Denazification was a program initiated by the Allies after World War II. The objective was to remove former Nazi officials from positions of political power and to investigate and prosecute Nazi war crimes in Germany and Austria. Some 2.5 million Germans were indicted in the Western zones alone, but only 1.4% received guilty verdicts. Most of the defendants were dismissed as mere followers. The prosecution process was often very brief and superficial. The program, which lost momentum due to the Cold War and the Allies’ dependency on West Germany, was abandoned in 1951.