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The Jewish inventor of the word for National Socialism

Nazi is a derogatory term for National Socialist. The word was and is mostly used by opponents and in general by anti-German demagogues on disliked persons, organizations and circumstances. The objects of demonization need not have any connection with historical or ideological National Socialism or agree with its goals. A modern variant is neo-Nazi.


It is a political epithet that was popularized by Konrad Heiden during the 1920s, as a means of denigrating the NSDAP and National Socialism.[1] Heiden was a Jewish journalist and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

The word was originally an abbreviation of the German pronunciation of "Nationalsozialist" (in part from the earlier German "sozi", popular abbreviation of "socialist"), from the "Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" or the National Socialist German Workers' Party. The earlier derogatory nickname "Nazi" or "Naczi" has been argued to "Nazi" being used by opponents.[2]

Related words include Nazism and Neo-Nazism.


German language area

The NSDAP briefly adopted the word, in attempt to give it a more positive sense, but soon gave up this effort and generally avoided it while in power.[2] A rare example of its usage is a 1931 work by Joseph Goebbels titled The Nazi-Sozi: Questions and Answers for National Socialists.

After World War II, the American-occupied plutocratic Federal Republic of Germany tends to use the word "Nazi" as a demonizing word for unpopular contemporary people. It is rarely if ever used for real historical National Socialism. The official abbreviation NS for National Socialism or NSDAP for the National Socialist German Workers' Party is usually used in academic works and mainstream media[3]

The Soviet-occupied communist German Democratic Republic used the word "fascism" like the Soviet Union[4]

Anglo-Saxon language area

Woke logic

Using Nazi or Nazism instead of National Socialist or National Socialism is extremely common.

As an example of popular political correctness and political bias, compare the usage of the term "Soviet Union" with "Commie Russia", cheap name calling.

For example, Wikipedia (which describes itself as an "anti-Nazi" website) routinely uses "Nazi", despite not using "Commie".

The word is also not always used with a negative connotation in the English-speaking world.[5] George Lincoln Rockwell is a rare example of a supporter using the word, such as in the American Nazi Party. The term was used by Rockwell for "shock value" and to counter the media's silent treatment on his fledgling organization.

Today, the term and its derivatives are widely used as ad hominem and guilt by association against a wide variety of politically incorrect individuals and organizations, despite them not being National Socialist.

Former Soviet Union

In the Soviet Union, the terms National Socialist and Nazi have been stated to have been forbidden after 1932, presumably to avoid any taint to the word "socialist". Soviet literature instead referred to fascists.[2]

The Russian Federation and other post-Soviet countries still use the word "fascism" for National Socialism[6]

See also

Further reading

External links


  1. McCombs, Don (1994). World War II: 4,139 strange and fascinating facts. Wings Books. ISBN 0517422867. p. 248.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nazi. Online Etymology Dictionary.
  3. In German:
  4. The GDR outlaws National Socialism as "fascist" (In German)
  5. For example, see Robert N. Proctor: The Nazi War on Cancer