- Jul 2012
No doubt some people have done this, but others are simply distinguishing the years the Nazis were in power from the German governments that preceded and succeeded them.I figure calling our enemy in WW II the Nazis or Nazi Germans rather than just plain Germans is letting the Germans off the hook. It's like saying that in 1846 the Democrats made war on Mexico.
That said, two great lies came out of the era. The first, told by many Germans, was only the Nazis did bad things. The second, told by much of the rest of the Europe, was only the Germans did bad things. Finland was German's ally, but Finnish Jews had a much higher survival rate than in any of the German-occupied Balkans. Fascist Spain refused to hand over any Jews that reached their territory. Switzerland usually handed the Jews back to probable death. Every country had people who cooperated with the Nazis. Every country had people who opposed the Nazis. And far more often than either aiding or resisting, people just kept their heads down out of fear. It's easy to say you would have stood up to the Nazis, but how many would be willing to risk their lives and the lives of their whole family to do that? I'm glad I've never had to make that choice.