Hitler and other future Nazis in 1912


Feb 14, 2011
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I read that in the years 1911-1912, a young Adolph Hitler went through a particularly unhappy period in Austria, his ambitions of going to art college dashed.....
Im just curious what the monsters that would build the Third Reich were doing in 1912. What were Himmler, Goebbels, Goring, Speer, Eichman, Hess and Rommel doing the time Titanic sank?

On the allied side, Winston Churchhill was already making his mark in British politics in 1912. What was FDR doing in 1912? What was Stalin doing?
WW2 fascinates me- but I really dont know what the key players were doing years earlier in 1912- Any ideas?

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

John Clifford

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FDR was working in Washington during World War 1.
There are theories about whether or not he and Churchill wished to have something happen to induce the U.S. entry in to that War, i.e. "Were the events leading up to the Lusitania's sinking carefully planned"?
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Interesting question Tarn, I think I can give an idea about a few of the individuals mentioned. World War Two is another area of interest for me, particularly since my Grandfather fought in the European theatre of the war, and my Great Uncle fought in the South Pacific.

I'm not sure about what Hermann Goering would have been doing prior to 1912, although his father was ill and died in 1913 I believe. He was not commissioned in the infantry until 1914 or 1915, then became a pilot. Rudolph Hess would have most likely been in boarding school, or studying business, which his father pressured him into, and which he was doing before getting involved in politics. He really wanted to be an astronomer. Goebbels had severe health problems as a child, and had been rejected from serving in WWI due to permanent physical problems as a result. I'm not sure exactly what he would have been doing at the time. Eichman would only have been a child, somewhere between 4-6 years old if I am recalling correctly, so most likely he wasn't doing anything noteworthy at the time.

Rommel would have just finished cadet training school, and was commissioned as an officer sometime in 1912 I think. I think that Himmler would still have been in school, but really am not sure.

It is odd thinking that many of these individuals who grew up to commit horrendous acts and become such terrible people started out life in a seemingly ordinary fashion. In the case of Hitler and Hess, if the former had been accepted into art school, and if Hess had become an astronomer, then history very well might have turned out entirely different. If Goebbels had been accepted into the military, it is possible he might have died in WWI.

Odd how things work out, the situation and economic/living conditions in Germany as a result of the way WWI was resolved really left it as a powder keg waiting for a match to ignite it. If these madmen had not come along, some other terrible person with influence may have, possibly one of the communist groups, or socialists. Would WWII have happened, albeit in a vastly different way if the Nazis did not come to power? Certainly, the war in the Pacific, which was already underway before Europe, would still have happened to some degree, but would Europe have exploded into war the way it did? It is a conversation that historians could have for days.

Kind regards,
Tad
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Witney
There is a persistent legend that Adolf Hitler was living (or at least visiting) Liverpool in 1912. He is said to have resided with his half brother Alois and Irish sister-in-law Bridget "Bridy" Hitler at 102, Upper Dowling Street, Toxteth. The future dictator spent his days looking at the ships and exploring the great maritime city. It would perhaps be fanciful to imagine the young Adolf drinking with Titanic firemen and trimmers in the local Irish pubs because, as far as I know, he rarely drank and hated smoking.

Bridy Hitler is supposed to have said (one hopes as a joke) that she had "taught him all he knew". She had had least one son, Paddy Hitler, who presumably changed his name in later years. Yes, there were some Irish Hitlers - and no, I am not making ANY of this up!
 
Dec 29, 2006
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William Patrick Hitler served in the US Navy during World War II and lived for many years in the USA under an assumed name. He has three children who are presumably still alive today.
 

Tracy Smith

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To be precise, Erwin Rommel never joined the Nazi party. We must remember that the Nazis forced him to commit suicide for his prior knowledge of the attempt to kill Hitler in 1944.

And, to partially answer the question, in 1911 Rommel had met the woman who would become his wife in 1916. In 1913, he met another woman, with whom he had a daughter in 1914.

Albert Speer was only 7 years old in 1912.
 

Grant Carman

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Further to Stanley's post, I read something on the 3 Hitler boys a few months back. All have a different last name, and all took an oath at a younger age not to have children, in order to make sure that the line dies with them.
I'm of 2 minds on that one. While part of me thinks that some forms of insanity is hereditary, I doubt if it carries on to them, so I'm sorry they felt they had to make that decision. The other part of me (and the larger part) is glad they've done it.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Yes, I seem to remember reading something about 'Bridy' Hitler's grandchildren agreeing not to have children. It is very sad, and I would think unnecessary (in genetic terms), although their decision is worthy of respect.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Tracy, good point regarding Rommel, who as you said, was not a member of the Nazi-party. Rommel and Von Stauffenberg are two people who historians can admire for their involvement in Operation Valkyrie to assassinate Hitler, although Rommel's direct involvement in the plot is debatable, amounting largely to a mention in a memo by the plotters as one who might be approached as a potential supporter, and to take a position once the assassination and overthrow was complete. His wife denied his involvement after the war, and no evidence proving he was approached ever surfaced. In any case, most describe Rommel as an honorable soldier and not a butcher like some of the others mentioned in this thread. Speaking of Von Stauffenberg, he would have been 6 or 7 in 1912 I believe.
 

Tracy Smith

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I know that Patton had the utmost of respect for Rommel. Rommel's son Manfred, who was 15 at the time of his father's death in 1944, later went on to become the mayor of Stuttgart, Germany and is often interviewed about his father.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Wernher von Braun, the creator of the V2 rocket, was born on March 23, 1912, almost a month before Titanic sank. Despite being a Nazi, he was perhaps the most important figure in the history of American rocketry-we would never have reached the moon had it not been for Werhner Von Braun.
 

Tracy Smith

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I'm not sure whether von Braun was a card-carrying Nazi, either. At any rate, when both the Americans and Russians were closing in on his rocket facility, he and his associates packed up and fled toward the Americans.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Yes, von Braun was not an enthusiastic Nazi, but was forced into joining the party, as were other scientists working on the rocket and propulsion programs during that time period. More controversial was the fact that the rocket-assembly plants which he worked and oversaw used forced labor including Jews and others from labor and concentration camps. After the war, many of these scientists were whisked away by the United States, pardoned, and ended up playing a crucial role in us beating the Russians to the moon.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>More controversial was the fact that the rocket-assembly plants which he worked and oversaw used forced labor including Jews and others from labor and concentration camps. <<

Yeah, that is a sticking point, but again, one has to wonder what their options were. Protesting government policy in Nazi Germany was a wonderful way to lose one's standing and even your head...literally. That guillotine in the execution chamber of the Plötzensee prison gave a lot of people that special haircut that doesn't grow back.

When you know that you could face that or be hanged on a piano wire from a meathook, you tend to clam up and toe the line.
 

Tracy Smith

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Well, there was Max Schmeling, the boxer who once defeated Joe Louis and was one defeated by him, who always refused to join the Nazi party. In 1938, he even helped two Jewish brothers to escape from Germany.

For his refusal to join the Nazi party, Hitler forced him into a paratroop unit that went on suicide missions. Fortunately, his role in saving the life of the two Jewish brothers was not revealed until after the war.

Schmeling survived the war and lived to be just months shy of his 100th birthday, having died in 2005.
 
May 3, 2005
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Tarn Stephanos wrote:
>>I read that in the years 1911-1912, a young Adolph Hitler went through a particularly unhappy period in Austria, his ambitions of going to art college dashed.....
Im just curious what the monsters that would build the Third Reich were doing in 1912. What were Himmler, Goebbels, Goring, Speer, Eichman, Hess and Rommel doing the time Titanic sank?<<

Stanley C. Jenkins wrote:
>>It would perhaps be fanciful to imagine the young Adolf drinking with Titanic firemen and trimmers in the local Irish pubs because, as far as I know, he rarely drank and hated smoking.<<

George R. Stewart wrote:
"If-say- about the year 1937-one Adolph Hitler could have been spirited away and taken upon a tour across U.S. 40, what might have been the effect on the history of the world ? Would he have ever let himself become embroiled in a war into which the United States was in the long run almost certainly to be drawn ? Did Hitler,who had never traveled much beyond the confines of central Europe, have any idea of the real power of the United States ? Such a conception can hardly come from reading figures in books. It comes, in an entirely different way , when one drives at the speed of the modern automobile, day after day, through highly populous and amazingly productive country."
-Page 300- "U.S. 40- Cross Section Of The United States of America"; George R. Stewart; The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1953-

Suppose Hitler had sailed on Titanic - and either been among the lost - or if saved - to tour the United States - and return to Germany - "what might have been the effect on the history of the world ?"
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I suspect that if Hitler had toured the United States, he would have seen the sort of industrial juggernaut that would be waiting for him 29 years later. At the very least, he would have thought long and hard before declaring war on a nation which he would have known would have buried him in an avalanche of production.

On the other hand, that might be wishful thinking. Yamamoto Isoroku did see the U.S. industrial base, knew what it could do, warned his superiors about it, and was ignored. Madness often knows no bounds.
 

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