Commie Nazis
Wait, a monocle? Is that a Commie-Nazi Nobleman?

"He's not just German, he's East German! He's a Commu-Nazi!"

A mix of Communism and Fascism is frequently used as "the government we don't like" in fiction. The trope is in action when the heroes enter a Communist country and find that it's Putting on the Reich - or when soldiers in Fascist army call people Tovarisch.

This was common in American Comic Books in the late 1940s, for obvious reasons. It is not common in any country with any direct experience with Communism, Fascism, or both. Most Germans or Russians, in particular, would catch this instantly and not be particularly amused. Another common variation, especially during Cold War - era Spy Fiction, is the use of East German spies as antagonists, allowing writers to combine the worst aspects of both national (and ideological) stereotypes.

This trope remains popular in the United States due to a collective, deep-seated distrust of "Big Government" and Cold War culture wars. Nazis became Acceptable Targets for western media during and after WWII; and when WWII ended, the Cold War began and Communism became the new acceptable target. To say that a character was Nazi was enough to establish it as evil, same for Communism, so a character that is both Nazi and Communist should be double evil, right? More or less, there's the little detail of that thing called real life: there are Nazis, there are Communists, but there is not normally such a thing as Communist Nazis. Thus, anybody with the most basic political acumen will only use this for humor or for very contrived situations. Serious attempts at playing this trope straight will usually result in massive levels of Narm. Hence, some of the examples on this page focus on characters who worked for both the Nazis and communist regimes, which is historically accurate and is generally a matter of pragmatism rather than trying to believe in two contradictory belief systems. It should be noted that the USSR mounted the largest counter-offensive, fought the majority of the Wehrmacht's forces, suffered the greatest casualties, captured Berlin and liberated the first concentration camps, so pulling this trope to Russians or trying to invoke it will push Berserk Button(s) of people in Russia and Eastern Europe.

See the analysis page for more information, and a discussion of several seemingly close real-life movements. See also Nazi Nobleman for a different conflation of two groups that historically didn't get on.

Any example where East German troops are portrayed wearing recycled Wehrmacht uniforms and equipment are partially justified; the East German internal security forces had almost No Budget in the early days, so they made do with whatever they could lay hold of, including old uniforms left over from the previous administration and largely unmodified save for replacing the insignia.

See also The Horseshoe Effect, which is about the curious resemblance that extremist groups on both the left and the right have with one another, particularly in contrast to their common differences with the moderates in the center.


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     Comic Books 
  • Captain America: The Red Skull started out as a Nazi villain, but in the 1950s suddenly became a communist. This was later retconned so that the "Communist Skull" turned out to be an imposter who wasn't so much a communist as simply being anti-American, with the original Red Skull returning to his fascist roots.
    • Played with again in the Winter Soldier and Death of Captain America story arcs, whose main villains are the Red Skull and the former Soviet general Alexander Lukin. The original Evil Plan is Lukin's, who tries to kill the Skull in order to obtain a supernatural artifact he needs to complete it. However, due to the artifact's Applied Phlebotinum, he ends up with the Skull's consciousness inside his head along with his own. Cue an uneasy collaboration, in which Lukin's original anti-capitalist plot is altered more and more to fit the Skull's homicidal, Take Over the World goals.
  • One Hellboy story has Neo-Nazis involved in a project called "Red November". This is justified, since the Nazis did use the color red in much of their regalia (as they were trying to win over ex-Communists).
  • The Norts in Rogue Trooper appear to be based upon both Nazis and Soviets.
  • The Hammer Empire in Danger Girl spoof this trope, taking the most outrageous aspects of both (although mostly Nazism).
  • The country of Borduria in the Tintin album Tintin The Calculus Affair (1956). Borduria is depicted as a stereotypical half-Eastern Bloc and half-fascist country complete with its own secret police (ZEP) (led by Colonel Sponsz) and a fascist military dictator called Kûrvi-Tasch who promotes a Taschist ideology. A statue of Kûrvi-Tasch appears in front of a government building, in which he wears a moustache similar to Joseph Stalin's and gives a Nazi-like salute.
  • The fifth Lethal Legion, in West Coast Avengers, was made of resurrected historical villains who receive superpowers and appearance of supervillains. The group included Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Stalin. But initially, they did not care a dent about the Avengers: when they recognized each other, both of them tried to kill each other.

  • The East Germans in Top Secret! were all supposed to be communist, but wore Nazi uniforms. Since this is a parody film of Cold War / WW2 spy films this particular caricature was deliberate.
  • The secret police in The Lives of Others are clearly East German communists, but a prologue scene makes it clear that the Stasi uses Gestapo methods and there is a clear continuity from Nazi Germany to the DDR.
  • Not just the Russians, see The Third Man.
  • The Christian dystopia movie If Footmen Tire You What Will Horses Do, predicts the persecution of Christians in an America that has been taken over by Commie Nazis.
  • The B-Movie Laser Mission, starring a pre-Crow Brandon Lee, can be summed up as "Cuban Secret Nazi Communists in Africa plan to start World War III by using a diamond laser to create a nuclear weapon and only Bruce Lee's son can stop them."
  • Taken Up to Eleven in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where HYDRA has not only infiltrated the Soviet and Nazi governments, but the American government and SHIELD as well.
  • Bridge of Spies gives this feel to the East Germans. While obviously Communist, the East German NVA uniforms resemble Wehrmacht ones and The Stasi wouldn't look too out of place as Gestapo agents in the third reichnote . Not to mention the East Germans are fanatical with border control in Berlin. Finally, a gang of trouble making boys Donovan runs into feel eerily similar to modern neo Nazi skinhead groups.

  • The Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four intentionally combined aspects of Communism and fascism, as well as their symbolism. This was because, being a democratic socialist, Orwell thought that Stalinism and Nazism were effectively identical in their effect on the population and true motivation of elite power for its own sake, no matter what the difference in their purported ideology. O'Brien actually mentions in the book that both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union used basically the same tactics as the Party, with the only exception being the Inner Party does not tell itself that its motivations are good.
  • In the Len Deighton novel SS-GB, Nazi Germany conquers England. By November 1941, with England under their thumb, the Nazis are still "good friends" with the USSR (In Real Life, Germany invaded the USSR on June 22, 1941). One character states that, "Nazi bastards and Communist bastards are all alike".
  • Moonraker by Ian Fleming has the Soviet Union lending a nuclear warhead to a group of Nazi rocket scientists planning to blow up London, which is unlikely, to say the least. What's to stop them firing it eastward instead?
  • In Christopher Anvil's Pandoras Planet, the plot thickens when Communist-settled planets and Fascist-settled planets resort to an alliance to dispose of the Classic American-settled planet. However, they don't REALLY trust each other, and are prepared to stab each other in the back as soon as those pesky Columbians are eliminated — a fact the Centran supreme commander is gleefully ready to take advantage of.
  • In the Sword of Honour trilogy by Evelyn Waugh, protagonist Guy Crouchback is eager to enlist for service in WWII when Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invade Poland and divide it between them, hoping he'll get a chance to fight against both of the world's worst ideologies- "The enemy at last was plain in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off. It was the Modern Age in arms". Instead, Britain allies itself with Stalin's USSR, and most of the novel is about Guy's growing disillusionment with an increasingly ignoble cause.
  • in Gary Paulsen's Harris and Me, mention is made of the 'Commie Japs', presumably North Koreans, by a veteran of the Korean War.
  • East German agent Mundt in The Spy Who Came In from the Cold was a former Nazi who joined the Communists out of expediency. The character is amoral, rather than ideologically Nazi or Communist, although he is an anti-Semite.
  • According to Word of God, Lord Voldemort of Harry Potter was designed as a mixture of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

     Live-Action Television 
  • Amusingly averted in the M*A*S*H episode, "A Smattering of Intelligence," in which Hawkeye and Trapper fool one secret agent into thinking Burns is a communist and convince the other that he's a fascist. They compare notes and realize that someone must be lying, as it's impossible to be both.
  • Get Smart:
    • The evil organization Kaos, as "generic bad guys" were clearly a mixture both communists and Nazis, with everyone having either a German accent or a Russian accent. This was always done with a wink and a nod, since Get Smart was a parody of spy shows and movies.
    • In The Most Dangerous Game "homage" episode, "Island of the Damned", the villain is alleged to have successively belonged to the Nazis, the Communists, the Mafia, and KAOS, at which Smart exclaims, "If there's anything I hate, it's a joiner!"
  • The Peacekeepers in Farscape: they're totalitarian, but their official ideology is rarely discussed (they're officially anti-species-mixing, but at least one and quite possibly two HalfHuman Hybrids have reached high positions), and their design aesthetic is an equal mix of Nazism and the Soviet Union in its short-lived early Modernist phase
  • The Cardassians in Star Trek, their internal policies are definitely Communist, complete with Kangaroo Courts, Nineteen Eighty-Four-style government surveillance and a rogue KGB-esque intelligence service, but their foreign policy is disturbingly Nazi, right down to the concentration camps and rampant Cultural Posturing. Although the Nazis also had Kangaroo Courts and secret police.
  • Although the Daleks of Doctor Who are blatant Nazis by another name, their first story uses them to reflect Cold War fears of nuclear warfare. "Power of the Daleks" shows them posing as workers (specifically, miners, whose left-wing union activities were hugely significant in 1960s-70s Britain) and "Day of the Daleks" shows them running Stalinist gulags and state factories.
  • Played straight in MacGyver; the episode "The Enemy Within" began with Mac on a mission behind the Iron Curtain narrowly escaping from East German troops dressed in World War Two era Wehrmacht uniforms.
  • Played straight in Airwolf episode "Fallen Angel," in which Archangel is captured by Karl Kruger, an ex-Nazi war criminal now working for the East Germans. Previously averted in "Fight Like A Dove," which also featured an ex-Nazi named Kruger, but this one working for Archangel.

     Stand-Up Comedy 
  • In George Carlin's routine "Beard", he discusses how, at the time, people with thick, bushy beards were sometimes considered "Commie Nazi Fag Junkies". He then goes on to note on how many levels that doesn't work.
  • Joked with in a David Cross routine mocking Tea Party hatred for then-president Barack Obama.
    "He's a Nazi! He's a Muslim! He's a Communist, Socialist, Black, Muslim Nazi! That's the worst kind of Nazi there is! He's a zombie too, I think!"

     Tabletop Games 
  • The Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40,000 is neither Fascist nor Communist, but has distinct elements of both — including "Commissars" named for the Soviet ideological officers and dressed like Nazi agents. This is probably a case of Future Imperfect.
    • The entire setting is something of a melting pot of historical influences, spiked with generous helpings of grim dark. The Death Corps of Krieg in particular are the most straight examples, being patterned after WWI-era German trench infantry while being lead by Commissars patterned after WWII-era Soviet political officers.
      • The Kriegs are actually an amalgam of WWI references: the colour scheme and helmets are unmistakably German, but the coats are French and the gas masks are Russian.
    • Catholic Commie Nazis
  • Except that it is not. The Imperium of Man, despite all references quoted above (and mainly aesthetic) is fundamentally feudal. And if there was anything fascism, nazism and communism were agreeing on, it was the fact that aristocracy and feudalism are bad.
  • In Paranoia, Alpha Complex is at war with the Commies (among many others); one module portrays the Commie-run Alpha State, who's at war with the NazCIA.
  • Subverted in the Freedom City setting for Mutants & Masterminds. Communist terrorist group Overthrow is an apparent subsidiary of SHADOW, the huge Nazi terror group and HYDRA knockoff that is responsible for most terrorism in the setting. Overthrow's leader, Dominic Ashe, is, however, fully aware that his goals and those of the SHADOW leadership are incompatible, and is planning to depose them one day, while SHADOW's leaders in turn see Overthrow as little more than pawns.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting of Ravenloft, the domain of Falkovnia is often summed up, somewhat derisively, as "a Medieval-flavored combination of Nazi Germany and the USSR being run by Vlad the Impaler". The domain features a combination of Fascist-like military dictatorship, crushing oppression for the vast population of serf-like non-soldiers, and a paranoid, ever-watching government that treats its populace like cattle — to the point where children who survive birth are branded on the forehead. Its Darklord and military despot, Vlad Drakov, essentially combines Hitler's manic charisma & rages with Stalin's brutal paranoia and coats it all with Vlad the Impaler's sadism, complete with demanding nightly impalements as "dinner theater".

     Video Games 
  • The Helghast of the Killzone series are mostly your typical Nazis By Any Other Name, but some of their iconography and ideals show a lot of Stalinist influence. Heck, even one of their commanders physically looks like Stalin.
    • The Helghast leader, Scolar Visari, is pretty much Space Hitler. "Visari" also sounds like part of "Vissarionovich", part of Stalin's given name.
    • One of the main Helghast antagonists of the series, Jorhan Stahl, has a name in which the first two letters of his first and last name are the same as Stalin's. Stahl, like Stalin, also means steel.
    • By the time Shadowfall kicks in, the Helghast are stand ins for Communist East Germany, but still retain their third reich belief in racial purity.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops features the Ascension group, Nazi scientists working on the Soviet space program in an early level, and later we're introduced to Dr. Friedrich Steiner, a scientist employed by the Waffen-SS during the war to produce the 'Nova 6' toxin gas who later defects to join the USSR. This is Truth in Television insofar as many Nazi scientists did end up defecting to one of the victorious sides after World War II in order to avoid prosecution.
  • The East Europan Empire Alliance of Valkyria Chronicles play with this trope in spite of being an autocratic absolute monarchy, effectively making them Commie Nazi Bismarckean Habsburg Tsarists.
  • In Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri, the Human Hive faction headed by Chairman Yang is built on a devilish blend of Western authoritarianism and Communism, with contributing ideas from Nietzsche, Chairman Mao and the Chinese classical philosophies, all taken to it's most brutal. Unsurprisingly, Yang's Human Hive is a very, very dark shade of grey, in fact it would be outright black if not for some Villain Has a Point moments. The Usurpers are still pretty inarguably the most evil faction, though.
  • In one ending of Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, Communists manage to take over Germany instead of the Nazis, and the protagonist is killed by them immediately following their takeover of Britain.

     Web Originals 
  • This image originated from Something Awful. Once there was a "make German translations of image macros" thread and the second picture in the thread was a translation of that picture.
    • This is also a wonderful example of the generalized form of Poe's Law.
  • The Rather Good Flash video Fear the Kitties could be considered an example of this. The song is in German, and mocks Germany's fascist tendencies. The kitties, however, are wearing Russian uniforms.
  • An alliance between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia was narrowly averted according to Cracked's "5 Insane 'What If' Scenarios That Almost Changed Everything".

     Western Animation 
  • From The Simpsons, the Trope Namer:
    "McBain to base! Under attack by Commie-Nazis!"
    "They won't stop me from delivering these UNICEF pennies!"
    "Go pennies! Help the puny children who need you!"
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: In the evil country of Potsylvania everyone is either a communist or a Nazi or both. However, since it's primarily a kids' show, this is mostly played for laughs.
    • Rocky and Rullwinkle's main enemy, Boris Badenov, had a name that was clearly supposed to sound Russiannote , and Natasha Fatale had the type of accent that's often used to sound Russian. (However, June Foray reported that they were only supposed to be from an unspecified Balkan area.) And their boss is a Nazi known only as Fearless Leader, who closely resembles Otto Skorzeny.

     Real-life unconventional 
  • Russian Islamist Nazis. Yes, not only do several groups have formed up, but they have both conducted a terrorist attack and contributed fighters to the IS. Apparently, a group of regular "purge all non-Russians" Nazis began to gain respect for the "religion of strength" propagated by said non-Russians, while the Chechen Wahhabi rebels (many of them actually Saudi) began to espouse racist ideology that reserved Godly creation only to Muslims, and relegated the rest to the status of disguised monkeys in need of purging. Hence the far right fell in love with the other far right. Seriously, where are all the Hollywood producers at?
  • In Germany, there are a few far right groups that try to escape being associated with Those Wacky Nazis by noting that Adolf Hitler actually led the national-socialist workers' party, which totally makes him a filthy commie and thus a part of the far left. Much head-desking usually ensues from everyone around them. This is a point of view shared by extremely conservative commentators in the USA who are trying to dissociate themselves from accusations of having authoritarian right-wing leanings.

Alternative Title(s): Nazi Commies, Communazi, Red Fascism