Nazism and race

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Nazism and race concerns the Nazi Party's adoption and further development of several hypotheses concerning their concept of race. Classifications of human races were made and various measurements of population samples were carried out during the 1930s.

The Nazis claimed to observe scientifically a strict hierarchy of the human race. Hitler's view towards race and people can be found throughout Mein Kampf but more specifically in chapter 11 "Nation and Race".

Hitler made references to an "Aryan Race" founding a superior type of humanity. The purest stock of Aryans according to Nazi ideology was the Nordic people of Germany, England, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. The Nazis claimed that Germanic people specifically represented a southern branch of the Aryan-Nordic population. The Nazis did not consider all Germans to be of the Nordic type (which predominated the north), and stated that Germany also had a large "Alpine" population (identified by, among other features, shorter height and higher incidences of darker hair and eyes). Hitler and Nazi racial theorist Hans F. K. Günther framed this as an issue to be corrected through selective breeding for "Nordic" traits.

According to Gunther, the purest Nordic regions were Scandinavia and northern Germany, particularly Norway and Sweden, specifying: "We may, perhaps, take the Swedish blood to be over 80 per cent Nordic, the Norwegian blood about 80 per cent." Britain and southern Germany by contrast were not considered entirely Nordic. Germany was said to be 55% Nordic, and the rest Alpine (particularly southern Germany), Dinaric, or East Baltic (particularly eastern Germany). On the British Isles, Gunther stated: "we may adopt the following racial proportions for these islands: Nordic blood, 60 percent; Mediterranean, 30 percent; Alpine, 10 percent." He added that "The Nordic strain in Germany seems to be rather more distributed over the whole people than in England, where it seems to belong far more to the upper classes." Hitler echoed this sentiment, referring to the English lower classes as "racially inferior."

Hitler viewed the French as close to the Germans racially, but not quite their peers. He said of their racial character: "France remains hostile to us. She contains, in addition to her Nordic blood, a blood that will always be foreign to us." Gunther echoed this sentiment, saying that the French were predominantly Alpine and Mediterranean rather than Nordic, but that a heavy Nordic strain was still present. He characterized the French as possessing the following racial proportions: Nordic, 25%; Alpine or Dinaric, 50%; Mediterranean, 25%. These types were said to be most prevalent in north, central, and southern France respectively.

Hitler planned to remove a large portion of the French population to make way for German settlement. The Zone interdite of eastern France was set aside and planned to be made part of the German Reich after the rest of France was fully subdued. The French residents of the zone, some 7 million people accounting for nearly 20% of the French population at the time, were to be deported, and the land then occupied by at least a million German settlers. The plan was either postponed or abandoned after Operation Barbarossa in favor of expediting the settlement of the east instead, and was never put into place owing to the German defeat in the Second World War.

This page was last edited on 11 March 2018, at 22:00.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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