“What if Nazi Germany won WW2?” – A topic of debate among historians, authors, TV producers, game manufacturers, armchair strategists, and regular folks for decades, can be neatly summed up with something like nothing good. But what if Germany won WW2?
Master of dystopian science-fiction, Philip K. Dick, author of the chilling The Man in the High Castle, which has since been adapted into a hit Amazon Prime TV series, explored the question in his works.
Using this famous TV series as a jumping-off point, let’s ask, how could Germany have won WW2 based on that timeline? What would the world be like if Germany won World War II?
Show Table of Contents
- How Could Germany Have Won WW2?
- The Man in the High Castle: The Book vs the TV Show
- The Book
- The TV Show
- Does “The Man In The High Castle” Provide Any Insight?
- Does U.S. Indifference Help Germany?
- Does the U.S. Finally Get Involved?
- Does the U.S. Survive?
- Other Media Showcasing an Alternate Reality Where Germany Wins World War II
- In the Presence of Mine Enemies
- Wolfenstein: The Alternate History Collection
- What Would Have Happened If Germany Really Had Won WW2?
- What happens to America in this scenario?
- What Would German Foreign Relations Be Like?
- What Would Have Happened If Hitler and Germany Had Won?
- 1. Hitler’s Concept of a “Master Race” Would be Established
- 2. The Horrors of The Holocaust Would Continue
- 3. Medical Experiments would become standard practice
- 4. Freedom of Speech would cease to exist
- 5. It is likely that certain races would no longer exist
- 6. Mental Health Issues, Physical Disability, Birth Defects, Homosexuality, and Transgenderism would be a Death Sentence
- 7. Germany would have attained nuclear dominance
- 8. The subjugation of Eastern Europe and individuals who were not Aryan
- 9. Germany would permanently annex parts of Russia
- 10. Europe would adopt German as its official language
- 11. Hitler’s face would be everywhere
- What Would Life Be Like Under Nazi Rule?
- Would Anything “Positive” Have Arisen from a German Victory?
- Final Thoughts
How Could Germany Have Won WW2?
In our “timeline,” the Axis powers, primarily consisting of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Kingdom of Italy, were defeated by the cooperation between 3 major forces (and their smaller allies); The United Kingdom of Great Britain, along with her Dominions and Empire, the United States of America, and the Soviet Union.
Specifically, in the defeat of Nazi Germany, the British, the Americans, and the Soviets had to function like legs of a tripod – if one leg fell, the whole tripod would. Each provided the necessary components to victory:
- Britain, the Commonwealth, and Empire had control or access to thousands of strategically vital ports, airbases, and troop centers across the globe and the world’s largest navy and merchant fleet. In the Empire, Britain fielded the largest volunteer army in history (the British Indian Army) and, for a short time, was the Soviet Union’s primary source of armored vehicles, artillery pieces, aircraft, and medical supplies. She was also in the fight essentially from day one, providing other allies with much-needed experience, was home to numerous governments and armies in exile, and was the primary fomenter and backer of anti-axis resistance movements all over the world. Britain pioneered many war-winning concepts, weapons, and technologies, was also instrumental in breaking secret Axis codes, and was unrivaled in the world of espionage and sabotage.
- The United States had a vast financial war chest and near unlimited access to food and raw materials that could build and fuel fleets and armies. Due to her location, safely far away from Europe or Japan, she could serve as the “factory of democracy,” churning out millions of high-quality weapons, armored vehicles, transports, aircraft, ships, radios, medicines, and more to equip her forces and her allies through “Lend-Lease.” She also played a crucial role in the war in the European Theater of Operations, providing men and materials for the fight and leading the controversial “Island Hopping” campaign against the Japanese in the Pacific. By the end of the war, the U.S. would have the world’s largest navy and would be the world’s first nuclear superpower, kicking off the Nuclear Age by dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- The Soviet Union was allied with Hitler at the outbreak of WW2 and actually helped the Nazis conquer Poland in 1939. Hitler’s initial plan for Europe was to first conquer Western Europe before initiating an attack on the Soviet Union. But, by mid-1941, the Germans, after being flummoxed by the British, betrayed their erstwhile allies and invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. The Soviets and modern-day Russians brag about doing most of the “killing work,” even though they suffered devastating losses and, thanks to shoddy logistics and poor leadership, were days away from defeat were it not for Lend-Lease from the U.S. and UK. By 1945 they had gradually managed to wear down the German army on the Eastern Front and drove into Berlin, ending the war in Europe.
WW2 would have been much more challenging for the Allies to win had any of these nations stayed neutral. And two of the three had every intention of doing just that, were it not for attacks on their territory!
See related: Things That Will SHOCK You about Germany
The Man in the High Castle: The Book vs the TV Show
Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle is a work of alternate history fiction. Published in 1962, the novel presents a hypothetical reality in which the Axis powers, namely Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, emerged victorious over the United States of America and its Allied forces during World War II.
In this particular reality, the assassination of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 proved to be a pivotal event that hindered the United States from fully recovering from the Great Depression. Consequently, the nation refrained from joining World War II in opposition to the Axis powers of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy.
The narrative centers around a handful of key individuals in varying circumstances. The narrative unfolds within a society where Japanese individuals are held in the highest esteem among Americans. Philip K. Dick’s portrayal of the cultural milieu in TMITHC is marked by striking intensity.
To write the book, Philip K. Dick himself relied on the I Ching, resulting in a narrative that possesses an impromptu and unstructured quality. TMITHC was honored with the Science Fiction Hugo Award for best novel in 1962. This exceptional work by Philip K. Dick incorporates numerous classic themes and writing techniques while offering a different reading experience.
The TV Show
Philip K. Dick’s novel “The Man in the High Castle” and its subsequent television adaptation have captured viewers’ attention with their intriguing alternate history premise and intellectually stimulating plot. Although the book and the show share a fundamental basis, they exhibit significant discrepancies in multiple respects.
The Amazon Studios-produced television series builds upon the foundation established in the book, delving into a more intricate and extensive storyline. Although the fundamental concept remains unchanged, the show adopts a more serialized and expansive approach to the narrative, incorporating additional layers of complexity.
The book and the TV show diverge significantly in their visual portrayal of the world. The book offers detailed descriptions of the new, fascist United States under Axis control.
The book and the TV show address similar themes, such as totalitarianism, resistance, identity, and the nature of reality. But, the TV version delves more profoundly into these themes by scrutinizing the intricacies of loyalty, morality, and the outcomes of one’s actions. The extended scope of the TV series enables a thorough analysis of social and political concerns, drawing correlations to the present-day world.
Does “The Man In The High Castle” Provide Any Insight?
Let’s jump to The Man in the High Castle’s “What if Germany won WW2” timeline, where Franklin Delano Roosevelt was successfully assassinated by Italian-American anarchist Giuseppe Zangara in 1933, shortly after being elected president.
Without FDR’s policies and fireside chats, America’s recovery from the Great Depression would have been glacial. And the U.S. withdrew from the global stage, becoming more isolationist, angering the Japanese further as Japan relied on the U.S. for trade in oil and rubber.
With America unsympathetic to Europe and China’s plight, the Nazi victory is certain in this timeline. Throughout the ’30s, Nazi Germany becomes bolder, reoccupying the Rhine with troops and annexing Austria and the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, all in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles.
War broke out in Europe in 1939. Germany (with her current Soviet allies) invades Poland. Britain and France, who until now have pursued a path of appeasement regarding German aggression, declare war on Germany.
After France’s surrender in June 1940, recently installed Prime Minister Winston Churchill (a bulldog-faced soldier and statesman and Britain’s premier during WW2 in our timeline) was assassinated by Nazi agents.
Churchill despised the Nazis, and although he wasn’t a popular figure among some Britons, he was a tremendous rally-rouser who did much to unite the British against the Axis and was primarily responsible for getting America involved in WW2. It’s possible some of Britain’s will to fight would’ve dissipated with his death.
By 1941, Britain stood alone in the West (supplemented by her Commonwealth and Empire). It actively engaged German and Italian forces in North Africa to control vital oil fields and the Mediterranean. Her holdings in Asia come under Japanese attack.
China continues waging a hopeless war against the Japanese in the east, bringing the Chinese constant military defeats and inhuman subjugation of her people since 1934. In June 1941, Germany betrayed its alliance with the Soviet Union (as always planned) and invaded the USSR.
Does U.S. Indifference Help Germany?
In our timeline, Britain and China would’ve received vast amounts of tanks, aircraft, ammunition, fuel, food, and medical supplies from the U.S. in the form of Lend-Lease. Through Lend-Lease, Britain supplied the Soviets with necessary war materials to keep them fighting while simultaneously rearming her forces after abandoning much of the British Army’s heavy equipment at Dunkirk and losing aircraft during the Battle of Britain.
With isolationist policies, it’s unlikely America would’ve supplied Britain. For that reason, Britain could not have adequately rearmed itself and would likely have suffered defeat in Africa and the Mediterranean, losing territories and access to oil.
Britain also would’ve been unable to supply the Soviet Union, likely resulting in German forces winning the Battle of Stalingrad and punching through to the vast oil fields in the Urals and the Middle East. With no access to fuel and no vital supplies being shipped in by Britain, the USSR would likely have fallen soon after.
If America had kept to itself, Germany would have been fuelled and ready to take on the world. They would have had the resources of multiple powerful nations at their disposal, not to mention many people to build and fight.
In this timeline, China would have been in big trouble, too, with the Japanese taking advantage of an overstretched Britain and would have likely brought the entire nation under heel. The British and Commonwealth states of Burma, India, Australia, New Zealand, not to mention the Americans in Hawaii would have been sweating bullets.
See related: Common Misconceptions of Germany
Does the U.S. Finally Get Involved?
The Attack on Pearl Harbor in The Man in the High Castle timeline is an invasion, almost annihilating the US Navy’s Pacific fleet on December 7th, 1941. The attack, launched in concert with the Japanese conquering of Oceania and much of Southeast Asia, left the entire Pacific under Japanese control. Only now does America get involved, declaring war on the Axis, but it’s too late.
At some point between 1941-1945, Britain was either invaded by the Germans or capitulated, and a Nazi-friendly government was installed. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth would likely be imprisoned or executed. And Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson were crowned King and Queen, respectively, following Nazi plans regarding the occupation of Britain – it was an open secret that Edward and his American wife were Nazi sympathizers.
After a minor victory saw America briefly retake Hawaii in 1942, the U.S. was met with constant defeats and gradually forced back to its continental borders. By 1945, Japan controls Asia and the Pacific. Germany has occupied Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico, parts of Canada, and Alaska.
The Nazis and Japanese now surround the continental United States, threatening sea invasions from both coasts and land invasions from the Canadian and Mexican borders unless the US surrenders unconditionally.
Does the U.S. Survive?
America refuses, and the invasion commences. On December 11th, the Germans deploy a nuclear bomb on Washington D.C. (now known as the District of Contamination), leading to America’s official surrender. Resistance fighters continued battling occupying German and Japanese forces, but the back of the resistance was broken in 1947.
The U.S. is now carved in two. Germany takes the lion’s share in the form of the Eastern U.S. and the Midwest, while Japan takes the West Coast.
Between them is “The Neutral Zone” in the Rockies – a buffer between the two fascist empires that neither controls, but both maintain limited presences. It’s also a relatively safe location for the remaining American Resistance movements to hide while the disputes between Japan and Germany intensify – which leads us to 1962, where The Man in the High Castle begins.
See related: The German National Anthem: Das Deutschlandlied
Other Media Showcasing an Alternate Reality Where Germany Wins World War II
What is it about the idea of Germany winning the Second World War that captures our imagination? I think there are two reasons why this is the case. For starters, World War II was an absolutely massive conflict that significantly impacted history – even today, over 70 years later, it’s still fresh in many people’s minds and still influences peoples’ biases, perceptions, and even global politics.
Next, and I cannot stress this enough, up until the Russian invasion of Ukraine, World War II is among the few conflicts in history where the lines between good and evil are crystal clear and certainly the only ones in living memory. Usually, wars are morally murky, but not this one. The Holocaust alone sets it apart from any other war.
There’s no denying the Allies committed war crimes – but let’s be real. There’s no comparison to the absolute horror of Nazi Germany’s attempt to wipe out an entire race of people. An entire industry, factories, were built to kill people and harvest bits of them for use in the Reich.
I mean, if Germany had actually won the war, we all know what would have happened to the Jews and other groups deemed “undesirable” within their borders. It’s genuinely terrifying to think about.
We can’t exactly hop in a time machine and find out, but that hasn’t stopped some imaginative writers from taking a crack at it. Discover two intriguing literary works that offer imaginative and unconventional depictions of a world where Germany emerged victorious.
The novel “Fatherland” by Robert Harris offers a compelling alternate history in which Nazi Germany emerges as the victorious power in World War II. The novel depicts Berlin in 1964, under the rule of Hitler’s victorious regime following World War II.
The narrative revolves around Xavier March, a detective who has lost faith in his work, assigned to probe the demise of a prominent Nazi leader. March’s inquiry leads him to discover a far-reaching conspiracy involving the secret burial of thousands of Jews. Amidst personal obstacles and perils, March confronts his inner turmoil and faces difficult decisions that challenge his allegiance to truth and justice.
Fatherland is an eye-opening reminder of the perils of becoming too comfortable and ignoring injustice. The book’s alternate history makes you think about how different outcomes can completely change the course of history. It’s a call to action to reflect on our past to pave a brighter future.
In the Presence of Mine Enemies
Harry Turtledove’s “In the Presence of Mine Enemies” is a compelling work of alternate history literature. Released in 2003, the novel offers readers a stimulating premise in which the Axis Powers triumphed in World War II.
In this alternate world, Germany, under Hitler’s leadership, managed to conquer Europe, Russia, and certain regions of the Middle East, thereby establishing a totalitarian government founded on anti-Semitic beliefs and racial purity. And the Nazi regime successfully maintained its power grip for over sixty years.
Turtledove’s novel is a powerful reminder of how dangerous extremist ideologies can be. Vividly portraying the devastating effects of Nazi Germany’s reign encourages us all to step back and think about the harm that hates, intolerance, and dehumanization can cause.
A considerable number of fictional works depict a scenario in which Germany triumphs in World War II. But, for this article, we will focus on the intriguing perspective presented in the renowned book/series, The Man In The High Castle.
Wolfenstein: The Alternate History Collection
The OG Nazi shooter made a return to our screens in a 2014 reboot of the series. The reimagined Wolfenstein franchise also saw a return of its primary protagonist, BJ Blazkowicz, and its chief villain, General Deathshead – but that’s where the similarities ended.
Over the (chronological) story arc of the three main games (and that VR game we don’t talk about), you start as BJ on a journey that starts with the Allies being on the cusp of defeat in 1946, uncovering nightmarish Nazi secrets and unimaginable wunderwaffe (wonder weapons).
You then take part in the last make-or-break attack the Allies can muster, only to have it fail at the hands of Nazi superweapons (and frankly terrifying) robot dogs. Shrapnel leaves BJ Comatose – only to wake up in a psych ward in 1960, the world now under Nazi control.
From there, it’s a rollicking ride across the world, seeing its darkest and most intriguing corners (not to mention the moon and later Venus), as well as finding love, settling scores, liberating the U.S., having kids, and finding the most creative ways to butcher Nazis, who absolutely have it coming.
You’ll eventually end up in an alternate 1980s Nazi-occupied Paris, playing as one of BJ’s kids, hiding out in the Paris Catacombs, working with the resistance, and finding a way to kill the new Fuhrer.
What Would Have Happened If Germany Really Had Won WW2?
Well, for one, the Holocaust would have been FAR worse, and the world would have seen the disappearance of certain races, creeds, and skin colors.
The Man in the High Castle timeline notes that Europe, the Balkans, and the former USSR are purged of all Jews and Slavs. Other “Untermenschen” (sub-humans) are also systematically exterminated (Romas, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, the physically handicapped, anyone who opposed Nazism in any way, etc.). Much of the former USSR is left as an uninhabited wasteland.
In Europe, some nations would be afforded preferential treatment to Scandinavian countries and the British Isles. Hitler believed that Britons, Germans, and Scandinavians were cousins cut from the same Aryan cloth because most people from these nations fit the Aryan stereotype; light skin, eyes, and hair with taller statures. West-central and Southern European countries, while not as low as Untermenschen, would likely have received poorer treatment.
In the show, Italy and her empire, despite being allied to Germany, are absorbed by Germany (in the book Italy stays independent but is a German client state). While European nations would have national leaders, these leaders would be purely ceremonial, and everyone would be a Nazi. Realistically the continent would cease to exist as a collection of independent states and become a super-state the Nazis called Europa.
Africa becomes a continent-sized hunting ground, with the mass genocide or enslavement of her indigenous population. In the Middle East, the Nazis would probably have been welcomed by Muslim Arabs, who had spent decades under British rule, and many also hated the Jews.
Many Arabs fighting the British during WW2 were granted “Honorary Aryan Status” by the Nazis (fitting, considering ACTUAL Aryans come from modern-day Iran – the clue is in the name). A famous phrase among Syrians at the height of the fighting in the Middle East was, “In heaven, God is your ruler. On earth, it’s Hitler.”
What happens to America in this scenario?
In America, Nazism would likely have taken root far easier than implied in the book and TV adaptation of The Man in the High Castle.
Nazism was surprisingly popular within the U.S. from the 1920s, even until after WW2 broke out. Let’s not forget that the first battle fought in WW2 was in Times Square, over which side America should support! Also, racism was federal government policy in the form of Jim Crow laws. These very same laws inspired the Nazi’s rules regarding the treatment of Jews.
So popular was Nazism in America that during the 1930s, the U.S. devised plans for an invasion of British-aligned Canada should war break out in Europe, with America finding herself on Germany’s side. If Roosevelt had been assassinated, America could’ve conformed with Nazism without a shot fired.
But, in The Man in the High Castle, America eventually fights back and suffers for it. It’s known that the vast majority of the Black U.S. population is enslaved once again. Those not enslaved, the American Jewish population, and other undesirables are exterminated.
See related: Best Things to Do in Germany | Points of Interest
What Would German Foreign Relations Be Like?
Pretty simple for the Germans, as the only real foreign power that the Nazis need deal with would be the Japanese Empire. Everywhere outside of Japanese-controlled territory would have fallen under the direct control of Berlin or would be a Nazi client state.
Based on the Leader Principle, all Nazi client states would defer to Germany, as done under German occupation during WW2.
In The Man in the High Castle, there’s growing discontent between the two erstwhile allies as Germany advances and grows technologically and militarily. At the same time, Japan’s growth is hindered by her ties to traditionalism. The possibility of a Nazi invasion of Japanese holdings looked certain until the Japanese created their atomic bomb to rival Germany.
In all likelihood, had the Axis succeeded, according to The Man in the High Castle, Germany would’ve inevitably declared war on Japan.
Although the Japanese were afforded Honorary Aryan Status, the Nazis viewed all other Southeast Asians as sub-human, and it’s likely that within 20-40 years, their mission of creating a “racially pure 1,000-year Reich” would resume. Having the resource, numerical, financial, and technological advantage, the Nazis would have probably won.
What Would Have Happened If Hitler and Germany Had Won?
Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany played a central role in the Axis powers during the Second World War, widely regarded as one of the most significant conflicts in human history. The Allies emerged victorious despite this, shattering Hitler’s aspiration of a thousand-year Reich. But what if history had taken a different turn?
It’s wild to think about, but we can use historical military doctrine and national agendas to make some guesses about what might have happened. So let’s take a trip down the rabbit hole and see how tragic things could have been if Hitler had won the war.
1. Hitler’s Concept of a “Master Race” Would be Established
Hitler had big dreams even before the war broke out. He wanted to create a massive Aryan empire stretching central and eastern Europe. And why did he think this was a good idea?
He believed that immigration made Europe vulnerable, so he thought the solution was to be super ethnocentric. According to him, the most beautiful people were those with blue eyes and blonde hair from the north, while Jewish folks and Slavs were just plain inferior.
But guess what? Science actually shows that mixing different races leads to healthier and smarter children. Even back then, scientists were sneaking around with their research, totally contradicting Hitler’s silly idea of a “Master Race.”
2. The Horrors of The Holocaust Would Continue
During World War II, Hitler openly intended to exterminate all Jewish people. This military plan was known as “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question” and included the murder of all Jews, not just in Europe.
The Nazi Party publicly referred to Jews as the only foreigners in Europe. Initially, the German government maltreated Jews to encourage emigration. But, as war broke out, the Nazis began their genocide of all Jews.
Hitler clarified that he wanted to eliminate 100% of the Jewish race, as well as certain ethic groups or anyone considered sub-human. Tragically, The Holocaust claimed the lives of up to 6 million Jews and around 5 million non-Jews before the end of the war.
3. Medical Experiments would become standard practice
When you don’t care about human life, you can use science as an excuse for all sorts of heinous deeds. Japan and Germany both dabbled in scientific experiments on human subjects, frequently civilians and prisoners of war.
The Nazis had three main types of human testing up their sleeves: combat-related experiments, drug trials, and genetic tinkering. Jews were subjected to horrifying and unnecessary surgeries without anesthesia. Among other cruel experiments that churn the stomach, they were used as guinea pigs for head injury trials and as subjects in hypothermia tests.
Nazi scientists exposed prisoners in concentration camps to chemical, radiological, and biological agents to see what happens to the human body. They even shoved them into high-pressure chambers to see how the brain handles altitude.
Among the worst things the Nazis did was to surgically join identical twins together to create conjoined twins. On top of that, countless experiments, including vivisections, were conducted on Jewish newborns in concentration camps.
To cap it off, if any prisoners survived these tests (which was rare), they were still executed anyway.
4. Freedom of Speech would cease to exist
If Germany had won World War II and became a superpower, they would have gone full state surveillance on their citizens with cameras and microphones in every corner and informants everywhere you look. No thinking for yourself in Hitler’s Germany. Think 1984 by George Orwell.
Any dissent would be a big no-no. And even if you were part of the elite Master Race spreading out through Europe, don’t think you’re safe. A Fascist government typically doesn’t mess around with people who desire freedom of speech.
As they had done so in Germany and Austria, the Nazis would suppress everything from industry to art to religion. And forget about history as we know it – they’d probably rewrite that too. So basically, nationalism and unquestioning loyalty would be the only way to survive in this alternate reality.
5. It is likely that certain races would no longer exist
If Hitler and Germany had emerged victorious in World War II, it would have resulted in grave repercussions for certain racial groups, given their racial ideology. The Nazi government was founded on the conviction of Aryan racial supremacy and aimed to eradicate or subdue all individuals deemed racially inferior.
The Nazis had specific targets – Jews, Romani people, and other ethnic minorities deemed undesirable. And the way they treated these groups was absolutely horrific – they systematically persecuted them, deported them, and even went so far as to exterminate them.
The Nazi regime was determined to eliminate targeted races through brutal tactics like mass killings, forced labor, and unbearable living conditions. Their ultimate goal was to create a society that was purely one race based on their twisted idea of racial purity. The consequences would have been irreversible, leading to the loss of unique genetic diversity.
6. Mental Health Issues, Physical Disability, Birth Defects, Homosexuality, and Transgenderism would be a Death Sentence
The Nazis were all about eugenics and playing with human genetics. They wanted to eliminate any traits they thought were “undesirable,” which didn’t just mean wiping out entire races. The Holocaust was the Nazi’s way of cleaning the human slate of all that didn’t fit the Aryan mold.
This meant eliminating people with mental health issues, anyone with birth defects or disabilities, homosexuals, and trans people. In a world under Nazi rule, you could be put to death at birth, with your only crime being existing.
7. Germany would have attained nuclear dominance
Had Germany won and been able to create atomic weapons successfully, it would have given them a considerable advantage and the possibility of nuclear dominance. Possessing such weapons would have allowed Germany to dictate terms, exert influence, and project power on a global scale. The balance of power among the major world powers would have experienced a significant shift.
Germany did have a nuclear weapons program known as the Uranverein during the war. The program was led by renowned scientists such as Werner Heisenberg and aimed to develop atomic weapons. Their goal was to create nuclear bombs that would change the course of history.
Norway was a vital piece of the puzzle for Germany because it produced heavy water indispensable for nuclear reactors and plutonium production. Luckily, the project was sabotaged by British and Norwegian commandos.
If Germany had won the war and had access to Norwegian heavy water production and other resources, they would have had more opportunities to advance their atomic weapons program. The post-war era would have been significantly impacted if Germany had been the sole power possessing nuclear weapons.
8. The subjugation of Eastern Europe and individuals who were not Aryan
Hitler realized that his dream of a Master Race couldn’t be achieved by simply kicking people out of Europe and murdering the rest. So, he devised a new plan – to make some people slaves.
After all the genocides, deportations, and wars, there were plenty of people left to do the dirty work. And who better to own and control them than the Aryan people? Before the First World War, Germans were all about expanding their territory. The Nazis took that idea and ran straight into enslavement territory.
Hitler’s big idea was to enslave the Slavs and anyone else who didn’t meet his standards. They’d work on the farms to feed the German people. In the Nazis’ Generalplan Ost (their master plan for taking over Eastern Europe), Hitler even planned on keeping 14 million “undesirables” for enslavement.
9. Germany would permanently annex parts of Russia
In Hitler’s infamous book, Mein Kampf, he passionately argued for the need to acquire more land for the German people. He had his sights set on a large portion of Russia, which he viewed with utter contempt.
Hitler dreamed of murdering, enslaving or kicking out all the USSR’s inhabitants and handing over the territory to his people. He also planned to eliminate Russian Jews and enslave the Slavic population.
Despite being allied prior to and in the opening years of the war, Germany’s fierce opposition to communism put them at odds with the mighty Soviet Union. But if Hitler had emerged victorious, he would have gained access to valuable resources – like crucial oil fields – and catapulted Germany to superpower status.
10. Europe would adopt German as its official language
Imagine if Hitler had actually won and taken over Europe. He probably would have insisted everyone speak German since that was his mother tongue.
There were almost 100 different languages spoken across the continent – some official and some local – but Hitler’s vision of a perfect society involved making German the official language of all his conquered territories.
If Hitler had pulled it off, German could have been the go-to language taught in schools across the entire globe instead of English. And let’s not forget about Japan’s conquests – those countries would have been speaking Japanese too.
I know what you’re thinking: “Who cares about a language switch?” But imagine living under a fascist regime where you’re forced to learn a new language to survive.
11. Hitler’s face would be everywhere
Since Hitler was the head honcho of the Nazi party, if they had won the war, it’s safe to say that he would have been idolized like a god. Maybe not to the extreme level of North Korea’s Kim family worship, but any lack of loyalty to Hitler would have been seen as dissent.
His official portraits would be displayed proudly in every restaurant, coffee shop, subway, and government building – you wouldn’t be able to escape them! And anyone who dared to defile his image would face severe consequences.
See Related: How is WW2 Taught in Germany?
What Would Life Be Like Under Nazi Rule?
Free speech, elections, and self-determination would be out, and all Nazi-held countries’ mass “Germanization” would begin. Within one generation, the official language of Nazi states would be German, the culture German, the currency Reichmarks, and the flag a Swastika.
If you fit the Aryan mold, life would be peachy, assuming you parrotted Nazi talking points and submitted total loyalty to Hitler. The state would provide education and healthcare to all Reich citizens, and the German economy would likely see the same rapid and exponential growth Britain did through building the British Empire, making life for the conforming Nazis quite comfortable.
There likely wouldn’t be as much inter-Nazi backstabbing or putsches as portrayed in the show, based on one of the core principles of Nazism; the Leader Principle (i.e., you give total obedience to the man in charge). Hitler was the top dog, his word above all written law, and he had a designated successor. Deviating from the Führerprinzip would be a betrayal of Nazism.
If you didn’t fit the Aryan mold or weren’t afforded Honorary Aryan Status, life would be varying degrees of terrible and possibly very short;
- Southern European (olive skin, dark hair, dark eyes) -> blatant discrimination
- African -> slavery or death
- Non-Japanese Asian -> slavery or death
- Russian -> slavery or death
- Political dissent -> slavery or death
- Slavic -> slavery or death
- Mental illness -> death
- Physical deformity/Handicap -> death
- Homosexual/Trans -> death
- Roma/Gypsy -> death
- Jewish -> death
See related: The Flag of Germany: Colours, Meaning & History
Would Anything “Positive” Have Arisen from a German Victory?
Debatable at best (and even that is a stretch), but the cost is completely unthinkable and morally abhorrent.
Hitler was able to revitalize a ruined Germany and unite a good chunk of the people behind him. While not all Germans were card-carrying Nazis, it’s fair to say that most were proud of the Germany Hitler had beaten into shape between 1933 and 1939.
Hitler poured vast resources into German science projects. For that reason, Germany was about 20 years ahead of the next nation in specific sciences, particularly chemistry, and physics, which led to significant advancements in mechanics, aeronautics, and rocketry.
Had Germany won WW2, humanity would likely have started exploring space at least 20 years before the first moon landing in 1969. There would have been more significant advancements in automotive and aeronautical technology too.
You could argue that there would be fewer, or even zero, global conflicts, too, as the entire world would be either under the Swastika or the Rising Sun, both flags being allied to one another. Again, it’s unlikely peace would last.
Regarding resistance movements, without the support of an external nation, it’s unlikely any resistance movement would be successful in the face of Nazi oppression. The Nazis, extremely proficient intelligence gatherers, infiltrated most resistance movements in occupied territory during WW2.
Within two generations, most resistance movements would likely be destroyed, disbanded, or forgotten, as people born under Nazi rule would know nothing else.
See related: Fun, Interesting Facts About the Berlin Wall
What if Germany had won World War II? To say the future would have been bleak and oppressive, save for a very small chunk of society, is an understatement.
But it’s vital to recognize those who resisted Germany during the Nazi regime, including the small German resistance movements within Germany itself. If Britain hadn’t stood up to Germany when everyone else folded, liberating Europe would have been impossible. And if the Americans hadn’t supplied her allies or beaten the Nazis to the nuclear punch, well, it’s terrifying to think about the possibility of a Nazi regime wielding such destructive power.
Fingers crossed, we never have to face the nightmare of Nazism on such a scale ever again. Although, with the current political climate in Russia, the invasion of Ukraine, rumblings in the Koreas, China thirsting over Taiwan, and the rise of far-right movements in the U.S., who knows? Facists and authoritarian people do terrible things.
The thought of Germany winning World War II certainly makes you stop and think, but thankfully history took a different path. It’s a powerful reminder that we must always stand up against oppression and fight for the core values of a free society.
If you’re ever curious about what the world might be like if Germany won WW2, both the novel and TV adaptation of The Man in the High Castle are great resources, but the likelihood is if the Nazis had won, the reality would be far worse than any sci-fi novel can imagine.
- Interesting Facts About World War Two
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James is a British-American writer and editor for Via Travelers who has been writing since he was wee. As someone who has spent much time trotting around the globe, James appreciates traveling smart and comfortably, and has every intention of helping VT’s readers do the same!
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