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Denazification (German: Entnazifizierung) was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of the Nazi ideology following the Second World War. It was carried out by removing those who had been Nazi Party or SS members from positions of power and influence, by disbanding or rendering impotent the organizations associated with Nazism, and by trying prominent Nazis for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials of 1946. The program of denazification was launched after the end of the war and was solidified by the Potsdam Agreement in August 1945. The term denazification was first coined as a legal term in 1943 by the U.S. Pentagon, intended to be applied in a narrow sense with reference to the post-war German legal system.

On 24 February 2022, Vladimir Putin spoke in "On conducting a special military operation" of "denazification" as the objective of the Russian special operations in Ukraine, going on to describe modern-day Ukraine as a "neo-Nazi" state with genocide of Russian speakers in the country. Putin has repeatedly described Ukraine as being governed by neo-Nazis and "Banderites".


  • What can one say about a country where a museum of science in a great city can feature an exhibit in which people fire machine guns from a helicopter at Vietnamese huts, with a light flashing when a hit is scored? What can one say about a country where such an idea can even be considered? You have to weep for this country. These and a thousand other examples testify to moral degeneration on such a scale that talk about the “normal channels” of political action and protest becomes meaningless or hypocritical. We have to ask ourselves whether what is needed in the United States is dissent —or denazification. The question is a debatable one. Reasonable people may differ. The fact that the question is even debatable is a terrifying thing. To me it seems that what is needed is a kind of denazification. p. 16.
  • After several decades of courageous scholarship by Hugo Ott, Victor Farias and Emmanuel Faye in Europe, and related work by American scholars Thomas Sheehan, Richard Wolin, Tom Rockmore and others, no sensible observer today doubts that Heidegger, the most celebrated figure in twentieth-century German philosophy, lied his inauthentic head off about his relationship to the Nazis. Far from being a reluctant sympathizer for a brief period in the early 1930s, as he sought to convince his denazification committee, Heidegger had been an enthusiastic believer in National Socialism’s “inner truth and greatness.” He hoped to become the Fuhrer of the university system, to play philosopher-king to Hilter’s Fuhrerstaat...
    • Carlin Romano , America the Philosophical, NY:Vintage, pp. 367-368 (2013)
  • People’s republics of Donbass approached Russia with a request for help. In connection therewith, <…> I made the decision to hold a special military operation. Its goal is to protect the people that are subjected to abuse, genocide from the Kiev regime for eight years, and to this end we will seek to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine and put to justice those that committed numerous bloody crimes against peaceful people, including Russian nationals, Justice and truth are on Russia’s side
    • Vladimir Putin, in Decision taken on denazification, demilitarization of Ukraine — Putin, TASS. February 23, 2022
  • The goal of our actions is to save people by fulfilling our allied obligations, as well as to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine so that such things never happen again.
    • Sergey Lavrov, "Russian actions aim to save people, demilitarize, denazify Ukraine – Lavrov". TASS. March 1, 2022.
  • Violence in the United States surpasses the unthinkable and increasingly resides in the space of apocalyptic rage, manufactured ignorance, and the normalization of a pervasive culture of ritualized barbarism.... The language of violence, cruelty, and disposability are the political currency of a Nazi past and have emerged in what can be called the current Nazification of the present. The process of Nazification has almost reached its endpoint and the planet hangs in the balance.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday warned that Ukraine must meet Moscow’s demand for “demilitarization” and “denazification,” as well as the removal of the military threat to Russia, otherwise “the Russian army (will) solve the issue.” Lavrov did not specify how the Russian army will achieve its goals of demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine — which was Russia’s stated goal when the invasion started in February. The reference to “denazification” comes from Russia’s allegations that the Ukrainian government is heavily influenced by radical nationalist and neo-Nazi groups. The claim is derided by Ukraine and the West. Lavrov warned further Western support for Ukraine could lead to direct confrontation.
    • Moscow says Ukraine must ‘denazify, demilitarize’ or onslaught will go on, E. Eduardo Castillo, Times of Israel, December 27, 2022

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