50 Shocking Facts About Nazis

26Ruin Value

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.


27. 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.


28. 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.


29. 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.


30. Atheism was banned within the Nazi SS. All SS men were required to list themselves as Protestant, Catholic or “believer in God.”


31Stella Kübler

Stella Kübler was a German Jewish who collaborated with the Nazis in hunting down thousands of hiding Jews even after the Nazis killed her parents. The Nazis called her “blonde poison.” After the war, she converted to Christianity and became an open anti-Semite.


32. The fuel for each of Nazi Germany’s V2 rockets was made from 30 tons of potatoes.


33. At the Dachau Concentration Camp, the Nazis conducted experiments on how to make seawater drinkable. So they forced approximately 90 Gypsy inmates to drink nothing but seawater just to see what would happen. The resulting dehydration was so severe that inmates licked newly mopped floors just to get a single drop of freshwater.


34. It was the Third Reich who devised the idea of carrying the Olympic torch through a relay system.


35. Karl Plagge was a Wehrmacht Nazi officer who used his position to try and save 1240 Jews in Lithuania from Nazi extermination. At his trial, he did not speak in his own defense because he blamed himself for not doing enough. In 2005, he was awarded “Righteous Among the Nations.”


36Malaria

The Nazis introduced malaria-carrying mosquitos to Italy during World War 2 as revenge after Italy changed sides, causing a 7-year long outbreak in the region.


37. Nazi doctor Josef Mengele sewed two twins together back to back in an attempt to create conjoined twins. The children died of gangrene after several days of suffering.


38. The only known armed Nazi military operation on North American soil, in October of 1943, was the installation of Weather Station Kurt by a German U-boat team in Newfoundland. It was accidentally discovered in 1977.


39. Otto Skorzeny, a Nazi commando during WWII, was tried for war crimes for having worn Allied uniforms to conduct missions behind the lines. He was acquitted after British commandos testified that they did the same during the war and convicting him would have meant an indictment against them.


40. When it was revealed to Hermann Göring that his prized Vermeer painting was a forgery, it was said “[Göring] looked as if for the first time he had discovered there was evil in the world.”


41Erwin Rommel

When the famous Nazi general Erwin Rommel was implicated in an assassination plot against Hitler, the Nazis let him commit suicide, in return for his family’s safety. Rommel agreed but demanded an apolitical funeral. The Nazis festooned his coffin with swastikas anyway.


42. After Czech resistance assassinated brutal Nazi Reinhard Heydrich, the Czech town of Lidice was razed and nearly all of its citizens, pets, and livestock were shot. In response to Hitler’s desire to wipe Lidice off the map, Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, and Mexico renamed towns to Lidice.


43. The Nazis developed an experimental drug cocktail called D-IX in which the Nazi doctors found that equipment-laden test subjects who had taken the drug could march 55 miles without resting.


44. The Nazi SS threatened to shoot the Archbishop of Greece for openly protesting against the deportation of Jews. He reminded them that, “according to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!”


45. Wilhelm Stuckart was responsible for the Nazi regime’s program of euthanasia for “deformed newborns.” Two years after creating the laws, his own son born with Down syndrome became one of their victims.


46Fake Banknotes

Nazi Germany printed lots of British banknotes and planned literally to drop them in British territory to increase inflation and collapse the economy of Great Britain.


47. The Nazis tried to build a super-weapon named the V3 cannon that was supposed to have a range of 165km and the potential to hit London in 2 minutes with its 310lb armament. An installation of 25 guns was in the final stages of construction when it was destroyed by the famous RAF Dambusters.


48. During the Nazi regime, not a single person who purchased a Volkswagen Beetle actually received it. The Volkswagen was sold to German workers on an installment plan where buyers of the car made payments and posted stamps in a stamp-savings book, which when full, would be redeemed for the car. Due to the shift of wartime production, no consumer ever received a car.


49. Nazi Germany spent 50% more on the V2 rocket program than the U.S. did on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb.


50. Two Nazi submarines declined to surrender when Berlin fell and instead submerged for two months before landing in Argentina. One is said to have offloaded a Nazi officer before being detected.

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