The Man in the High Castle is a popular Amazon TV series based on the novels bearing the same name by Philip K. Dick. In this series, Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire defeated the Allies in the Second World War.
Subsequently, the North American continent was split into two spheres of influence: one Japanese and the other German.
Life would have been a nightmare had the Germans been so successful in real life. It would have meant the end of nation-states with civil liberties and democracy.
Fortunately, Adolf Hitler and his Axis allies, Italy and Japan, did not win the war. But what would a post-war world have looked like had they been victorious? Very different to the world we know today, that is for sure.
But did the Nazis have a post-war plan? The answer to that is most certainly yes. The Nazis planned everything in minute detail, including their victory and the ensuing reorganization of the world after the so-called “Endsieg” or “Final Victory.”
The first seeds of the notion of a Nazi-dominated world can be found in the pages of Hitler’s manifesto contained in his book Mein Kampf or “My Struggle.” The Nazi fanatic was adamant about the need for more living space for the German people. He called it “Lebensraum.”
He clearly posits his vision for Europe in the following two sections of Mein Kampf.
“Without consideration of “traditions” and prejudices, [Germany] must find the courage to gather our people and their strength for an advance along the road that will lead this people from its present restricted living space to new land and soil, and hence also free it from the danger of vanishing from the earth or of serving others as a slave nation.”
However, Adolf Hitler did not want an empire like the British or French. He dreamed of a Germany at the heart of Europe. He called it the “Neuordnung” or reorganization of the continent.
“For it is not in colonial acquisitions that we must see the solution of this problem, but exclusively in the acquisition of a territory for settlement, which will enhance the area of the mother country, and hence not only keep the new settlers in the most intimate community with the land of their origin, but secure for the total area those advantages which lie in its unified magnitude.”
The Führer gradually started realizing his dream of a Greater German Reich. His first forays into territorial expansion were peaceful, like the annexation of the Sudetenland and the Anschluss of Austria in the late 1930s.
After that, his policy grew more aggressive with the swallowing up of what remained of former Czechoslovakia.
The overall Nazi strategy for world domination was based on a three-stage plan. Stage one provided for German supremacy from the Atlantic to the Urals. In stage two, this rule should be extended to Africa. Finally, in stage three, the “final battle” with the USA would have taken place with the eventual subjugation of the country, much like in The Man in the High Castle.
Adolf Hitler began to realize his plan in 1939
The Second World War started with the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. The subjugation of Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg soon followed in 1940. The ultimate prize came when France capitulated in the same year.
The Führer made the French sign the armistice agreement in the same train carriage in the forest of Compiegne where the Germans had affirmed their defeat after the First World War. The circle of revenge was complete.
One year later, in the summer of 1941, Hitler’s armies pushed eastward in an apparently unstoppable advance. More than three million German soldiers and more than 600,000 Allied troops took part in what was then the biggest land offensive in history.
The attack began on June 22, and the military successes achieved in the following weeks and months were spectacular.
At the beginning of December, the German dictator’s troops were in front of Leningrad and Moscow. In the south, they had overrun almost the entire Ukraine.
It was another Blitzkrieg par excellence, and Hitler was on the cusp of achieving his lifelong dream.
It was shortly after this moment of Nazi victory that the tide began to turn. The Soviet behemoth was in no way defeated, just chastened and battered. However, they were ready to fight back.
Hitler gave them such an opportunity by not pressing his advantage and moving toward the Urals when he had the chance.
The Soviets struck back with nationalistic conviction and the same brutality as the Nazis had done when they had first invaded their country. The rest is history.
What would have happened had the Nazis defeated Stalin?
The “Eastern campaign” was the war that Hitler had wanted for so long. And it was not a war in the traditional sense, but more of a clash of two distinct ideologies. Hitler always wanted to destroy “Jewish Bolshevism” and establish a Greater Germanic Reich in the east.
A part of stage one would have been the removal of 30 to 50 million people from Eastern Europe. At this juncture, German rule would have reached the Urals.
The newly conquered territory was to be divided into the four Reich commissariats: “Ostland,” “Ukraine,” “Muscovy,” and “Caucasus.”
German settlers were to gradually populate the country with so-called “Wehrdörfer” or defense villages to secure the conquered territories. These settlements were a quasi-natural human defense barrier against the Japanese in the east.
Germany would have become entirely self-sufficient through this vast eastern hinterland, giving the Reich huge reservoirs of grain, oil, and labor.
The indigenous Slavic population was destined for a terrible fate. The inhabitants were either to be “Germanized,” abused as slave labor, deported to Siberia, or even exterminated.
For example, the “General Plan East,” created by the SS, intended to remove between 30 and 50 million people in order to make room for around ten million German settlers.
Those people left behind would have endured life under the jackboot of the so-called master race. It would have been their destiny to toil over the land, exist in poor conditions, remain uneducated, and, above all, submit to their fate without resistance.
Already in 1940, the Reichsführer SS, Heinrich Himmler, had said that it would be enough if the “foreign folk in the East” could write their own name and do some arithmetic. The main premise they needed to learn at school was “that it is the divine commandment to be obedient to the Germans and to be honest, diligent, and good.”
After a total victory over the Soviet Union, Hitler would have devoted himself entirely to the fight against Great Britain and the United States.
In the meantime, along with Italy and Nazi sympathizers in South Africa, the African continent would have been reorganized into Fascist Italian and Nazi spheres of influence.
Would Hitler have gone on fighting endlessly until the “final battle” against the USA? Possibly. But perhaps he would have been content to only rule Eurasia and parts of Africa — as a world power alongside the United States.
However, Britain’s role in the Führer’s future was not clear. Hitler had different ideas concerning the British.
On the one hand, he admired them, even though their Saxon heritage was inferior to the Aryan super-race. Perhaps he might have integrated Britain into the new order as a junior partner.
However, he also believed that the USA and the British Empire could never co-exist. Some say that deep down Hitler wanted the British to fight the Americans alongside Nazi Germany.
His other idea for the UK was far more sinister. After the successful execution of Operation Sea Lion, the name earmarked for the invasion of Britain, the Führer had his sights set on Blenheim Palace as his plush UK residence. Blackpool was to become a destination of recuperation for weary Wehrmacht soldiers.
Able-bodied men would be sent to production sites in other parts of the Reich as slave labor while Nazi death squads would roam the country killing indiscriminately.
The USA’s fate after Britain’s fall or the country becoming an ally would have depended on how they treated with the Third Reich and Imperial Japan. However, Hitler did have a mind to give back the land to the Indian tribes (possibly due to his penchant for Karl May’s books about the American Wild West).
Furthermore, once he had control of Europe and most importantly the British navy, a massive naval and air force construction program was planned. This would have included long-range bombers and rockets.
Like Emperor Nero when Rome burned, the Führer dreamed of flames engulfing New York City.
The Thousand-Year Reich
Hitler planned on a complete restructuring of new cities. For example, he wanted a massive port in Hamburg along with a skyline of super-structures dwarfing anything New York had. Furthermore, he planned on building a 600-foot tall obelisk with a German eagle on top gracing the city of Munich.
Berlin, the future “Germania,” was to become the center of the Reich, boasting districts with pompous monumental buildings. The “Ruhmeshalle” or “Hall of Glory” would be a huge domed structure, culminating at the end of a victory thoroughfare several miles long.
Life for the German people would have been strictly regulated. Hitler, a vegetarian, planned to remove meat from the Wehrmacht’s diet because he believed that the lack of it was what made the Roman legions so successful.
He wanted all Germans to abstain from tobacco and over-indulgence in alcohol. At the same time, the church was to be curtailed or even abolished, so that all that was left to the people was the obeisance to the mystical figure of the Führer.
Two women per man – double marriage under Hitler
In view of the many fallen Wehrmacht soldiers and the resulting lack of marriageable men, Hitler and his cronies wanted to introduce a quasi-double marriage.
Eligible men, preferably of healthy Aryan stock and members of the SS, should procreate as much as possible to preserve the so-called racial supremacy. Women giving birth to eight children or more were to become heroines of the Reich.
Once all this was set in motion, Adolf Hitler planned to retire to his retreat at the Berghof in the Obersalzberg. He would leave the running of the Reich to younger men like Heinrich Himmler and possibly even Albert Speer.
But it’s not likely the Führer would have remained idle — retirement would have been a façade, as all major decisions would have remained his alone.
Could such a realm of terror really have survived? Hitler’s empire would have been based solely on violence and fear. For this reason, presumably, the Nazi empire would sooner or later have collapsed, as the downfall in 1989 of a similar entity in the form of the Communist Eastern bloc showed us.
In reality, however, the defeat of the German Reich already became apparent in the third year of the war. The German military advance came to a crushing halt before Leningrad and Moscow. The spate of Blitzkrieg victories was over.
By the end of 1942, Hitler’s Germany faced an overwhelming alliance of three of the world’s greatest powers. The United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain were simply too big to defeat.