As it (unexpectedly) turned out, Adolf Hitler became the most influential political leader of the 20th century. Possibly even of the whole modern history as Napoleon largely used the products of the French revolution rather than creating something of his own.
More specifically, Adolf Hitler:
- Saved Germany, Europe and the whole Western civilization (and ultimately the whole human civilization) from being conquered and destroyed by the Bolshevist Soviet Union. The Third Reich destroyed sufficient amount of human, military, industrial and other resources of the Soviet Union to make sure that the latter will never ever be able to conquer Europe (let alone the whole world)
- Made world wars no longer feasible by ushering in the nuclear age. War with the Nazi Germany forced the United States to build a nuclear weapon – it is highly unlikely that without the German threat such an expensive endeavor as the Manhattan project would have ever been approved by any government. And the Soviets simply could not develop the nuke on their own – their first bomb (RDS-1) was a 100% copy of the American “Fat Man” (kudos to Stalin’s foreign intelligence)
- Triggered the Cold War. In 1941, few Western politicians realized the existential nature of the Soviet threat (and behave accordingly). In 1945, when Ivan showed up in Europe (thanks to Adolf Hitler), the seriousness of the threat became evident. Even a diehard Stalin’s fan Churchill was finally forced to admit it (and even started the Cold War with his famous Fulton speech)
- United Europe and ultimately the whole Western Civilization. The Second Great War was so devastating that finally every major power realized that something had to be done to make sure that such a disaster never ever happens again. This commitment finally led to the establishment of the European Union. And the Cold War – also triggered by Adolf Hitler – to the creation of NATO which united Europe with North America (and even Turkey – believe it or not)
- Commenced the de-colonization process. Both Britain and France (and smaller colonial powers such as Belgium and the Netherlands) were so weakened by the Second Great War that they simply could no longer maintain control over their colonies – with a predictable result
- Transformed the world into a bipolar system. Prior to World War II, there were six global powers – the USA, the Soviet Union, Britain, France, Japan and Italy. The war weakened the latter four so much that they ceased to be great powers. The USA became radically stronger – economically, politically and militarily – and the Soviet Union, although no longer capable of conquering the world – still was far stronger than the four abovementioned powers (due to immense resources in his disposal). Hence for almost half a century (until the West finally won the Cold War), the world was a bipolar system dominated by two superpowers.
- Commenced the spaceflight program. Adolf Hitler provided the necessary support for the development and mass production of the first operational ballistic missile (A4/V2). Which became (a) the first man-made object to enter the outer space and (b) the foundation for both American and Soviet space programs. And it was Hitler’s employee (and the SS officer) Wernher von Braun who ultimately put the man on the Moon.
- Revolutionized warfare technologies. In addition to ballistic missiles, the Third Reich was the first to develop and mass-produce cruise missiles, guided bombs, anti-ship missiles, jet aircraft (fighters, bombers and recon), modern transport aircraft, next-generation submarines, assault rifles, general-purpose machine guns, night vision devices, aircraft ejection seats, armored personnel carriers and even helicopters. Oh, and modern mail battle tanks mostly follow the design of Tiger I – the most fearsome armored vehicle of the Second Great War.
- Forced the world powers to finally allow the Jews to establish their state in Palestine. After the Holocaust, preventing them from doing so was obviously out of the question. As was the Judeophobia deemed acceptable prior to the World War II
- Pioneered animal welfare legislation. Nazi Germany was the first nation to completely ban vivisection and modern animal welfare laws are largely based on the ones passed when Hitler was in power
- Developed the iconic Volkswagen Beetle. Not personally, obviously (the car was designed by the famous engineer Ferdinand Porsche and his team), but it was Adolf Hitler who identified the need for a people’s car (“Volkswagen” in German) and developed its concept and its functional objectives
It is very important to note, that this influence of his was overwhelmingly unintentional. In other words, he was used as a largely blind tool by the Providence (which he reluctantly admitted on several occasions). The Providence that for some unknown reasons decided to make Adolf Hitler the most influential political leader in modern history.