Let’s Kill Hitler

If you find yourself suddenly gaining access to a time machine, what’s the first thing you’d do? If you said “kill Adolf Hitler”, then congratulations; you’re a science-fiction character. Actually, the whole “access to a time machine” thing suggested that already, but the desire to kill Hitler clinches it.  – Dean Burnett   

Everybody kills Hitler on their first trip. It always gets fixed within a few minutes, what’s the harm? – Desmond Warzel  

This turns out to be demonstrably true. Looking at the for-real history of the timeline in which we currently live, we find plenty of evidence to support the conclusion that every Western-born time traveler, except perhaps the ones who want the South to win the American Civil War, kills Hitler on their first excursion. And that somebody else fixes the timeline immediately thereafter.

There were thirty-two assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler between 1921 and 1945. In and of itself, this is perhaps not notable; horrible evil dictators do tend to attract assassins, as do incompetent strategists who refuse to surrender the war they are actively losing.

Here’s what is remarkable:

1) Four of the attempts occurred before he seized power in 1933.

2) In more than one case, the perpetrator was never discovered, and the attempt is credited to “unknown assassin” or “unknown Pole” or “unknown German soldier” or “unknown man in SS uniform.”

3) The bastard survived them all by the most bizarre skin-of-his-teeth coincidences. Rescheduled speeches and canceled parades, explosives that detonated too soon or inexplicably not at all, bomb-holding briefcases moved too close to thick wooden table legs.

The night one of Hitler’s own SS bodyguards fired into the Fuhrer’s car, succeeding in killing the man in the back seat, Hitler just happened to be driving, and it was his luckless chauffeur who died.

The German soldier who planted a bomb under the stage where Hitler was to give a speech got locked in the bathroom, no I am not kidding, and was unable to detonate it.

Georg Elser’s elaborate and well-thought-out plan was foiled by Hitler’s decision to, for the first time, take an early train from the Beer Hall Putsch anniversary rally instead of staying for all the speeches.

And on and on and on. It’s almost as though there was some sort of duel going on, across time and space, possibly involving time-traveling Nazis.

You know, hypothetically.

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