On the Nazi Vocabulary
The Nazi vocabulary was bombastic and high-sounding. Excessive use was made of words like Opferwilligkeit (readiness for self-sacrifice), Liebe (love), Glauben (faith), Treue (loyalty), Ehrenhaftigkeit (uprightness), Vaterland (fatherland), and Volk (folk, people). Das Volk was the term most commonly used. The purpose of using these idioms and expressions was to conceal criminal acts. Pope Pius XI protested this perversion of the German language. Ultimately, the Nazis succeeded in establishing a religion based on belief in Hitler. Legal terminology was twisted in order to explain and justify the persecution of the Jews. The word ‘Jew’ signified an inferior being. Anyone not subscribing to this doctrine is considered “Jew-blind.” Russians and Negroes are similarly considered inferior. Many synonyms were used for the word ‘murder.’ Sonderbehandlung (SB — special treatment) is the most common. Clearly, linguistic manipulations cannot be separated from the period in which they were created. No human tongue is capable of conveying the horrors and atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis.