Source AP ©

Germans believe in positive aspects to Nazi rule

A German talk show host was fired for praising Nazi Germany's attitude toward motherhood. After that a poll showed that a quarter of Germans believe there were at least some positive aspects to Nazi rule.

Pollsters for the Forsa agency, commissioned by the weekly Stern magazine, asked whether National Socialism also 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."

Forsa said 25 percent responded "yes" - but 70 percent said "no."

Stern commissioned the survey, conducted Oct. 11-12, after Germany's NDR public broadcaster last month fired talk show host Eva Herman following her statement on the Third Reich.

News reports quoted her as saying at the presentation of her latest book 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 later said: "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 Nazis were responsible for the murder of some 6 million Jews and starting World War II - a conflict in which at least 60 million people died, including more than 7 million Germans.

The poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, showed that people 60 or older had the highest regard for aspects of the era, with 37 percent 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 percent responding "yes."