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- This article is about the Nazi concept. For a discussion of the spread of Indo-Aryan culture in India, see Indo-Aryan migration or Out of India theory.
Aryanization (Arisierung in German) in Nazism, which literally means "to make Aryan", was principally used to refer to the expulsion of the so-called "non-Aryans" from Nazi Germany, Austria, and the territories it controlled. It was based on the ideology of the so-called "Aryan master race" and generally was to the benefit of Nazi supporters and party members. The term can also be used to refer to the sifting of conquered peoples by the Nazis in order to "improve" the population by removing individuals who failed to conform to their racial ideals.
Exclusion of Jews
By January 1, 1938, German Jews were prohibited from operating businesses and trades, and from offering goods and services. In the Autumn of 1938, only 40,000 of the formerly 100,000 Jewish businesses were still in the hands of their original owners. Aryanisation was completed with the enactment of a regulation, the Verordnung zur Ausschaltung der Juden aus dem deutschen Wirtschaftsleben of November 12, 1938, through which the remaining businesses were transferred to non-Jewish owners and the proceeds taken by the state. Jewelry, stocks, real property and other valuables had to be sold below market value. Jewish employees were fired, and self-employed people were prohibited from working in their respective professions.
Many important businesses were sold and re-sold in the course of the process, some of which (such as the Hertie department store) played an important role during the post-war Wirtschaftswunder years in West Germany.
In a broader sense, the term Aryanisation is sometimes used to refer to eviction of Jewish scientists and people engaged in the cultural sector.
Aryanisation primarily affected Jews, since they often held influential professional positions from which the Nazis wished to "purge" them. However, laws against intermarriage between Aryans and non-Aryans also affected the small black and mixed race population of Germany, as well as Slavic people (i.e. ethnic Poles, Silesians, Czechs, Slovaks, Sorbians and so on) who were also considered to be "sub-human" by the Nazis. The Roma (Gypsies) provided a problem since they were technically Aryan (as native speakers of an Indo-Aryan language), but were deemed by the Nazis to be an "alien" race or non-European, and were "racially tainted". After a period of ambiguity, Roma were treated as "non-Aryan".
Nordicizing conquered peoples
After the occupation of Czechoslovakia and the invasion of Poland, the Nazis were keen to "improve" the racial make-up of those areas that were intended to form a permanent part of the Greater Germany. People were judged according to Nordicist (cf. Nordic race) ideals of racial identity. Those who conformed to this ideal were more likely to be Germanised than those who did not. This process is sometimes referred to as "Aryanisation", though strictly speaking this is a misnomer, since Czechs, Slovaks, and Poles were categorised as Aryan.