If the nazis won the war, could Hitler pass as a decent guy?

If he won, he might be about as reviled as Ghengis Khan or Napolean.

Of course Hitler would been seen as a great, not simply decent, guy if the Nazis won. We justify the nuking of Japan easily, holding Truman up to be a great president who averted American deaths. We honor our war heroes with medals. We give billions to companies who make weapons that can incinerate a hundred thousand people in a second.

In honoring our winners, we are little different from what any other culture on earth would do. If the Nazis won, Hitler would have been seen as a great pacifier of the Jewish and non-Aryan threat, a savior for mankind, and someone who had to make tough choices in order to prevent the end of the Aryan way of life.

yes, sob. Those poor innocent Japanese. All they wanted was a greater Japanese co-prosperity sphere! Just staying on their own island, bothering no one … and we hadda go and attack them!

From your tone, you’re probably under the mistaken belief that I disagree with Truman vehemently. My purpose was simply to mock the idea that Hitler, no matter how bad of a person we think he is, would not be easily reformed into a beacon of honor given different winners in history

Your point is well taken. My contention is that it was not easy for Hitler to win & be satisfied with winning, given the extent of his expansionist obsessions.

Fair enough. Frankly, if the Nazis conquered the US and led a campaign of wiping out the black people, I could imagine a certain class of Americans who would be totally in agreement with them.

Except, as has been abundantly pointed out, we don’t simply revere the winners of history and despise the losers.

Look at, say, Franciso Franco. He won the Spanish Civil War, kept Spain out of WWII, and then continued as fascist dictator of Spain until the 1970s. And while there are a few dozen die-hard fascists in Spain who love Franco, the whole country has pretty much agreed that he was a horrible person. He isn’t revered as a hero even in Spain. The most people will say is “Well, at least he wasn’t as bad as Hitler”.

Given all the attention Hitler gets, 65 years after his death, I believe he should have gotten Time’s title Person of the Century

I don’t know too much about Spain and the situation with their civil war, but were they as fanatical as the Nazis? A ruling Nazi party, one that already has racism and genocide in their platform would seem to differ from most nations. I think their love of everything Aryan and hate of everything else would preclude them from taking a stance that Hitler was flawed. He would be like a messiah to them. I would only see the Nazis turning against him if he had strayed from his beliefs.

Except in real life, fanaticism of that sort is impossible to sustain. After a generation of communist rule, there were very few fanatical communists left.

So yeah, if the Germans had won WWII, for whatever value of “won” you want, then Hitler would go down in the history books as a guy who accomplished a lot but also did horrible things, along the lines of Stalin, Mao, Napoleon, and Ghengis Khan, rather than “history’s greatest monster”.

Since Hitler’s actual legacy was to leave Germany a smoking pile of rubble under occupation by its enemies, it’s hard to point to the good things he accomplished to counterbalance the whole genocide and invasion and conquest stuff. If his legacy was different, if he left Germany as an independent powerful state that stretched deep into the east with most other European countries as vassals and dependencies, well, then his record would be more mixed, and deservedly so.

He earns the title of history’s greatest monster because he not only carried out genocide, he not only attacked and conquered neighboring countries, he not only carried out brutal repression, he also ruined and impoverished his own people. That’s an unmixed legacy of disaster. This is what transforms Hitler the nasty human being into Hitler the inhuman symbol of monstrosity.

Win the war (like Stalin did), with Eastern European countries as vassals and dependencies, and leave your country militarily powerful, and then you get a “mixed” record like Stalin has. And that mixed record for Stalin isn’t “Wasn’t Stalin awesome?”, but “Well, he killed millions and was a brutal tyrant, but he wasn’t as bad as Hitler.”

A decent guy… of course.

Few people are aware of it, but the Fuhrer was an excellent dancer.

Look who passes as decent human beings on Dancing with the stars. If it works for them it could certainly work for Adolf.

Don’t be shtupid, be a Shmarty. Come and join the Nazi Party.

But how many of those people, in victory, pretty much had world conquest as the goal and be able to accomlish it?

I submit that had Hitler won WW2, his regime would be very different from most anything the world has ever seen. Unlike tyrants of the past, his would be a truly a global 20th century empire, with weapons that could incinerate cities and able to get to anywhere in the world in days, if not hours. If WW2 was lost by the Allies, all of the strongest nations who could oppose him would disappear. No more Russia, France, England, or the US. Italy was an ally, Japan was an ally and running roughshod over China. With those out of the way, who’s there to stop him? Canada? India? Even Rome had Carthage who put up a good fight. It was eventually overrun by barbarians. Empires in the past may have been powerful, but there were enough equality in strength and spread around enough to make sure they didn’t completely take over the world.

And through it all, even when nations did topple the other, they didn’t totally annihilate the population on a scale like the Nazis. These were the guys who had factories dedicating to incinerating humans 24 hours a day. Even past conquerors like Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan let the conquered live in peace so long as tributes were given and loyalty was sworn. How do you swear to be a good Aryan when you’re born otherwise? Africa might be devoid of life had Hitler won. I don’t see the Nazis as “just another empire”, their philosophy precludes it. They were about as much threat to mankind as Galactus

I see Hitler’s victory as usuring i

Ohmigod, Hitler got YogSosoth!

Huh. Lots of terrible people are valorized even today, though in liberal democracies it’s done via deflection and generally focusing on other aspects of the person, aside from the murderous/genocidal/tyrannical parts. Cf. the worship of the child murdering Che; Andrew Jackson, a genocidal maniac; and the Confederate elite in the modern day South. All are revered, and their lives contextualized in a way that excuses or ignores their other deeds.

Hitler is even pretty easy to imagine a compelling storyline for. Two big goals: restore Germany against the terribly unfair Versailles, and battle the Bolsheviks. Remember, Lenin and his crew had taken control of Russia less than two decades before, and murdered literally tens of millions of people. Furthermore, significant portions of the populations of Europe and its various colonies all were heavily drawn to it. Germany itself had a vibrant Communist Party, had had to deal with attempted revolutions and even suffered a terrorist attack on the Reichstag by Stalin’s KGB, and the people that Hitler had to relocate were by and large red or pink.

Hitler led the fight against the Soviet Union and destroyed it. If not for him, we would all be tossed into the gulag.

Needless to say, all of that would be bullshit, but it’s frighteningly easy to imagine hearing that line.

didn’t Hitler go steadily madder as Germany start loosing the war? If the war progressed differently, perhaps he wouldn’t have went quite so insane?

Also, if the Nazi’s did win… we’d be saying “Never Again” regarding the nuclear annihilation of Japanese cities, the firebombing of non-military Dresden, or perhaps about the various massacres Uncle Joe and the Russians carried out (Katyn, etc)

You are right; however, (arguably) the second most important man won Time’s Person of the Century.
…not with a whimper but with a bang! :cool: