Originally Posted by Spider-Fan
Red Skull's defection was a tool to show how Red Skull is a dark mirror to Steve Roger's (the frustrations of both with their superior's led to their defection...in Cap's case, save the 107th, and Skull's to pursue his own goals). Had the Nazi's been more incorporated as the film was structured, the mirror parallels would have been decreased. I felt the Red Skull was done very effectively in the film, myself.
That is a pretty obvious parallel, I prefer the parallel in the comics, with Captain America presenting freedom and tolerance, while Red Skull represents tyranny and hatred. Making Red Skull break away from the Nazis makes him less evil, not more. In the comics both Captain America and Red Skull grew up in poverty, while Captain America remained an optimist, Red Skull became cynical and bitter and developed a grudge against the world. That is a better parallel.
Red Skull is supposed to represent the mind set that created Nazi Germany, the Treaty of Versailles created political chaos and poverty in Germany and those things lead to many Germans embracing the Nazis. Taking the hatred and intolerance aspect away from the Red Skull, makes him far less fearsome and interesting and makes him feel like a generic James Bond villain.