Thus we can see that by the end of the 1920s, Stalin had definitely created a totalitarian state, but to what extent? One example of the way in which the USSR under Stalin was a totalitarian state was the great purges. The purges were the process by which Stalin eliminated all the competition that he had in the communist party, including Communist Party members and Government officials who were potential rivals or threats to him, those who criticized his policies and even the innocent few. Stalin held show trials for those party members who opposed him – including famously the trial of the sixteen, seventeen and twenty one, which all individually eliminated Kamenev, Zinoviev, Bukharin and Rykov. These trials were meant for the people to see and serve as a warning to any people planning to oppose Stalin.
This violence led many leaders of the SPD to flee abroad and in June its party was officially banned and the 3000 that remained were arrested and a number were killed. This ultimately portrays the brutality of the Nazis, which effectively contributed to their consolidation of power. After the Reichstag fire the police were given the powers to detain suspects indefinitely without reference to the courts. The decree ‘For the protection of the people and the state’ was used to justify the arrest, imprisonment and often torture of thousands of political opponents, and on 23 March 1933 Hitler presented the Enabling Act to an intimidated Reichstag in order to consolidate Nazi power. The Reichstag passed laws which voted itself out of existence; the communists were barred from voting.
A young Dutchman, a communist supporter named Van der Lubbe, was caught at the site with matches and firelighters. Van Der Lubbe was found guilty and executed. Van der Lubbe’s execution was not enough for Hitler; he saw the Reichstag fire as an opportunity to attack communists. Goering and Hitler claimed that the evidence showed that Van der Lubbe was part of a communist conspiracy against the government. Hitler used the Reichstag fire to make President Hindenburg declare a state of emergency.
Stalin's paranoia being one of the considered causes Terror as he feared he would fall from power like other key members of Communist Party like Trotsky and Bukharin. Other considered reasons include Terror Economics, The Congress of Victors of 1934 and Kirov's murder. Although Stalin's paranoia was a factor in the start of The Great Terror, Kirov's murder in 1934 was the main trigger as Stalin used this as evidence of a conspiracy within the Communist Party to get rid of Stalin's government and to restore capitalism in Russia. Stalin was paranoid as he felt he could not trust many within the Communist Party therefore started The Great Terror to remove those he saw as threats. Stalin was an unchallenged ruler but he believed he had many enemies and recent history made Stalin wary.
He also banned the Social Democrat Party in June 1933, and then all other parties soon followed. There were also many other factors that made it so Hitler could establish a dictatorship. The Reichstag Fire gave him an opportunity to pass the Law for ‘The Protection of the People and the State’, which ended all the freedoms that were guaranteed by the Weimar Republic. This law gave the police total control. The police and the SA arrested all the communist leaders, their meetings were broken up and newspapers closed down.
However, evidence suggests that after Lenin’s death he lost his power considerably, eventually being banned from the Communist party. In 1917 Trotsky became a member of the Petrograd Revolutionary Committee, playing an important role in organising the October Revolution. Trotsky urged the overthrow of the Provisional Government and on the 24th October 1917 Lenin agreed. Source A emphasises this; ‘if neither Lenin nor I had been present in Petersburg there would have been no October Revolution’ which suggests that it was their work and significance which encouraged the Bolshevik’s to take advantage and overthrow the provisional government. This shows that Trotsky played a key role in the Bolshevik seizure of power.
Macbeth killed his best friend and numerous other people when offered the prospect of power. Stalin had political opponents assassinated, arrested, and run out in order to ensure that he would rise to power. Macbeth, once he got power, became paranoid and twisted. Stalin had his secret police, who even turned each other in once in a while. They would both send out spies (secret police) to watch over the people they were supposed to be ruling Macbeth cared little about his people and was preoccupied trying to cover his tracks than anything else.
After Tsarism fell, and Lenin took power, he too made a Secret Police, called the Cheka. They were a lot more ruthless than the Secret Police of Tsarist autocracy, and terrorized the public to make sure that Lenin remained in power, well away from his political enemies. However, when Stalin came to power after Lenin’s death in 1924, he was not satisfied with how they were being utilized, and indeed in 1934 he created his own Secret Police, the infamous NKVD. These were of a new ilk and variety. Openly malevolent, they were renowned for the oppressing manner in which they bullied and manipulated Stalin’s people.
Anti-Semitism is the ludicrous discrimination and absolute hatred towards Jewish people. As soon as Hitler had the rights, he used anti-Semitism in full affect. On July 8th, 1933, Hitler declared that his party had become a state, and all former political parties were outlawed. When the first concentration camp had been set up, it was originally for the arrested communist and social democrat officials. The purpose of the camp was to “concentrate” and hold the political officials so that they wouldn’t be a threat to the Nazi party.
Vince Gonzalez History 148 11:30 10/13/12 The Containment Strategy 1. My topic is how America contained the Soviet Union, called for by an author, George F. Keenan, who later became a very influential advisor for Truman. 2. The Soviet Union viewed capitalism as a monster, which would consume the entire world with hedonistic abandon. America viewed Communism as an evil belief to kill the rights and liberties of all mankind.