Hitler's successor

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Rekjavik, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. Rekjavik The 17th Colossus

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    If the Germans had won World War 2, who would have succeeded Hitler as the Führer of Germany? For this scenario, let's say Hitler dies in the early to mid 50's.

    I would rule out Hess, as he was completely nuts and was losing the favour of Hitler, and Göring, as Hitler hated him for several reasons. In my view Himmler, Goebbels and Bormann are the likely candidates.

    However, another option is possible. Nazi Germany might fall apart, as political infighting, semi-suppressed by the ministries devotion to Hitler, would explode into something near a civil war.

    Do any of these seem likely?
     
  2. ThomasG Crusher of Zombie Wank

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    Hitler wished the Reich to switch back to a President and Chancellor, so you actually have two successors.
     
  3. Empror Mike Emperor of the Obscene

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    My guess is that Himmler would take the office, quickly eliminate the other candidates and then declare himself the new Fuhrer.
     
  4. Tolkiene Well-Known Member

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    Well according to Hitler's Tabletalk, Hitler intended for his successors to also bear the title of Fuehrer (he intended for the Fuehrer to remain as a sort of Pope to the German people, standing above the law and representing the future and will of the German volk). The Fuehrer was supposed to be elected by a Senate (in his speech on the decision to wage war against Poland on 1 September 1939, Hitler implied the creation of such a body, stating that should he (Hitler) die, then Goering would be his successor, if Goering died, Hess would be the next Fuehrer and if Hess died, then the Senate would convene and elect a new leader, although at that time such a body did not exist).

    The holders of key offices in the Party would be members of the Senate and understandably the elections would take place behind closed doors, similar to the way the Cardinals elect the Pope. The Reichstag was supposed to be retained, though one can assume that it would still have no power, and the one elected by the Senate would become the next Fuehrer.

    However, it is quite possible that, in an interregnum after Hitler's death (he would probably have died in the late forties or early fifties, given that he suffered from Parkinson since 1932), the various positions might have been separated. They might have briefly ended up with a Politburo-style collective leadership (one could imagine that Bormann heads the party bureaucracy and controls the Gauleiters as a sort of general secretary (a position he de facto held as head of the Party Chancellery), Goering becomes Head of State as Reich President or Reichsverweser (Reichsverweser is German for Regent), with Himmler and Goebbels also in important positions, with some important Gauleiters (Kaufmann, Hanke, Griesler) and SS leaders (Wolff, Heydrich, Best, Kammler) thrown in for good measure.

    I do not think that the Wehrmacht would be able to seize power. It was divided and weakened by infighting between the services (especially between the Navy and the Luftwaffe). Manstein, Rundstedt and Guderian were, undoubtedly, competent generals, but that does not immediately mean political accumen. And even if one general thinks that he wants to start a putsch, his regiments might follow, but that does not mean that the others will as well.

    If Hitler had died somewhere between 1935 and 1940, then his successor would have undoubtedly been Goering. Then Goering had everything working to his advatange -- he was an old comrade, but not a plebeian like Goebbels, he was very popular among the German people, seen generally as a "moderate Nazi" by the rest of the world, was acceptable to the Wehrmacht since he had little contact with the Party apparatus. However, as the war goes on Goering's powers waned (he was already in decline in 1939, because he arranged the Munich conference behind Hitler's back and was opposed to the decision of invading Poland because he feared it could lead to a war the Reich would lose), and, especially in the critical years 1943-1945, the powers of Himmler and Bormann increased.

    Himmler could have become Hitler's successor. It would surely be a very bizarre regime. After all, Himmler wanted the SS to become the new nobility of the Greater Reich and rule it is as the new military-religious order, similar to how the Teutonic Knights had their own state in Prussia. Thus he allegedly intended to re-create the State of Burgundy, with Léon Degrelle as chancellor, subordinate to a Reichsverweser, who was supposed to be the Reichsfuehrer of the SS. But Himmler, pragmatic as he was, might very well have made a brief alliance with national-conservative elements in Germany, such as Goerdeler. After all, in August 1943 he and his Chief of Staff Wolff met a few times with emissaries from the "German Resistance". After all, Himmler would have had to weaken the influence of the party bureaucracy, which was loyal to Bormann.
    In any case if Himmler becomes the new leader, either openly as the second Fuehrer or as the Grey Eminence of a coalition government, one can expect the SS coming to control the Reich even more (already during the war, the SS was a state within the state, with hundreds of SS-controlled corporations, and a good deal of SS members assumed political posts ( SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Werner Best became the Reichs Plenipotentiary in Denmark, SS-Brigadefuehrer Professor Dr. Franz Alfred Six worked in the Foreign Office in the Cultural Department and was supposed to be involved in training the new generation of diplomats, SS-Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Stuckart was State Secretary in the Interior Ministry, SS-Gruppenfuehrer Otto Ohlendorf was Undersecretary of State in the Economics Ministry etc.).

    Bormann could also have become Hitler's successor. But no one in the public knew Bormann and he had absolutely no charisma, nor any desire to be known as the people's tribune. So he would probably have appointed some puppet President and puppet chancellor (according to Jochen von Lang, who wrote a very good Bormann biography, Grand Admiral Doenitz, if the Political Testament of Hitler had been fulfilleable, would have become a puppet of Bormann, who was named in the Testament as Party Minister, because he lacked experience in statecraft, while Bormann was a canny intriguer), and ruled behind the throne through his control over the Party administration, which would have led to an increase of power of the Gauleiters, who were, after all, an important source of support for Bormann. But naturally he would have had to purge the SS and the Gauleiters of disloyal elements. It would have been a highly bureacratised Reich, somewhat similar to the USSR. And given Bormann's anticlerical and anti-Christian leanings, one can expect a campaign against the Church.

    Of course, after the old guard is dead, then it is an entirely new deck of cards. Then we have the next generation of Gauleiters and SS commanders (given that the Gauleiters became little princes in their fiefdoms and the SS gained a lot of influence in the conquered territories, one could expect that in time the government in Berlin would have had little control over the Reich).
     
  5. Atreus Deceased

    Whichever of the Nazi heirarchy can kill or co-opt their opponents. Himmler, Heydrich, Georing, Hess, Goebels, Doenitz, anyone I missed. After about 30 years, though, it is hard to say. The SS would probably be a major player, though.
     
  6. Tolkiene Well-Known Member

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    Hess was a dilettante. He had neither any administrative abilities (something Bormann, Himmler, Heydrich and also Goebbels had), nor any abilities as a demagogue (something Hitler and Goebbels and also to a degree Goering had).

    As for Doenitz, the man had neither the experience in statecraft nor the means to seize power. The only reason Hitler appointed him as Reich President was that the Kriegsmarine had not disappointed him (in addition to that Goebbels became Chancellor, Bormann Party Minister and Gauleiter Hanke Reichsfuehrer SS, in such an arrangement, Doenitz would not have been the supreme leader).

    One should not underestimate the Party, though. After all, it is the Party that "cares" for the good German volk comrade from craddle to grave, the Party that indoctrinates them.
     
  7. maverick Banned

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    Goebbels would not have lasted much after Hitler's death, too much of a fanatic.
    Hess was incompetent.
    Goering could not leave his couch for two seconds, or his heroine.

    Maybe if Heydrich does die in such a world, although there's also Bormann, Himmler and even Speer, if a compromise is needed to avoid any civil war or The Godfather-style massacres.
     
  8. Michel Van Well-Known Member

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    Liege Belgium Europe
    about Hitler's medical health

    there is top secret twenty-six page report from 1943 by Doctor Felix Kersten

    It detailed how Hitler had contracted syphilis in his youth
    and was treated for it at a hospital in Pasewalk, Germany.
    However, in 1937, symptoms re-appeared, showing the disease was still active, and by the start of 1942,
    signs were evident that progressive syphilitic paralysis (Tabes dorsalis) was occurring.

    there is queston about Hitler show he had tremors in his hand and a shuffling walk
    hat Hitler Parkinson's disease ? or was tertiary syphilis?

    source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_medical_health

    with tertiary syphilis Hitler would die around 1950s
    with Parkinson´s disease Hilter would die in 1960s

    to Question Hitler's successor
    Hitler take Doenitz because Himmler and Goering "betray" Hitler
    Himmler because he start peace Talks with zionist !
    Goering because he declare him self "Führer" after Berlin was surround by Sovjet Red army
    (if the last info, this true i dont know )

    so Nazi win WW2 those evend never happen.

    after the Book "Wenn Hitler den Krieg gewonnen hätte" by Ralph Giordano
    Hitler hat serious Plans to retire after Endsieg (final victory) and life in City of Linz "die Führerstadt"

    Is highly possbly that the Post of Führer stay empty so long Hitler lives

    wat After his death and funeral in new Pantheon in München
    there will be a "Night of the Long Knives" under Himmler, Goebbels, Goering, Bormann (and Hess?)

    I think that Himmler with Goebbels win this and murder Goering and Bormann (and Hess?)
    like SA Ernst Röhm in "Night of the Long Knives" of 1934

    Heinrich Himmler becom new Führer of German Empire
    Josef Goebbels become Reichskanzler of German Empire ( Chancellor of Germany)
    SS Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich become the Leader of SS
    Waffen-SS Standartenführer Otto Skorzeny become number two of SS

    after Himmler death in 1970 or 1980?
    Reinhard Heydrich ??
     
  9. Tolkiene Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2007
    "I think that Himmler with Goebbels win this and murder Goering and Bormann (and Hess?)
    like SA Ernst Röhm in "Night of the Long Knives" of 1934

    Heinrich Himmler becom new Führer of German Empire
    Josef Goebbels become Reichskanzler of German Empire ( Chancellor of Germany)
    SS Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich become the Leader of SS
    Waffen-SS Standartenführer Otto Skorzeny become number two of SS

    after Himmler death in 1970 or 1980?
    Reinhard Heydrich ??"

    Why should Skorzeny become number two man in the SS? He was just a normal officer in the Waffen-SS -- and even if he had been a high-ranking general in the Waffen-SS, the SS is more than that.
    Someone like Karl Wolff, Dr. Werner Best (Heydrich's deputy from 1936 to 1940, then head of administration in the German Military Government in Northern France and Reichs Plenipotentiary in Denmark, a very capable jurist but also fanatical Nazi) or Dr. Hans Kammler (an engineer, was responsible for relocating production facilities of the Reich to the underground and later headed the V2-Project, one of Himmler's favourites) or one of the Higher SS and Police Leaders such as Prützmann, von dem Bach Zelewski, Globocnik or Kaltenbrunner would be a more realistic choice.

    As for Himmler becoming the next Fuehrer, that is possible. But Bormann might seize power. After all, while Himmler was powerful, power means that also he gathered a lot of enemies, also in his SS. Historically, Gruppenfuehrer Heinrich Mueller, Chief of the Gestapo, Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and Gruppenfuehrer Hermann Fegelein, SS Representative to the Fuehrer Headquarters, allied with Bormann, with Mueller and Kaltenbrunner in particular cultivating relations with Bormann from 1943 onwards (ironically before that Kaltenbrunner warned Himmler against Bormann, who was using the Gauleiters to place the civil service and administration in the Old Reich under his control). One should not forget that Himmler seizing power would mean the subordination of the Reich under the SS -- that could also make elements in the Wehrmacht and the Gauleiters support Bormann, who would, in the beginning, offer them a more moderate regimen, though in the end he would naturally turn on them and in particular purge the Wehrmacht (he hated the Heer generals in particular because they did not respect him).

    Speer is unlikely. He might have been capable in the functions in which he served in, though he is in general overrated, but he had absolutely no powe base -- neither in the Wehrmacht, nor in the SS nor in the Party. In my opinion in the final analysis the struggle would be between the SS and the Party, though there would also be struggle within these groups, since they were by no means monolithic.
     
  10. Wendell Wendell

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    If the war is won soon enough for the Nazis, Heinz Hitler could possibly become Fuehrer.
     
  11. Tolkiene Well-Known Member

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    Heinz Hitler, who is that? Hitler had no son, never intended to have one and was resolutely opposed to any form of dynastic succession.
     
  12. ThomasG Crusher of Zombie Wank

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    Now, Now, I'm sure he means Hitler has a Son, but gives him to someone else to raise and sets seemingly impossible tasks for him to prove himself to the people and once the SS acknowledge him as a worthy successor, Hitler will reveal the truth (damn lack of a laughter emoticon).
     
  13. Tolkiene Well-Known Member

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    There is zero evidence for Hitler having a son. Also according to numerous information, among the ones gathered in Hitler's Tabletalk, he was opposed to dynastic succession -- one of his main criticisms of Napoleon was that he gave his relatives so much influence although they were incapable. Thus the assumption of there being a "Heinz Hitler" (and why call him "Heinz", Siegfried would be better) has no factual basis.
     
  14. ThomasG Crusher of Zombie Wank

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    I know, I was just making fun of that sort of thing happening.

    Me personally, I hope they all kill each other.
     
  15. Tolkiene Well-Known Member

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    "Me personally, I hope they all kill each other."

    Eventually they would. The Gauleiters and local SS commanders would probably end up ruling their own fiefdoms, with the Reich government in Berlin having to resort to purges and such to retain control (such a balkanisation is certainly more plausible than a civil war between organisations, such as the Wehrmacht versus the SS, because none of these groups were monolithic).

    And the Reich would face unrest in the conquered territories, especially if the various mad schemes (Generalplan Ost in the East, annexation and Germanifcation of Northern France (proposed by Dr. Best in an essay directed to Reichsfuehrer Himmler), establishment of a colonial empire in Mittelafrika etc.) are carried out. The Reich, after all, was a looter's economy and so the Party and the government would constantly have to plunder the occupied territories to keep the German volk loyal, with the occupied territories eventually being drained of ressources, thus forcing them to wage more wars.

    I do not think that they would immediately murder each other after Hitler died. There would be purges, with probably either the Party bureaucracy under Bormann and his Gauleiters or the SS under Himmler/Heydrich/Wolff winning out, with the latter supported by the national conservative establishment (one of the reasons Himmler was in contact with the German Resistance was that Bormann's influence over Hitler had grown a lot and his alliance with Bormann was giving him little). But in time one can expect that some balkanisation would occur -- after all, already during the war they were all carving out little fiefdoms, Himmler wanted to become the new lord of Burgundy and get an empire in the east, Bormann wanted the Lebensraum in the east for his Gauleiters (Koch for instance, who ruled Ukraine as Reichskommissar) and was working on getting civil administration in the Altreich under his control, Best wanted to become Governor-General of Northern France, General von Epp (admittedly an irrelevant figure) wanted to be in charge of Mittelafrika as colonial minister, Gauleiter Terboven wanted to expand his domain in Norway to encompass Denmark, and, of course, the collaborationist leaders (Mussert, Degrelle etc.) all had their own ambitions.
     
  16. Draco Autokratōr

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    Sep 9, 2006
    This could go so many different ways. The big questions are though how and when the Nazis win and does Hitler retire or croak. If he dies one day in his sleep it’ll likely come down to who makes the first move which likely will be Bormann since in OTL he was controlling access to Hitler pretty thoroughly near the end. In this scenario I could see him propping up Göring as a puppet Fuhrer assuming Göring doesn’t suffer any catastrophic embarrassments during the war while being the real power behind the scene.
     
  17. Major Major Tired Old Man

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    Heinrich "Heinz" Hitler was the Führer's nephew, the older son of the Führer's half-brother Alois. He was captured on the Russian front and died in a Soviet prison.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinz_Hitler

    Adolf prefered him to his half-brother, William Patrick Hitler.
     
  18. Wendell Wendell

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    A nephew. Sorry for the ambiguity.
     
  19. Wendell Wendell

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    Hence my suggestion that the Nazis would need to win early for Heinz to succeed his uncle.
     
  20. Tolkiene Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I see. So he was his nephew. Hitler was opposed to a dynasty, but it is possible that his satraps (especially those with questionable legitimacy and a lack of charisma, such as Bormann) might build Heinz Hitler up as the natural successor to the first Fuehrer -- they might as well invent some stories about his "heroic deeds" on the eastern front against the Bolsheviks.

    Though, of course, we know not whether Heinz Hitler had any demagogical or administrative abilities, given that he never had the chance to prove that he had any. So he probably would end up being puppet Fuehrer, with someone like Bormann, Wolff or Heydrich pulling the strings.

    So then, under these circumstances, your theory is valid, Wendell. Sorry for misinterpreting it.

    Come to think of it, Wolff is another candidate. By all accounts (according to Jochen von Lang's book "SS General Karl Wolff - The Man between Hitler and Himmler") Wolff was a skilled intriguer, but also charming and a veteran of the first war. One of Himmler's favourites, he was seen as a possible successor (other candidates seem to have been, by Himmler's admission, Heydrich and, by virtue of rank and office, Kaltenbrunner), he also was trusted by Hitler, whom he dealt with frequently during his time as the Waffen-SS Representative in the FHQ.
    And, of course, Wolff, although as Chief of Staff he knew of the holocaust and also was involved in negotiations with the Ministry of Transport to get transport for Jews that were to be sent to the camps (the high altitude experiments by Dr Rasher in some of the camps were under the control of Wolff's office), he wasn't as openly associated with it as, say, Heydrich or Mueller. Thus, Wolff, also from a good middle class family and a lieutenant in an elite bodyguards regiment in WW1, might be able to present himself as a moderate SS leader to the public, also giving others the impression that they could control him better than the others. Wolff might ally himself with the conservative German nationalists such as Goerdeler and Popitz, giving them some puppet positions (Goerdeler as chancellor, Popitz as finance minister) and reach an accomodation with some Heer generals.

    And, of course, one must keeper younger people such as Dr. Best and the Gauleiters (Kaufmann, Hanke and possibly Giesler) in mind. While they would not be in line for succesion after Hitler died, they could become important once his successor is gone. The same is true for Dr. Klopfer, Bormann's deputy in the Party Chancellery, and Dr. Stuckart. And, of course, all of the Higher SS and Police Leaders.