"Our Struggle": What If Hitler Had Been a Communist?

Chapter LXXI
“Who did the council fight?"

"It split in two and fought itself."

"That's suicide!"

"No, ordinary behaviour. The efficient half eats the less efficient half and grows stronger. War is just a violent way of doing what half the people do calmly in peacetime: using the other half for food, heat, machinery and sexual pleasure. Man is the pie that bakes and eats himself, and the recipe is separation."



~ Alasdair Gray, Lanark








The city stretched to the horizon, black and forbidding. The gloom of the lengthening nights that came at the turn of every year was settling in amongst the city's inhabitants as they mainly opted to stay within the confines of their own homes, safe from the night and those who dwelled outside. Blackouts were alien to the city, a modern, industrial capital that had been used to electric light for a generation. Even during the First World War amidst the advent of aerial bombing of cities there hadn't been blackouts.

Berlin was not quite pitch black but where the lights remained, they often did not offer much hope

Only once before had modern Berlin endured such dark nights, when a general strike had left the German capital without electricity. It was the same now. In 1920 the strike had successfully brought down the right-wing militarists who had installed themselves in power, now the Einheitsfront of Communists, Socialists, and Trade Unionists hoped that history would repeat itself. Their enemies however, were confident they had learnt their lessons. They had been planning this ever since the last putsch had failed, after all.

It was perhaps for this reason that Kurt Von Schleicher had installed generators within the Reichstag.

The new Chancellor's office was a testament to Prussian efficiency and grandeur. Von Schleicher couldn't help but feel the historians of the future already remarking on how it was a fitting testament to the Chancellor who would remould Germany in his own image amongst the black, minimalist furniture and the portrait of Otto Von Bismarck that drew the eye whenever one stood in his presence. The man who unified Germany and the man who saved her. The latter gazing upon the former with divine inspiration whilst the great man nodded and smiled at his protege. It might make a stunning piece of art itself one day.

The portrait had adorned President Hindenburg's office until very recently but with the President now taking a well earned rest over the events of the past few weeks, Von Schleicher was certain he wouldn't mind it finding a new home. Hindenburg would be on his way out soon, a constitutional necessity meant that if the President retiring it would be the Chancellor who would have to relinquish control to the Crown Prince after order had finally been restored. Order would be restored but restoring the German Empire wasn't necessarily of the greatest priority once the dust had settled.

Von Schleicher had many tasks to accomplish but one burned at his energies more than any other. The Trae Unions turning against had been factored into his plans as a possibility but it was still a disappointment, he had genuinely hoped that those he had built relations with over the previous years could be brought on side into creating his new Germany, perhaps there was still time for them to see sense. For now though, their allies were the Communists and as such their strike had to be broken by force before it descended into full on civil war. He was a Bismarck, not a Kapp, after all and he would not blink.

His allies, on the other hand...

Von Schleicher had no doubt the presumptive Emperor would have no need for a portrait of Bismarck. More fitting would be one of his father, the one whom Bismarck could never tame. Von Schleicher would make sure that mistake would never be made again.

The Crown Prince was an idealist at heart, for all of his manouevering the Hohenzollern heir ultimately saw himself as having been delivered to Germany's aid via divine providence and that gave Von Schleicher an edge over him. Such men could be relied upon to never truly have both their feet on the ground as they looked up at the heavens. The correct reassurances could make them malleable to all sorts of influence that they would be blind to whilst being led to believe their own destiny was being reaffirmed. The Crown Prince would reign as a titular monarch, but the real power would be his. The new constitution he was drafting would ensure that, so long as the Wilhelm not-quite-the-third could be kept in the dark until his own Volkisch Bund deputies could force it through the neutured Reichstag.

It was for this reason that Von Schleicher shuddered when an aide announced that the Crown Prince had arrived to check the progress of his prospective Chancellor. Von Schleicher had aliented many people in his past, but he always satisfied himsef that such individuals only came to this conclusion about him after they'd already outlived their usefulness. The man was keen to get his hands on his birthright, Von Schleicher could understand that, but as a man who had had to climb the ladder from military obscurity to major statesman, he could not abide the Crown Prince's impatience.

Such wasn't all that surprising for a man whose life had been spent surrounded by wealth and privilege, patience was a virtue for the lower orders. Paegentry, on the other hand, was entirely within such a person's nature. His potential for disruption at this critical moment was vast however, and as such both had to be tolerated.

The Crown Prince had taken to wearing the uniform of the Prussian Hussars ever since Von Schleicher had become Chancellor, the culmination of a takeover they had planned for six years. For the Crown Prince's part, the uniform was likely to emphasise the nature of the emergency and the role of the military in dealing with it but it made the man look like he had just returned from an Opera. Just returned from starring in an opera, more specifically. The man towered over Von Schleicher with the aid of his busby hat adorned with the traditional skull and crossbones but the Chancellor bowed in deference all the same.

"I have come, Von Schleicher, to get your thoughts on this news of Hindenburg. I have confidence in you as my Chancellor but I must know how this will affect our plans." The Crown Prince's tone was concerned rather than irritable but even when impatient the royal could uphold a casual reserve built up by the assurances that he would get what he wanted eventually. It had its limits though.

"There is no need for worry your excellency. I advised Hindenburg that this would be the best course of action, because it is." Von Schleicher attempted to go on but the Crown Prince sighed warily even as he remained upright.

"You love to explain, man! But I do not appreciate being spoken down so often. You convinced me that I would have to accept Hindenburg standing in as regent, an affront to my family which has ruled Prussia for four centuries, even if it was only to be for a brief term. I accepted the wisdom of your advice but now you tell me that is not necessary, indeed it's preferable that it does not happen? This is all very embarrassing."

"I apologise for any embarrassment caused Excellency, but this situation-" he motioned to the blackened city behind him, "requires a more direct approach. The enemies of Germany have been exposed in their treacherous conspiracy but until it is fully snuffed out we cannot bother ourselves with constitutional niceties."

"Niceties." The word seemed to hang on the Crown Prince's lips as he interrupted Von Schleicher once more. "You considered it prescient to remove Hindenburg though, leaving yourself Head of Government and Head of State until he can be replaced."

Von Schleicher looked down at his desk and tried not to make a show of the fact he'd just bitten his lip. There was too much distrust in the air, reminding him more of the time he'd stared down the barrel of Hitler's gun in the Ruhr rather than the sweet nothings the heir to the German throne could usually be placated with.

"Beyond your divine right, Hindenburg was the only leader for this country but his health is not what it once was. You are ready to replace him now Excellency, and you have the momentum behind you now, but the framework doesn't exist. Constructing the Third Reich as we see fit requires a man who is loyal to you alone and is in his prime. Hindenburg doesn't help us in that regard any longer. He's an eighty two year old man who has sworn an oath to the Republic and is now surplus to our requirements. I, however, fit that criteria."

"Goering would as well" The Crown Prince remarked rhetorically, Von Schleicher chose to ignore the bait but it caught him off guard all the same.

"I assure you, you will be named Emperor soon enough but for now the name will have to wait." Von Schleicher gulped, realising he'd mispoke even as the Crown Prince's eyes narrowed. The affable posture was gone altogether now but replacing the impatience was something uncharacteristic of the royal, a sort of petulant smirk."

"I fear, Von Schleicher, that we may have underestimated one another."

The two men smiled at each other, a feeble act of composure, before either could speak an aide chapped hurriedly on the office door.

"Chancellor, er, and Your Excellency, there is a situation, the-"

"Ah, good, let the troops know my men mean them no harm, this is all for the Chancellor's benefit." The aide looked puzzedly to Von Schleicher, who despite his own confusion simply nodded. The Crown Prince threw open the doors of the office balcony, beckoning the noise of stomping boots and singing from outside. Shadows were dancing on the walls of the blacked out city.

"They're here to support their Head of State" he shouted, as he beckoned Von Schleicher to join him outside

Marching torches appeared as columns of blackshirts marched forward, singing their anthem; the Volksstimme. Amidst the river of flame, rhythmic marching and the unified chant Von Schleicher could only observe that the Crown Prince's taste for the theatrical was not restricted to the uniform. He focused on keeping himself composed, it seemed the few Reichswehr troops observing from the ground were attempting to do the same.

Von Schleicher felt confident that the blackshirts wouldn't do anything stupid with their leader by his side just as he was confident that the Reichswehr would put them down if necessary. The Volkisch Bund might have styled their anthem on their Italian brethern as they had done with their uniforms but this was Germany and he would not allow their leader to become another Mussolini. There could only can be one Duce after all.

The assembled blackshirts continued to sing triumphantly, chanting their anthem's refrain one last time-


Volksdeutsche, volksdeutsche
Es klirrt die Sklavenkette heute noch im Land.
Es kommt der Tag, da sie zerbricht,
Feige Knechte sind wir nicht!



-before silence engulfed them in unison.


The thousands of faces looked up at their Emperor with adoration, and to their Chancellor with indifference. Before the torchlight gave way to thousands of fascist salutes.

And amidst the heat and the glow, Von Schleicher refused to blink.


---



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The photomontage is Father and Son by John Heartfield

It would be remiss of me not to mention that Alasdair Gray passed away recently, Lanark is a fantastic read and I'd strongly urge everyone to give it a go.
 
Oh dear. It seems like this may be a set up for either the Crown Prince or Von Schleicher to turn against the other.

All the better for Hitler and the communists, I suppose.
 
Oh dear. It seems like this may be a set up for either the Crown Prince or Von Schleicher to turn against the other.

All the better for Hitler and the communists, I suppose.
My money is on the Crown Prince getting the drop on Schleicher and then the commies emulate the Bolsheviks and take out the Royals.
 
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What is the Reds! story about? I’ve heard the story but don’t know the premise.
A different history of the American socialist movement combined with the butterflying of the Progressive Era leads to a more intense involvement of the US in World War I and an eventual communist revolution when a reactionary coup tries to undo a Socialist election victory. The (former) US and USSR compete to lead the global Marxist movement and the Franco-British Union becomes the standard-bearer of global capitalism (with Objectivism!).
 
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A different history of the American socialist movement combined with the butterflying of the Progressive Era leads to a more intense involvement of the US in World War I and an eventual communist revolution when a reactionary coup tries to undo a Socialist election victory. The (former) US and USSR compete to lead the global Marxist movement and the Franco-British Union becomes the standard-bearer of global capitalism (with Objectivism!).
Sounds Wild. Is it good?
 
My money is on the Crown Prince getting the drop on Schleicher and then the commies emulate the Bolsheviks and take out the Royals.
If I recall correctly, a 1936 map showed the Reactionaries still holding on East Prussia. I don't know if that was retconned though.
 
For an easy expansion of the German Red Army, they can integrate the Roter Frontkampferbund with elements of the Reichswehr loyal to the reds.

On the topic of the East Prussian Reactionary remnant - well, I can't see that lasting too long. Such a state is very fragile for numerous reasons.

Once the civil war wraps up, the conditions are RIPE for the French Far Right to prosper, when their tradition enemy has become communist at that point.

Assuming FDR wins the presidency, he won't join the European War TTL. Probably still a pacific war, but FDR very unironically loved Stalin - not even because he was a mere co allied power, but it actually went to before that - I like FDR but I can't get passed his admiration for Stalin.

I will say as a conservative my self, being unbiased and objective, I don't think the Soviet Union or Germany for that matter TTL can be ousted and occupied like the OTL Fascist Regimes. Not only the FDR factor, but additionally Germany and the Soviet Union's combined industrial might cannot really be challenged by any sort of Franco British Italian pact. I say France will be lucky if it even survives, but even that is questionable, France might just fall to the red tide, Eurasia in general actually.

The British working class at this point will not be very willing to support any sort of war, it is not like the comintern (while still authoritarian nightmare in my opinion) are the straight up sadistic evil of Nazi Germany OTL.

This may well result in a really aggressive cold war - Socialist Eurasia against a capitalist Anglo Sphere and colonial regimes that are generally exile ones in Africa. It also may be one that is longer than our OTL counterpart, as the Soviet Union lacks key disadvantages it has OTL. It has an actual strong sovereign European ally to work with, (germany) so it will not be over extended, communist Eurasia should have far larger resource pool and additionally not be spread out so extreme, and additionally, once Hitler dies, as will Stalin, both states can probably moderate to a greater extent than they did OTL as there will be no serious threat to their security given their increased power.

Ironically while the Americans focus in the pacific, the Comiterm may just invade Korea and Manchuria, making it an effective co belligerent for a time.
 
The British working class at this point will not be very willing to support any sort of war, it is not like the comintern (while still authoritarian nightmare in my opinion) are the straight up sadistic evil of Nazi Germany OTL.
I don't think that Britain went to war against Nazi Germany in OTL because the Nazis were sadistic and evil (though they certainly were). If they were persecuting German Jews horribly and leaving other countries alone, the West wouldn't have cared. Britain went to war against Nazi Germany because it is not in Britain's national interest to abandon France and allow a single aggressive expansionist state to control the resources of the whole of Europe. Fascist Hitler's Germany was aggressive, expansionist, and in 1939 (by the record of recent history) demonstrably untrustworthy and intent on conquering Europe. ATL Communist Hitler's Germany will likely also have these traits. I don't know if it will kick off in Czechoslovakia, Poland or somewhere out of left field like Spain, but the text has told us that ATL Communist Hitler's "German Ideology" places much more emphasis on violent military expansion (rather than internal revolution) than ordinary Marxism-Leninism does, and I'm pretty sure that will mean war with France and Britain eventually.
 
I don't think that Britain went to war against Nazi Germany in OTL because the Nazis were sadistic and evil (though they certainly were). If they were persecuting German Jews horribly and leaving other countries alone, the West wouldn't have cared. Britain went to war against Nazi Germany because it is not in Britain's national interest to abandon France and allow a single aggressive expansionist state to control the resources of the whole of Europe. Fascist Hitler's Germany was aggressive, expansionist, and in 1939 (by the record of recent history) demonstrably untrustworthy and intent on conquering Europe. ATL Communist Hitler's Germany will likely also have these traits. I don't know if it will kick off in Czechoslovakia, Poland or somewhere out of left field like Spain, but the text has told us that ATL Communist Hitler's "German Ideology" places much more emphasis on violent military expansion (rather than internal revolution) than ordinary Marxism-Leninism does, and I'm pretty sure that will mean war with France and Britain eventually.
I think Johnharry was making the point that OTL, the British working class was pretty heavily committed to complete the destruction of the Nazi state. The Blitz, rationing, threats of invasion, and V2 rockets never really challenged the working class' support for continuing WWII to the bitter end. ATL, when the enemy is ideologically much more appealing to British working class interests, the will might not be there in the same way. No doubt the British state and ruling class have a heavy interest in making sure a militaristic, hyper expansionist, Communist state doesn't dominate European resources. But British labor might not have those same interests, and strikes during wartime can be crippling.
 
I don't think that Britain went to war against Nazi Germany in OTL because the Nazis were sadistic and evil (though they certainly were). If they were persecuting German Jews horribly and leaving other countries alone, the West wouldn't have cared. Britain went to war against Nazi Germany because it is not in Britain's national interest to abandon France and allow a single aggressive expansionist state to control the resources of the whole of Europe. Fascist Hitler's Germany was aggressive, expansionist, and in 1939 (by the record of recent history) demonstrably untrustworthy and intent on conquering Europe. ATL Communist Hitler's Germany will likely also have these traits. I don't know if it will kick off in Czechoslovakia, Poland or somewhere out of left field like Spain, but the text has told us that ATL Communist Hitler's "German Ideology" places much more emphasis on violent military expansion (rather than internal revolution) than ordinary Marxism-Leninism does, and I'm pretty sure that will mean war with France and Britain eventually.
I think you are missing my point. Without the Nazi's evil, the British working class will not really be enthusiastic for such a war effort to be honest. People forget how reluctant for some time the working class of the west was willing to support a war against Nazi Germany OTL, only really doing so when realizing the dire situation on the ground. Fighting two socialist states, one of which is able to threaten India and much of the British sphere in Asia is not going to sell well.
Yes, war will occur, with both the Germans and Soviets as revealed in a trailer, but how long will the working class be willing to support it?
 
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I think you are missing my point. Without the Nazi's evil, the British working class will not really be enthusiastic for such a war effort to be honest. People forget how reluctant for some time the working class of the west was willing to support a war against Nazi Germany OTL, only really doing so when realizing the dire situation on the ground. Fighting two socialist states, one of which is able to threaten India and much of the British sphere in Asia is not going to sell well.
Yes, war will occur, with both the Germans and Soviets as revealed in a trailer, but how long will the working class be willing to support it?
Im sure there will be plenty of Atrocities which the Germans commit when the war kicks off to make sure the Public is sufficently outraged to eliminate doubt in most minds, especially with Propaganda broadcasts and ministry reenforcing it.
 
Im sure there will be plenty of Atrocities which the Germans commit when the war kicks off to make sure the Public is sufficently outraged to eliminate doubt in most minds, especially with Propaganda broadcasts and ministry reenforcing it.
But for at least eleven years? Regardless of how much propaganda is forced down the throats of the Allied people, I don't think they're going to stomach a war against two industrial and military behemoths for more than a decade.
Especially considering the US public hadn't been properly 'red-scared' yet. In the aftermath of the Great Depression they're not going to want war with a foreign power unless it attacks them directly - like Japan did - and they only supported involvement in Europe OTL because Japan was allied with the Germans. In this timeline, they don't really hold anything against Germany or the USSR, so they're not really going to be particularly enthused about fighting them.
Beyond which, consider the toll the war will have on the US economy. Things went well for them OTL because they were fighting a few economically-inferior, war-weary opponents for only four years. However, the USSR at least will have incredible industrial capacity - it isn't interrupted by a Nazi invasion ITTL, after all, so they'll be much more capable of supporting a war if Red Germany isn't.
 
Im sure there will be plenty of Atrocities which the Germans commit when the war kicks off to make sure the Public is sufficently outraged to eliminate doubt in most minds, especially with Propaganda broadcasts and ministry reenforcing it.
Unless you have a holocaust 2.0, not really. The western public will see it as akin to the propaganda of WWI otherwise, so it won't really work. Even OTL, the holocaust was denied fairly widely early on, despite its magnitude, because of WWI propaganda. In this case, there won't be any holocaust, there will probably be much less severe crimes even than WWI, and the public will simply not buy it. Eric Blair defecting to the Comitern shows what direction the British left will be going, anyway. Unlikely people only slightly more centre then him will SUPPORT a war against it. Granted...Britain could go ultra reactionary.
There won't be a holocaust, there won't be lebensraum, and it is likely at least on the western front, rules of war will be mostly followed. Even assuming say, excessive civilians casualties occur due to bombing, it may not be enough for citizens to wan't to die for, especially if they feel their government dragged them into this crisis.
Its also important to know that the worst regime in this timeline as far as I can tell is the Italian Social Republic, one can look at their attrocities towards Slavs Libyans and Ethiopians OTL to see what the public will be looking at TTL.
This Germany isn't anti semitic by all accounts in the trailers, Hitler will probably still be fairly crazy especially if he retains his meth addiction, but that might manifest itself more into outlandish battle plans he has.
Regardless, America is essentially not going to enter no matter what. Churchill admired Stalin and will still mainly focus on Japan, a capitalist colonial nation ttl Hitler won't really care about. Given Japanese Soviet border clashes, potentially America may end up a co comintern belligerent on the East, though that is perhaps questionable.
If Britain enters the war, the Comitern can steamroll the mideast fairly quick and begin to enter India. Bose, who initially looked to the soviets to free India but got snubbed OTL, will gladly co operate with them in this timeline. It's important to know Indians had no love for the British, and despite Japanese atrocities against their POWs, the Indian public wanted to pardon collaborators upon independence as the collaborators were seen by many as patriots against colonialism and Bose today has a very popular legacy.
Even though Germany may be recovery slightly still by 1936 due to the civil war, it is important to note in 1936 Italy is even MORE unprepared than OTL as well. Especially given they may be tied fighting Ethiopians as well in this. Austro Fascist Regime was infamously unpopular and many Austrians will welcome red Germany.
The odds aren't good for the anti comintern - they will be lucky to even get a stalemate to be honest, a socialist Eurasia seems most likely though.
 
But for at least eleven years? Regardless of how much propaganda is forced down the throats of the Allied people, I don't think they're going to stomach a war against two industrial and military behemoths for more than a decade.
Especially considering the US public hadn't been properly 'red-scared' yet. In the aftermath of the Great Depression they're not going to want war with a foreign power unless it attacks them directly - like Japan did - and they only supported involvement in Europe OTL because Japan was allied with the Germans. In this timeline, they don't really hold anything against Germany or the USSR, so they're not really going to be particularly enthused about fighting them.
Beyond which, consider the toll the war will have on the US economy. Things went well for them OTL because they were fighting a few economically-inferior, war-weary opponents for only four years. However, the USSR at least will have incredible industrial capacity - it isn't interrupted by a Nazi invasion ITTL, after all, so they'll be much more capable of supporting a war if Red Germany isn't.
Yeah, US entering on the side of the capitalist powers is ASB. Roosevelt admired Stalin (even before WWII) and is far more focused on the Japanese "rising sun" than the comintern in all likely hood. The comintern won't care about Japan and will likely be more than happy to accommodate a destruction of a threat in the East.

Potentially actually this may lead America to become a breif co belligerent against the Comiterm, as the Soviets may take the chance to seize Manchuria and then perhaps do a joint Invasion of the Islands with the US.
 
Yeah, US entering on the side of the capitalist powers is ASB. Roosevelt admired Stalin (even before WWII) and is far more focused on the Japanese "rising sun" than the comintern in all likely hood. The comintern won't care about Japan and will likely be more than happy to accommodate a destruction of a threat in the East.

Potentially actually this may lead America to become a breif co belligerent against the Comiterm, as the Soviets may take the chance to seize Manchuria and then perhaps do a joint Invasion of the Islands with the US.
Hate to break it to you, but I believe it was implied in Chapter XXVII that not only had the US sided with Britain by 1947, but also that the Comintern was starting to lose the war.
 
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