When I compared the nilfgaard to nazi I did it in reference to their view of racial superiority, it's a form of their ideology so comparison has a strong basis (which i mentioned already, nazi too thinked themselves superior nation as a part of their doctrine and cause of their dellusions of conquest and world rule and by the way Roman empire also did things which today would be considered war crimes on great scale). Nilfgaardians believe that nordlings (as they call the people of Northern Kingdoms) are weak and generally tend to despise them just because, also their strongly militarized state brings some parallels to real dicatorships in mind). In the Tower of the Swallow or whatever they translated the title in fan translations) you can see that provinces of empire are not exactly the most cheery place to live, they are hellholes. Claremont in Ebbing (one of the oldest prvinces so it seems there's should be imperial paradise by now,...wrong!) where they have gladiator fights on the arena (also with beasts, wolves, endriagas, goblins and such stuff
, with spectators who are bloodthirsty and repulsed me so much that it made me sick just to read it, it's worse than anything I saw in the North (at least before the wars North was better, as I said the situations quickly deteriorates now into similar levels of savagery which would put tribes of savages to shame, who knows maybe not even ,,wild" Zerrikanians and Haaks from Haakland, Zerrikania are not so degraded, and what those other lands were called, oh yeah, Zangwebar and Ofir with white horses in black stripes hahaha, oh wait...maybe they are on the Elskerdeg mountain pass there were some cannibals
. Leo Bonhart an amoral monster and merciless bounty hunter (or simply put murderer for hire) said with amusement and rather ironically ,,doomed is the empire where everyone steals" commenting on dirty businesses which are common there (and performed by such ones like already mentioned Dominik Bombastus Houvenaghel who practically owned a city of Claremont when he bought the lands which were to be granted to nilfgaardian settlers)
Don't get me wrong I don't approve the northern kingdoms or think them as of purely good states of happiness, but I simply do not imagine how Nilgaard is all that better with all this filth. Redania after the death of king Visimir (by some called the Just don't know why
father of Radovid who was 15 year old kid at that time) turned into chaos, Dijkstra started the great persecutions hunting for traitors (all bought by Nilfgaard) and the fact that the assasin was apparently elf or half-elf with magical protection caused increased hostility towards elven race, the famous Drakenborg which was organized then, fort supposedely terrifying place of torment at least had some standards when enacting death sentences (those condemned to death gathered in one cell, by the order of Dijkstra the archspy of Redania were given wine, guards were not allowed to do anything to them and so forth, the executions were by hanging, the saying ,,the just punishment not a sadistic revenge" is also coming from him. Which isn't to say of the executions in Nilfgaard which are rather spectacular, in many cases specifically ordered by emperor to be specially bloody like the execution of prince Windhalm of Attre who made a rebellion supported by Skellige Islands (who swore eternal vengeance for massacre of Cintra), the amnesty is happening once every emperor is taking the throne (of course in times of war that means you're pardoned if you serve in army to die for the emperor as one character says it) but the crime of betrayal of state or emperor never expires (of course nordlings like torturing too to get informations but nilfgaardian courts are tribunals with inquisition methods so draw here, not to mention cooeducational prisons, women with men in the same cells how enlightened
in Nilfgaard schemeing and rebellions with infamous Pacificators of Gemmera commiting atrocities and quelling them with exceeding cruelty happened on every turn, Vattier de Rideaux searching ever for plots like any secret police would (secret services which in annoyed words of Emhyr should be responsible for people going missing but can't find one small person
:).Is Redania worse or less civilized than Nilfgaard? Not at all, so I don't see reason why Nilfgaard is perceived as better or lesser evil as some might say (I think that it is rather the greater one). Peace stability and prosperity for all in Nilfgaard, a fairy tale just like ,,bringing culture and law", only few amoral people get rich, corporation and trading companies have enormous influence and do what the hell they want with privilages from emperor, the simple people live in poverty and hellish state of moral degradation, there's no peace in desolate provinces let's not forget nilfgaardian justice system in which criminals though punished with extreme prejudice (with such lovely choice of death like being impaled or cooeperate and be killed less painful) can also become part of law enforcement meaning becoming lackeys of ambitious officers of so called law setting their own interests and business, gathering forced tributes from local companies, not to mention tributes of simple subjects of empire are high and they barely can supply them as they are already poor. But of course ambitious businessmen from heart of empire abuse the natural resources and cheap working force to build their fotunes, everyone profits ekhm, those who had already some wealth and opportunistic nobles who agreed on new rule, you think that there is some form of revolutionary equality, no social system is the same, Vattier is count of Eiddon for example, a commoner Stephen Skellen working for emperor doesn't even have any chance for becoming ,,nobility" (it was him that naively thought of instating democracy and his fellow conspirators most of whom were nobles laughed out loud at this ridiculous idea
:) it seem this concept is totally alien, even if few ,,weirdoes"
knew of it, Emhyr had no pity for such sentiments heh.
And now imagine that those northern, racist barbarians after the war in Lady of the Lake granted the elven officers of Vrihedd brigade amnesty (save for few who were executed on private demand meaning paid for by angry relatives of those who they killed) and simple people and war veterans meeting escaping Scoia'tael gave them food seeing how starved and miserable they were and elves ,,for the first time in history drew hands towards humans" (it went something along those lines).
In game we're getting Letho singing praises to emperor Emhyr but there are many kings of the North who can be viewed as better in my opinion (not in manipulating people but still
king Ethain of Cidaris (coastal kingdom with strong fleet, producer of good wines and center of trade) is enlightened ruler with love of music and art Dandelion and Essi Daven were always welcomed on his court (bard and poet Essi who was one of the most pure, good and gentle characters in the entire series spoke highly of him), there is king Venzlav of Brugge (now vassal of Temeria as he swore fealty to protect the country from Nilfgaard), he was personally rather friendly towards Geralt or to simply put it, he liked our witcher and desired to make peace with Dryads ending the over hundred year war concerned with the deaths of his subjects and refusing to join military expeditions towards Dryads and unlike king Viraxas of Kerack, late Ekkehard of Sodden which after his death Free States brough crown to Foltest and Ervyll of Verden he didn't hate Eithne ruler of Dryad forest of Brokilon and wanted to have peace talks (though all those kings are only talked about never appearing in flesh), there is Esterad Thyssen king of Kovir, Poviss, sovereign of Narok, Velhad and Talgar wise and cunning ruler (of Niedamir and his Hengfors League, king of Caingorn better not to tell anything
he learned bad habits from cobbler Kozojed heheheh), Foltest was a good king and he was supporting policy of cooexistance with nonhumans and only during the famed meeting of kings (and one queen
in Blood of Elves he changed policy into fighting with Scoia'tael by brutal force.
Of course I don't have to mention any specific cases of amoral people in the North and many monstrosities they did: pogroms, discrimination, uneducated commoners commiting mass atrocities during Falka rebellion which was total pandemonium in the North (event from nearly hundred years before the action of books and games), bandits, murderers, rapists, scums like Condhringer, thugs doing dirty work, murderers for hire like Michelet Brothers, mercenaries, soldiery doing horrible things, but the point is it's all escalates after the first war and especially after the second which is the time when games take place.