Use of the term "Nazi"

Copied from one of the “About This Message Board” Threads . . .

I agree with Dex, the word “Nazi” has become a term to be applied to some of the most trivial things in all mankind. (See “Soup Nazi” for just one bad example.)

Let’s be more judicious in how we apply such a term – and remember what we truly invoke.

your humble TubaDiva

PS On a similar subject, just because I think this NEEDS to be seen by more people, I refer you to a recent N.Y. Times article re a village in France that actually did the right thing: In France, a Pocket of Good in the Evil of the Holocaust

Some people say that those who want abortion to remain legal are Nazis. They don’t know that abortion was, in fact, ILLEGAL in Nazi Germany. Hitler wrote in MEIN KAMPF, “I’ll do away with the notion that a woman’s body belongs to her. Nazi ideals demand that the practice of abortion be eliminated with a strong hand.” Abortion was punished by sentencing the woman (not the doctor) to four years’ hard labor for the first offense, and to death for the second offense.

My source was THE PEOPLE’S ALMANAC, though I don’t recall which edition.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

I agree, but what about similar terms? I hear the term “Commie” applied all the time, usually to items of shoddy quality or machinery that malfunctions on a chronic basis…and, repectfully, the Communists killed a lot more people than the Nazis did, and over a much longer period of time.

It’s a fact of life, I guess, living as we are in the last year or so of the 20th century, that these terms are going to be trivialized and thrown around casually. It’ll get worse as time goes on, too. We used to laugh about summer or holiday vacations being over and having to “go back to the salt mines”. We never thought anything of it; but I’ll bet if you were one of the unfortunates that the Romans enslaved and stuck down in those actual salt mines, you’d have a much different viewpoint of the term.

I suppose we’re going to have to be constantly coming up with new words as the only ones lose their bite. I doubt that will be a problem, unfortunately, since propagators of atrocities still keep popping up. Personally, I dislike the misuse of the word “rape”. You’ll hear some guy say, “Man, that guy ripped me off for thirty bucks! He raped me!” Uh, no…he didn’t. I don’t know what we’ll use for a substitute if “rape” ever loses its meaning, though. “Sexual assault” seems weaker than “rape”, still.

“Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.”

  • Bertrand Russell

A sad fact of our culture denotes that whenever there is a vulgar, offensive and shocking action, group or work, it will be trivialized for shock value by people who lack the ability to express themselves otherwise.

I have heard the same types of comments as the Nazi, Rape, etc as well as people referring to “Going Columbine” referring to the rodney king beatings, etc.

As a culture, the US has a way of trivializing gruesome events into the mundane.

Magnificent to behold - Greatly to be praised.

Does this go for all hyperbole or just terms that you don’t like? Can I still use the terms “hun” or “inquisition”? What about the term “massacre” to describe a sports event without cojuring up images of Khe Sanh?

I agree that some of these terms are used a bit too casually but where do you draw the line?

Words are words. If they offend you, maybe you deserve to be offended. Or maybe you need to lighten up.

I’m half Jewish, and I have no problem with people using this analogy. I’ve used it myself, in fact.

Hitler also was pretty against the idea of free speech, and enjoyed the smell of books burning as well.

If you think it’s “historically innaccurate” to make comparisons, that’s fine for you, but when using ANYTHING as a metaphor, I don’t know how much we need to stick to historical accuracy.

If you think that saying it is wrong because it’s a heavy-duty word and it shouldn’t be used lightly, I again say that it’s a word, and it only means as much as you want it to.

Overall, using “Nazi” and “Hitler” as examples are fine with me as long as the analogy holds tgrue to the point being made. Why do people have to take things so damn literally?

Yer pal,

A funny joke:

What’s the difference between a Jew and a pizza? Pizzas don’t scream when you put them in the oven. HA!
Sorry, did that offend you? Well, maybe you deserve it.


Connie, if you are “Hitler”, please put a stop to it. Though you are not directly responsible for the last post, you are one of the major causes of it.
This is beyond an irritation to me and others; it is a memory that should not be laughed at.

Who’s Connie? Anyway, I hope you understand I’m playing Devil’s Advocate with that extremely offensive joke. Satan seems to think that words are just words, and if they offend that probably means that you’re a tightass who deserves it. I was trying to use the most extreme example I could think of to show Satan why that’s such a dangerous attitude. Please be assured that I’m not making light of the Holocaust–just the opposite.


Doghouse, the trouble is that this isn’t a private e-mail service to Satan. While I fully realized what you were doing, it still hurt.

Sorry, I thought this was a public forum where Satan had made a point and I was entitled to make a legitimate counterpoint. I guess my view falls outside what either you or Satan believes is acceptable: I think words should be recognized and respected for their power. They should not be belittled either through thoughtless usage or through prohibitions of usage.


In an effort to lighten up this debate, did you know that the word “Nazi” has been trademarked? In the 1970’s the manufacturers of a boardgame based on the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark filed for trademark protection on a number of character names and terms used in the game, including the term Nazi. As the caption in the article said, if only we had thought of it in 1939.

When I was living in Germany in the mid-'80s, it was not a good idea to call anyone a ‘‘Nazi’’ under any circumstances, unless you wanted to start an argument.

This is one of those words that will have different effects on different people. If you don’t care whether you get along with people, then you’ll view ‘‘Nazi’’ as just another word that you can use in the exercise of free speech. (BTW, free speech gives us the right to offend others, but not the moral authority to do so.)

If, on the other hand, you do care about getting along with people, it’s a good idea to be careful about using this word.

America is a big place full of people with lots of different backgrounds. I think it’s a bad idea to assume that none of them should be offended if I use the word ‘‘Nazi’’ flippantly.

slythe, I do apologize for any genuine hurt I might have caused you or others. I realize now that shouldn’t be cavalier with such words or jokes or whatever, even if I’m trying to make a legitimate point.


S’o.k. Group hug.

This elevation of (the, not our) Hitler to godlike status stinks. Adolph Hitler was a punk – a very successful punk because my spineless, idiotic relatives worshipped him. Now, all these many years later, his enemies are worshipping him as the great evil. That is a tiny bit of the reason that Columbines happen (which is not to say the Columbine murderers were not 100% responsible for what they did.)

We can make fun of average jerks but we can’t make fun of truly awful people? That’s stupid. Any dope now knows that the way to escape being made fun of is to do something atrocious. Any dope knows that Hitler is the most feared man around, even though he committed suicide half a century ago.

If I had a dump, I’d name it the Adolph Hitler dump. If I had a portajohn service, I’d name it after Adolph Hitler. Go to the bathroom in an Adolph Hitler. Catchy?

I don’t wish to get too far into attacking other religions, as I strongly believe in freedom of religion, but this dualistic concept that evil is the (negative) equal of good stinks. It’s not. Evil is the absence of good, not some great power we must bow down before.

I make fun of murderers and thugs, big-time or local, each chance I get. Would Hitler have become chancellor if, everywhere he went, people pointed at him and laughed? Obviously not. Would other two-bit dictators strive to follow in Hitler’s footsteps if they knew they would be laughed at by the world? I say no.

Would worthless losers look at murder sprees ending with their suicides as their tickets to fame if they knew that they would be universally laughed at after they were gone? Well, some would still do the same things. (They are idiots, after all.) But I contend that that behaviour would no longer be looked at as any punk’s ticket to the big-time, if he knew he would be mercilessly mocked after death.

But being made fun of is what set off a lot of killers in the first place. Well then the fun-makers were sure on the right track, I say.

How’s this? Instead of adopting columbine as a new version of going postal, let’s use the murderers’ names as euphemisms for going to the bathroom? I have to go take a ____. [I forget their actual worthless names.] Or I have to go take a hitler. Or take a nazi. Quit worshipping these bums.

So everyone join in:

Hitler has only got one ball
Goering has two, but very small
Himmler has something similar
But Goebbels has no balls at all

“Excuse me, I’ve got to drop O.J. off at the pool.”

There is a cook they call the ‘soup nazi.’

This is actually an endearing word group. tsk.