This Article was written by UC Berkeley Professor of Political Science Emeritus A. James Gregor, who has written extensively on Fascism and Marxism. This serious look at the racial policies of the Third Reich explains how the vague ideas of Adolf Hitler in the early years of his political struggle developed in the 1930s into an exaggerated obsession with Nordicism. This occurred quite separately and with the disapproval of many of the National Socialist leaders. By the late 1930s a far more rational view became official policy. The entire history of these developments are explained by Dr Gregor. What is important about this work is that it refutes the ridiculous post war Allied propaganda allegations by the court historians and demolishes all the lurid tales of “Blond beasts” and “Master races”. Over 100 footnotes are provided giving references and sources.
Enough time has elapsed since the cessation of hostilities against Germany to permit the inspection of one of the theoretical components of the National Socialist Movement; the element which, of all the heterogeneous elements, made National Socialism what it was: the theory of race.
An inquiry of this nature can either, like almost all previous criticisms, muster external objections from anthropological, sociological and historical sources against what are conceived (often incorrectly) to be critical facets of the National Socialist theory on race; (1) or it can venture upon an immanent criticism; that is, it can pursue the inquiries of National Socialist theoreticians themselves, trying to understand the theory of race as it was, as it came to be, rather than as one conceives it to have been.
The latter course, the course chosen for this exposition, has much to recommend it. One does not dissipate one’s energies harassing a straw man. The National Socialist theory of race was dynamic, ever-changing. This, indeed, must be the case with any theory which even pretends to be scientific. Furthermore, it is necessary to distinguish between the bona fide subject of inquiry and existing misconceptions. One need not resort to external sources to refute aspects of the theory which were rejected in the course of its development by National Socialist theoreticians themselves.
No theory, whether scientific, ethical or metaphysical, develops in a vacuum. It would be incredibly naïve to believe that any of these disciplines develops independently of the social milieu in which it arose. In order, therefore, to understand the nature and evolution of National Socialist speculations on race one would have to be conversant with the prevailing psychological, economic, scientific and social (cultural and political) forces prevalent throughout the period. Even were I fully informed as to these conditions, which I am not, space would not permit the introduction of such data into an essay of its length. What I shall attempt to do, however, is to indicate, in passing, the most compelling forces, tactical and theoretical, which, it seems, in general directed the rapid growth and transformation of the National Socialist theory of race.
The development of the National Socialist theory of race can be divided into three periods, and each period had a characteristic cast and temper.
The earliest period of National Socialist racism was characterized by the writings and speeches of Hitler himself. In many of his utterances Hitler’s contentions with respect to race were no more and no less shocking, interesting or spectacular than similar statements made by any number of Anglo-Saxon eugenicists of the period. More significantly, in his specific references to race Hitler was content to employ the exceedingly vague term “Aryan” to denote his select race, founders of the State, society and culture in Europe. Under the rubric “Aryan” Hitler included all the European peoples, apparently (2) reserving the status “inferior” for non-European peoples of the world. Nowhere in Mein Kampf does he specifically stipulate the physical type of his superior race. He refers, however, with unqualified approval to the writings of Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Even if he had not, any comparison of the general ideas on race and society found in Mein Kampf with those of Chamberlain’s Grundlagen would have made his intellectual debt quite apparent. Now Chamberlain nowhere gives a specific morphological identity to his “German,” although he does wax enthusiastic over the tall, blond dolichocephal (long head). On the other hand he suggests, perhaps taking his cue from Gobineau who was convinced of the heterogeneity of the Aryan type, (3) that some of the purest “Germans” are brunets, even raven-haired. Nor does Chamberlain deny creativity nor value to other races.
So there is evidence that the National Socialist theory of race at this time was more than somewhat vague and indeterminate, at least with respect to the problem of how one identified one’s select race. Nowhere in the early literature of the Movement does the designation “Nordic” figure with any prominence, least of all in Hitler’s public statements.
Even at the close of this first period, in 1930, when Rosenberg’s Mythos appeared, his use of the word “Nordic” was strictly qualified by this pronouncement: “…nothing would be more superficial than to measure a man’s worth by his physical appearance (with a centimeter rule and cephalic indices). A far more accurate measure of worth is conduct.” (4)
But with the advent of the thirties we enter a new and highly critical phase of theoretical development. By this time, quite independently of the National Socialist Movement, the works of Hans F.K. Günther (5) had achieved wide circulation and popularity in Germany.
The works of Günther evinced a certain attractiveness for National Socialist theoreticians. First of all one could elicit rough parallelisms between some of the ideas of Hitler, as expressed in Mein Kampf , and Günther’s principal works. Secondly it offered, seemingly, a scientific peg upon which National Socialist utterances on race might be conveniently hung.
As National Socialism expanded in membership and influence an increasing demand that its theoretical house be put in order made itself heard. At this point Günther’s works seemed to suit, precisely, that purpose.
Günther’s ideas can briefly summarized in the following notions:
(1) a race is a group of human beings which, breeding true, distinguishes itself from its neighbours by hereditary physical and mental traits; (6)
(2) the psychic traits, possessed by the various races, differ qualitatively;
(3) in almost all mental traits the Nordic Race (tall, slender, fair-skinned, blond, blue-eyed, leptoprosopic (narrow-faced), leptorrhine (narrow-nosed), dolichocephalic (7) is superior. Nordics are sage in judgment, truthful and energetic, independent, realistic, bold, courageous, clean, inventive, tenacious, prudent, steadfast in duty, competitive (only in the best sense), just, respectful of the property of others, knightly, possessed of a gift of narrative, individualistic (yet unselfish), possessed of a remarkable depth of character, a thorough-going trustworthiness, an inquiring mind devoted to natural science, a lively sense of honour, a tendency to roguish humour, a capacity for statemanlike achievements, a gift for leadership, a talent for music, a wide range of development in the mental life as well as other endowments too numerous to mention; (8)
(4) the extension and contraction of European culture follows the waxing and waning of this most singular race. (9)
These theses, formulated in a rich, scientific vocabulary seemed, at the time, to satisfy the demands made upon National Socialist theoreticians. Therefore, although Günther’s major works were completed before the succession of National Socialism to power, many of the National Socialists made them their own.
This having been the case it is necessary to note two important facts:
1. Günther categorically rejected the designation “Aryan” which Hitler favoured (10) and substituted a carefully defined “Nordic” in its stead. The change, as we shall see, was of critical importance.
2. Günther, while he wrote with passion and bias, was sufficiently detached to make several things quite clear. He did not pretend, for example, that the Nordic Race was the sole creative human race (although that is the over-all impression one receives from his works). He does site the vast cultures of the Mediterranean bronze and early iron age as being the products of Mediterranean creativity. (11) Furthermore, he limited his racial analysis only to peoples of Indo-germanic speech.
The general character of the second period in the development of National Socialist race theory was lent by the works of Hans Günther – a period which covered, approximately, the years between 1930 and 1934. This is the period of uncritical acceptance of “the Nordic Hypothesis.”
So great was the enthusiasm that minor theorists went even further than Günther’s exaggerated Nordicism. Why this should have been so can be explained largely by recalling once more to mind the psychological climate of revolutionary Germany. A people disillusioned in war, betrayed in peace, sought, in a hostile world, status and place. Overcompensation, generated by the tensions of the time, demanded not only equality but superiority.
There had always been, in the German mind, a vague identification between the “Aryan creators of culture” and German nationality. It was not difficult for the average layman to substitute Nordicist nomenclature for the “less scientific” Aryan designations and still equate, somehow, the German people with the “Herrenvolk .” (A similar phenomenon, under essentially similar circumstances, characterized the Fascist Movement of Italy with its frank “Romanita,” its Lictors’ Rods and Roman Salute, and its harking back to the glorious superiority of ancient Rome.)
The most grotesque product of this second period was a strange tome by one Karl Weinlaender (12) which was published with the assistance of the leadership of the National Socialist Teachers Bund in Nuremberg. (13)
In this curious work we are told, among other things:
1. the Nordic race “was and is the only race capable of creating a culture” (14) – all other races are capable of creating a culture only in the same measure as they contain Nordic blood. (15) The Nordics, for example, created Chinese culture.
2. Weinlaender will have nothing of the nonsense concerning racial evolution. He, like Hauser, (16) contends that the Nordic Race is a special act of creation. (17) “Human races,” he informs us, “have evolved out of the lower animals, but each was the result of a creative act separated in space and time… The series included: Humanoids, Prehistoric Men, Giants, Pigmies, Australians, Negroes, Malayans, Indians, Mongolians and at last ‘the image of God,’ the Nordic Race.” (18) All the so-called races (Alpine, Dinaric, Mediterranean, East-Balts, etc.) are simply the bastards of the unnatural coupling of Nordic Man with the enumerated inferior races. (19)
3. This natural inferiority of non-Nordic races is attested to by the fact that the iris of the eye and the hair, and in worse cases even the skin is pigmented. Inferiority is a consequence of the fact that the “material” used (Stoffverbrauch ) in pigmentation is sapped from the cerebral and nervous system. (20) Furthermore unpigmented hair acts as a conductor for “unseen thought waves.” (21)
4. All beauty, (22) physical and spiritual harmony, tall stature and dolichocephaly (23) are the sole property of the Nordic Race.
5. Nordic blood, when transfused into the sick will promote rapid improvement (24) while a transfusion of blood from the lower races (particularly Jewish blood ) with dispatch the patient. (25)
Weinlaender’s book was not an isolated miscarriage. Similar, if not equally outrageous, statements are found in books of this period which were published with either the direct or indirect approval of the National Socialist Movement. Staemmler (26) and Baltzer (27) contend that the Nordics are the only race capable of creating a culture. Rudolf, (28) publishing under the direct auspices of the National Socialist Library, quotes, with approval, Dieter Gerhart (29): ” The Nordic Race, the race of our Germanic ancestors, is the sole bearer of all creative culture in old and new Europe and its environs.”
Having once established to their own satisfaction the truth of these notions the theorists could commence to interpret the cultural history of the world.
All culture originates with the Nordics. Since this is presupposed, it is only necessary to find blond Libyans depicted in Egyptian reliefs (along with the red eyed, green haired compatriots) to prove the Nordic origin of Egyptian civilization (30) – or to find one blond woman depicted in a late fresco in the palace of Knossos to prove that Minoan Civilization was equally Nordic (31) – while the presence of a “fair” god among the host of Aztec gods (albinism is relatively common among a variety of races) is enough to ascribe a Nordic origin for Incan as well as Aztec culture. (32) The fact that Confucious is represented as having a “full beard” while Mongolians have but scant beard is more than enough to indicate the presence of a Nordic ruling class to which the founding of Chinese civilization can be ascribed.(33)
Having succeeded to such insight we can begin to interpret personalities in its light. Since all creativity stems from the Nordic Race all creative personalities must be Nordics or bastards whose creativity derives from some (sometimes more than obscure) Nordic source. When we find those like Caesar (34) and Goethe (35) who are brunet we can ascribe their superiority to their “Nordic” stature. Where we find men of note, as in the case of Napoleon and Nelson, (36) who measure less than 160cm. We can assign their superiority to the fact that they were (at least in their youth) fair. When we find someone like Martin Luther who was brachycephalic (round headed), brown eyed, almost raven haired and of only medium stature we may be foroed to admit an Alpine “infusion,” (37) or we might designate him a Cro-Magnon survival, (38) or we might suggest that he is a Dalo-Nordic, a Nordic “sub-type” (39) – because he did most assuredly have a Nordic Soul. (40)
The brachycephals of note which might have caused the Nordicists some consternation (since Nordics must have long heads) – Hindenburg and Bismarck for example – are assigned, without mention of their suspicious cephalic index to the Dalo-Nordic Race, (41) or gracefully accepted because the phrenological “organs” for mathematics and musicality are located over the ears, and if these organs are well developed, they will deform the skull. (42) (It is interesting that Hindenburg, whom the Nordicists cite as classically Dalo-Nordic, is assigned by Carlton Coon to the East-Baltic Race. (48))
Similar adjustments would have to be made for all those who are either too diminutive (Kant, Machiavelli, Dante, Coleridge, Keats, (44) Raphael), too brachycephalic (Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Kant, Schiller, Schubert, Haydn, Beethoven, Raphael, Laplace, Napoleon, Pascal (45)) or too brunet (Ovid, (46) Vergil, Horace, (47) Michelangelo, (48) Ariosto, St. Francis of Assisi, Shakespeare, Herder, Napier, Beethoven, (49) Balzac, (50) Zola, (51) Raphael, (52) Elizabeth Barret-Browning, (53) Browning, (54) Ibsen, (55) Tolstoy, (56) Faraday, (57) Tennyson, (58) Cromwell, (59) Dampier, (60)).
Having come to understand the procedure we can explain the creativity of Mussolini, who was a relatively short, barrel chested, brown eyed, brachycephalic brunet, by citing him as an example of a “Nordic with dark pigment” (61) who derived his potential from a medieval knight name Muslin. (62)
All this, of course, was Günther with a vengeance. Günther surveys the brachycephalic (63) portrait sculpture of Classic Roman Antiquity and sees only Nordic dolichocephaly. He reproduces Classic Greek statuary which displays tightly curled hair, smooth brow, thick sensuous lips, fleshy nose and soft chin – and sees only the flat, loosely waved hair, (64) the supraorbital bosses, (65) the thin lips, (66) the shapely chiseled nose and chin (67) of the “pure Nordic Race.” (68) The same statuary of which Sergi had said, about thirty years before, “the types of Greek and Roman statuary … do not in the slightest degree recall the features of a northern race; in the delicacy of the cranial and facial forms, in smoothness of surface, in the absence of exaggerated frontal bosses and supraorbital arches, in the harmony of curves, in the facial oval, in the rather low foreheads, they recall the beautiful and harmonious heads of the brown Mediterranean race.” (69)
Günther tells us that because among the Chinese one can find dolichocephaly, an “almost white skin, sometimes combined with handsome European features” (70) this is presumptive evidence of a Nordic strain, as though “almost white skin” and “handsomeness” are placed only in Nordic cradles.
He tells us, further, in a most instructive instance of petitio principii, that because the Druses of Lebanon enjoy a relatively high standard of education, are brave, hard-working and clean, they must be possessed of a Nordic element. (71) The Samnite men loved to fight and their women were chaste – sufficient evidence for Günther.
Similar reasoning provides sufficient justification for Fischer, Baur and Lenz to discover Nordic elements among the plains Indians of North America – for they were, after all, noteworthy warriors. (73)
Even the suggestion of a special act of creation for Nordics is found in Günther’s rigid definition of a race as that group of individuals who breeding forever true (74) distinguish themselves by certain hereditary psychic and physical traits. How are races to evolve if, by definition, they must forever breed true?
Even the baroque suggestion that pigmentation absorbs the “material” that would have otherwise been used in the cranial cavity is “mentioned” by Günther in order that it not be lost to posterity. (75)
Such postures, of course, provoked sharp criticism even from dedicated racists. By 1938 Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss mocked the entire procedure of assigning certain mental traits (“ability to make judgments,” “love of truth,” etc.) to specific races as distinguishing characteristics. “It is true”, he said, “that Nordic men are capable of making judgments. No one denies that. No one denies, for that matter, that Nordic men occasionally eat, drink and sleep – it only seems doubtful that these characteristics would distinguish them from men of other races.” (76)
Similarly, if all creativity derives from Nordic blood why have the most prominent men in European history been of manifestly mixed racial origin. “Many of the men,” Fischer, Baur and Lenz contended, “who are universally regarded as the greatest in history (for instance, Socrates, Michelangelo, Luther, Goethe and Beethoven) were obviously of mixed race. Speaking generally, it is exceptional to find that distinguished men exhibit a pure racial type.” (77)
And, of course, as a corollary to that even sincere friends were driven to ask of these enthusiastic adherents of Nordicism: why the Nordic Race, where it had been preserved from the admixture of lower potential, in Scandinavia and Northern Europe in general, had to wait until it was stimulated by bastard peoples from the Mediterranean before it developed any advanced culture of its own? (78)
But more important than the theoretical problems which beset this kind of Nordicism were the serious tactical problems which it provoked.
Ironically enough it was exactly the feature of Günther’s racism which had made it so appealing in 1930 that generated the problems of 1934. Hitler’s (and even Rosenberg’s) theories had not been sufficiently definitive. Hitler’s Aryans had remained vexedly ill-defined, while Rosenberg had not necessarily equated physical type with individual achievement. (79) All of which seemed very inexact. Günther, on the other hand, with his cephalic, facial and nasal indices, his pigmentation and stature charts and his racial classifications seemed eminently suited to answer just such criticisms. His books were quickly taken over by National Socialist theoreticians, (80) summarized in little brochures and introductory manuals and disseminated throughout the Party organization. (81) But Günther was purchased at too high a price. Günther had told the National Socialists precisely what the superior Nordics were – the first question which sprang up once the first enthusiasm wanted was: where are they?
Günther was painfully specific. One most not, he warned, confuse Germans with Nordics. (82) Germany was a compost of at least five European and two extra-European races. (83) Germany’s total Nordic heritage was, according to Günther, at best 45 – 50 per cent. (84) Still more disconcerting was the fact that Germany’s population possessed but 5 per cent. “pure” Nordic types. (85) And this selection was made with reference only to morphological characteristics (phenotypes). One can hardly inspect the germ plasm of the individual (genotype) – that is, an individual may have, sadly, an alien soul. (86) For in a genetically mixed population there is no simple correlation between physical appearance and potentiality so that an individual possessed of the racial livery of the Nordic must also have a Nordic soul. Characteristics are transmitted through a particular chromosomal substance, the gene. In a mixed population each individual inherits a total of anywhere from 10,000 to 45,000 genes. With a random mixture, conducted over at least the last three thousand years (i.e., the presence of mixed types in the earliest “Nordic” graves (87)) the number of gene combinations would be infinite – meaning that the correlation coefficient between physical and psychic characteristics could, mathematically, be expected to be nil. (88) More precisely one could not say with any assurance that an individual displaying all the physical traits of the Nordic race was equally possessed with (presuming there to be any) Nordic mental characteristics. The chances that an individual in contemporary Europe should have inherited from an astronomical number of ancestors only Nordic traits are millions to one.
The tactical expression of this theoretical difficulty revealed itself in a manner which demanded immediate resolve. While it was true that a “true” Nordic (Nordic genotype) could not be distinguished from a “pseudo” Nordic (Nordic only in physical type) it seemed reasonable (at least to Günther) to presume that where one found a higher incidence of Nordic morphological traits one would find a higher incidence of Nordic psychic traits. Now as long as this remained vague and general not much objection could be raised against it. But again Günther insisted on “there is but one equality of birth: that based on the equal purity clusion.” “From the racial standpoint,” he informed his readers, “there is but one equality of birth: that based on the equal purity of Nordic blood. Racially the nobleman of mixed race is not of equal birth with a Nordic peasant girl.” (89) Thus those who display Nordic physical features must be considered “most worth-while” (90) while mixed types, no matter what their station or capacity, are correspondingly inferior.
Thus although we cannot definitively identify a “pure” Nordic we can identify hybrids (people under 170cm. in height, whose cephalic index is over 76, whose nasal index is platyrrhine, whose facial index is under (90), whose hair is brunet or whose eyes are hazel or brown, who are not slender, nor have thin lips nor firm chin). These, Günther tells us, we must painfully identify as bastards, (91) and as such second class citizens – inferior in worth to the (at least physically) “pure” Nordic.
The impossibility of accepting such a conclusion was obvious, to the least informed National Socialist, on its very face. The immediate leadership of the National Socialist Party with about 95 per cent. of the German population did not meet the requirements for first class citizenship under this scheme.
A Movement which had arisen in Germany with the promise of unifying a people, and had promised the elimination of class distinctions as divisive, found itself advocating distinctions more penetrating and permanent than class lines had ever been. (92) Men have sometimes risen above their class – no man can escape his degree of pigmentation or his cranial index. Such a situation was intolerable, and it was the realization of this fact that galvanized the theoreticians into action.
Günther was to be specifically rejected. While recognizing the fact that his books had served to stimulate inquiry into the intricate problems of race, the pernicious aspects of the “Nordic hypothesis” were decried. The enthusiasm with which Günther’s ideas had been accepted, Weinert wrote, precipitated conclusions for which “there was no biological foundation… The consequence was often that an unfounded race-pride threatened to sunder the German people.” (93)
The first clear statement on official reorientation had come from Hitler himself only seven months after he came to power, at the 1993 Nuremberg Parteitag. Hitler said: “We do not conclude from a man’s physical type his ability, but rather from his achievements his race.” (94) Thus achievements, not physical type, were to be the measure of worth.
This principle advanced by Hitler entered the basic texts on anthropology and heredity, and by 1935 the last phase in the development of National Socialist race theory was well under way. Thieme repeats Hitler’s principle and adds “the men who bear the qualities of heroism, strength of will, a readiness to sacrifice and faith have played a decisive role in deciding Germany’s destiny, and they shall continue to do so even if they are not all tall, blond or blue-eyed.” (95)
Eichenauer goes so far as to inform his readers that the amount of Nordic blood an individual possesses means nothing (spielt keine Rolle) in the Nordic scheme of things because “it has often enough been the case that men of extremely mixed race (stark gemischter Rasse) have conceived and more powerfully grasped these notions than the predominantly Nordic.” (96)
Goebbels is identified quite candidly as a Nordic – Mediterranean (97) restored to first class citizenship. In mid-1936 the National socialistische Korrespondenz stated with clarity and authority: “From his deeds one can recognize the Nordic man – not from the length of his nose and the colour of his eyes.” (98)
In effect this last phase of National Socialist race theory was a complete rejection of Günther’s Nordicism. The Mongolian Race was restored as the creator of Asiatic culture (99) and the Mediterranean Race was once more spoken of as the creator of the high culture of the ancient Mediterranean. (100) “Almost all” of classical art was no longer conceived of as Nordic but as Mediterranean.(101)
We are told that “the races distinguish themselves not through their characteristics; for the same characteristics can be found in different races…For example a Mediterranean can be as courageous as a Nordic, an Alpine as musical as a Dinaric, an East Balt as cunning as a Nordic. On the other hand not all Mediterraneans are courageous, nor all Nordics. But when a Mediterranean is courageous he is courageous in a ‘Mediterranean fashion’ as a Nordic would be courageous in a ‘Nordic fashion’.” (102)
Here is an entirely different racism, an entirely different Nordicism than that of Günther and his followers. Here there was no question of general inferiority – it was a question of maintaining an ideal as an archetype for an entire civilization. Germany had a Nordic archetype; its art form was Nordic; its literature and philosophy, its music and institutions were inspired by Nordic ideals. Each German was bequeathed this patrimony from the original racial elements, now inextricably mixed into the German Nation, among which the Nordic predominated. It was not a question of intrinsic worth, national and racial superiority and inferiority tearing asunder the peoples of Europe. There is no transcendental standard by which to evaluate racial differences.(103) A people characteristically Mongolian treasures a Mongolian heritage and ideal, a Mediterranean people a Mediterranean one. (104)
Dr. Walter Gross, head of the Rassenpolitische Amt of the National Socialist Party, said: “We appreciate the fact that those of another race are different from us… Whether that other race is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ is not possible for us to judge. For this would demand that we transcend our own racial limitations for the duration of the verdict and take on a superhuman, even divine, attitude from which alone an ‘impersonal’ verdict could be formed on the value or lack of such of the many living forms of inexhaustible Nature.” (105)
Less than a year later, in 1939, he defined the official position of mature National Socialist race theory:
“A serious situation arose through the fact that other people and States, because of German race laws… felt themselves attacked and defamed … For example the whole world of the Far East remained for a long time under the impression that the Germans… had designated them as non-Aryan, and as non-Aryans inferior rabble – (that the) Germans had designated (them) unworthy, second class humanity and that the Germans imagined themselves as the sole bearers of culture… What could we say to those who saw in German racism a fundamental defamation of men of other races? We could do nothing other than, with patience and conviction, repeat that German racism does not evaluate or deprecate other racial groups… It only recognizes, scientifically, that differences exist… We have often been disturbed by the indiscretion or even stupidity in our own land when, just after we had carefully made clear to some people or other that we respected and honoured… their racial qualities, some wild fool manufactured his own ideas about race and declared that these same people were racially inferior and stood somewhere below the cow or the ass, and that their characteristics were degrading or impure and lord knows what else! By such idiotic assertions were repelled and offended not only alien peoples in distant parts of the world but even our own neighbours in Europe, many times even friends of National Socialist Germany bound to us historically and in destiny.” (106)
Finally, late in the war, even under the gathering shadows of defeat, the Headquarters of the Reichsfuehrer SS published the work of Dr. Ludwig Eckstein. He carefully dissected the remains of the Nordicism purchased over a decade before at so high a cost, and concluded:
“While supporting our own race, and if necessary fighting against other races to protect its right to existence, we should not overlook the fact that almost all races display something in themselves that is sound and biologically resolved and therefore beautiful, natural and valuable… Each race carries first of all the measure of worth in itself. When once we understand this then we do not foster feelings of inferiority in others, a consequence that the hitherto existing race theories have too often achieved…” (107)
It was in this last phase that National Socialist race theory was cut off. Of this last phase all to little is known outside the immediate intellectual circle which fostered it.
Upon the cessation of hostilities the work of half a decade was scattered or destroyed – to leave only the tragic-comic image of the Nordicism of Günther and his followers, to appear and reappear as the popular misconception of the National Socialist theory of history.
Actually the elements of a far more profound theory are to be discerned in the few surviving books that mark the last dynamic phase of development of a concept of race free of the encumbrances of a hysterical Nordicism. (108)
As early as 1933 the first elements are to be found in Merkenschlager (109) – later some appear in von Eickstedt, (110) and still later in Gross. (111)
In Italy the same tendencies revealed themselves in the Fascist Race Manifesto of 1938, and in the work of Maggiore (112) and Franzi. (113) Everywhere the talk was no longer of fixed and immutable races, (114) but of races in formation, the components for which arise out of the crucible of the past – races in formation cast over by the ideal of a living heritage – for Germany a Nordic Mythos, for Italy an animating devotion of Romanita. The talk is of races yet to be fashioned by living an ideal, united by a common destiny, nurtured in a common environment, the political expression of which is Nationhood. (115)
Here are the germs of a world-view which makes of man a creator, a builder of future races; a philosophy which unites history, politics and race, eugenics and humanism, pride in self and respect for others, a philosophy scientifically sound and emotionally satisfying. This is the promise of a world-view as yet half-formulated and ill-expressed, with which our time must contend; the Weltanschauung which bears within itself the promise of Nietzsche’s Good European.
1. Such books as Dahlberg, Race, Reason and Rubbish; Benedict, Race and Racism, Race and Politics; Ashley-Montague, The Fallacy of Race: Man’s Most Dangerous Myth.
2. cf. Hitler, Mein Kampf (unabridged), New York, Reynal and Hitchcock, 1939, p. 392.
3. cf. Hankins, The Racial Basis of Civilization, p. 75 4. Rosenberg, Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts, p. 596.
5. Günther’s principal works (abbreviations for which shall hereafter be used) include Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes, Kleine Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes, Rassenkunde Europas (the translation of which appeared under the title Racial Elements of European History,) Adel und Rasse, Rasse und Stil, Der Nordische Gedanke unter den Deutschen.
6. Günther, REoEH, p.3; KRddV, pp. 10 f, RddV, pp. 14 f.
7. RddV, chap. V, KRddV. Chap. 2 (A), REoEH, chap.2 (A).
8. cf. REoEH, III (A), KRddV, IV (A), RddV, chap. Xii.
9. “When we survey the fall in each case of the great empires and creative cultures from India to the West, this much is always clearly to be seen: that every ‘fall’ of a people of Indo-European speech is brought about through the drying up of the blood of the creative, the Nordic race.” REoEH, p.198, cf. 184, 191, 199f., 212; “…every ‘fall’ of a people of Indo-German speech is determined by the drying up of the blood of the creative race, the Nordic race.” RddV, p. 326, cf. p. 409.
10. RddV, p. 318 n., REoEH, p. 257 n.
11. “In the prehistory of Europe two races only have shown themselves to be truly creative, and these must be looked on as the true European Races: the Nordic and the Mediterranean…” REoEH, pp. 116 f., cf. RddV, pp. 299 f., 312 ff.
12. Weinlaender, Rassenkunde, Rassenpaedagogik und Rassenpolitik, Weissenburg, Orion, 1933.
13. Ibid., p. 5.
14. Ibid., pp. 13, 103.
15. Ibid., p. 14.
16. Hauser, Der Blonde Mensch, Danzig, Verlag der Mensch, 1930, p. 6.
17. “God wished to manifest himself in Nordic Man…” Weinlaender, op. cit., p. 139.
18. Ibid., p. 104.
19. Ibid., pp 83. 143.
20. Ibid., p. 105.
21. Ibid., p. 106.
22. “Where, among the lower races, beautiful women are found, there has been an infusion of Nordic blood…” Ibid., p. 125. 23. “Longheadedness and tall stature among the Negro tribes, for example in Benin, is only the inheritance from those Nordic Vikings…who settled there and mixed with them.” Ibid., p. 110.
24. Ibid., p. 133.
26. Staemmler, Rassenpflege im voelkischen Staat, Muenchen, Lehmanns, 1933, p. 6.
. 27. Baltzer, Rasse und Kultur, Weimar, Duncker, 1934, pp. 9 ff.
28. Rudolf, Nationalsozialismus und Rasse, Nationalsozialistische Bibliothek, Heft 31, 1934, p. 23.
29. Gerhart, Kurzen Abriss der Rassenkunde.
30. Baltzer, op. cit., pp. 30 f.
31. Ibid., p. 144.
32. Ibid., p. 120.
33. Ibid., pp. 106 ff., cf. Weinlaender, p. 142.
34. cf. REoEH, p. 180, fig. 224 a. b.
35. cf. Baltzer. Op. cit., p. 17, Hirsch, Rasse und Kultur, p. 164 RddV, p. 385.
36. For Nelson cf. Ellis. A Study Of British Genius, p. 290.
37. RddV., p. 217.
38. Baltzer, op. cit., p. 264.
39. KRddV, p. 69.
40. RddV, p. 425 n. 2; Rosenberg, op. cit., pp. 183 f.
41. KRddV, p. 69.
42. Hauser, op. cit., p. 10.
43. cf. Coon, Races of Europe, plate 7 figure 1.
44. cf. Ellis, op. cit., p. 290.
45. For the cephalic indices of the proceeding cf. Hirsch, op. cit., p. 163.
46. REoEH, p. 188.
47. REoEH, p. 188
48.Woltmann, Die Germanen und die Renaissance in Italien, p. 107.; Hauser, op. cit., p. 56; Baur, Fischer, Lenz, Human Heredity, p. 692.
49. Hauser, op. cit., p. 56.
50. Woltmann, Die Germanen in Frankreich, p. 104.
52. Rauser, op. cit., p. 56.
57. Ellis, op. cit., p. 56.
61. Weinlaender, op. cit., p. 291, fig. 182.
62. Ibid., p. 292.
63. cf. Coon, op. cit., p. 194.
64. REoEH, p. 23, RddV, p. 68.
65. REoEH, p. 11.
66. Ibid., p. 12.
67. Ibid., p. 11.
68. Ibid., p. 157.
69. Sergi, Origine diffusione delle stirpe mediterrana., p. 22; The Mediterranean Race, p. 20; Winkelmann, Geschichte der Kunst, i, bk. i, p. 33.
70. REoEH, p. 132.
71. Ibid., p. 129.
72. Ibid., p. 177.
73. Baur, Fischer, Lenz, op. cit., p. 638. 74. “…immer wieder ihresgleichen hervorbringen.” RddV. p. 9.
75. cf. RddV. p. 194, n. 2.
76. Clauss, Rasse und Charackter, Frankfurt am Main, Diesterweg, 1938, p. 12.
77. Baur, Fischer, Lenz. op. cit., p. 692.
78. cf. Franzi, Fase attuale del razzismo tedesco, Istituto Nazionale di Cultura Fascista, Roma. 1939, p. 41; Cogni, Il Razismo, Milano, Bocca, 1937, pp. 240 f.
79. cf. Rosenberg. op. cit., pp. 287, 596.
80. cf. von Leers, Rassische Geschichtsbetrachtung: was muss der Lehrer davon wissen? Berlin, Beltz, 1941, p.13. 81. cf. Ruldof, op. cit., vorwort; Rosten , Das ABC des Nationalsozialismus, chap. xvi.
82. KRddV , pp. 9 f., REoEH, pp. 1 f., Weinlaender, op. cit., p. 143.
83. R.oEH, pp. 88 ff, RddV, pp. 13 ff, 23 f; Ruldolf, op. cit., chap. iii; Rosten, op. cit., p. 232; Stengel-von Rutkowsjki, Grundzuege der Erbkunde und Rassenpflege, p. 57; Jess, Rassenkunde und Rassenpflege, pp. 79 ff.
84. cf. REoEH, p. 89; Stengel-von Rutkowsjki, op. cit., p. 57.
85. cf. Rudolf, op. cit., p. 13.
86. Stengel-von Rutkowsjki, op. cit., p. 43.
87. cf. Sergi, Origine, pp. 18 f; Lissauer, Crania Prussica, Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie X, Virchow, Alte Berliner Schaedel, Schaedel von Neuestaedter Felde, Ibid., XII; cf. Weidenreich, Apes, Giants and Man, pp. 102 ff
88. cf. Dahlberg, op. cit., pp 207 f. This criticism was accepted by the National Socialists as valid; cf. Weinert, Biologische Grundlagen fuer Rassenkunde und Rassenhygiene, Stuttgart, Enke, 1943, pp. 166 f.
89. REoEH, p. 204.
90. DNGudD, p. 75.
91. RddV, p. 15.
92. cf. Franzi, op. cit., pp. 44 f.
93. Weinert, op. cit., p. 166.
94. cf. Baynes, Hitler Speaks, 1922-39, I, p. 469 “…nicht nur von der Rasse auf die Faehigkeiten schliessen, sondern von der Faehigkeit auch auf die Rasse.” cf. Jess, op. cit., p. 46. “The decisive problem which alone remained was thus: What was the method by which one was to find these men who as successors of the former creators of the body of our people and therefore as their heirs could today maintain their work? Here there was but one possibility: one could not from the race infer the capacity but one had to infer from the capacity the racial fitness for the task.” Hitler in Baynes, I, p. 476, cf. II, p. 990.
95. Thieme, Vererbung, Rasse, Volk, Leipzig, Teubner, 1953 p. 41.
96. Eichenauer, Die Rasse als Lebensgesetz in Geschichte und Gesittung, Leipzig, Teubner, 1934, p. 136.
97. Ibid., p. 27.
98. as cited Eichen, Rassenwahn, Briefe ueber die Rassenfrage, Paris, Carrefour, 1936, p. 8.
99. Thieme, op. cit., pp. 38 f.
100. Ibid., p. 43.
101. Eichenauer, op. cit., p. 27.
102. Ibid., p. 20; cf. Clauss, op. cit., I, chap. 1.
103. Ibid., p. 65.
105. Gross, Der deutsche Rassengedanke und die Welt, 1939, pp. 24-28.
106. The original text did not offer note 106. This error was regrettable.
107.SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Eckstein, Rassenleib und Rassenseele, Zur Grundlegung der Rassenseelenkunde, p. 71.
108. “Race is destiny. A destiny so terrible, so compelling, so immutable that it marks one man a criminal and makes the other a genius. Neither of these men are responsible for what they are. There is no free will in the sense that I can alter or form my character as I will. My character, my essence is there. It is unchangeable; it is given to me as a destiny. I do not control my character, my character controls me…” Staemmler, op. cit., p. 10.
109. Merkenschlager, Rassensonderung, Rassenmischung, Rassenwandlung, Berlin, Hoffman, 1933.
110. von Eickstedt, Die rassischen Grundlagen des deutschen Volkes, Koeln, Schaffstein, 1934.
111. Gross, Rasse, Weltanschauung, Wissenschaft, Berlin, Junker und Duennhauft, 1935, Der deutsche Rassengedanke und die Welt, Berlin, Junker und Duennhaupt, 1939.
112. Maggiore, Razza e Fascismo, Rome, 1939.
113. Franzi, op. cit.
114. “Race stasis (Rassenstatik), has become in the course of the last ten years even more life-less…What now announces itself is a race dynamic.” Merkenschlager, op. cit., p. 7.
115. “…races provide the original fundamentals of our essence and our expressions; it determines the physical and psychical collective expression of our people; but our Folk is a new biological unity whose members are joined together in the portentous bands of a community of blood in a common homeland. Within a Folk the profound biological laws of human evolution, heredity and selection, adaption and genetic drift, realize themselves. Race is therefore a result, Folk is a commencement in the biological evolution of human groups…” von Eickstedt, op. cit., p. 12.