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National Socialist Racial Doctrine

The Aryan race should rule

The National Socialists derived their race theory from two pseudosciences: race theory and race hygiene. Both developed towards the end of the 19th century.

From racial theory, the Nazis adopted the idea that humanity can be divided into different races. However, they equated the concept of race with that of the people. They declared the German people to be a representative of the so-called Aryan race. In the race theory this was considered perfect: As a primordial race, it was superior to all other races and therefore intended to rule over them.

The Nazis borrowed the idea of ​​so-called race care from racial hygiene. Behind this was the view that the Aryan race must maintain its purity and quality. Only in this way can humanity develop to something higher.

The Jews as the enemy of the Nazis

The Jews were the main enemy of the Aryan race for the Nazis. They declared it to be a race of its own and assumed that it had a harmful influence on the quality of the Aryan race. Therefore it must be destroyed.

For the Nazis, the first thing to do was to convince the German people of an alleged threat from the Jews. To this end, they operated targeted propaganda.

This was characterized by a radical juxtaposition: on one side was the Aryan. For the Nazis, he was the prototype of the Aryan race and the ideal. They described him as blond, blue-eyed, energetic and loyal.

They designed the Jews as his threatening counterpart. According to the Nazis, he was everything the Aryan was not: dark-haired with dark eyes, lazy and insidious.

Numerous propaganda posters thrived on the idea of ​​"Aryans against Jews". Among other things, the National Socialists distributed leaflets on which they listed twelve commandments on racial cleanliness.

One of them was called: "Keep the German blood pure." The National Socialist racial doctrine was supposed to achieve religious status through the commandments.

The Nazis also propagated their Jewish enemy image in school lessons. In every school there was a so-called race atlas. This contained 30 large-format picture panels with pictorial juxtapositions of Aryans and Jews. Underneath were sentences like "The soul of the race speaks from this face."

At the end of school, every student should believe that the Jews pose a threat to the German people.

Anti-Semitism was required by law

To protect the people from the alleged threat from the Jews, the Nazis passed more than 2,000 anti-Jewish laws. The so-called Nuremberg Laws were among the most important. They came into force on September 15, 1935.

The Nuremberg Laws prohibited Aryans and Jews from marrying, among other things. German bridal couples had to present an ancestral passport. They only received this if they could prove their Aryan descent.

In the years to come, the Nazis increasingly radicalized their racial doctrine. They destroyed Jewish shops and made indiscriminate arrests. In addition, they initiated the deportation of around 17,000 Jews of Polish descent from the newly annexed Austria.

The Reichspogromnacht represented the preliminary climax of the legally prescribed anti-Semitism. It took place on the night of November 9-10, 1938. On behalf of Hitler, the Nazis set numerous synagogues on fire and deported around 26,000 Jewish men to concentration camps.

Most were released by early 1939 - partly because they agreed to leave Germany, partly because they were transferring their property. More than 500 of the so-called "action Jews" did not survive the rigors of the concentration camp.

In the months that followed, the rights of Jews were reduced to a minimum. Jews were no longer allowed to exercise any practical occupations. They were also prohibited from attending public schools. The Nazis erected their own Jewish park benches and imposed restaurant bans.

At the end of the National Socialist racial doctrine, there was the so-called final solution to the Jewish question. This meant the mass murder of more than five million Jews.

Not only Jews should be exterminated

The racial madness of the Nazis did not apply only to Jews. Sick people and people with disabilities also represented a threat to them. In their opinion, they devalued the quality of the Aryan race and thus prevented a higher development of humanity. Therefore, they too must be destroyed.

One of the first actions for the so-called hereditary and racial maintenance was the forced sterilization of hereditary predisposed persons. A corresponding law came into force on July 14, 1933. It was supposed to keep the blood of the Aryan race from undesirable influences such as illnesses or disabilities.

The genetic and racial maintenance culminated in a project on mass killing. It took place under the code name "Aktion T4". The Nazis transported the sick and people with disabilities to special killing centers. There they murdered them with lethal injections or by gassing.