Postwar Germany

Chookie

Ad Honorem
Nov 2007
7,628
Alba
For the OP, were there really "millions" of Nazis?
Yes, there were. For most, I have no doubt it was a defence mechanism (at least in the beginning). But, after 1933 the German people were brainwashed and the youth of Germany absorbed Nazism as they absorbed food. Propaganda as used by Goebbels - and he was an exceptional propagandist -is another weapon in warfare. Unfortunately, it is most effective on the internal population, but the end result was more (and younger) Nazis. The Hitler Jugend was one of the most effective German formations in France in 1944. But all of them (mostly 16/17/18 year olds) were dedicated to Nazism. Principally due to the fact that the Nazis had used the educational system for their own benefit.

More to the point were there really "millions" of Nazis directly associated or culpable for war crimes?
I doubt "millions" but certainly tens of thousands.
 

avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
Yes, there were. For most, I have no doubt it was a defence mechanism (at least in the beginning). But, after 1933 the German people were brainwashed and the youth of Germany absorbed Nazism as they absorbed food. Propaganda as used by Goebbels - and he was an exceptional propagandist -is another weapon in warfare. Unfortunately, it is most effective on the internal population, but the end result was more (and younger) Nazis. The Hitler Jugend was one of the most effective German formations in France in 1944. But all of them (mostly 16/17/18 year olds) were dedicated to Nazism. Principally due to the fact that the Nazis had used the educational system for their own benefit.

I doubt "millions" but certainly tens of thousands.
Agreed on both counts. Though I would add that the German people were not altogether the victims of a clever propagandist as many have made out. Instead, German propaganda focussed on ideas that were already prevalent ideas. I'll dig out Hitler's ideas on propaganda tomorrow.