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Forum LockedDid the nazis believe their own theories?

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Etnad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Etnad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Did the nazis believe their own theories?
    Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 19:03
Hello, I was studying the idea of an Aryan race, which is known from the nazism.
Hitler must have believed the idea of a supreme race which was connected to the german people, but what about the other leading members of the nazi-party?

In 1935 Himmler made the "Ahnenerbe" a team of scientist who's assignment was to discover the story of the Aryan race and find its connection to the german people. We've seen it all, field trips to Tibet looking for traces of this Aryan race.
But do you think that the nazi leaders, aswell as the members of the nazi-party, believed all of this, or did they just use it as a way to power?



Sorry for my poor english.;)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 19:07
I don't know how much the ordinary German thought about the idea of a supreme Aryan race, but its pretty clear that Hitler himself believed it absolutely.
"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Etnad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 19:11
Yes. But as mentioned I was more interested in the nazi-leaders/members, because this idea was one of the most important in nazism.
So the question is did the nazis use it as manipulation, or did they really believe it?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 19:17
Well who are 'they'? The leaders or Hitler himself? I'd imagine the Nazi's attracted many opportunists who saw the benefits of being the 'in' crowd in a totalitarian regime. They perhaps were manipulative (I don't know enough about the Nazi leadership to comment on who may have fallen into that category) Hitler and those closest to him certainly did not believe it for manipulative purposes. Maybe Goebbels... Who knows.
"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.
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Etnad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Etnad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 19:21
Sorry, in general the nazi-party.
I think you are right. Hitler and Himmler definitely believed the idea of the Aryan race.
My assignment is to study the nazi mentality and I would say it is a crucial subject. Indeed if they don't believe their own ideas.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 21:30
There is an abundance of literature on this subject... hard to say what has happened in the minds of the party... I am sure that most people  in the party didn't believe them - and some opportunists "believed" for the sake of believing, to further their own gains, such things that humans are fond of throughout history. That at least is a summary of some viewpoints that may have been shared by the individuals that were in and around the party.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 06:22
Most people in both the party and the country as a whole did believe it. 19th and 20th century nationalism was firmly entrenched within Europe at the time, and to come up with a theory that supported this based on "scientific" evidence was exactly what people back then wanted to hear and believe. So not only could they love their country and justify it as a dominant and agressive power, they could also take courage in believing that the people which populated it were intrinsically superior to all others by virtue of a carefully propogated bloodline which had been protected from mingling with "inferior" races.

The Nazis were apt to look back on great empires of the past, praise their early days of glory and conquest, and then explain that such people inevitably fell due to their intermingling with inferior subject peoples. But they argued that they had themselves never been subject to such dilution of their racial purity.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 08:46
I think that most Nazis and German citizens at the time DID believe in it.

Actually, the Nazi theory of a superior "Aryan race" was nothing new at the time. throughout the 19th century the belief of distinct biological races was firmly entrenched in the minds of Europeans (it is even today among certain sectors of the population). Not only in Germany, but also in Britain, Sweden, Belgium, France...

The only difference between the Nazis and the racialist policies of the European colonial empires was their belief in "exterminating" the inferior races, instead of "subjugating them".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Etnad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 11:49
Ah, yes I can see the similarities to the colonial empires mentality.
But in order to understand the difference in the racialist policy the Nazi's thought that Germany had been infected (the jews) and therefore extermination was a necessity?
I'll try to link these two mentalities together in my assignment.
Thanks for the reply Calvo, very usefull :)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 16:45

Originally posted by Etnad

believed all of this, or did they just use it as a way to power?
 
Like any violent movements, the NAZI movement was a mix of motives and varying degrees of belief in the stated ideology.

Individual NAZIS, like individual; perscecutors of any sort, could probably be grouped into four broad categories. Substitute NAZI with Red Guard,  Khmer Rouge, Hutu militant and the results are the same.
-Ideological true believers (usually a minority) Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels
-Ideological believers to a degree, but willing to harm group "X" for personal reasons  Eastern European SS auxilliaries
-Ideologicaly ambivalant, but willing to harm group"X' because they are ordered to do so 
-Criminals with no ideological loyalty.  Willing to harm group "X" for personal gain,  Heydrich
 


Edited by Cryptic - 08-Jun-2009 at 17:02
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yas245 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 16:58
Just like the Nazis ideology was the EVIL of its time, not long from now we will be asking whether the United States believed in its ideology or not.

Edited by yas245 - 08-Jun-2009 at 16:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 17:57
This is a fact that Germans were originally an Aryan people but after Nazi Racism, Germans themselves don't like to believe this fact!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 11:18
Originally posted by Cyrus Shahmiri

This is a fact that Germans were originally an Aryan people but after Nazi Racism, Germans themselves don't like to believe this fact!


In theory, all indo-european speaking nationalities are Aryans:
Britons, French, Germans, Russians, Indians, Pakistanis, Armenians, Serbs, Albanians, Spaniards, Mexicans, Peruvians, Brasilians...... the list goes on
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 13:09
Aryan is just a sub-group of Indo-European, someone can be an Aryan who calls himself/herself Aryan too, for example from very ancient times we see Persians have always called themselves Aryan, Darius the Great says "I am a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage" or Ardeshir I, the founder of Sassanid empire, says just Aryan, not even Persian:
 
IRAN: Naqsh-i-Rustam - Trilingual Inscription on the Horse of Ardashir I, from the Relief Depicting His Investiture by the God Hormizd: http://oi.uchicago.edu/gallery/pa_iran_paai_per_srr/index.php/8B9_72dpi.png?action=big&size=original
You can see the word "Aryan" in Greek, but did Greeks, Romans and other Indo-European peoples call themselves Aryan too?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Inah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 15:27
Swedish Race Biology, the foundation for Nazi beliefs ?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 15:51
Originally posted by Inah

Swedish Race Biology, the foundation for Nazi beliefs ?
 


Not really, they were quite different. The Swedish institution, created in the 1920s was based on American and English predecessors and the aim was originally to get rid of hereditary deceases, not to prove any übermenschen theories. It did however attract some rather dubious individuals: Herman Lundborg was kicked out after people realized he had Nazi ideas and replaced by Dahlberg, who was openly hostile to the Nazis. However, they did some really nasty things, like sterlisiation of mentally retarded (which was relatively popular in several "civilized" nations in the West ), but it wasn't Nazism. The aryan superiority nonsense started appearing in the end of the 19th century in England and Germany and is a different matter.

The word "race" has so bad connotations nowadays it gives you a slightly wrong perception. I might add that the name of the institution was changed to "Genetical Research Institution" or somesuch in the 50s and continued to work. Genetical research is actually quite similar to what those guys were trying to do, albeit with modern technology and different name.


Edited by Styrbiorn - 09-Jun-2009 at 15:59
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