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From the Vaults: The Times, August 31, 1939

Shortly after the Molotov-Ribbetrop Pact (Nazi-Soviet Pact) was signed, The Times published a letter from Sir Frank Newnes. I enclose a key extract below:

TWO IDEOLOGIES

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THEM

COMMUNISM AND NAZISM IN SYMPATHY

The Times, August 31, 1939

…. In spite of what left wing and others say, is there not more ideological sympathy between Communism and Nazism than between Communism and the democratic outlook of the British Empire, France and the United States? The similarities between Communism and Nazism are many and important. Here is a list of some:-

(1)    Both have a dictator, neither of them freely elected by plebiscite of the people, or by any elected assembly.

(2)    Both have a controlled as against a free press.

(3)    Both have a highly developed secret police which terrorizes the country and deliberately prevents people expressing their real views.

(4)    Both have concentration camps to which anyone can be sent without trial and kept there indefinitely, and there is no writ of habeas corpus, or other system, to get people out.

(5)    Both believe in the right compulsorily to employ people on public works, if necessary far from the places where they live….

(6)    The German treatment of the Jews and the Russian treatment of the aristocrats and middle classes is similar in principle. I understand that 3,000,000 Russians in the early days of Bolshevism fled from Russia penniless and deprived of their property, and there were no funds raised to help them. Those who could not escape were murdered by the tens of thousands.

(7)    Both of have a system of elections under which there is one candidate approved by the Government who gets 97 per cent. of the votes.

(8)    In either country the Nazi and Communist parties are minorities of 4,000,000 each, and in both countries parties other than these are held to be illegal.

(9)    With regard to trade unions – the Nazis have abolished them, but have organized a system of committees in every factory representing men and employers. The Russians have altered their trade union organization so much that the English trade unions will not admit them to the international trade union congress, and they have a similar system of committees for every factory.

(10)    Communism is anti-Christian and has practically suppressed the Greek Church. The Nazis have not suppressed any form of organized Christianity yet, but their attitude in many respects is hostile, as shown by the treatment of Pastor Niemoller and others….

There are of course many other similarities….