I Was Not a Nazi Polka

Album: That's the Way it's Gonna Be (1965)

Songfacts®:

  • The Chad Mitchell Trio was a politically charged folk group featuring a young John Denver. This satirical song poked fun at postwar Germany and the tendency of its citizens to deny that any of them had actually supported Nazism. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mason - Chanhassen, MN
  • This song references notorious Nazi war criminals Hermann Goring ("Goring was a crazy we wanted to deport"), Heinrich Himmler and Martin Bormann ("We hated Heinrich Himmler, Martin Bormann, too"). Goring, a WWI veteran who helped Hitler rise to power, was a leading member of the Nazi Party and founded the Gestapo in 1933. Hitler would eventually oust Goring from the party when he wanted to take control of the Reich. Goring faced his crimes at the Nuremberg trials and was sentenced to death, but he would commit suicide the night before his scheduled hanging.

    Himmler was a powerful figure who created and controlled the Nazi concentration camps and was appointed leader of the Gestapo by Goring. He committed suicide while in British custody in 1945. Bormann was Hitler's private secretary and Head of Parteikanzlei (Party Chancellery). It's assumed he committed suicide while trying to flee Berlin in May 1945, just days after Hitler's own suicide.
  • The lyrics, "We all thought that Dachau was just a nice resort" refer to the town in southern Germany that housed the country's first concentration camp, opened by Himmler in 1933, and was the site of thousands of deaths of Jews and other political prisoners. Over 30,000 prisoners were liberated in May 1945, though Himmler had ordered the extermination of the entire camp.
  • "For years, the German people were utterly convinced I.G. Farben manufactured children's toys," cites the German chemical industry conglomerate, once the largest chemical company in the world, that supplied the Nazis with Zyklon B, the lethal, cyanide-based pesticide used to gas Jews in the death camps.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 20th 1893, After deliberating only an hour and a half, a jury in New Bedford, Massachusetts found Lizzie Borden innocent of the 1892 ax murders of her father and stepmother in nearby Fall River...
    The house at 92 Second Street in Fall River, MA; where the murders were committed, is now a bed and breakfast...
    And sixty nine years after the trial on January 21st, 1962 the Chad Mitchell Trio's "Lizzie Borden" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #87; five weeks later on February 26th, 1962 it would peak at #44 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 8 weeks...
    The trio had two other Top 100 records; "The John Birch Society" {#99 in 1962} and "The Marvelous Toy" {#43 in 1964}...
    John Denver replaced Chad Mitchell in 1965 and stayed with the group until 1968.
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