Although the Second World War only lasted six years, it was the deadliest conflict in history. All of the world’s superpowers were involved, as well as a majority of all the countries in the world at the time. Between 50 and 85 million lives were lost during the war to stop fascism from spreading. Many historians speculate – what would have happened if it ended differently? What if the Axis Powers had defeated the Allied Powers and Hitler had survived? What if Japan had conquered eastern Asia and Germany had successfully defeated Europe? Obviously, there are a lot of variables to consider when speculating on hypothetical scenarios. Some of Hitler’s successes are attributed to sheer luck. And some of his failures were obvious screw-ups. A few small changes to the decision-making process, and things could have turned out completely different. Historical military doctrine and national agendas can help infer what could have happened, and what the world would look like today if Hitler had won the war. And as you can imagine, it is NOT a pretty picture for anyone.
15. Establishment Of Hitler’s “Master Race”
Hitler’s ultimate goal, even before the war began, was to establish an Aryan empire across central and eastern Europe. He believed that immigration was a major vulnerability for Europe, and thought that ethnocentrism was the cure. He preached that fair haired, blue eyed humans from northern European origins were highest in the racial hierarchy, and the Jewish people and Slavs that also inhabited central and eastern Europe were inferior.
As it turns out, modern genetics have proved that “racial purity” is in fact, not an advantage (and not really a thing). Many evolutionary scientists and geneticists have found that racially diverse parents breed healthier offspring; both physically and intellectually. Even during the rise of Nazism, scientists were forced to hide their research showing that Hitler’s ideas of the Master Race were full of fallacies, nonsense and contradictions.
14. Complete Genocide of Jews
Hitler made no attempt to conceal his intention to exterminate all of the Jewish people during World War II. The military plan was known as, “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. The Final Solution ordered to murder all of the Jews – not just in Europe. The Nazi Party made public statements citing the Jews as the only aliens of Europe. At the beginning of the Nazi party’s reign, Jews were intentionally treated unfairly by the German government in an effort to have them emigrate. As war broke out, the Nazis started their genocide of all Jews. Hitler made it clear that he wanted 100% of the Jewish race to be taken out. Once Germany was defeated in World War II, the genocide abruptly ended. However, Hitler managed to murder up to 6 million Jews before the end of the war. Almost half perished in the holocaust.
Though Hitler had an extreme case of antisemitism, he was not the only German who had resentment for the Jewish people. Many Germans felt humiliated after World War I, and believed that it was the Jews’ fault for their unfair defeat. When Hitler rose to power with what sounds today like extreme racism and hatred, it resonated with many disgruntled Germans.
13. The United Kingdom Would Cease to Exist
Had Hitler won, he had big plans for the United Kingdom. And in fact, England was almost invaded by the Nazis instead of the USSR. One can only speculate on the outcome of Operation Sea Lion; Germany’s plan to invade England instead of the USSR, because many scholars say that Germany’s invasion of the USSR was their official undoing. But Hitler did have a plan for the United Kingdom; all of Great Britain and Ireland would become economic/military commands for Germany.
Hitler knew Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, would not tolerate German aggression. Hitler ended up losing so many air assets that he decided not to invade. Many history buffs suggest that had Germany invaded the UK instead of the USSR, the result probably would have been the same, because the USSR would eventually join the fight against Hitler’s tyrannical plan. But in the case that Germany was allowed to freely take over the UK, Hitler intended to turn the islands into living space and military bases; protecting Europe from threats to the west (mainly the United States).
12. Medical Experiments Would Be The Norm
When you don’t value human life, you can justify a lot of horrible things in the name of science. Japan and Germany both conducted scientific experiments on their enemies. The Nazis tried three main categories of human experimentation; combat related experiments, pharmaceutical trials and genetic testing. Jews underwent unnecessary surgical procedures without anesthetics. They were guinea pigs for head injury trials, they were used to test the limits of hypothermia. The Nazis exposed concentration camp prisoners to chemical, radiological and biological agents to test how the human body reacts. They were forced into high pressure chambers to see how the brain handles altitude. If the prisoners survived the tests, which most did not, they were eventually executed anyway. The Japanese conducted similar tests on their prisoners of war. Unit 731 was a chemical, biological and radiological research and development unit in Japan that tortured prisoners and recorded the biological outcomes. Japan’s victims were mostly Chinese and Russian captives.
11. Freedom of Speech Would Not Exist in Most of the World
After conquering Europe, there’s no doubt that many people on the inside of Hitler’s Germany would question the outcome. Families would be split and some sides would be murdered or exiled, as would neighbors and friends. Plenty of Germans would (and did) disapprove of the Nazi campaign. But Hitler’s Germany wouldn’t be allowed to think for themselves. Any dissent would not be tolerated. If you were part of the Master Race and were allowed to spread out through conquered Europe, your problems wouldn’t be over. A Fascist government has no tolerance for freedom of speech. Industry, commerce, media, art and religion would all be suppressed. History would be re-written. Nationalism and blind loyalty would be the only acceptable political stance. If Germany won World War II and became a world superpower, no doubt they’d eventually use cameras, microphones and other spy materials to make sure the citizens were always behaving. Think: George Orwell’s 1984.
10. Hitler’s Face Would Be Everywhere
When you see pictures of North Korea, no matter where the picture was taken, somewhere in the background is an image of the “Dear Leader”. Imagine that same policy throughout Europe for the “Dear Fuhrer”. Since Hitler was the reigning figure of the Nazi party, if the Nazis had indeed won the war, it’s likely that Hitler would have become a face to be worshiped. Perhaps not quite to the extent that North Korea worships the Kim family, but a lack of loyalty to Hitler would indicate dissent. There would probably be flattering, official pictures of Hitler in every restaurant, coffee shop, subway and government building. You wouldn’t be able to escape the images. And desecration of his image would likely carry heavy penalties.
9. USA Would Be Half the Size, Partially Owned by Japan
The United States has always had one big advantage when it comes to foreign relations – geography. With friends to the north and a relatively benign continent below, any potential enemies have to travel far to reach the homeland. So invasion, while possible, is much more difficult. If the United States were defeated, it would probably have to be via nuclear attack (the possibility of a nuclear Germany to follow). With that being said, Germany and Japan did have plans for the United States.
Though grandiose, Japan wanted the west coast of the United States to become a puppet state and a military zone to dominate the Pacific. Many historians have speculated how the U.S. would look. The Man in the High Castle, a novel depicting an alternative history, suggested that Japan would take the west coast (Washington, Oregon and California) as a puppet state. The Rocky Mountain States (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico) would be a neutral buffer zone, and everything east would be occupied by the Nazis.
8. Russia (Formerly USSR) Would Become Northern Germany
In Hitler’s infamous autobiography, Mein Kampf, he talked of the need for more living space for the Germans. A large chunk of the land he wanted to seize was part of Russia. Hitler viewed the USSR as inferior, and wanted to exile all the people to Siberia, and hand the land over to the Germans. Russian Jews would be killed and Slavs would be enslaved. Germany was anti-communist and the Soviet Union was becoming a powerful communist nation. Had Germany defeated the USSR, Hitler would have acquired a plethora of resources – including the oil fields, which would have enabled Germany to become a superpower. If the USSR fell, most of the world would fall like dominoes to the Germans and the Japanese. But poor planning and harsh conditions abruptly ended Hitler’s dream of northern Germany.
7. Most of Western Europe Would Be Germany
The first to go would have been France. That was the plan all along. Vast country sides for farming and a large Atlantic coast. The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland would all be annexed by Germany. All of the non-compliant people, and everyone that did not appear to fit Hitler’s idea of the Master Race would be exiled, enslaved, exterminated. All of the culture would be lost. No more art or architectural history in Paris, no more beer in Belgium. You can forget about the beautiful parks in Amsterdam. It would all be part of Germany, so that the Master Race can spread out, and have all the land for themselves. And tourism would be stifled – because the Nazis didn’t like visitors, or immigrants.
6. Imperial Japan Would Own Part of China and Most of Pacific Asia
Germany tends to get most of the attention when the subject of World War II comes up. But Japan was not only a key player in the Axis Power, but also infamously brutal to their enemies. Japan’s goal in World War II was much like Germany’s, only more desperate. Japan was a small, heavily populated island with minimal natural resources. All the surrounding countries were rich with natural resources, and the Emperor wanted to expand. Japan was already in a war with China when World War II was officially declared, and Japan’s military strength was already spread thin. Many historians theorize that if Japan had taken the Philippines, and avoided attacking the United States homeland directly, it is possible that they would have had more success imperializing the far east. Japan also sought land from Siberia and looked at the USSR as an adversary, because they backed China during internal conflicts. If Japan had defeated the Allied powers in World War II, the country would be much, much larger than the islands we know today.
5. German Would Be The National Language of Europe
If Hitler had won and successfully colonized most of Europe, obviously he would want everyone to speak his native tongue. Throughout the continent, almost 100 different languages were/are spoken; some official languages and some indigenous. But Hitler’s dream of a Master Race included establishing German as the official language throughout all of his conquered states. Had he successfully implemented this, it is quite possible that German would be the secondary language taught in schools throughout the world, as opposed to English. And in similar fashion, all the countries conquered by Japan would officially speak Japanese. This may seem like a minor detail – but imagine being under the reign of a fascist dictator, requiring that you learn a brand new language (if you’re lucky enough to survive the Nazi’s plan to begin with).
4. The State of Israel Would Have Never Existed
So about that super disturbing plan the Nazis had – the “Final Solution”… as mentioned earlier, Hitler’s big plan was to exterminate ALL Jews. Not just the ones in Europe. He wanted to reach far and wide, and eradicate them from the planet. If he had come close to achieving this plan, obviously Israel would not be a thing. First of all, even if the United Nations existed, and partitioned a space for the State of Israel, it would be a really easy target if Hitler was in power. He’d know where all the European Jewish refugees had gone. With Italy colonizing northern Africa, Germany owning Europe and having a large presence in the Middle East and Japan’s control of east Asia, no one would be able to stop Hitler from destroying Israel. But, more realistically, the State would have never been created to begin with, because there would be no Jewish refugees left; or at least none that were willing to live overtly.
3. Germany May Have Achieved Nuclear Superiority
Not that you needed any more proof that the “Master Race” is an anti-scientific concept, but, a lot of scholars suggest that one of the main reasons Germany did not achieve nuclear superiority before World War II is because they exiled a huge majority of their scientists. First, around 1933, every Jew in STEM academia was fired and stripped of their credentials. Then, a huge chunk of remaining German scientists were conscripted to fight the war. An entire generation of German physicists ceased to exist. This setback, though good for the world, is just one more way the Nazis’ screwed up philosophies lead to their defeat. Before the war, Germany had made a lot of ground-breaking discoveries, and it is not unreasonable to assume that Germany was very close to creating the A-bomb (though there is a lot of debate and speculation as to how true the Nazis’ claims were). There’s no telling what could have happened if Germany became a nuclear state during World War II. Perhaps the most benign theory is that the Cold War would have been between the United States and Germany, as opposed to the USSR.
2. Italy Would Still Be Run By Fascists
Hitler viewed Italy as the weakest link in the war. The common debate is – would Germany allow Italy to imperialize northern Africa and take a large chunk of the globe for themselves after World War II, or would Hitler eventually want to envelop Italy too, and turn them into a puppet state of sorts? Either way, there’s no question that Italy would remain a fascist state. Like Japan and Germany, Italy (particularly Mussolini) thought they needed to expand. Before World War II, Mussolini had already dismantled Italy’s constitution. He wrote himself the top spot in Italy’s government and sought to brainwash the Italian people. He loved using propaganda and illusions to convince Italians that he was keeping them safe, and that they were free. Had the Axis Powers won World War II, these trends would have continued for Italy.
1. Enslavement Of Eastern Europe And Basically Anyone Not Aryan
Hitler realized that there was no way he could remove everyone from Europe that didn’t meet his definition of the Master Race. His solution was to take the remaining people – after genocides, deportation and years of war, and turn them into slaves. They would be owned and controlled by the Aryan people. Prior to World War I, many Germans had the geopolitical goal of territory expansion. The Nazis adopted this concept and took it to a whole new level. But all that new land would need cultivation. Hitler’s idea was to enslave the Slavs – and anyone else he did not deem worthy – and have them work on the farms to feed the German people. In Generalplan Ost, the Nazis’ plan for domination of Europe, Hitler intended to keep 14 million “racially undesirables” for enslavement.
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