Does society still *feel* that Nazis are evil/bad?

ISTM that nowadays calling someone Hitler or comparing them to Nazis carries very little impact - that Nazism is now something most people (in America, at least) only intellectually agree is bad, but don’t have any visceral feelings about whatsoever. Perhaps due to WWII having ended 70 years ago or the Nazi label being thrown about too loosely, but comparing someone to a Nazi or likening their viewpoints to Nazism, carries just about no emotional punch anymore these days.
Not asking about rights or wrongs, just wondering if anyone else feels this way - that society has become very “meh” about Nazism? (And I think this was already the case long before Trump ran for office.)

Nazis are bad, mmmkay?

Yes. Nazis are the go-to villain in so many movies, games, comic books, etc. that they have a nebulous “evil” quality now, rather than a full-on in-your-face gonna-kill-you-any-second-now evil quality like they should have. Their semi-omni-presence in our pop culture dilutes their impact and renders them, to kids growing up today, little more than bogeymen not unlike vampires and zombies.

To a lot of people, especially younger people, calling someone a Nazi is like calling them a douche-bag. It’s been thrown around so much, at targets from Greenpeace to right wing pundits.

It’s too bad, because the real Nazis did really horrible things and making the word so banal could make some people think they weren’t all that bad.

This is why places like this exist: https://www.ushmm.org/online/end-of-year-2018/

Unfortunately it’s been over-used by the Left to the point where it not only has lost much of its impact but is the signifier of a lost cause, someone who cannot actually back up their argument with evidence. But actual Nazism is another matter entirely: you start discussing actual Nazis and Hitler himself and - nutjobs aside - the disgust is still there.

Call him a Nazi, he won’t even frown
Nazi, Schmazi
Says Wernher von Braun

:rolleyes:

wasn’t the ultimate diminishing when Seinfeld called some character a “soup Nazi”?

I think the term is losing some power as it is becoming more common for people to think, “Well, that guy talks like a Nazi, acts like a Nazi, looks like a Nazi, posts on the internet like a Nazi… but since I agree with some of his points on immigration, and I don’t want to be called out for associating with Nazis, I’m just going to deny against all evidence that the other guy is a Nazi so I can feel better about my own racist inclinations.”

I teach history to high-school kids, and few seem to viscerally respond to the topic of Nazis and Nazism the way I did in high school. (They’re locked up in juvie, so they tend to be less well-informed than the rest of their cohort about history, since they tend to skip school a lot — my anecdata is especially unrepresentative.) They tend to think of Nazis like they think of the Klan, or the Aryan Brotherhood: racist, and therefore enemies, but not especially evil.
We spend a lot of time looking at the bizarre and, yes, evil details of Nazi history; it helps. (I mean, once they learn a bit about the Nazi approach to criminal justice …)

There are a lot of Holocaust survivors in my family, including my own parents, so for me Nazis are still viscerally evil.

It is astonishing how many people have completely forgot about the basic details of WWII. Take this example:

“We have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany. Looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that announced the Marshall Plan. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government of Germany.”

Of course this is just a random person … not! This is from US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert who has been nominated to be Trump’s UN Ambassador.

If someone like this has no idea about such matters, a large chunk of Americans have to be more clueless.

Yes I’m sure it’s the left who are using words like eco-nazi and feminazi. :dubious:

Ditto for “food Nazi,” “grammar Nazi,” etc. It became a catch-all boogeyman term and lost meaning.

Another thing that we tend to overlook is that for a large part of the general populations of the Allies, the enmity towards the Nazis at the time was not so much for their fundamental evil, but for the more proximate cause of them being the rulers of an alien aggressor power trying to conquer or subjugate us, and many of them only learned of the Nazi’s very special brand of evil afterwards. For many, the notion stayed in their minds for the intervening generations that they were fundamentally no different except in intensity and probably level of woo from your run of the mill fascists or communist opressor. Heck, to this day people will bring up “But Stalin and Mao caused 5 times more deaths!” or something like that in discussions.

A lot of Germans today would say that the Allied victory over the Nazi regime was a kind of liberation from tyranny from Germany’s point of view — though obviously it’s much more complicated than that! I actually think this criticism of Nauert’s phrasing might be unfair. (It definitely sounds ignorant, but it might not be — might be diplomatic, actually — in other words.)

Well, I don’t know about the accuracy of “5 times,” but we really should remember the deaths that can be laid at Stalin’s and Mao’s doors. That shouldn’t detract from our judgement of Nazism as evil — and evil in a special way.

Virtually everyone who was alive when the nazis were a threat is dead now. Someone I know had a grandpa who fought in ww2, he recently died at the age of 94.

The youngest soldiers who fought in the war (people who were 18 in 1945) are now 91 years old. I think thats a big part of it.

Excuse me?

My uncle was one of the liberators of Buchenwald.

I visited that camp 4 years ago. I saw where the train tracks stopped.

If society doesn’t think that NAZIS are evil, then we have taken a very, very bad turn in the last 70 years.