To what length did totalitarianism exist in Nazi Germany and in the Soviet Union under Stalin?       

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas." -Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler ran their regimes in very similar fashions. It is hard to imagine at any point in history that anybody else was as destructive in their practice of total control as these two despots. Both dictators used a secret police to brutally suppress their political opposition or any citizens that they felt were a threat to their regimes. In this way, both dictators were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of their own citizens.
A characteristic of all totalitarian regimes is the control of information. Hitler and Stalin controlled the media agencies and reported to the people exactly what they wanted them to believe. This started at a young age as the dictators sought to indoctrinate children. Both countries had youth programs that looked to glorify the actions of the dictator in the eyes of the children.
The end result of these actions was that the dictators exerted complete control over their citizens. They utilized fear and misinformation to gain complete and total power in their countries.