Can Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany be Compared?

Both were led by tyrants, both killed a lot of people, both wanted conquest of Europe.

Why is it even controversial to say they are both assholes?

If I were a Finn, I would probably agree with him. I am an American and a Jew and feel that Hitler was worse. Also without the Soviets, would we have even the war?

A Pole once told me the following joke. If Poland were attacked by Russia and Germany, which one would they fight first? Germany, business before pleasure.

The Historikerstreit kicked off by the conservative historian Enrst Nolte in 1987 deals precisely with the subject in the OP. The Wikipedia article seems to me a good account of that dispute. It is still controversial today, and whatever the Mods say, impossible to debate without taking into account Marxism and Fascism and comparing both.
As this is not welcome, I will limit myself to a very simple statement: Stalin’s rule lasted longer than Hitler’s, he also killed more people. But relativizing the Nazi’s atrocities is considered revisionism by progressive historians. Of course trivializing Stalin’s crimes is also absurd.

Horrific as Nazi atrocities and the Holocaust were, that was only what Nazi Germany was able to accomplish while losing the war. Had they won, Generalplan Ost called for the elimination of around 100 million people over the course of 25-30 years.

How many humans did Hitler kill?

How many humans did Stalin kill?

Did Hitler have a better reason for killing people?

Did Stalin have a better reason for killing people?

I laughed harder at that then I should have. I can’t fault the Finns very much for allying themselves with Germany in the face of a Soviet invasion. When you’re hanging off a cliff you find purchase wherever you can. That doesn’t absolve Finland of any any atrocities they might have been involved in during the war.

Hitler absolutely did want to conquer the world.
After Lebensraum was won there would be a final battle against the USA for world supremacy.

He might have wanted to defeat us on the field of battle but he had no plans and no possibility of conquering the USA much less the rest of North and South America, Asia and Africa. National Socialism was specific to the German people. Marxism was internationalist and actually did seek to spread itself around the world.

It wasnt a sporting event. After the first murders the numbers are just statistics. One lesson to be learned from the history of both states is that one party authoritarian governments never lead to good outcomes.

This is the crux of the issue of Finland and the Second World War. Ask a Finn at the time, and they would likely have insisted that they were not Germany’s ally but were rather ‘co-belligerents’ with the Germans in the Continuation War which occurred 15 months after losing the Winter War to the Soviets.

Finland never signed the Tripartite Pact, though they did sign the Anti-Comintern Pact, a less formal alliance which the German leadership saw as a “litmus test of loyalty”.[70] The Finnish leadership stated they would fight against the Soviets only to the extent necessary to redress the balance of the 1940 treaty, though some historians consider that they had wider territorial goals under the slogan “shorter borders, longer peace”. During the war, the Finnish leadership generally referred to the Germans as “brothers-in-arms” whilst also denying that they were allies of Germany - instead claiming to be “co-belligerents”.[71] For Hitler, the distinction was irrelevant, as he saw Finland as an ally.[72] The 1947 Paris Peace Treaty signed by Finland described Finland as having been “an ally of Hitlerite Germany” during the Continuation War.[28][29] In a 2008 poll of 28 Finnish historians carried out by Helsingin Sanomat , 16 said that Finland had been an ally of Nazi Germany, six said it had not been, and six did not take a position.[73]

That war between Finland and the Soviets had been concluded by treaty for over a year before the Finns joined the Nazis in invading the Soviet Union.

You could argue that the Finns were concerned about the possibility of future Soviet encroachment. More likely at that point they wanted to get back what they’d lost, and weren’t too particular about who their ally was.

Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding of the timing of events. I’m sure the background leading to the hostilities between Finland and the Soviet Union is probably complicated and I lack any real knowledge of what led to the war.

There may have been a small number of Finnish volunteers in the SS but the SS took volunteers from a lot of other countries, including Albania, Romania, Belgium, Denmark, and even France and the United Kingdom. From everything I have read, Finland as a whole was NOT interested in the Nazi ideology or in persecuting Jews. Finland was largely sequestered from German culture and politics, and its government operated autonomously during that war.

I think it should never be forgotten that one of the reasons Hitler ran rampant in the early war years was because of Stalin. It is well and good to cheer on the sacrifices of the Russian (well, mostly Russian, because USSR) people/s in defeating The Nazis. But Stalin really, really wanted people to forget the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

It was, of course, precisely the kind of nasty, brutish Imperialism that Communists on paper decried and in practice frequently cheered on. Worse yet, Stalin directly wanted, not to crush Hitler, but to actively join him in global domination via the Axis. Along the way, he allowed Hitler to vastly improve the military position of Germany. It was an absurd and costly miscalculation, but then all bargains between devils are Devil’s Bargains.

I thought the Holodomor was a result of Stalin’s terrible policies which resulted in this happening (akin to the Great Chinese Famine brought about by Mao). Stalin was not explicitly trying to kill these people but it happened as a result of Soviet policy. And Stalin didn’t give a shit when it happened.

Horrible, to be sure, but it is not the same as genocide.

This. And that seems to sum up the policies. More malignant negligence than murderous intent. However, a lot of people died because of this. So I’m not sure. There’s an excellent book about this issue witten by a Romanian intellectual :

https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-sonymobile-rev1&sxsrf=AOaemvLwi5PJpWZ262d14XsHJO8XU0glPA:1633369540251&q=vladimir+tismăneanu+the+devil+in+history:+communism,+fascism,+and+some+lessons+of+the+twentieth+century&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAB3MsQ3CMBCFYSEUBAUNJdWJEiGZ0JFtHMfBVnx3ks8OuGYBZmAKBmAwQrqv-N9bL3cbhercOpHHYatuqq7bgvEaLv1xP5hGtcyD0jk5js3fAkyhvCs3Bt159BGSF_w-yWrKkJyFzo4-gCdwXhLH0oBhxExTdoJei5mhqQNhtBCsCNN028_rdLeUvE0OzIQcy6davFaLH42Fp-WpAAAA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiKwe7Zp7HzAhUSjqQKHSUQCKQQgOQBegQIIhAE

They are both totalitarian dictators, murderous, ruthless,megalomaniac: all-round evil assholes.

But the Nazis built Sobibor and Treblinka, the concept of “Vernichtungslager” was too evil even for Stalin. For me that settles it. This does not imply Stalin is somehow “better”, just slightly less evil.

I don’t think it’s a moral defence to claim that somebody only created the conditions for mass death, and then made sure that no attempt was made to stop it. For one thing, that shades awfully close to some of the absolutely vile smokescreens thrown up by Holocaust Deniers from time to time. For another, it confuses culpability with deniability, or the pretense that as long as one doesn’t “officially” sanction an evil, it can simply be dismissed as some lesser problem.

This is not to accuse you of doing this. I can even understand where you’re coming from. But I can’t agree with it.

Cite that Stalin killed more people; at least based on the numbers I’ve posted even the high end of Stalin’s numbers aren’t higher than Hitler’s. I think a lot of people still ascribe ~20m+ deaths to Stalin which was a common Cold War belief by Western historians, but was not supported by data we gleaned from the USSR when its documents and archives were opened up to the West in the 1990s.