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Apocalypse Hitler

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"Mr. Vollmer, I was making speeches before you could read them. I was fighting battles when your only struggle was to climb out of a womb. I was taking over the world when your universe was a crib! And as for being in darkness, Mr. Vollmer, I INVENTED darkness!"
Adolf Hitler, The Twilight Zone (1959), "He's Alive"

Think of evil. Not Saturday Morning Cartoon evil, or Hollywood Blockbuster evil, but festering, seething, irredeemable evil. Who do you think of?

Why, Adolf Hitler, of course!

Orchestrator of genocide, enemy of the free world, and a really, really bad artist to boot. Thank goodness he killed himself in that bunker back in 1945, right? Right?

...Because if he somehow came back, we'd all be screwed.

Maybe there's some nutjob who hasn't given up on the idea of the Third Reich, the Aryan Nation, the Thule Society, or any one of the other things Hitler had a hand in, or maybe they're just doing it For the Evulz, but bringing back Hitler for the express purpose of having him take over the world is a recurring villainous plot in fiction, and is often treated as synonymous with opening the gates of Hell and letting Satan and his minions run free or summoning down one of H. P. Lovecraft's many Eldritch Abominations to destroy the minds of all mankind — that is, The End of the World as We Know It.

Of course, in reality, Hitler was a mere mortal rather than the very spirit of evil given human form, and bringing him back from the dead would in all likelihood not make The Legions of Hell Take Over the World. As a matter of fact, the reason why an Inglourious Basterds-type situation didn't happen in reality is because the Allies realized that Hitler's incompetent leadership was practically winning the war for them.

On a practical level, cloning Hitler (a favorite method) would likely result in a completely different person who just so happened to look like Hitler. And in fact, a man who looked like Hitler would probably have less of a chance to end up in a position of power in today's world than just about anyone else. Though to be fair, most people probably wouldn't even recognize Hitler without the 'stache. We Didn't Start the Führer, meanwhile, is a better way to justify this trope by making Hitler a literal force of evil rather than rolling with the ironic premise that it's something in the genes.

Sub-Trope of Resurrected Murderer.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Averted by the Hitler clone in Afterschool Charisma, a cute little boy who is terrified of turning out like his predecessor.
  • Averted in the non-canon Dragon Ball movie Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn. A reincarnated Hitler marching through the streets of a major city at the head of a line of Panzers is played for comic relief, not horror, and is easily defeated by a couple of children. It's the reincarnated Frieza that's treated as a problem... for about three seconds.
  • Hilariously subverted in Lupin III: The First. Gerald and the Ahnenerbe organization are Nazi holdouts who believe Hitler is still alive in South America, based off a mysterious photo of him they have discovered, and their Evil Plan is to secure the Doomsday Device for him to use in reestablishing the Third Reich. Once they have it, an aging Hitler actually arrives at their base in Brazil and the overjoyed Gerald shows the Führer how to use it... at which point "Hitler" yanks off his mask and reveals himself as Lupin, tauntingly informing Gerald that not only is Hitler obviously dead, but that photo he based his whole crusade around is a fake made by Interpol Nazi Hunters to draw out targets. Oh, and since Gerald just showed him how to control the weapon, he has set it to self-destruct.
  • Glemmy Toto of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ claims a blood relation to the Zabi family. Though the final show is vague if this is true or how, he was intended by the writers to be the artificially-conceived son of Gihren Zabi, who is both based on Hitler and infamously accepted a comparison to him as a compliment. Glemmy's manipulations ultimately cause a civil war within Neo-Zeon and escalated the rest of the conflict, causing countless additional deaths. It seems Glemmy was put into power by his adopted family, which he uses as a stepping stone to greater things.
  • The cult of the Nazis who fled to Latin America in Vatican Miracle Examiner plays this trope in a rather crazy way using Hitler's sperm, frozen in a cryocamera, to impregnate young girls and get "Hitler's son" (in a funny way considering him a reincarnation of the "father"), all under the guidance of Satan — who is actually a mass hallucination from the drugs they have taken.

    Comic Books 
  • In a multi-issue storyline in the Fantômas comic book in the late 70s (likely inspired by The Boys from Brazil) a young Son of Hitler shows up, starts the Fourth Reich, takes over France, restarts the Holocaust(!!), and captures and tortures Fantômas (something no other villain in the series had ever managed to do.) His downfall only came when he became obsessed with Fantômas' follower, agent Taurus... a Black woman!
  • In Hellboy and Savage Dragon, Hitler lived until 1952, when Hellboy killed him. And then his brain was transplanted into a gorilla.
    • Hitler surviving was also brought up in the movie.
  • Marvel has had multiple Hitler Clones running around, the most famous dressing up in a purple KKK outfit and calling himself the Hate-Monger.
    • That wasn't just a clone; that was Hitler himself, cheating death by Arnim Zola putting his mind in a clone body.
  • Subverted in an issue of DC Comics Outsiders, where a clone of Hitler is decanted, shown films of the "accomplishments" of his predecessor, and then shoots himself out of horror.
  • Superman: At Earth's End pits a far-future Man of Steel against the DNA Diktators, a pair of Hitler clones who Superman declares to be responsible for all the Earth's ills just before unloading on them with the most ridiculously huge BFG imaginable. (The story then ends on an anti-gun Aesop.)
    "Of course! Don't you know anything about science?"

    Fan Works 
  • In the Hellsing fanfic Hellsing: Demon Reborn, it's revealed that a reserve unit of Millennium led by the real, still-human, and very elderly Major, has been guarding Adolf Hitler after resurrecting him. His new body is still cooking, but is stated to be made with demonic magics that would turn him into an unstoppable juggernaut. Integra, knowing just how dangerous Hitler was as a mere mortal, is convinced allowing him to fully rejuvenate would lead to The End of the World as We Know It and works with Alucard and Seras to prevent his full revival. Indeed, when he finally gains a fully functioning body, he's able to fight Alucard to a draw.

    Films — Live Action 

  • In The Boys from Brazil, not only has Hitler been cloned many times over, but efforts are being made to make the clones' lives more like that of young Adolf's — for example, by killing the clones' fathers when the clones are the age that Hitler was when his father died. Also was adapted as a movie.
  • In the Doctor Who Past Doctor Adventures novel The Shadow in the Glass, the Sixth Doctor and the Brigadier discover a Fourth Reich led by Hitler's son using alien technology (albeit alien technology that the Nazis have mistaken for a supernatural artefact), but this trope is defied as the Doctor proclaims that even Hitler Junior knows that there is no place in the modern world for his father's philosophy, justifying why he continues to hide away rather than mount his new campaign even though he is now the same age as his father was when Hitler committed suicide.
  • The disaster spoof Earthdoom! by John Grant and David Langford features all possible apocalypses happening simultaneously, including an army of Hitler clones.
  • In the Faction Paradox novel Warlords of Utopia, which involves a war between a parallel universe where Ancient Rome never fell and a parallel universe where the Nazis won WWII, ends with the son of Hitler, raised from birth to be Hitler times a thousand, escaping to our world, planning to wreak havoc. He is hunted down by the protaganist, who finds him in a small villa in Brazil. He is, for all his education and pure distilled evilness, little more than just another pathetic white supremacist. He's squashed like a bug.
  • In The Fundamentalist "End Times" novel The Fourth Reich, Hitler is the Antichrist - and literally Hitler reborn. He's the Russian President, who turns out to be a clone of Hitler, and is indwelt by the soul of the original Hitler, who's been released by Satan from Hell to do his dirty work. This book is one of the more entertaining (for sufficiently twisted values of "entertaining") "End Times" fictions around, and is also notable for a take on eschatology that differs sharply from the Premillennial Dispensationalist viewpoint with which most people will be familiar. There is much fun to be had in watching Hitler scream "Nie wieder! Nie wieder!" as his evil plans are frustrated, and watching him explain each failure to a furious Satan. In other words, the work is "Christian" End Times fiction in advertising only.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Deconstructed in Kessler (the sequel to Secret Army). Although there's concern throughout the series that Kessler could use his ill-gotten gains for some sort of Nazi renaissance, his fellow war criminals scoff at the idea, one draping a Nazi flag on Kessler. "Here, cover yourself with glory!" After discovering his fanatical daughter has been killed (after being mistaken for the Nazi Hunter protagonists), Kessler lies down on the flag and shoots himself.
  • The New Avengers episode "The Eagle's Nest" featured a group of Nazis attempting to revive the cryogenically preserved body of Hitler.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The episode "He's Alive" sees Hitler's ghost inspire and direct a young American neo-Nazi, eventually driving him to kill a friend to make a martyr for his cause, and later murder an elderly Jewish man. At the end of the episode, Hitler's spectral shadow glides along a wall, seeking a new apprentice, as the narration proceeds to inform the audience that as long as bigotry and racism exist, Hitler will always be alive.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • In the Call of Cthulhu supplement Delta Green, the Karotechia is a South American Nazi remnant led by an "ascended" Hitler. It's actually Nyarlathotep screwing with them, attempting to get their organization to worship Azathoth.
  • In the Brazilian game Demonios by Marcelo del Debbio, Hitler and his armies are waiting in hell for the beginning of the 4th Reich (one of the modernizations of a hell which is otherwise based more on Dante's Inferno).

    Video Games 
  • The villains of Bionic Commando manage to successfully resurrect Hitler (or "Master D", as he's called in the U.S. version). You get to blow his head off with a rocket launcher.
  • Played with in Persona 2: Innocent Sin, where Hitler is resurrected via the power of rumors and a conspiracy theory suggesting he escaped instead of committing suicide and attempts to take over the world. This Hitler turns out to be fake, though. He also turns out to be none other than Nyarlathotep himself. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  • The Wolfenstein series had Hitler in a mecha suit, and several different legions of ghosts, mages, and what have you.
    • The Wolfenstein 3-D Game Mod Spear Resurrection plays it straight, with the Spear of Destiny being used to resurrect Hitler (partially, you get to kill him again before he's fully corporeal).
    • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has a note from a man who writes about an encounter with Hitler, mentioning Hitler's hand being unnaturally cold and noticing a distinct rotting smell about him — the implication being that BJ killed him as in Wolf3D, and the Nazis simply resurrected him afterwards.
    • The Wolfenstein-inspired Doom mod "Astrostein'' goes further, and has the player time-travel into a future where the Nazis have ruled for just shy of a century thanks to use of a time portal to win the war. The final mod reveals that Hitler, in a device not unlike the page image, is kept alive as the power source for the Nazis' primary base in the Bavarian Alps, with everything losing power when you finally kill him.


    Western Animation 
  • In The Venture Bros., a group of villains who want to resurrect Hitler (through cloning, and a dog reincarnation of him) are featured in the first episode of season four. It's Played for Laughs, of course. Brock kills the dog, then remarks that he can check one more thing off the list of cool stuff he never thought he'd get to do.
    • And kinda, Girl Hitler. But she's actually kind of one of the good guys, helping lead La Résistance to free her country from the super-villain dictator who rules it and establish a free democracy.