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Thread: New Dictionary Highlights Nazi Words to Avoid

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    New Dictionary Highlights Nazi Words to Avoid

    FROM 'ANSCHLUSS' TO 'ZYKLON B'
    New Dictionary Highlights Nazi Words to Avoid


    By David Gordon Smith

    Dozens of words in the German language, from "degenerate" to "final solution," have become taboo because of their use by the Nazis. A new dictionary of Third Reich terms provides a guide through the linguistic minefield.

    As if German weren't hard enough. Three genders, endlessly long words, verbs coming at the end of impossibly rambling sentences.

    But there is another, more subtle, linguistic trap which both Germans and non-Germans can easily fall into -- and which is far worse a faux pas than a mere slip of the article. Mention that you've found the "Endlösung" ("final solution") to a problem you've been grappling with, or that you've made a "Selektion" ("selection") from a number of possible alternatives, and you will quickly find yourself the target of disapproving stares.

    The reason is simple -- the aforementioned words are so tainted by their use by the Nazis that they are now completely taboo. To modern German ears, "Endlösung" will forever be associated with Hitler's genocidal "Final Solution to the Jewish Question," while "Selektion" is now verbum non grata due to its use to refer to the death camp practice of "selecting" inmates to be executed.

    Now a new dictionary examines just what roles such terms play in the collective German psyche. The "Wörterbuch der 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung'" ("Dictionary of 'Coming to Terms with the Past'") examines around 1,000 words and phrases -- everything from "Anschluss," used to refer to the 1938 "annexation" of Austria, to "Wehrmacht," the name of the Nazi-era armed forces -- looking at how the meaning and usage of the terms have developed since the end of World War II.

    ---

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    That is insane! Just because a notorious group of people used words from their own language doesn't mean it should be frowned upon to use it nowadays. Political correctness at its best!
    "Life; it kills 100% of those who experience it."

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    Well, it might have some merit ... a friend of a friend of mine was looking for an appropriate name for his Melodic Death Metal band - the initial *ahem* final solution *ahem* that was being met for the name was "Endlösung" ... considering some band members lean towards the left of the political spectrum, my friend decided that it was well advised to remind them of a different meaning to their chosen band name. They amended it accordingly.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Idiotic! Now they even want to control your speech. Sooner or later you'll be thrown in prison for uttering nazi words. How dangerous is that, as if it's going to reinstate some nazi government just by speaking some unPC phrase.

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