In this answer there is following German text:

Diese müßten ekrasiert und hiezu kein Mittel gescheut werden.

Can "ekrasieren" be translated as "to exterminate"?

I could not find this word in Duden. One obscure web site claims that "ekrasieren" is synonymous with vernichten and zermalmen.


2 Answers 2


I have to admit that I have never seen this word in German, even though I'm a native speaker.

It's obviously a loanword from French. Today nobody uses this word, except maybe in a very special context, but in the 18th and 19th century the educated elite would have understood it.

The word that you're searching is écraser. The Cambridge Dictionary offers the following translations:

  • to crush (an insect, a rebellion,...)
  • to squash (an insect,...)
  • to mash (potatoes,...)
  • to run over (with a car,...)
  • ...

In your context, to crush seems to be the most appropriate word.

  • I only see "unbarmherzig verfolgen" (persecute without pity) in the original. But french military terms are very commom at that time, in Russia as in Austria, as shown by "The good soldier Schweijk" by Hasek. (Cavallet, Menage, Bataillon, desertieren, Sabotage).
    – user41814
    Mar 3, 2020 at 6:26
  • I am not belittling "unbarmherzig" -- is this more "systematisch" or "grausam" ? "Crush" can also be both, so I agree.
    – user41814
    Mar 3, 2020 at 6:44
  • 1
    except maybe in a very special context as a French with near zero knowledge of German I immediately recognized this word. The special context may be a French making a funny (and gentle) remark about something/someone (a team for instance) being crushed, in a German context (to show that the crush was how we perceive our Germans neighbors and friends: Ordung und Systematism). A simple 1:2 score in football would not be ekrasieren. 7:1 (and the one was let go for honor) would clearly be.
    – WoJ
    Mar 3, 2020 at 13:47
  • @WoJ: I'm convinced that nobody would understand you, Most Germans who speak sufficiently well French and have no problem with "écraser" would still struggle when hearing "ekrasieren". (Identifying the word in a written text is much easier.) Mar 3, 2020 at 18:47
  • @FrankfromFrankfurt: sorry, I was not clear: what I meant is that French could (conceivably) use that when speaking among themselves (for the reasons, and in the context I explained above). Of course a German speaking French would never use that when speaking German.
    – WoJ
    Mar 4, 2020 at 7:20

Meyers Konversationslexikon (1885-1892) lists the word as given in your question and offers zermalmen (to crush) and vernichten (to destroy, to annihilate) as explanation.

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