What Is the Difference Between Hitler and Stalin?

Adolf Hitler was the Nazi leader of Germany during World War II, and Joseph Stalin was the Communist leader of the Soviet Union during World War II. Though both men were harsh dictators, the ideologies they functioned under were different. Hitler was a Nazi, and Stalin was a Communist.

According to Jennifer Rosenberg of About.com, Hitler's aim with the Nazi party in control was to create pan-Germanism, where he would unite Germans living in different countries and expand Germany. Even though Hitler is also known for his purges, which sometimes included political enemies, he focused primarily on the Jews. The majority of men, women and children killed in his camps were Jews.

Stalin was a leader in the Communist party. After he took over, he went on to create collective farms and to industrialize the Soviet Union. Despite industrializing the nation, Stalin's legacy is most known for his paranoid purges of anti-communists. He imprisoned millions of people in camps and prisons that he believed were trying to undermine him.

Hitler and Stalin were briefly allies when Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with Hitler. However, Hitler betrayed Stalin and began to blitz and invade the Soviet Union. Despite great loss of life, the Soviet Union pushed back the Germans and aided in their defeat.

A final difference between the two men was their deaths. Hitler committed suicide with his wife Eva Braun when it was apparent Germany would be defeated. According to Biography.com, Stalin died of natural causes in 1953, right before beginning another purge.