9th Lit/Comp H
Inglorious Swine: The Similarities Between Adolf Hitler and “Comrade” Napoleon
There is a Chinese proverb that states “Gold cannot be pure and people cannot be perfect.” It is a very true statement. It is also true that the former is infinitely more likely to come close to perfection than the latter. It is almost appropriate that such a proverb is used to highlight the similarities between German dictator Adolf Hitler and the character Napoleon from the 1956 novella Animal Farm, although a little ironic in that a Chinese proverb can so well fit the actions and ideals of an English swine and a German pig.
The first and perhaps the most prominent similarity between Napoleon and Hitler was the lengths they went to for superiority of one group. In Hitler’s case it was the Aryan race; in Napoleon’s case it was the pigs. Both were so cunning and charismatic that they justified their actions in a way that made it seem the sensible course of action at the time. When and if their followers realized that they had been systematically and efficiently manipulated, it was too late. Both dictators had complete control.
That is the next similarity between Napoleon and Hitler. They didn’t take such total control only by manipulation, although having the partial cooperation of their subordinates was a definite benefit. Both Napoleon and Hitler had a secret police service of sorts. For Hitler, it was the Nazis, and for Napoleon it was the dogs. And just as Napoleon raised the dogs from puppies to follow him and enforce his laws without question, Hitler used Jungmädel, a Nazi youth group, to ensnare the younger (non-Jewish) population in his belief system. Members were ‘advised’ (although it was more of an obligation) to spy on their family, friends and neighbors and rewarded for doing so. This put people in fear of being caught doing anything in opposition. One wrong move meant your death, or that of a loved one....
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