They weren’t the only monsters of the 20th century, but Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler were very nearly the worst. Certainly no understanding of the last century is complete without an awareness of the crimes against humanity these two men committed in the name of communism and Nazism respectively. This course attempts to explain how Stalin and Hitler imposed their will on events through a combination of political cunning, ruthless ambition and inhumane cruelty. We follow their careers through the 1920s and 1930s to the Second World War (1939-1945) when, after stunning early successes, Hitler’s grandiose plan to conquer Europe fell apart after he invaded the Soviet Union. The invasion proved to be the turning point of the war. Hitler committed suicide as the Russians entered Berlin in April 1945. Stalin died eight years later. Students who have taken HIST 002 History Now cannot take this course.