The Nazi Legacy: 35 Shocking Facts About Hitler’s Regime


26Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny, a Nazi commando during WWII, was tried for war crimes for having worn Allied uniforms to conduct missions behind the lines. He was acquitted after British commandos testified that they did the same during the war and convicting him would have meant an indictment against them.

27. When it was revealed to Hermann Göring that his prized Vermeer painting was a forgery, it was said “[Göring] looked as if for the first time he had discovered there was evil in the world.”

28. When the famous Nazi general Erwin Rommel was implicated in an assassination plot against Hitler, the Nazis let him commit suicide, in return for his family’s safety. Rommel agreed but demanded an apolitical funeral. The Nazis festooned his coffin with swastikas anyway.

29. After Czech resistance assassinated brutal Nazi Reinhard Heydrich, the Czech town of Lidice was razed and nearly all of its citizens, pets, and livestock were shot. In response to Hitler’s desire to wipe Lidice off the map, Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, and Mexico renamed towns to Lidice.

30. The Nazis developed an experimental drug cocktail named D-IX in which the Nazi doctors found that equipment-laden test subjects who had taken the drug could march 55 miles without resting.

31Archbishop of Greece

Archbishop of Greece

The Nazi SS threatened to shoot the Archbishop of Greece for openly protesting against the deportation of Jews. He reminded them that, “according to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hung and not shot. Please respect our traditions!”

32. Wilhelm Stuckart was responsible for the Nazi regime’s program of euthanasia for “deformed newborns.” Two years after creating the laws, his own son born with Down syndrome became one of their victims.

33. Nazi Germany printed lots of British banknotes and planned literally to drop them in British territory to increase inflation and collapse the economy of Great Britain.

34. The Nazis tried to build a super-weapon named the V3 cannon that was supposed to have a range of 165km and the potential to hit London in 2 minutes with its 310lb armament. An installation of 25 guns was in the final stages of construction when it was destroyed by the famous RAF Dambusters.

35. During the Nazi regime, not a single person who purchased a Volkswagen Beetle actually received it. The Volkswagen was sold to German workers on an installment plan where buyers of the car made payments and posted stamps in a stamp-savings book, which when full, would be redeemed for the car. Due to the shift of wartime production, no consumer ever received a car.