Wed
Aug 31 2011 10:00am

Wikihistory

Desmond Warzel

Since we’re all still abuzz about the latest Hitler-killing episode of Doctor Who, we here at Tor.com thought we’d point our readers’ attention to one of the most entertaining Hitler-killing short stories we’ve ever seen. Enjoy!

 

International Association of Time Travelers: Members’ Forum
Subforum: Europe – Twentieth Century – Second World War
Page 263

11/15/2104
At 14:52:28, FreedomFighter69 wrote:
Reporting my first temporal excursion since joining IATT: have just returned from 1936 Berlin, having taken the place of one of Leni Riefenstahl’s cameramen and assassinated Adolf Hitler during the opening of the Olympic Games. Let a free world rejoice!

At 14:57:44, SilverFox316 wrote:
Back from 1936 Berlin; incapacitated FreedomFighter69 before he could pull his little stunt. Freedomfighter69, as you are a new member, please read IATT Bulletin 1147 regarding the killing of Hitler before your next excursion. Failure to do so may result in your expulsion per Bylaw 223.

At 18:06:59, BigChill wrote:
Take it easy on the kid, SilverFox316; everybody kills Hitler on their first trip. I did. It always gets fixed within a few minutes, what’s the harm?

At 18:33:10, SilverFox316 wrote:
Easy for you to say, BigChill, since to my recollection you’ve never volunteered to go back and fix it. You think I’ve got nothing better to do?

11/16/2104
At 10:15:44, JudgeDoom wrote:
Good news! I just left a French battlefield in October 1916, where I shot dead a young Bavarian Army messenger named Adolf Hitler! Not bad for my first time, no? Sic semper tyrannis!

At 10:22:53, SilverFox316 wrote:
Back from 1916 France I come, having at the last possible second prevented Hitler’s early demise at the hands of JudgeDoom and, incredibly, restrained myself from shooting JudgeDoom and sparing us all years of correcting his misguided antics. READ BULLETIN 1147, PEOPLE!

At 15:41:18, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Point of order: issues related to Hitler’s service in the Bavarian Army ought to go in the World War I forum.

11/21/2104
At 02:21:30, SneakyPete wrote:
Vienna, 1907: after numerous attempts, have infiltrated the Academy of Fine Arts and facilitated Adolf Hitler’s admission to that institution. Goodbye, Hitler the dictator; hello, Hitler the modestly successful landscape artist! Brought back a few of his paintings as well, any buyers?

At 02:29:17, SilverFox316 wrote:
All right; that’s it. Having just returned from 1907 Vienna where I secured the expulsion of Hitler from the Academy by means of an elaborate prank involving the Prefect, a goat, and a substantial quantity of olive oil, I now turn my attention to our newer brethren, who, despite rules to the contrary, seem to have no intention of reading Bulletin 1147 (nor its Addendum, Alternate Means of Subverting the Hitlerian Destiny, and here I’m looking at you, SneakyPete). Permit me to sum it up and save you the trouble: no Hitler means no Third Reich, no World War II, no rocketry programs, no electronics, no computers, no time travel. Get the picture?

At 02:29:49, SilverFox316 wrote:
PS to SneakyPete: your Hitler paintings aren’t worth anything, schmuck, since you probably brought them directly here from 1907, which means the paint’s still fresh. Freaking n00b.

At 07:55:03, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Amen, SilverFox316. Although, point of order, issues relating to early 1900s Vienna should really go in that forum, not here. This has been a recurring problem on this forum.

11/26/2104
At 18:26:18, Jason440953 wrote:
SilverFox316, you seem to know a lot about the rules; what are your thoughts on traveling to, say, Braunau, Austria, in 1875 and killing Alois Hitler before he has a chance to father Adolf? Mind you, I’m asking out of curiosity alone, since I already went and did it.

At 18:42:55, SilverFox316 wrote:
Jason440953, see Bylaw 7, which states that all IATT rulings regarding historical persons apply to ancestors as well. I post this for the benefit of others, as I already made this clear to young Jason in person as I was dragging him back from 1875 by his hair. Got that? No ancestors. (Though if anyone were to go back to, say, Moline, Illinois, in, say, 2080 or so, and intercede to prevent Jason440953’s conception, I could be persuaded to look the other way.)

At 21:19:17, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Point of order: discussions of nineteenth–century Austria and twenty–first–century Illinois should be confined to their respective forums.

12/01/2104
At 15:56:41, AsianAvenger wrote:
FreedomFighter69, JudgeDoom, SneakyPete, Jason440953, you’re nothing but a pack of racists. Let the light of righteousness shine upon your squalid little viper’s nest!

At 16:40:17, BigTom44 wrote:
Well, here we frickin’ go.

At 16:58:42, FreedomFighter69 wrote:
Racist? For killing Hitler? WTF?

At 17:12:52, SaucyAussie wrote:
AsianAvenger, you’re not rehashing that whole Nagasaki issue again, are you? We just got everyone calmed down from last time.

At 17:22:37, LadyJustice wrote:
I’m with SaucyAussie. AsianAvenger, you’re making even less sense than usual. What gives?

At 18:56:09, AsianAvenger wrote:
What gives is everyone’s repeated insistence on a course of action which, even if successful, would only save a few million Europeans. It would be no more trouble to travel to Fuyuanshui, China, in 1814 and kill Hong Xiuquan, thus preventing the Taiping Rebellion of the mid–nineteenth century and saving fifty million lives in the process. But, hey, what are fifty million yellow devils more or less, right, guys? We’ve got Poles and Frenchmen to worry about.

At 19:01:38, LadyJustice wrote:
Well, what’s stopping you from killing him, AsianAvenger?

At 19:11:43, AsianAvenger wrote:
Only to have SilverFox316 undo my work? What’s the point?

At 19:59:23, SilverFox316 wrote:
Actually, it seems like a pretty good idea to me, AsianAvenger. No complications that I can see.

At 20:07:25, Big Chill wrote:
Go for it, man.

At 20:11:31, AsianAvenger wrote:
Very well. I shall return in mere moments, the savior of millions!

At 20:14:17, LadyJustice wrote:
Just checked the timeline; congrats on your success, AsianAvenger!

12/02/2104
At 10:52:53, LadyJustice wrote:
AsianAvenger?

At 11:41:40, SilverFox316 wrote:
AsianAvenger, we need your report, buddy.

At 17:15:32, SilverFox316 wrote:
Okay, apparently AsianAvenger was descended from Hong Xiuquan. Any volunteers to go back and stop him from negating his own existence?

12/10/2104
At 09:14:44, SilverFox316 wrote:
Anyone?

At 09:47:13, BarracksRoomLawyer wrote:
Point of order: this discussion belongs in the Qing Dynasty forum. We’re adults; can we keep sight of what’s important around here?

 

Wikihistory copyright © 2007 Desmond Warzel

This story originally appeared on Abyss & Apex

30 comments
Sarah E. Olson
1. Sarah E. Olson
Loved this story.
Sarah E. Olson
2. Bryan Rasmussen
I see in order to kill hitler I'm gonna have to kill silverfox316 first.
Sky Thibedeau
3. SkylarkThibedeau
This is one of my favorite stories online. When I saw the previews for 'Let's Kill Hitler", I was hoping that someone from the IATT was going to pop in to enforce Bulletin 1147.
Sarah E. Olson
4. Fred Schmultz
This is probably exactly what it is like to work at a time travel agency. Geeze this was funny.
Sarah E. Olson
5. Raskolnikov
Decent story, manages to put a somewhat different rhetorical spin on the usual cliche. Comes across as Stross-lite, but for the length involved not bad. Not that great, either, though. Goes into the rather asine utilitarian justificaiton (no tech growth without global war!) but for SF about World War Two the history isn't as bad as the norm, or even as the heavily lauded (Hi, Connie Willis!).
Sarah E. Olson
6. SilverFox316
Stopping in before I head back to the '04 to report that Bryan Rasmussen has been incapacitated. Nice try, but I've got more practice. Someone should go let him out of my great-grandmother's basement before she realizes he's there and enacts some "historical justice" of her own.
Michael Burke
7. Ludon
@ 6 SilverFox316

I aint no time traveler. I aint even got a watch. I'm just a crazy artist but I do got a question. If Killing Hitler = No Time Travel then how do you go back and fix things after each person kills him? Is this what you time travelers call a pair-of-docs?
Sarah E. Olson
9. Desmond
Thanks, all.

@Raskolnikov:
"Goes into the rather asine utilitarian justificaiton (no tech growth without global war!)"

Maybe it's asinine, maybe not, but nowhere do I say that SilverFox316 is correct. The character's mistakes are not necessarily the author's.

@Ludon:
"If Killing Hitler = No Time Travel then how do you go back and fix things after each person kills him?"

These time machines operate on a combination of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure rules (time spent in the past equals time elapsed in the future, aka The Clock In San Dimas Is Always Running) and Back to the Future rules (changes take time to become permanent; i.e. they have until the "photograph" fades to undo them). The latter rule addresses Ludon's question.

I'm not saying my time travel makes complete sense, just that it doesn't make much less sense than anyone else's time travel. (Or I might just invoke Rule of Funny, and point out that this story isn't really about time travel anyway...)
Jenny Thrash
10. Sihaya
So what's to stop a time travelling newb from going back to quietly kill Hitler without getting on the internet and crowing about it afterwards?

Yeah, I couldn't type that with a straight face. Forget I asked.
M F
11. Madeline
Hey, Desmond, I'm so glad you're reading this thread! I love this story. I have always loved this story. Just last week I was telling my friends about this story at dinner, and then emailed them a link, and three of them loved it and one tweeted it on.

You've got a great handle on message boards, and actually AsianAvenger does have a point. And the pathos! What's nice is, now that the streams have crossed, there's a decent chance that we can send someone/convince someone who can go back to save AA. Unless the time-y wimey stuff doesn't work that way, though judging by the timeline, looks like he's probably ok.

Anyway, yours is a story I touch back on every year or so. Thanks!
Lucas Hensley
12. windfish113
If anyone isn't aware of this trope it's wildly amusing :)

@5. Raskolnikov
YMMV. I thought Blackout/All Clear was effing amazing.
James Whitehead
13. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@12windfish113, great link. Very funny trope commentary.

Liked the WWI reference as well. Stopping WWI might've stopped Hitler but only if they managed to off the ostrich.

Kato
Michael Ray
14. mikeray
Desmond - great to see this at Tor.com. You know we enjoy your writing and sense of humor, as in Wrestling with Alienation!
Sarah E. Olson
15. Zoe Brain
Well, at least we got Leoned the Terrible. He's gone, erased, never happened, all we got was a tiny Franco-Prussian war in 1870 instead of the second thirty-years religious war.
Sarah E. Olson
16. SteveR
Very entertaining to engage in the immpossible paradoxes, but it's all still nonsense:

BACK TO THE NOW - Why time travel is not possible
Forget even getting to the array of unworkable paradoxes if you were to visit the past or future, there is no such thing as the past, future or any related potential to visit or interact with. By the most accurate accounting of the phenomena known as our conscious life experience, reality is only witnessed by us as individuals alone and not collectively as any universally observed form of influence we’re all being controlled by or through. We are each alone and uniquely different in how we see reality or passing time around us constantly. No such ‘universal mind’ or so documented universal account of passing time exists now, in the past or future that runs continuously, like a movie, potentially over and over again. The fact we’re all interacting with the same earthly plane of existence is somewhat deceptive in this context and in large part inadvertently serves to lend the idea that time travel can have a potential point of arrival in the past or future.
Recorded historical events, as representing the complete event from every aspect of how it was experienced by every individual who attended the event involves something that cannot be replicated or experienced in quite the same way again, even if the exact same series of actions could be observed again. Time travel is flat impossible because by definition passing time doesn't exist as another removed or detached potential destination anyway. History or the future exists strictly on record, in our memories or in our plans and dreams in our minds alone, and not as some potential real world breakthrough we can physically experience in life. It’s amazing how much energy and financial commitment from some very bright minds is being wasted on fervently attempting to find some way to make time travel in this sense a reality or proving it’s possible. I’m scarcely trying to rain on innovation, but how so many who are so very smart can appear to be so oblivious of what ought be amongst the most elementary observations of basic reality that we all experience 24/7/365 is beyond me. Just as we always hear, life is only in the progressing moment right now, and at no other time.
[/b]
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
17. tnh
Desmond @9:
[T]his story isn't really about time travel anyway...
True.

Someday I'll stop having humor-triggered cataplexy every time I re-read this story -- but not yet.

The moderator thanks you.
Sarah E. Olson
18. remittance girl
delightful.
Sarah E. Olson
19. AGrey
@ #9 : "this story isn't really about time travel anyway"

Can we please keep this discussion open for time travel related comments, then? There really is an appropriate place for these things, you know.
Levi Stribling
20. lpstribling
Okay, so I know I'm wee bit late on getting to this story, but shit, this is funny. Desmond, well played. Thanks for the laugh. I'm headed to six months from now when we meet at a random gas station in Illinois. I want to make sure I get the picture of our handshake.
Sarah E. Olson
21. Daniel B.
"What gives is everyone’s repeated insistence on a course of action which, even if successful, would only save a few million Europeans."

?40 million is "a few"?
Sarah E. Olson
22. Daniel B.
PS Desmond I love that you invoked tvtropes.com
Sarah E. Olson
23. Lazlo Toth
Obvious conclusion: SilverFox316 is a Boy From Brazil.
Sarah E. Olson
24. Gisbert
Do you know of any German translation of this great stuff? If there isn't one, I'd love to do it.
Sarah E. Olson
25. Jayessell
The problem with killing Hitler is...

A) (Redacted)

B) Hitler's micromanagement of weapons development lost the war.
If left to the generals, surface to air missiles and jet interceptors would have been in place before the Allied bombing raids.

C) A compently run German war effort might prolong the War In Europe past August 6th, 1945.
Hello Little Boy, goodbye Berlin.
Sarah E. Olson
26. PlanetJane
Since I'm assuming this isn't intended as an accurate treatise on the ramifications of time travel but rather an entertaining piece of, I don't know, SATIRE, all I have to say is well played, sir. Well played.

Seriously, I've been re-reading this post at least once a year since the first time, and it's still funny. Thank you, Desmond.
Sarah E. Olson
27. Skerpactic Thrime
I laughed.
Sarah E. Olson
28. khdreamer
@AsianAvenger: Do you even know how important Taiping Rebellion was? No Taiping Rebellion, no other revolution, no modern China! which...would probably save more lives and also save the culture by preventing the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution in a weird, roundabout way. XD
Sarah E. Olson
30. Tamfang
What you need to do is post a false claim of having done something such that, when SilverFox316 goes to "undo" it, he'll indirectly prevent the election of Woodrow Wilson.
Sarah E. Olson
33. Timelord2067
Brilliant work - even the comments look like they are part of the story.

I would have ended the piece with "Hello, my name is Adolf and I'm a painter by profession..."

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