What if Hitler had died in 1938?

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What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Goody67 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:02 pm

Joachim Fest, the first German historian who wrote a biography of Hitler asked the question in his 1973 biography Hitler:
The course of this life, and the pattern of events themselves, will throw light upon the whole matter. Yet here we may well ask ourselves a few pertinent questions. If Hitler had succumbed to an assassination or an accident at the end of 1938, few would hesistate to call him one of the greatest of German statesmen, the consummator of Germany's history. The aggressive speeches and Mein Kampf, the anti-Semitism and the design for world dominion, would presumably have fallen into oblivion, dismissed as the man's youthful fantasies, and only occasionally would critics remind an irritated nation of them. Six and one-half years separated Hitler from such renown. Granted, only premature death could have given him that, for by nature he was headed toward destruction and did not make an exception of himself. Can we call him great?
Joachim Fest, Hitler, page 5.

What do you think?
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:38 pm

What do you think?
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by scrmbldggs » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:27 am

I think there was a reason a certain subforum was installed. And that sentiment didn't change with the advent of the NSRP (National Socialist Republican Party). :heh:
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Aztexan » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:02 am

Better yet, what if Mary Ann MacLeod hadn't {!#%@} out that awful {!#%@} mess all those years ago? That's what I wanna know.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by OlegTheBatty » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:40 pm

Aztexan wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:02 am
Better yet, what if Mary Ann MacLeod hadn't {!#%@} out that awful {!#%@} mess all those years ago? That's what I wanna know.
Somebody else would have happened. Look at what sTrumpet has surrounded himself with. He is only the tip of a colossal turdberg.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Aztexan » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:19 am

Now, now. Some, I assume, are good scumbag pieces of {!#%@}.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Goody67 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:54 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:38 pm
What do you think?
I think he raised a very good point about Hitler's legacy.

It reminded me of Alfon Heck's comments in the documentary The Fatal Attraction of Adolf Hitler, he said:
If Hitler had died in 1938, let's say, before the war started, before there was any genocide, I am sure he would have gone down in German history as one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest statesmen who ever lived, despite the obvious harassment of the Jews.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8onbm_8bcgQ 40:15

Heck made a similar statement in his book A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days when God Wore a Swastika, he wrote:
And unless one was Jewish, a gypsy, a homosexual or a political opponent of Nazism, the Germany of the '30s had indeed become a land of promise. It's no exaggeration to say that if Hitler had died in 1938, he would have been celebrated as one of the greatest statesmen of German history, despite the persecution of the Jews (violent anti-Semitism had become an ugly feature of public German life by then, but very would have predicted it would end in genocide).
p. 2.
Last edited by Goody67 on Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:25 pm

I think so, yes.

Certainly his gains up to the end of 1938 made him very popular. Doing it without war certainly endeared him to the German public even though Hitler was privately disgusted over how the Munich Agreement turned out.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:33 pm

IMO this is kind of weird speculation, as though the persecution of racial "enemies" and "outsiders" and war were not core elements of National Socialism. The "dynamism" and direction of the system would have led to some kind of crack up. Nazism was an incredibly unstable politics.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:57 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:33 pm
IMO this is kind of weird speculation, as though the persecution of racial "enemies" and "outsiders" and war were not core elements of National Socialism. The "dynamism" and direction of the system would have led to some kind of crack up. Nazism was an incredibly unstable politics.
I don’t think anyone disputes that National Socialism was unstable. I agree that it’s unlikely that National Socialism would’ve survived because it was wrapped up in Hitler’s persona. National Socialism never enjoyed the same type of popularity as Hitler himself.

But if Hitler died prematurely before the war the fact that he gained so much without war would’ve left his personal popularity intact.

But it’s all just speculation and guesswork. He didn’t die, the war came anyway. But sometimes it’s kinda interesting to think about.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:59 pm

No doubt the Führer myth would have continued and there would have been an even easier psychological route to detaching Hitler from his party and “accomplishments.” But ... My post may have been my way of saying that the speculation either way doesn't hold much appeal for me, that's all. :)
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:06 pm

I needed a break from discovering the many hidden meanings of the word “ausrotten.”

:D
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:07 pm

Sorry for editing while you posted!!

Yes that too ;)
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Balsamo » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:00 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:57 pm
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:33 pm
IMO this is kind of weird speculation, as though the persecution of racial "enemies" and "outsiders" and war were not core elements of National Socialism. The "dynamism" and direction of the system would have led to some kind of crack up. Nazism was an incredibly unstable politics.
I don’t think anyone disputes that National Socialism was unstable. I agree that it’s unlikely that National Socialism would’ve survived because it was wrapped up in Hitler’s persona. National Socialism never enjoyed the same type of popularity as Hitler himself.

But if Hitler died prematurely before the war the fact that he gained so much without war would’ve left his personal popularity intact.

But it’s all just speculation and guesswork. He didn’t die, the war came anyway. But sometimes it’s kinda interesting to think about.
The first answer that came to mind regarding the OP question was " Hitler would be dead in 1939".
I agree it is quite a futile exercise.
it can be said that by 1938 the NSDAP had full control of the country's institutions. Any form of political credible opposition no longer existed, so given the lack of alternatives, i don't think that the regime would have fallen apart quickly.
While Hilter was the center of the Party, and while the Party popularity was more limited than usually thought, Herman Goering was also very popular, and he would probably have become the new "Fuhrer". There would have been no war with Poland, and no second world war, forced emigration of Jews would have continued, Germany would ended up in some dramatic economy condition - which Goering given his addiction would not be able to face. Times would pass, Germany as an totalitarian isolated poor country, and then they would have been a war, because Stalin was a revisionist himself and would have tried to get the old Russian empire border back anyway.
And if Stalin had stayed put, there would have been some regional wars in the Balkans, between Hungary and Romania, between Bulgaria and Greece, and maybe Turkey would have gotten involved too...Yougoslavia would still have been a very fragile kindgom, Italy would still have some neo imperial dreams in Africa.
Well the big games of international affairs would have continued anyway.

Would have Great Britain issue a guarantee on the Baltic State and Poland if the enemy was the USSR? is the next question, i guess.

But yes, probably, there would have been more little boy named Adolf in Europe than today. :mrgreen:

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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Goody67 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:13 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:33 pm
IMO this is kind of weird speculation, as though the persecution of racial "enemies" and "outsiders" and war were not core elements of National Socialism. The "dynamism" and direction of the system would have led to some kind of crack up. Nazism was an incredibly unstable politics.
Although Nazism was a terrible economic system (if it can even be called that) that was hell bent on the things you have mentioned as core elements of the ideology, in 1938 none of that had happened to such a degree that the German people disagreed with Hitler and the Nazis. On the contrary, Hitler's mission of making Germany exclusively "German" (a term like many other words used in a racial sense was never actually defined by the Nazis) made him really popular with the German people.

Hitler's believe in his own destiny was already apparent in the 1930s, he said:
How deeply we feel once more in this hour the miracle that has brought us together! Once you heard the voice of a man, and it spoke to your hearts; it awakened you, and you followed that voice… Now that we meet here, we are all filled with the wonder of this gathering. Not every one of you can see me and I do not see each one of you. But I feel you, and you feel me! It is faith in our nation that has made us little people great… You come out of the little world of your daily struggle for life, and of your struggle for Germany and for our nation, to experience this feeling for once: Now we are together, we are with him and he is with us, and now we are Germany!’ Two days later, still in messianic mode, he saw a mystical fate uniting him and the German people: ‘That you have found me… among so many millions is the miracle of our time! And that I have found you, that is Germany’s fortune!’
The point is that in 1938, Hitler had managed to do many things that were violations of the Treaty of Versailles without any blood shed and his popularity was its peek with his successful annexations of ethnically German lands. The Munich Agreement which Hitler privately detested actually made him extremely popular in Germany.

Although Jews, Gypsies and others were treated terribly during the 1930s, nothing can be compared to what happened during WW2. Thus, people mostly remember what happened during the war, not the discrimination of the 1930s.

Hitler's legacy to most people is the Holocaust, not his accomplishments of the 1930s. Although it doesn't ignore anything else what the Nazis did, it is easy to see why many people were appealed to the banning of the vivisection, anti-tobacco movement, welfare programmes, the people's car (Volkswagen) and why many Germans remember in their memoirs and interviews the "good times" of the 1930s.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:42 pm

The "KdF-Wagen" was never mass produced during the Third Reich. That said, one could just as well argue that the wartime record of the Nazis - from launching a war of conquest and annihilation to the demographic reordering, from the expansion of slave labor to the Holocaust - has "masked" the 1930s record of the Nazis, which in retrospect may have been assessed much like segregation in the United States or apartheid in South Africa. The 1933 boycott, 1935 racial laws, practices and laws creating segregation across the Reich, and Kristallnacht, for example, are not exactly "dismissible" as "the man's youthful fantasies."
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Goody67 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:33 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:42 pm
The "KdF-Wagen" was never mass produced during the Third Reich. That said, one could just as well argue that the wartime record of the Nazis - from launching a war of conquest and annihilation to the demographic reordering, from the expansion of slave labor to the Holocaust - has "masked" the 1930s record of the Nazis, which in retrospect may have been assessed much like segregation in the United States or apartheid in South Africa. The 1933 boycott, 1935 racial laws, practices and laws creating segregation across the Reich, and Kristallnacht, for example, are not exactly "dismissible" as "the man's youthful fantasies."
The Autobahn was also not Hitler's idea, but he took all of the credit for it. The Nazis were well aware of the impact of propaganda and Goebbels was a propaganda genius who fully understood the masses. Several things that were popular were put into action and made the Nazis popular. The Führer Myth was extremely powerful.

Ian Kershaw's book The "Hitler Myth": Image and Reality in the Third Reich is an excellent book to read about how Hitler was perceived by the Germans during the Third Reich.

An interesting article:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/ger ... 31909.html

The Kristallnacht was the beginning of when many ordinary Germans were expressing their dislike for the regime and the policies against the Jews. According to Dr. Arthur Flehinger, there were "people crying while watching from behind their curtains". Even members of the Nazi Party were against it, psychologist Michael Müller-Claudius interviewed 41 random Nazis and 63% condemned it. Hitler was also smart enough to not speak about it so he wasn't thought to be directly involved with it.

Similarly, the atrocities committed at the beginning of WW2 were also condemned by Nazis.

Hitler is generally thought of (and rightly so) as evil because of the Holocaust, not the passing of the Nuremberg Laws.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:45 pm

A comment made by Mann in Fascists has some relevance to this discussion: "Hitler's geopolitical power carried Nazi influence [across parts of Europe], though not for long. He brought a world war that destroyed them [fascist regimes] all. Since fascist regimes never became securely institutionalized, we don't really know what enduring fascism would have looked like." Mann describes Hitler's rule in this as "persistent if slightly chaotic radicalization." (p 48)
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Goody67 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:26 am

Considering that antisemitism was widespread in the 1930s, do you think Hitler would have been viewed as any different if he had died in 1938 after the Kristallnacht? Anti-Jewish pogroms were nothing new, there had been quite common during the Russian Empire.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:33 am

Goody67 wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:26 am
Considering that antisemitism was widespread in the 1930s, do you think Hitler would have been viewed as any different if he had died in 1938 after the Kristallnacht? Anti-Jewish pogroms were nothing new, there had been quite common during the Russian Empire.
By the public in Germany? Or by historians by and large? By historians I think Hitler would by now be viewed somewhat in the same way that segregationists from the American South or the leaders of apartheid in South Africa are.
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Re: What if Hitler had died in 1938?

Post by Goody67 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:40 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:33 am
By the public in Germany? Or by historians by and large? By historians I think Hitler would by now be viewed somewhat in the same way that segregationists from the American South or the leaders of apartheid in South Africa are.
By the general public.

If he had died in 1938, Germans would have also realised how false the "Hitler myth" was as well.

I do wonder how different Hitler would be viewed today without WW2 and the Holocaust being associated with him.

Back in 2002, someone asked the same question on the Axis Forum.

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=8121
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