EDIT: This question was unclear before, I have tried to clarify it.

This is on the first page of Google results for the query "George Bernard Shaw": George Bernard Shaw Defends Hitler, Mass Murder.

I have a hard time taking the video seriously, but I do not know enough to actually refute it. The video makes incredible claims, like "The Left" supporting Hitler because he would kill people. Also that Marxian Socialism was about killing of "the parasites of society". And that eugenics was about killing off people based on class.

The Wikipedia article on him lists several sources (none of which I can see or confirm) that the speech they use as evidence was just a joke on the more extreme eugenics camps (reductio ad absurdum).

Other reading:

Here's related stuff that I've found that don't directly have to do with the claims made by the video:

This quote from a play that he wrote which is decidedly unsympathetic to Hitler, Buoyant Billions (1946-48):

Why appeal to the mob when ninety five per cent of them do not understand politics, and can do nothing but mischief without leaders? And what sort of leaders do they vote for? For Titus Oates and Lord George Gordon with their Popish plots, for Hitlers who call on them to exterminate Jews, for Mussolinis who rally them to nationalist dreams of glory and empire in which all foreigners are enemies to be subjugated.

And a defense of the Irish Prime Minister expressing condolences to the German ambassador upon Hitler's death. This, too, seems vague, since he says it was the chivalrous thing to do, and accordance to diplomatic protocol. This could be taken as a "Screw you" to England or a call to humanity to even the most inhumane. Or as the page implies, that he was sympathetic to Hitler.

  • 3
    For context: The IHR is a neofascist Holocaust denial organisation, and they are known to lie. The play you cite seems to show that he did not, in fact, admire Hitler, quite the contrary. Finally, the quote about eugenics is taken entirely out of context. Shaw was pro-eugenics. But then, so was almost every scientist and intellectual of the time. And quite in a different way than later used by the Nazis. Sep 18 '13 at 21:51
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    You have: (a) GBS was a convinced pacifist; (b) he welcomed German and Soviet strength before WW2 as meaning war was less likely; (c) he was critical of British democracy, seeing it as no better than Hitler's and Stalin's dictatorships; and (d) he had appalling political judgement, leading to him putting forward idiosyncratic ideas. He called himself a democratic socialist, but his speeches to fellow Fabians received laughter when he thought he was making serious points. He did criticise Hitler, for example for being too Jewish but replacing Jews by Aryans as God's chosen people.
    – Henry
    Sep 18 '13 at 21:52
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    Given the prevalence of support for German race policies in the 1930s USA, it's no surprise. Would be more interesting to research which major US figures at the time were not chummy with the Nazi ideology, or at least with their eugenics policies.
    – jwenting
    Sep 19 '13 at 3:57
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    Could you transcribe what is said in the video about Shaw? Sorry, but I'm not going to play a video from a neo-Nazi group at work. Sep 19 '13 at 16:53
  • 3
    I do not think that we should necessarily accept the line from the play as evidence of Shaw's personal views. The play is a work of fiction, and the line may simply be something that the author thought would be appropriate to the character who speaks it. We likewise shouldn't crack open Macbeth and conclude that Shakespeare believed that life is in fact a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. Oct 27 '15 at 17:11

To answer the question in your title directly: yes, George Bernard Shaw publicly expressed sympathy for Hitler in the 1930s. This was less controversial before WWII than it was after.

In a 1961 article on the topic, H.M. Geduld (then secretary of the Shaw Society) quotes from a lecture in 1933, where Shaw calls Hitler "a very remarkable, a very able man." Geduld writes:

This remark may puzzle readers who are aware of Shaw's fervent enthusiasm for Soviet Communism. Actually there is no contradiction, no deliberate paradox in Shaw's attitude. He admired Hitler and Stalin, just as he had admired Mussolini, because these men were trying to get something done and because they had all got rid of the "pseudo-democratic" party system - that "unparalleled engine for preventing anything being done." For G.B.S. dictatorship was "the only way in which government can accomplish anything." The party system would have to be eliminated if we really intended to solve our political problems


  1. "Bernard Shaw and Adolf Hitler," H. M. Geduld, The Shaw Review, Vol. 4, No. 1 (January, 1961), pp. 11-20. Published by: Penn State University Press, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40682385

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