The Meaning of Sieg Heils: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of sieg heils? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the phrase sieg heils, including its definition, etymology, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the phrase sieg heils mean?

According to ADL and Dictionary English Dictionary, the term sieg heil is a German interjection that means a hail to victory. This salute was used by the Nazi party under Adolf Hilter during World War II. This phrase became one of the Nazi party’s most widely used and notorious slogans, and was often used accompanying the Nazi salute, or the Nazi symbol of the swastika. After World War II, white supremactists and neo-Nazi groups around the world have continued to use this phrase. This phrase is still associated with antisemitism and anti-semitic groups. These groups are likely fascist parties that still practice the Hitler salute – which is the raising of the right arm – heil Hitler and are made up of white supremacists. You may see these groups at political rallies or on the news after a hate crime. Never use this Nazi slogan, as you will be associated with white supremacists. There are plenty of other phrases one can use in American English to hail victory that are not associated with racism and antisemitism.

According to Etymonline, the word sieg comes from the Old High German sigu and the German word heil comes from the Proto-Germanic hailitho. The English word heil was used in Middle English as a salutation that implied respect or reverence, and began around the 1200s. This is also where the English language gets the word hail. 

According to History,The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, als known as the Nazi Party, ruled Germany from the year 1933 to the year 1945 under Adolf HItler. This party was founded in 1919 and was first known as the German Workers’ Party. This group promoted German pride and antisemitism. Adolf Hitler became leader of the party in 1921, and in 1933, he became the chancellor of Germany. Germany soon fell under his dictatorship as the Nazi government grew. Once Hitler had gained control of the government, he worked to undo the Treaty of Versailles. He believed it had separated Germans by creating the new postwar states Austria and Czechoslovakia. Between 1939 and 1945, Hitler and the Nazi party tried to dominate aurope. They formed alliances with Japan and Italy and fought against the Allied powers. They instituted a horrific series of measures to persecute the German Jewish citizens. By 1938, Jews were banned from public places. These anti-Jewish campaigns increased in scane and ferocity, the Nazi party invaded Poland to persecute Jews. At the Wannsee Conference in 1942, the Nazi Party spelled out their systematic plans to murder European Jews in the Holocaust. They placed Jewish people into concentration death camps and murdered over 6 million Jews.

After Germany was defeated in WWII, the party was outlawed and many of the top officials of the party were convicted of war crimes related to the Holocaust. After the war, the Allies occupied Germany and worked to purge Nazi influence from German life. The swastika flag quickly became symbolic for evil. While Hitler killed himself before he could ve convicted, many other Nazi officials were convicted or war crimes in the Nuremburg trials. 

Due to the horrible history associated with the Nazi Party, including white supremacy, antisemitism, Fascism, and other terrible things, one should stay clear of using the phrase seig heil. It is an important phrase to be aware of in order to protect oneself and to learn historically, but this term is never appropriate to use in any circumstance outside of education about the history of Germany and World War II. Under no circumstances should anyone use this phrase. Otherwise, they will be associated with Nazis, white supremacy, and other bigoted groups. It is best to find a synonym for this phrase if you are trying to celebrate a victory so that you are not associated with the Nazi party. 

What are synonyms for the term sieg heils?

There are many other ways that someone can express victory without using the phrase sieg heil. Sieg heil is heavily associated with white supremacy, and should never, ever be used unless one is referencing the phrase that people said in Nazi Germany to educate others. Instead, one should opt to use a synonym for the term sieg heil. There are many different words that a person can use in place of seig heil that are not associated with Nazis or white supremacy. Knowing synonyms is also useful to avoid repeating yourself and to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word victory is provided by Thesaurus

  • hit
  • consummation
  • masterpiece
  • conquest
  • sweep
  • subjugation
  • contrivance
  • victory
  • hole in one
  • actualization
  • pay dirt
  • realization
  • laurels
  • triumph
  • supremacy
  • deed
  • advantage
  • control
  • tour de force
  • gold
  • slam
  • bull’s-eye
  • killing
  • acquirement
  • ascendancy
  • score
  • prize
  • encompassment
  • acquisition
  • attainment
  • gain
  • achievement
  • creation
  • stroke
  • effort
  • upset
  • kill
  • destruction
  • success
  • mission accomplished
  • production
  • win
  • effectuation
  • fulfillment
  • the gold
  • completion
  • upper hand
  • defeat
  • winning
  • enactment
  • accomplishment
  • feat
  • performance
  • grand slam
  • defeating
  • execution
  • dominion
  • overthrow
  • superiority
  • act
  • exploit
  • feather in cap
  • clean sweep
  • gold star

Overall, the term sieg heil is a German phrase that means hail to victory. This phrase was first used by the Nazi party as a Nazi slogan in Germany during World War II and the Holocaust. This phrase is associated with the Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler, the Holocasut, and white supremacy, and should never be used in common speech. Instead, opt for another phrase that signals victory, as there are many other synonyms that do not have the same connotation.

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/victory
  2. https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols/sieg-heil
  3. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/sieg-heil
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/sieg%20heil
  5. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/nazi-party