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Nancy Kerr and Jonathan Edwards
● 1. because there will be no words in which to express it. and potential action. perception.Relationship Between Language and Politics ● • “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible.” – George Orwell. 2. 1984 This quote exemplifies a link between language. The Nazis were aware of this significance and created a communicative environment which perpetuated their political power and facilitated their goals Changes in structural and stylistic features Effective linguistic methods of imposing their ideology and silencing their opponents . In this particular case the state aims to govern people’s actions by controlling the language which thereby controls the people’s thoughts.
1) Changes in Structure & Stylistic Features .
Nazis expanded on a preexisting vocabulary of contempt for Jews and increased its use. hateful.Heightened attention to / use of existing features: ● The perception of Jews as Christian enemies led to extensive anti-Jewish vocabulary woven into the German language during nearly two millennia of Anti-Semitism in Europe. They used this vocabulary to create a false. ● . and dehumanized image of Jews.
which sometimes became intimidating symbols Creations of new compound words with a particularly high frequency of the compounding elements Volk.Modifications and Changes in Structure and Style ● Lexical innovation • Creation of designations for new organizations / institutions / policies such as Blitzkrieg and also abbreviations such as Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei) and SS. Blut. and Rasse (12) (13) “Germanization” – process in which archaic German words were reintroduced or new German words were coined to replace foreign words • • .
Modifications and Changes in Structure and Style (cont. .) ● Redefinition and Re-association of Existing Terms • Examples: ● ● Abstammungsnachweis (pedigree) changes from referring to animal husbandry to defining human racial origins Blutschande changes from referring to familial incest to one denoting sexual relations between Aryans and non-Aryans • • Words that had previously carried negative connotations became positively charged. such as fanatisch and brutal Extensive use of euphemisms – opaque and distorted camouflage or code words were given new meanings to render their new purpose ambiguous while also retaining their original meanings as well Euphemisms used extensively in official and unofficial texts: when the horrific connotations of a particular euphemism became too well known it was requested that a new word be used instead which would ultimately acquire the same connotations ● • Evakuierung (evacuation) substituted for Auswanderung (emigration) to mean “forced transportation of Jews to ghettos and concentration camps” even though both retained their original usage throughout.
Creation of Powerful Metaphors and Imagery “Truth is always relative to a conceptual system that is defined in large part by metaphor” and “the people who get to impose their metaphors on the culture get to define what we consider to be true – absolutely and objectively true.” – Herman Goering Hitler is the “incarnation of the thought of the race.” – Townson ● Subjects: • Struggle and contest – contains images of war and competitive sports such as boxing ● German people compared with boxers wiping blood from their eyes so they can resolutely go into the next round • Anthropology and medicine – Self-exaltation and defamation of opponents through such oppositions as the “health” of the Germanic and the “sickness” of the nonAryan Religion – extensive use of Christian imagery and references to the Bible ● ● ● • Hitler presented as a “savior” figure The people were all “of Adolf Hitler and through Adolf Hitler.” – Völkischer Beobachter (the Nazi Party newspaper) • Technical images – using vocabulary of metal-working where people are the objects rather than the subjects of the activity and also people being referred to as material – has a dehumanizing effect .
) often consisted of blocks of slogans.Absence of Argument and Dialectic ● Methods of propaganda (pamphlets. speeches. memorable phrases. etc. and/or claims placed next to each other but which were independent of sentence structure and without logical connectors – (a predominance of nouns with comparatively very few verbs) – the result was appeal to emotions rather than to logic The Nazi worldview as absolute and final led their discourse to have no room for argument or deviations within its framework The liturgical nature of Nazi discourse where the role of the masses was restricted to pre-ordained responses required no use of personal intellect and therefore prevented deviation ● ● .
2) Effective linguistic methods of imposing their ideology and silencing their opponents .
Creation of Identifying Groups ● In-groups and out-groups for friend and foe identification This division was linguistically achieved through naming and definitions – creating one acceptable discourse and the abolishment of rival or opposing discourse ● .
Media Regulations ● Methods • • • • • Censorship Banning and destruction of texts Incarceration of authors or intimidation Control of publication outlet and distribution networks Voluntary self-censorship rewards Cancelled basic rights (press & assembly) Assumed responsibility for national radio Seized publishing facilities Ban on formation of new periodicals Instructions on acceptable phrasings and topics Reserving key terms for special usages by forbidding use in other contexts • The Press had to refer to Britain’s Central Office of Information as The Ministry of Lies and Advertising (end) ● Enactment • • • • • • • Forbidding positive terms for reference to the enemy • Führer: could only be used in reference to Hitler. The title for a U-boat captain (U-Bootführer) was changed to (U-Bootkommandant) .
Examples ● Compounds • Blut • Blutschutz (protection of [German] blood) • Rasse • Rassenschande (violation [sexually] of the race [German]) • Volk • Volksbazillen (bacteria) – referring to the Jewish people. an idea based on Anti-Semitic “scientific” principles (back) .
even the most zealous Nazis could not accurately describe it.” • Rasse and Volk were not interchangable in Nazi Germany • völkish translates accurately as “ethnic” • “race” was so empirically defined. Instead they used such terms as Volkskörper (body politic). • Nazi writers labeled Jews “racial comrades” (Rassengenossen) • Nazi writers labeled Aryans as “ethnic comrades” (Volksgenossen) • Neither Hitler nor the other major Nazis spoke of a racial state (Rassenstaat). Volk is almost always translated as ‘race’ because of the clear intent behind Nazi policy and Hitler’s own obsession with racial purity and pollution.Examples ● Volk und Rasse • “In the context of Nazi Germany. Volksgemeinschaft (ethnic community) and Volksseele (ethnic soul) (back) .
the fascists wished to impose a standard worldview. the regulation of language serves to regulate thought and behavior. and commit the population to their policies – in other words.” – Townson .“The intentions behind the attempted regulation of language are clear: by seeking to impose a standardized discourse. stifle opposition.
Mother-tongue and fatherland : Language and politics in German. 1977. Townson.: Greenwood Press. Claudia. 1st ed. The Master Plan : Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust. 2002. The Nazi Conscience. Vol. 1984. Michael. Notizbuch eines Philologen. Mass. Nazi-Deutsch/Nazi German : An English Lexicon of the Language of the Third Reich. 1992. Studies in German Thought and History. An Annotated Edition of Victor Klemperer's LTI. and Karin Doerr. New York: Penguin Book. Inc. 52. New York. Martin's Press. New York: Manchester University Press. 2003. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press. Cambridge. Michael. and Roderick H. 1997. New York: Hyperion. George. 17.: Belknap Press. Koonz. . Robert. Manchester . Distributed in the USA and Canada by St. Orwell. Pringle. Watt. Victor..References ● ● ● ● ● ● Klemperer. Heather Anne. Westport. Conn. 2006.
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