|—n , pl Nazis|
|1.||a member of the fascist National Socialist German Workers' Party, which was founded in 1919 and seized political control in Germany in 1933 under Adolf Hitler|
|2.||derogatory anyone who thinks or acts like a Nazi, esp showing racism, brutality, etc|
|3.||of, characteristic of, or relating to the Nazis|
|[C20: from German, phonetic spelling of the first two syllables of Nationalsozialist National Socialist]|
A German political party of the twentieth century, led by Adolf Hitler. The Nazis controlled Germany from the early 1930s until the end of World War II. The party's full name in English is National Socialist German Workers' party; Nazi is short for its German name. Despite the word socialist in its name, it was a fascist party, requiring from its members supreme devotion to the German government — the Third Reich (see fascism and socialism). The Nazis rose to power by promising the people that Germany, which had been humiliated after World War I, would become powerful again.
The Nazis opposed communism and free intellectual inquiry. Desiring to form a master race that would rule the world, they fought the influence in Germany of peoples not of “pure” descent. Their power was particularly directed at controlling Jews in Germany and in the countries that Germany conquered in war. After depriving Jews of their property and confining them in concentration camps, the Nazis employed the Final Solution of killing them in large numbers; an estimated six million Jews lost their lives (see Holocaust). Also marked for extermination were the mentally and physically handicapped and “enemies of the Reich” such as Slavs, communists, Gypsies, homosexuals, Christians who resisted the government, and defenders of intellectual freedom. The Nazis fought World War II to spread their principles worldwide but were defeated. Twenty-two of their leaders were convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
A great number of symbols, images, and names are associated with the reign of the Nazis, including the swastika emblem; the stiff-armed salute; the greeting “heil Hitler”; the goose-step march; mass political rallies; concentration camps, such as Auschwitz and Dachau; and Hitler's aides Adolf Eichmann, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering, and Heinrich Himmler.
German Nationalsozialistische [deutsche Arbeiter-Partei] (National Socialist [German Workers' Party])