The master race (German: die Herrenrasse, Template:Audio) was a concept adopted as Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race, represent an ideal and "pure race" that was the purest representation of the original racial stock of those who were then called the Proto-Aryans, themselves believed by the Nazis to have prehistorically dwelt on the North German Plain and ultimately to have originated from Atlantis. The Nazis declared that the Nordics were the true Aryans because they claimed that they were more "pure" than other people of what were then called the Aryan peoples (now generally called the Indo-European peoples), such as the Slavic peoples, the Romance peoples, and the Indo-Aryans. Claiming that the Nordic peoples were superior to all other races, the Nazis believed they were entitled to world domination. This concept is called Nordicism.
The Republic (c. 380 BC), by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato, is a Socratic dialogue about the nature of justice and the order and character of the just city-state and the just individual. that advocates that the just society should be ruled by philosopher kings. The philosopher kings (The Guardians), Plato proposed, would impersonally assemble couples for reproduction, based solely on breeding criteria. Children would be raised communally.
The Übermensch (German) (English Overman or Superman) is a concept in the philosophy of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche--he posited the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself in his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Template:Lang-de).
Mendelian genetics was rediscovered in 1900, but this was simply the scientific formulation of the basic principles of animal breeding and plant breeding which had been roughly known for thousands of years since the beginning of the agricultural revolution.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, many people of native Indo-European ancestry reasoned that their own Aryan race must be genetically superior to other races because they seemed to have the most advanced and sophisticated mathematics, science, technology, social organization, philosophy, music, and art; so the purest Aryans, many native Indo-Europeans thought, would be the most genetically superior. The next logical step, many believed, was to improve the Aryan race itself by a eugenics program. Eugenics was a concept adhered to by many of the most modern and progressive thinkers in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s, such as Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, H. G. Wells, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Emile Zola, George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, John Harvey Kellogg, Linus Pauling and Sidney Webb. Aldous Huxley’s best-selling novel Brave New World, about a future society based on eugenics, was published in 1932. Human “dog and pony show” type events (organized by advocates of eugenics), where men and women appeared on stage in swimsuits in eugenic competitions (only Nordic Aryans were allowed to enter) to be evaluated for their physical and mental qualities as marriage partners were common throughout Europe and North America in the 1920s. The Nazis took this concept to the limit by establishing a program to systematically genetically enhance the Nordic Aryans themselves through a program of Nazi eugenics, based on the eugenics laws of the United States state of California, to create a super race.
White racist hierarchy
The modern concept of the master race in general derives from 19th-century racial theory, which posited a hierarchy of races based on darkness of skin color. This 19th-century concept was largely initially developed by Count Joseph Arthur De Gobineau. Gobineau's basic concept, as further refined and developed in Nazism, places the black Aboriginal Australians and "African savages" at the bottom of the hierarchy while the white Aryans (as conceived by the Nazis) (primarily Northern and Western Europeans consisting of Germans, Swedes, Icelanders, Norwegians, Danish, Irish, French, British and Dutch) were at the top, and olive-skinned Southern Europeans (Spanish, Italians, Greeks and Portuguese, i.e. those of what was then called the Mediterranean race, which was regarded as another subrace of the Caucasian race) in the upper middle ranks, Slavs (even though the Slavs are white and of Indo-European ancestry, the Nazis placed them lower on the scale because they were regarded as primarily of the Alpine race rather than the Nordic race, and thus fit only to be peasants; also, the Nazis wanted to conquer them and take their land so Nazi Germany could obtain Lebensraum) and those of the olive-skinned Semitic race (another subrace of the Caucasian race) in the middle ranks (it was because the Jews, being Semites, were clever that they were so dangerous--they had their own plan for Jewish world domination, a conspiracy that had to be opposed by all thoughtful Aryans, declared the Nazis), and those of the yellow Mongoloid race (including its offshoots the brown Malayan race and the red American Indian race), the Dravidian race, the Hamitic race (regarded as another subrace of the Caucasian race), and mixed-race people such as Eurasians, the bronze Mestizos, Mulattos, Afro-Asians, and Zambos in the lower middle ranks.
The origins of the Nazi version of the theory of the master race were in 19th-century racial theories of Count Joseph Arthur De Gobineau, who argued that cultures degenerated when distinct races mixed. It was believed at this time that Southern European and Eastern European peoples were racially mixed with non-European Moors from across the Mediterranean Sea, while Northern Europeans and Western Europeans remained pure. Proponents of Nordic theory further argued that Nordic peoples had developed innate toughness and determination due to the harsh, challenging climate in which they evolved. The racial ideal of these theorists was the tall, blond and light eyed Nordic individual.
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was one of the earliest proponents of a theory presenting a hierarchical racial model of history, attributing civilisational primacy to the "white races" who gained their sensitivity and intelligence by refinement in the rigorous north.
The highest civilisation and culture, apart from the ancient Indians and Egyptians, are found exclusively among the white races; and even with many dark peoples, the ruling caste or race is fairer in colour than the rest and has, therefore, evidently immigrated, for example, the Brahmans, the Incas, and the rulers of the South Sea Islands. All this is due to the fact that necessity is the mother of invention because those tribes that emigrated early to the north and there gradually became white, had to develop all their intellectual powers and invent and perfect all the arts in their struggle with need, want and misery, which in their many forms were brought about by the climate. This they had to do in order to make up for the parsimony of nature and out of it all came their high civilisation.
Nevertheless, such theorists usually accepted that considerable variety of hair and eye colour existed even within the racial categories they recognised. Contrary to popular myth, the Nazis themselves did not discriminate against Germans who were not blonde or light-eyed, or had only one of these features. Adolf Hitler and most Nazi officials had dark hair and were considered to be "Aryans".
The postulated superiority of these people was said to make them born leaders, or a "master race." Other authors included Guido von List, and his associate Lanz von Liebenfels, and the British racial theorist Houston Stewart Chamberlain, all of whom felt that the white race and Germanic peoples were superior to others, and that given the purification of the white race and German people from the races who were "polluting" it, a new millennarian age of Aryan god-men would arrive.
Nazi policy stressed the superiority of the Nordic race, a sub-section of the white European population defined by anthropometric models of racial difference. The Nordic race was said to comprise only the Germanic peoples (Germans, Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Finland-Swedes, Estonia-Swedes, Faroese, Icelanders, English and the Dutch).
Germanization in occupied Europe between 1939 and 1945
From 1940 the Nazi government in occupied Poland divided the population into different groups. Each group had different rights, food rations, allowed places to live in the cities, separated residential areas, special schooling systems, public transportation and restricted restaurants. Later adapted in all Nazi-occupied countries by 1942, the Germanization program used the racial caste system of reserving certain rights to one group and barred privileges to another. In addition with their predominant religion and ethnicity per individual of that ethnic group or nationality.
The term Aryan derives from the Sanskrit word (ā́rya) आर्य (meaning:Noble), which derived from arya, the original Indo-Iranian autonym. Also, the word Iran is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryan (see also Iranian peoples).
Nazi beliefs about the Aryans
Following the ideas of Gobineau and others, the Nazi theorist Alfred Rosenberg determined that these people, who, he claimed, were originally from Atlantis, were a dynamic warrior people who dwelt in prehistoric times in northern climates on the North German Plain, from which they migrated riding their chariots southeast, eventually reaching Ukraine, Iran, and then India. They were supposed to be the ancestors of the ancient Germanic tribes, who shared their warrior values. Rosenberg claimed that Christianity was an alien Semitic slave-morality inappropriate to the warrior Aryan master race and thus supported a melange of aspects of Hindu Vedic and Zoroastrian teachings (both of these religions having been organised by Aryans), along with pre-Christian European Odinistic paganism, which he also considered to be distinctively Aryan in character.
In Nazi Germany, a so-called mixed marriage of an "Aryan" with an "Untermensch" was forbidden. To maintain the purity of the Germanic master race, eugenics was practiced. In order to eliminate "defective" citizens, the T-4 Euthanasia Program was administered by Karl Brandt to rid the country of the mentally retarded or those born with genetic deficiencies, as well as those deemed to be racially inferior. Additionally, a programme of compulsory sterilisation was undertaken which resulted in the forced operations of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Many of these policies are generally seen as being related to what eventually became known as the Holocaust.
The fact that the Mediterranean race is responsible for the most important of ancient western civilisations was a problem for the promoters of Nordic superiority. According to Giuseppe Sergi, the Mediterranean race was the "greatest race of the world" and was singularly responsible for the most accomplished civilisations of ancient times, including those of Iraq, Persia, Egypt, India, Carthage, Greece and Rome. The Mediterranean race was also a major influence to the outside world in the modern era, the most significant being Spain when it became a global empire, influencing most of the Americas. Spain is also responsible for being one of the first nations in discovering and colonising the Americas by its conquistadors.
C. G. Seligman also stated that "it must, I think, be recognised that the Mediterranean race has actually more achievements to its credit than any other race, since it is responsible for by far the greater part of Mediterranean civilisation, certainly before 1000 B.C. (and probably much later), and so shaped not only the Aegean cultures, but those of Western as well as the greater part of Eastern Mediterranean lands, while the culture of their near relatives, the Hamitic pre-dynastic Egyptians, formed the basis of that of Egypt."
The Nazis explained this away by claiming that the elite warriors of the aristocracy of Ancient Greece, of Ancient Rome, and of the Spanish Empire were Nordic Aryans who had migrated south. However, they did admit that those of the Mediterranean race in general and notably such geniuses of the Mediterranean race as Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci tended to be more sophisticated than Nordics.
Master race in fiction
Aryan master race ideology was common throughout the educated and literate strata of the Western world until after World War II. Such theories were commonplace in early-20th century fantasy literature.
While the phrase "master race" itself is seldom used, the inhumane and barbaric treatment of those not belonging to the "master race" in the fictional fascisms seems to imply that such an ideology is present. S.M. Stirling's Domination of the Draka is a fictional empire which is explicitly based on the "master race" concept. After World War I in the Draka universe, the Draka citizens adopt an ideology which calls for all non-Drakan humanity to be reduced to chattel slavery. The Chosen, from Stirling's previous General series portrays perhaps a more realistic look at the "master race" concept, including the consequences of such a policy on a society. The Chosen, who treat other peoples with contempt, calling them "animals," are eventually destroyed by their own slaves, the lowest of the low, despite the Chosen's superior weapons, training, and centuries of eugenic breeding. The fictional fascist "Freedom Party" that rules the Confederate States of America in Harry Turtledove's American Empire series of novels also echoes the concept.
The James Bond film Moonraker is another fictionalised account of a master race in which the Adolf Hitler-like megalomanic villain, Sir Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), has pre-selected a diverse group of astronaut trainees to become the progenitors of a master race that he intends to repopulate Earth after the planet has been nerve-gassed.
Similar ideas are explored in science fiction. An episode of The X-Files is titled "Paper Clip". It presents the story of Nazi scientists saved by Americans after the war, during Operation Paperclip, and their connections with aliens, which led them to successfully create a superior race of alien/human hybrids. Another episode is titled "Herrenvolk", and it presumably refers to the same hybridization program. Likewise, in "The Other Side", an episode of Stargate SG-1, the Eurondans are portrayed as white supremacists who have created a purified Nordic-like population, planning to annihilate other peoples, who they refer to as "Breeders" because of their indiscriminate breeding, in rejection of eugenics.
In the original 1920s and 1930s Buck Rogers stories and newspaper cartoons, Buck Rogers, in his adventures in the 25th century that take place on Earth, fights for Aryan-Americans from the liberated zone around Niagara, New York, against the Red Mongol Empire, a Chinese empire of the future which rules most of North America.
In the Resident Evil video game series the antagonist Ozwell E. Spencer became obsessed with the idea of creating a race of superhumans from the Progenitor Virus. This influence eventually corrupted the mind of his pupil and experimental super soldier Albert Wesker, leading him to murder Spencer in order to obtain his own ascension into godhood by using a virus known as Ouroboros (An offspring of the progenitor virus) to create his own race of superhumans.
In Frostbiten, the main villian tries to create a master race of vampires.
- Widney, Joseph P. Race Life of the Aryan Peoples New York: Funk & Wagnalls. 1907 In Two Volumes: Volume One--The Old World Volume Two--The New World ISBN B000859S6O See Chapter II—"Original Homeland of the Aryan Peoples" Pages 9-25—the term “Proto-Aryan” is used to describe the people today called Proto-Indo-Europeans
- Rosenberg, Alfred Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts, 1930 ("The Myth of the 20th Century")
- Hitler, Adolf Mein Kampf 1925
- Brickhouse, Thomas and Smith, Nicholas D. Plato (c.427-347 BCE), The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, University of Tennessee, cf. Dating Plato's Dialogues.
- At Perseus Project: Plato Plato's Republic c. 380 BC:: Translated by Paul Shorey (1935) annotated and hyperlinked text (English and Greek)--Part II, no. 1, concerns marriage, the community of people and goods for the Guardians, and the restraints on warfare among the Hellenes. It describes a partially communistic polis. Part II, no. 4, and deals with the philosophical education of the rulers who will preserve the order and character of the proposed city-state
- For an environmental rather than genetic explanation for this (assuming one grants this to be the case), see the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
- Margaret Sanger, quoted in Katz, Esther; Engelman, Peter (2002). The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. p. 319. ISBN 9780252027376. "Our...campaign for Birth Control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aims of Eugenics"
- Franks, Angela (2005). Margaret Sanger's eugenic legacy. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7864-2011-7. "...her commitment to eugenics was constant...until her death"
- Everett Mendelsohn, Ph.D. Pauling's Eugenics, The Eugenic Temptation, Harvard Magazine, March–April 2000
- Gordon, Linda (2002). The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America. University of Illinois Press. p. 196. ISBN 0252027647.
- Keynes, John Maynard (1946). "Opening remarks: The Galton Lecture, 1946. The Eugenics Review, vol 38, no. 1, pp. 39-40". The Eugenics Review 38 (1): 39–40.
- Eugenics and the Nazis - the California connection
- However, in 1936, Adolf Hitler declared that the Japanese were honorary Aryans.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena, Volume II, Section 92
- http://www.feldgrau.com/articles.php?ID=19 | Finns were not originally considered to be of Nordic race. Therefore the goal of the SS recruitment office was to recruit Swedish-speaking Finns (preferably National Socialists), whom they regarded as Nordic.
- Wiesehofer, Joseph Ancient Persia New York:1996 I.B. Tauris
- The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 54. (Jan. - Jun., 1924), p. 30.
- The Collected Works of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 1969 Chelsea House--Introduction by Ray Bradbury—Reprints of the original Buck Rogers comic strips
- http://nzdwfc.tetrap.com/archive/tsv51/terrynation.html | Terry Nation - Writing For The Screen, By Paul Scoones