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This essay sets out to assess the relative achievements of the totalitarian regimes of Hitler's Nazi Germany and Stalin's Russia. In assessing the achievements of the regimes we must be careful not to judge them with the values of a western democracy at the end of the twentieth century. How they achieved power, consolidated that power, what changes they brought to their nations and what they in their time achieved for their nation, whether or not it was a lasting benefit, were achievements for the regimes even if we find them contrary to what we believe to be right and just by today's standards. Also in making an assessment of the achievements it would be wrong not to recognise the suffering that the people in each country had to endure for them to be achieved.
Both regimes owe their rise to power in part to the outcomes of WW 1 which led to the revolution in each country.. The Bolsheviks came to power because of the discontent with the Tsars and the losses in the war against Germany. The Nazis because of the dissatisfaction in Germany with blame and the cost of reparations imposed upon it for the war. There were major differences between what the two regimes wanted to achieve. Russia in 1917 was basically an agrarian economy and the regime aimed not only to change the political system but all the social structure and institutions and rebuild into a Communist State. It also wanted to develop into an industrial power. However, in Germany the revolution that took place in 1918 changed Germany's political system but the social structure stayed the same. Even though the monarchy no longer existed the old institutions altered very little, and there were no basic changes within the teaching profession or the judiciary, mainly because the professions had little sympathy with the struggling republic. This was true also of most of the officer corps of the Reichwehr. The Treaty of Versailles basically left the German Empi…