From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
User:Ich in high school.

Ich was born in the U.S. during the Reagan administration; after an accidental five-and-a-half-year layover in New York, he now finds himself in Berlin. Most of his edits are made to improve the quality of references. He chose the username "Ich" because it was available.

"Third Reich" vs. "Nazi Germany"[edit]

Whenever I find the term "Third Reich" in an article, I usually change it to "Nazi Germany" or "the Nazi era", which has less ideological baggage and is clearer to the unfamiliar reader. The term "Third Reich" was used in Nazi propaganda to legitimize their government as the successor to the retroactively renamed "First Reich" (Holy Roman Empire, 800-1806) and "Second Reich" (German Empire, 1871-1918). Using "Third Reich" implicitly accepts this Nazi historiography; in light of this history, it should not be used uncritically. (The terms "First Reich" and "Second Reich" for the earlier periods are seldom found outside Nazi propaganda.)

The term "Drittes Reich" fell out of favor among German academics beginning in the 1980s, and by the 1990s, was largely supplanted by "NS/Nazi-Zeit" or "NS-Diktatur" ("National Socialist/Nazi-Era" and "National Socialist Dictatorship" respectively) in German newspapers and popular usage. Former Nazis and Mitläufer generally preferred "Third Reich", as it came across as a neutral-sounding name for the Nazis' murderous reign of terror. When used in German today, it is often presented with a distancing "das sogenannte »Dritte Reich«" ("the so-called 'Third Reich'"), highlighting the need for a nuanced and critical awareness of the term's baggage.

I feel the reason many writers in English use "Third Reich" is because they are looking for more ornate language or want a (fancy) way to avoid constantly repeating the word "Nazi". I believe it is important to use language carefully; while I can't change the way some books are named (like 1960's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich or 1985's The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich), I am doing what I can to reduce Wikipedia's (mis)use of the term.

Lastly, if you consider the terms "Third Reich" and "Nazi Germany" effectively interchangeable, then my changes are at worst a quixotic but wholly uncontroversial waste of my own time.

"Died" vs. "was murdered in the Holocaust[edit]

In a similar vein, "died in the Holocaust" should be avoided in favor of "was murdered in the Holocaust". The Holocaust was systematic, premeditated, state-sponsored mass-murder, and its victims were not accidental deaths or casualties of war: they were murder victims. This encompasses not just fatal beatings, hangings, electric fences, firings squads, gas chambers, gas vans, poison injections, horrific medical experimentation, etc.: deaths in a ghetto or concentration camp from forced labor, malnutrition, cold, heat, exhaustion or disease are still premeditated murders (i.e. foreseen and intentional). If someone deliberately locks a person in a cellar without food or water for a week, that death is not an accident; it is murder.

The verb "die" is neutral and accurate for plenty of deaths, but when applied to the Holocaust, it obscures the Nazis' crimes. It is certainly appropriate to say "up to 12,000 people died during the 1900 Galveston hurricane", but saying "up to 900,000 Jews were deported to Treblinka extermination camp where they died" awkwardly – and rather blatantly – elides the fact that these deaths were pre-meditated, systematically executed murders. Using the verb "died" (or "perished") avoids assigning any blame or responsibility to the perpetrators. Glossing over these details makes Wikipedia less accurate.

The Nazis' victims deserve better than to have words minced about their deaths.


Gzuckier saw fit to give me this for adding {{spoiler}} to Genesis.
For having really sweet hair. Dylan 03:16, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your help! Sausa11 17:28, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

Some pages I created or substantially improved. Much of the work I've done has been translating pages from German, with a particular focus on German music and breweries.

Beer and breweries[edit]

Other food and drink[edit]


Other German-ish stuff[edit]


I took this picture

Art, Culture, &c.[edit]

Probably the coolest picture I've taken



CB This user is color blind.
Noia 64 apps karm.svg This user has been on Wikipedia for 17 years, 8 months and 6 days.
This user likes to translate articles from German to English.
Tutnum3.jpgThis editor is a Most Perfect Tutnum and is entitled to display this Book of Knowledge with Coffee Cup Stain and Cigarette Burn.