De-Nazification

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  • De-Nazification - How was it done?
    • Major War criminals were brought to some form of justice in the Nurember War Crimes trials. They lasted from November 1945 to October 1946. The people tried (which included Goring, Hess and Speer) were only a handful of those who had made the Nazi system function.
    • How were the rest dealt with?
      • Western Zones
        • Mass internment of people who held significant political responsibility in the Third Reich. This was impratical. Fragebogen - questionaires to seek individual motives and deal with de-Nazification. It was in the people's interests to down play their Nazi pasts.
        • People had to get 'Persil certificates' or affidavits from colleagues and friends.
        • If a person was considered useful to society and any crimes they had committed were 'not too bad' they were let off.
      • Soviet Zone
        • Mass internment
        • A distinction was made between active and purely nominal Nazis.
        • The nominal ones would generally just commit themseves to the communist regime and were welcomed back into political life.
        • It was easy to downplay issues of Nazism and guilt (at least in official proclamations) as it was an overtly anti-facist system

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