Nazi-Deutsch/Nazi-German: An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich

By Robert Michael; Karin Doerr | Go to book overview

The Tradition of Anti-Jewish Language

Robert Michael


Historical and Ideological Background

Nearly two millennia before Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, the process of dehumanizing the Jews (indeed, inhumanizing them) was well underway. Anti-Jewish myths 1 and images of Jews as evil beings 2 were woven into the languages and minds of Europeans by the leaders of the day. Without this long preparation and the accidents of more recent history, the Holocaust would not have been possible.

The most important church fathers regarded Jews not only as the worst evildoers of all time—after all, each and every Jew was responsible for murdering Christ—but also as filth, as Satan’s associates, and as devils themselves. St. Ambrose sermonized that the synagogue was a “place of unbelief, a home of impiety, a refuge of insanity, damned by God himself ” 3 and that Jews “polluted their pretended bodily purity with the inner feces of their souls.” 4 St. Jerome identified the Jews with Judas and with the immoral use of money, two themes that would be-devil later Christian-Jewish relations. (The young Joseph Goebbels saw the Jews as Judases and Antichrists 5 ; Julius Streicher imagined the Jews to be sons of the Devil. 6) St. Jerome wrote, “If you call [the synagogue] a brothel, a den of vice, the devil’s refuge, satan’s fortress, a place to deprave the soul, an abyss of every conceivable disaster or whatever else you will, you are still saying less than it deserves.” 7 St. Augustine held that the Jews were more like Cains than Judases. 8 The Jews were to suffer death in life. 9 St. John Chrysostom believed that the Jews were not ordinary members of the human race but congenitally evil people who “danced with the Devil.” 10 The synagogue was for him “the Devil’s house,” as were

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Nazi-Deutsch/Nazi-German: An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Notes xiv
  • Foreword xv
  • Preface xix
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • The Tradition of Anti-Jewish Language 1
  • Nazi-Deutsch: An Ideological Language of Exclusion, Domination, and Annihilation 27
  • Lexicon 47
  • A 49
  • B 86
  • C 112
  • D 115
  • E 135
  • F 156
  • G 175
  • H 200
  • I 216
  • J 221
  • K 233
  • L 254
  • M 269
  • N 283
  • O 299
  • P 309
  • Q 321
  • R 322
  • S 356
  • T 394
  • U 403
  • V 411
  • W 430
  • X 448
  • Z 449
  • Appendix 459
  • Select Bibliography 477
  • About the Authors 481
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