Fundamentals of Nazi Racial Ideology United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Basic Assumptions of Nazi Racial Ideology • There is a collective instinct for survival; every individual partakes of this collective instinct. • Survival of the race depends on • Race Purity • The seizure of territory to expand population • There is a hierarchy of races; some are more valuable than others
Excerpt from this Nazi Biology Textbook for Middle School Students: “As we have already noted, people do not live as individuals like animals and plants, but as peoples, which largely have come together as ethnic states. We know something similar only with insects. Bees and ants are not only the sum of individuals; each individual shares a united drive in service of the entire group…. The ethnic state must demand of each individual citizen that he does everything for the good of the whole, each in his place and with his abilities. ” See Marie Harm and Hermann Wiehle, Lebenskunde für Mittelschulen. Fünfter Teil. (Halle: Hermann Schroedel Verlag, 1942), pp. pp. 168-173.
The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor of September 15, 1935 “Moved by the understanding that purity of the German Blood is the essential condition for the continued existence of the German people, and inspired by the inflexible determination to ensure the existence of the German Nation for all time, the Reichstag has unanimously adopted the following Law, which is promulgated herewith:”
A racial hygienist measures a woman's features in an attempt to determine her racial ancestry. Berlin, Germany, date uncertain.
The caption, in German, reads: "Healthy Parents have Healthy Children." Germany, date uncertain.
Basic Assumptions of Nazi Racial Ideology • A healthy, vigorous people expands its population base of racially healthy individuals and expands its territorial base at the expense of its neighbors. • A dying people has a declining population, marred by race-mixing and territorial losses to its neighbors. • History is the struggle of nations for living space and living space is about the continued existence of a race.
Nazi View of Germany in 1930 • Germany lost World War I and had to cede territory to its neighbors • High level of race mixing: almost 40 percent of all marriages involving Jews are interfaith marriages. • Germans face extinction; only Hitler can save them!
Germany Must Die! The truth about the 8 point program Of the enemies of Germany: German People!...against their War of extermination there is Only one solution: Fight, Work, Win German Propaganda Poster from circa 1942.
The Image of Jews in Nazi Racial Ideology • Jews are a race. • Jews were special enemies of the German people. • Unlike other races, Jews had no living space of their own. • Jews sought to dominate host peoples by destroying the nation-state and establishing Jewish world domination. • The goals of Jews, by definition, were the genetic bastardization of all peoples and the elimination of all states.
Antisemitic Propaganda Nazi Antisemitic Book, The Eternal Jew, Published in 1937 Nazi stereotype depicting Jews as both Money lenders and communists. Source: Der Ewige Jude, Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., Franz Eher, Nachf., 1937
Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews! Members of the Storm Troopers (SA), with boycott signs, block the entrance to a Jewish-owned shop. Berlin, Germany, April 1, 1933.
Chart indicating the determination of Jewish racial ancestry in Nazi Germany.
“The peoples [of the earth] will soon realize that Germany under National Socialism does not desire the enmity of other peoples. I want once again to be a prophet. If the international Finance-Jewry inside and outside of Europe should succeed in plunging the peoples of the earth once again into a world war, the result will be not the Bolshevization of earth, and thus a Jewish victory, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe. The peoples of the earth do not want to continue to perish on the battlefield so that the rootless, international race can profit from the business of war, and satisfy their Old Testament thirst for vengeance. The Jewish slogan, "Workers of the World, Unite!" will be defeated by a higher insight, that is, "Productive members of all nations, recognize your common enemy!" Berlin, Germany, January 30, 1939 Hitler speaks before the Reichstag (German parliament).
The War Against the Race Enemy: Jews Boycott Killing Centers “Aryanization” Kristallnacht Ghettoization Mass Shooting Deportation
First grade pupils, both Jewish and non-Jewish, study in a classroom in a public school in Hamburg. Germany, June 1933.
Overview of Nazi Persecution of Specific Groups “Racial Enemy” Jews The quest for racial purity Gypsies (Roma) German Disabled Persons Germans of African Descent The racial struggle for Europe Slavs Poles Soviet Prisoners of war Nazi ideology and the persecution of Germans Political Dissidents Jehovah’s Witnesses Male Homosexuals
Conclusion • The Nazi conception of the world was fundamentally racist. • They had a crusade-like vision of saving western civilization from Jews. • They had a strategic vision of a dominant German “Aryan” race ruling subject peoples. • They believed “superior” races had not just the right but the obligation to subdue and even exterminate the “inferior” ones. • To insure the racial superiority of Germany, they instituted the continual self-purge of their society.
William F. Meinecke, Jr. Ph.D. Historian, Division of Education United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl. SW Washington, D.C. 20024-2126 Tel: 202-314-7844 Wmeinecke@ushmm.org