We Didn't Start The Führer
"Whatever he was once like, Anu likes destruction now. It's almost as if it relieves his frustration, and it's probably part of his whole addiction to power, as well. But whatever causes it, it's real enough. He and his people certainly proved that a hundred years ago."
Colin nodded again, understanding completely. He'd occasionally wondered why Hitler had proved so resistant to assassination[...]. No wonder the bomb plot had failed; a man with full enhancement would hardly even have noticed it. And if anyone had ever shown a maniacal glee in taking others down with them, it had been the Nazi elite.
A specific type of Historical Villain Upgrade
and Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
focused on Adolf Hitler
It is revealed that Hitler was not just a (particularly disturbed) human being, but was supernaturally evil, and existed with the primary purpose of deliberately going about causing large-scale misery. Aliens may also stand in for supernatural beings. Either way, the message is that World War II was inflicted on us by otherworldly forces, not something mankind brought about by itself
As befits a trope that's more about the legacy and legend of the War than its actuality, it's often done as backstory for the villain (à la
, "How evil is he? Well, you remember Hitler...?"), rather than directly in a World War II setting.
Like Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act
, it could easily be done with other famous warmongers, but in practice almost never is, except as part of a Julius Beethoven Da Vinci
where Hitler was also several other famously evil people (in which case, there's a good chance he was also Genghis Khan
and Jack the Ripper
). At least, this is the case in Western media. Japanese media have something similar going on with Oda Nobunaga
; see Demon King Nobunaga
for this trope's Jidai Geki
The trope can obviously overlap with Stupid Jetpack Hitler
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Anime & Manga
- The Legend of Koizumi seems to be heading in this direction, as not only does it play Stupid Jetpack Hitler and Ghostapo completely straight (there's a Nazi base on the Moon, for crying out loud!) but Hitler is described as "the greatest sorceror of the twentieth century" and has ridiculous occultic mahjong powers. He got in a psychic duel with the Pope, a man who literally had God on his side, and won.
- The French series Mutafukaz has as the Big Bad a bunch of Shapeshifting monsters who have infiltrated all levels of the American government (including the President); their backstory not only shows they helped the Nazi party out, but also at one point killed and replaced him. Fortunately a secret society of Mexican wrestlers saved the day (it's complicated...).
- In EC Comics' Weird Fantasy #14, the story "The Exile" concerns an alien criminal exiled to Earth. Three guesses what the twist ending is.
- In Wonder Woman Vol 1 2 it is claimed the God Mars, who has conquered the planet Mars, is responsible for war on Earth. His three lieutenants, the Earl of Greed, the Duke of Deception and Lord Conquest, are influencing the Axis Leaders. In the second chapter Greed is shown contacting Hitler, Agent NZ-1, whose 'warped mind' picks up the radio waves. When Greed in astral form speaks to Hitler, Hitler thinks it is his own intelligence.
- The French comic Iznogoud has Hitler be an emissary of the Devil who was sent to our world to create destruction and terror.
Live Action TV
- The Tomorrow People episode "Hitler's Last Secret" had neo-Nazis possessed by the same alien power that had been Hitler.
- An earlier episode, "The Medusa Strain", featured a completely different "explanation" for Hitler: He was a con artist from the future who'd travelled back in time to evade justice. Although at least he was still human in that version.
- Related: On an episode of The X-Files, they meet a Jerkass Genie who was responsible for Mussolini's rise and fall.
- The Star Trek episode "Wolf in the Fold" has an entity that was Jack the Ripper on Earth.
- In Grimm, an episode had some ancient coins as an Artifact of Doom, giving their holder great charisma, but were addictive and drove the user mad. The hero's partner and later his captain were under their influence, and the villains of the episode were searching for them. It turns out their effects were responsible for Hitler and several other historical Big Bads.
- Not only that, but it's revealed that Hitler was in fact a Wesen of the Schakale variety, who are socially skilled, though violent and aggressive Child Eaters.
- In Supernatural, the demon Alistair implies he had a hand in the creation of the extermination camps in Nazi Germany.
- Rocket Ranger didn't have Hitler, but it put forth that Nazis were aliens who established their base of operations on the moon.
- The webcomic Good Ship Chronicles reveals that Nazi jokes are no longer PC as it was discovered all Nazi activities were the result of an alien mind-probe.
- In The Ultimates, it's revealed that aliens were highly involved with the Nazis. However, it's unclear how much of what the Nazis did was their idea, and in fact it seems like the Nazis had a greater influence on the aliens, as post-WWII, the aliens mention that they kept the Nazi uniforms and symbols because they liked them.
- It is also implied that the aliens did not really approve of the racism and death camps, regarding them more like forgivable excesses for the greater good which, to the aliens, was the eradication of individuality.
- Downfall took some criticism in Germany for portraying Hitler as a flawed and broken human. The director actually invoked this trope in his defense: if we continue to act like Hitler was some alien monster teleported to earth to do very bad stuff, we as a nation and a race are never going to learn from the past.
- Played with in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Timewyrm: Exodus, where Hitler separately receives covert assistance from two different groups of aliens attempting to further their own ends — but neither is able to control him, and what he does with their assistance is all entirely his own idea.
- Inverted in the classic World of Darkness. Though the setting attributes many historical events to hidden supernatural causes, the creators felt putting one of the (many) supernatural groups in the Fantasy Kitchen Sink behind the Nazis' horrors would be in bad taste. If any supernaturals were involved in the conflict, they were either a) corrupted monsters (the Sabbat, Black Spiral Dancers and fomori, Nephandi, etc.) picking at the sides of the conflict, or b) trying to stop the carnage.
- Played with in In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas, as well as their American version, In Nomine: Although some notable historical events (such as the Crusades) resulted from celestial or infernal intervention, Hitler's actions were independent and a complete surprise to both Heaven and Hell. Then again, a lot of other important historical events weren't directly caused by angels or demons, as a running theme is that most of them really aren't as good at playing "secret mastermind" as they think.
- Played with in Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Hitler is apparently revived using the power of rumors and a conspiracy theory that he escaped the bunker instead of committing suicide; however, it's revealed that this Hitler is actually none other than Nyarlatothep.
- In the Assassin's Creed Alternate History, Hitler was actually a Templar, using the Apple of Eden to control Nazi Germany to start World War II. In an interesting twist, Hitler was working with Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, who were also Templars, and the entire point was to reshape the world order to be more favorable to the Templars. It is worth noting that in one of the letters than can be read in the game, it is all but outright said that Hitler was a lunatic anyway. And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those darned Assassins!