A COMPARISON/CONTRAST BETWEEN A COMPARISON/CONTRAST BETWEEN

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At first glance, the similarities between these two men may not be evident, but surely the differences are quite obvious. Professionally, both Mahatma Gandhi and Adolph Hitler were political leaders of high caliber, one being the leader of the Nazi Movement before and during World War II and the other being the political/social leader of the people of India during the time when the country was under the control of the British Empire. And like most leaders, both Gandhi and Hitler were highly admired and often imitated by those who either knew them personally or were part of their environment. Both men also changed forever the very face and character of their individual countries, with Gandhi initiating and leading the movement to force Great Britain from the control and manipulation of India which eventually led to complete independence, and Hitler as the supreme master of the Nazi Movement and instigator of some of the most atrocious crimes against humanity ever recorded in world history. It is also a fact that both men were highly driven by their individual personalities to achieve certain goals that would in effect influence the political and social environments of the entire world. Much like Hitler, Continue...


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Andalso like Hitler, "what was the secret of his spell upon his country andpeople'" (Clement, 78). The character of Gandhi was one of peace, benevolence, love andunderstanding, not to mention a huge ability to withstand constantcriticism and the inner strength to command utter patience with those whomhe despised. In the context of Adolph Hitler, it is difficult to understand howthe people of a highly cultured, economically advanced, modern state couldallow into power and entrust their fate to a political outsider with fewspecial talents beyond the undoubted skills as a demagogue andpropagandist. With Gandhi, descriptions such as "Hindu saint" and"father of his country" are empty and misleading, and if one was to pin alabel upon him, it would surely suggest that he was one of the keypublic figures of the 20th century as a manipulative idealist, or a personwho reshaped 2society for good or ill. Gandhi has "out-soared immortality as no otherhuman being (and) his social impact has been unequaled" (Fischer, 67). In 1936, Adolph Hitler enjoyed the support of theoverwhelming mass of the German people, even those "who had not voted forhim before 3he became Chancellor" (Toland, 195). Through some amazing contradiction,the German people had shaped Hitler's personality and character as aleader. Although the backgrounds ofthese two men do bear some resemblance, it would be better to say that bothof these 4men stand as examples of how things can go perfectly right and how they cango perfectly wrong. Gandhi'sbeliefs were based on religious principles handed down for centuries, whilethose of Hitler were apparently non-existent. But unlike Gandhi, Hitler stands asthe quintessential hate-figure of the 20th century. Hitler's legacy, as well as that of Gandhi, standsas a unique order, with Gandhi's legacy being one of triumph over adversityand Hitler's one of utter destruction. For Gandhi, this passion was directed towards liberatinghis people from the bondage of the British Empire, and for Hitler, the"divine focus" was upon liberating Germany in order to make it one of themost powerful and feared nations on earth, not to mention the annihilationof cultures and ethnic groups. In addition, both Gandhi and Hitler hadspecial meaning for other nations besides their own. Gandhi, as well as Hitler, had them all a sustained energy, deftness andtimely ruthlessness in handing and manipulating people, the capacity tothink to the purpose and somewhat intuitively, a zest and fluency withideas, the ability to bounce back constructively when thwarted orcriticized, a love of running things as they see fit, and a never-despairing passion for a cause which inevitably affects all those in theirorbits.

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