In history, all dominant narratives are challenged sooner or later by a fresh layer of historians who want to expand understanding on the period. For decades, it has been the dominant narrative that WW2 was inevitable. The Great Depression rendered all of Europe susceptible to the rise of far right nationalism, and with that, came WW2. Fascism was also provoked by the rise of communism, which gave it a totalitarian character due to its need to repress a vigorous and international movement. It is true that those factors were huge contribution to the rise of the Nazis in Germany. The Treaty of Versailles and economic difficulties due to the Great Depression led to huge resentment amongst the populace, and when big businesses had to make a choice between Hitler or the communists, they chose Hitler. I'm not saying the demise of democracy was avoidable in such strained conditions, I think it was probably inevitable without a workers revolution, but did that necessarily have to lead to war? How much was Hitler personally responsible for the outbreak of war in Europe, and how much was it long term materialist causes? Just because a government is right wing and authoritarian, doesn't mean it is necessarily recklessly expansionist. Mussolini had been in power for 18 years when Italy joined the war, but yet had not posed a serious threat to other European nations until that point. Abyssinia certainly created huge controversy, but at the end of the day, the British and the French let him have his way of things. Mussolini only decided to invade Greece and Albania once Germany gave it the go ahead by invading Poland and declaring war on the allies, before then Italy was on good terms with Britain and France. Likewise, Miklos Horthy in Hungary didn't invade Czechoslovakia and Romania for Hungarian ethnic territory, even though he wanted to and did during the war. What I'm trying to say is that fascist dictators, before Hitler, did manage to stay out of conflict with the allies and mostly went upon their business. Yes, the Treaty of Versailles was damaging, but by the 1930's the US, Britain, and France had largely abandoned the terms of the treaty and allowed Hitler to have his way. They let him bring back conscription and rearm, invade Austria, and even annex the Sudetenland. Hitler had already torn up the Treaty and made Germany a strong power again, he should have stopped there, and indeed that's what many of his generals thought. The Blomberg and Fritsch affair in 1938 was essentially over the generals wanting to stay out of war, and Hitler ignoring their advice. Say if Hitler had been a more level headed leader, and had stopped whilst he was ahead, could WW2 have possibly been avoided? Being afraid of the Soviet Union, Britain and France were very willing to be an ally to Hitler so long as he didn't continue to invade other countries, because he was a buffer to communist influence. WW2 in reality was kind of a strange accident, and never what politicians at the time wanted. Perhaps in this alternate scenario, tensions reach a very high level, but they never blow up into a full scale European war. Eventually, these tensions ease, trade between the European powers is restored, and the Nazi's, whilst still strongly antisemitic, don't go on a Europe wide killing spree and most German Jews end up fleeing the country to avoid annihilation, as they nearly all did before the war. Do you think that the post-war boom would cease to happen in this timeline, due to their being a lack of fresh demand for infrastructure that WW2 created? Or would the world eventually recover from the crash and still build mass consumer markets for household goods? How long would the Nazi regime last if it hadn't have been destroyed by the war? Would the USSR still survive until 1991 or would it collapse? Please tell me what you think of this.