Stalin and Hitler

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Francois De La Rochefoucauld once said, "We always love those who admire us; we do not always love those whom we admire". These words could not be more true of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, who held a great respect and admiration for each other, and also held a great amount of fear and hatred. In the case of the two most dominant leaders of the twentieth century, personality overrules ideology.

Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, although 10 years apart, had very similar lives from birth to the age of 20. Joseph Stalin was born December 21, 1879 as Josif Djugashvili to a cobbler and washer woman. Stalin grew up in a fairly poor environment. His houses usually consisted of only one or two rooms. At the age of five he contracted smallpox, which took the life of two of his siblings before Stalin was born. He also nearly died of the disease, but was left only badly scarred. As the result of an accident in his younger years, Stalin's left arm was left permanently damaged. Stalin's father was an alcoholic who was constantly and severely beating Stalin and his mother. When his father left in 1883, his mother moved them into the house of an Orthodox priest where she took a job as his housekeeper and servant. The priest enrolled Stalin into the Orthodox Church School. While growing up Stalin spoke only the Georgian language, and while at the Orthodox Church School he learned to speak Russian; he was a very gifted student. Stalin's mother wanted her son to grow up and be a priest; little did she know that her son would grow up to be the dictator of "the world's first atheist state".

Adolf Hitler was born April 20, 1889 out of wed-lock. His mother, Klara Hitler, was twenty-two years younger then his father, Alois Hitler; she had been his mistress and was pregnant when Alois' first wife passed away. Hitler was his mother's only child for five years, until she gave birth to his brother. The following year he moved the city of Passau, Germany where he began...
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