- In Germany immediately after World War II, Allied forces and the new German government attempted to prevent the creation of new Nazi movements through a process known as “Denazification.” The Allied effort to rid German and Austrian society of any remnants of the Hitler regime specifically included removing those involved with Nazi affiliations from positions of influence and disbanding or rendering impotent organizations associated with the Third Reich. Although the program of Denazification was designed to purge Germany of Nazi followers, it was not successful because of the size of the problem and the bureaucratic shortcomings of the program. This failure was reflected primarily in the fact that ex-members and sympathizers of the Nazi Party did not change their beliefs. Over 500,000 registered Nazis, for example, were allowed to vote in the 1949 general election. Furthermore, a considerable number of ex-Nazis were reinstated as civil servants, teachers, professors, lawyers, and police officers. There was also a decline in the prosecutions of Nazi war criminals.
Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. Jack R. Fischel. 2014.