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July 11, 2017

What does Nazi mean in German?

Filed under: Germany, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:10 pm

Herbert Stolpmann, a heck of a nice guy, and also an outstanding commentator on my blog, gave the best answer to this question, in my opinion. He gave an answer in these three comments, which I have taken the liberty of re-ordering and combining into a single statement.

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/german-vocabulary-word-of-the-day-scheishaufen/#comment-81041

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/german-vocabulary-word-of-the-day-scheishaufen/#comment-81005

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/german-vocabulary-word-of-the-day-scheishaufen/#comment-80991

Herbert Stolpmann wrote on June 30th, 2017:

Begin quote

Under the Hitler regime if you called me a Nazi, you would finish up in Dachau as a communist. I doubt that you would ever come out alive…

Americans in general seem to have little perception of the meaning; ‘Nazis’

The expression ‘Nazi’ was originally coined as the battle cry of communist elements in the post-war period of WW I.

Myself and the majority of German people followed the emergence of National Socialism under Hitler and had their support until the outbreak of war, but were never a member of the NSDAP or any sister organization thereof, whom you claim to be a Nazis in your option, although in most professions unless you persued a career, you had no choice but loin [to join] the NSDAP.

Myself and the many millions like me considered themselves Germans first and [willing to] die if necessary for your [our] country but never as Nazis or being abused nor described as such.

Those I sent at the end of the war to their deaths, their spirits haunt me in the early morning waking hours to this day…

Something I personally dislike by any commentator [is] to bring up the subject of those mean old Nazis, to me.

I am sure it is offensive to say the least to other native speaking Germans that took part in combat action especially towards the end of the war.

You will find that at present, no German politician will ever utter or use the expression ‘Nazis’. Even the Russians use the expression Hitlerites To me and those others that went through the last stages of the war I mentioned before it is hurtful.
My main-function as a so called ‘Hilfsausbilder’ (Assistant Instructor) at the age seventeen, was to train Volkssturm -men that were my grandfather’s age in the use of a Panzerfaust in an effort to stop American Armour.
I did deploy them as good as I could, but they had only one chance: A direct hit at an oncoming tank or Half Track vehicle.

It was very rarely that I ever saw any that I had deployed and an entire Brigade was decimated south of Remagen.

There was hardly a single NAZI among them, they just obeyed a seventeen old youngster for the glory of the Reich and the final victory!
I am now 89 years old till [still] living a comfortable life, yet I have a guilty conscience that haunts me.

To see comments you and others publish are of interest to me and many others of the same background, but [to refer to a German Wehrmacht soldier] as a Nazi [is] a gross insult.

End outstanding comments by Stolpmann

Quora has seven answers to this question, but essentially there is a lot of agreement with Stolpmann.

https://www.quora.com/What-does-Nazi-mean-in-German

Here are a few quotes from the seven answers given on that site [Quora].

Begin quote from top answer:

The word “Nazi” is an abbreviation for the word “Nationalsozialist”.

The full name of the political party was the “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” – the National Socialist German Worker’s Party.

It’s worth noting that, within Germany at the time, the word “Nazi” was a homnym for “Naczi” which was an insulting term for a “foolish clumsy person”, so the term wasn’t actually used by the Nazi’s to describe themselves…..

Indeed, after 1932, the term “national socialist” was banned in the USSR, and Russian texts had to refer to them as “fascists”, because the Kremlin didn’t like the taint on the word “socialist” that had come about as a result of that party’s use of the word in their name.

End quote from top Quora answer

Begin Quora quote from John Gordon who taught English in Germany:

In German the term Nazi is a noun only (not as adjective) and originated as a mildly hostile nickname for members and supporters of the NSDAP. It seems to have been coined by analogy with Sozi which was a mildly hostile nickname for a socialist. In German, both terms refer to people only, not to ideologies or to the Party.

The Nazis themselves didn’t like the word Nazi. Originally, the Nazis were a Bavarian party and in some dialects in Southern Bavaria Nazi is a familiar version of Ignaz. At the same time – again only in some Bavarian dialects, it was a colloquial term for buffoon, clumsy fellow.

End quote from John Gordon

Begin quote from Quora

Nazi was an insult — meaning fool.

It has been used as an insult too for Hitler’s NSDAP. With time, people forgot it was an insult and thought that it meant National Socialist.

The 24th edition of Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (2002) says the word Nazi was favored in southern Germany (supposedly from c. 1924) among opponents of National Socialism because the nickname Nazi, Naczi (from the masc. proper name Ignatz, German form of Ignatius) was used colloquially to mean “a foolish person, clumsy or awkward person.” Ignatz was a popular name in Catholic Austria, and according to one source in World War I Nazi was a generic name in the German Empire for the soldiers of Austria-Hungary.

End quote from Quora

2 Comments »

  1. When I lived in Germany for 20 months, back in the 1950ies, many Germans would begin a conversation with an American by saying: “Ich bin kein Nazi.” [I am not a Nazi.]

    Comment by furtherglory — July 11, 2017 @ 1:22 pm

    • It’s true that the name “Nazi” used to echo the name “Sozi” (Socialist) in National Socialist Germany. And the name “Nazi” was soon spread in Anglo-Saxon countries by Jewish refugees from NS Germany. It’s also true that the German National Socialists were not very fond of the name “Nazi.” But Stolpmann’s assertion that “[u]nder the Hitler regime if you called me a Nazi, you would finish up in Dachau as a communist” is a lie. Some German National Socialists even used the name “Nazi” in at least one occurrence (see below).

      Herbert Stolpmann wrote: “I doubt that you would ever come out alive”

      Hahaha… The clown visibly spent too much time hanging out with the victorious incinerators of his people. I’m sure that Herbie – better known under his Indian names of “Walks on the ashes of his brothers and sisters with a smile on his face” and “Yankees’ whore” – now even believes in his own lies. As pathetic as possible…

      Comment by hermie — July 11, 2017 @ 4:00 pm


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