Not Nazis

On page 8 of the April 8 issue of GAN, in the obituary about Gen. Salisbury, reference is made to Nazi transport planes being shot down. There were no such things as Nazi planes, Nazi soldiers, Nazi tanks, Nazi ships, whatever. The word “Nazi” was an abbreviation for Nazional Sozialistiche Partei (National Socialist Party), a political party. Many Germans belonged, many didn’t. It wasn’t obligatory to be a party member, except for (as far as I know) the Waffen SS. Obviously, all of Hitler’s staff were members (a wise choice), but many of his generals and admirals were not.

To speak of Germany’s armed forces as Nazi this or Nazi that makes about as much sense as we calling our own forces the Democratic Navy, the Republican Army or the Independent Air Force.

J. Douglas Hinton
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