If the Nazis were morally contemporary...

Jun 2008
1,236
United Kingdom
#1
...would we respect them as adversaries, rather than condemn them as evil men?

Think of how Brits view Napoleon; there's a definite respect for the wee fellow, as well as some mick-taking. But very few hate the man, despite the fact that he was our mortal enemy for many years and came close to owning all of Europe.

But the same is true of Herr Hitler. He very nearly owned all of Europe (alongside his cobelligerents), yet we view him with an almost unparalleled disgust and disdain. Surely, therefore, this is because of his human rights abuses and racial views, not his mission to own Europe.

So my question is this. Do you think that if Hitler had not committed genocide as well as abiding by the Geneva Conventions for the treatment of POWs, we would hold him in the same respect-bracket as Napoleon?
 

avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
#2
Well, wasn't Hitler highly regarded by many throughout the world until about 9th November 1938?? Expressions of admiration can be found coming from more than a few commentators. Widespread sympathy for the Right, for the image of modernity that the dictators presented, resulted in the British Government having something of a preference for Franco during the Spanish Civil War even though the British people as a whole were sympathetic to the Left. Chamberlain was not alone in thinking that Britain could work together with Nazi Germany (Anglo-German Naval Agreement, 1935; plans for a further agreement on airforce limitations; intention to agree to remilitarization of Rhineland in early 1936 ...). I think that if we could somehow see Hitler and the Nazis without their crimes, things would be different.
 
#3
here's an alternate timeline where the holocaust never happened.

1941 Hitler decides the final solution should wait until after the war is over.

1945 Hitler commits suicide germany surrendrer's.

1947 Loyalty to the old reich causes Nazi loyalists to form resistance groups to fight against the USSR'S occupation of east germany.

1989 With the USSR on the verge of collapse Nazi resistance groups launch an uprising in berlin. After weeks of fierce fighting the Nazi's capture berlin. This victory leads to cities throught east germany to rise up against the USSR in what would become known as the Nazi revolution.

1989 In its weakened state the USSR is unable to crush the rebellion. East germany becomes the first satellite nation to achieve indepence.

1990 Differing ideoliges causes east and west germany to remain divided after the cold war ends.
 

Rosi

Historum Emeritas
Jul 2008
6,242
#8
Hitler was bad, yes. And cruel too. But he was by no means "evil" personfied as he is usually portrayed. There are plenty of people who have been responsible for deaths of high numbers of the population. Just that some get a lot of stick while others don't. This doesn't mean I'm condoning anyone, just saying.
 
Dec 2008
251
#9
its called propaganda.
if hitler had won the war we would be talking about the terrorist attacks carried out by the french resistance, war crimes against german cities .
as is envisaged by the movie fatherland.
kilvil
 
Jul 2008
1,211
NE PA
#10
its called propaganda.
if hitler had won the war we would be talking about the terrorist attacks carried out by the french resistance, war crimes against german cities .
as is envisaged by the movie fatherland.
kilvil
True to an extent, but I think death camps transcend propaganda.