Without a doubt, Adolf Hitler is the most hated man in history. In the interest of time travel, most of us would think about going back in the past and kill the Fuhrer before the dark chapter of the Second World War and Holocaust happened. Preventing it from taking place may make the world a much better place, right?

Not necessarily. The consequence of altering history is more complicated than that. We can only envision it as there is no reason why we should build a time machine when the grandfather paradox will only negate the reason to build one. Nevertheless, we still want answers as to what altered outcomes would happen should someone (in their right mind) kill Hitler in the past.

Here are a couple of alternate history scenarios as envisioned in popular literature and films:

1. Hitler's Historical Existence is Fixed
This means that Hitler is destined to do what he's supposed to do - wage war against the Allies and kill as many Jews as he can. In a "Twilight Zone" episode 'No Time Like the Past," the protagonist Paul Driscoll traveled back in time to kill the Fuhrer only to fail due to the inadvertent intervention of a suspicious maid. Driscoll also failed to warn a Japanese police officer about the impending nuclear catastrophe and prevent the ill-fated passenger liner Lusitania from being torpedoed.

In another episode 'Cradle of Darkness,' the protagonist (played by Katherine Heigl) travels back in time in 1889 Austria in order to kill the infant Hitler. She succeeds in killing the baby by jumping into a river with it, but Clara Hitler 'buys' another baby and raises it as her own. Unfortunately, the baby grows into the mold of the same Hitler that the character has set out to kill.


2. He's Not as Mad and Irrational as You Think
We always think Adolf Hitler as the irrational mad man who hates the world and the Jews. But he's not as dumb as we believe. In the graphic novel "I Killed Adolph Hitler," a contract killer was sent back in time to kill Hitler in 1939 but things didn't go right. I suppose that they should have contracted Agent 47 instead. Hitler overpowers the dumbfounded assassin and left him stranded in the past while he travels to another time to plan his revenge.


3. Hitler's Henchmen Have Already Saw It Coming
Whether Hitler's guards know about time-travelling assassins coming in to kill him or not, it is expected that the die-hard SS units will do what it takes to eliminate any intruder who attempts to come near to the Fuhrer at all cost. As featured in the web-based comic strip "Subnormality," Hitler's guards were actually quite adept at killing time travelers before they get to Hitler.


4. Other Time Travelers Will Prevent You
Sometimes you have to choose the lesser evil. Hitler, the lesser evil? In the "Justice League" animated series, the immortal supervillain Vandal Savage travels back in time and places Hitler in suspended animation to assume control over the Nazi party and continue its regime into the present day. In order to reset the altered timeline, the Justice League travels back in time to remove Savage from power and have Hitler reinstated.


5. Unexpected Consequences and Potential Worse Alternate Outcomes
As mentioned above, most of us would think that all the war crimes that happened during the Second World War would have been prevented if someone goes back in time and erase Hitler from the face of the earth. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that a far worse outcome would happen if someone did so!


In his book "Making History," author Stephen Fry mentioned about a history student and a physics professor who managed to send a permanent male contraceptive pill back in time where Alois Hitler would consume it, ensuring Adolf Hitler will never be born. But without Hitler, the Nazi party is ripe for the leadership of a certain Rudolph Gloder (an alternate history figure that fills in the void left by Hitler), who shares Hitler's genocidal agenda, but is far more efficient, stable, patient, and charismatic. Free from Hitler's personality flaws, Gloder was able to take over all of Europe and successfully win the war. In the alternate present day, an extremely conservative US is in a cold war with the Nazis.


In the popular video game "Command & Conquer," Albert Einstein invented a time machine that he used to go back in time and deleted Hitler from time before he could rise to power. Erasing Hitler would also mean that Germany won't be able to rise from the Great Depression and would fall into anarchy. The Soviet Union would eventually steamrolled the Western Allies into submission and absorbed Europe. Eventually, the United States will fall as well!