45 Rare & Weird Facts About the Nazis & Nazi Germany You Won’t Expect

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1Picture Bombs

During World War 2, Nazis rigged skewed-hanging-pictures with explosives in buildings that would be prime candidates for Allies to set up a command post from. When Ally officers would set up a command post, they tended to straighten the pictures, triggering these “anti-officer crooked picture bombs.”


2. In 1935, the Nazis held a competition in which baby pictures were sent in and the “most beautiful Aryan baby” was chosen by Joseph Goebbels. The baby they picked and used in propaganda for years was actually Jewish. The photo had been sent in to make the Nazi party look ridiculous.


3. Although Nazi Germany sterilized or murdered 73-100% of all schizophrenics in Germany (about 220,000-269,000 people), there were no long-term effects on subsequent rates of schizophrenia in Germany. In fact, post-WWII rates were unexpectedly high.


4. The Nazis used captured civilians who were chased across minefields to detonate the explosives. It is reported that on the eastern border of Belarus, approximately 2000 - 3000 local people were blown up in the clearing of the minefields.


5. Nazis abducted 200,000 Polish children claiming some were the descendants of Germans that had emigrated to Poland. Those evaluated as “Aryan-looking” were adopted by German families. Some grew up believing they were German. Only 20% are estimated to have reunited with their families post-war.


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6Syndrome K

Syndrome K was a fake disease that Italian doctors made up to save Jews who had fled to their hospital seeking protection from the Nazis. Syndrome K “patients” were quarantined and the Nazis were told that it was a deadly, disfiguring, and highly contagious illness. They saved at least 20 lives.


7. BMW used prisoners from concentration camps like Dachau to build their cars and plane engines during the Second World War. By the end of the war, almost 50% of the 50,000-person workforce at BMW consisted of prisoners from concentration camps.


8. During World War II, President Dwight D. Eisenhower predicted that people would try to deny the holocaust ever happened, and therefore ordered people to take as many photographs of the Nazi crimes as possible in order to avoid such attempts.


9. Gay men incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps during World War II were forced back into prison even after the Allied forces won the war.


10. More high-ranking Nazi officers died in the Czechoslovakian car Tatra 77a and Tatra 87 than in active combat, prompting Hitler to ban his officers from driving them. It was nicknamed the “Czech secret weapon” by the Allied forces. These high-ranking Nazi officers drove this car fast but unfortunately, the handling was rubbish, so at a sharp turn, they would lose control, spin out and wrap themselves around a tree killing the driver more often than not.


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11Lionel Royce

Lionel Royce was an Austrian actor who lost his job for being Jewish in Nazi Germany. He then went to the Alps, grew a beard, and bleached all of his hair, head, and body, by bathing every ten days in diluted hydrogen peroxide. He returned to the stage claiming to be Kaspar Brandhofer, a self-taught peasant actor and was praised by the Nazis as “proof of the superiority of Aryan blood.”


12. Werner Goldberg was a blond-haired blue-eyed German soldier who was used in Nazi propaganda and recruiting as the “ideal German Soldier.” He was later dismissed as he was found to be part Jewish.


13. Before Paris was liberated from the Nazis, Hitler ordered military governor Dietrich von Choltitzthe to demolish the Eiffel Tower and other major landmarks. He refused this direct order, and surrendered to the Allies instead, saving the tower.


14. The head of the Nazi SA “brownshirt” paramilitary group was gay. He appointed other gays to prominent Nazi SA positions and was so close to Hitler, he was the only person who called him by nicknames like “Adi” instead of “Mein Fuhrer.”


15. Nazi physicists rejected Einstein’s theory of relativity as “Jewish science.”


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16Thirteenth Child

Hitler’s Third Reich awarded a gold, diamond-engraved Cross of the German Mother to women upon the birth of their thirteenth child.


17. When France was occupied by the Germans in 1940, Citroen was forced to produce vehicles for the Nazis. To sabotage production, workers were instructed to move the fill line on their oil dipsticks lower, causing the trucks to seize under stress from low oil.


18. The Nazis considered Native Americans to be part of the Aryan race.


19. Henry Ford was an anti-semite and a Nazi supporter and used his company, money, and influence to spread and legitimize antisemitic views. He blamed every national problem on Jews, from strikes to depressions, and received the “Grand Cross of the German Eagle” from the Nazis in 1938.


20. In the 1950s, more than 77% of all German government officials and judges were (former) Nazis, which is an even higher percentage than during the actual Third Reich itself.


21Hermann Göring

Nazi leader Hermann Göring once claimed “No enemy bomber can reach the Ruhr. If one reaches the Ruhr, my name is not Göring. You may call me Meyer.” This would later come back to haunt him as Allied bombers devastated Germany and citizens began to call him “Meyer.”


22. Hitler and his architect Albert Speer believed in the “Ruin Value” of buildings. He aimed for every building that the Third Reich built to have aesthetically pleasing ruins 1000 years from their completion.


23. During the Night of the Long Knives, the Nazis accidentally killed a music critic called Willi Schmid, when their intended target had been someone with a similar surname. A few days after his death, Rudolf Hess visited Willi’s widow and apologized for the mistake, and offered her a pension.


24. When the Nazis forced Jews to wear yellow stars during World War 2, it backfired. Doing so increased sympathy for the Jews, who were (contrary to Nazi propaganda) obviously not responsible for how badly the war was going. People began tipping hats to Jews as a symbol of anti-German resistance.


25. Designer Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy and was directly involved in a plan for the Third Reich to take control of Madrid during World War 2.

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