In 1940, Godwin's Law would be about ______ ?

  1. You are in America and you want to say how bad Hitler is. Who do you compare him to? Nero? Caligula? Ivan the Terrible? You want to quickly indicate how bad the Nazis are. What group do you compare them to? Klu Klux Klan? Cossaks carrying out a pogrom? If there were an internet in 1940, Godwin’s law would be about invoking _____________.

The Kaiser. Memories of WWI would be strong enough that people would get the idea.

Or Satan. They had Satan back then, right?

Depends upon where in the country you’re from. If you’re a Southerner, Grant or Sherman will fit the bill quite nicely.

But the northern US has pretty much gone from strength to strength from 1776-onwards, and might never have had a “Godwin’s Law” candidate except, perhaps, the Kaiser or “Europe” as a whole. Perhaps they believed horrible things about George III or Benedict Arnold… I don’t know.

The Ottoman Empire?