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So Germany has not lost World War 2 and now occupies most of Europe, from France over as far as Poland. It's the 1990s now, Hitler is long dead and Greater Germany has undergone a process of "Denazification" (akin to USSR's Destalinisation). Stuff like the Nuremburg laws have been repealed and the Holocaust neatly swept under the carpet. Jews are technically permitted in Germany although you won't find many about - but the current regime does not believe in the so-called "Jewish conspiracy", and believe the infamous Nazi policies were far too extreme.

However, Hitler is still considered the Founding Father of the Third Reich, and someone to be admired for that fact. How do they reconcile these two facts? - i.e How do they get the public to regard Hitler, the Nazis and the foundation and expansion of the Third Reich as a good thing, while still admitting that we should not be following the extreme policies of the Nazis, that Jews are not Bad, and the Jewish conspiracy which Hitler professed so much about did not exist?

Note: It's still an authoritarian dictatorship.

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    $\begingroup$ Isn't this the exact same thing with slavery in the US? Many of the southern people are still glorified, sometimes even directly for protecting slavery. The populace it suppressed might be still more numerous than the jews, but could be a great reference point. Regardless of denazifying, the jews would be in lesser numbers and still easily, if not more easily than black people, be persecuted or looked down at. Some would believe in the slavery cause, like current neo nazi, others would stand more easily on the other side. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Jul 20, 2020 at 9:36
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    $\begingroup$ Same thing that is happening IRL in Russia. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2020 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ (1) Romania was an ally of Germany in WW2, fielding the second largest army on the Eastern Front. I can't see how my country would come to be "occupied" by the Third Reich. (2) There is a famous novel by Robert Harris. (3) There is an entire cycle of (very much less famous) novels by Ward Wagher with basically the premise in the question (= Hitler has a dramatic change of heart), starting with Accidental Nazi (link goes to Amazon). $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jul 20, 2020 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP Russia was also an ally of Germany with a huge army. Germany tried to occupy it as well. If a few tactical and design choices had been made differently Russia, it might've well been overrun by the Germans (In all fairness Germanny partially did roll over Russia until a certain point). In al alternative history it might be possible that Germany won that and then surprise rolled over Romenia. Or simply Romania has surrendered for whatever reason. Or maybe it acts like a state with lots of independence. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Jul 20, 2020 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP - (1) - This isn't really what I'm asking, I could easily leave Romania out but my question remains the same (just edited it out!) (2) I read that novel. It was over 10 years ago so my memory might be hazy but I don't remember it addressing what I'm asking. (3) May be worth a look, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – komodosp
    Jul 20, 2020 at 11:52

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The answer is right there in your question: Stalin.

As of 2020, more than half of Russians have a positive view of him.

I won't go into great detail here, because I am not qualified to do so knowledgewise on that issue and because it would be too long anyway, but you will see, that the comtemporary Russian perspective on Stalin offers you plenty of material that fits neatly into your alternate version of history.

A common view on Stalin for example is that he was simply the hard and ruthless man that was required at that time in history, having done terrible things, but also having led the Russian nation through the most dire time in its history in the face of possible extinction.
Had Hitler won World War 2, it wouldn't be too surprising if later people held similar views of him.

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While such an alternative history scenario can be done, you should take extreme care that you do not come across as an apologist or denier of the Holocaust. So, that being said:

I find it implausible that any totalitarian regime would officially repudiate their core ideology and the public statements of their founder. During De-Stalinization, Khrushchev could always fall back on Marxism-Leninism in place of Stalinism. No similar option here. Here are two scenarios, or perhaps a mix of both could work:

Proclaim that the goal is accomplished.

In the real world, Germans had to provide the Ariernachweis, the proof of Aryan descent, if they applied for certain positions. In your alternate history, assume that the check was applied to all citizens after the war, and that any who failed were stripped of their citizenship (unless officials adjusted the official results). Once that is officially finished, the requirements of the Nuremberg laws would have been redundant -- there can be nobody left to whom they apply.

Again in the real world, towns and districts had declared themselves judenfrei. In your alternate history, the Führer at the time makes a similar declaration for Europe. From that point, they pick a new group as scapegoats.

Bring practice into line with the euphemisms.

The Nazis used a lot of weasel words in their official (and public) statements. Instead of murder, they wrote Sonderbehandlung. Instead of death camp, they talked about evacuation. Read the minutes of the Wannsee conference.

I believe that there never was a written order by Hitler for the genocide. I'm certain that he ordered it, but especially at the top levels the Nazi leadership was almost feudal. Multiple lines of responsibility, officials competing with each other for the favor of the Führer, anyone could be replaced by a more zealous zealot at any time.

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  • $\begingroup$ There wasn't any written order. Nazis described his style as "working toward the Fuhreur" in such things: he'd imply what he wanted done, people would go off and do it as they interpreted what he wanted done and how, and then his reactions would make it clear who was on the right track or at least closest to his intentions, and the subordinates would alter their plans accordingly. Hitler had been burned by the protests after the T4 euthanasia program was revealed which he had issued a written order for, so he was unwilling to do it again. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2020 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @KeithMorrison, impossible to prove a negative in a case like this. But by and large what you describe is what I called almost feudal. $\endgroup$
    – o.m.
    Jul 20, 2020 at 18:28
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Talk Around the Issue

Look at Joseph Kennedy for an example. When biographers talk about the founder of the Kennedy fortune, it will focus on the mighty political family, the scandalous affair with Rita Hayworth, the rumors of laundering money for the mob, the tragedies of his children, in-laws, nephews and nieces. It might even be mentioned that he was a stock market wizard - earning a fortune greater than Warren Buffet.

What is not focused on is the liability. The thing that might cause the public to think "why hasn't this guys fortune been redistributed back to the victims?". This is not scandals or family tragedies or even rumors of working with the mob. It was perpetrating fraud on investors. It was paying friends for sneak peeks of earnings reports ahead of the public, talking up stocks he was trying to sell (to increase the price), and bad-mouthing stocks he was trying to buy (to drive down the price), and otherwise engaging in the fraudulent behavior that would lead to the 1929 market crash. And that very well-connected parents kept him out of prison.

White-washing Hitler could be the same. Focus on the positive. Talk about the charismatic leader; the fly-over campaign. Focus on the tragedy: his only 40 hour marriage to Eva Braun. You can give up some low-hanging fruit: the affair with his niece.

Any criticism can be obfuscated with analysis. Was it Hitler's shrewd judge of character that made him realize the British wouldn't push back when he took Poland? Or maybe it was his lack of military experience? OR, maybe his friendship with the recently abdicated British king and brother of current monarch that helped seal the deal?

Very specifically, with regards to Mein Kapf, future additions could attenuate the language. Forwards can be attached orienting the reader to the book as a class struggle, or re-framing it as a call to arms against corruption. The later additions could explicitly disown connecting these purer struggles to ancestry.

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    $\begingroup$ Much of the final section isn't true: Obama did not start the Syria Civil War or the conflict in Ukraine, and refering to abortion as "genocide" is . . . unwarrantedly inflammatory language, regardless of how you feel about the issue. I'd recommend toning that down. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jul 20, 2020 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ That's exactly the attitude I want to draw attention to, when someone is looking to whitewash a lot of blood. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2020 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ Again, regardless of whether folks strongly support or strongly oppose abortion, using "genocide" to describe it is inappropriate language that trivializes genocide. Obama did not send soldiers into houses to force women to have abortions, and effectively putting abortion laws on the same scale as the acts of the Nazis is inaccurate and will ruffle more than a few feathers. I'm just saying - it's maybe not ideal to use a polarizing issue as an example here, at least not with that wording. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jul 20, 2020 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ It's not a "gut check" if the person regards the premise as fundamentally flawed and wrong. Given the fact you're demonstrably and objectively wrong about Syria and Ukraine, what comes across isn't someone trying to raise awareness but someone who doesn't like Obama and is a forced birther. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2020 at 17:46
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    $\begingroup$ If it wasn't for the mostly incorrect last paragraph, this answer could be good. For example, you seem to think abortions are bad, but you completely fail to realize that other people have differing views. Abortions are legal in many developed countries. Also, saying that Obama started a war in the Ukraine is simply wrong, and assigning him responsibility for wars started by his predecessors is also completely wrong. Sure, there are a lot of things you can critizice about him, for example his continued drone use and inability to close Guantanamo, but a WB SE answer isn't the right place. $\endgroup$
    – Polygnome
    Jul 21, 2020 at 6:32

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