When questions are asked about horrific figures from the past, the names of Hitler and Stalin regularly come out on top. There will be a lot of talk about both in 2023 as well. One, Hitler, tried for the first time 100 years ago what was then called “seizure of power” ten years later. The other, Stalin, died 70 years ago and left behind a Soviet Union that was well armed militarily, but in many respects also a field of rubble.
While Hitler’s reign of terror has meanwhile been dealt with fairly well politically, morally, economically and scientifically, the successor states of the Soviet Union and some of its neighboring countries are still suffering from the after-effects of the Stalin era. Last but not least, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has shown the world the spirit of President Vladimir Putin and his supporters in the Russian political elite.