Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933, preceded by a series of electoral victories of the Nazi Party. From the very start of his reign, Hitler was on the way to smashing the democratic rule within Germany and transforming the same into a war state. He had this idea of Nazi Racism, which made him label the Germans as superior to all other races that existed at that time.
Within no time, the Nazi leaders got busy identifying and safeguarding their racial purity from the hands of the impures. And as an end goal, various communities got identified. They were found to be racially and biologically flawed as per the German spectrum. Wondering who they were and what happened to them. It was the Jews, African Germans, and Roma (Gypsies). Also, people with physical disabilities and mental problems got stigmatized, killed, and discriminated in the hands of the German forces.
The Nazi Racism and “Aryans”
Hitler did use the word “Aryan” as a token of signifying the “pure German race” or “Herrenvolk.” Also, the Nazis drew a connection between the term “Aryan” and the German word “Ehre,” which stands for “Honor.” That way, “Aryan” was used to elaborate on the image of an “honorable man.” According to Adolf Hitler, the Aryans were bestowed with the duty of controlling the world.
Also, it is evident from the chronicles and writings elaborating on Hitler and his rule during World War II that Hitler believed in “the basic principle of blood.” According to him, the blood of each person contained his soul and also that of the race. And by drawing reference, Hitler came to the conclusion that the blood of the Aryans, from which all the true Germans have descended, stands at the top. It was God, creating Aryan men with all the spiritual and physical attributes needed.
Moreover, Hitler also did believe that the Aryans had these spiritual and cultural energies which were able to create dignity and beauty of high standards.
The Nazi Racism and project “Lebensborn”
The Nazis did believe in creating a master race. To do so, Heinrich Himmler, in 1935 as a leader of Schutzstaffeln (SS), proceeded with the launch of the project “Lebensborn(Fount of Life).”
The aim was to encourage SS men to have large families and discourage Aryan women from seeking abortions to get rid of their pregnancies before marriage. Before you get to be a part of the SS, family records, personal whereabouts, and medical test results were considered. Applications were denied on the basis of health issues and racial impurity. Also, applicants with a family history of physical, physiatric, or mental disorders were denied entry.
The SS member and his bride had to undergo medical examinations, establishing themselves as pure Aryan before getting married. And ultimately, the child born was termed as “racially pure.” Also, what is more interesting, is that these SS men did get financial aid from Lebensborn funds to look after their families. However, the number was few.
At that time, single motherhood was taboo in German society. So the program did sort of attract pregnant but unmarried Aryan women. Mothers did get the financial support they needed, along with adoption services. The women would visit a Lebensborn center and create a baby with one of the SS members. The children, on birth, were separated from the mother and given to the SS member. Now, the latter would cover all the fees for the upbringing and education of the child.
The Nazi Racism and a step toward the maintenance of racial hygiene
In 1933, racial hygiene became so important for the Nazi leaders that they created the “Hereditary Health Law.” Also known as the law of preventing the birth of offspring of people with hereditary diseases.
The Nazis went on with the forced sterilization of individuals having mental and physical disabilities. Here is a list of conditions that made a person eligible for forced sterilization:
- Manic depression
- Congenital feeblemindedness
- Physical deformity (severe)
- Huntington’s chorea
- Chronic alcoholism
The entire setup was based on the concept of Eugenic theory and the thought process of the community of German eugenics. The members believed that the valuable Germans had lost their lives during the consecutive wars, leaving behind the unproductive ones. And in the early Nazi era, German officials did come forward to justify the concept of “eugenic sterilization.”
In the end, 400,000 Germans were ultimately forced sterilized by the forces. Also, the same belief did pave the pathway to the marital Hygiene Law of 1935. Where marriage was prohibited between a healthy person and a diseased inferior.
The Nazi Racism and the marriage loan program
The focus on creating a pure Aryan breed was so strong among the Nazis that at the beginning of June 1933, the government gave off interest-free loans up to 1000 marks. However, the young couple eligible for this loan type had to be a descendant of pure Aryan heritage. Also, the scheme wanted the bride to have undergone employment for a minimum of six months preceding two years of their marriage. Now, the real twist is that this bride was made to promise to leave her job and stay home until the loan gets repaid.
The intention was to make working women leave their jobs and make way for more jobs men could take up. A quarter of the total loan amount was considered to be repaid with each child born to the couple. For those who had four children, the entire loan amount was made free for them. That way, Aryan couples were made to give birth to more offspring, and women got to stay home, which the Nazis thought of as their actual space.
Hitler and his ideologies focused on generating the “pure blood” or “the Aryans.” The ideal Aryan had blond hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. While he and the others on the ruling scale went on viewing the non-Aryans as pure evil, causing defamation to the German society. The points elaborated so far was a step-by-step approach towards the same, which eventually brought a lot of suffering, misogyny, and uncontrolled ordeals over innocent souls. The rule of Hitler also brought up world war II, causing daily objects like clothes, food, and basic amenities to undergo rationing.