Reductio ad Hitlerum  

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Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum, (Latin for "reduction to" and "argument to" and dog Latin for "Hitler" respectively) is an ad hominem or ad misericordiam argument, and is an informal fallacy. It is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone's origin rather than its current meaning or context. The suggested logic is one of guilt by association, a classic confusion of correlation and causality, as if to say that anything that Adolf Hitler did, no one else should do, for it will obviously or eventually lead to genocide.

Its name is a pun on reductio ad absurdum, and was coined by an academic ethicist, Leo Strauss, in 1953. Engaging in this fallacy is sometimes known as playing the Nazi card, by analogy to playing the race card.

The tactic is often used to derail arguments, because such comparisons tend to distract and anger the opponent.

See also

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