The World Hitler Never Made: Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism
Cambridge University Press
, May 23, 2005
- 524 pages
What if the Nazis had triumphed in World War II? What if Adolf Hitler had escaped Berlin for the jungles of Latin America in 1945? What if Hitler had become a successful artist instead of a politician? Originally published in 2005, Gavriel D. Rosenfeld's pioneering study explores why such counterfactual questions on the subject of Nazism have proliferated within Western popular culture. Examining a wide range of novels, short stories, films, television programs, plays, comic books, and scholarly essays appearing in Great Britain, the United States, and Germany post-1945, Rosenfeld shows how the portrayal of historical events that never happened reflects the evolving memory of the Third Reich's real historical legacy. He concludes that the shifting representation of Nazism in works of alternate history, as well as the popular reactions to them, highlights their subversive role in promoting the normalisation of the Nazi past in Western memory.