Re: Did the fact there was hardly any real Nazis in this film hurt it?
I am happy they deviated from the comics for a few reasons.
a) First, Nazi's have been overused. In fact, every scenario involving Nazis has been committed to celluloid at least twice. Even though Cap was a wartime piece, having Nazis as the primary villain would be generic. Hydra was more interesting.
b) It's about time Hollywood finally matured a bit and stopped demonizing Germany. Yes, the calamities from that iteration of the government cannot be glossed over nor forgotten, but using them in blockbuster or b-movies is not the way to address it.
c) Besides, their depictions are usually done with a juvenile hand: they are used to paint America as a perfect, flawless force...which is far from the truth, considering the Nazis used the designs for the American Indian reservations for the concentration camps. Or, the fact that amnesty was given to some of the top scientists/butchers at the end of the War, in return for us to pick their brains. The list goes on.
d) for the MCU continuity, it is important to establish Hydra, as it will be used down the line, alongside AIM. It's good to introduce them as the dominant evil, since it is connected to the majority of Cap's villains (such as Zemo and Strucker).
e) I agree with the above poster: Captain America stands as the opposition to tyrannies and the poster boy for democracy. While the exclusivity to the US has softened, making the character accessible is a wise financial decision as well as political one, considering the world's political climate, right now.