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Fourth Reich

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Random Man: You have to learn from the past. Something like that should never be repeated.
Adolf Hitler: It won't be repeated. This time, we're going to do this right.

Let's face it: Those Wacky Nazis make great villains. Between their aesthetic, their ideology, and their absolutely monstrous rap sheet, it's no wonder they pop up as antagonists a lot. But unlike with many other ideologies, Nazism no longer has a country to call its own, since Nazi Germany fell to the Allied Powers at the end of World War II.

So what's a contemporary Nazi to do? Why, try to bring about another Nazi state, of course!

Simply put, this trope is about Nazis attempting to build a new country dedicated to the ideas of Nazism. Bonus points if it's led by a resurrected Adolf Hitler or a clone of him. Their attempts will generally fail, though they'll sometimes succeed, if only briefly. On rare occasions, the story may begin after a successful effort to create a new Nazi country. While "Reich" traditionally refers to states centered on Germany, the Fourth Reich doesn't necessarily have to be there; as long as it's a Nazi country, it qualifies for the trope. Argentina is a popular non-Germany country.

May overlap with Stupid Jetpack Hitler. For cases of the Third Reich winning or at least surviving, see Alternate-History Nazi Victory. Compare A Nazi by Any Other Name, a fictional Nazi-like organization with little to no connection with actual Nazis.


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    Comic Books 
  • The Marvel Universe has many Nazi villains who seek to create a new Nazi state. For example:
    • The Red Skull from Captain America has made multiple attempts to take over the world in the name of the Nazi cause. One memorable example was him temporarily seizing control of the Kingdom of Latveria from Doctor Doom and subjecting it to Nazi rule.
    • The first modern incarnation of Hydra attempted to establish a new Nazi government. Of course, later incarnations have gone back and forth on Nazism.
    • In Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi finds himself opposing Wilhelm Bucher and his Fourth Reich project in the Amazon jungle.
    • Also in Captain America, the Kubekult was a group of Neo-Nazis that sought to free Hitler's consciousness from a Cosmic Cube, as well as use said cube to create what they called the "New World Reich."

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Subverted in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. HYDRA has survived World War II by embedding itself within SHIELD and was founded by actual Nazis, but have since abandoned its racial politics in favor of a more generically authoritarian Take Over the World plot.
  • Look Who's Back: At the end, it's implied that Hitler uses his immense popularity to return to politics and rise to power once again.
  • Iron Sky features a Fourth Reich based on the Moon that seeks to invade and take over Earth.
  • Parodied in L.A. Story. At one point Harris tries to get a dinner reservation at a trendy new restaurant and is required to meet with the chef and the maitre d' at the Fourth Reich Bank, where they demand, and get, his financial statements to judge whether he is worthy of admission.
  • OSS 117: Lost in Rio: 117 has to fight against Nazis in Brazil attempting to establish a Fifth Reich, since they apparently failed at creating a Fourth one.
    • In the movie before that, the Nazis point out that it's been ten years since the end of World War, and so they deserve a second chance.
  • The Sum of All Fears is a global political thriller wherein an Austrian tycoon obtains a nuclear device that was lost by the Israelis during the Syrian incursion of the Golan Heights. The villain plans to detonate this device in Baltimore, Maryland and expects this to trigger nuclear warfare between the United States and the Russian Federation. After a coup for the German chancellery, Dressler aims to seize all of Europe and establish an enduring Fourth Reich. (The film is an adaptation of the novel by Tom Clancy, but with considerable changes to the plot; among others, this trope is not present in the book, where the villains were overall more realistic, and Arab terrorists rather than Nazis.)
    Dressler: Hitler was not crazy; he was stupid. You don't fight Russia and America. You get Russia and America to fight each other.

  • This trope took off just about as soon as it was chronologically even possible. Rocket Ship Galileo, the first of the "Heinlein sci-fi juveniles" was published in 1947, and features a secret Nazi base on the Moon dedicated to establishing a Fourth Reich. Readers of the time likely thought that landing men on the Moon was probably the most implausible part of the story.
  • And there's the 1951 novel Simon Black in Peril. The Australian Ace Pilot hero created by Ivan Southall battles Nazis who established a Volcano Lair during the war, and are now planning to take over the entire Pacific.
  • Dirk Pitt Adventures: Dirk tangles with a family who are trying to do just this in the book Atlantis Found. The family's master plan is called the Fourth Empire. Yes, they're based in South America. Yes, there is a genetic connection to Hitler.
  • Douglas Muir's 1985 political thriller American Reich, whose front cover's U.S. Presidency symbol has a black swastika against a red backdrop in the symbol's top center with its plot set in a post-Reagan-presidency near future.
  • A neo-Nazi organization that calls itself the Fourth Reich makes a brief appearance in the Nightside series as one of the numerous factions contending over possession of the Unholy Grail. Subverted in that they are massacred en masse by competitors for the relic before they even see it — never mind using its power to establish a new Nazi empire — and only appear on-page as buckets of blood-spatter when Taylor and Suzie arrive to search their headquarters.
  • A Christian End Times novel called The Fourth Reich has Hitler coming back as The Antichrist, having been revived by and directly answering to Satan.
  • In Robert Ludlum's The Holcroft Covenant (plus the film it's based on), a group of high-ranking Nazis placed millions in a Swiss bank and sent German children across the world to be used later for creating a new Nazi world order. More realistically than most depictions, it also has them do this by infiltrating governments, having people who get into various influential businesses, militaries, intelligence services etc. Then they can engineer a series of false flag operations blamed on terrorists, which make the First World governments band together to stop terrorism with these covert Nazis manipulating them all into establishing authoritarian policies, including mass executions of criminals and what are strongly implied as concentration camps under different names. However, there's a ray of hope at the end, as Israeli commandos are given their names and set to assassinate them. Ludlum later penned a spiritual successor novel named the Apocalypse Watch, set in the 1990s where a band of neo-Nazis also infiltrated governments using Nazi-born children and try to poison the Western countries' water supply as a pretext, and the protagonist is sent to stop them after his CIA brother was captured and forced to become the mole for the neo-Nazis.
  • Passenger to Frankfurt: The Countess von Waldsausen is orchestrating a worldwide movement to use student youth rebellions (this was a 1970 novel written by Agatha Christie soon after the May 1968 Paris unrest) to bring the Nazis back into power. Supposedly Adolf Hitler escaped alive to Argentina, and the Countess's front man being a young fellow who is supposedly Hitler's son (although it turns out to be a hoax).
  • The Boys from Brazil by has an elderly Josef Mengele proclaim that the Fourth Reich will emerge in the future, which is later revealed to be due to him having created 94 clones of Adolf Hitler and covertly embedded them with select couples abroad more than a decade before the events of the book take place. He deems the time right for phase two: assassinate the adoptive fathers, who are all civil servants, leaving the boys to be raised by their doting mothers, recreating the original Hitler's childhood. He's certain that at least one will develop into the zealous, charismatic Führer for a new generation. The anti-Nazi protagonists also realize that several Hitler clones potentially teaming up in the then-future 1990s is a very scary prospect. The book ends with an unnamed Hitler clone drawing a picture of himself giving a Hitler-esque speech in front of a large audience.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stormfront, the Big Bad of season two of The Boys (2019), seeks to create this by using modern alt-right tactics. She is herself an ageless Super Soldier created by the Third Reich who seeks to revive the empire she served.
  • Referenced, possibly spoofed, on Cheers. Cliff claims that a new resident in his apartment building is actually Hitler and starts investigating him, at one point talking about preventing the "Fourth Reich." Eventually, his landlord tells him to cut it out...leading Cliff to conclude that Hitler had brainwashed him.
  • Doctor Who: In the Seventh Doctor episode "Silver Nemesis," a group of neo-Nazis led by a Third Reich Nazi exile, plots to take over the titular statue in order to use it to establish the Fourth Reich.
  • Hunters has a conspiracy of Nazis (both escaped original Nazis and Neo-Nazis) who want to establish a new version of the Third Reich in America.
  • One of the wackier episode plots of J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai involved a Nazi crocodile man trying to emulate Nazi Germany by kidnapping civilians and placing them in a new concentration camp he had set up. Definitely not the most family-friendly plotline in a Toku series.
  • One episode of Lois & Clark dealt with a coup by Human Popsicles from Nazi Germany.
  • Mission: Impossible: At least three different episodes. One episode had the team infiltrate a group of neo-Nazis who had a Swiss Bank Account showing the location of a cache of Nazi Gold which they intended to use to create a "Fourth Reich." Another had a man recruiting Nazis in Argentina for a Fourth Reich, ostensibly on behalf of Martin Bormann. A third had a former Nazi seeking to rise to power in Germany legally.
  • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Patterns of Force" revolves around a rogue Federation scientist turning a primitive planet into a duplicate of Nazi Germany. He was hoping to replicate Germanic Efficiency but failed to take the nastier elements into account. His direct subordinate simply overthrows him and immediately prepares to invade and depopulate a peaceful neighboring planet.
  • Spoofed in a sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus where "Adolf Hilter" is running for office in England on the "National Bocialist" ticket, promising an Anschluss where the town of Minehead will annex the neighboring town of Taunton. He notably has no allies apart from his friends "Ron Vibbentrof" and "Mr. Bimmler."
  • One Season 1 episode of The New Adventures of Wonder Woman is titled "Anschluss '77" and has this story.
  • One MacGyver (1985) episode in its 4th season centered around a cabal led by elderly Nazis trying to manipulate their way into power in the U.S.; this episode debuted on the 100th anniversary year of Adolf Hitler's birth (1889) and 50th anniversary of World War II's (1939-1945) start.
  • The 1997 ABC television miniseries of Robert Ludlum's 1995 political thriller novel, The Apocalypse Watch.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Delta Green: The Karotechia, the remnants of Hitler's occult program hiding in South America seek to create this. One of the few surviving members (after the organization was mostly destroyed in World War 2 and hunted down by Delta Green and Mossad), "Dr." Olaf Bitterich was contacted by the "ascended spirit" of Hitler, who claimed he became one of the ascended masters (along with Jesus, Buddha, and the High Priests of Atlantis) with the sacrifices of the concentration camps, and revealed his third book Mein Triumph, ordering the creation of a Fourth Reich now based on occultism and magic. The "Ascended spirit" is yet another mask of Nyarlathotep, being a dick as usual. "The Fourth Reich" technically refers to a massive conspiracy led by the Karotechia, as they control a network of Bauern ("Pawns") that indirectly work for them, believing they are working for the non-supernatural ODESSA (an organization of escaped Nazis), composed by Nazi fugitives in South American and Middle Eastern militaries, criminal cartels, white supremacists, neo-fascists, neo-nazis and anti-zionist jihadis.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe: Referenced multiple times:
    • Adolf Hitler survived World War II and made an attempt at this, according to Mephisto the Mentalist in "Razzle Dazzle (Part 2)":
      Adolph set up shop in Paraguay. Not that he lasted long. Losing the war really took it out of him. He managed to stick around just long enough to leech a bunch of ex-Nazis out of my "Master of the World" network and form his "Fourth Reich." He died in 1950, in Paraguay.
    • From "The Final Trump (Part 2)" it seems like a villain mentioned in other stories, Baron Blitzen, is involved with them, trying to get a thing called The Eye of Lemuria from a ship:
      "...the target of Fourth Reich hijacking attempts," Mara said. "I happen to know that an alleged 'Mind Priest' of Lemuria happens to have 'acknowledged' Madam Cailleach, a, ah... colleague... of mine, as the 'Reincarnated Queen of Lemuria', and has attached himself and his followers to her entourage. I also happen to know that dear Kayley recently remarried, and is now Baroness Blitzen."
    • Mentioned multiple times in "Eisenmadel 1: Summer of my German Heritage (Part 2)":
      [By about 1952,] the Fourth Reich was entrenched in the shadows of Latin America, Africa, and the South Pacific. The US needed someone who knew these people, knew how they acted and reacted.
      "With [Baron Dammerung]'s demise in 1965, and the Green Skull's that same year, the Fourth Reich began a slow spiral of destruction."
  • Magic, Metahumans, Martians and Mushroom Clouds: An Alternate Cold War: A few years after WWII ends, Otto Skorzeny and other surviving Nazis carry out a contingency plan of Himmler's and awaken Frederick Barbarossa and his knights from their slumber under the mountain in order to retake control of Germany. Their combined forces declare the Holy Fourth Reich and launch a campaign that conquers Thuringia and marches on Berlin... where they're wiped out by the vastly technologically superior Allied and Soviet occupational forces.
  • For All Time: After the Soviet Union collapses into nuclear civil war in the 1980's, the divided remnants of Germany reunify and go on to establish the National German Republic, led by Reich Chancellor Jörg Haider by the 2000's. Subverted in the sense that, while they're authoritarian, they don't bring back Nazi policies. In fact, under them, Germany's Jewish population actually increases to numbers not seen since the Wiemar Republic.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: In "Where No Fan Has Gone Before," in a sequence showing how the Star Trek fandom grew out of hand in the future, we see that the Trekkies had taken over Germany and rechristened it "Nazi-Planet-Episode Land."
  • The Simpsons: Spoofed in "Mr. Plow" with the German car company "Fourth Reich Motors", founded 1946 (i.e. just after World War Two ended). After a crash test demonstration, Lisa notices the "dummies" are moving, and the salesman immediately closes their exhibition.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: During the "Secret Wars" arc, the Beyonder forces a group of superheroes to fight a group of supervillains on an alien planet. Although it's not shown in much detail, the empire carved out by the Red Skull shows that the aliens have started Putting on the Reich.

    Real Life