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Hitler Ate Sugar

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Who's gonna tell him that Josef Mengele was a dentist?note 
"You know, I shouldn't have to explain this, but sharing one attribute with Nazis doesn't make you one!"

A logical fallacy, specifically a sub-type of Association Fallacy, that assumes that anything done or liked by a bad person must be bad itself, taking things to absurd levels.

The premise seems to be that bad people must have a way to tell if something is evil. Either that, or bad people are repulsed by anything that isn't at least as evil as they are. Whatever the reason, bad people magically will only associate with things that are bad. Therefore, people claim a thing is bad because bad people associate with it.

This is a concept called the Association Fallacy (or the more well-known term "Guilty by Association"), which often overlaps with Godwin's Law due to how often Adolf Hitler is used (also known as Reductio ad Hitlerum)note . After all, Hitler has gained the reputation for being the very embodiment of darkest evil, who oozed "pure liquid malevolence" right out of his pores. So, he supposedly would only do/like/own things that are as evil as him. You know, things like sitting on a chair, wearing clothes, eating, taking a walk, and breathing. Hitler did those things, but that doesn't make them bad. Hitler is not a reason things are bad. We don't think mass murder is bad because Hitler, Stalin, or other bad people did them. We think those people are bad because they committed mass murder. In other words, this trope is backwards. A thing being bad stands on its own as bad. It would be like:

Bob: I want to commit genocide.
Alice: The Nazis committed genocide.
Bob: Really? What was I thinking? I can't believe I was going to do something the Nazis did.

This is also one of the reasons why we are often loath to admit that a person who we generally always disagree with may actually be right for once. Remember, Don't Shoot the Message. Someone intimidated by this "argument" may invoke No True Scotsman as a "rebuttal". ("Hitler wasn't a REAL vegetarian.")

One reason this trope exists was that for a long time during The '30s, Hitler was seen as a neutral statesman and some of his policies were appealing to people because he framed himself and the Nazis as Moral Guardians and espoused various "good-on-paper" sounding ideas like personal hygiene, cleanliness, animal rights, sexual restraint, heteronormality, battling the "excesses" of Weimar Germany and so on. Nazi Germany focused on cultural policy to an equal and at times greater extent than economics and good governance. So in some respects Hitler Ate Sugar is a Justified Trope because he and his fellow Nazis invoked Culture Justifies Anything as a key part of their platform, and Nazi Germany is a historically relevant example on the dangers of such policies and its appeals. In the contemporary context, it must be noted that this trope is deployed on arguments that have to do with "culture wars" rather than the original context of Nazi Germany (The Great Depression, Modernism, the Weimar era).

Additionally, the trope is used in American, British and other countries' politics to attack enemies on both sides of the political spectrum, at least since Red-baiting fell out of style. Suffice to say that divorcing Hitler's positions from their original context and trying to fit them into modern politics where concepts of "left" and "right" are drastically different than in Weimar Germany, is essentially a fool's errand. Worse, Hitler's "opinions" on a modern-day issue are often inferred from Nazi campaign speeches or literature from the '20s, and not policies he actually implemented once in power.

For similar reasons, this trope also has been known to overlap with You Know Who Said That?, when a person says a quote that other people would agree with at face value, but then— gotcha!— reveals it was actually said by Hitler or some other contemptible figure. Of course, as explained, that doesn't necessarily prove the idea is immoral on its own merits.

On the other hand, if it's framed very carefully there can be a valid point to be made here. If something is a demonstrably evil idea on its own terms, then pointing out how it's tied to an evil source is relevant not as a proof but as a supporting example. It might even serve as a sort of moral wake-up call. That would be like:

Bob: Greedy Jew isn't a racist stereotype.
Alice: Then how come the Nazis used it in their racist propaganda?
Bob: ... Hitler's approval fills me with shame.

A Sub-Trope of So Was X and Anti-Advice, and the Association Fallacy.

A Sister Trope to Abomination Accusation Attack (attacking people by accusing them of doing or wanting to do something inexcusably atrocious), Ad Hominem (refuting an argument by insulting an aspect of the presenter that isn't relevant to the argument's content), Chewbacca Defense (attempting to win a debate using an irrelevant logical fallacy), Godwin's Law (insinuating that a person is bad by comparing them to Hitler and the Nazis), Damned By a Fool's Praise (insinuating that something is bad by having a stupid or unpleasant person like it), Space Whale Aesop (a moral that involves bad actions having ludicrously unrealistic consequences), and Bulverism (arguing someone's motives for believing an idea without actually explaining why the idea is wrong in the first place).

Often used as one of the less spurious links in a chain of Insane Troll Logic.

This trope has very similar thinking to No True Scotsman, as both are logical fallacies used to exclude or stigmatize something. It could also be seen as something of an Inverted Trope: No True Scotsman fallaciously excludes one bad example to prevent the group as a whole from being identified with it, while Hitler Ate Sugar fallaciously goes right ahead and identifies the group as a whole with the one bad example. An alternate form of inversion is What Would X Do?, when people argue that an action is good solely on the grounds that a good person did it.

Unrelated to Real Men Hate Sugar, where people come to hate something normally considered pleasant due to cultural expectations of what is considered "mature" or "masculine". If Hitler is shown hating sugar, it would likely be a case of Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad, but still counting as this trope if sugar is portrayed as good entirely based on Hitler's dislike of it as a result. As such, unless it is used to demonize sugar and the people who eat it, this trope also has nothing to do with Hitler's well-documented fondness for sweets.

See Villains Out Shopping for examples of evildoers doing innocuous things.

Please note that this page is for examples where X is claimed to be bad due to being done, eaten, read, watched, or what-have-you by demonstrably bad people. It's not for cases where the meaning is more "Look, just because he/she/it does/eats/reads/watches X, doesn't mean he/she/it is a good person." It's the difference between the fallacious argument "Hitler ate sugar, therefore sugar is bad" and the valid argument "Even Hitler ate sugar. Eating sugar does not automatically make you nice".


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach: Despite Love Aikawa restraining her before she could have a chance to retaliate, Hiyori Sarugaki was none too keen about putting on a shihakusho, since they're associated with the Sereitei, the same organization that exiled her for becoming an unwilling test subject in Aizen's schemes that resulted in her becoming a soul reaper-hollow hybrid, Love and others included.
  • Digimon Tamers: The D-Reaper never Grew Beyond Its Programming after analyzing Jeri's mind when she was still depressed over Leomon's sacrifice. It was working as intended, it just thinks that everyone is as depressed and unstable as Jeri and thus had to be wiped.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Sayaka Miki adamantly refuses to replenish her magic with Grief Seeds just because Homura Akemi, whom she detests and blames for Mami Tomoe's death, uses Grief Seeds.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is the reasoning behind the title of Bowling for Columbine. Moore points out that media watchdogs and social commentary pundits were alarmingly quick to point towards all sorts of societal influences that supposedly caused Harris and Klebold's rampage, including video games, bullying, violent movies, and the like. He then questions if they might as well blame the sport of bowling for what happened, as both killers were attending school classes in bowling and played a game the day before the shooting.
  • Used in Clerks in a scene where a 'Chewley's' gum representative is trying to stir up anti-cigarette sentiment in order to sell gum as a substitute. He tells the protagonist that shopkeepers who sell cigarettes are equal to Nazis because clerks like him are only following orders, and so did the Nazis. This is ironic as the Nazis hated smoking. Granted it's a flawed argument considering he obviously has no choice in what he sells and nobody is forced to buy it, but his customers are stirred into pelting him with cigarettes anyway.
  • During one flashback scene in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, wee Hansel is watching his favourite program on Armed Forces Television. He notes that Jesus said that darnedest things, and his mother cuffs him and says "So did Hitler."
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  • In The King of Comedy:
    Rupert Pupkin: I made a mistake.
    Jerry Langford: So did Hitler.
  • Legend (1985): Invoked rather literally when the Lord of Darkness asks Princess Lili to sit down at a table. Lili— who knows full well that he is trying to corrupt her— puts up an amazing resistance even to that simple request, for no better reason that because he is the one who asked her to do so, and she knows where it is supposed to lead. As it happens, this is the correct approach, if only because playing hard to get is essential for her to trick him later on.
  • The New Tenants: Frank grows increasingly hyperbolic when complaining about Pete hassling him about smoking, eventually moving to vegetarianism and saying "You know, that's how that vegetarian Hitler got started."
  • Played for Laughs in The Nice Guys, where Holland March continuously makes comparisons to Hitler as a Running Gag.
  • Not Okay:
    • After the truth comes out, Danni’s parents start getting accused of being involved in the scam despite the fact that they were just as fooled by their daughter as everybody else was. It's part of the reason why Danni’s mother acts so cold to her after she’s forced to move back in
    • As part of the uproar that Danni is subjected to, she sees a video of a hairstylist on her computer saying that she wanted to do her hairstyle in a certain way, but she decided not to because it looked too much like the hairstyle that Danni Sanders has. The fact that both have dark hair with some of it dyed white is an addition.
    • Poor Rowan, already a victim of persecution, ends up receiving extra harassment once her friend turns out to be a liar, something she makes sure to scream at Danni.
  • In Office Space, Peter's "you know, the Nazis had 'pieces of flair' they made the Jews wear." However, the employers in Office Space in fact do utilize totalitarian structures and strategies to keep their workers in line. In this particular example, the flair pieces are part of a Double Bind structure. This doesn't make Peter's argument any less fallible though, and he takes it back to proceed with even more verbal tripping over himself.
  • In Clint Eastwood's A Perfect World:
    Bobby Lee: I love my work.
    Sally Gerber: So did Hitler.
  • Used in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope in the argument between David's father and Brandon on the subject of whether "superior" people should have the right to kill inferior ones.
  • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country during the beginnings of the Klingon-Federation alliance the Klingons remark that they just desire a bit of breathing room. Kirk quickly points out Hitler said a similar thing in 1938 (though one wonders if the Klingons would even know who Hitler was — then again, the same scene named the tropes Klingons Love Shakespeare and In the Original Klingon).
  • This results in a Wrong Insult Offence in Stolen Kisses. When Georges Tabard mentions learning English from an Australian girl who was married to a housepainter, Fabienne immediately compares the housepainter to Hitler, provoking this response from Georges:
    Georges Tabard: Don't ever say Hitler was a housepainter. That's slander. Hitler painted landscapes.
  • Inverted in the comedy To Be or Not to Be with a running joke. The hero is undercover and talking and joking with a Nazi, Colonel Erndhardt. Erndhardt will mock a feature of his sidekick Schultz (e.g. fastidiousness, vegetarianism, etc.), leading the hero to accuse him of insulting Hitler who had all of these traits.

  • According to The Axis of Awesome song "Do They Know It's Pizza?", Joseph Kony cuts pizzas into 8 slices. (Spoofed by an issue of MAD that has a fake Williams-Sonoma mail-order catalog offering a rusty steel "African Warlord Pizza Machete" that customers can use to cut uniform slices and then lop off the hands of anyone who tries to take some pizza.)
  • Because the music of Richard Wagner was so commonly used by the Nazis in their propaganda, fans of Wagner can expect to hear this from the ill-informed when they announce their admiration for Der Ring des Nibelungen. Granted, the situation is more complicated than usual since Wagner himself was anti-Semitic and pushed for a united Germany. Yet, he still died before Hitler was even born. And his only work of music which references his anti-Semitism at all is Parsifal, which the Nazis actually banned for being too pacifistic since Wagner wanted Jews to convert to Christianity - he was not in favor of genocide. Despite all this, though, if people know one thing about Wagner and his music, it's that he was a "Nazi composer," to the extent that his music is quite verboten in Israel.
    • Fans of Wagner themselves are sometimes called anti-Semitic just for liking his music. Said fans are ignorant of Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, and a huge Wagner fanboy.
    • In some lovely Irony, as Wagner's Opera The Flying Dutchman is based off a recording of the legends by the poet Heinrich Heine, who was Jewish.
    • Averted with Anton Bruckner. Hitler was a huge fan of Bruckner (who was a huge fan of Wagner, for that matter). When Hitler's death was publicly announced on German radio, they played the second movement of Bruckner's 7th Symphony (which Bruckner wrote to memorialize Wagner). Hitler even planned to create a museum to Bruckner at St. Florian's Monastery in Linz (including kicking all the monks out) and paid for the first critical editions of Bruckner's works to be published. Thankfully, Bruckner's reputation seems unharmed by the association.
  • This even extends to guitar tunings—according to an urban legend, a leading Nazi officer set the concert pitch of the A note to 440 Hz, leading some guitar experts today to prefer alternative frequencies such as 432 Hz.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In a Dilbert strip, Ratbert wins every debate on the Internet by using the argument: "How would you like it if Hitler killed you?" In one of his text books, Scott Adams pointed out you can win any argument by comparing something to Hitler. This works so well, he explains, because Hitler was a surprisingly versatile guy; he did everything from invasions to building autobahns.

  • There's a That Mitchell and Webb Sound sketch about this sort of thing. There's a debate about killing pizza-flyer delivery guys and one of them reduces all the other's responses to comparisons with Hitler, and the other constantly compares his opponent to Stalin. Which culminates in the exchange:
    "You're like Stalin..."
    "You are Hitler".

  • In regards to sin in general, I John 3:8 states that anyone who has committed a sin is considered of the devil, who had committed a sin by rebelling against God. This is paraphrased as "If you do something bad, no matter how bad it is, you're following the example of Satan."
    • This isn't saying that committing a sin makes you as bad as Satan, but rather that - like him - you're willingly going against what God said to do.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Comedian Andy Kindler says he uses this trope to break up the "Astrological love-fest" between people with the same Zodiac sign (ie. "Hitler was a Sagittarius"). If it isn't true, no one's going to call you out on it. Hitler was a Taurus.
  • Lampshaded in a tongue-in-cheek fashion in Bill Bailey's stand-up: asking the audience for famous vegetarians, someone yells out "Hitler!", with Bailey replying: "You're absolutely right, Hitler was a vegetarian. It's very unseemly to think so, but there he was. Just goes to show: vegetarianism - not always a good thing. Can in some extreme cases lead to genocide."
  • The entire premise behind Richard Herring's "Hitler Moustache" show is that he is reclaiming the toothbrush moustache. He points out that Charlie Chaplin had it first, but it's become evil by association with Hitler. The toothbrush moustache was also a popular fashion accessory for German World War I veterans who joined the postwar Freikorps, a right-wing paramilitary organization formed to restore order in the wake of the political violence in Germany immediately after the war. While many of the Freikorps troops did become Nazis, various others were Jewish - and one was even murdered by his fellow troopers for it!
    • Of course this neglects that Chaplin reclaimed his mustache himself in The Great Dictator by openly embracing the surface resemblance between Hitler and the Tramp, and clarifying the differences once and for all.

    Tabletop RPG 

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Age:
    • Series-wide, this may be the true character of Blood Magic — a tool and not an inherently evil force. A Player Character can be absolutely upright and selfless and still practice blood magic with no ill effect. The most vilified ability of blood magic is the ability to Mind Control others, but comparing it to certain non-blood magic spells is a good reminder that other magic can also be seriously nasty. For example, Immolate, which allows a mage to "...unleash a massive explosion, leaving enemies in the area burning in agony. There's also magic of some kind which rips a hole in reality, sucking spirits into this world while turning them into insane demons."
    • Another, in-universe example comes up in arguments over mage rights: Do you know who else is against preemptively locking up mages and cutting them off from their families? Tevinter, that's who!
  • Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy at least makes some effort to avoid this trope in its tutorial level. Kyle at one point tells you "Force powers aren't inherently good or evil - it's how you use them". Sure enough, since which ending you get is based on a single choice, whether to kill a specific NPC who's at your mercy near the end, you can get the light-side ending after having played the game with nothing but Dark Side powers. That said, Kyle and Luke will still worry about you in the intermissions between acts if you invest in too many Dark powers, and it also doesn't help that the earlier Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II did have which ending you got determined by whether you had more Light or Dark powers, with the only variation (i.e. Light-focused power set but Dark Side ending) done by way of killing too many innocents.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel does this in the first game during the field study in Heimdallr. The terrorist group known as the Imperial Liberation Front makes an attack at the garden party that is being attended by Carl Regnitz, who is a political ally of Chancellor Osborne, and the main objective of the Imperial Liberation Front is Osborne's death. During the attack, Gideon, one of the leaders of the group, confronts Carl and tells him even though he has no personal grudge against Carl, he is guilty by association for working with Osborne and is ready to kill him. Carl survives because Class VII manages to arrive at the party in time to stop Gideon.
  • In the Metal Gear series:
  • Postal 2 includes a group of protesters first showing up on Tuesday, whose slogan is "save a tree, burn a book". One of their placards reads "Achtung! Hitler wrote a book!" Which, of course, is Comically Missing the Point in that the Nazis also burned books.

    Visual Novels 
  • A borderline Insane Troll Logic variant appears in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All: a witness states that a bellboy is suspicious because he had stitches on his face and wore non-uniform leather gloves. Phoenix, grasping at straws and trying to stall the trial for as long as possible, points out that baseballs have stitches, and footballs are made of leather. Does that make all baseballs and footballs suspicious?

    Web Animation 
  • In the comedic flash parody The Matrix Has You, Neo gives a lecture on car safety, specifically to buckle up, and points out that both Agent Smith and Hitler don't wear seat belts.
    Neo: Why, Agent Smith never buckles up. [a mustache appears over Smith's face] And neither did Hitler. You don't want to be like Hitler... do you?


    Web Original 
  • Parodied in The Agony Booth review of TRON: Legacy.
    You know who else was a genocidal maniac? Hitler!
  • Parodied by the satirical news website the Babylon Bee: "Reminder: Adolf Hitler Also Wanted To Go Outside And Do Things"
  • Children's Daycare is Evil (no longer subtitled, but you get the gist from the keywords and tone).
  • In The Cinema Snob's review of Troll 2, he points out "You know who else threw parties? GACY!"
  • Used for comedic effect in Coldmirror's Gag Dub "Harry Potter und der Plastikpokal":
    Barty Crouch Sr./Candyman: Good day, it's me the candyman. From now on I am going to come to your school with my food trolley every morning and sell candy. No stupid cheese rolls like in your cafeteria. No, just sweets, sugar... lots of sugar.
    Pupils: Whaaat?
    Ron: Sugar is evil!
    Girl: Sugar makes hyperactive!
    The Wesley twins: Hitler ate sugar!
  • Episode 11 of Comeuppance, a series that runs on strawmen, has this little bit:
    Sian: From Miss Scatcherd and the Trunchbull, to Pink Floyd and The Demon Headmaster, you [teachers] command a unique notoriety in the cultural psyche, don’t you?
    Mrs. Pascal: But you’re forgetting Miss Honey, John Keating and Dewey Finn. A good teacher inspires like no other.
  • Lampshaded and parodied in the D&D PHB PSAs by Creative Juices 7 in D&Debate #6 (PSA #39), when Mialee discovers that she's being sued for his mistreatment of Displacer Beasts:
    Lilith: Do you know who else made sweaters out of an oppressed species?
    Mialee: (pause) ... no?
    Lilith: Hitler.
    Mialee: Um, I... yeah, um, Hitler did a lot of bad stuff, but I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.
    Lilith: (angry glare)
    Mialee: Uh, no offense.
  • The Drunk and The Ugly podcast group dropped this one during their play-through of Road Trip.
    "You know who ELSE used teamwork? The NAZIS!"
  • Used in Epic Meal Time:
    "If you're getting tired of all this bacon there's something wrong with your brain! You know who else didn't like too much bacon? Hitler. You don't want to be Hitler, do you? No. He's got stupid hair.
  • "Everyone I Don't Like Is Hitler: A Child's Guide to Online Political Discussion."
  • Used and inverted in That Guy with the Glasses' 2-year anniversary special, Kickassia. When Linkara expresses doubts about the upcoming invasion of Molossia, The Nostalgia Critic responds:
    Critic: You know, there's another group of people who thought like you, Linkara, they were called NAZIS! They were closed-minded, hate-filled people who only wanted things their way! Are you a Nazi, Linkara? ARE YOU?!
    Critic: Good. Now let me tell you about a group of people who didn't give up. They were called Nazis...
  • Parodied in the HeadGum channel Off Days skit "Not Illegal," where Amir Blumenfeld defends smoking by saying, "Hitler smoked!"
  • The Hittle parodies this way of thinking. A vegetarian and a meat-eater argue about which side is morally superior. So they actually bring Hitler in to resolve the dispute by blindfolding him and giving him a bat. Whoever Hitler attacks is clearly in the right, making the other side wrong.
  • An episode of "Hope Is Emo" had the main character disapprove of babies because Hitler was a baby.
  • Jacksfilms uses this once or twice. In his jeggings parody:
    "You might be thinking, "Hey! I like pants!" Well that's fine. You know who else liked pants? Hitler."
  • The Matt Walsh Show, on the subject of birthdays:
    "Think about this, and it should be enough to put birthdays to rest: Hitler had birthdays. Dozens of them. So if you're now turning 27, well, congratulations. Even Hitler did that. In fact, I find it rather suspicious that Hitler had birthdays and so do you. What else do you two have in common?"
  • This parody political ad for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic villain Ahuizotl takes this trope and runs with it hilariously:
    Announcer: "Daring Do has consistently shown a desire to steal, plunder and destroy ancient artifacts for nothing more than greed. You know who else was greedy? Al Capone. In fact, have you ever seen them together? That's right: Al Capone and Daring Do are most likely the same person."
    Ahuizotl: "Also, have you ever seen me and Mother Theresa, or Batman in the same room together? I'm not saying I am Mother Theresa or Batman... but I'm implying it shamelessly!"
  • Parodied in one of many Pokémon Abridged Series.
    Officer Jenny: You know who else claimed he wasn't a Nazi? Hitler!
  • From the Rifftrax of High School Musical during a romance pop-song called "Start of Something New":
    Bill Corbett Yeah, you know what else was new at one time? Hitler.
    Mike Neslon: Easy there! A bit early in the film to go full Godwin!
  • In the Scott The Woz episode "You're Not An RPG Guy", Scott's friends chastise him for not liking RPGs by comparing him to Stalin.
    Rex: Stalin f**king hated RPGs, but loved Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
  • Also used for comedy in an old Seanbaby review about the NES game Wall Street Kid, concluding with "To keep it in perspective, though; all this game really was was a simple bad idea. But you know who else had some simple bad ideas? Hitler."
    • Used to even better effect when discussing the injustice of Curtis Armstrong's role in Shanghai Noon being deleted:
    Seanbaby: I know the word "Hitler" gets thrown around a lot when someone's angry, but cutting 15 minutes of Booger from a movie is exactly the kind of thing Hitler would do. Exactly.
  • Todd in the Shadows does this with Jason DeRulo, of all people, in response to Meghan Trainor talking about shaking her butt "like I'm supposed to do." He even uses the exact words "You know who else..." Granted, he's not necessarily wrong, assuming she meant the line as literally as he interprets it.
  • This is basically a meme on the liberal political humour blog Wonkette: "You know who else...?" Invariably, when someone asks such a question in the comments, people will respond with nonsensical answers (although the intended answer is usually, of course, "Hitler"). Presumably it started by means of mocking Glenn Beck.

    Real Life 
  • The phrase "reductio ad Hitlerum" note , closely associated to Godwin's Law, was first used in an article written by University of Chicago professor Leo Strauss in 1951, in Measure: A Critical Journal, and re-emerged in another Strauss book titled Natural Right and History in 1953:
    "In following this movement towards its end we shall inevitably reach a point beyond which the scene is darkened by the shadow of Hitler. Unfortunately, it does not go without saying that in our examination we must avoid the fallacy that in the last decades has frequently been used as a substitute for the reductio ad absurdum: the reductio ad Hitlerum. A view is not refuted by the fact that it happens to have been shared by Hitler."
    • In 2000, Catholic traditionalist Thomas Fleming described its use against traditional values:
      "Leo Strauss called it the reductio ad Hitlerum. If Hitler liked neoclassical art, that means that classicism in every form is Nazi; if Hitler wanted to strengthen the German family, that makes the traditional family (and its defenders) Nazi; if Hitler spoke of the "nation" or the "folk," then any invocation of nationality, ethnicity, or even folkishness is Nazi ..."
  • In an example much like the Bob and Alice example in the intro of this page, Fox News Liberal Bob Beckel said that America should attack Bashar al-Assad for using chemical warfare because the only other people to ever use chemical warfare were Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Aside from this being hilariously wrong, it's basically saying that chemical weapons are immoral because they were used by Hitler and Hussein, not simply because they kill people indiscriminately. Even more ironic, Hitler never used chemical weapons in war (he used it only to murder defenseless people). He was aware that Germany was poorly prepared to defend against chemical attacks if the British or Russians decided to retaliate in kind. Chemical weapons advocates in the past include the likes of Winston Churchill (who advocated the use of tear gas in Iraq, to minimise the death of British troops and native rebels). It was also deployed by the United States military, in the form of the defoliant Agent Orange (infamous for defects which appeared in the mass-production batches which caused it to be deadly to animal life as well), during The Vietnam War.
  • Hitler is sometimes considered to be the poster boy of Evil Vegetarian, in fallacious arguments that often try to make vegetarians look like an Animal Wrongs Group. It doesn't help that lots of modern white supremacists are vegan and vegetarian as part of the "blood and soil" ideology.
    • Taken quite seriously in a book entitled Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover. The author, a vegetarian, attempts to refute the "Hitler was a vegetarian" argument, by arguing that, actually, Hitler was not a vegetarian.
    • One inversion occurs in India, where vegetarianism is part of deadly culture wars. Many people argue that Mahatma Gandhi was a vegetarian and he was good, therefore being vegetarian is "good." And since vegetarianism is an Indian cultural practice commonly seen as "good," some traditionalists will argue that more dubious Indian practices like gender and caste discrimination are also good. The weird part is that right-wing Hindu organizations use draconian measures to target the distribution of meat and other foods (often to target Muslims, Christians and lower-caste Hindus) which is entirely against Gandhian practises, not to mention that Gandhi was killed by a fanatic Hindu himself.
  • Hitler's religious beliefs, which are considered to be highly syncretic and idiosyncratic by neutral observers and historians, are also used to advocate and denounce both the inevitable moral bankruptcy of atheism, and the repressive, intolerant and oppressive nature of Christianity.
    • (Here's the TL;DR) Hitler was raised Catholic and publicly he was a Christiannote , and Nazi Germany did conclude a Concordat with the Church, overseen by Monsignor Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII). Most notably for Hitler, articles 31 and 32 banned Church interference in politics, putting the final nail in the coffin for the post-Enabling Act Catholic Centre Party before it was even signed, immediately leading to a one party state in Germany. However, Nazism did clash with local Church officials on matters of education (Mussolini, who was an atheist, let the Church handle education), and Hitler tapped into a nationalist Catholic strain dating back to Martin Luther (whose open anti-semitism was revived during the Nazi era) and Bismarck's Kulturkampf, to appeal to the Protestant base of Germany. Hitler later sought to replace Christianity with the National Reich Church which, among other things, sought to prohibit the printing of Bibles and replace the Christian cross with the swastika. The "German Christian" movement was formed to fuse Nazi ideology with Christianity, aiming to overhaul and then replace the latter. There's also the fact that anti-semitism had a long history in Europe among various Christian sects (not to mention the fact that antisemitism can be found among non-Christians and non-Europeans), which was revived and transmuted into scientific racism. Of course this doesn't mean that Hitler was a conventional Catholic, that the Church supported or was in anyway involved with his anti-semitic policies in any significant fashion, but this nuance gets lost in various present-day debates.
    • When Christian fundamentalists are speaking out against Satanism, Neo-Paganism, and Occultism, they will sometimes bring up Heinrich Himmler or the Thule Society. But Hitler privately stated that he hated the occult (in terms not dissimilar to Reaganite and Nixonian arguments against "hippies") and he preferred conventional Catholicism to it. Likewise, Catholic groups will play down the dubious rule of Pope Pius XII and exaggerate some of his vague actions to state he was a resister while atheist groups will grotesquely exaggerate it out of all proportion and call him a collaborator.
      • Hitler's (or the Nazis') stance toward the occult can be a bit more complicated. For example, Christians think magic is evil or doesn't exist and may deny that what they do is magic, but to a neutral outsider, a Christian lighting a candle and praying for wealth isn't so different from someone in e.g. the Congo offering a small animal and praying for wealth - both seem to be attempts at magic. Likewise, some of the stuff some Nazi leaders believed in is pretty weird and unsubstantiated even if they didn't exactly draw occult rune circles in pig blood and perform ancient Germanic chants to pray for success in battle.
    • Likewise, while Hitler privately disparaged Christianity, he was no atheist, often invoking God (of a more pantheist variety) even in private conversations. While it's possible some Nazis were atheists, they kept it to themselves as the Nazi Party strongly opposed atheism in its propaganda and policies (for instance the SS forbade atheists joining, with their membership oath denouncing them), particularly because their archenemies the Communists advocated it. Atheist groups were banned steadily after they took power.
    • There is also the fact that even if Hitler was a Catholic Christian/atheist/Positive Christian/spiritual but not religious, not all of the high-ranking officers, willing NSDAP party members, people who voted him in, members of the SS, other Nazis, etc. would have been. Hitler didn't do or invent all that stuff on his own. It also wouldn't mean, of course, that those views were good/correct or bad/incorrect just because he or any other Nazi held them.
  • A strange variant of this trope occurred in Jaslo, Poland in July 2009. An oak tree became the target of a political movement to get it felled once it was found out that Hitler planted it in celebration of his 53rd birthday. Though really, that isn't saying all trees are bad... just the specific Hitler Tree.
  • Anti-smoking policies are often denounced as Nazi-ist, as the Nazis banned things. Adolf Hitler did indeed disapprove of smoking, and hoped that in his lifetime every cigarette package in Europe would be labeled with a warning message (an idea that has since then become widespread in spite of that Hitler advocated it). He also never drank alcohol, citing its effects on the poor families in Austria. Yet, cigarette corporations have also been accused of fascism on at least one occasion, for profiting on the ills of others.
    • This particular aspect of the trope was given front page coverage on the Australian newspaper the "Daily Telegraph" as part of their smear campaign against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It included a full page photoshop of him and several other ministers stuck onto the heads of the lead actors from Hogan's Heroes.
    • Ironic that. Cigarettes used to come with picture cards (the forerunner of bubblegum cards), and there were several featuring a Hitler series. You could even get a special album to paste them in.
    • The (relative) uniqueness of German anti-smoking beliefs in fact can somewhat tied to circumstances brought about by Hitler himself, rather than because he was ahead of his time in that regard. It was only shortly following scientific collaboration breaking down between German and other western powers' scientists that German scientists began first publishing high quality studies in regard to the effects of tobacco. So basically, this trope was having an effect (for good reason), even pre-WWII. Additionally, German scientists led anti-tobacco research prior to the rise of the Nazis (unsurprisingly, as the German prewar tobacco industry was far less powerful and important across the market than in the US); this didn't start out as a pet-project of Hitler's. Furthermore, the harsh conditions of the Eastern Front were causing German physicians to notice cardiac health differences between soldiers who smoked and those who didn't, and obviously they didn't then travel to America and Britain to present their findings.
  • For people who don't like porn, they point out that noted psychos (including, guess who) were sexual deviants (Hitler actually modeled and presented himself as a Celibate Hero, and most historians note that he was fairly Straight Edge compared to Mussolini, who was really a playboy). And people who are pro-porn and pro-sex point out how "oppressive" (read: evil) regimes are anti-those-things (e.g. the Nazis banned contraception/abortion for Aryans and sent gay people to concentration camps).
    • That criticism actually began during the Nazi rise to power from their critics, mostly because of the gay-friendly nature of the SA until the Night of the Long Knives, e.g., former Commander-in-Chief Hammerstein-Equord notoriously called them "gangsters and perverts" (»Verbrecherbande und Schweinigels«.).
    • Poland had a quite straight example along those lines, a billboarding that said, "Abortion for Poles: introduced by Hitler, March 9, 1943." It is a pretty good example of the problems of playing this trope straight; Germany could put up a poster saying that Hitler banned abortions, because he did for Aryans, while legalizing or even forcing them on others. This seems to make him anti-choice, without being pro-life, a viewpoint not exactly (hopefully) relevant in today's society.
    • For most Polish women, they did get the ability to choose thanks to Hitler. While they were legalized for all Poles, they were only forced on a minority (usually criminals, disabled, concentration camp inmates, victims of reprisals, etc.) Of course, all this meant is any woman on whom they wanted to force an abortion simply got framed for a crime.
    • It should also be noted that neo-Nazis are very much in favor of outlawing abortion, for no other reason than to control women's sex lives, in line with the Nazi ideal of a woman as "barefoot and pregnant".
  • Because all fascist governments were dictatorships, and the downfall of fascism discredited dictatorship for good, it's a common mistake by many historians and commentators to equate all dictatorships with Hitler, and likewise compare Nazi totalitarianism with Soviet totalitarianism. These are discrete ideologies with very different outcomes depending on the countries that implemented them; how much truth there is to The Horseshoe Effect is a very contentious topic. On the other hand, denying any similarities or ingaging in No True Scotsman fallacies runs afoul of apologia for the crimes of one regime.
    • In the original Roman context, a Dictator was a temporary executive position in the Roman Senate, and performed the same function as a Prime Minister and President in contemporary democracies. One of the dictators, Cincinnatus, was a hero of George Washington. Julius Caesar was the man who made dictatorship an opprobium when he became Dictator Perpetuo following the precedent of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Caesar himself, aside from conquering Gaul, was very different in management and political style to Hitler needless to say.
    • Likewise, there was considerable differences in degree and kind between Mussolini, Francisco Franco, Salazar and Hitler, if we are to discuss Western European dictatorships. Franco was an authoritarian catholic military despot, a rabid anti-communist and he did call for Nazi warplanes to bombard his own people, but he also maintained a policy of neutrality during the War (albeit for reasons of self-interest and definitely not humanitarianism). Franco's Spain and Salazar's Portugal were safe havens for refugee Jews and both nations were NATO allies during the Cold War. That said, in Mussolini's case he and his government did start to resemble Nazi Germany more and more when it became increasingly apparent that Hitler had become the senior partner to his former idol, such as instituting anti-Semitic laws in Italy. Ultimately they became a downright Nazi clone after Mussolini was re-installed in a German puppet state called the Italian Social Republic following the initial capitulation of Italy in 1943.
      • The Italian Social Republic may itself have tried to weaponize this trope in the Congress of Verona (held in 1943) with its "socialization" policy, which on its face was about expropriating uncultivated land for farmers, nationalizing key industries and instituting profit-sharing in private industries, but in reality it was (supposedly) about turning people in the center and south of Italy against them by rendering them associated with fascism.
    • The ahistorical association sometimes goes as far as comparing Napoléon Bonaparte to Hitler. Hitler was a Napoleon fanboy and followed in his footsteps in invading Russia, and World War II propaganda in both England and the Soviet Union, invoked memories of The Napoleonic Wars, which often leads to everyone seeing the man most responsible for Jewish deghettoization, and a hero for German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, being tarred with the same brush as his polar opposite. Napoleon was in fact an enlightened despot who, unlike Hitler, certainly never contemplated wiping out entire populations. He did seize power from a more or less democratic (if severely dysfunctional) government and was a warmonger more concerned with his own glory than the French people, but he followed his revolutionary predecessors in the many liberal reforms that broke the power of the traditional aristocracy. Also, as mentioned, he scorned anti-Semitism.
  • One reason why creationists reject Charles Darwin and evolution can be seen in evangelical minister Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron's special 150th anniversary "introduction" to On the Origin of Species that pointed out "Adolf Hitler's undeniable connection with the theory", among other things. That's what happens when you let things fall into the public domain, we suppose. Much of this can be explained by (accidentally or intentionally) conflating Darwin's theories on evolution with Social Darwinism, which is itself a misunderstanding of Darwin's work. It also happens that evolutionists in turn claim that Hitler can't have been an evolutionist because the works of Ernst Haeckel, foremost German advocate of Darwinism, were banned in Nazi Germany (although it should be noted that they only banned Haeckel because they thought that he placed the Jews too high in the racial hierarchy. Also, Haeckel's theories leaned towards socialism, pacifism, and feminism, all of which were contrary to Nazi ideology. The Nazis still accepted evolution as fact.)
    • There is actually a long history around politics and evolutionary theory that predates Nazis, on which many books and articles have been written (including several by Stephen Jay Gould). Much of the hostility to evolutionary theory among the religious in particular comes from the way Social Darwinists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries co-opted the evolutionary theory to justify their social programs, which included both scientific racism and forced sterilization of those deemed "inferior" for biological reasons. The Nazis were especially ruthless in co-opting these programs for their own racist aims.
  • This trope was a major problem for the left nationalist movement in Canada during the 1960s. During that time period, Canadians everywhere suffered a major national identity crisis whose finer points are too lengthy to explain in this example (most prominently, there were fears that trade exports with the United States were "contaminating" the country with American lifestyle choices in exchange for a stronger economy), left nationalists reacted by shunning anything and everything American. The debate broke wide open when prominent left nationalist Robin Mathews wrote in the essay "Draft Dodgers and U.S. Imperialism" that American war resisters escaping the Vietnam draft should be refused entry into Canada because, despite holding similar views to many Canadians at the time, they still carried the "stench" of American evil with them. For many people in left nationalism, acknowledging that Mathews took things too far would mean recognizing that America had redeeming qualities, and thus the movement's absolutist views of anti-Americanism fell apart.
  • Osama bin Laden supported the fight against climate change. Cue Right-wing America asking 'What is the difference between bin Laden and Al Gore?'
  • As cited here, the Guardian produced an example that's pushing it even for this trope:
    Although the fringe event was carefully stage-managed – terse political lines trotted out and limited time for questions – there was one unfortunate mistake. The basement room in which delegates gathered to hear the controversial Tory allies was in Manchester’s Midland Hotel, a building Hitler is said to have liked so much that he would have made it his northern residence if he had invaded.
  • The Daily Mail has used Charles Manson's belief in climate change to ridicule the idea. Seriously.
  • The Heartland Institute erected billboards to try to discourage belief in global warming by claiming that the Unabomber believed in it. After a great deal of outrage, even from conservatives, the Institute claimed that the billboards were all part of a brilliant social experiment. Sure they were, boys...
  • The (slightly left-wing) Labour party of the UK tried this kind of argument on the (rather more right-wing) Conservative party by showing a series of billboards featuring the Conservative party leader photoshopped into Gene Hunt, the sexist, homophobic main character of Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes (2008). Which might have been a good idea if Hunt wasn't the most popular TV character in the country at the time.
  • In April of 2012, Representative Allen West (R-FL) said that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were members of the Communist Party, because the Communist Party praised some of their policies. Politifact called this "Guilt by Association on steroids."
  • J. R. R. Tolkien was a major proponent of Germanic culture and art, and he once wrote to one of his sons fighting in World War II that he rather wished he was out there fighting as well, given the degree to which Hitler ruined a lot of otherwise valid ideas (like the old Germanic virtue of courage) through his association with them. He also, famously, wrote a letter trolling a Nazi book publisher who wanted to know if he was Aryan, saying he was sorry he had no Jewish ancestry considering the Jews were such a "gifted people", after explaining the real meaning of Aryan to the man.note 
  • An incident at a certain shopping mall in Manila involving hammers being used for a jewelry store heist prompted the local police to ban hammers from being sold in malls, on the pretense that it can be used for staging robberies or assaults on civilians. As expected, citizens took this as a stupid and pointless move that hurt people with legitimate reasons to get a hammer more than it did criminals, given that they could just use anything else of similar size and weight for breaking into a store or assaulting an innocent, but said innocents don't have a lot of non-hammer options for jobs that need a hammer.
    • A similar incident occurred in Hong Kong when someone set fire to a passenger train compartment and the train company banned lighters from being sold in the stations. Obviously this led to much ridicule leading to some to joke on social media that "it was a person that started the fire, so clearly they should ban people".
  • Manila mayor Joseph Estrada proposed a ban on motorcycle passengers, on the grounds that criminals tend to carry out drive-by shootings and other such incidents as a rider-passenger pair, known in local vernacular as "riding in tandem". It didn't go well with the riding public, simply because in developing countries like the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, people invest in motorcycles as their everyday transport, as cars are simply beyond their financial reach, and barring passengers from bikes would affect law-abiding civilians in the process, again probably moreso than it would affect criminals.
  • Any time there's a national tragedy, the killer's hobbies and musical interests are always demonized for having "turned" him into a killer. Video games and hardcore rock/rap are always the first to take the heat. No one ever stops to think that if an adult or adolescent is letting media direct him to commit atrocities, that says more about his mental state than the media itself; anyone who does point this out is ignored.
    • The video game Mass Effect was perceived as an example, because the shooter responsible for the December 14th, 2012 Connecticut massacre, according to initial reports, listed the game as a favorite on his Facebook page. This was subverted mere hours later once CNN revealed that Ryan Lanza, the man originally blamed for the tragedy, was misidentified as the gunman. It was Ryan's younger brother, Adam Lanza, that did the slayings. Alas, there was plenty of stupidity to pass around before that mistake was clarified.
    • After the above-mentioned massacre, the company Cerberus Capital Management sold its investments in the "Freedom Group", a collection of various firearms manufacturing companies, simply because one of the companies in said group, Bushmaster, manufactured the rifle that was used in it. In a reversal, consumers began buying "assault weapons" like it up as fast as they could, in expectation of the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban coming back into effect.
    • To twist this trope even further, the infamously gore-filled and ultra-violent video game series Manhunt was tied into a British murder case. At first, the game was accused for giving the teenage murderer ideas on how to commit the crime, but after further investigation, it turned out it was the victim who owned the game.
    • In Germany, ever since the first (of seven) mass shootings, media sources have always been extremely quick to announce "Killerspiele (killer games)" as the reason for why someone would grab a gun and shoot a bunch of people, instead of questioning how a young man in a country with extremely strict gun laws could even get his hands on one (which usually proves that it was a mixture of depression, bullying and hunting parents with very lousy gun safety procedures). It becomes even more ridiculous whenever the media do find out that the shooter played video games and then suddenly announce that everything from League of Legends to Pokémon is a first-person shooter that aims at training people to kill (how exactly games specifically designed to make people go on shooting sprees are not only an acceptable but profitable business venture in whatever world these people inhabit is, of course, never addressed). Most German gamers usually react by jokingly taking this trope to the extreme, proclaiming things like "The shooter also ate bread/breathed! Bread/oxygen makes you kill people!" to lampshade how stupid this argument is. A few also play with the trope by proclaiming that they will fill their room with cutesy stuff such as My Little Pony or Care Bears, just to finish with saying "Bet that will make them think about MY motives for a while".
    • The media even demonized the Columbine killer's fashion sense. Both killers wore trench coats to school on the day of the shooting (although, going by images from the security cameras, they ditched the coats early on) and there was another clique in school known as the "trench coat mafia" (which was later proved to be just a tongue-in-cheek name, not an actual mafia-like organization). Several schools tried to ban trench coats on the account of them being gang attire. It didn't help that several copycats also wore trench coats.
    • Even games as innocuous as Microsoft Flight Simulator got under fire when they were blamed for serving as a training tool for the hijackers responsible for the September 11 attacks, citing its realism (although this was mostly from Jack Thompson, who even at the height of his relevancy was seen as not a real threat). Microsoft refuted such claims, though they were prudent enough to remove the World Trade Center from FS2002 and issued patches to retroactively excise the towers from earlier sims as it would be seen in poor taste.
  • This article on beliefnet purportedly has a woman who grew up in Nazi Austria "trying to warn America." You know who supported women working outside the home? Hitler!note 
  • American political commentator Glenn Greenwald compared the Iraq War to the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland; more specifically, he compared the Kurds to the Sudeten Germans because the Kurds supported the 2003 invasion. Whilst there are many differences of opinion regarding the war in Iraq, to compare the Kurds, isolated and massacred with poison gas,note  with the Sudeten Germans, protected under the Czechoslovak constitution, many of whom were fanatical Nazis, is so overblown that it would be funny if it wasn't so viciously and inexcusably callous.
    • The comparison may be over the top, but the situations of the Kurds and the Sudeten Germans were not that different. Kurds were present, in substantial numbers, in high-ranking positions in both the Iraqi Army and the Baath Party, even as their compatriots were fighting a guerrilla war against the Iraqi government. Germans in Sudetenland did enjoy rights under the Czechoslovak Constitution at the time, but they had a good reason to believe that their situation was still precarious under Czechoslovak rule.
    • A more appropriate example of this trope in the context of Sudeten Germans would be the ethnic German Social Democrats in Sudetenland. They were the only major group among the Sudeten Germans that sought to live peacefully in the Czechozlovak state and opposed the Nazi takeover, for which they were persecuted by the Nazis after the Munich Crisis. But they were still Germans to the Czechoslovaks and were deported along with all other Sudeten Germans after World War II.
  • All weapons used by the Nazis are hated by most people, even though the SOE actually used silenced Luger P08s, and the gun was also a popular war trophy for American soldiers (otherwise known for practically worshipping the M1911) due to its extremely good looks. Not to mention captured MP 40 submachine guns were used by resistance groups and even some British forces when they could get their hands on them after the adoption of the Sten, which was lighter and faster, but lacked reliability.
    • British soldiers quite often set aside their Bren light machine guns when they could get their hands on captured German MG42 medium machine guns, which sprayed a vastly heavier firepower through continuous belts which could be as long as you liked or portable drum magazines that held at least 50 rounds. The Bren was liked and an extremely reliable weapon, but compared to the MG42, its 30-round magazine was negligible, it was much slower and its high accuracy actually hindered its use for suppressing fire. In contrast, the MG42 was terrifyingly fast and could send whole platoons running for cover. The only trouble was its distinctive sound, which could invite friendly fire.
    • Some modern weapon historians and enthusiasts seem to take an inversion of this to the absolute extreme and believe that the only innovative weapon designs in the past century - firearms, armored vehicles, aircraft, anything - were developed by the Nazis, for instance claiming the famous Soviet AK must "obviously" have been a complete rip-off of the StG 44note  and glossing over any issues they had like the FG 42's frailty. Even the name for the concept the StG birthed, "assault rifle", is a translation of the name Hitler coined for the weapon in question when he had the chance to test-fire one, yet unlike everything else Hitler ever did, said, or touched, it's gone on to be the backbone of military small arms.
    • Inverted with the Walther PPK, which was used frequently by high-ranking Nazis and officers, with Hitler using his personal PPK to commit suicide, and an upgraded variant that never entered production also served as the basis for the post-war Makarov pistol, essentially the Soviet (and therefore "evil") counterpart to the American M1911. Despite this, it's been largely considered a "good guy" gun from being the primary weapon of James Bond from Dr. No onwards. There's also the fact that the PPK technically ended the European theatre of World War II, even if it was Hitler's own gun.
  • Amusingly in context to the above, some gun control advocates have started to say that assault rifles are bad simply because they were invented by the Nazis and named (Sturmgewehr in German) by Hitler himself. While opinions about assault rifles vary, there are certainly better arguments to be made about them than this.
    • Hitler, during much of his rise, pioneered early gun control measures in Europe. Hence, quite a few people arguing that gun control is inherently fascist. Hitler would later reverse course on this and force loyal civilians to arm themselves in the later days of World War II, causing other people to argue that gun ownership and right wing militias are also inherently fascist. Of course, both sides ignore the context of these decisions - the first was because Hitler wanted to eliminate any potential armed opposition to him, and, far less relevantly today, arms factories getting bogged down by fulfilling orders to civilians when they should have been arming the military. He later reversed this position out of sheer desperation because he wanted both as many people to bring as many guns against the Allies as possible and to reduce the number of police, so that they could be converted to proper soldiers.
  • Inverted in a quip often found on the Internet: "Hitler wasn't so bad. After all, he did kill Hitler." And a common response to the above is "Yeah, but he also killed the guy who killed Hitler." Some may then point out he also killed the guy who killed the guy who killed Hitler — cue infinite recursion.
  • In a bit of poetic irony, this was the sort of logic that screwed over Nazi Germany's attempts to create nuclear weapons during the war - perfectly valid and workable ideas, ones which helped make America's Manhattan Project successful, were forcibly rejected by the nine or so programs competing to create such weapons for the Nazis, simply because the party had determined said ideas had some association with Jews (i.e. "Jewish physics") and were therefore "tainted".
  • Hitler spent some of his younger years as a painter, which is sometimes brought up in discussions over whether or not it's okay to enjoy the artistic output of morally questionable people. Never mind that Hitler's artistic output left much (or rather everything) to be desired, or that he was never serious about his artistic pursuit, that his government chased away almost every major artist of the Modernist Weimar era, and the first thing the Nazis did on taking over was shut down the Bauhaus School of Architecture. His paintings can serve as prime examples for Kitsch, though.note 
  • Invoking Leni Riefenstahl is nowadays the film buff's equivalent of Godwin's Law: if someone finds a movie's supposed political message objectionable (as with Zero Dark Thirty or American Sniper), they'll inevitably compare it to Riefenstahl's work. Never mind that her best-known films are propaganda claiming to be documentaries rather than heavily fictionalized depictions of real events, or that their supposed messages aren't really congruent.
  • People who believe Democracy Is Bad and Democracy Is Flawed love to claim that Hitler was democratically elected. While Hitler was no doubt popular, having achieved 33% of the votes in the 1932 German election, he was actually appointed as Chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg.
  • During the Cold War, Eastern Bloc countries often compared fascism and liberal democracy because both allowed for capitalism.note  Never mind that Hitler considered democracy to be evil and ineffectual.
    • If the eastern bloc wasn't calling democratic countries fascist, it was calling them imperialist. Many democracies had, in fact, engaged in imperialism, and remained imperialist during when the Soviet Union began to form, and some of its colonial liberations happened under the inspiration of the October Revolution and Lenin, and some of them allied themselves with the USSR (such as post-independence India and many African countries which were former colonies), since some of these democracies were victims of imperialism. Of course, the Eastern Bloc itself could be considered an updated form of imperialism, and the USSR's invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan through the Brezhnev Doctrinenote  ruined most of its reputation among anti-colonialists. Even Russia itself is an imperial state created through the colonization of much of Asia and the subjugation of the local peoples, making them little different from the Western Europeans in that regard. For extra hypocrisy points, up to 80% of the Siberian Asians were wiped out by smallpox and typhus that the Russian colonists introduced to the area.
  • Similarly, people who don't like Socialism have been known to gleefully point out that the Nazis were the National Socialist party, never mind that their ideology was socialist In Name Only as a deliberate propaganda strategy.note  Although it's worth noting that many such anti-socialists, mostly conservatives and libertarians, use "socialism" as a catch-all term to describe "big government", regardless whether it's actually socialism, statist capitalism, or corporatism.
  • The trope came into play as a part of the passive resistance during the German occupation of Norway. It went almost like this: a girl happened to like a certain record. Then she met a German soldier who also happened to like the same record. After she was encountered with this fact, she forcefully never played the record again. Conclusion: "Germans are the enemy, therefore, we will not like what they like."
  • Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism compiles many of the above examples (government censorship, smoking bans, vegetarianism, healthcare) and describes fascism as a left-wing ideology. However he includes some more... creative examples. One segment claims that Brokeback Mountain of all things promotes fascism, on the grounds that Ernst Rohm, head of the SA, was a homosexual (neglecting the fact that the Nazis imprisoned and killed homosexuals - including Rohm, who was murdered during Hitler's Night of the Long Knives). Dinesh D'Souza also uses the connection between Hitler and Rohm in his 2017 book The Big Lie and his 2018 film Death of a Nation to create "evidence" that LGBTQ rights is a Nazi ideology.
  • According to some, Hitler was sexually repressed, asexual and a virgin when he died and Eva Braun was a stage prop to give the dictator a more masculine image, and that led him to become a very dangerous leader. Therefore Sex Is Good and the Hippies were Right All Along. However this appears to be false anyway: as much as none of us want to know this, contemporaries have said that Braun and Hitler had an active sex life. He deliberately kept their relationship secret and presented himself as a Celibate Hero to the public who was "married to Germany". In a further demonstration that all sides of the political aisle engage in this, Hitler's sex life is also used to suggest that he was a closeted homosexual to support the "Gay Nazis" myth.
  • One of the main complaints about Rockism. A belief that people who listen to rock n' roll, heavy metal, and other sub-genres are good people who appreciate good music. However, those people who listen to other more popular genres (especially rap) don't know good music and most likely are criminals, underachievers, and losers. This was also one of the reasons for the Hype Backlash against Nu Metal, a rock sub-genre that included elements of rap music, and why many groups that began their careers playing it tried to break away into more "acceptable" rock genres later in their careers.
    • This one applies in reverse too, namely the belief held by a few fans of other genres that rock fans (and, by extension, rockism) are inherently racist because rock music has primarily been made by white people since The '60s — though this ignores the basics of rock history, beginning with the fact that rock was born partly out of rhythm & blues and gospel, was initially called "race music", and was played only on black stations until Alan Freed came along. Not to mention that many of the most important rock musicians, including some of those that created it in the first place, were black.
  • Parodied in a 2016 campaign to get a cat elected as mayor of a Russian city (in protest against corruption): "Only mice don't vote for Barsik".
  • PETA infamously published a video about the evils of milk, starting out by claiming that it's the drink of choice of white supremacists.
  • In the Nazi era, Germany established a nationwide network of radio broadcasters. After the war, the Allies didn't want the network to serve as a mouthpiece for propaganda, so it was broken up into a series of smaller regional networks, while at the same time other Allies' centralized networks like The BBC remained intact, having a virtual monopoly over broadcasting in the U.K. This decentralization later influenced the structure of public broadcasting in the U.S., with NPR and PBS member stations having a lot of leeway in how they program their stations, as a lot of people were uncomfortable with the idea of a State Broadcaster aimed at a domestic audience because of Nazi Germany.
  • Anti-porn advocates have gotten a lot of mileage out of the serial killer Ted Bundy's claim the day before he was executed that pornography motivated his crimes.note 
  • The idea that Taxidermy Is Creepy has similarly received a lot of traction thanks to Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood fascination with the craft and the fact that he used some of the techniques to process the bodies of his victims. It's sadly not uncommon to see people in the online taxidermy community (sometimes known as vulture culture) getting harassed under the presumption that they are serial killers in the making.
  • During the late 2010s, internet trolls started a viral campaign claiming that the "okay" hand gesture was a secret symbol of white supremacy. This, of course, was false (the gesture does have a more obscure negative connotation, meaning "asshole" but being more in the same vein as Flipping the Bird than racism), but now there are a staggering number of people afraid to use the gesture for fear of being Convicted by Public Opinion. It has gotten to the point where in the midst of the hysteria, even Blizzard Entertainment banned players and visitors of their Overwatch esports events from using the OK hand gesture, in addition to any references to Pepe the Frog. Because of course it doesn't matter whether or not you actually say or do anything racist - being seen making an innocuous hand gesture that people think is racist because the Internet told them so is enough to torpedo your reputation. It's pretty safe to say the trolls proved their point. To make matters even worse, it has also been Zig-Zagged via Poe's Law when known white supremacists have flashed the symbol under this newfound context and then claimed a "Just Joking" Justification for Plausible Deniability (a "dog whistle", in political science parlance).
  • The modern equivalent is 'You know who else.....?" with the answer being "Hitler". Started out as semi-legitimate argument- "You know who else likened other races to disease?"- became more widely stretched-"You know who else used nationalism to stir up mobs?"- then became parody-"You know who else liked dogs?"
  • One of the lines in some versions of the Dihydrogen-monoxide parody claims that "Hitler/Stalin/notorious murderer used it every day of his life."
  • Hitler is such a potent example of evil to modern people that in some cases it seems that even things like mass murder and genocide are, indeed, generally seen as less evil if they were not committed by Hitler et al. For instance, the Mongol conquests under Genghis Khan and his successors were actually far more brutal than even the Nazis (slaughtering virtually every human being in cities that hadn't immediately surrendered was common practice of the Mongol army, basically to set an example for the cities that were next in line). And while the Mongol leaders aren't often depicted as noble generals like, say, Alexander or Julius Caesar commonly are, they aren't often shown to be outright evil either. Crazy and blood-thirsty, yes, but even when these attributes are applied to them, it's often actually with hints of admiration. So why were their mass slaughterings less evil than those of Hitler? The answer is apparently: because they simply weren't Hitler.note  But a likely reason for this difference is that Genghis Khan and his successors lived centuries ago, so their atrocities feel very distant, whereas the Nazis' atrocities were recent enough that there are still people alive today who lived through them.
    • On ther other hand, many anti-communists would often depict Josef Stalin as worse than, if not equally as bad, as Hitler, based largely on the questionable criteria that Hitler "killed less of his own people".note 
  • Perhaps the worst of the worst examples is Twitter user Steve Milloy demonizing renewable energy and promoting fossil fuels on the grounds that “wind power made the Trans-Atlantic slave trade possible”… as if the slavers wouldn’t have used coal-powered steamboats if they were invented before the Triangle Trade was stopped. It also implies that sailboats are inherently evil irrespective of their cargo.

Rest easy, Hitler never browsed TV Tropes. As far as we know.


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Alternative Title(s): Guilt By Association, The Hitler Card, Hitler Was A Vegetarian, Hitler Breathed Oxygen, Reductio Ad Hitlerum


Hitler Used Astrology

Astronomer George O. Abell claims that Hitler used astrology as a battlefield strategy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / HitlerAteSugar

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