Reductio ad Hitlerum

The expression reductio ad Hitlerum ( reduction to Hitler , ad hominem fallacy ), argumentum ad Hitlerum or argumentum ad nazium was originally created by the German Jewish political philosopher Leo Strauss (1899-1973), a professor at the University of Chicago . It was raised in 1951 in an article by Measure: a critical journal . 1 It is a combination of several fallacies: the typical fallacy of association and argument ad nauseam in supposing that no further debate is needed after the indictment.

Reductio ad Hitlerum is a fallacy in form: ” Adolf Hitler supported X, therefore X must be bad.”

Examples of reductio ad Hitlerum 

  • In an episode of the American television series Daria , two characters list the horrors of eating chocolate, saying these arguments consecutively: “It’s bad,” “teeth rot,” “makes you nervous,” “eaten Hitler.”
  • Faced with criticism by the director of the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic José Antonio Molina to reggaetón in which he affirmed that “Those lyrics that encourage violence are a poison”, singer of the genre Daddy Yankee replied “if urban music is a Venom for society, then classical music is worse, on the basis that the music Adolf Hitler preferred was classical. ” 2 3
  • In an opinion column on the case of a Jewish community expelled from San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala City, Stuart Zapeta compared the Indian community to Hitler, saying that surely some “socialist” like Hitler would be behind the expulsion of the Jews . 4
  • In his book Politics for Amateur , Fernando Savater argues: “[say] Human rights are no more important than animal rights or plant rights … it seems to me [an attitude] crazy at best and In the worst suspect: did you know that many representatives of the so-called deep ecology maintain ties with neo-Nazi or ultra-right groups? After all, it is important to remember that the first animal protection laws and Mother Earth were promulgated during the 1930s by a famous vegetarian enemy of tobacco called … Adolf Hitler. “


  1. Back to top↑ Measure: a critical journal (in English).
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