Thursday, 13 April 2000

From "Doublespeak"

By William Lutz.

[...] "Winter Relief" was a compulsory tax presented as a voluntary charity; and a "straightening of the front" was a retreat, while serious difficulties became "bottlenecks." Minister of Information (the very title is doublespeak) Josef Goebbels spoke in all seriousness of "simple pomp" and "the liberalization of the freedom of the press."

Nazi doublespeak reached its peak when dealing with the "Final Solution," a phrase that is itself the ultimate in doublespeak. The notice, "The Jew X.Y lived here," posted on a door, meant the occupant had been "deported," that is, killed. When mail was returned stamped "Addressee had moved away," it meant that the person had been "deported." "Resettlement" also meant deportation, while "work camp" meant concentration camp or incinerator, "action" meant massacre, "Special Action Groups" were army units that conducted mass murder, "selection" meant gassing, and "shot while trying to escape" meant deliberately killed in a concentration camp.

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