A quarter of Germans believe there were at least some positive aspects to Nazi rule, a poll showed today.
The finding comes after a popular talk show host was fired for praising Nazi Germany’s attitude toward motherhood.
Germans were asked whether National Socialism had some “good sides (such as) the construction of the highway system, the elimination of unemployment, the low criminality rate (and) the encouragement of the family”.
A quarter of those who responded said “yes” – but 70% said “no”.
Stern magazine commissioned the survey after Germany’s NDR public broadcaster fired talk show host Eva Herman last month following her statement on the Third Reich.
She was reported as saying that while there was “much that was very bad, for example Adolf Hitler”, there were good things, “for example, the high regard for the mother” under the Nazis.
Since then Herman, a 48-year-old who has written books urging a return to more traditional gender roles, has stood by her comments.
She said later: “What I wanted to express was that values which also existed before the Third Reich, such as family, children and motherhood, which were supported in the Third Reich, were subsequently done away with by the 68ers” - a reference to 1960s leftists.
Any praise of the 1933/45 Nazi dictatorship is taboo in Germany.
The poll showed that people aged 60 or older had the highest regard for aspects of the era, with 37% answering “yes”.
Those who grew up directly after the war, now aged 45 to 59, were the least enthusiastic about the Nazi era, with only 15% responding “yes”.