There are millions of units for various things. Some are simple and standard like the metre and gram, while others are quirky and humorous like the Helen unit and the Banana Equivalent Dose. As long as you can justify it with logic and objective quantification, you can virtually create any unit. Using this logic, some historical knowledge and a cruel sense of humour, one can come up with an extremely disturbing unit called the Hitler unit.
As most people know, Adolf Hitler is one of the most notorious criminals against humanity in the history of mankind. He was responsible for the death of at least 17 million people, including the 6 million Jews and 5 million other ethnicities killed during the Holocaust, and victims of World War II. For simplicity’s sake, let us only consider the victims of the Holocaust as direct victims of Hitler’s ambitions.
Using this statistic, we can now create a new unit called the hitler – equivalent to 11 million human deaths. Ergo, killing a single human amounts to a crime of 91 nanohitlers. The “hitler level” of some of history’s worst notorious dictators are as follows:
- Kim Il Sung: 1.6 million deaths = 145 millihitler
- Pol Pot: 1.7 million deaths = 154 millihitler
- Hideki Tojo: 5 million deaths = 455 millihitler
- Adolf Hitler: 11 million deaths = 1 hitler
- Jozef Stalin: 23 million deaths = 2.09 hitler
- Mao Zedong: 78 million deaths = 7.09 hitler
The hitler unit gives us a clear picture of “how much worse” someone’s crimes are compared to those committed by Adolf Hitler. For example, Jozef Stalin could be considered twice more evil than Hitler.
The true utility of the hitler unit is that like other units, it allows for useful conversions to other units. For example, the EPA currently values a human life at $6.9 million (USD). A simple unit conversion thus tells us that 1 hitler is equivalent to the loss of $75,900,000,000,000 (-$75.9 teradollars). In 2008 when the US Congress failed to pass a stimulus bill following the subprime mortgage crisis, the market lost $1.2 trillion over one day – the equivalence to 15.8 millihitlers. Conversely, if a mugger took $200 from you, they have technically committed a crime of 2.64 picohitlers.
Although the crimes of Adolf Hitler were beyond tragic, this imaginary unit teaches us that almost anything can be quantified in the field of science and mathematics.