Hitler Captured as POW in WWI

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Stahlheim, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Stahlheim Prussian Junkers For Clinton

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    What if Hitler was captured by the Allies during combat in the First World War when he was serving in a Bavarian regiment and remained a prisoner for the duration of the war? Would this make it less likely for him to believe in a "Stab in the Back" myth or at least prevent his involvement in politics by making it less likely he'd be hired as a military spy to watch radical rightist groups after the war?
     
  2. Alex1guy First Of His Name

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Location:
    The New Zealand Empire
    I mean maybe? Hard to say with this kind of POD that affects the individual on a personal level.
     
  3. Thomas Jefferson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    The butterfly effect would probably have a bigger impact than any psychological effect on Hitler. If he was a POW rather than in the hospital at the end of the war, it's unlikely he would have been recruited for intelligence.
     
  4. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    He get into POW camp in France, and spend his time painting because there was nothing else to do.

    Ironically, he ends up getting an invitation to enter Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

    Hitler: "Well, finally someone recognized my artistic aspirations..."

    He then ends up as an average artist the rest of his life.
     
  5. Thomas Jefferson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    ITTL The Sun Also Rises includes a German artist character with a funny mustache who always starts ranting about the Jews when he gets drunk.
     
  6. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    Except this time said artist will give his rant in German-accented-French, all while flailing baguettes from his hand.

    I could see him, very ironically, assimilate into French society in case him being accepted in French Academy of Arts.
     
  7. sloreck Grunt Bear

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Midwest
    If he is captured early he never gets the Iron Cross (2nd class) and never gets gassed - the first givers street cred, the latter affected his attitudes.
     
    theg*ddam*hoi2fan likes this.
  8. Tales Weaver Just An Ordinary CItizen

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Location:
    Kimpo, South Korea
    What if he got captured after he got iron cross?
     
  9. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    WI Hitler is captured by russians in ww1?
     
    Aloha likes this.
  10. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    He would likely be dead.
     
  11. Alan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    The only situation in which Hitler would get captured is if he were incapacitated by wounds. In all other situations he would probably fight to the death if contemporary accounts are to be believed.
     
  12. Catspoke Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Russian treatment of WW1 German POWs was reasonable, worst case would be he has to work on the Murmansk railway which was hard work. Tricky part was that a lot of POWs were in an awkward state with the Russian revolution, made it hard to get home, might be forced into some local militia, perhaps we get that time line where Hitler was a communist.
     
    Stahlheim, Aloha and King_Arthur like this.
  13. sloreck Grunt Bear

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Midwest
    I could see Hitler ending up in Siberia fighting with the Mad Baron. Certainly the rabid antisemitism of many of the Whites would appeal to Hitler, who was already down that road before WWI. I see a Hitler as a Russian POW more drifting with the Whites than the Reds.
     
  14. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    Or he could be Stalin's most loyal comrade and lackey, which is ironic.

    But having him being Trotsky's personal butler would be even more ironic.

    In all likeness though, Hitler would escape East, riding horse through Siberia and Mongolia, move to Tibet for some years, go to China, sailed to Japan, and go to USA, where he would go on as a Novelist writing his memoar "Twenty Years on Horseback Across Asia".
     
  15. Byzantion Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Location:
    Forum Romanum, Suburra
    Maybe he's ist captured by the French, Lesens the language. After being released He goes to Paris to become a painter again. In the 1920es he is often spotted as an obscure figure in the Parisian Boheme scene. He's struggeling and sleep on friend's floors. Most of the time He ist gomeless
     
  16. Roches Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Hitler painted while in France in WW1, while off-duty. Being a POW would give him more time for that, and the various butterflies would probably create a situation where someone else and some other party does what he did, although I don't think he would've been able to really make a living as the kind of artist he wanted to be, no matter how much practice he got. But if he still has to become the leader of the NSDAP and go full Hitler in this TL, he might be nicer to Russian POWs, analogously to how he was hesitant about chemical weapons IOTL because he'd been gassed.
     
  17. James Ricker Own your mistakes

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2016
    Location:
    Boston Massachusetts
    The men in Hitler's unit did not particularly like him they considered him a "brown nose". If that behavior holds true I can see him cooperating with his captors to help run the camp. That would be a serious stain on him which would hurt any future political ambitions.
     
  18. aaronupright Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    FWIW it’s not entirely clear when Hitler started on the anti-semitism track. People who knew him as a young man said he used express distaste for it.
    If he becomes a POW he might not go down that route.
     
    Dolan likes this.
  19. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    That reminds me of Roland Freisler, the head judge of the People's Court under the Third Reich. He served in a collaborative role after being taken captive on the Eastern Front. He developed a interest in Marxism and when the Bolsheviks came to power, they named him a Commissar of his POW camp (though he worked purely in a administrative role as the title of Commissar had not gained the political connotations that it does now)

    Needless to say, this part of his life affected the position he held in the Nazi Party. When he was recommended for the position of Justice Minister, Hitler supposedly said "That old Bolshevik? No",
     
    Stahlheim, Dolan and James Ricker like this.
  20. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    If Hitler was a POW, he would spent most of his time, painting and ranting about the Jews to anyone who would listen. Supposedly, he was a outcast in his unit for his anti-Semitism, so I doubt he would be a social butterfly as a prisoner of war.

    Ironically, though, I think his anti-Semitism might win him a few friends among French officers, since if I recall correctly, anti-Semitism is still rife among French conservative circles. They may use Hitler as a stool pigeon, spying on his fellow prisoners. Now, this would make him even less popular among his fellow prisoners.

    Assuming the war ends when it's supposed to, he is never recruited by Military Intelligence when word of his behaviour in the POW camp spreads around, which means he never joins the German Workers' Party. Chances are he would either become a artist or he dies in poverty. Either way, I don't see him becoming a politician.