircraft
- an alliance with England for Germany became impossible in September 1939 since England itself declared war on Germany and further rejected Berlin's proposals for peace
- Germany and Russia liquidated Poland as a state in September 1939 and divided her among themselves. In fact, the Russians received a common border with Germany and could render it any military assistance in the event of a confrontation between Germany and France, etc.

Thus, at the beginning of the WWII the situation changed dramatically compared to what Hitler described in Mein Kampf in the mid-1920s (!!!). And Russia indicated for Hitler to become a great military ally instead of England with which Germany found herself in a war

That is why until the summer of 1940 Germany had neither real military plans, nor documented strategic plans for the war with Russia. The Germany had no such plans till Russia herself has not violated her own Secret Protocol till that time. And I do not see any current plans of Hitler, the German government and military leadership to fight Russia till Russia violated the Secret Protocol by her own.
The flaw in your argument is that Hitler was an opportunist who said many things, often times contradictory, depending upon what side he had gotten out of his bed on any given day.

While he may have talked of England as a potential ally at certain points in his career, he also talked of England as a curse on European culture at other times.

I think what Hitler said at any given time should be taken with a pinch of salt as largely he made it up as he went along. The one constant with him was his focus on racial doctrine.
 
Oct 2011
417
Croatia
Again, as I have said, inconsequential/circumstantial. You can argue all you want who facilitated Hitler the most, the West or the Soviets, the fact remains that WWII was started by Hitler and Hitler alone. The equation "No pact, no invasion; no invasion, no WW2" is of course false, and you know that (it surprises me that you wrote it). It directly attributes responsibility for WWII to the Soviets, which is an arbitrary interpretation of history to say the least, when you yourself have already accepted that Hitler would invade Poland, no matter what.

The pact did NOT cause the invasion, therefore, it did NOT cause WWII. Unless you can somehow prove that Germany would not invade Poland, or anyone else for that matter, if the non-aggression pact with the Soviets was not signed. Do you actually think so, that had the Soviets not signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, nothing would have happened? No invasion of Poland, and later, no other invasion that would have triggered a world war?


PS: I'm in a hurry lately, so I missed the "created WW2" last part. Neither the western allies nor the Soviets created WWII. The Nazis did. Please, don't do that, lift the responsibility from their shoulders and share it between the Nazis, the West and the Soviets. Passivity or facilitation of aggression cannot be held responsible for the actual act of aggression, for heaven's sake.
Stalin supplied Hitler with a huge amount of raw materials, and there was also significant technological exchange between Germany and USSR. This I believe did help cause World War II, as Germany otherwise would have had neither technology nor raw materials to launch war. So question on whether the pact caused World War II is basically, whether Stalin would have supplied Hitler without pact? If yes, then pact did not cause World War II.

Of course, he was not the only one to do it...

You have a list of sources here, at the end of the page, as I'm in no mood to dig through my own library right now:
Nazi–Soviet economic relations (1934–41) - Wikipedia
 

Baldtastic

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,473
Londinium
Again, as I have said, inconsequential/circumstantial. .
(I can't quote you entirely without exceeding the post limit)

Enabling the aggression isn’t as bad as the aggression itself but must be recognized as a key reason for the invasion taking place – not ignored or glossed over as it appears a few are doing here.

Hitlers actions caused WW2 to begin. Hitlers actions which directly led to WW2 beginning – the spark as such - were enabled by the Soviets; very, very unlikely that Hitler would have invaded Poland without the pre-approval of the Soviets, given the obvious sphere of influence issues this would bring about and the natural unease the Soviets would feel about this unilateral (not diplomatic, as per the Pact) act of aggression. There had been centuries of German-Polish-Russian diplomacy, alliances and all-out warfare. Hitler didn’t want a 2 front war;

*On 25 August, Voroshilov told them "n view of the changed political situation, no useful purpose can be served in continuing the conversation."[122] That day, Hitler told the British ambassador to Berlin that the pact with the Soviets prevented Germany from facing a two front war, changing the strategic situation from that in World War I, and that Britain should accept his demands regarding Poland*
The pact caused the invasion – the western allies attempted to prevent a war breaking out by signing/re affirming a pact with Poland 2 days after the Nazi-Soviet Pact was announced. This didn’t work. Hitler desired Lebensraum and the pact with the Soviets fully enabled this while also ensuring they wouldn’t fight a 2 front war. *A very key lesson learned by the Germans during WW1*

On 25 August, surprising Hitler, Britain entered into a defense pact with Poland.[123] Consequently, Hitler postponed his planned 26 August invasion of Poland to 1 September.[123][124] In accordance with the defence pact, Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3 September
The pact held and the Western Allies were fighting the Nazis as the Communists were still holding true to their agreement – indeed, its clear they were fully comfortable with this agreement as they didn’t break the pact, but rather the Nazis.

You keep repeating this Hitler started WW2 alone line, which is true in the sense that WW2 began when Britain, France et al declared war on Germany, following Hitlers delivering on his desire to invade Poland. I’m saying he used diplomacy as much as military force in his invasion of Poland. Without both of these factors no invasion would have taken place. No invasion, no war declared by the western allies.

I think you’ve cut-short the chronology, edited out the parts of history that you don’t agree with to fit some form of desire to see the Soviets as the “good guys” from start to finish; with that bad man Hitler acting in a sterile environment with no outside influences; you ignore the actual treaties and actions of the Soviets and Nazis in the build-up to WW2.

The western allies did so much more to prevent WW2 that the Soviets, who enabled if not outright guaranteed it.

The pact DID cause the invasion, as stated above it gave the exact assurances the Germans needed; no war with the Soviets and the Soviets wouldn’t help the western allies when/if they went to war with the Nazis:

The clauses of the Nazi–Soviet Pact provided a written guarantee of peace by each party towards the other, and a declared commitment that neither government would ally itself to, or aid an enemy of the other party. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that defined the borders of Soviet and German "spheres of influence" in the event of possible rearrangement of the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.

After the invasion, the new border between the two powers was confirmed by the supplementary protocol of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty

On 23 August, a 10-year non-aggression pact was signed with provisions that included: consultation, arbitration if either party disagreed, neutrality if either went to war against a third power, no membership of a group "which is directly or indirectly aimed at the other". The article "On Soviet–German Relations" in the Soviet newspaper Izvestia of 21 August 1939, stated:

Following completion of the Soviet–German trade and credit agreement, there has arisen the question of improving political links between Germany and the USSR

There was also a secret protocol to the pact, revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945,[106] although hints about its provisions were leaked much earlier, e.g., to influence Lithuania.[107] According to the protocol, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence".[106]
So yes, without the pact, no invasion of Poland; no invasion, no WW2.

I’m not going to speculate on what might or might not have happened; this isn’t in the speculative history forum so suggest you don’t either.

All quotes from here; Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact - Wikipedia

Some further information regarding the build-up to WW2 and the Soviet/Nazi relationship;

Like Germany, Russia hoped to make territorial gains at Poland's expense, but it was left without an effective means of doing so. Early in 1919, the Polish-Soviet War had broken out over border disputes between the two countries. After initial Soviet victories, the Poles counterattacked successfully, and a compromise peace was reached in March 1921, leaving Soviet desires for border revision largely unfulfilled. The war also left the Soviets even further isolated from Britain and France.[9] This common isolation and interest in revision in Poland led to a natural sympathy between Russia and Germany. At the Tenth Party Conference in 1921, the Soviets settled on a policy of pursuing opportunities for trade with the Western powers, which could supply badly needed industrial materials
Treaty of Rapallo (1922) - Wikipedia

^This is another key treaty/diplomatic agreement between the Soviets and Nazis

On September 23, 1938, the Soviet Union sent a note to the Polish government informing it that the pact would be considered null and void in the case of Poland's participation in the occupation of Czechoslovakia [1]. However, that threat was not carried out, as the Soviet government stated on October 31, after Poland occupied Zaolzie area, that the remained in force [2], and it was reaffirmed by the two powers on November 26, 1938 (see [3]). The pact was finally broken by the Soviets on September 17, 1939, when the Soviet and German jointly invaded Poland, in accordance with the secret protocols of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
Soviet–Polish Non-Aggression Pact - Wikipedia
 
Sep 2019
173
Slovenia
Well i see both totalitarian regimes as the same. Massacres and big scale purges in Soviet union or China state made famines, gulags, communist imperialism which was going for global domination and so on were so large that this can not be better as what Hitler did. But also both regimes had let us say 'softer forms' fascism and socialism.
 
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Dir

Nov 2015
1,955
Kyiv
Some remarkable documents shedding light on the role of Russia in the outbreak of war. Before that, the Secret Protocol, proposed by Russia to the Germans, dispelled their last fears about the role that this country is ready to play in the upcoming war.

She herself proposed her role as an aggressor, an invader of foreign countries and a colleague of the Third Reich in the upcoming aggressive war.

Letter from Hitler to Mussolini, August 25, 1939

DUCE: For some time Germany and Russia have been engaged in an exchange of views about a new attitude on both sides in regard to their political relations.

...The readiness on the part of the Kremlin to arrive at a reorientation of its relations with Germany, which became apparent after the departure of Litvinov, has become ever stronger in the last few weeks and has made it possible for me, after successful preparation, to send my Foreign Minister to Moscow for the conclusion of a treaty which is the most extensive non-aggression pact in existence and whose text will be made public. ... I may tell you, Duce, that through these arrangements the favorable attitude of Russia in case of any conflict is assured...


The Avalon Project : Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941

Telegram

No. 253 of September 3
BERLIN, September 3, 1939-6:50 p. m.
Received MOSCOW September 4, 1939-12:30 a. m.


Very Urgent! Exclusively for Ambassador. Strictly secret! For Chief of Mission or his representative personally. Top secret. To be decoded by himself. Strictest secrecy!

We definitely expect to have beaten the Polish Army decisively in a few weeks. We would then keep the area that was established as German sphere of interest at Moscow under military occupation. We would naturally, however, for military reasons, also have to proceed further against such Polish military forces as are at that time located in the Polish area belonging to the Russian sphere of interest.

Please discuss this at once with Molotov and see if the Soviet Union does not consider it desirable for Russian forces to move at the proper time against Polish forces in the Russian sphere of interest and, for their part, to occupy this territory. In our estimation this would be not only a relief for us, but also, in the sense of the Moscow agreements, in the Soviet interest as well.

In this connection please determine whether we may discuss this matter with the officers who have just arrived here and what the Soviet Government intends their position to be.

RIBBENTROP

The Avalon Project : Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941

Telegram

VERY URGENT
Moscow, September 5, 1939-2:30 p. m.
STRICTLY SECRET
No. 264 of September 5

Reference my telegram No. 261 of September 4. (1)

Molotov asked me to call on him today at 12:30 and transmitted to me the following reply of the Soviet Government:

"We agree with you that at a suitable time it will be absolutely necessary for us to start concrete action. We are of the view, however, that this time has not yet come. It is possible that we are mistaken, but it seems to us that through excessive haste we might injure our cause and promote unity among our opponents. We understand that as the operations proceed, one of the parties or both parties might be forced temporarily to cross the line of demarcation between the spheres of interest of the two parties; but such cases must not prevent the strict execution of the plan adopted."

SCHULENBURG


The Avalon Project : Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941

Telegram

VERY URGENT
MOSCOW, September 9, 1939-12:56 a. m.
Received September 9, 1939-5 a. m.
No. 300 of September 8

I have just received the following telephone message from Molotov:

"I have received your communication regarding the entry of German troops into Warsaw. Please convey my congratulations and greetings to the German Reich Government. Molotov."


SCHULENBURG

The Avalon Project : Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,236
Caribbean
Stalin supplied Hitler with a huge amount of raw materials, and there was also significant technological exchange between Germany and USSR.
And between the USA and both of them, right to the end of the war.
The flaw in your argument is that Hitler was an opportunist who said many things, often times contradictory, depending upon what side he had gotten out of his bed on any given day.

While he may have talked of England as a potential ally at certain points in his career, he also talked of England as a curse on European culture at other times.
Those statements about England are not necessarily mutually exclusive. However, I do agree that taking politicians at their word is always a risky proposition. Even dogma consistently repeated may be for effect, serving an ulterior motive.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
417
Croatia
And between the USA and both of them, right to the end of the war.
That is why I noted that he was not the only one to do it. But IIRC, Hitlers suppliers from USA were private corporations (Ford etc.), while supplies from USSR came by the order of political class.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,236
Caribbean
That is why I noted that he was not the only one to do it. But IIRC, Hitlers suppliers from USA were private corporations (Ford etc.), while supplies from USSR came by the order of political class.
Superficially, yes. But that is only because USSR doesn't have among its institutions so-called private corporations. The point I tried to illustrate this with some specifics several pages back, is that there is a significant degree of cooperation between parties that are NOMINALLY enemies. This cooperation is at the highest levels of industry, banking and government, though not supplied equally by all parties, as you point out.

The larger point I contested is that trying define dictators by ism is flawed, because
1. the lexicon of isms, fascism, communism etc., is so vague as to be unworkable.
2. dictators operate on the doctrine of necessity, which means they can change isms as fast as they can change their socks

Trying to gauge the isms by who was more atrocious in WW2 isn't going to work, either, With all this cooperation, it surely doesn't look like an ism vs ism death match; though someone and something is surely being killed.

Have you ever heard of a book called? Hitler's Traitor: Martin Borman and the Defeat of the Reich
[It doesn't seem that this author has "been discredited" as they say. Lou Kilzer - Wikipedia ]
In short, he describes a network of agents through which Hitler's orders and plans passed, and after 2 or 3 days, ended up on the desk of Stalin. Do you really think Hitler wouldn't notice?

This is why I posted to the gentleman before that is his opinion, and not a fact, that Hitler started the war. I know it's an opinion, because mine is different. It was not Hitler alone.

All of this, and more, is why I suggested earlier an analysis of ism versus ism probably ought to avoid the context of WW2. It just adds in too many confounding variables.
 
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