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Wie kam es zu Hitler?

English translation: How did Hitler come about?

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Wie kam es zu Hitler?
English translation:How did Hitler come about?
Entered by: Nikki Graham
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

07:06 Jun 1, 2002
German to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
German term or phrase: Wie kam es zu Hitler?
I know it looks simple, but I'm having trouble finding an English sentence that's equally concise & corresponds idiomatically. This is the first sentence of an article about Döblin's take on the Nazi rise to power, and clearly intended to be somewhat provocative, so the English needs to have equal power.
Kurt Beals
Local time: 05:58
How did Hitler come about?
Explanation:
or perhaps
The road to Hitler
Selected response from:

Nikki Graham
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:58
Grading comment
This seems to correspond best to the German, because it captures both the factual question (which is one aspect of the article) and the incredulity (which is also present). Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.--Kurt
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +8How did Hitler come about?
Nikki Graham
2 +7What led up to Hitler?
StefanR
1 +4How did Hitler happen? etc.Dan McCrosky
4 +1How did it end with/in Hitler?
jerrie
4 +1How could Hitler happen?
Patrick Mueller
4What caused Hitler?xxxbrute
3How on earth did it come to Hitler?MSH


  

Answers


11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +4
How did Hitler happen? etc.


Explanation:
How did Hitler happen?

Why was Hitler?

The origin of Hitler

The cause of Hitler

Hitler – Why?

Whence came Hitler?

The genesis of Hitler

HTH

Dan


Dan McCrosky
Local time: 14:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1541

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  schmurr: only the two with "why" do not lead astray
34 mins
  -> Sorry, but I cannot agree with your comment.

agree  Cilian O'Tuama: IMO, how did H happen, is the best of the 4 "entries" so far (or even "what made (o. allowed) H (to) happen?" as alternatives)
2 hrs

agree  Rod Darby: 'how did Hitler happen' sounds best to my British ears (wouldn't 'could' translate 'wie konnte es zu Hitler kommen'?
4 hrs

agree  Trudy Peters: agree with Cilian. or: How was Hitler allowed to happen
4 hrs

agree  xxxDr.G.MD
7 hrs

agree  Norman Ellis: excellent
8 hrs

disagree  bochkor: Wie ist Hitler passiert? heißt das, aber nicht, was gefragt wurde.
11 hrs
  -> Thank you for your thoughtful comment, but I would like to stick to the suggestions I've offered.
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30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
How could Hitler happen?


Explanation:
"How did Hitler happen".

Not quite the same, but moves along the lines of 'wie konnte das geschehen / how could this happen" - might be appropriate & 'powerful' for a header.

Patrick Mueller
Local time: 07:58
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lydia Molea: could was my first instinct, too
4 hrs
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30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +8
How did Hitler come about?


Explanation:
or perhaps
The road to Hitler

Nikki Graham
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 16
Grading comment
This seems to correspond best to the German, because it captures both the factual question (which is one aspect of the article) and the incredulity (which is also present). Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.--Kurt

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  schmurr
15 mins
  -> Thank you

agree  Alexander Schleber
36 mins

agree  jerrie
41 mins

agree  Sarah Ponting
1 hr

agree  Sheila Hardie
1 hr
  -> Thanks everyone

agree  Bob Kerns
5 hrs

agree  bochkor
11 hrs

agree  allemande: Absolutely -
1 day12 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
How did it end with/in Hitler?


Explanation:
We do say how did it come to this, so the literal translation

How did it come to Hitler?

is OK

How did Hitler come to pass?

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1469

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jennie Sherrick, MA: How did it come to Hitler? - I would keep 'it' as the subject and 'Hitler' as direct object.
15 hrs

neutral  xxxsprinter: This could be misinterpreted.
15 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +7
What led up to Hitler?


Explanation:
This is another option and is a commonly understood idiom meaning "prepared the way for" and would be a punchy head line. But whether it fits depends really on the context which follows your head line.

StefanR
Local time: 14:58
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  John Kinory
4 hrs

agree  xxxninasc
5 hrs

agree  Nikki Graham
5 hrs

agree  bochkor
7 hrs

agree  xxxsprinter
12 hrs

agree  Jennie Sherrick, MA: As with jerrie's above, I think keeping 'what' as subject maintains feeling that the events led the way to Hitler coming to power and not just Hitler himself.
12 hrs

agree  jerrie
21 hrs
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
What caused Hitler?


Explanation:
Phrasing option!

xxxbrute
PRO pts in pair: 255
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1 day11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
How on earth did it come to Hitler?


Explanation:
Or how on earth did we/they end up with Hitler?

MSH
Local time: 13:58
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