If Hitler died in WWI, would there have still been a Führer?

Jun 2015
5,531
UK
#1
Let's say Hitler dies from gas inhalation towards the end of WWI (he was actually in hospital for this towards the end of the war).

Germany still loses, of course, and the Kaiser abdicates. The Entente impose the Versailles Treaty still, since there is no reason not to. The Weimar state still suffers from a sick economy, and there is resentment building up over thee harsh Treaty.

Hitler had the success he did since he was a strong orator and single-minded, and could provide a vision for Germany in the dark 1920s. but then who else could have done this, if he weren't alive? Could Rommel? Or an aristocratic Nazi like von Runstedt? Or could there have been opportunity for a communist, or even neo-Imperial advocate? Maybe somebody would look to get Kaiser Wilhelm back, or his son/heirs?

Since Hitler was the right man to lead the Nazis in its infancy, due to his personality and oratory, if he didn't exist then they may not have got far. I suspect it couuld have been a communist party that stole this mantle, and any WWII could have been fought as a capitalist/communist war. Would this mean Stalin and this new German communist leader were close allies? Maybe. If so, and a war still broke out in the late 1930s, then new fronts would have emerged, and possibly China would have been a prominent ally for the British, French, and Americans, given Soviet threats to India, China, and Canada/USA in the Northern Pacific.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,565
#2
Hitler was a loser and if he could get to power then most anyone who was ruthless enough with no principles could....
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,833
SoCal
#3
Let's say Hitler dies from gas inhalation towards the end of WWI (he was actually in hospital for this towards the end of the war).

Germany still loses, of course, and the Kaiser abdicates. The Entente impose the Versailles Treaty still, since there is no reason not to. The Weimar state still suffers from a sick economy, and there is resentment building up over thee harsh Treaty.

Hitler had the success he did since he was a strong orator and single-minded, and could provide a vision for Germany in the dark 1920s. but then who else could have done this, if he weren't alive? Could Rommel? Or an aristocratic Nazi like von Runstedt? Or could there have been opportunity for a communist, or even neo-Imperial advocate? Maybe somebody would look to get Kaiser Wilhelm back, or his son/heirs?

Since Hitler was the right man to lead the Nazis in its infancy, due to his personality and oratory, if he didn't exist then they may not have got far. I suspect it couuld have been a communist party that stole this mantle, and any WWII could have been fought as a capitalist/communist war. Would this mean Stalin and this new German communist leader were close allies? Maybe. If so, and a war still broke out in the late 1930s, then new fronts would have emerged, and possibly China would have been a prominent ally for the British, French, and Americans, given Soviet threats to India, China, and Canada/USA in the Northern Pacific.
I certainly don't see German right-wingers--including the German military--ever being willing to tolerate a Communist seizure of power in Germany. Also, I don't see this being accomplished at the ballot box either considering that, even during the Great Depression, the Communists never even managed to reach 20% of the vote in Germany.

In addition to this, I wonder if the Strasser brothers could become Germany's leaders during the Great Depression in this scenario. After all, I heard that they had some potential.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,688
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#4
It was like in Italy: at Rome the establishment was waiting for a "strong man" [any strong man] to give him the power.

If not Hitler may be Hess, Kohl, Auflauf … what you like best [with a bit of sane humor I wouldn't exclude Merkel …].
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,060
#5
There was no end of People working towards some sort of authoritarian Regime. in Germany in the 1920s/1930s howver they were not particularity successful. I can't see another NSDAP leader being as sucessful Rohem or Strasser bothers just were not gong to sell the NSDAP on the popular enough to get there. Ludendofff was just past it by the 1930s and too politically Isolated. Genr Schlelcher was the 'political' General and without Hitler might have worked as a front for the Army, but I doubt it.
 
Jul 2016
7,751
USA
#6
Hitler was a loser and if he could get to power then most anyone who was ruthless enough with no principles could....
Hitler was a horrible human being, but he wasn't a loser. Closest comparison is some sort of evil religious prophet. Superb speaker, diabolical manipulatation skills, many said he was hypnotic in his ability to get others to do what he wanted without them fighting back or often even getting upset.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,525
Australia
#7
Had Hitler not risen to power, the political, social and economic circumstances in post WWI Germany would have seen the rise of someone similar.
 
Last edited:

Pedro

Forum Staff
Mar 2008
17,151
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
#8
Since führer is the German word for leader or guide the answer to the op has to be yes.
If there was no Hitler there would still be a leader but if addressed as der Fürer is up for debate. On that I pass.

BTW it is spelled Fuehrer when the umlaut is not available.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,060
#9
Had Hitler not risen to power, the political, social and economic circumstances in post WWI Germany would have seen the rise of someone similar.
Who?

Hitler was far from alone in seeking to establish some sort of authoritarian state. But it's extremely hard to see anyone other than Hitler in NSDAP doing it. None of the other NSDAP leadership seemed capable of unifying the party solidly and presenting a strong electoral appeal.

Schleicher might have remained Schleicher as Chancellor but hard to Schleicher opr some similar figure undertaking the revolution and remaking of society that Hitler did. Noneof teh right Wing politicians outside teh NSDAP seem capable either.
 

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