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If Adolph Hitler had died/was killed during the Phoney War?

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1341779.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:24 am Reply with quote

If Hitler died in 1939-40... w/o the Holocaust would Aktion T4 (or Kristallnacht/The Night of Broken Glass) be any more than an obscure historical footnote?

Hitler's image as a monster derives mostly from what the Allies found at Belsen et al in 1945 - which won't have happened if Hitler dies/is killed before the war gets into full swing.

I think that the military swiftly coups Goering and installs a military regime with maybe some sort of powerless civilian figurehead as a fig-leaf. The return of the German monarchy might also be on the cards.

NB: Kemal Ataturk was and is widely accepted as a "great man" despite the fate of Turkey's Greek and Armenian minorities.

1341791.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:36 am Reply with quote

Your understanding of the history of the holocaust is somewhat lacking. The Nazi atrocities were not just a few events restricted to the latter part of the war.

Suggest you research some history and then review your question.


1341793.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:27 am Reply with quote

As PDR suggests, we pretty much knew he was a dangerous maniac, long before '45. Even in '38 with the infamous "piece of paper", there were those who counselled us to distrust anything he said.

1341797.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:41 am Reply with quote

For balance: he was a dangerous maniac, but there have been many throughout history. I sometimes wonder about the danger of focussing on one dangerous maniac, as it might make the other ones seem less atrocious.

1341801.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:02 am Reply with quote

It would be pretty difficult to find something more incorrect posted anywhere on the internet.

Kristallnacht was the culmination of many many years of abuse, not the start.

As PDR suggests, maybe go away and read some history books.

1341817.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:10 am Reply with quote

Erik Larsen's Into the Garden of Beasts is a pretty good book about the 1930s in Berlin.

There's a recommended reading list here from the Holocaust Museum.

1341820.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:48 am Reply with quote

And indeed this book.


1341822.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:53 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
And indeed this book.


A shameless plug if ever I saw one :)

1341833.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:41 pm Reply with quote

More of a "socket to 'em!"


1341835.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:08 pm Reply with quote

Are you familiar with "the boy the followed his father into Auschwitz" Pete?
I will get your sister's book, but not sure where it will fit in, also on my list is "The Librarian of Auschwitz" having heard her talk on the radio the other day. I know it's a bit of a cheek, but are you in communication with your sister? if so - and you aren't familiar with the two other books - would you ask her what her thoughts are on the matter?


1341836.  Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:21 pm Reply with quote

Ooh thanks for that link PDR - I've just added your sister's book to my Kindle.

1341935.  Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:25 pm Reply with quote

Hm... Speaking as ze resident Tjerman here and looking at how history is usually written and perceived, I fear Natalie might have a point. Quite apart from the fact that planning permission for Auschwitz was given on 4th May, 1940 (and that is the reason why my mum will never ever receive one of these the day you were born in history birthday cards) and the Final Solution wasn't bolted fast till the Wannsee Conference in 1942 while before the war policies were focussed on the discrimination, intimidation and resulting voluntary emigration of Jewish citizens rather than their annihilation, that just seems to be the way historiography works. Up to 1945, no one really gave two shites which atrocities governments committed in their own territories as long as they didn't bother anyone else with it. Also see the Native American genocide, the Belgian Kongo genocide, the Herero genocide (that was another one of ours, sorry about that), and so on. Hence - yeah, I fear if it hadn't been for WW2 bothering a lot of people outside Germany Hitler might indeed have gone down in history as just yet another guy who wasn't very nice to some minorities.



1341941.  Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:56 pm Reply with quote

So to come back to Natalie's question, if Hitler had gone under a bus in (let us say) August 1939, would WWII ever have happened?

One possibility is that another, presumably Rudolf Heß, would have taken over the leadership of the NSDAP and things would have developed much as in fact they did - but maybe a few months later.

But another possibility is that the NSDAP without Hitler would very quickly have become an embarrassing waste of space in the same way as UKIP without Farage. Heß would have conceded an election (as preferable to Stalin helping Ernst Thälmann to stage a Communist coup, as he'd read in The Times was looking possible). That election would have been won by more-or-less the SPD, much as it didn't actually exist at that time, and the first act of the new Chancellor would have been to form an alliance with the UK.

No war, and the EU was probably invented a decade earlier than in fact it was. Stalin realised that Britain / Germany / noises off from the US would never let him go grabbing Central Europe, so after a feeble and unsuccessful attempt to invade Finland he gave up on the idea, and everyone lived happily ever after.

1341944.  Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:44 pm Reply with quote

As others have suggested I'd think that would be too late to halt the momentum of National Socialism and too early to mark the death knell of it.

This whole thread is, in a way, a parallel of asking our opinions on the notion that Hitler was killed in Stauffenberg's assassination attempt and it was thereafter his double who acted in that role. I actually have some sympathy with that idea while accepting that there's no convincing evidence supporting it: 20 July 1944 was obviously very soon after D-Day but bearing in mind an element of the inevitable after the build up of US support in the unsinkable aircraft carrier that was and is the UK eliminating Hitler could look like an exercise in damage reduction.

1341951.  Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:48 am Reply with quote

I think you’ll need to go back to the 1920s to prevent the atrocities of the Second World War


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