Personal Names, Hitler, and the Holocaust : A Socio-Onomastic Study of Genocide and Nazi Germany
I. M. Nick

Personal Names, Hitler, and the Holocaust: A Socio-Onomastic Study of Genocide and Nazi Germany provides readers with an increased understanding of and sensitivity to the many powerful ways in which personal names are used by both perpetrators and victims during wartime. This book concentrates on one of the most terrifying and yet fascinating periods of modern history: the Holocaust. In particular, it examines the different ways in which personal names were used by Nationalist Socialists to hunt and destroy the victims of their genocidal ideology.Even before requiring Jewish residents to wear a yellow Star of David and have the letter “J” stamped on their passports, Nazi leaders had decreed that all Jewish women and men must add the names “Sara(h)” and “Israel” to their documentation. It did not take long for the perfidious logic behind this naming (onomastic) legislation to become frighteningly clear: it made it that much easier to pinpoint Jewish residents for discrimination, marginalization, relocation, deportation, and ultimately extermination.Through compelling first-hand accounts from Holocaust survivors, in-depth interviews with descendants of Nazi war criminals, and a plethora of chilling cases extracted directly from the meticulous records kept by the National Socialists, this work presents a harrowing historical account of the way personal names were used during the Third Reich to achieve Hitler's homicidal vision. Importantly, the use of personal names and naming to target and annihilate victims is not a historical anomaly of World War II but a widespread sociolinguistic practice that has been demonstrated in many modern-day acts of genocide. From Rwanda to Bosnia, Berlin to Washington, when governmental controls are abridged and ethical boundaries are crossed, very quickly, something as simple as a person's name can determine who lives and who dies.

Lexington Books
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