What if Hitler had died in August 1941?

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

What if Hitler had died in august 1941 what would have happened after his death?

There are at least two possibilities I can think of.

One (the most likely, in my opinion) is business as usual, with the new Fuhrer at the helm (variation: a Fuhrer by committee, with several people pitching in to fill the void). All policies remain in place, with a possible addition of a new round of purges just in case.

The other (much less likely, I feel) is the return of the Junkers, followed by a quick and not very thorough purging of Nazis from the government (much like what happened in West Germany after the war), a peace treaty in the West and possibly joint assault in the East.

The reason I think business as usual is the more likely of the two alternatives is that Adolf Hitler, as important as he was to the Nazi movement, was far from indispensable. By 1941, the Nazis have succeeded in constructing a parallel security system (SS, SD, gestapo, etc.), whose loyalty was first and foremost to the Nazi party and its leadership, not to the German government (forget German people). Any attempt by the Junkers to take control would face a strong (and armed to the teeth) opposition from the Nazi party and its affiliated security agencies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *