Nazi Racial Policies 1933 1939 Essay

2708 words - 11 pages

WHAT WERE THE NAZIS' RACIAL THEORIES?

Theories of race = central to Nazi ideology.

Believed in a hierarchy with Aryans at the top, and those of mixed or adulterated blood (eg Slavs and East Europeans, gypsies and Jews) at the bottom.

Germans = principle G race (master race of Herrenvolk) "“ the only people capable of true-civilisation, creativity and culture.
They believed they were in a life and death struggle for survival with the inferior races.

Nazis also believed in eugenics "“ all human characteristics are inherited and that selected breeding is necessary to eliminate the weak or undesirable.

Nazis were concerned with the well-being of the community rather than the individual and therefore they felt it their duty to purge society of racial enemies like Jews and criminals, the insane, gays and other undesirables.

The origins of Nazi anti-Semitism
Nazi's didn't invent anti-S.
For C Christian countries had persecuted Jews:
·
        Government sponsored anti-J riots common in C19 Russia
·
        Dreyfus Case
Late 19th Century "“ "˜Social Darwinism' was invented by RW thinkers"“ the belief that human society was composed of stronger and weaker races who would struggle for survival.
Hitler was influenced by this in his youth in Vienna.

Mein Kampf
In this H explained that he saw Jews as responsible for all G's troubles.
Jews = parasites "“ never had a state of their own and had pretended to be a religious group rather than a race so they could live in any country "“ their "˜first and greatest lie'.

In C19 they had grown rich as capitalism grew and they had exploited liberal democracy to gain citizenship and equal rights "“ part of their plan to undermine and destroy true G culture and values.

PLUS they had invented Marxism to win back the support of the masses.
The Ru Revolution = first success.
H said that G was defeated in 1918 by the Jews, who had been "robbing our people of the political and moral instincts and forces which alone make nations capable and hence worthy of existence".

The appeal of anti-Semitism
Anti-S didn't win many votes.
Wasn't the reason people voted for Hitler 1930 "“ 33.
BUT anti-S = important to the thousands of Party activists for whom Jews were scapegoats "“ an enemy on whom all troubles could be blamed.

Nazi propaganda "“ the true G, ruined by capitalism and democracy and fearful of Comm, could see Jews at work manipulating both.

THE JEWISH "˜PROBLEM' IN GERMANY IN 1933

Relatively few Jews in G "“ only 500 000 in 1933 (0.76% of the population).
BUT concentrated in small areas "“ 70% in big cities + significant numbers of Jews in Law, medicine, commerce and media.

Although anti-J measures were central to his thinking, he had no clear plans when he came to power in 1933.
He was more interested in securing a dictatorship and getting the G economy moving again.
Severe measures against Jews would hinder both of these because his con allies would object to them and economic recovery would...

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