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December 1, 2016 / Congau

If the Nazis Had Won

What would have happened if Nazi-Germany had won World War II? There is no way even to start answering this question. Just like predictions fail, speculations about what might have been are likely to be wrong.

But some have tried, and since no evidence can ever be produced, they are free to reconstruct history according to their logic. They look at what is known about Nazi-Germany and from there they draw the lines logically into the unknown. The National Socialist system would have been established in all of Europe, terror and repression would have reigned, concentration camps would have dotted the barren landscape and people would have been brainwashed into fuehrer worshipping robots. Yes, go ahead and paint the horrors.

But the problem with this is that it presupposes a linear sequence of events. If something gets going, it is thought to continue unimpeded into the future. But such is not history, and the history that never was, would also not have been like that. Whatever would have happened, it would not have been what we thought would happen.

In China the communists won the civil war and initiated a system of radical communism. Today the same party stays in power and oversees a system of extreme capitalism. No one could possibly have predicted that.

Likewise, if the Nazis had won, their system might also have turned into something completely different after a while. We just don’t know.

We justify the allied war against Germany and the immense suffering that it entailed by the necessity of combating the horrors of Nazism. But we don’t actually know what would otherwise have happened and therefore the disturbing question is: Can we be sure it was really necessary? We cannot be sure.

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