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Deconstruction of National Identity in the Third Reich: Nazisprache und Geopolitik

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Abstract:

Under the Third Reich, concepts of Geopolitik and Lebensraum were redefined. The Nazi Party developed Nazisprache, a coded, convoluted vocabulary used to describe, delimit and eventually destroy undesirable populations (primarily Jews, Gypsies, mentally ill, disabled, etc.). By corrupting conventional German meaning, Nazi officials legally extended borders of Nazi-controlled territories while successfully suppressing knowledge of their cruelty. As Nazi communications grew more circumspect, ‘euphemism' increased; national and personal boundaries were linguistically renamed and politically re-conceptualised, potentiating the thorough dissolution of nation, person and ethnic entity. ‘A yielding to the form prepares for assent to the matter identified with it.' (Kenneth Burke)

Keywords: Forced Emigration, Murder; Holocaust; Jew(s); Nazi Policy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608940600703684

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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