Most Germans use Nazi-era terms in phone calls, such as “D for Dora”, “N for North Pole” and “Z for Zeppelin”, without knowing their anti-Semitic origins.
In the Weimar Republic before the Nazi dictatorship, D was associated with the name “David”, N stood for “Nathan” and Z was for “Zacharias”.
Experts are now working on adopting new terms that will be subject to public debate and adopted in 2022.
The initiative was launched by Michael Blume, an anti-Semitism officer from Baden-Württemberg.
The task of choosing new terms for problem letters is now in the hands of the German Institute for Standardization (IGN).
In order to preserve the memory of the anti-Semitic list, it will be presented as an annex to the new list that will be put to public debate next year, and will be adopted after discussions at the end of 2022.
Julian Pinning, an IGN spokesperson, said choosing names would be more problematic than choosing cities or villages because the choice of name may not reflect today’s ethnic diversity in Germany.
Other Hebrew names removed by the Nazis in 1934 were “Jacob” for the letter “J” and “Samuel” for “S”, which were replaced by “Julius” and “Siegfreid”.
Some Nazi references were replaced immediately after World War II, such as “Ypres” – the name of a bloody battle in World War I in which the Germans first used toxic gas – for the letter “Y”.
“Nordpol” for the “N” is considered inappropriate by some because Hitler’s ideology was based on the idea of the superiority of a mythical Nordic Aryan race.