Skip to comments.Time Travellers: Please Donít Kill Hitler
Posted on 02/23/2014 11:06:23 AM PST by nickcarraway
In almost any science-fiction scenario involving time-travel, the default action is to kill Hitler. As terrible a human being as he was, there are many reasons why this probably isnt a good idea
If you find yourself suddenly gaining access to a time machine, whats the first thing youd do? If you said kill Adolf Hitler, then congratulations; youre a science-fiction character. Actually, the whole access to a time machine thing suggested that already, but the desire to kill Hitler clinches it. Any time-travelling sci-fi character (at least ones created by Western society) seems to want to kill Hitler, so much so that theres a trope about how its impossible.
That attempting to kill Hitler has become such a common sci-fi plot device speaks volumes. What about Stalin? He was arguably worse, killing 20 million of his own people to fuel his ideology. But no, Stalin went about his business unmolested by time travellers, all of whom are busy targeting Hitler.
Its understandable. Who wouldnt want to prevent the holocaust? Its probably the worst thing in history. And I only say probably because I dont know all of history, and the human capacity to be awful should not be underestimated. But as noble as it seems, killing the Fuhrer via time travel is a terrible idea, for real-world reasons, not just those in fiction. So should you get hold of a time machine and make plans to kill Hitler, here are some reasons why you shouldnt.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
Awfully tempting.....but I shall demur...
This coming from the U.K. Guardian? The most left-leaning newspaper not published in Pyongyang? Not wanting to kill Hitler but Stalin? Uh oh, their Kommissars are going to be VERRRRRY angry!
How about just pimp slapping Eve instead?
Who takes over Germany if Hitler is assassinated? I suspect there would have been tremendous infighting between Himmler, Goebbels and Goering, none really trusted the other.
One could argue that Hitler was one of the biggest advantages to the Allies in WW2. Had someone else ran Nazi Germany, the outcome could have been different.
What about 0bama Sr.?
Go too far back in time and who knows what would happen.
Could be unrecognizable - good or bad.
Time traveling Nazis are always telling us not to off Hitler...
Killing Hitler(or Stalin) would have changed the world in very significant ways that would alter our circumstances even today.
In 30 years of time travel The Doctor never attempted to take out Hitler. Must be some reason why.
It might be worse if Reinhard Heydrich took over.
Maybe a time traveller killed a different young German leader, making it possible for the world to get Hitler instead
If God didn’t, why should I?
Without Hitler the left would not have made as much progress in the west over the intervening years, as they successfully (and very unfairly) associated Nazism with the right.
Where would be be today without the YouTube Hitler rants on various subjects?
I would insert Barack Hussein Obama into a normal, two parent family.
“This coming from the U.K. Guardian? The most left-leaning newspaper not published in Pyongyang? “
Also hands down, the most anti-American. Try reading the 2 years worth since the 2003 Iraq invasion and occupation and they make the NYT look like Dick Cheney’s newsletter..
Why couldn’t they arrange for Hitler to get a scholarship to culinary school, instead of killing him.
I’ve dreamed about going back in time and doing away with my ex, but then I wouldn’t have all my kids and grandkids.
Instead, if I had shot her when I first wanted to, I’d have been out by now.
Sadly though, I just dream about her every night. I see her picture in my dreams....... usually on a milk carton or a missing person poster.
Hitler did some horrific things in his time, but for the most part all of his deeds are now historic (not making light of the people who suffered because of him).
Mohammed on the other hand would be a much better target. His presence caused millenia of pain suffering, and continues to this day.
I’d be more interested in buying some startup Apple stock.
Then, the USSR only became expansionist as response to the German invasion. That invasion caused a huge rebound in Russia, after the Battle of Stalingrad.
Before that, the USSR was mired in killing it's own people. The USSR never would have lasted until 1989 without Hitler. Hitler saved the USSR and put them on a path towards expansion.
It would be better to kill Lincoln.
I have actually used this scenario in my college ethics course, when discussing consequentialism in ethics. In the end, I generally convince the class not to kill Hitler, because...
...in the elections that Hitler used to bring himself and the Nazis into power, the other “viable” alternative was Ernst Thälmann and the German communists. If Thälmann rather than Hitler had become Chancellor, Germany and the USSR would have become the Red Axis, which would have eventually conquered continental Europe as the Nazi Axis did, but would also have conquered Britain, since Thälmann wouldn’t have had a reason to split his forces to try to conquer the USSR, and that would have opened up all of the third world to become the second world (i.e., to become communist). By the same token, Stalin, not having to place any forces to his west to block Germany, would have been free to avenge the victory of Japan over Russia, before the Japanese entered China in 1937: the Red Army could have invaded Manchuria and then joined forces with Mao, while the Navy could have recaptured the Kuriles, and perhaps conquered Hokkaido and/or the Tohoku region of northern Honshu. America would have found itself in the position of having to bolster Japan in order to keep the communists from taking over all of Asia, and also in the position of having to fight a two-front war, but against a much larger opponent: a combination of German-British-Russian-Chinese forces. And the concentration camps would have been just as murderous as under Hitler. Bottom line: Hitler was really bad, but the alternative would have been far worse.
I was going to suggest, academically only of course, giving Stanley Ann Dunham birth control because she souldn’t have been punished with a baby.
Of course I won't do that because I don't want to receive an IRS audit.
I think that, if Hitler was killed, the new Fuhrer would've been, prior to 1941, Hermann Goring and, after 1941, Reinhard Heydrich. Goring was a fat drug addict and there would've been civil war. Heydrich would've been MUCH more dangerous for the Allies.
What I would've liked was if someone had killed Stalin in the 1910's or 1920's, before he began his reign of terror. If Germany tried to invade the USSR, there would've been much more competent Soviet Generals to oppose them and, quite possibly, they'd have been more successful in defeating the Nazis (or the Imperialist Germans who might've succeeded Hitler) sooner.
Yet ANOTHER scenario would be, if Hitler was assassinated after the fall of France, but before the Soviet Invasion of 1941, Germany would've gotten a competent leader who invaded the USSR in March/April rather than June 22. Not only that, but if they'd had treated Soviet soldiers and civilians humanely (the Wehrmacht was originally considered Liberators), then Stalin would've probably been taken out back, shot, then thrown into a ditch by August.
He might have wanted a lot of things, but he didn’t even have a chance without Hitler.
Mohamed would be a better target.
What I would’ve liked was if someone had killed Stalin in the 1910’s or 1920’s, before he began his reign of terror.
How about ganking young Karl Marx?
Heydrich made a lot of enemies, only Hitler kept him where he was. There were many insinuations made be other Nazis that Heydrich had Jewish blood.
I believe, Hitler was the glue that kept the Nazi regime going, it would not survive him long after he passed.
If I were to go back in history I’d nailed Mary Lou in the back seat of her 65’ Mustang. Things worked out anyway but just in case I had a do over....
“Killing Hitler” always makes for an interesting ethical debate.
I enjoyed this one singular comment from the article more than the article itself:
“If travel backwards in time becomes possible in the future, then we are already living with the consequences.”
And of course, none of us would know it, would we? Suppose some time-traveler from the year 2763 went back tomorrow and prevented the crucifixion of Jesus? We’d all wake up tomorrow believing in Zeus, or Odin, or Zoroaster or whatnot. Heck, maybe we’d all be Buddhists!
If time-travel ever does become possible in the future, I can only imagine there will be only one rule:
DON’T DO ANYTHING!!!! JUST OBSERVE, DON’T INTERACT!
Best case scenario is, what if Hitler takes Moscow, and as a result, Stalin is overthrown (my guess is that Khrushchev very well may have been the one to engineer such as coup), and Russia still defeats the Nazis.
If you killed Hitler, you could save Edith Keeler and Captain Kirk would have to man up stay with her forever, which the old horndog captain wouldn’t want, so therefore, you shouldn’t kill Hitler. Q.E.D.
I would give his father a vasectomy.
What if a Jewish customer bought some of his paintings while he was still in Vienna?
Wouldn't have fixed anything, because there would have been someone else who would have taken Hegel's dialectic and run with it the same way. You would have to take out Hegel, except that would require taking out perhaps Hume, or going back further and taking out Descartes because without Rene there wouldn't have been the modernists, and without the modernists there wouldn't have been the post-modernists. Or you'd have to go back further and take out Thales of Miletus, because without philosophy there wouldn't have been modernists to set things up for the post-modernists.
Bottom line: the only time travel assassination that would make any sense would be to go back to the garden and take out the snake; otherwise, sin runs its course, one way or another, until it gets removed by Jesus' return.
An ill-timed knock on the door would have the same net effect.
René, would you like more tea?
I think not.
More fun doing it my way.
Very true. Hitler made some incredible military blunders and singlehandedly lost the war to the Allies. The decision to invade the Soviet Union in June 1941 was especially horrendous. Up to that moment, Germany had total control of most of Europe and could have worn down Great Britain at leisure with blockades and by continuing the Blitz. Instead, they send four million troops into Russia and become increasingly bogged down as they quickly outran their supply lines.
This gave the Allies enough breathing space on the Western front to build their military on a colossal scale, which led to the mainland invasions of 1943 (Italy) and 1944 (France).
The Germans had world domination within their grasp but they threw it all away due to giving absolute power to a pin-headed corporal whose only strong point was the ability to give fiery speeches and mesmerize an audience.
If Hitler gets Moscow war is probably over. Moscow was the hub of everything in Russia. Stalin was all about central control. It would have knocked out their central communications center. All rail lines etc. ran though Moscow. Really hard for Soviets to over come that.