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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

  • Daniell, Raymond (27 May, 1945). "At Our Knees — Or at Our Throats" (html). The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-24. Check date values in: |date= (help):

    It is a saying among our [Allied occupation] troops that there are no real Nazis in Germany, only "good Germans." Every crime Germany committed against humanity seems to have been done by someone else.

NounEdit

Good German
  1. (historical) a citizen of Nazi Germany who, after the defeat of Nazi Germany, denies supporting the conduct of (or even having knowledge of) any war crime
  2. (by extension) a person in any country[citation needed] who observes reprehensible things taking place — whether done by a government or by another powerful institution — but remains silent, neither raising objections nor taking steps to change the course of events
Usage notes
  • A list with the earliest date for which the term was published for specific persons is:
1997—Speer, Albert (  Nazi Germany Minister of Armaments and War Production)[1]
  1. ^ O'Brien, Conor Cruise (November 10, 1997). "Nice Nazi" (html - article also at thefreelibrary). Book review of The Good Nazi: The Life & Lies of Albert Speer (Dan van der Vat). National Review. Retrieved 2008-10-29. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
Related terms

"Good Germans" is a phrase that originally referred to citizens of Nazi Germany who, after Germany’s defeat in World War II, claimed not to have supported the regime, yet made no claim to have opposed it in any significant way. This was widely noted by Allied occupation troops, who were amazed and appalled by the widespread disavowal of responsibility for Nazi crimes among the German populace. For example:

It is a saying among our troops that there are no real Nazis in Germany, only “good Germans.” Every crime Germany committed against humanity seems to have been done by someone else.[1]

The term has come to be used to refer more generically to people in any country who observe reprehensible things taking place — whether done by a government or by another powerful institution — but remain silent, neither raising objections nor taking steps to change the course of events.

See alsoEdit