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Was Nazism In Germany Racist Or Nationalist?

1502 words - 6 pages

Nazism was one of the most essential political ideologies in Germany in the twentieth century, led by Adolf Hitler. It was also an ideology that caused much distress and generated much controversy. Even to this day, historians and survivors alike, are still searching for answers that could explain how the ideals of one man, obsessed with the notions of creating a perfect and flawless race, became the centerpiece for what would be known as the worst tragedy in the history of mankind; the irrational mass killing of millions of innocent victims, particularly the Jews. This essay will discuss whether Nazism was nationalist or racist from different point of views, such as the ideology of superiority, the "ideal" Germans, discrimination of Jews, Nazis' aim to build a "greater Germany", the economy and the unity of the Germans.

Nazism is racist because it emphasized on the ideology of the "superior" and "inferior." According to Passmore, in Mein Kampf, Hitler placed the Aryans at the summit of a hierarchy which comprised different races. He separated the world into superior and inferior races and perceived the struggle for survival between these races as something nature. Furthermore, he also stated that Germans, as the descendants of ancient Aryans, held superior racial characteristics and that a nation will degenerate and perish if it allows its blood to be contaminated by intermingling with lower races. People of Slavic descent were referred as inferior, despite that, in terms of race the Slavs were Aryans, but the Nazis regarded them as inferior to other Aryans in culture and lifestyle. This clearly showed racist characteristic in Nazism. Besides that, there is also the discrimination of the lower categories of the inferior groups in Germany at that time. Germans were "valued" through criteria such as physical performance, health and racial characteristics, cultural traits, and hereditary traits. Handicapped people, orphans, criminals and many others were considered as the lower categories although they may be Germans and they were also perceived as destructive and deadly. Another example of this is that the Nazis began a programme of killing the psychiatrically ill and mentally handicapped without any formal legal sanction. Furthermore, the Nazis determined their superior race by looks, health condition and contributions. The Nazis believed that the Jews will contaminate the mind and blood of the "pure and ideal race." These thoughts are undesirable, where they were prejudice towards the Jews. Obviously, racism was depicted in the Nazis' program through these examples.

Another essential reasons that Nazism is considered as an action of racist is that it is only beneficial for the "ideal" Germans. This is illustrated through several measures that were introduced by Hitler, such as child allowance, promotion of equal education opportunities for working-class children, public housing projects and others. These measures may seem nationalist as...

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