Posted by: chreynolds | May 7, 2009

Dictators of the 1900’s

Josef Stalin was born on December 18, 1878 and died March 5, 1953. During his lifetime, he became one of the most powerful men in the Soviet Union. Stalin became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee in 1922, then rose to become the leader of the Soviet Union.  Josef created a ‘command economy’, replacing the economic policies of the 1920’s with Five-Year Plans and also launched an industrial revolution.  In the 1930’s, Stalin began The Great Purge. Meant to purge the Communist Party of people accused of corruption or treachery. In 1939, the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi’s Germany, followed by a Soviet invasion of Poland, Finland, the Baltics, Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. Germany violated the pact in 1941, so Stalin took action, and installed soviet communist governments in Eastern Europe, known as the “Iron Curtain”, and launching the Cold War. On March 1, 1953; Josef Stalin suffered a stroke, paralyzing the right side of his body.  He died at the age of 74, four days later. Pronounced dead by cerebral hemorrhage.

Born on the 20th of April in 1889, was the ruler of Germany from 1933 to 1945, Adolf Hitler.  Adolf was a decorated war veteran of WWI, joined the Nazi party in 1920, and became it’s leader in 1921. He was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933, and quickly moved Germany over to a totalitarian and fascist dictatorship. One of his goals was to create “living space” for Germany, and began to invade other countries, spawning WW2. He also wished for a ‘pure Aryan race’. Therefore, he began The Holocaust. The Axis powers controlled Europe, Africa, most of Asia, and the Pacific within three years. However, the Allies moved in, and took control from 1942 onward. In 1945 Ally armies invaded Germany from all sides, and began to end the war. During the final days of war, Hitler married his mistress Eva Braun. The marriage didn’t last long, because two days later on April 30, Adolf shot himself in his mouth, while biting into a cyanide capsule.

Benito Mussolini was born on July 29, 1883 and lived until April 28, 1945.  Mussolini is credited with the beginnings of Fascism. He became the Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and began using the title Il Duce, but after 1936, his official title was “His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism, and Founder of the Empire“.  Mussolini remained in power until he was replaced in 1943.  Among the domestic achievements of Mussolini were his public works programmes, solving the Roman Question by concluding the Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See. He is also credited with securing economic success in Italy’s colonies and commercial dependencies. Benito was originally in favor of joining France, instead of Germany for WW2, but soon became one of the prominant Axis members.  After the war took an ugly turn, he was put in prison. After his escape, they went into hiding. On April 28, 1945 Mussolini was killed by Walter Audisio, by two shots in the chest.

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