Putin vs. Hitler: Are they really the same?

Karli Applestein, Opinion Editor

Right now, at this minute, all of our thoughts are going to Ukraine; the citizens, the soldiers, the federal officers, and of course, the president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. One can only imagine the thoughts swirling around in his head. I mean none of us can blame him, given the fact that his armies are fighting against a country under the leadership of none other than Vladimir Putin. 

Questions have been brewing as to whether or not Putin’s tactics and overbearing needs of power are that of Adolf Hitler. Now let me just say this: Hitler is one of a kind. And no, I don’t mean that nicely. He was one of a kind in that he was able to orchestrate a European genocide wiping out close to 11 million people in just 3 years. That’s 5 million more people that we’ve lost to covid, and he only needed an extra year compared to the pandemic. Putin won’t be able to replicate that. No human being can. But, he could certainly try. And many believe that is what he is trying to do.

On voanews.com, it discusses the similarities between Putin and Hitler. The article explains how Putin is managing the war in the same ways Hitler did: starting out in Ukraine and then expanding across Europe and illegally conquering territory using brutality. 

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of a Jewish rights organization; the Simon Wiesenthal Center, stated that, “To be clear, no one is accusing Vladimir Putin of preparing death camps and gas chambers. But the brutality of the Russian military in invading a peaceful neighbor that includes indiscriminate targeting of civilians and decimating cities evokes memories of Nazi armies invading the USSR (Soviet Union) in 1941.” 

The point made by Rabbi Cooper agrees with mine; that no one can duplicate the pain Hitler caused. But it is clear that Putin is trying to get some sort of message across. The true mystery is what. The inferences are terrifying. 

People have predicted that Putin is invading and attacking Ukraine to, “…rid Ukraine of control by neo-Nazis. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish and had family members perish in the Holocaust.” 

Some have said that his motives are not ironic, but strategic. That he purposefully invaded Ukraine not only to keep them from joining NATO, but to eliminate Volodymyr Zelenskyy as well. Putin believes that Ukraine is full of neo-Nazis, which are people participating in a party that mimicks the orginial Nazi Party. The only problem with this is he has no proof. He also is accusing a country ran by a Jewish man to being apart of a Nazi party or something like it. 

Hearing this makes me motionless. The last thing I want for this world is a Holocaust 2.0. Putin may not be doing the exact same things as Hitler, but one thing about them aligns: their minds are evil. When I hear the word evil, I think of a mythical creature with horns, a long robe, and some sort of staff. But this is real life, and the men who are evil are these men: forming unions armed with weapons possessing the capabilities of mass death.