When did the Nazis come to be seen as "uniquely wicked" during (or after) World War II?

 On April 15, 1945, the West was unaware of the situation.

That was the day that the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was freed by Canadian and British forces. They discovered 13,000 unburied human bodies as well as 60,000 ill and malnourished captives who were passing away at a rate of 500 each day.

Bergen-Belsen was a concentration camp, not a death camp, therefore it wasn't even the worst of the German concentration camps. However, it was the first significant camp to be identified by Western Allied forces, and images of the horrors unearthed there were widely distributed around the world.

Similar accounts and rumors about how the Nazis handled their victims were widely reported, but up until April 1945, many people just discounted them as rumours. After instance, throughout the First World War, there were many horrifying tales about the Germans, including those of nuns who had been disfigured, Canadians who had been crucified, and corpse factories.

Many of those stories turned out to be made up or exaggerated when the war finished in 1918. The gruesome tales of fresh Nazi atrocities were therefore met with a certain amount of scepticism by those who saw themselves to be rational and fair-minded—that is, until photographic evidence from Belsen proved that the tales of Nazi horrors had been underestimated, not exaggerated.

Hitler carried out a mass, completely planned, and cold-blooded massacre that was unprecedented in history. Massacres had occurred in the past, but never on this magnitude or with such callous efficiency.

Keep in mind that this response applies to the Western world, particularly English-speaking nations. The brutality of the Nazis was more well known in the countries that they had invaded, particularly in the East.

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