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Immediately after the surrender many German citizens were taken to the camps to witness what the Nazis had done. There was an attempt to de-Nazify Germany.

Many of the cities of Germany had been severely bombed. Surviving buildings that had Nazi associations were renamed. Monuments, statues, signs, and emblems linked with Nazism were also removed and destroyed.

Nazi propaganda was removed from education, the media, and the many religious and social institutions. Many pro-Nazi leaders and clergymen were removed from their posts. Nazi or military parades, anthems or the public display of Nazi symbols were also banned.

The German legal system was de-Nazified. From December 1945 German courts were able to try German citizens and pass sentence on the crimes they had committed during the war years.

From 1933 to 1945 the whole of Germany had been Nazified. It was impossible to remove every single Nazi from their positions. Many Germans brought before the courts were given very light sentences.