Nazism and Stalinism

Vincent Barnett argues that surface differences should not cover up deep-seated similarities.

Ian Thatcher's claim that Fascism and Stalinism were opposite extremes, and not the joint offspring of a single totalitarian family, might appear at first glance to be convincing to some readers. In his article on 'Nazism and Stalinism' (History Review, March 2003), Thatcher argued that key differences existed between Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia in areas such as politics, the economy, popular opinion and the arts, and that such differences meant that Stalin's Russia was not only very dissimilar, but also preferable, to Hitler's Germany. I will argue, on the contrary, that Thatcher's alleged 'differences' actually melt away when a different approach to the topic is taken.

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