Professor Elisabeth Levi
02 December 2012
How Hitler and the Nazi Party Changed Modern German Language
Languages are entities that can change due to several different forces. These changes can be driven by new cultural influences, technology, and even by war. One of the most recent changes in language was influenced by Hitler, the Nazi Party, and World War II as a whole. Everything that occurred leading up to World War II and the following ten years in post war Germany influenced modern German language. The question is, what were the effects, and what changes did these effects force upon the linguistics of modern Germany? In this research paper I will take the reader from 1933 up to 1960 to show how the Nazi Party influenced the German language by demonstrating German language between two specific time periods. I will address how language affected Germany during the Hitler years, how it brought upon syntactical changes during World War II, and how semantics managed to divide this once prosperous country after the war came to an end. I will also address how this language was used by Hitler himself as it is clearly seen in Mein Kampf. In the end, the reader will see that Hitler and the Nazi Party did indeed change the landscape of language for the modern German people.
The Nazi Propaganda of Purist Language (1933 to 1945)
One of the greatest effects on the German language was linguistic purism. Movements exist in many different cultures where the main goal is linguistic purism. Linguistic purism can be defined in several ways. However, it usually involves “religious or quasi-religious fundamentalism and a return to linguistic authenticity; it often takes the form of removing from the language elements appear to be foreign, or corrupt, or lacking in true authenticity in the linguistic culture in question.” (Schiffman) Purism is nothing new to Germany. In fact, they have...