Germany has decided to change up its phonetic alphabet to remove any words changed by the Nazis.
Prior to the Nazi dictatorship a few Jewish names were used in the phonetic alphabet, eg: “D for David”, “N for Nathan” and “Z for Zacharias”. The Nazis replaced those Jewish with “Dora”, “North Pole” and “Zeppelin”.
Germans have been using those replacement words without realising they are a throw back to a darker past.
New terms are being discussed by experts at the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) and the final decision will be made by the German people.
The anti-Semitic list will be preserved as an annex to the new list which will be decided by the people of Germany in 2021.
Other Jewish names removed by the Nazis in 1934 were “Jacob” for the letter “J” and “Samuel” for “S”, which became “Julius” and “Siegfried”.
A few Nazi references had already been replaced after WWII: “Ypres” for “Y” became “Ypsilon” as Ypres was where the Germans first used poison gas during the first world war.
The decision to not use proper nouns any more will reflect Germany’s modern and diverse population.