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Killing Baby Hitler: A History

Who came up with the idea of traveling back in time to kill Hitler as an infant, anyway? In this video, we find out that the concept of a time machine is pretty recent in the scheme of things. However, the concept of using it to kill Hitler is older then you think.   

(YouTube link)

Vox spoke to author James Gleick, who wrote Time Travel: A History, about the possibility of changing history by killing Adolph Hitler before he came to power, or even before he could fight back. Would you do it? Even assuming time travel was possible, could you do it? Not only does the question bring out certain personality traits in those discussing it, it also delves into one’s  understanding of the nature of time. -Thanks, Phil Edwards!


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I agree with the theory that without Hitler, the party would have created some other ultimate leader. The same goes for Stalin. I think a better question would be, "If a particular person got his hands on a time machine, what would happen if he saved Hitler?" If some could have convinced Hitler to stop and consolidate after he took Central Europe, would we have a Fascist world power to this day?
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Brings up the ages old question: does the man make the times or does the times make the man? History may not have changed much at all as there were others who would have stepped into the Hitler role.
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WWII was devastating. But... incredible progress came out of it, and the world learned some important lessons. War deaths dropped dramatically and permanently after, we managed to avoid global thermonuclear war, technological progress was incredible, global stability reigned ever since, and world economies have benefited incredibly from that.

Who's to say what would have happened in an alternate timeline without Hitler? You can hope we'd still have gotten all the good, without all the bad, but you don't know. The outcome could have been far worse. Without some way to test the alternatives, it would be an insane risk to shuffle the chess pieces of our past like that. Saving millions might later doom billions... Hope your time travel machine is of the scifi sort, where you can always go back earlier and change things back again and again.

It's a shame Hitler always gets top billing, when Stalin actually murdered so many more people, and did such devastation to his country, neighbors, and anyone unlucky enough to be in a country that joined the Warsaw Pact, with no punishment for his crimes during his lifetime, and far too little after.
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