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Glossary of Nazi Germany

This is a list of words, terms, concepts, and slogans that were specifically used in Nazi Germany.

Some words were coined by Adolf Hitler and other Nazi Party members. Other words and concepts were borrowed and appropriated, and other terms were already in use during the Weimar Republic. Finally, some are taken from Germany's cultural tradition.

Contents: Top â· 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

[edit] 0-9

  • 25-point program – The Nazi Party platform and a codification of its ideology.
  • 581 Abel autobiography – Weimar period Nazi Party membership data source.

[edit] A

  • SS-Abschnitt - SS district or district headquarters.
  • Abwehr (German for defence) - was a German military intelligence (information gathering) organisation from 1921 to 1944. After 4 February 1938, its name in title was Foreign Affairs/Defence Office of the Armed Forces High Command (Amt Ausland/Abwehr im Oberkommando der Wehrmacht).
  • agrarpolitischer Apparat (aA) – Agrarian Apparatus; Agricultural Affairs Bureau of the NSDAP.
    • Leadership hierarchy: Reichsleitungsfachberater held by Richard Walther DarrĂ©; Gaufachberater; Bezirksfachberater; Kreisfachberater; Ortsgruppenfachberater
    • Agents: LVL; Landesfachberater (consultants)
    • Administrative: Hilfsreferenten (staff members); Sachbearbeiter (aides); Hilfsreferenten responsible for day-to-day propaganda campaign
  • Ahnenerbe "Ancestral Heritage" - a think tank established under the patronage of Heinrich Himmler to research the history of the Aryan race and "prove" its superiority.
  • Ahnenpass (ancestor passport) allowing to document one's Aryan race lineage.
  • Aktion Reinhard - code name for the deadliest phase of the Final Solution, the creation of purpose-built extermination camps. Thought to be named for RSHA chief Reinhard Heydrich.
  • Aktion T4 – code name for the extermination of mentally ill and handicapped patients by the Nazi authorities. (Named after Tiergartenstraße 4, the address of Nazi Central Office in Berlin.)
  • Alles fĂŒr Deutschland (Everything for Germany) – Motto applied to the blades of uniform daggers worn by the SA and National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK).
  • Alter KĂ€mpfer "old fighter" – A Nazi Party member who joined the party or a party-affiliated organization before the Reichstag election of 1930, thus before Hitler became Chancellor; or who joined the Austrian Nazi Party or an affiliate before the Anschluss. The first 100,000 members of the Party were eligible to wear the Golden Nazi Party Badge.
  • Altreich – old state or old country; term used after the annexation of Austria in 1938 to refer to that part of Germany that was within the 1937 (pre-annexation) boundaries.
  • Amtsleiter – convener of NSDAP Party committees. They were personally answerable to Hitler.
  • Anschluss (Anschluß) – annexation, in particular the annexation of Austria in March, 1938.
  • Anti-Comintern Pact – the agreement by Germany, Japan and Italy to oppose the Communist International (the Comintern) directed by Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union.
  • anti-semitism- Antisemitism (alternatively spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism, also known as judeophobia) is prejudice and hostility toward Jews as a religious, racial, or ethnic group. Not specific to the Third Reich.
  • Arbeit adelt "Labor ennobles" – Motto applied to the blades of uniform daggers worn by officers of the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD, the State Labor Service).
  • Arbeit macht frei – "Work will set you free", an old German peasant saying, not invented by the Nazis. It was placed above the gate to Auschwitz by the commandant Rudolf HĂ¶ĂŸ.
  • Arbeitnehmerschaft – workforce. The Nazis took this word to mean both manual and mental workers.
  • "Arbeitertum der Faust und der Stirn" – "Workers of both manual and mental labor"; the Nazi Party self description as an "all-inclusive workers' party" (a term originally designed to carry anti-Communist overtones).
  • Ariernachweis - a Certificate of Descent (to show "Aryan" heritage) (popular name).
  • Asoziale - "asocial" people. During the Nazi era, the word meant "scum", "inferior" people, the ballastexistenzen ("dead weight") of the socially marginalized, those considered by the Nazis to be "unwanted". It included the homeless, migrant workers, beggars, vagrants, large families from the lower social strata, families from the edge of town, "like gypsy" migrants, the so-called "work shy", alcoholics, prostitutes and pimps. Gypsies (as they were called by the Nazis) were considered to be "foreign race 'asoziale".
  • Autobahnen -- The "autobahns", a freeway system planned by the Weimar Republic but constructed by Nazi Germany. The autobahn construction program was enthusiastically implemented by Hitler as a public works project to help fulfill his promise to reduce unemployment. The autobahn system was used as a model for the construction of the United States Interstate Highway System by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who remarked on the efficiency of the autobahn for military transportation while in Germany as the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force.

[edit] B

  • BandenbekĂ€mpfung - "Warfare against Bandits" - anti-partisan struggle.
  • Bayreuther Festpiele—The "Bayreuth Festival", a festival of Wagnerian opera held since 1876 (and still held today) in Bayreuth, Germany. Because of Hitler’s love of the music of Wagner, all the leading Party functionaries and their wives were expected to attend the Bayreuth Festival. Hitler said, “Anyone who does not appreciate the music of Wagner cannot understand National Socialism”.
  • Befehlshaber der Ordnungspolizei (BDO) - Headquarters of the Order (uniformed) Police.
  • Bekennende Kirche – "Confessing Church". The groups of the Protestant churches that resisted Nazification.
  • Berghof -- Adolf Hitler's home in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden, which he purchased in 1933.
  • Bergpolizei - Mountain Police.
  • Berufskammern – Nazi's professional organizations.
  • Bezirksleiter – NSDAP district leaders.
  • Blechkrawatte - "tin necktie," nickname for the Knight's Cross
  • Blitzkrieg – lightning war – quick army invasions aided by tanks and airplanes.
  • Blockleiter – lowest official of the NSDAP, responsible for the political supervision of a (city) block, usually 40 to 60 households.
  • Blutfahne "Blood flag" – An SA flag bloodied in the attempted Beer Hall Putsch in Munich 9 November 1923, and revered by the Nazi Party, used in ceremonies. It disappeared towards the end of the War and is presumed to have been destroyed.
  • Blutorden - "Blood Order" - The medal instituted by Hitler in March 1934 and awarded to Nazis who took part in the November 1923 Beer-Hall Putsch or persons who were a member of one of its formations by January 1932 (continuous service). In 1938, members who could receive it was expanded to persons who rendered outstanding service to the Party. Further party members who lost their lives in the service of the Party could be awarded it. In June 1942, Reinhard Heydrich (posthumously) was the last to be awarded the medal. This award was one of the highest of the NSDAP and under 6,000 were given.
  • Blut und Boden – "Blood and soil". Slogan adopted by the Nazis; it was originally coined by the German former Social Democrat August Winnig, cfr. his Das Reich als Republik 1918–1928, (Stuttgart and Berlin: Cotta, 1928), pg 3.
  • Blut und Ehre (Blood and Honor) – Motto applied to the blades of some uniform daggers worn by the Hitlerjugend, or Hitler Youth.
  • bodenstĂ€ndiger Kapitalismus 'capitalism on the ground' – productive capitalism, i.e., industry (as opposed to unproductive capitalism, i.e., financial speculation, believed by the Nazis to be dominated by the Jews) was a Nazi economic concept.
  • Breitspurbahn (broad-gauge railway)--a planned 3,000 mm (9 ft 101⁄8 in) broad-gauge railway, a personal pet project of Adolf Hitler, proposed to run on 3 meter gauge track with double-storey coaches between major cities of Grossdeutschland.
  • Brown Creed – term for Nazism.
  • Braunes Haus – The Brown House--national HQ of the NSDAP in Munich, Germany, opened 1931; Hitler purchased the Barlow Palace which was the old Italian embassy when Bavaria was an independent state.
  • Braunhemden (Brownshirts) – the SA; the leadership obtained khaki colored shirts that were supposed to be sent to the German troops stationed in colonies in Africa prior to World War I, and thus the color brown became symbolic of the Nazi party.
  • BrigadefĂŒhrer "brigade leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to Brigadier General.
  • Bund Deutscher MĂ€del (BDM) – NSDAP "League of German Girls". It had three million members in 1937.
  • BDM-Werk Glaube und Schönheit - "BDM Belief and Beauty Society" - A special branch of the Bund Deutscher MĂ€del (League of German Girls) began in January 1938 and open to girls age 17 to 21.

[edit] C

  • Carinhall - country estate of Hermann Göring outside Berlin. Named in honor of his first wife Carin Göring (1888–1931).
  • Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern - (Chief of the German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior). Title conferred on Heinrich Himmler by Hitler in June 1936. Traditionally, law enforcement in Germany had been a state matter. In this role, Himmler was nominally subordinate to Interior Minister Frick. However, the decree effectively placed the police under the national control of members of the SS.
  • Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD - (Chief of the Security Police and SD) or CSSD. Title first conferred on Reinhard Heydrich and after his death, Ernst Kaltenbrunner when chief of the Reich Main Security Office (which included the Gestapo, SD and Kripo).
  • Conservative Revolutionary movement – a Weimar period German nationalist literary youth movement.
  • Cyclon B – Alternative spelling of Zyklon B, tradename of a cyanide-based insecticide used to kill over one million people (total number of deaths in the Holocaust total about six million people) in Nazi gas chambers.

[edit] D

  • "Denn heute hört uns Deutschland/Und morgen die ganze Welt"--"For today Germany hears us/But tomorrow the whole world shall", a line from the 1932 song Es zittern die morschen Knochen ("The Frail Bones Tremble") written by Hans Baumann that became the official marching song of the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labor Service) in 1935. This was loosely translated into English as Today Germany, Tomorrow the World, implying that the Nazis intended to take over the world.
  • Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP) – German Workers’ Party, started by railway workers in Bohemia, Austria and Munich, Germany. These were the starter groups that evolved into the DNSAP and the NSDAP in their respective countries.
  • Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF) – The 'German Labour Front' was the Nazi's substitute organisation for trade unions, which had been outlawed on 2 May 1933.
  • Deutsche Christen – the "de-Judaized" Christian church; those who were "Nazified". They removed the whole Old Testament from the Bible.
  • Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei (DNSAP) – the Austrian “German National Socialist Workers’ Party”.
  • Deutsche Reichsbahn - German National Railway. Formed under the Weimar Republic by merging Germany's various railways, and nationalized by the Nazis in 1937. Continued to operate in East Germany until 1994.
  • Deutscher Frauenorden (DFO) – German Women's Order. The leader was Elsbeth Zander.
  • Deutscher Luftsportverband (DLV) - German Air Sports Union, clandestine predecessor of the Luftwaffe, sponsored by Hermann Goering and headed by WWI ace Ernst Udet.
  • Deutscher Nationalpreis fĂŒr Kunst und Wissenschaft - German National Prize for Art and Science, a substitute/rival award to the Nobel Prizes, which the Nazis forbade Germans to accept.
  • Deutscher Orden - German Order, the highest decoration of the Nazi Party; awarded only 12 times, in most cases posthumously. Cynically nicknamed the "Dead Hero Medal."
  • Deutsches Jungvolk – NSDAP-controlled association for boys before they were old enough to enter the Hitler Youth at age 14.
  • Deutsches Kreuz, German Cross - military decoration instituted to bridge the gap between the Iron Cross 1st Class and the Knight's Cross. Awarded in gold for valor in combat and in silver for distinguished service.
  • Deutsches Olympiaehrenzeichen - German Olympic Games Decoration. Given in recognition of individuals who worked on organising the 11th Olympic Games in Berlin and the 4th Olympic Winter Games held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 1936. The award came in two classes and was extended to both Germans and foreigners.
  • Deutschnationale Volkspartei (DNVP) - German National People's Party, monarchist/nationalist conservatives who were the NSDAP's junior partner in the 1933 coalition government. Instrumental in passing the Enabling Act, but dissolved shortly thereafter.
  • Der Dicke – "The fat one", a contemptuous epithet by Germans used to refer to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring.
  • "Die Juden sind unser UnglĂŒck" – A Nazi slogan: "The Jews are our misfortune."
  • Drang nach Osten – "Drive to the east", the historic German desire to expand eastward.
  • Drittes Reich – Third Reich or "Third Realm". Arthur Moeller van den Bruck coined this term for his book Das Dritte Reich published in 1923. The "Third Reich" was predicted as the next step beyond the "First Reich" (the Holy Roman Empire), 800-1806 [beginning with Charlemagne, and the "Second Reich" (the German Empire, 1871–1918).
  • Drittes Zeitaltern – The "Three Ages" – a philosophy of history promulgated in 1923 by the German author Arthur Moeller van den Bruck in his book Das Dritte Reich, based on an update of the "Three Ages" philosophy of the medieval philosopher Joachim of Fiore, which the Nazis used to justify their rule. According to Moeller’s update of the ideas of Fiore, the First Reich was the Age of the Father, the Second Reich was the Age of the Son, and there will in the future be established under a strong leader a "Third Reich" which will be the Age of the Holy Ghost in which all Germans will live in a Utopia in peace and harmony with each other.

[edit] E

  • Eagle's Nest - see Kehlsteinhaus.
  • Eher Verlag – the Nazi Party's official publishing house run by Max Amann.
  • Ehrenarier - "honorary Aryan" - some people or peoples of non-Aryan ancestry were declared Honorary Aryans because of their service to the Third Reich. Hermann Göring stated, "I will decide who is Aryan".
  • Ehrendolch – lit. "honor dagger", a presentation dagger awarded for individual recognition, especially by the SS.
  • Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter--"Cross of Honor of the German Mother"--An award given to German mothers who presented four or more children to the Third Reich. Those who bore four to five children received the bronze Honor Cross, those who bore six to seven children received the silver Honor Cross, and those who bore at least eight children received the gold Honor Cross.
  • Ehrenliste der Ermordeten der Bewegung – Nazi honor roll of those who fought and died for the party before it came to power in January 1933.
  • Ehrenwaffe - Nazi honor weapon worn by NSDAP party leaders who qualified to carry them.
  • Einsatzgruppen – "Special-operation units" that were death squads under the command of the RSHA and followed the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front to engage in the systematic killing of mostly civilians, including: Jews, communists, intellectuals, and others.
  • Eiserne Kreuz, Iron Cross - Originally a Prussian royal military decoration for valor or combat leadership, revived by Hitler in 1939. There were three grades, the Iron Cross, Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz) and Grand Cross (Grosskreuz); the basic grade was awarded in two degrees, 2nd and 1st Class. Holders of the 1914 Iron Cross were awarded a device (Spange) to be worn with the original decoration in lieu of a second medal.
  • Endlösung – "final solution", short for "final solution to the question" (or "... problem"), a Nazi euphemism for what later became known as the Holocaust. Use of the phrase "final solution", even in non-Nazi contexts, e.g., "the final solution of a mathematics problem" is frowned upon in modern Germany. Note: It is important when reading books about the Third Reich that were published before 1978 to remember that the term "Holocaust", although it had been used before 1978 in some newspaper articles and by some Jewish and other intellectuals, did not become the general term used among the general population to refer to this genocide until after the appearance of the Holocaust TV miniseries in 1978. For example, William Shirer's 1961 book Rise and Fall of the Third Reich uses the term "the final solution" in quotes; the word "Holocaust" is not mentioned.
  • Endlösung der Judenfrage – "final solution to the Jewish question"; see Endlösung, above.
  • Endsieg – "final victory"; referring to the expected victory in World War II.
  • Entartete Kunst – degenerate art; term used as the title of an art show consisting of modern art and other "degenerate" art, which was contrasted with Nazi propagandistic Nazi art.
  • Erbhöfe — hereditary; farms labelled as such were guaranteed to remain with the same family in perpetuity.
  • Erbhofgesetz – the 1933 NSDAP hereditary farm law; it guaranteed family farm holdings of three hundred acres (1.2 kmâČ) or less.
  • ErmĂ€chtigungsgesetz – "Law to Relieve the Distress of the People and State"; Enabling Act of March 23, 1933, which had the effect of suspending the Weimar Constitution and granting Hitler dictatorial powers.
  • Ersatz – a substitute product. Germany did not have an easy access to some strategic materials. German scientists had to research how to produce artificial rubber (Buna), and coffee made from roasted acorns, for example. Gasified coal was manufactured to create an artificial petroleum-like product to fuel vehicles. In a military context used to refer to replacement troops, e.g., Ersatzabteilung "replacement battalion."

[edit] F

  • Feldgendarmerie - Field Gendarmerie or Field Police, the military police units of the Wehrmacht.
  • Feldherrnhalle - loggia on the Odeonsplatz in Munich; site of the violent climax of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. Used as the name of an SA Standarte, which eventually grew into the Panzer Corps Feldherrnhalle.
  • Fraktur – a fashion of blackletter popularly associated with Nazi Germany, though the blackletter typefaces were banned by Hitler in 1941 on the grounds that it was Jewish.
  • Frontgemeinschaft – front line community. It was termed for the solidarity felt by the German soldiers of World War I in the trench warfare.
  • FĂŒhrer – leader. Adolf Hitler was called "Der FĂŒhrer". Also an early SA and SS rank, later changed. to SturmfĂŒhrer.
  • FĂŒhrerbunker - (literally meaning "shelter [for the] leader" or "[the] FĂŒhrer's shelter") was located about 8.2 metres beneath the garden of the old Reich Chancellery building at Wilhelmstraße 77, and about 120 metres north of Hitler's New Reich Chancellery building in Berlin. This underground bunker was Hitler's last FHQ. Further, it is where Hitler and his wife Eva Braun spent the last few weeks of the war and where their lives came to an end on 30 April 1945.
  • FĂŒhrerhauptquartiere (FHQ), a number of official headquarters especially constructed for use by the FĂŒhrer.
  • FĂŒhrerprinzip – the "leader principle", a central tenet of Nazism and Hitler's rule, based on absolute hierarchical authority and unquestioning obedience.
  • FĂŒhrerstaat – the concept of Hitler's dictatorship of one-man rule.
  • SS-FĂŒhrungshauptamt - SS Leadership Head Office, the administrative headquarters of the Waffen-SS.

[edit] G

  • Gau, pl. Gaue – NSDAP regional districts which functioned as the de facto administrative organization of Nazi Germany from 1935-1945.

Further subdivided into:

    • Bezirke – districts
      • Kreise – counties or subdistricts; smaller units of the Bezirk
        • Ortsgruppen – Party branch or local branches. It took a minimum of fifteen members to be recognized
          • Hauszellen – tenement cells
          • Straßenzellen – street cells
          • StĂŒtzpunkte – strong points
  • GaufĂŒhrer - very early SA and SS rank, indicating the SA or SS leader for a Gau; renamed OberfĂŒhrer in 1928.
  • Gauleiter – the head of a Gau or of a Reichsgau. They had to swear unconditional personal loyalty to the FĂŒhrer and were directly answerable to him.
  • Gau-Uschla - the level of the four-tiered Uschla system immediately below the Reichs-Uschla and immediately above the Kreis-Uschla.
  • Geheime Feldpolizei (GFP) - Secret Field Police. It was Germany's secret military police that was organised by the German high command (OKW) in July 1939 to serve with the Wehrmacht. It was mainly designed to carry out security work in the field, as the executive agent of the Abwehr.
  • Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) – Secret State Police. Originally the Prussia secret state police and later (as part of the SiPo then merged into the RHSA) the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Gestapo was derived as follows: Geheime Staatspolizei.
  • Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz – "The common good before the private good"; Rudolf Jung popularized it in his book Der Nationale Sozialismus, 1922, 2nd edition. This became Hitler's basic stance on the subordination of the economy to the national interest. (6)
  • Generalgouverneur – Governor-general. Leader of the civil administration of the Generalgouvernement.
  • Generalgouvernement (General Government) - official designation for the parts of pre-war Poland that weren't directly incorporated into the Großdeutsches Reich, but were otherwise placed under a totally German-ruled civil government.
  • Generalgouvernement fĂŒr die besetzten polnische gebiete - (General Government for the occupied Polish territories) - complete title for the above-mentioned Generalgouvernement from 1939-1941. Note that this name did not signify the existence of a military government.
  • Genocide - the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group. Not specific to the Third Reich.
  • Germania (Latin term for Germany) - It was the name Hitler wanted for the proposed grand capital city of Berlin after the war had been won; also the name of the second regiment of the SS-VerfĂŒgungstruppe.
  • Gleichschaltung – the restructuring of German society and government into streamlined, centralized hierarchies of power, with the intention of gaining total control and co-ordination of all aspects of society.
  • Goldfasanen ("golden pheasants") – derogatory term Germans used for high-ranking Nazi Party members. The term derived from the brown and red uniforms with golden insignia worn at official functions and rallies by party members that resembled the brilliant colours of a male pheasant.
  • Goosestep (Stechschritt) – a ceremonial marching form of many countries especially of the ones in cold climates (Germany and Russia). The vigorous marching helps keep the participants warm. The form consists of stepping forward without bending the knees. After the Nazis' use of it in their parades it was later used when referring to other totalitarian governments. Still used by some countries today.
  • GottglĂ€ubiger, those who broke away from Christianity. The term implies someone who still believes in God, although without having any religious affiliation. Like the Communist Party in the USSR, the Nazis were not favorable toward religious institutions, but unlike the Communists, they did not promote or require atheism on the part of their membership, except within the SS.
  • Gott Mit Uns "God with us" - traditional Prussian military motto, worn on the belt buckles of the Wehrmacht.
  • Grand Cross - see Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
  • Gröfaz – mocking acronym for GrĂ¶ĂŸter Feldherr aller Zeiten ("greatest general of all time"), an appellation of Hitler.
  • Großdeutsches Reich "Greater German Domain" - the official state name of Germany from 1943–45; earlier used to refer to pre-1938 Germany (the Altreich) plus Austria and other annexed territories.
  • Großgermanisches Reich "Greater Germanic Domain" - the official state name of the expanded empire that Germany's war aims set out to establish within Europe in World War II.
  • Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, Grand Cross of the Iron Cross - Germany's highest military decoration. Established in two degrees, the Grand Cross and the Star of the Grand Cross; the former was awarded only once under the Third Reich, to Göring, and the latter never.
  • Großraumwirtschaft – continental economic zone similar to Lebensraum.
  • Großtraktor "large tractor" - code name for the Reichswehr's clandestine heavy tank design.
  • GruppenfĂŒhrer "group leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to (US/UK) Major General.

[edit] H

  • Hakenkreuz 'hooked cross' – swastika.
  • Halsschmerzen "sore throat" or "itchy neck" - used of a reckless or glory-seeking commander, implying an obsession with winning the Knight's Cross
  • HauptscharfĂŒhrer "chief squad leader" - an SS rank, the highest enlisted grade in the Allgemeine-SS, equivalent to Master Sergeant.
  • HauptsturmfĂŒhrer "chief storm leader" - an SS rank, equivalent to Captain.
  • HaupttruppfĂŒhrer "chief troop leader" - an SA and early SS rank, the highest enlisted grade in the SA, equivalent to Sergeant Major.
  • Heer - the Army. Not specific to the Third Reich.
  • Heimat – the 'homeland' of the German volk (i.e., The Greater German Reich). Not specific to the Third Reich.
  • Heimatvertriebene – Germans expelled from their homeland.
  • "Hermann Meyer" - derogatory nickname for Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring, after his intemperate boast that "if one bomb falls on Berlin, you can call me 'Meyer'!"
  • Herrenvolk/Herrenrasse 'people/race of lords' – The master race.
  • HIAG (German: 'Hilfsgemeinschaft auf Gegenseitigkeit der Angehörigen der ehemaligen Waffen-SS, literally "Mutual Help Association of Former Waffen-SS Members") was an organization founded in 1951 by former members of the Waffen-SS.
  • HIB-Aktion – "Into-the-Factories Campaign"; a part of the Nazi campaign to recruit factory workers.
  • Hitlerism is another term for Nazism used by its opponents.
  • Hitlerproleten – "Hitler's proletariat"; what the Berlin working class Nazis called themselves (to distinguish themselves from the rest of the proletariat). (8)
  • Hitler salute (Hitlergruß) – Used when addressing Hitler, higher ranking Party, SA or SS officers, or the Reich. Imposed on the Armed Forces in lieu of the military salute after the July 20 plot.
  • Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend) – The German youth organization founded by the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Made up of the Hitlerjugend proper, for male youth ages 14–18; the younger boys' section Deutsches Jungvolk for ages 10–13; and the girls' section Bund Deutscher MĂ€del (BDM). From 1936 membership in the HJ proper was compulsory.
  • Hoheitsabzeichen, or more specific Hoheitsadler or Reichsadler – national insignia (eagle and swastika). See Federal Coat of Arms of Germany.
  • Horst-Wessel-Lied -- The "Horst Wessel Song", also known as Die Fahne hoch ("The Flag Up High") from its opening line, was the anthem of the Nazi Party from 1930 to 1945. From 1933 to 1945 the Nazis made it a co-national anthem of Nazi Germany, along with the first stanza of Deutschlandlied.

[edit] I

  • Illustrierter Beobachter – NSDAP national tabloid.
  • Iron Cross - see Eiserne Kreuz

[edit] J

  • Judenfrei – areas "liberated" (i.e. ethnically cleansed) from any Jewish presence.
  • Judenrein - areas from which any trace of a Jewish bloodline would have been completely eradicated.
  • Judenrat – Jewish council. The Gestapo established JudenrĂ€te (the plural) in ghettoes to have them carry out necessary duties.
  • JĂŒdische Grundspekulationsgesellschaften – Hitler's slang term for Jewish property speculation companies.
  • July 20 Plot - failed attempt on 20 July 1944 to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime, by Army officers led by Oberst i. G. Claus von Stauffenberg and Generaloberst Ludwig Beck; see Operation Valkyrie.

[edit] K

  • Kameradschafts- und GemeinschaftsstĂ€rkung – strengthening of comradeship and community; Nazi party Gleichschaltung of social institutions.
  • Kapo (Cabo) – Privileged inmates of concentration camps, mostly common criminals. They had to oversee the work of the other inmates and were responsible for the results. Mainly brutal and mean criminals like murderers were assigned as Kapo.
  • Kdf-Wagen – official name of the Type I Volkswagen Beetle, a project of the Kraft durch Freude program.
  • Kehlsteinhaus - The "Eagle's Nest," Hitler's summerhouse atop a mountain overlooking Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgaden. Not to be confused with the Berghof.
  • Kinder, Kuche, und Kirche - "Children, Kitchen, Church" (part of Hitler's co-ordination of every aspect of life to a state-sponsored orthodoxy)--slogan delineating the proper role of women in the Nazi State. Hitler said, “National Socialism is a male movement.”
  • Kirchenkampf - "church struggle" - see Kirchenkampf
  • Knight's Cross - see Ritterkreuz.
  • Kontinentalimperium - German WWII aim for achieving continental hegemony by territorial expansion into Eastern Europe. Contrast Kolonialimperium, the exclusive aim for an overseas imperial domain.
  • Konzentrationslager often abbreviated KZ for concentration camp. The correct abbreviation would be KL, but KZ was chosen for the tougher sound. Concentration camps were established for the internment of those who were declared "enemies of the volk community" by the SS.
  • Kraft durch Freude (KdF) – "strength through joy", state-sponsored programs intended to organize people's free time, offering cheap holidays, concerts, other leisure activities, and (unsuccessfully) a car (Kdf-Schiff, Kdf-Wagen). It was initially called Nach der Arbeit.
  • Kreditschöpfungstheorie – Gregor Strasser's idea for government spending and credit creation.
  • Kreis-Uschla - an intermediate level of the four-tiered Uschla system, immediately below the Gau-Uschla and immediately above the lowest-level Ort-Uschla.
  • Kriegserlebnis – (myth of the) war experience.
  • Kriegsmarine, "War Navy", one of the three official branches of the Wehrmacht.
  • Kriegsverdienstkreuz "War Merit Cross" - decoration for exceptional service not involving combat valor as was required for the Iron Cross. Awarded in three grades, 2nd Class, 1st Class, and Knight's Cross; with swords for frontline soldiers and without for rear-area personnel and civilians.
  • Kriegsverdienstmedaille "War Merit Medal" - decoration for meritorious civilian service to the war effort, generally awarded to factory workers.
  • Kriminalpolizei (Kripo) - "Criminal Police" - In Nazi Germany, it became the national Criminal Police Department for the entire Reich in July 1936. It was merged, along with the Gestapo into the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo). Later, in 1939, it was folded into the RSHA.
  • Kristallnacht or Reichskristallnacht – Crystal Night; refers to the "Night of Broken Glass", November 9–10, 1938, when mob violence against Jewish people broke out all over Germany.

[edit] L

  • Landwirtschaftliche Gaufachberater – NSDAP agricultural conventions; first one held on February 8, 1931. They held Bauernkundgebung (farmer's rallies).
  • Landwirtschaftliche Vertrauensleute (LVL) – NSDAP agrarian agents; used to infiltrate other agricultural/husbandry/rural organizations to spread Nazi influence and doctrine.
  • Landwirtschaftlicher Fachberater – expert consultant on agriculture that was assigned to every NSDAP Gau and Ort unit.
  • Landwirtschaftlicher Schlepper "agricultural hauler" - code name for the Reichswehr's clandestine light tank design; forerunner of the Panzer I.
  • Lebensborn – "Fountain of Life"; an SS organization founded by Himmler and intended to increase the birth rate of "Aryans" by providing unmarried mothers shelter in nursing homes so that they would not seek (illegal) abortions.
  • Lebensraum – "Living space", specifically living space for ethnic Germans and generally referring to territories to be seized in Eastern Europe; see Drang nach Osten.
  • Lebensunwertes Leben – ("Life unworthy of life") Term used for people with incurable mental health problems, serious birth defects and other health issues.
  • Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) - Hitler's SS bodyguard regiment, originally commanded by Sepp Dietrich. By mid-1943 it had grown into a full Waffen-SS Panzer division known as "1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler".
  • Leichttraktor "light tractor" - code name for the Reichswehr's clandestine medium tank design.
  • Leistungsgemeinschaft – performance community; part of the Nazi Gleichschaltung of social institutions.
  • Lufthansa - Deutsche Luft Hansa Aktiengesellschaft, German Air Commerce League Inc. German national airline, founded in 1926. Not the legal predecessor to today's Lufthansa.
  • Luftwaffe – "air force." The Wehrmacht air arm was officially founded 26 February 1935. Today the air arm of the Bundeswehr.
  • Legion Condor - German Army and Air Force "volunteers" sent to fight on the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War.

[edit] M

  • Mann - lowest rank in the SA and Allgemeine-SS, equivalent to Private.
  • MĂ€nnerbund – bond of men; it was a distinctly masculine mystique which became an essential part of SA ideology (see male bonding).
  • Mehr sein als scheinen "Be more than you appear to be." – Motto applied to blades of uniform daggers worn by the Nationalpolitsche Erziehungsanstalten, or NPEA, the National Political Educational Establishment.
  • Mein Kampf – "My Struggle", Adolf Hitler's autobiography and political statement.
  • Meine Ehre heißt Treue "My honor is loyalty" – Motto applied to the belt buckles and the blades of uniform daggers worn by the Schutzstaffel, or SS.
  • MilitĂ€rbefehlshaber – military Governor, who was the (single) head of the executive in an occupied country (when no Reichskommissar was appointed).
  • Mischling – used in reference to an individual with alleged partial Jewish ancestry; some were treated as full-blooded Jews, other as "Aryans" but subject to various restrictions.
  • "Mit brennender Sorge" – A letter by Pope Pius XI warning against the Nazis.
  • Muselmann – "an inmate who had resigned himself to death and lost the will to do anything to help himself survive". (1)
  • Mutterkreuz -- see Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter.

[edit] N

  • Nacht und Nebel – "Night and fog", code for some prisoners that were to be disposed of, leaving no traces.
  • Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt – the National Political Educational Establishment, or NPEA.
  • Nationalpreis fĂŒr Kunst und Wissenschaft - see Deutscher Nationalpreis fĂŒr Kunst und Wissenschaft.
  • Nationalsozialistische Betriebzellenorganisation (NSBO) – National Socialist Factory Cell Organization (Nazi Party labor union) which had a membership of approx. 400,000 workers by January 1933.
  • Nationalsozialistische Briefe – pro-labor publication launched by Gregor Strasser and edited by Joseph Goebbels.
  • Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) – the National Socialist German Workers’ Party of Adolf Hitler: the Nazi Party.
  • Nationalsozialistische Frauenschaft (NSF) – "National Socialist Women's League" headed by Gertrud Scholtz-Klink; founded in October 1931 as a fusion of several nationalist and national-socialist women's associations. It was designed to create women leaders and supervise indoctrination and training. It had 2 million members by 1938.
  • National-Sozialistische Landpost – NSDAP agricultural paper started by Richard Walther DarrĂ©.
  • Nationalsozialistische Lehrerbund (NSLB) "National Socialist Teachers League" - mandatory teachers' union; in 1935 merged into the NSDDB.
  • Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (NSV) – NSDAP welfare organization founded in Berlin in September 1931. It acquired the official role in welfare and later on the racial policy of the Third Reich.
  • Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Dozentenbund (NSDDB) - National Socialist German University Lecturers League.
  • Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund (NSDStB) – Nazi Students League, founded in 1926.
  • Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps (NSFK) - National Socialist Flyers Corps. Flying "club" used to mask the training of future military pilots; closely affiliated to the SA and thus a rival to Goering's DLV.
  • Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps (NSKK) - National Socialist Motor Corps. Originally the transport branch of the SA, the NSKK became the national organisation for the promotion of and training in motor vehicle operation and maintenance.
  • Nazi is a short term for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (“German National Socialist Workers’ Party”). It is not an acronym; it is a phonetic spelling of the beginning of the party’s name (“nati-”). By extension, it is sometimes used to mean “a supporter of fascist ideology”. As an adjective, this short form is used more often in English language than in German, in which the acronym NSDAP was and is the preferred form.
    • Nazism; the ideology of the NSDAP (generally considered to be a variant of Fascism with racist and antisemitic components)
    • denazification (Entnazifizierung) – the process by which the Allied occupiers attempted to purge post war Germany of remnants of the Nazi regime and Nazi philosophy
    • ex-Nazis – former Nazis
  • Nebenland ("Borderland") - term occasionally used to describe the General Government's legally vague status as an "ancillary region" of the German Reich that was neither within its boundaries nor accorded any clear political designation.
  • Neuordnung--The "New Order"--a redrawing of boundaries in Europe (such as expansion of the Greater German Reich to the Ural Mountains to provide lebensraum for Germany) and eventually throughout the world in such a way to ensure the absolute hegemony of Nazi Germany and the world domination of the Nordic Aryan master race.
  • Night of the Long Knives - A/K/A "Operation Hummingbird", or more commonly used in Germany "Röhm-Putsch". It was the action that took place in Nazi Germany between June 30 and 2 July 1934 where Hitler and the SS murderously purged the ranks of the Sturmabteilung (SA).
  • NSDAP--The usual formal abbreviation for the Nazi party actually used in the Third Reich rather than the informal term "Nazi".
  • NSDAP Zentralkartei – master file, containing approx. 7.2 million original and official individual German Nazi Party membership cards. Comprises two separate files. It is housed in the Berlin Document Center (BDC).
  • Nur fĂŒr Deutsche – "For Germans Only."
  • NĂŒrnberger Gesetze, Nuremberg Laws - 1935 set of decrees which deprived Jews of German citizenship and placed strict restrictions on their lives and employment.

[edit] O

  • SS-Oberabschnitt - SS region or regional headquarters.
  • OberfĂŒhrer "senior leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to Senior Colonel; originally called GaufĂŒhrer, the SS or SA leader for a Gau.
  • ObergruppenfĂŒhrer "senior group leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to (US/UK) Lieutenant General.
  • Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) - "High Command of the Army" from 1936 to 1945.
  • Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) - "High Command of the Armed Forces". The OKW replaced the War Ministry and was part of the command structure of the armed forces of Nazi Germany.
  • Obersalzberg - mountainside resort overlooking Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps, where Hitler purchased the Berghof in 1933, and which became the country retreat of many Nazi leaders including Martin Bormann and Hermann Goering.
  • OberscharfĂŒhrer "senior squad leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to Sergeant (SA) or Staff Sergeant (SS).
  • Oberste SA-FĂŒhrer "Supreme SA Leader" - commander of the Sturmabteilung; held by Hitler personally from September 1930.
  • OberstgruppenfĂŒhrer "highest group leader" - an SS rank, equivalent to (US/UK) General.
  • ObersturmbannfĂŒhrer "senior Sturmbann (battalion) leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel.
  • ObersturmfĂŒhrer "senior Sturm (company) leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to First Lieutenant.
  • ObertruppfĂŒhrer "senior troop leader" - an SA and early SS rank, equivalent to Master Sergeant.
  • Ordensburgen – NSDAP training schools.
  • Ordnertruppen – first name of the group created in the fall of 1920 by Hitler.
    • Sportabteilung – Sports section (SA); the second name of the group
    • Sturmabteilung (SA) – Storm Detachment or Battalion, abbreviated SA and usually translated as stormtroop(er)s. NSDAP paramilitary group; the third name in late 1921
  • Ordnungsdienst – order service, ghetto police made up of Jewish ghetto residents.
  • Ordnungspolizei (Orpo) "order police" - the regular uniformed police after their nationalization in 1936.
  • Organisation Todt - civil and military engineering group eponymously named after its founder, Fritz Todt. Built the Autobahns, the Westwall (Siegfried Line), the Wolfsschanze and the Atlantic Wall; notorious for its use of conscript and slave labor.
  • Ort-Uschla - the lowest level of the four-level Uschla system.
  • Ostmark ("Eastern March") – designation used for Austria as part of the Third Reich after the Anschluß. Changed to Alpen- und Donaureichsgaue in 1942 to further eradicate any notion of a separate Austrian state.

[edit] P

  • Pan-Germanism – The idea that all Germans should live in one country.
  • Panzerkampfwagen (military) – "armoured fighting vehicle" = tank; not specific to Third Reich, but listed here for its centrality to Blitzkrieg.
  • Panzerfaust "armour fist" – An inexpensive, disposable, recoilless anti-tank weapon of World War II. Forerunner that led to the development of the Soviet RPG (rocket-propelled grenade).
  • Panzerschreck An anti-tank weapon of World War II, similar to the American bazooka.
  • Partei-Statistik – 1935 Nazi Party three volume publication of membership data.
  • Parteitage - (NSDAP) Party (rally) days.
  • Planwirtschaft – a limited planned economy; Walther Funk promoted this idea within the Nazi party who thought genuine corporatism too stifling for business growth.
  • Plötzensee – a place in Berlin, site of a notorious prison where numerous opponents of Hitler and the Nazi rĂ©gime were put to death.
  • Putsch – German word meaning coup or revolt; has also entered the English language meaning the same.

[edit] Q

  • Quisling – A pejorative meaning "traitor" during World War II, commonly used as an insult directed at a citizen who collaborated with the Germans in one of the conquered nations. The term was taken from Vidkun Quisling, the pro-Nazi Norwegian leader.

[edit] R

  • Rasse – race.
  • Rassenhygiene – "Racial Hygiene"--the Nazi eugenics program—implemented to improve the Nordic Aryan master race itself to the point where it could eventually become a super race.
  • Rassenschande – (literally "racial shame"); a Nazi term for sexual relations between an Aryan and a "non-Aryan" (including Jews, Slavs, and persons of African ancestry) which were banned by the Nuremberg laws.
  • Rednerschule der NSDAP – National Socialist Speaker's School.
  • RegierungsprĂ€sident – 'president' of a regional administration, in fact subordinate to the Nazi party's Gauleiter.
  • Reich – Often translated as "Empire" or "State", perhaps the most accurate translation is "Realm".
  • Reichsarbeitsdienst – State Labour Service, or RAD; 1931 formed as an auxiliary labour service, became 1935 obligatory (six month) for all men and women between 18 and 25 years.
  • ReichsbauernfĂŒhrer – National Farmers' Leader; title given to Richard Walther DarrĂ©.
  • ReichsbevollmĂ€chtigter – Imperial Plenipotentiary in occupied territory.
  • ReichsfĂŒhrer-SS - title held by Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS Schutzstaffel. Equal on paper to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall, but in fact more akin to Reichsmarschall from 1942 onward as Himmler amassed ever greater power.
  • Reichsheini - derogatory nickname for ReichsfĂŒhrer Heinrich Himmler.
  • ReichsjĂ€gerhof - Hermann Goering's hunting lodge in East Prussia.
  • Reichskanzlei - "Reich Chancellery" was the traditional name of the office of the German Chancellor (Reichskanzler). In 1938, Hitler assigned his favourite architect Albert Speer to build the New Reich Chancellery, requesting that the building be completed within a year and it was done. Near the complex was the underground FĂŒhrerbunker, where Hitler committed suicide at the end of April, 1945. The New Reich Chancellery had the address No. 6 Voßstrasse, a branch-off of the Wilhelmstrasse, where the Old Reich Chancellery was located.
  • Reichskommissar – Imperial Commissioner, a type of Governor in occupied territory.
  • Reichskonferenz – National Caucus; national caucuses held by the Austrian Deutsche Arbeiterpartei before World War I.
  • Reichsleitung – national leadership; members of the NSDAP Party Directorate. They all swore personal loyalty to the FĂŒhrer.
  • Reichsmark (RM) 'Mark of the Realm' – German monetary unit. 100 Reichspfennig = 1 Reichsmark.
  • Reichsmarschall – "Marshal of the Realm", the highest rank in the German armed forces during World War II (held only by Hermann Göring).
  • Reichsministerium fĂŒr RĂŒstung und Kriegsproduktion - the Reich Ministry for Armaments and War Production, founded in 1942 by merging the earlier Ministry for Weapons and Munitions with Organisation Todt; it was headed by Albert Speer.
  • Reichministerium fur Volksaufklarung und Propaganda – The "Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda", directed by Joseph Goebbels, established to spread Nazi propaganda.
  • Reichsmordwoche, Nacht der langen Messer – "State Murder Week, Night of the Long Knives" of June–July 1934 during which Hitler assassinated hundreds of party-internal opponents, especially the SA, which was decapitated of its leadership.
  • Reichsparteitage – "State Party Days", Nazi party rallies, held annually in NĂŒremberg near the date of the autumn equinox before the outbreak of war in 1939.
  • Reichsprotektor – Ruling German representative in the Czech Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia.
  • Reichsschrifttumkammer – the Nazi Chamber of Literature. Hanns Johst was president.
  • Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) – an SS subsidiary organization made up of 7 main departments including, the intelligence & security forces and secret police forces for Germany and occupied territories; also oversaw the Einsatzgruppen. Originally led by Reinhard Heydrich.
  • Reichsstatthalter – "Stadtholder of the Realm", i.e. Reich Governor; after the seizure of power in 1933, local governments were dissolved and the Gauleiters were appointed to govern the states with full powers.
  • Reichstag – "Realm Diet (or Parliament)"; see Reichstag (building) and Reichstag (institution).
  • Reichstrunkenbold – "Reich drunkard", derogative name secretly given to Robert Ley whose alcoholism was widely known.
  • Reichs-Uschla - the highest level of the four-tiered Uschla system, venued in Munich.
  • Reichswasserleiche – "Reich water corpse", nicknake given to Swedish film actress Kristina Söderbaum due to a tendency of her characters in NS propaganda films such as Jud SĂŒss to commit suicide by drowning.
  • Reichswehr "national defense" - the armed forces of the Weimar Republic, strictly limited under the Versailles Treaty. Renamed the Wehrmacht in 1935. The Reichswehr comprised:
    • the Army, Reichsheer
    • the Navy, Reichsmarine
  • Reinrassig – a zoological term meaning "of pure breed." Applied to human races, persons who could not prove their Aryan ancestry could be considered nicht Reinrassig.
  • Restpolen ("remainder of Poland") - parts of occupied Poland that were organized as the General Government in September 1939.
  • Resttschechei ("remainder of Czechia") - parts of occupied Czechoslovakia that were organized as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939.
  • Revolution der Gesinnung – revolution of attitude; the concept that the German people would not only develop a purified race but also a new mind and spirit. It was about, in Hitler's words, "to create a new man". (5)
  • Righteous Gentiles- In secular usage, the term is used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust in order to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. The secular award (discussed below) by the same name given by the State of Israel has often been translated into English as "Righteous Gentile."
  • Ritterkreuz, in full Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, "Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross" - Germany's second-highest military decoration, worn at the throat. Whereas the other grades of the Iron Cross originated during the Napoleonic Wars, the Ritterkreuz was a Third Reich creation, a replacement for various royal orders like the Pour le Merite. Successive awards were marked by the progressive addition of Eichenlaub (oakleaves), Schwerten (swords), and Brillanten (diamonds). A further degree, with Gold Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds, was intended as a postwar honor for Germany's twelve greatest military heroes; one was awarded ahead of schedule to Stuka ace Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
  • Ritterkreuzauftrag "Knight's Cross job" - soldiers' slang for a suicidal mission
  • RitterkreuztrĂ€ger - holder of the Knight's Cross.
  • Röhm-Putsch - name used by the Nazis for the Night of the Long Knives, which they characterized as a foiled coup attempt by Ernst Röhm and the SA.
  • RottenfĂŒhrer "team leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to Lance-Corporal.

[edit] S

  • ScharfĂŒhrer "squad leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to Corporal (SA) or Sergeant (SS).
  • Schlageter--a play written for Adolf Hitler about the Nazi martyr Leo Schlageter and performed for the Fuehrer on his 44th birthday, April 20, 1933, to celebrate his accession to power on January 30 of that year. It was written by the Nazi playwright and poet laureate Hanns Johst. In it, one of the characters, Thiemann, delivers the famous line "Whenever I hear the word 'culture', I release the safety catch on my revolver."
  • Schönheit der Arbeit – Beauty of Labor program.
  • SS-SchĂŒtze "rifleman" - lowest rank in the Waffen-SS, equivalent to Private.
  • Schutzstaffel (SS) – "Protection Squadron"; a major Nazi organization that grew from a small paramilitary unit that served as Hitler's personal body guard into militarily what was in practical terms the fourth branch of the Wehrmacht. It was not legally a part of the military (and therefore wore the national emblem on the left sleeve instead of over the right breast pocket). "SS" is formed from (S)chutz(s)taffel. Made up of the following branches:
    • Allgemeine-SS – "General SS", general main body of the Schutzstaffel made up of the full-time administrative, security, intelligence and police branches of the SS as well as the broader part-time membership which turned out for parades, rallies and "street actions" such as Kristallnacht; also comprised reserve and honorary members
    • SS-TotenkopfverbĂ€nde – "Death's Head Units", responsible for the concentration camps
    • SS-VerfĂŒgungstruppe – military "dispositional" (i.e. at Hitler's personal disposal) troops organized by the SS in 1934
    • Waffen-SS – "Armed SS", created in August 1940 with the amalgamation of the VerfĂŒgungstruppe, the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) and the combat Standarten of the TotenkopfverbĂ€nde
  • Das Schwarze Korps – The Black Corps; SS "theoretical" newspaper of the SS.
  • Selektion – selection of inmates for execution or slave labor at an extermination or concentration camp.
  • Siberiakentum - "Siberiandom" - term used in Generalplan Ost to describe the annihilation of the Polish people by their forceful assimilation into the native populations of Siberia in the intended event of their wholesale expulsion to this region.
  • Sicherheitsdienst (SD) "Security Service" - the intelligence arm of the SS and later a main department of the RSHA.
  • Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo) "Security Police" - the combined forces of the Gestapo and KriPo.
  • Sieg Heil! – "Hail to Victory", mass exclamation when bringing the Hitlergruß (Hitler Greeting).
  • Sig Rune "S rune" – The letter from the runic alphabet popularized in the SS emblem and other insignia.
  • Sonderkraftfahrzeug (Sd.Kfz.) "special purpose motor vehicle" - all tanks and other military vehicles were assigned an Sd.Kfz number.
  • Sprachregelung – a special language that masked the camp conditions and the policy of extermination. It took the words "extermination", "killing", "liquidation"; and substituted for them, the euphemisms: "final solution", "evacuation", "special treatment", "resettlement", "labour in the East". It was developed to deceive victims and to assist SS officials and others to avoid acknowledging reality. (2)
  • Sprechabend – closed Nazi party meetings.
  • SS- und PolizeifĂŒhrer, SS and Police Leader - these powerful officials, reporting directly to Himmler, commanded all SS and police forces within a geographic region, which together covered the Reich and the occupied territories.
    • SS- und PolizeifĂŒhrer (SSPF)
    • Höher SS- und PolizeifĂŒhrer (HSSPF), Higher SS and Police Leader
    • Höchste SS- und PolizeifĂŒhrer (HöSSPF), Highest SS and Police Leader
  • Stabschef-SA Chief of Staff or deputy commander of the Sturmabteilung; effectively the SA commander after 1930.
  • StabsscharfĂŒhrer "staff squad leader" - a Waffen-SS position (not a rank): the senior NCO in a company, functionally equivalent to a US First Sergeant or UK Company Sergeant Major.
  • Staffel "squadron" - the basic formation of the early SA 1925-28. Also used by the Luftwaffe and the cavalry.
  • StaffelfĂŒhrer "squadron leader" - very early SA and SS rank. Also a rank in the NSKK, equivalent to Major.
  • Stahlhelm "Steel Helmet" - right-wing World War I veterans' organization; merged into the SA in 1934.
  • Standarte - regiment-sized unit of the SA, Allgemeine-SS and TotenkopfverbĂ€nde.
  • StandartenfĂŒhrer "Standarte leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to Colonel.
  • StĂ€ndesozialismus – corporative (or "corporate") socialism; promoted by O. W. Wagener, sometime head of the political economy section of the party organization.
  • Stennes Revolt - the revolt in 1930 and again in 1931 by the Berlin SA, commanded by Walter Stennes, in which they attacked and briefly occupied the headquarters of Gauleiter Joseph Goebbels.
  • Stern zum Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes, Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross - Germany's ultimate military decoration, a unique honor for the greatest commander in a war. Awarded only twice, to BlĂŒcher in 1813 and to Hindenburg in 1918; the Star of the 1939 creation was made but never awarded, and is now at West Point.
  • Stoßtrupp "shock troop" – Hitler's body guard unit before the Hitlerputsch; forerunner to the SS.
  • Strasser wing – named after Gregor Strasser who lead the left wing of the Nazi Party.
  • StĂŒcke – pieces, items. A Sprachregelung term for Jews and other undesirables that dehumanized them. As in: "1000 StĂŒck Juden in den Osten deportiert", "1000 jewish pieces deported to the east" - not material 'pieces' in connection with Jews are meant, but the persons themselves.
  • Sturm - company-sized SA or SS unit.
  • Sturmabteilung (SA) "Storm Detachment" or "Battalion" – the Stormtroopers, a Nazi paramilitary organisation that was instrumental in bringing Hitler to power; nicknamed the Brownshirts (Braunhemden) after their uniforms. The name originated with the Army's special assault battalions of World War I.
  • Sturmbann "storm band" or "band of StĂŒrme" - battalion-sized SA or SS unit.
  • SturmbannfĂŒhrer: "storm band leader" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to Major.
  • Der StĂŒrmer – a weekly anti-Semitic newspaper founded by Julius Streicher known for its lurid semi-pornographic content.
  • SturmfĂŒhrer "storm leader" - an SA and early SS rank, equivalent to 2nd Lieutenant.
  • SturmhauptfĂŒhrer "storm chief leader" - an SA and early SS rank, equivalent to Captain.
  • Sturmmann "storm trooper" - an SA and SS rank, equivalent to a USMC Private First Class.
  • SturmscharfĂŒhrer "storm squad leader" - the highest enlisted rank in the Waffen-SS, equivalent to (US) Sergeant Major or (UK) RSM.
  • Swingjugend -- “Swing Kids” --young jazz and Swing lovers in 1930s Germany, mainly in Hamburg and Berlin, who rebelled against the regime by gathering in various venues, such as certain dance halls and cafĂ©s, to dance the jitterbug to swing music.

[edit] T

  • Thule Gesellschaft – "Thule Society". The Nazis sought themes for their ideology in the occult and the Germanic and Nordic traditions.
  • Totenkopf "death's head" – human-skull emblem worn by members of the SS, and also by Heer (German Army) and Luftwaffe panzer crews, thought to symbolise loyalty beyond death. Not specific to the Third Reich, and previously used by Prussian cavalry units and the WWI Imperial Tank Corps.
  • Totenkopf-Standarten - Regiment-sized field formations of the TotenkopfverbĂ€nde. They were merged into the Waffen-SS in August 1940.
  • TotenkopfverbĂ€nde "Death's Head Units" - The branch of the SS responsible for the concentration camps, as well as many of the Einsatzgruppen death squads. The 3rd SS Division Totenkopf was formed by men from the TotenkopfverbĂ€nde.
  • Totenkopfwachsturmbanne "Death's Head Guard Battalions" - concentration camp guard units.
  • Triumph des Willens -- "Triumph of the Will"—A famous Nazi propaganda film, directed by Leni Reifenstahl.
  • Truppenamt "Troop Office" - the cover name of the Reichswehr's clandestine General Staff, illegal under the Versailles Treaty.
  • TruppfĂŒhrer "troop leader" - an SA and early SS rank, equivalent to Staff Sergeant.
  • Turnvereine – German and Austrian calisthenic leagues. They were identically dressed men and women making identical movements in mass performance.

[edit] U

  • Übermensch – (lit. "higher human", or "over-human") an idea appropriated from the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and used by certain Nazis to describe the racially superior Germanic "Aryan" people.
    • Untermensch – (lit. "lower human" or "under-human") corollary of the term Übermensch, but reversed as a label given to peoples considered racially inferior to the "Aryans".
  • Überwachungsdienst – surveillance service of the aA to protect the organization against Konjunkturritter (financial opportunists).
  • UnzuverlĂ€ssige Elemente – unreliable societal elements (Jews, communists, homosexuals, etc.).
  • U-Boot (abbreviated form of Unterseeboot, lit. "undersea boat") – submarine, anglicized U-Boat.
  • Umschlagplatz – (lit. "changing place") place of assembly. Kapos were told to collect Jews and bring them to this designated spot for pick up and transfer to the death trains.
  • Unternehmen WalkĂŒre "Operation Valkyrie" - Originally a Replacement Army emergency plan for maintaining order in the event of an internal revolt, it was quietly altered by a group officers led by Generaloberst Ludwig Beck, General d. I. Friedrich Olbricht and Oberst i. G. Claus von Stauffenberg into a plan to overthrow the Nazi regime following the assassination of Adolf Hitler. Launched on 20 July 1944, the plan failed and resulted in some 5,000 executions.
  • UnterscharfĂŒhrer "junior squad leader" - an SS rank, equivalent to Corporal.
  • UntersturmfĂŒhrer "junior storm leader" - an SS rank, equivalent to Second Lieutenant.
  • Uschla – arbitration committee of the NSDAP Party Directorate, an acronym for Untersuchung und Schlichtungs-Ausschuss (Inquiry and Settlement Committee).

[edit] V

  • V-1 and V-2 – Vergeltungswaffen "weapons of retaliation". Used to attack Britain and other countries controlled by the Allies. The V-1 was the world's first operational cruise missile; the V-2 the first ballistic missile. Other "V-Waffe" were planned but did not become operational.
  • Verbotzeit - the time in which the NSDAP was officially banned in Bavaria, between the Beer Hall Putsch (9 November 1923) and the effective date of the lifting of the ban (16 February 1925).
  • SS-VerfĂŒgungstruppe "Dispositional Troops" - the military branch of the SS, formed in 1934 under Paul Hausser. In August 1940 became the nucleus of the Waffen-SS.
  • Vernichtungslager – death camps. This word was never used by the Nazis themselves.
  • Volk – People, folk-community, nation, or ethnic group. It is extremely difficult to convey the full meaning of this word in English. It implies a "volk community" rooted in the soil of the heimat (homeland) with many centuries of ancestral tradition and linked together by a spiritual zeitgeist.
  • Völkischer Beobachter – the official Nazi Party newspaper.
    • Deutsche Arbeiterpolitik – special labor section included in the above party paper
    • Der Angriff – Nazi Party labor newspaper started by Joseph Goebbels
    • Der Erwerbslose – Nazi Party labor newspaper
    • Arbeitertum – Nazi Party labor newspaper
  • Volksgerichtshof – literally "People's Court", a tribunal which condemned people accused of crimes against the state; verdicts were sometimes directed by Hitler himself.
  • Volkshalle -- a gigantic domed building proposed to be constructed in Berlin as part of Albert Speer's Welthauptstadt Germania, from which Hitler planned to issue his Imperial decrees to Occupied Europe before crowds of up to 180,000 people.
  • Volkswagen – "people's car". Conceived during the mid-1930s but did not go into production until after 1945. Perhaps the most durable and popular legacy of the Third Reich.
  • Volksgemeinschaft – "People's Community"--a concept that means national solidarity; popular ethnic community; classless volk community.

[edit] W

  • Waffenamt "Weapons Office" – responsible the procurement of military equipment; WaA with a number was the standard arms inspection stamp or mark.
  • Waffen-SS "Armed SS" - the combat branch of the Schutzstaffel, formed in August 1940 from earlier SS military formations; by war's end had grown into a parallel army with (nominally) 38 divisions.
  • Wandervogel -- German youth movement of the period 1901 to 1933, co-opted by the Hitler Youth.
  • Wannsee Conference – a conference held on January 20, 1942 beside Lake Wannsee in Berlin in which it was decided and made official Nazi policy that the total annihilation of European Jews was the only rational means of a "Final Solution" to the Jewish Question.
  • Wehrbauern – soldier-peasant settlements that were to be established in the East to act as a defensive shield against the inroads of Slav barbarianism.
  • Wehrkraftzersetzung – a crime invented by the Nazis. It meant "negatively affecting the fighting forces". People who expressed doubts about Germany's chances of winning the war, or about Hitler's leadership were sometimes put to death for Wehrkraftzersetzung.
  • Wehrmacht "Defence force" – the name of the armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. Prior to that time, the Reichswehr. Consisted of the Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force), but not the Waffen-SS or the Police even though they both fielded combat units during the war.
  • Wehrmachtsadler "Armed forces eagle" - form of the Hoheitsabzeichen worn by the Heer and Kriegsmarine, but not the Luftwaffe.
  • Wewelsburg - a castle near BĂŒren in the Paderborn district of Westphalia, taken over and restored by Heinrich Himmler as an SS officers' training school and cult center.
  • Die Weiße Rose – “The White Rose” -- a non-violent/intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to the Nazi regime.
  • Weltanschauungskrieg – war of ideologies.
  • Welthauptstadt Germania -- Albert Speer's plan to rebuild Berlin as the "Capital City of the World."
  • Wille und Macht "Will and Power" - the monthly magazine of the Hitler Youth.
  • Winterhilfe – Winter Relief Program and annual fundraising drive by the Nazi Party to support impoverished German victims of the Great Depression and of World War II. The successor to the similar program in existence during the Weimar Republic (1919–1933). Once a week, people would eat an eintopf ("one pot") meal, and donate the money they would have spent for a regular meal to the Winterhilfe.
  • Wirtschaftspolitische Abteilung – 1931 WPA; A NSDAP proposed program.
  • Wirtschaftliches Sofortprogramm – 1932 Economic Program; A NSDAP proposed program.
  • Wirtschaftliches Aufbauprogramm – 1932 Economic Reconstruction Plan; A NSDAP proposed program.
  • Wolfsangel "Wolf's hook" – runic emblem adopted by several military units of Nazi Germany.
  • Wolfsschanze "Wolf's Lair" – Hitler's first World War II Eastern Front military headquarters, one of several FĂŒhrer Headquarters or FHQs located in various parts of Europe. The complex, built for Operation Barbarossa (the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union) was located in the Masurian woods, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Rastenburg, East Prussia (N/K/A Kä™trzyn, Poland).
  • Wunderwaffe – "silver bullet" (literally, "wonder weapons), referring to weapon systems developed at the end of World War II (such as the V-1 and the V-2) that were supposed to turn around Germany's desperate situation on the battlefields.
  • Wu-wa - mocking colloquial shortening of wunderwaffen.

[edit] X

  • no entries

[edit] Y

  • no entries

[edit] Z

  • Z-Plan (or Plan-Z) was the name given to the re-equipment and expansion of the Kriegsmarine (Nazi German Navy) as ordered by Adolf Hitler on 27 January 1939. The plan called for 10 battleships, four aircraft carriers, three battlecruisers, eight heavy cruisers, 44 light cruisers, 68 destroyers and 249 U-boats by 1944 that was meant to challenge the naval power of the United Kingdom. The outbreak of World War II in September 1939 came far too early to implement the plan.
  • Zossen - The underground bunker complex that was headquarters for both the German Wehrmacht (OKW) and (Heer) Army High Command (OKH) located approximately 20 miles west of Berlin in Zossen, Germany.
  • Zwangswirtschaft – forced or compulsion economy.
  • Zwischenstaatliche Vertretertagungen – interstate meetings of representatives; DNSAP and NSDAP party congresses of the early years; first one held in Salzburg, Austria.
  • Zyklon B Also spelled Cyclon B – tradename of a cyanide-based insecticide used to kill more than one million Jews, Gypsies, communists, and prisoners of war in Nazi gas chambers (total number of deaths in the Holocaust total about six million people; the others were killed by other means).

[edit] List of abbreviations and acronyms

See the glossary above for full explanations of the terms.

  • aA – agrarpolitischer Apparat, or Agrarian Policy Apparatus
  • DAF – Deutsche Arbeitsfront, or German Labor Front
  • DAP – Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or German Workers’ Party: original name of the NSDAP
  • DFO – Deutscher Frauenorden, or German Women's Order
  • DLV - Deutscher Luftsportverband, or German Air Sports Union
  • DNSAP – Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei, the Austrian "German National Socialist Workers’ Party"
  • DNVP - Deutschnationale Volkspartei, German National People's Party
  • FHA - FĂŒhrungshauptamt or Leadership Head Office, the administrative headquarters of the Waffen-SS
  • FlaK - Flug(zeug)abwehr-Kanone, "air(craft) defense cannon," anti-aircraft gun
  • Gestapo – The secret state police, short for Geheime Staatspolizei
  • HJ – Hitlerjugend or Hitler Youth
  • KdF – Kraft durch Freude, or Strength through Joy
  • Kripo – Kriminalpolizei, the national criminal investigative police
  • LVL – Landwirtschaftliche Vertrauensleute, agrarian agents for the NSDAP
  • LSSAH - Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, or Adolf Hitler SS Bodyguard Regiment
  • Nazi – Portmanteau for "National Socialist"
  • NPEA – Nationalpolitsche Erziehungsanstalten, or National Political Educational Establishment
  • NSBO – Nationalsozialistische Betriebzellenorganisation, or National Socialist Factory Cell Organization
  • NSDAP – Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or National Socialist German Workers’ Party: the Nazi Party
  • NSDDB - Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Dozentenbund, or National Socialist German University Lecturers League
  • NSF – Nationalsozialistische Frauenschaft , or National Socialist Women's League
  • NSFK - Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps, or National Socialist Flyers Corps
  • NSKK - Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps, or National Socialist Motor Corps
  • NSLB - Nationalsozialistische Lehrerbund, or National Socialist Teachers League
  • NSV – Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt, or National Socialist People's Welfare
  • OKH – Oberkommando des Heeres, or High Command of the Army
  • OKL - Oberkommando der Luftwaffe, or High Command of the Air Force
  • OKM - Oberkommando der Marine, or High Command of the Navy
  • OKW – Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or High Command of the Armed Forces
  • Orpo – Ordnungspolizei, or Order Police
  • PzKpfw, PzKw - Panzerkampfwagen, "armored fighting vehicle," tank
  • RAD – Reichsarbeitsdienst, or State Labor Service
  • RBA – National Socialist Factory Cell Division
  • RM – Reichsmark, the monetary unit of Germany 1924-1948
  • RSHA – Reichssicherheitshauptamt, Reich Main Security Office or Reich Security Head Office
  • RZM – Reichszeugmeisterei, or National Material Control Office
  • SA – Sturmabteilung, Storm (or Assault) Detachment, usually translated as Stormtroop(er)s: the Brownshirts.
  • SD – Sicherheitsdienst or Security Service of the SS
  • Sd.Kfz. - Sonderkraftfahrzeug, or Special Purpose Motor Vehicle
  • SiPo – Sicherheitspolizei or Security Police; made up of the Gestapo & KriPo
  • SS – Schutzstaffel or Protection Squadron
  • SS-TV – SS-TotenkopfverbĂ€nde or Death's Head Units
  • SS-VT – SS-VerfĂŒgungstruppe or Dispositional Troops
  • WaA – Waffenamt or Weapons Office; used as an arms inspection stamp or mark

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Brustein, William (1996). The Logic of Evil, The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925–1933 New Haven, CN: Yale University Press (p. 143).
  • Carsten, F. L. (1969). The Rise of Fascism Berkeley, CA: University of California Press (p. 83).
  • Faye, Jean-Pierre (2004). Langages totalitaires, Hermann, Paris, ISBN 2-7056-6480-7 (French)
  • Faye, Jean-Pierre (2003). Introduction aux langages totalitaires : ThĂ©orie et Transformations du rĂ©cit, Hermann, Paris, ISBN 2-7056-6450-5 (French)
  • Klemperer, Victor (1947). LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii
  • Mitcham, Samuel W., Jr. Why Hitler? The Genesis of the Nazi Reich. Westport, CT: Praeger (p. 120).
  • Neumann, Stan. La Langue ne ment pas, journal Ă©crit sous le TroisiĂšme Reich (90' ARTE 2004) (French) (film documentary; short extract here)
  • Payne, Stanley G. (1995). A History of Fascism 1914–1945. University of Wisconsin Press (pp 55, 180).
  • Phillips, Peter (1969, 1970). The Tragedy of Nazi Germany. New York: Praeger Publishers (pp. 193, 179).
  • Turner, Henry A. (1972). Nazism and the Third Reich. New York, NY: Quadrangle Books, NY Times Co. (p. 41).

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