Quora User, Interested in People and Places
Answered Apr 15, 2017

TLDR- Hitler and Stalin were the epoch defining figures of the 20th century and had more in common with each other than many people realise. If Hitler was the irresistible force, then Stalin was the immovable object.

(Mustache like that wards off enemies and keeps allies in check, it will ensure the future is mine.)

(Mustache like that makes assassins lose every time but increases depression and suicide chances, i will ensure that this syle gets banned)

Similarities: Hitler and Stalin are both foreigners, Hitler being an Austrian Empire (Austro-Hungarian) by birth and Stalin being a Georgian though from Russian Empire. Both had alcoholic strict fathers who beat their sons badly and mothers who loved them dearly. Both faced physical deformities, Hitler having just 1 Testicle and Stalin having a withered left arm and over-compensated in other ways. Both mass murdered their way to the top and remained in power keeping the river of blood flowing. Hitler killed about 11 million, Stalin about 10 million via various means.

See the political circle, the Soviet Union under Stalin was the Lunatic Fringe of the Left, Nazi Germany under Hitler was the Lunatic Fringe of the Right, they nearly met each other. Infact, after the war, many former Gestapo and SS police became STASI police in Eastern Germany, it was just a minor shift in ideology.

with a key difference- Stalin won and lived to tell his tales of greatness.

First, Stalin on Hitler:

As per Walter Schellenberg (not always the most truthful source) and as per a few other authors, when Stalin heard about the “Night of the Long Knives”, Night of the Long Knives – Wikipedia, Stalin for maybe once in his life became excited and proclaimed-

See, that’s how it is done.

Stalin was extremely fascinated by Hitler’s private life and inquired deeply about his life at the Berghof and other places after the war- Stalin’s secret files on Hitler

He also remarked this to Zhukov –

So the bastard’s dead? Too bad we didn’t capture him alive!

If we look at the 2 quotes on Hitler by Stalin, spaced over by more than a decade, we find admiration for a fellow dictator, perhaps even inspiration (as Stalin was a poor orator and had a bad Russian accent) and moreover envy in the one-stroke seizure of power by Hitler. In 1945, it was perhaps relief for Stalin more than anything else.

Second, Hitler on Stalin:

Hitler preceded Stalin to the grave by nearly a decade, but he said this during one of his many “Table-Talks” with his Generals-

“Stalin is one of the most extraordinary figures in world history. He began as a small clerk, and he has never stopped being a clerk. Stalin owes nothing to rhetoric. He governs from his office, thanks to a bureaucracy that obeys his every nod and gesture. It’s striking that Russian propaganda, in the criticisms it makes of us, always holds itself within certain limits. Stalin, that cunning Caucasian, is apparently quite ready to abandon European Russia, if he thinks that a failure to solve her problems would cause him to lose everything. Let nobody think Stalin might reconquer Europe from the Urals! It is as if I were installed in Slovakia, and could set out from there to reconquer the Reich. This is the catastrophe that will cause the loss of the Soviet Empire.”

If we look deeply into Hitler’s quote on Stalin, we understand that Hitler was a lazy dictator who left the “Day-to-Day” work to his henchmen and did not understand bureaucracy and perhaps was even intimidated by it. Though on the surface the quote sounds like a total slander on Stalin’s persona and Intellect (remember, Trotsky also gave a similar quote on Stalin); it is in fact high praise- People grudgingly praise qualities which they themselves do not possess.

Summary- The 2 probably never met despite having lived in Vienna pre WW1 in near vicinity to one other (though they may never have heard each other’s names). But they certainly had a grudging respect and a canny look into each other. Ultimately, Hitler massively underrated Stalin and this led to his defeat and downfall, Stalin also made a similar mistake early on but recovered.


Smit Vora, An amateur student of Human History
Answered May 9, 2013

In one sentence, Hitler grossly underestimated Stalin.

Now for the long answer, with some additional necessary background info.

For Hitler, The main goal of starting World War 2 was to secure additional free living space for the German people ‘Lebensraum’. His strong perceptions of various races had convinced him to turn east for this purpose. Hitler had a strong belief that the people of western Europe, were racially superior, whereas the most racially inferior people were the Slavic people and Jews of Eastern Europe. He had a strong prejudice against Jews, which partly stemmed from his personal experiences and partly from the ‘betrayal of Jews’ as he perceived it during the period of World War 1. Now Eastern Europe, Russia included, had the highest population of Jews. Hence, to the mind of Hitler, Eastern Europe and Russia was the ultimately a means for Lebensraum.

Now Invading any part of Eastern Europe, necessarily implied a clash with Russia, due to the strong domination of Russia in the region. This would also result in political pressure from the west. So Hitler reasoned that before launching an offensive on eastern Europe, he should launch an aggressive attack on the western front and subjugate possible opposition in that front and secure breathing space for his ambitious plan of securing Lebensraum. Hence the attack of France and England in the initial years of World War 2. While this was going on, Hitler used diplomatic treaties to placate Russia and keep it from interfering.

Once capturing most of mainland western Europe, Hitler was further resolved in his ultimate goal, Finally, when he did launch an attack on Eastern Europe, Russia was taken fully by surprise. Stalin pacified by Hitler’s earlier assurance had not taken enough steps to strengthen its western frontier ignoring many warnings from people around him. So within a period of few months, towards the end of summer, 1941, Germans were knocking on the doors of 3 major Russian cities in the heart of Russia with the help of the famed Blitz Krieg techniques.

Hitler seeing the initial success was further convinced in the racial superiority argument.His conviction in the ineptness of Russians due to their racial inferiority was further solidified. He was convinced that soon Stalin would surrender. It indeed was going that way so far, with most of the red arm either retreating or surrendering, being overwhelmed by this attack, called Operation Barbarossa by Hitler.

However, Stalin, instead of giving-in, undertook drastic measures. While the Nazis were on the long march inside Russia, He inspired the Russian towards a patriotic war against the invaders. He rallied his army around cities like Stalingrad, He executed generals of the red army who were proponents of retreat or surrender. He issued orders to kill any fleeing soldiers of the Russian army. The Russian soldiers were left with only 2 alternatives, Fight and hope for survival or die.

Hitler had underestimated the size of the Red army by about half and tenaciousness of Stalin. Seeing the decreasing momentum, increasing difficulties in securing supplies, Nazi commanders advised Hitler to abandon Barbarossa. However, emboldened by the magnitude of initial success coupled with his belief in the ability of the Nazi Army due to its racial superiority, Hitler sacked them and assumed full control of the army in the east. Once the Winter of 1941 kicked-in, it was all downhill for the Nazi Army. The Russian winter, justly feared by everyone, made things much more difficult for the Nazi Army. Again Hitler ignored advice of his Army commanders to abort the attack. More and more divisions of the Red army joined the war as the entire Eastern Russia was almost emptied to confront the Nazi Army.

Hitler led his already battered army from one offensive to another. But again underestimating Stalin’s army, He faced debacle after debacle. Being now fully in-charge of the operation in the east, he made many tactical mistakes stemming from indecision and his belief in better ability of Nazis. In 1942 he marched some of his best troops to Stalingrad. Stalin also poured in large number of troops in to this city. Winter 1942, witnessed one of the bloodiest battle at Stalingrad ever seen. Both sides had staggering losses. However, Stalin’s Army did not give-in. The Battle of Stalingrad was lost in early 1943 when the Nazi army commander there finally surrendered disregarding Hitler’s orders for the sake of his men.

Despite this major loss, Hitler launched another attack at the city of Kursk, which also resulted in another bloody battle in 1943. The Red Army, growing every minute from their eastern divisions and helped with the intelligence of the allies, thwarted this Nazi attempt.

After this loss, Hitler could never check the Red Army, till it finally came knocking at his door in Berlin in 1945.
Hitler had greatly underestimated the tenaciousness of Stalin.


Andy De Campos, Editor at God’s War Plan
Updated Feb 10, 2018

After the invasion of the Soviet Union, Hitler privately said to his generals, at one point, that Stalin was the greatest living statesman. He admired his enemy mainly because of Stalin having industrialized Russia at breakneck speed and being very ruthless with his opponents. Indeed, Stalin was much more depraved than the German dictator.

Stalin thought Hitler to be someone he could work with. He secretly admired his rise in Germany and didn’t really let the fascist ideologies stop him from liking him. Stalin always knew that the fact that he had risen through the Bolshevik ranks was just a matter of timing. He could have just as easily been a fascist.

Stalin and Hitler were kindred spirits in the sense that they had a lot of similarities in their upbringing:

They were both from different countries than the ones that they ruled over. Hitler was from Austria, not Germany. Stalin was from Georgia not Russia.

They both had Abusive fathers.
They were both anti-Semitic.
They both had mothers that spoiled them.
They were disillusioned, early on, with what society did not offer them.

They were not officers but placed themselves as supreme commanders while disregarding basic war principles.

They created false flag incidents as an excuse to eliminate their opponents in mock trials or summary executions. Stalin with the murder of Kirov, Hitler with the burning of the Reichtag.

They both eliminated their initial helpers once these outlived their purpose. Hitler the SA leadership; Stalin the real revolutionaries from the Party.


They were champions of the concentration camps.
They were not well travelled and saw the world from a small bubble.
They had physical deformities: Hitler had one testicle; Stalin had a shrivelled arm and webbed feet.

They had marking heartbreaks: Stalin, his second wife; Hitler his niece Geli.
They were both somewhat mystic. Hitler was into German mythology, Stalin into Ivan the Terrible.
[and much more; look up a book called “Hitler and Stalin – parallel lives”]

The fact that Hitler and Stalin admired each other is another great example that the spiritual forces overlap, in the very least, with the other factors.


I can always give answers from the historic perspective, social economic and political views. However, during the last decade, the spiritual scope of things has been inescapable to me. This is why while I maintain (or begin) with the natural explanation of events, I then reinforce what I believe to be the stronger cause: spiritual good vs. evil.


Daniil Ishchenko, Businessman, Russian.
Answered Mar 1, 2015

“Stalin is one of the most extraordinary figures in world history. He began as a small clerk, and he has never stopped being a clerk. Stalin owes nothing to rhetoric. He governs from his office, thanks to a bureaucracy that obeys his every nod and gesture. It’s striking that Russian propaganda, in the criticisms it makes of us, always holds itself within certain limits. Stalin, that cunning Caucasian, is apparently quite ready to abandon European Russia, if he thinks that a failure to solve her problems would cause him to lose everything. Let nobody think Stalin might reconquer Europe from the Urals! It is as if I were installed in Slovakia, and could set out from there to reconquer the Reich. This is the catastrophe that will cause the loss of the Soviet Empire.”
——Adolf Hitler


Julio Cesar Pino, Ph.D from University of California, Los Angeles
Updated Jan 23, 2017

Hitler once summed up Stalin brilliantly: “Stalin started out as a desk clerk and he is still a desk clerk.” What he meant, of course, is that Stalin thought and acted like a mediocre bureaucrat, not a statesman and visionary like himself. Curiously, this opinion was shared by Stalin’s arch enemy, Leon Trotsky, who remarked to his followers, “Stalin is a mediocrity, but he is the best mediocrity in the Communist Party.”

Stalin was startled by Hitler, since the Fuhrer broke the stereotype, popular even today, that all Germans are obedient and law abiding. In conversation with German journalist Emil Ludwig after Hitler came to power, Stalin laughed at how docile his German communist comrades had behaved during his one visit to Germany, before World War I, then added, “But no one would say that of the Germans today”; a back-handed way of admiring Hitler for having radically changed the German national character.


John Dewar Gleissner, Attorney (1977-present)
Answered Jan 19, 2018

They never met each other, but had diplomatic and political dealings with each other before Operation Barbarossa. They shared an amazing number of similarities. John Dewar Gleissner’s answer to To what extent were Hitler and Stalin similar dictators?

Stalin respected Hitler, made a Non-Aggression Pact with him hoping Hitler would fight France and Britain for a long time, and trusted that Hitler would not start a two-front war by invading the USSR in 1941. In this Stalin was extremely disappointed and initially depressed. Stalin then hated Hitler with a passion.

Hitler never trusted, respected or liked the USSR, the Bolsheviks or Stalin, thought Slavs were sub-human, and that the Soviet Union was part of a massive Jewish effort to pollute and degrade the Aryan peoples. By 1945, Hitler had not changed his mind, but many Germans thought by that time that the Soviets were super-human rather than sub-human.


Akash R Nair, studied at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Answered May 14, 2013

Joseph Stalin adored Hitler and believed he was a true friend. his actions led some to believe that he trusted Hitler more than the people in his Politburo.

He saw him as his comrade-in-arms. Much of his thoughts about Hitler were however his own creation. He never imagined Hitler would betray his trust and chose to ignore several warnings sent by Russian spies and scouts along the border. he preferred killing those very spies for ‘spreading lies’ than even for one moment considering the fact that Hitler can indeed break the alliance/pact.

He considered Hitler as a friend , but all his thoughts quickly evaporated when Germans came down heavily on Moscow.


Sean Wang
Answered Feb 10, 2017

Hitler hated Stalin and all things communist. The communists were one of the things he really seeked to get rid of, the other being “inferior” people Like Jews and homosexuals. This started from when he was in the German government. The communists were his chief rival. The Reichstag burning was blamed on the communists, which is saying something. In 1939, Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with Stalin. Despite the ten-years-of-nonaggression, he broke it after two years In OPeration Barbarossa, where he sought to eliminate the soviets and Communism in the process. We all know how it ended….


Jack Noel, Retired executive
Answered Feb 10, 2017

You don’t need Quora to find answers for this. Hitler came to hate the Communists in Germany first because the Communist Party there was his chief political rival in the first two elections he ran in. We can see how that would translate to his hatred of Communist Russia and its leader, Joseph Stalin.

Hitler was not a man of half-measures, as we know. When he hated he went (insanely) far with it. So rather than being just “oppositional” Hitler went all-out to conquer Stalin’s Russia. Had Hitler decided to complete his conquest of France and Great Britain and then consolidate all around his expanded borders and give time for further military development: he might well have succeeded in defeating Stalin and Russia. Instead, he went berzerker and launched an invasion his own commanders knew couldn’t be logistically supported for more than a few months.


Lee Thé, works at Retired/working on a Novel
Answered Jul 13, 2014

I suspect that Stalin thought Hitler was mentally unbalanced. Stalin was a brutal tyrant and paranoid to boot but he died of old age–a sign on the face of it that he was more in touch with reality than Hitler was, who died in early middle age after biting off way more than he could chew militarily. Stalin never did that.

Stalin also probably was responsible for more people’s death than Hitler was, so I’m not defending him. I just think he was more a sociopath than a psychopath.


Quora User, works at Philadelphia Insurance Companies
Answered Apr 16, 2016

Stalin admired Hitler’s strength as a leader that was able to stand up to the West and rebuild and transform his military. He admired Hitler’s ruthlessness in eradicating his enemies in such a brutal way-just like he did in the 1930’s against the Kulachs and then the Soviet military. There are interesting similarities between these 2 madmen: both were born in 1889 and had a strong and loving relationship with their Mothers and both were beaten by their fathers multiple times. Neither trusted each other fully up to the beginning of the war. Stalin had been making plans to invade Germany but not until 1942 or 43. Germany needed to strike first before the Russians had sufficient time to maximize their strength in both men and materials. Both countries in the late 1930’s were making huge improvements to their military. Despite that, after the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact in 1939, allowing Hitler to invade Poland, Stalin complied fully to the terms of the agreement until June 22, 1941 when Germany invaded his country. It took 3 weeks before Stalin was able to recover from his unwillingness to accept the German invasion before he started to make decisions. The reason Hitler committed suicide in his bunker in April 1945, was his fear of being captured by the Russians and having Stalin humiliate him in public. Stalin wanted more then anything to capture his fellow dictator alive and put on a show trial in Moscow.


Quora User
Answered Aug 23, 2013

They’ve hated each other. Mind you, fascists and communists hate each other, despite very near-identical leadership styles, and bloodthirsty laws.

Stalin and Hitler had signed a Non-Aggression Pact in 1939, but it was soon to be broken after Germany’s invaded Russia as part of Operation Barbarrossa, in 1941. It was only a matter of time. You can’t expect two killers to like each other, regardless of how equally sociopathic they both are.

The pact was merely to mutually gain parts of Poland and trade oil, which would then be back to being traded for with Scandinavian nations.


Alexey Shestov
Answered Jun 9, 2016

So here are some quotes from real people.

It’s said, that Anthony Eden, post-war British prime-minister, recalled the next conversation with Stalin in 1941:

“- Hitler is a genious but he doesn’t know when to stop.

-Does anyone knows when to stop?

-I do.”

Though the only place in which I found this quote is ba ook History and the Human Condition: A Historian’s Pursuit of Knowledge by John Lukacs. So I have no reliable source for it, maybe you will find it. Or maybe it’s a myth.

Also Molotov, a Foreign Minister of USSR in those times, said the following about Stalin thoughts:

“Stalin saw that Hitler had organized German people by a short period of time.. There had been a big Communist party [in Germany] – and it had disappeared, had been washed! Hitler led his nation, and Germans fought so that it was visible [motivation which they received from Hitler]. Because of that Stalin as a cool-headed man took this issue very seriously during the planning of the big strategy.”

This is a quote from the book “140 бесед с Молотовым”, chapter “Как Сталин относился к Гитлеру”.


John Beatty, MA Military History
Answered Dec 12, 2016

They neither trusted nor liked each other, even though they never met. They never made a promise that they had any intention of keeping in the long term. Each thought that the other could be easily duped.

They were both right, and wrong. Ironically, neither dictator really trusted anyone, both could find enemies everywhere, and regarded any personal failing in anyone but themselves as treasonous.

In sum, they were two sides of the same coin. And they hated each other for what they were: Psychopathic madmen with delusions of grandeur.


Quora User, works at Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
Answered Feb 10, 2017

Yes Hitler hated communists you can exchange Jew for communists in his writing and speeches he thought them one and the same and he wasnt too off base there. But ive seen passages where he admired Stalin himself for being ruthless in purging the Army leadership and wishing he had done the same. He also admired Stalin for his level of control. Its probable that he turned on Stalin since he couldnt trust him at his back and being that Stalin was a mass murderer even worse than himself he was probably right about doing so i think the chances were good Stalin wouldve attacked Germany the next year anyways. The War was won or lost on the Eastern Front and people dont recognize the main part played by the Russian army and people for their part in bringing down Germany. Both tyrants were financially supported by the central bankers of the West funny how you keep finding evidence of them being on both sides of these conflicts leading to the saying all wars are banker wars.


Quora User, I’m a university-trained historian who studied this period of European history
Answered Dec 12, 2016

In september 1939. Hitler of Stalin: stupid git thinks he’s my friend. He’ll learn the truth later when I fry his ass.
Stalin of Hitler: stupid git, thinks he’s my friend. If he betrays me, I’ll fry his ass.
Hitler of Stalin in 1941: good, I’m frying his ass as was always my intention.
Stalin of Hitler in 1945: I’ve fried his ass.