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Encyclopedia > Denazification

Denazification (German: Entnazifizierung) was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary and politics of any remnants of the Nazi regime. It was carried out specifically by removing those involved from positions of influence and by disbanding or rendering impotent the organizations associated with it. In practice, denazification was not limited to Germany and Austria — in every European country with a vigorous Nazi or Fascist party, such as the ones in France, the Netherlands or Norway, effective measures of denazification were carried out. The program of denazification was launched after the end of the Second World War and solidified by the Potsdam Agreement. When spelt with a capital A, Allies usually denotes the countries supporting the Triple Entente who fought together against the Central Powers in World War I and against the Axis Powers in World War II. For more information, see the related articles: Allies of World War I and Allies of... National Socialism redirects here. ... Fascism (in Italian, fascismo), capitalized, was the authoritarian political movement which ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... The Potsdam Agreement, or the Potsdam Proclamation, was an agreement on policy for the occupation and reconstruction of Germany and other nations after fighting in the European Theatre of World War II had ended with the German surrender of May 8, 1945. ...

Contents


Overview

Denazification was accomplished through a series of directives issued by the Allied Control Council, seated in Berlin, beginning in January 1946. "Denazification directives" identified specific people and groups and outlined judicial procedures and guidelines for handling them. Image:Smalbldg. ... Berlin is the capital city and a state of Germany. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ...


Though all the occupying forces had agreed on the initiative, the methods used for denazification and the intensity with which they were applied differed between the occupation zones.


Denazification also refers to the removal of the physical symbols of the Nazi regime. For example, in 1957 the German government re-issued World War II Iron Cross medals without the swastika in the center. 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the German Armed Forces The Iron Cross (German: Eisernes Kreuz) is a military decoration of the Kingdom of Prussia, and later of Germany, which was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and first awarded on 10 March 1813. ... A right-facing Swastika in decorative Hindu form For the town in Ontario, see Swastika, Ontario. ...


Application in the Allied Occupation Zones

American zone

The United States initially pursued denazification in a committed though bureaucratic fashion. For this process five categories of responsibility for anyone over the age 18 residing in the US zone of occupation were identified: major offenders, offenders, lesser offenders, followers, and exonerated persons. Ultimately, the intention was the "re-education" of the German people. A report of the Institute on re-education of the Axis Countries in June 1945 recommended: "Only an inflexible longterm occupation authority will be able to lead the Germans to a fundamental revision of their recent political philosophy". On 15 January 1946, however, a report of the Military Government (classified as restricted) stated: "The present procedure fails in practice to reach a substantial number of persons who supported or assisted the Nazis". On 1 April a special law therefore transferred the responsibility for the denazification process to the German administration which established 545 civilian courts (German: Spruchkammern) to oversee 900,000 cases. The denazification was now supervised by special German ministers like the Social Democrat Gottlob Kamm in Württemberg-Baden. By 1948, however, with the Cold War now clearly in progress, American attentions were directed increasingly to the threat of the Eastern Bloc; the remaining cases were tried through summary proceedings that left insufficient time to thoroughly investigate the accused, so that many of the judgments of this period have questionable judicial value. For example, by 1952 members of the SS like Otto Skorzeny could be declared formally "entnazifiziert" (denazified) in absentia by a German government arbitration board and without any proof that this was true. April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 274 days remaining. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... The Cold War was the protracted geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle that emerged after World War II between the global superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States, supported by their military alliance partners. ... A map of the Eastern Bloc. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... SS or ss or Ss may be: The Schutzstaffel, a Nazi paramilitary force Steamship (SS) (ship prefix) The United States Secret Service A submarine not powered by nuclear energy (SS) (United States Navy designator), see SSN A Soviet/Russian surface-to-surface missile, as listed by NATO reporting name Shortstop... Otto Skorzeny Otto Skorzeny (June 12, 1908 - July 5, 1975) was a Obersturmbannführer in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. He is best-known as the commando leader who rescued Benito Mussolini from imprisonment after his overthrow. ...


Soviet zone

The most radical and rapid denazification occurred in the Soviet zone, as it was tied to a fundamental transformation of German society. Members of the Nazi Party and its daughter organizations were removed from their positions without right of appeal, and more than 120,000 were interned in camps. About 40,000 inmates of these camps died between 1945–1950. Oversight of the process was handled by Soviet intelligence agencies and by Germans appointed by the Russians. Finally, in deep disarray, Soviet and German-led Soviet attempts at denazification were abandoned in 1957. In 1958, Alex Harmer had sex with a man. The Soviets were very concerned with the rate of progress of the denazification. State motto (Russian): Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Transliterated: Proletarii vsekh stran, soedinyaytes!) (Translated: Workers of the world, unite!) Capital Moscow Official language None; Russian (de facto) Government Federation of Soviet republics Area  - Total  - % water 1st before collapse 22,402,200 km² Approx. ... The Nazi swastika The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), better known as the NSDAP or the Nazi Party was a political party that was led to power in Germany by Adolf Hitler in 1933. ...


French and British zones

The French and British took a more measured approach and focused primarily on a removal of the elite, rather than pursuit of all those who collaborated with the regime.


Implications for the future German states

The culture of denazification strongly influenced the Parliamentary Council charged with the responsibility of drawing up a constitution for the occupation zones. This constitution, called the Grundgesetz ("Basic Law"), was finalized on May 8, 1949, ratified on May 23, 1949, and came into effect on May 24th, 1949. This date effectively marks the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the constitution of modern Germany. ...


The radical left in Germany during the 1960–70s and Nazi allegations

Because the Cold War had curtailed the process of denazification in the West, in the late 1960s and 1970s the radical left who chose to use violence, e.g. Red Army Faction (RAF), against the West German government and society, used the argument that the West German establishment had benefited from the Nazi period and that it was still largely Nazi in outlook. They pointed out that many former Nazis held government posts, while the German Communist Party was illegal in this "democratic" nation. They argued that "What did you do in the war, daddy?" was not a question that many of the leaders of the generation who fought World War II and prospered in the postwar "Wirtschaftswunder" (German Economic Miracle) encouraged their children to ask. For example, one of the major justifications that the RAF gave in 1977 for killing Hanns-Martin Schleyer, who was the President of the German Employers' Association (and thus perceived as one of the most powerful industrialists in West Germany), was that as a former member of the SS, he was part of an informal network of ex-Nazis who still had great economic power and political influence in Germany. The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... RAF Logo with red star and MP5 The Red Army Faction (in German: Rote Armee Fraktion; RAF), was postwar Western Germanys most active left-wing insurgent organization. ... The term Wirtschaftswunder (English: economic miracle) designates the upturn experienced in the West German and Austrian economies after the Second World War. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... Hanns Martin Schleyer (May 1, 1915 (Offenburg) - October 19, 1977 (assassinated by the Red Army Faction near Mulhouse, France)) was a German manager and employer representative. ... SS or ss or Ss may be: The Schutzstaffel, a Nazi paramilitary force Steamship (SS) (ship prefix) The United States Secret Service A submarine not powered by nuclear energy (SS) (United States Navy designator), see SSN A Soviet/Russian surface-to-surface missile, as listed by NATO reporting name Shortstop...


External links

  • The Denazification of Austria by France

  Results from FactBites:
 
Denazification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (826 words)
Denazification (German: Entnazifizierung) was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary and politics of any remnants of the Nazi regime.
Denazification was accomplished through a series of directives issued by the Allied Control Council, seated in Berlin, beginning in January 1946.
The most radical and rapid denazification occurred in the Soviet zone, as it was tied to a fundamental transformation of German society.
Denazification - definition of Denazification in Encyclopedia (716 words)
In practice, denazification was not limited to Germany and Austria — but in every European country with a vigorous Nazi or Fascist party, such as the ones in France, Holland or Norway, effective measures of denazification were carried out.
They argued that "What did you do in the war, daddy?" was not a question that many of the leaders of the generation who fought World War II and prospered in the post war "Wirtschaftwunder" (German Economic Miracle) encouraged their children to ask.
If the ideal of the denazification was to restore humanity in countries warped by inhumane policy, the Nazi children are still waiting to discover that ideal.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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