Do present day Germans consider the Nazis to have hijacked the country or to have arisen organically

At their peak the nazis had about 44% of the vote in German elections, but one would assume that 44% came with heavy use of the SA to suppress opposition and manipulate the vote.

Do contemporary Germans think that the Nazi party was a German movement that represented a large chunk of Germany, or do they feel it was an extremist movement representing a tiny fraction of the country that used deception, terror and con games to come to and stay in power?

I don’t know about contemporary (2015) Germany, but while I was in high school in the early 70s, I asked the student teacher we had for German class what the German youth thought about the Nazi era and their parents who lived through it and took part in it. He answered by saying “You know how it is now in the USA with the stuff between young people and their parents over Vietnam, the draft, long hair, rock music, and all that? Well that’s nothing compared to what’s going on in Germany.”

I have heard the thought was along the lines of:

“We were sick, but we got better”.

Which was a great improvement over their parents’ line:

“We didn’t know what was happening”.

Well, keep in mind that in 1945 as allied forces crossed into western Germany and began capturing and occupying (is that redundant?) German towns, cities, and villages, they found that except for the gauleiters and mayors (who quite often committed suicide rather than surrender to the allies), there were no Nazis in the vicinity. Sure, there were rumors of things going on, but nobody believed them.

Franz Liebkind - * I was never a member of the Nazi Party! I only followed orders. I had nothing to do with the war! I didn’t even know there was a war on. We lived in the back, right across from Switzerland. All we heard was yodelling… yoodle le he hoo *

National socialism arose because of dissatisfaction with the way the country was run (Wiemar Republic). People figured that Hitler could give the country stability and economic growth-all of which came at a huge price. Once the Nazis came to power, they censored the press and there was no way for any opposition parties to operate. So, in the end, there was really no way to get rid of the nazis, short of armed revolution (which could not happen).

Dunno about modern day Germans.

My mom was born in Germany during WW2, her biological dad was a Nazi(I have a pic I cannot find of her dad and he was wearing his uniform which was a tan trenchcoat with medals and stuff, been meaning to post it to see if someone here can figure out his rank).

She said from talking to her familly they viewed it much as if the USA had instituted a mandatory draft punishable by death for a genocidal war in the middle east following 9/11, she said jews were viewed like blacks were in the USA with racism but the average person wasn’t itching to execute them personally. With the added point that Germany was pretty bad off and Hitler restored some national pride and living condiditons, she mentioned the anecdote that Hitler brought back bananas in the groceries shared by older Germans.

Teaching Nazi Past to German Youth - NYT article from 1995.

*The new text seems to offer a fuller picture. And the chapter on the Nazi era and the Holocaust, taught to 16-year-olds, enjoins them to ask: “Who knew what? Who participated and who kept their distance and in what ways were people’s dealings and convictions affected by the National Socialist system of dominance?”

The answers seem to offer a broad indictment: “Membership of the Nazi Party promised influence, professional security, a career.” While those who said later that they had joined simply to protect themselves and their families, the school book tells young Germans, the reality was that by joining the party, Germans “strengthened the party and the dominance of the Nazis.”

No effort is made to discount the Holocaust or the role played in it by individual Germans, the Nazi regime or German industry. *