Vulgar Imagery and Biological Themes: An Analysis of the Nazi’s Anti-Semitic Dialogue

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Thomas Brown

Abstract

During World War Two, the Nazi regime created a mechanized and systematic killing process with the intention of eliminating the “undesirables” of their occupied territory—now referred to as the Holocaust. While the true scale of this system was not openly publicized at the time, the motivation for its existence was an entrenched element of the Nazi ideology—the creation of a racially pure German state. The question stands as to how a political party could bring a nation in line with an ideology predicated on racism, ethnonationalism and the destruction of an entire people? This paper will provide an analysis of the type of language the Nazis used to do exactly that. Through studying their vocabulary, we find that their persistent use of biological themes and metaphors supported their self-defined “scientific anti-Semitism” and we can follow the effect this had on the general public. The Nazis were not the first group to push a violently discriminatory agenda upon their general population nor were they the last. By analyzing how they spoke on the topic we can see patterns and general themes emerge, giving us the ability to spot them in contemporary examples and helping us identify the emergence of dangerous movements before they take control.

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Social Sciences & Humanities