What are some interesting facts about Nazi Germany?

What are some interesting facts about Nazi Germany?


    What are some interesting facts about Nazi Germany?




    Here’s something a cut more light-hearted.
    How about the sheer amount of mockery, derogatory nicknames, barbed quips, and all other forms of insult thrown at each other by most of the ranking officials of the Third Reich?
    A lot of the Reich’s leaders were people with very keen minds, and very few of them liked each other. This led to a whole heap of barbed quips and cleverly designed nicknames. And all too often, the German people joined in the tradition of finding as many hilariously insulting nicknames as possible.
    Heinrich Himmler was often the butt of many a joke: the man was despised by his underlings, his superiors, and his colleagues. The diminutive of his name, ‘Heini’ was particularly popular, because it also indicated an idiot, a scatterbrain, or a scared child. Many a variation was built around that diminutive, most scathingly by Sepp Dietrich, who called his superior ‘Reichsheini’, ‘Reich’s Idiot’.
    But in terms of insulting Himmler, Göring got the gold medal: once he quipped “Himmler has a brain, you know. It’s called Heydrich.”



    Himmler walking alongside his brain.
    Göring didn’t get away from it, either. Alongside numerous insults referring to his use of morphine or his obesity, the most pointed one he laid the ground for himself: he’d proclaim during a public speech in 1939 that you could call him Hermann Meyer if one Allied bomber managed to drop one bomb on German home soil.
    No points for guessing what was the most common nickname for Göring at the end of the war.
    Interestingly, Göring was surprisingly good-natured about that particular insult. He even got in on the joke himself once, when he was addressed by name when inspecting bomb damage. He turned, and said ‘You found the wrong person, I’m afraid. My name’s Meyer.”


    Reichsmarschall Meyer posing for the cameras
    But if there was one practically default butt for all jokes among the Hitler cabal, it was Goebbels. Especially after the depths of his sheer womanizing got out. Hitler scathingly nicknamed him Unterleibsminister(Minister of the Genitals), many in the Party began to call him ‘the fornicator of Babelsberg’, Babelsberg being essentially the German equivalent to Hollywood. The plethora of derogatory nicknames ascribed to him didn’t all have to do with his fornication, of course: ‘Mahatma Propagandhi’ and ‘the limping devil’ saw a lot of uses, and none other than Röhm coined ‘Wotan’s Mickey Mouse’.
    Not even Hitler escaped the barbed tongues. ‘The Bohemian Corporal’ is notorious among the military circles, mocking both his failure to secure a promotion above corporal and his failed attempts at becoming an artist, first coined by Hindenburg. None other than his own valet came up with ‘carpet-chewer’ due to his habit to nonstop pace the carpets sleepless in times of crisis, Gröfaz, an abbreviation of the phrase ‘Greatest Military Genius of All Time’ coined by Keitel in 1940 to suck up to him, rapidly became a pointed insult favorite of the Wehrmacht in the second half of the war.
    Göring mocked Morell as ‘Master of the Imperial Needle’, Bormann’s arrogance and intolerance of anything short of perfection got him ‘God Almighty from Obersalzberg’ by Berghof staff, and Heydrich himself was dubbed ‘the Goat’ because of his high-pitched laugh(whoever came up with that was a braver man than I).



    Greatest Military Genius of All Time along with the God Almighty from Obersalzberg, walking. Joining them is von Ribbentrop, or as Göring dubbed him, ‘that dirty little champagne salesman’.
    Not being particularly notable or part of the Hitler inner circle didn’t save you, either. Adolf Ziegler, Hitler’s favorite painter, got “Reich Pubic Hair Painter” for some reason I can’t possibly comprehend. Friedrich Paulus’ obsession with hygiene and hatred of dirt earned him a sarcastic ‘Our most elegant gentleman’ from his more grizzled compatriots. Julius Streicher got called ‘Frankenführer’. Benno von Arent, stage uniform designer, got ‘Tinsmith of the Third Reich’ from Speer because of his ostentatious uniforms.
    Engelbert Dolfuss, being short, Austrian, and ambitious, got the moniker ‘Millimetternich’. Hermann Fegelein was called ‘Flegelein’, a wordplay on the word ‘flegel’ meaning ‘lout, boor’. Wilhelm Keitel got from his fellow officers ‘lakeitel’, another wordplay using the word ‘lakai’, meaning ‘lackey’. Georg Stumme, due to his rounded body and overexcited behavior, got called ‘kugelblitz’, meaning ‘ball lightning’, and many called Gotthard Heinrici, notorious for his lack of charisma and general harshness, ‘the poison dwarf’.
    That’s one thing people rarely know about the Third Reich and which I find very interesting. The sheer number of times its leaders and officials insulted and derogated each other with barbed tongues, and the creativity with which they have done so, is pretty astounding.


    ridamohssine
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    writer and blogger, founder of INTHEPROF .

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