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Hitler dies after Munich

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    Posted: 05 Oct 2012 at 14:10
On 1st August 1939, in the middle of one of his favoured creme pastries, a lifetime of quite incredible nervous energy takes its toll on German Reichschancellor Adolf Hitler. He dies suddenly of a heart attack. Walter Rudolf Richard Hess, a far less inspiring leader, takes control of Nazi Germany. Being a far more moderate man, he communicates to the Western Europeans that his only territorial ambitions extend to an honest plebiscite for Danzig. German territorial claims are largely settled, and the plebiscite in March 1940 reunites Danzig with the Third Reich. Germany satiated and under the rule of a far more moderate leader, a gradual liberalisation of the Third Reich begins and it morphs into a right wing authoritarian state not dissimillar to other European governments. Hess has not ambitions to conquer further territory, having righted the wrongs of Versailles.

What do you see happening from this point onwards?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2012 at 14:52
August 1 is too late, you have to take into account that Germany has already de facto annexed Czechoslovakia.

More importantly the country is already in deep economic trouble, Schacht having already walked out of government, the chief figure in economic governance was now Goering and deficit spending was ballooning - and the deals that Schacht had made with South American countries to pay for raw materials in Reichmarks were about ready to fall apart as the mark continually weakened. So many resources had been spent in building up the armed forces, there was intense pressure to justify the economic situation through using them. 

So you can't ignore the role of the miltary. The main figure that could most easily have got the support of both the military and much of the Party was Goering, already in charge of the economy and a popular war hero and also the original head of the secret police. Hess, on the verge of insanity if not already ther, I doubt would have lasted more than a few weeks, while the bloodletting was coming to fruition. I suspect myself that Himmler and his closest supporters would have been disposed of as fast as the Soviets got rid of Beria. 

Goebbels  and Ribbentrop I'd suspect would continue in their roles.

But everywhere I look I see Goering, with the support of the military (Goering was much more the military's kind of person than Hitler ever was) driven by the momentum of the military build-up into war. After all there wasn't just the Polish corridor left over from 1918, there was also Alsace-Lorraine. And the argument for Lebensraum was by no means solely a Hitlerian cause.

So I don't think there would be any significant difference, except in the actual conduct of the war. However what would probably not happen is the Holocaust, and with the anti-semitism weakened the Jewish scientists might not have been excluded from experimentation and development, which could at least in theory have given Germany nuclear facilities earlier....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2012 at 16:45
If they would got Danzig, they would ask Poznan/Posen soon.
the single postmodern virtue of obsessive egalitarianism
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