This paper analyzes naming behavior in Germany in the context of rapid social change. It begins with an overview of general developments in naming in Germany over the last one hundred years, based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), which supplies us with almost 45,000 datasets. The paper focuses on the periods of World War II and the Cold War since we conclude that general developments in naming were disrupted by these two phenomena. Wartime brings accelerated social change in its wake and people react to this social change - often on an apparently individual level. Here, our findings are in accordance with established sociological theories.