If the Nazis were morally contemporary...

Dec 2008
True to an extent, but I think death camps transcend propaganda.
agreed, but in the event where the nazis had won the war the true nature of the death camps would never have been made public, the story of the displaced people living in russia would be the accepted version of truth.


Forum Staff
May 2008
I tend to think that it was because Hitler and Nazi Germany were in many ways similar to our culture and society that we have driven a wedge of difference between us. There is no bigger wedge than 'good v's evil'. Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao et al. were not so similar so the psychological need for 'wedges' is not so strong.
Dec 2008
Somewhere in Africa
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.
Some consider the allied aerial bombardment of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki as war crimes.
Dec 2008
Somewhere in Africa
...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?
Do we respect the Germans and Austro-Hungarians as adversaries for starting WW1?
Jun 2008
United Kingdom
Well, the very matter of them "starting" the war is unclear and contested (and IMO untrue). However, in relation to them being respected, I'd say they are. Do we see the Emperor-King of A-H as a villian? Maybe Kaiser Wilhelm, but not with the same viciousness as we do Hitler. I feel we view 'Willy' as a failed adversary rather than a villian.