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3. The Foundations: Racism

Editor's Introduction

THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS, written by the most important racial theoreticians of the Nazi movement, present the racist ideas that were fundamental to the National Socialist culture. Hans F. K. Gunther (b. 1891) became a professor at the University of Jena in 1930, before Hitler's accession to power, and held the newly established chair of "racial science." Hitler himself had been deeply interested in Gunther's appointment and the then National Socialist government of Thuringia had brought it about. While Gunther's personal relationships with the party were stormy at times, his racial ideas were accepted, and his books, such as Kleine Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes (Short Ethnology of the German People) (1929), were sold and distributed in many editions throughout the Third Reich. The Short Ethnology sold 272,000 copies between 1929 and 1943. The extract we have chosen is especially important, for it demonstrates a crucial point about "racial science." At first glance it reads like a reasonable discussion of anthropology with emphasis on the absence of pure races. But Gunther soon introduces the notion that while a race may not be pure, its members share certain dominant characteristics, thus paving the way for stereotyping. For there is a racial "ideal type," as the final part of the extract makes clear. Though not all Aryans are Nordic, they all to some extent share in the "ideal type." In contrast, the Jews are a mere mixture of races. Moreover, physical appearance is important, for Gunther uses anthropological measurements of skulls, etc., as well as descriptions of a race's outward appearance.

Gunther thus has his cake and eats it too. Obviously not all Nordics are blond or tall, but all have a predominance of such characteristics. Thus a race can be stereotyped. Hitler, after all, had dark hair but was supposedly of the Nordic race.

We have selected a longer extract from Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss's Die nordische Seele (The Nordic Soul) (1932). Clauss (b. 1892), a lecturer at the University of Berlin, was another contributor to "racial science"; his book sold 30,000 copies in the first five years of publication. Eventually it went through eight editions. But this extract illustrates more than Clauss's own point of view; it is typical of the general view of Nordic superiority. The qualities of a race are linked to its "genuine" environment, the landscape in which it had grown up for centuries. The picture of the ideal Nordic which is painted here will become common coin, for it combines a longing for power with an equally strong nostalgia for rootedness in the soil. The opposition to the city, which symbolizes modernity, is combined with domination over. natural resources and over other races. As with Gunther, physical appearance is involved; for the body is the showplace of the soul. But the soul is primary: it is formed by an interplay with nature -- the wide spaces and energies which characterize the Nordic.

Clauss's passages about the Nordic's longing to surpass himself, his involvement with higher powers of nature, find echoes in Alfred Rosenberg. The Jews have none of this capacity; they are the very opposite of all that makes man great. Rosenberg continues Clauss's basic argument and applies it to the Jews: he does not borrow directly, for such ideas were general in all of racial thought. Rosenberg (18931946), well known for his Der Mythos des XX. Jahrhunderts (Mythos of the Twentieth Century), was one of Hitler's close associates from early party days, and from 1934 on was charged by the Fuhrer with watching over the ideological education of the party itself. He wrote the introduction to the memorial volume dedicated to Dietrich Eckart (1928). Eckart had a great influence on Hitler and probably did more than any other man to put him on the road to political success. He befriended the future Fuhrer from 1919 to his early death in 1923. It was Eckart who deepened Hitler's anti-Semitism: he had made his mark as a minor writer and the editor of a violently anti-Jewish paper called Auf Gut Deutsch (In Plain German). Hitler was always grateful to him, and he ended Mein Kampf with a dedication to his former mentor. Rosenberg had equal reason to be grateful: not only did Eckart introduce him to Hitler, but he became Eckart's successor as editor of the party paper, the Volkischer Beobaehter. Small wonder that Rosenberg, in the 1934 edition of the book, added triumphantly: "Today Eckart is with us again and a part of our Reich."

Jakob Graf, a teacher, in these selections from his textbooks on the family and racial biology, begins by giving an account of the dominance of the Aryan race throughout history. His approach adds a historical dimension to Clauss's ideas of racial superiority. He proceeds to assign various exercises which will enable schoolboys to identify a person's race at a glance. In this simplified form, racism filtered down to the rest of the population.

Instruction in race became compulsory in the Prussian schools after September 1933 and eventually in all German schools. Secondary schools were required to teach heredity, racial science, and family as well as population policies. The essentials of these subjects were to be a part of the instruction in biology. A biologist, Paul Brohmer, shows how this should be done, and how from out of this subject matter the teacher can construct a proper view of man for the student. Darwinism is rejected as mechanistic; rather, nature and man must be viewed as living interrelated entities, conforming to one eternally fixed organic plan. But they are such entities only within their own landscape and their own race. Once more, this follows up the theme raised by Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss. Brohmer also stresses the importance of the family, and we have seen in the previous section how this was part of the emphasis on tradition which National Socialism used for its ideological purposes. Brohmer integrates into his version of biological science all the fundamentals of the world view: life rooted in nature and Volk, the importance of German living space, and the demand for purity of race.

These "racial insights" were put into practice in the Nuremberg Laws and the Citizenship Laws which expelled the Jews from the Volk (see page 335) . But they were also applied soon after the seizure of power in the Hereditary Health Law (Gesetz zur Verhutung des erbkranken Nachwuches), which was supposed to make sure that the "less valuable" members of the Volk did not contaminate the community with sick offspring. Similar legislation had been discussed as a matter of hygiene, not race, during the Republic, but the possibilities of abuse had kept the proposals from becoming law. Hitler decreed such a law on July 14, 1933. In justifying the measure, the ideas of men like Gunther were  brought forward as expert testimony -- the race had to be kept strong. Moreover, where Republican drafts of the law had required the consent of the person to be sterilized, Hitler's law did not do so. A director of a clinic or a prison (for habitual criminals were also involved) as well as the person's legal guardian could initiate the process. The final decision on whether or not the person was to be kept from having children was up to the health courts, with a possible appeal to a "superior health court." The members of these courts (two doctors and a judge) were official appointees, and the family doctor was excluded from taking part in the proceedings. The extract from the law presented here derives from the official commentary upon the law itself.

For the sake of racial purity a fundamental change could be made in an individual's biological makeup if the "possibility" existed that his offspring would be physically or mentally sick. The official commentary on Nazi legislation [1] contrasts this attitude toward man quite rightly with the humanitarianism derived from the French Revolution which was now at an end. This law begins the process that led to euthanasia, finally decreed by Hitler in 1939. Euthanasia, or mercy killing, provided a laboratory for the eventual mass murder of Jews.

Racial thought and its consequences are fundamental to the whole cultural drive of the Third Reich. Once this has been understood, everything else will follow.




1. Hans Frank, Nationalsozialistisches Handbuch fur Recht und Gesetzgebung (Munich, 1934), pp. 812-827.

The Nordic Race as "Ideal Type", by HANS F. K. GUNTHER

Much has already been written on man, on the individual races of man -- or what were regarded as such -- on the "race problem" and the racial composition of nations. This literature gave rise to a long-drawn-out controversy because it dealt with the question of man's race. The reason for such a protracted and relatively unfruitful dispute over the "race question" lay in the fact that both sides did not clearly understand the concept of "race." In most cases the controversy was not even concerned with races, but with tribes, nations of mixed racial stock, or groups of peoples belonging to the same linguistic family. The dispute raged over the recognition or importance of a "Germanic race" as opposed to a "Latin race" or a "Slavic race"; the concept of a "Jewish race" or a "Semitic race" was put forward. In the process these writers must have completely forgotten that we may designate a human group as a race only when all of their representatives show the identical physical and spiritual features in the most important points. How could anyone speak of a "Jewish race," seeing that there are tall and short, slim and stocky, light and dark Jews with thin and broad faces, Jews with "Jewish noses" and those without them, not to mention the differences in the mental configurations and attitudes of individual Jews?

The idea of a "Germanic race" was put forward, and the race was described as tall, blond, and blue-eyed, and occasionally as long- or oval-headed and thin-faced. Its psychic essence was also more or less defined. Now, the fact that frequently very "un-Germanic" people, in both a physical and a mental sense, could be found among the peoples of Germanic language -- as, for example, among the English, the Dutch, the Germans, and the Danes -- should have served as a warning against presenting a concept of a "Germanic race"; so, too, the fact that people of typical "Germanic" appearance and comportment were often present among the peoples of the Slavic and Romance languages, and even among Caucasian tribes and Kurds. Further, in view of the large variety of human types among the peoples of the Semitic languages, how could one speak of a "Semitic race"?

In short, a proper distinction was not made between the concepts of "race" and "people" or "group of people." Membership in a language group was confused with membership in a racial group, and there was a desire to see racial borders where they were really only language and Volkdom borders. It was only when the concept of "race" was strictly defined and when it found currency among at least a few educated people that a valid and fruitful discussion of the "race problem" or of various "race problems" became possible. Anyone who continued to speak of a "German race" or an "English race," of a "Latin race" or a "Jewish race," betrayed an ignorance of the basic concepts of the subject he wanted to discuss.

"Race" is a concept of anthropology, which has been established in the same way as the sciences of zoology and botany (fauna and flora) and which, like them, discusses families, genera, species, and varieties. Eugen Fischer, [1] director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for the Study of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin-Dahlem, has called the following assertion by Grosse the best definition of the concept of "race."

"By race, anthropology understands a large group of people who are related to one another through the common possession of a certain inherited complex of physical and spiritual characteristics which also distinguishes them from other similar groups."

Consequently, a race must necessarily show, in all its representatives, a uniformity of physical and spiritual features, and must continue to reproduce from within itself people with the same physical and spiritual characteristics. Where there exist in a group of people essential differences in physical and spiritual endowment, where children essentially differ from their parents, or from one of them, there can be no question of a race or of parents with the same inherited set of features. I regard the following definition of the concept of "race" as useful:

A race is made up of a group of people which is distinguished from all other groups of people by a combination of endowed physical features and spiritual characteristics and which repeatedly reproduces only its own kind.

Hence a race is a group of people possessing an identical hereditary endowment. Whoever tries in this way to visualize the nature of a race must immediately admit that it is hardly possible to find a race anywhere in the world as a self-enclosed human group. The human groups in this world that are linked by the same language, the same customs, or the same faith and thereby constitute a nation are, with hardly a single exception, a mixture of races, not races. All Western nations are mixtures of races which include, in certain percentages, pure and mixed, all the races of Europe, or in which, at least, several European races are represented.

What is different from nation to nation -- from the ethnological viewpoint -- is not, for instance, the race as such, but the proportion in which the races are mixed. In the mixture of one nation one or more races may be more strongly represented than in the race mixture of another nation. Anyone who would try to gather together the peoples of Europe who are related by race -- or, rather, the people who appear to be related by race (since the inherited and the apparent image do not necessarily correspond) -- in order to form uniform groups of people who appear to possess identical hereditary endowments, would have to collect these people from among all the nations of Europe. At the same time he would discover that these uniform groups of people are small minorities, in comparison with the great mass of Europe's population, since the majority of the people of the West, as well as of the whole world, consist of a blend of two or more races.

From the standpoint of the definitions given above, the Jews cannot be viewed as a race. Rather, they constitute a nation of mixed races. If popular usage is reluctant to give up the term "race" in the case of the Jews, the reason lies in the fact that in the racial mixture of the Jewish people physical and spiritual hereditary endowments of non-European peoples are predominant and these are quite noticeable when seen among the differently composed racial mixtures of the European population and especially that of northwestern Europe. The average European in Europe is not regarded as the bearer of racial features, but this is certainly the case with the average Jew. Therefore, popular usage will continue for a long time to speak of a "Jewish race," even though educated persons will long have recognized that the Jews, like other peoples, represent a mixture of races.

For the research of the races of mankind according to their physical appearance, for the identification of different human races in a certain geographical area where various race mixtures are found (tribes, nations, national groups), anthropology avails itself of specific procedures of the measurement and description of physical features which cannot be indicated here in detail....

The Nordic race is tall, long-legged, slim, with an average height, among males, of above 1.74 meters. [2] The limbs, the neck, the shape of the hands and feet are vigorous and slender in appearance. The Nordic race is long-legged and narrow-faced, with a cephalic index of around 75 and a facial index above 90. As in all races, at least in the medium- and long-headed ones, the female head, in comparison with that of the male, appears to have a higher cephalic index and a lower facial index. The back of the Nordic head characteristically projects far beyond the nape of the neck. The projecting part of the back of the head, however, is comparatively low, so that in Nordic people the head springs backward, as it were, over the part of the neck visible above the collar. The face is narrow, with a rather narrow forehead, a narrow, high-built nose, and a narrow lower jaw and prominent chin.

The cut of the face of the Nordic race -- at least in the male -- creates the effect of a unique boldness through three striking traits in the lines of the profile: first in the flat, backward-tilting forehead, then in the straight or outwardly curved nose springing from high nasal roots, finally in the prominent chin. The smooth parts of the face support the expression of clean-cut physiognomy. In the female the chin is mostly arched rather than tilted backward; the nose is less sharply delineated, and the chin less prominent.

The skin of the Nordic race is roseate-bright and the blood shines through, so that it looks especially enlivened, and at the same time mostly somewhat cool or fresh. The facial complexion, at least among the youth and among the females, often looks like "milk and blood" even in middle age. The hair is smooth-straight or wavy; in childhood also curly. The individual hairs are soft and thin. The hair color is blond; among most of the existing types it can extend from a pink undertone of light blond to golden blond up to dark blond. Nordic children are often white-blond. People who were light blond during their youth will later become dark blond, dark-haired, a phenomenon which is called "darkening" and which is viewed as a sign of Nordic (or also Phalian or East Baltic) strain also among non-Nordic peoples....

If an illustrator, painter, or sculptor wants to represent the image of a bold, goal-determined, resolute person, or of a noble, superior, and heroic human being, man or woman, he will in most cases create an image which more or less approximates the image of the Nordic race. He will also create a man who will be regarded as a typical representative of the upper social strata. For example, the artists for the humorous journals will endow their creations with the features of the Nordic race rather than the features of the non-Nordic races of Europe.

Actually, one could conceivably designate will power, a definite faculty of judgment rooted in a coolly deliberating sense of reality, the impulse to truthfulness, an inclination to knightly justice, as the repeatedly striking psychical features of Nordic men. Such features can be intensified in individuals within the Nordic race to a pronouncedly heroic disposition, to a transcendent leadership in statesmanship or creativity in technology, science, and art. The relatively great number of Nordic people among the famous and outstanding men and women of all Western countries is striking, as also is the relatively low number of famous men and women without noticeable Nordic strain.

From Hans F. K. Gunther, Kleine Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes (Munich, 1929), pp.-9-13, 21- 25, 59. (This extract has been taken from the 1933 edition.)



1. Here one so-called "respectable" racist cites another. Engen Fischer (b. 1874) was a world-famous anthropologist who became an advocate of the "eternal race" and was much respected and cited by the Nazis.

2. Approximately 5 feet 8-1/2 inches.

Racial Soul, Landscape, and World Domination, by LUDWIG FERDINAND CLAUSS

The manner in which the soul reaches out into its world fashions the geographical area of this world into a "landscape." A landscape is not something that the soul alights upon, as it were, something readymade. Rather, it is something that it fashions by virtue of its species-determined way of viewing its environment. It cannot, of course, arbitrarily fashion any landscape out of any kind of geographical area. The area is the matter, so to speak, into which the soul projects its style and thus transforms it into a landscape. But not every matter lends itself to the same formative activity of the soul. The area offers the soul possibilities for shaping it in accordance with the soul's unique manner of perceiving it. But not every area offers the same possibilities. An area that is "proper" to the man who reaches out into the world, the accomplishment-oriented man, and can become expressive of his style, must be differently constituted than an area that other races find suitable for the formation of landscapes. The area that contains regions suitable for landscape formation in the accomplishment-oriented style is the "Nordic" geographical area. It provides the proper background for his style. Hence we call the style peculiar to him the Nordic style and we call him Nordic man.

We shall now contrast the Nordic landscape of Nordic man with a landscape of another style which constitutes the background, the living area suited to the style of another race, the Mediterranean-land race, so-called because of its landscape, namely, the landscape of the Mediterranean region suited to its style. The designation of the landscape of a particular race is at the same time an interpretation of the style of this race. According to its style, the Mediterranean race is clearly to be distinguished from the Nordic as well as the Eastern race.

Anyone who has sailed in the heavy seas around Cape Skagen has experienced how, at that point, two seas rush into each other with a deafening roar, each one having a different color and a different groundswell in terms of rhythm and pace: the gray-green North Sea has long-drawn-out, mile-long, high waves, whereas the bluer Kattegat thunders with waves of a shorter length. Here everything seems to become closer and narrower, everywhere we see the shores or sense their existence, and even beyond the Oresund and the "open" Baltic Sea we never again fully get that feeling of limitless expanse, infinite distance, we never again get that compelling feeling of power which the landscape of the North Sea gives. Nevertheless, the landscape styles of the two seas seem similar to the person who compares them with the landscape of the Mediterranean. Indeed, the Adriatic Sea is, seemingly, somewhat like the Baltic Sea. But anyone who travels southward through the narrow strait between the Albanian mainland and the Greek "Kerkyra" (Corfu) experiences clearly how the sea here differs from the other.... When the northern sea storms and rages with a terrific uproar, with a wind that rushes from one distant point to another, then the sea around Greece moves in moderately high but always even waves -- strong but powerfully restrained in the entirety of its motion.

If one knows the northern sea and is familiar with its style, or, even more, if one feels its wave rhythm in his own soul, it would seem to him that the Greek sea was no sea at all and that we must find another word to describe it.... The south, the Mediterranean and its shores invite the beholder to a permanent stay: here everything is nearness, presence.

We have grasped the landscape of the north as the land of the North Sea and the landscape of the south as the Mediterranean land; thus we look upon these lands as the shores of the seas which determine their style. The land of the North Sea is characterized by distance and movement; over broad stretches it is integrated into the depths of space....

The will for space awakens in the soul that is born in this landscape and truly lives in it. The Nordic space drags one along into the distance. It wants to be overcome. The overcoming of space means speed, the will for space urges and impels one to race through space. The Nordic landscape cries out to be traversed by rails over which express trains can speed. It is a characteristic of all Nordic vehicles to increase their speed. Ever-increasing velocity is a built-in characteristic of the rails themselves, the rails by which, in the Nordic experience of the world, the whole world is penetrated. Rails that are already in existence and those that must constantly be constructed for ever newer, ever faster vehicles on which men who experience the world Nordically may strive toward ever new goals. The Nordic soul experiences its world as a structure made up of countless thoroughfares -- those already at hand and those still to be created -- on land, on water, in the air, and in the stratosphere. It races like a fever through all segments of the Nordic community, a fever of speed which, infectiously, reaches out far beyond the world of the north and attacks souls who are not Nordic and for whom, at bottom, such action is contrary to their style and senseless.

In the Nordic landscape everything points to places beyond and tempts the soul, born of it, to cross the borders of this landscape. The Nordic soul has an innate urge to push on into the distance, and this means mostly southward. Anyone who has crossed the southern barrier of the northern geographical area -- past the St. Gotthard range, for example -- knows what is happening there. The northern region is perhaps enveloped in a thick fog, so that from the train we can see only the trunks of the mountains; then we plunge into the night of the tunnel and, suddenly, a radiantly blue day lights up our darkened eyes. And all the travelers, as with one voice, utter a cry of joy. The light of the south is like a benediction to the Nordic soul, blissful and at the same time fatal, like the light of the candle for the moth. First we feel as if we were wonderfully liberated from the call of distance, the urgent forward movement of the north, for here everything is simply present, magnificently beautiful and consummately finished. But then the eternal nearness of this landscape envelops the soul and stifles it to the point of suffocation. We may not really say that this landscape is "narrow"; it is not exactly without a certain distance from the soul. Such words do not do justice to its character. And in our language we probably cannot find the right word to express its character because all our words are fashioned out of the Nordic way of perceiving our world. We can say only what this landscape, in terms of ours, is not: it is without distance, without a deep movement; it is magnificent surface with nothing behind it -- it is devoid of enigma, bereft of mystery. What it is, according to its nature, might perhaps best be expressed by a foreign word -- it is imposant.

Wherever the human eye wanders -- and it cannot really wander much here -- it comes smack up against mountains which ring the region, high and beautifully curved, all of them seeming to know and assert how beautiful they are. It is as though they point to themselves with an imposing gesture and demand: "Look at me!" When the land does open into a broader vista, it is only in a prescribed circle --  one's gaze looks downward, then upward, around and along the crests of the mountains, and finally back to its starting point. Nowhere, not even on the sea, can one truly look out into the great beyond. Everything goes back and forth in a circle. Even the clouds seem to follow no path or direction, but stroll, so to speak, in a circle. Here reigns Zeus, the "gatherer of clouds," not Wodan, the wild hunter who roars with his armies high above -- no one knows whence and whither....

The mountains of the south are bare. Above them the glaring sun paints everything with a dazzling color and lights up every crevice. The light forces itself upon, intrudes upon everything, wherever we may look. Several times I caught myself saying: "This shameless sun!" Here there is no darkening mountain forest hiding a fairy tale, no night with flowing fog formations, with "a thousand monsters," no castle enveloped by a whispering legend. Here everything is clear, there is nothing but utter clarity. The Acropolis towers magnificently over the countryside, a miracle in white on blue. It tells us gripping tales from a time that no longer reaches into the present; it tells us very much, but it does not whisper to us. Even the wind knows of no mystery, it caresses. Even the storm wind still caresses although it tugs at your hair.

We said that the Mediterranean invites one to stay forever. But we must ask further: Whom does it invite? The person who was born in this landscape and who perceives in its style the style of his own soul -- namely, the person who has it in himself as his inner landscape. Such a person is able to "tarry" in the authentic sense of the word. When, however, persons whose inner landscape is the north succumb to the enticement of the south and stay there and settle down (as some Nordic tribes did in ancient times), the first generations will live in opposition, albeit unconscious, to the landscape which is alien to their kind. Gradually, then, the style of the souls undergoes a change. They do not change their race, they will not become Mediterranean people -- in the strict meaning of the word as used here -- but their Nordic style will undergo a transformation which ultimately will make them into a southern variety of Nordic man. In their eyes the southern landscape will not be the same as that seen with the eyes of those who are the children of this landscape. Through their Nordic way of seeing, the landscape will acquire a new, northern type of configuration. The landscape forms the soul, but the soul also forms the landscape. And when both, the Mediterranean man and the Nordic man who has settled in the south, look into the same geographical setting, each sees a different landscape -- until, finally, miscegenation tears down the barriers and victory (that is, duration) is on the side of those who come from this soil.

This was the fate of the early Greeks, of the Romans, and of all peoples of Nordic origin who settled in the south....

Among non-Nordics the Nordic man is frequently considered to be cold and without passion. The combination of concepts -- "cold and without passion" -- completely misunderstands the very roots of the Nordic soul. Indeed it is precisely this feature that is characteristically Nordic: to combine an outer coldness with the deepest passion, or, at least, to be able to effect this combination. All the "coldness" of Nordic man stems from the distance which separates him from his environment and which he cannot violate without violating his style, the law of his breed. To describe the Nordic soul's mode of experiencing the world is equivalent, first of all, to showing the possibilities of experience arising from this distance. A description of the Nordic soul must begin with its characteristic reaching out within the frame of distance.

We shall begin with examples from everyday life. When Nordic people enter a train they will with great thoroughness look for the coach that is least occupied, and then, if possible, will sit down in a seat where there are no neighbors. If, however, they get into a confining situation in which they are closely surrounded by fellow passengers, they will not establish any psychological contact with them except for the superficial courtesies -- "Do you mind if I open the window?" --  which can exhaust a conversation for hours. Perhaps they may even feel a compulsion to strike up a conversation; perhaps they find the person near them very attractive. But between each individual and his neighbor lies an unbridgeable distance and therefore they are not able to find the level of true conversation. Nordic man can overcome almost everything in the world save the distance separating man from man. In general, he is never really able to surmount it: the distance remains to the last, even in the most intimate community.

When a Nordic enters an inn, he looks for the last vacant table. If he cannot find one, it can happen that, despite his hunger, he will leave the inn to look for another, which he hopes will be empty. If he is distinguished, he is sensitive at table: the "good" society of Nordic style has developed special laws of etiquette, a strict set of table manners excluding all "letting oneself go," thereby protecting each individual from untoward familiarities. A violation of such table discipline has the effect of a violation of the distance -- the discipline guarantees distance. The use of the toothpick in company first began in the German south and east, becoming generally more widespread and flourishing in countries where other needs are publicly satisfied, needs which the Nordic satisfies in privacy.

The Nordic endeavors to live alone -- alone with his kin group, far away from neighbors. Even when he is at a summer resort, he keeps away from others as much as possible. For a time I lived in an old castle, on what for the time being is Italian territory, which now, like so many others, is operated as a resort hotel. In this old structure the rooms were widely spaced out and there were several small towers in the immediate vicinity. A new section had been added in which the rooms were close together. The towers and the rooms that were spaced out were occupied by Germans and Americans, the new section by Italians. The Nordic man never feels comfortable in apartment houses where the tenants live piled in layers upon one another and where the most intimate sounds penetrate everywhere. He is least comfortable in one of those large blocks of flats where sometimes ten people are crowded into one room. Under these circumstances, the Nordic people are the first to languish, to die, first spiritually and then physically: they succumb because of the loss of physical distance and perish because of the lack of social distance. The Nordic man can no more live without external and internal distance than fish can live without water. Nordic men cannot thrive between the stone walls of long lines of streets which deprive them of all distance -- in other words, in the large city. If they cannot afford to take up residence beyond the city, then they succumb to emotional and psychological atrophy. Perhaps they are unaware of it, but they are forced to overcome an unconscious opposition; nevertheless, the Nordic soul is slowly stifled. The sins that parents have committed against their own soul-style is avenged in their children. Nobody who lives contrary to the law of his species goes unpunished.

The style of distance determines that Nordic man cannot live unpunished in regions which are narrow in terms of his law of style. The big city is not the only example of this; there is also the valley in the high mountains, and the sea inlet surrounded by high walls. In the Black Forest, for example, the wide valleys as well as the grassy lands and plateaus were settled by the Alemanni -- that is, Germanic peoples --  whereas the narrow valleys here and there remained predominantly in the hands of the original Eastern population. The difference between these two types of people in this area is so strikingly obvious that even as a boy, before I ever knew anything about races, I was sometimes surprised to hear these people, too, speak the Alemannic dialect. They seemed so strange to me then that I expected to hear them talk an entirely foreign language.

Now it can happen, however, that Nordic people nevertheless live in narrow regions. This habitation has a special meaning. We arc thinking of the inhabitants of the deep-set fjords of the Norwegian coast. There the mountain wall, on both sides, grows precipitously out of the sea, solidly with no break, so that the sun never penetrates to the narrowest points. Settlements are spread out few and far between, only in the wholly low-lying areas where the fjord widens or where the mountainside clings to a ridge. The people there feel hemmed in, confined, and yearn to get to the top of the Fjell and beyond it where there is no limiting barrier. Their sons, to the extent they are still authentic racial types, go to sea or emigrate and, often, even the young girls cannot be held back....

There is another kind of narrowness, however, for the Nordic soul, another lack of distance in space. It is not felt as distinctly as the narrowness of close walls but it has an effect on the soul at a deeper level. This is found in the area of the southern landscape alien to the north, namely, the "closeness" we mentioned above; that sundrenched closeness which at first delights the person accustomed to northern climes and then, increasingly -- perhaps imperceptibly -- cuts off his breath and makes him homesick for infinite expanses. This is why the Germanic people who migrated southward did not find in the Mediterranean land what it can give -- only to its own children! -- the bliss of a sojourn in the sun. They were driven on and on, this way and that, in every direction. It was from the southern lands that the whole earth for the first time was circled by Nordic people. We are thinking of Marco Polo, the Venetian, and of Columbus, the Genoese: both men had a Nordic countenance and a Nordic style of soul. And once the example was set, it was as if a storm went through the sons of the aristocracy of northern origin, so that they set out -- from Portugal, from Spain -- one after the other, in order to bring the most distant parts of the world within Europe's ken and to open them up to its trading centers for their peoples. They were the grandchildren of those elements of the Germanic people who had traveled farthest, the grandchildren of the Suevi and Goths who, centuries before, had subjugated the Iberian Peninsula. Although the blood of the ancestors might no longer be pure in the grandchildren, and not without an admixture of southern blood, obviously the northern style of life-experience was stronger in them than in many others whose ancestors had never left the north. [1] They were the descendants of those among the Germanic people who most enjoyed plying the seas, those who reached out furthest into the world, the grandchildren of the most Nordic among the Nordic peoples. There is a variation in the extent to which a soul is perfected in terms of its type. Applied to the Nordic type, this means that the power and capacity to reach outward is variable. The highest peak of a species-style is not necessarily broken or weakened in the first instances of blood-mixing. Indeed, the Nordic style of reaching out may become more rugged in the miscegenated soul because it is continuously forced to fight against what is alien to its soul, and as a result it becomes more conscious of itself and feels a compulsion over and over again to confirm its existence to itself. What the pure-blooded father did under the lash of obscure urges, the sons and grandsons do in response to a more conscious urge, and they nurture and intensify this urge in order to remain worthy of the fathers. Of course, the more that foreign blood is injected into the veins and souls of those who are born later, the more the example of the fathers is suspended in mid-air, as it were, and also more and more is there a decrease of tension between the Nordic style of the soul and the style of the landscape alien to the north -- the very tension which drove those who had gone south out into the open spaces with an intensified power, thrust, and impetus. Nevertheless, the Nordic blood has not completely run dry in the nations of the south, and there is still an urge in these late descendants which drives them out to sea. Still today we can find among Italian sailors, for example, many types who really belong on northland coasts.

The Nordic style of reaching out, in its ultimate and boldest intensification, obliges us to broaden the concept of the Nordic landscape in a unique sense: in a sense which, for example, is not viable with respect to the concept of the Mediterranean landscape. In this expanded sense, the whole earth, finally even the whole universe, becomes a Nordic landscape to the Nordic soul, for, in its reaching out it aims to penetrate simply everything, and, accordingly, to integrate it into its style and subject it to its law. Everything that has not yet been grasped and stamped by it, stretches out before it as a new land- ts new land -- which must be discovered, explored, put under cultivation, and hence conquered. In the last analysis it will recognize only the limits of the possible as its own limits. It may even happen that at this point it will fall ill and will try to ignore all limitations -- a characteristically Nordic illness.

After the surface of the globe had been traversed so far and wide that there were now only a few small unknown spots left on the map -- when there was no longer any new land left to discover -- the Nordic craving for the faraway found other outlets. If there was no new region to be found, the Nordic now took the whole global space more firmly into his grasp. The enveloping of the earth took the place of discovery. Here the craving for speed, which we mentioned earlier, finds its real meaning; it is the urge to grasp the entire world with one grip. All the same, the spiritual homeland, in accordance with the style of Nordic man, will always be -- and can only be -- the north. Nordic man carries it around with him as his inner landscape wherever he might roam or settle. If in his inner self he becomes unfaithful to it, he loses himself, becoming rudderless and anchorless: from a man of enterprise he becomes a calculating predator, transformed from hero to monster. But for a long time now the northern region of the earth no longer provides him with sufficient space to develop his physical existence in accordance with his style. Every bit of ground is occupied and distributed, the smallest piece of land is recorded in a land register. The Nordic soul, needful of space, had no choice but to recast the whole world in accordance with its image and inner landscape. If today trains race through the desert on rails, airplanes build a quick bridge from one part of the globe to the other, and the radio in a few minutes flashes news of an event in Peking to London, this means that the will to space of Nordic man has reached out beyond the natural border of his landscape and has placed the stamp of his style on the entire globe. The others, the non-Nordic inhabitants of the world, the Mediterraneans, the Eastern peoples, and, further, the East Asians and even the Negroes -- all are forced to cooperate, they now must traverse their own regions in the Nordic way, and this means that they have to give up their own space and exchange it for the space, the global space, which has now become a Nordic-tilled field. They must give up their space, yet they cannot do it without giving themselves up, for every authentic racial stock is bound up with its space. A Chinese racing through the countryside in an automobile is an absurdity, like the pheasant that would imitate the flight and grip of an eagle. Nevertheless it is a reality. The world increasingly assumes a Germanic exterior appearance and with it destroys the stamp of the unique character of its non-Nordic racial stocks. Almost everybody today wears a Germanic costume. (By this I do not mean only clothing, although the victory of the Germanic style of clothing -- even in the time of the Romans long pants was the characteristic Germanic mode of dress-has a much greater importance than the superficial observer may believe. The mode of dress is expression, and it determines the appearance of the body, which, after all, is the first and most important showplace of the soul; it makes a difference whether someone moves around in a dinner jacket or a caftan.) It lies in the essence of the Nordic soul to resolve that it must penetrate the whole world with its style and Nordicize and hence falsify what lies beyond the natural border of the Nordic style. No Nordic enthusiasm should deceive us on this score, namely, that the Nordic encircling of the world, albeit necessary as a result of the Nordic law of species, is a falsification and a destruction from the point of  view of the law of the other racial stocks. Whatever Nordic man may bring, for the others it is bound to be a garment which is not cut for their particular figure and which disfigures them. They will have to change their gait and bearing in order to wear it. Some are able to copy the northern gait most accurately, but this does not make them into Nordic people. To assert that the world becomes Nordic means that countless hidden values are being opened up and made useful and productive -- mines of iron are, oil wells, water power, as well as animal and man power; they are made useful in the Nordic sense, they become material to be formed by Nordic hands. But it is through this very action that this man power loses its own specific value; as a racial stock the Nordic stamp devalues its inner essence. Nordic man goes out as a bearer of culture and believes he is bringing gifts to the world, and he has often celebrated himself in this role, especially in recent times. He has been praised as a savior who sacrifices himself for the world.

From Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss, Die nordische Seele: Eine Einfuhrung in die Rassenseelenkunde (Munich, 1932), pp. 19-32. (This extract has been taken from the fifth edition, 1936.)



1. There is not the slightest evidence that the ancestors of men like Marco Polo or Columbus had ever lived in the north. This is a typical line of reasoning, using racial presuppositions to establish a fact.

The Earth-Centered Jew Lacks a Soul, by ALFRED ROSENBERG

Let us repeat once more, and again and again, the most important point that has been made up to now: the Jewish religion completely lacks the belief in a supra-sensible Beyond. Indeed, one even gets an almost positive impression that, in the course of time, everything that in the least could foster a belief in an incorporeal life after death was intentionally eliminated. The Jews, with their religion oriented to purely earthly affairs, stand alone in the world! This should not be forgotten for a single moment; it is highly significant. For it is this exceptional situation which explains why a "shady nation" such as that of the Jews has survived the greatest and most glorious nations, and will continue to survive, until the end of all time, until the hour of salvation strikes for all mankind. The Jewish nation will not perish before this hour strikes. The world is preserved, as we shall see, only by a positive yea-saying to the world. Among the Jewish people this world-affirmation is totally pure, without any admixture of world-denial. All other nations that have ever existed, and exist today, had, or have, such an admixture, characterized by the idea of a Hereafter, even if only a trace of it. This mere trace would have sufficed, or would suffice, to provide the necessary counterweight to the unadulterated yea-saying to the world, as embodied in the Jewish people. For the inner light-and belief in immortality is the inner light-does not need always to shine with the brightest glow in order to produce an effect; it must simply be there, it must not be allowed to be snuffed out, or otherwise mankind would be lost forever to the terrestrial world. Everything takes its own time, however, a fact which is all too often overlooked. The denial of the world needs a still longer time in order to grow so that it will acquire a lasting predominance over affirmation of the world. At this time it seems again to have sunk to a zero point; its opposite, symbolized by the Jewish people, is triumphant as never before. It seems as if the inner light has completely vanished from this earth. But, to anticipate, it merely seems that way. Denial of the world cannot perish because it is part of the soul of mankind and the soul is immortal. Where the idea of the immortal dwells, the longing for the eternal or the withdrawal from temporality must always emerge again; hence a denial of the world will always reappear. And this is the meaning of the non-Jewish peoples: they are the custodians of world-negation, of the idea of the Hereafter, even if they maintain it in the poorest way. Hence, One or another of them can quietly go under, but what really matters lives on in their descendants. If, however, the Jewish people were to perish, no nation would be left which would hold world-affirmation in high esteem -- the end of all time would be here.

This would also be the case if the Zionist idea were to become a reality, namely, if the entire Jewish people would unite to become a national entity in Palestine Or somewhere else. Such a unification of Jews has never existed before: this must be stressed not twice but three times, inasmuch as it is little known. Long before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem a large part of the Jews lived in the diaspora, that is, dispersed among the "heathen" people. And, as every schoolboy knows, at the beginning of their history they were "guests" among the Egyptians. What arose afterward in Palestine was anything but a state structure. At best it was an attempt to build one, when it was not a preparatory school for the exploitation or the destruction of foreign peoples. To the Jew Weininger [1] his own nation is like an invisible cohesive web of slime fungus (plasmodium), existing since time immemorial and spread over the entire earth; and this expansionism, as he correctly observes (without, of course, proving it), is an essential component of the idea, of the nature of Judaism. This immediately becomes clear if we again regard the Jewish people as the embodiment of world-affirmation. Without it, nothing of a terrestrial character, and thus no nation, is conceivable. Hence, the Jew, the only consistent and consequently the only viable yea-sayer to the world, must be found wherever other men bear in themselves -- if only in the tiniest degree -- a compulsion to overcome the world. The Jew represents the still necessary counterweight to them; otherwise that urgent craving would be fulfilled immediately and thereby would not usher in the salvation of the world (since the Jewish people would still remain in existence), but would destroy it in a different way through the elimination of the spiritual power without which it cannot exist either. I will discuss this idea more fully later on; here I wish merely to demonstrate that the world could not exist if the Jews were living by themselves. This is why an old prophecy proclaims that the end of the world will arrive on the day when the Jews will have established the state of Palestine ...

From all this it follows that Judaism is part of the organism of mankind just as, let us say, certain bacteria are part of man's body, and indeed the Jews are as necessary as bacteria. The body contains, as we know, a host of tiny organisms without which it would perish, even though they feed on it. Similarly, mankind needs the Jewish strain in order to preserve its vitality until its earthly mission is fulfilled. In other words, the world-affirmation exemplified by Judaism in its purest form, though disastrous in itself, is a condition of man's earthly being -- as long as men exist -- and we cannot even imagine its nonexistence. It will collapse only when all mankind is redeemed.

Thus, we are obliged to accept the Jews among us as a necessary evil, for who knows how many thousands of years to come. But just as the body would become stunted if the bacteria increased beyond a salutary number, our nation too -- to describe a more limited circle -- would gradually succumb to a spiritual malady if the Jew were to become too much for it. Were he to leave us entirely (this is the aim of Zionism, or at least what it pretends to be) it would be just as disastrous as if he were to dominate us. The mission of the German nation will come to an end -- and this is my firm conviction-with the last hour of mankind. But we could never reach it if we lost world affirmation, the Jew among us, because no life is possible without world-affirmation. On the other hand, if the Jew were continually to stifle us, we would never be able to fulfill our mission, which is the salvation of the world, but would, to be frank, succumb to insanity, for pure world-affirmation, the unrestrained will for a vain existence, leads to no other goal. It would literally lead to a void, to the destruction not only of the illusory earthly world but also of the truly existent, the spiritual. Considered in himself the Jew represents nothing else but this blind will for destruction, the insanity of mankind. It is known that Jewish people are especially prone to mental disease. "Dominated by delusions," said Schopenhauer about the Jew.... To strip the world of its soul, that and nothing else is what Judaism wants. This, however, would be tantamount to the world's destruction.

Even now, while the Jews still live among us, all their undertakings reveal this aim, and necessarily so. Their aim is to strip mankind of its soul. This is why they endeavor to break any form behind which the living soul is operative. For as arch-materialists it is their insane opinion that it is precisely the spiritual, which they sense only obscurely, that is connected with the form as a matter of life and death and must perish with it. Hence they are also, all and sundry, anarchists, consciously or unconsciously. In fact, they cannot be anything else but opponents of order and law, because order and law, in a unique way, bear the radiant imprint of a purer world. Schiller calls order "the daughter of heaven," and for the divine origin of law we find much evidence in Schiller and still more in Goethe.

Without order and law no conception of state can be actualized, since they are the indispensable foundation for it. For this very reason, the Jew, the mortal enemy of order and law, can never create a viable state in Palestine. The result would again be chaos. For this word, correctly translated, means an infinite void, nothingness.

[From Dietrich Eckart: Ein Vermachtnis, edited by Alfred Rosenberg (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher Nachf., 1928), pp. 214-219.]



1. Otto Weininger (1880-1903) wrote Geschlecht und Charakter (Sex and Character) (1903), which became a classic not only of Jewish self-hate but also of racist literature.

Heredity and Racial Biology for Students, by JAKOB GRAF

The Aryan: The Creative Force in Human History

In the second millennium B.C. the Aryans (the Nordic race) invaded India and established Aryan culture there. A branch related to the Aryans created the foundations for the power and the flowering of the Persian empire. Ancient Hellenic culture likewise is traceable to the blood of Nordic immigrants. Paintings that have come down to us, as well as descriptions dating from that period, attest to the fact that the Hellenes, as long as they kept their race pure, were tall, light-skinned, light-eyed, blond people. The Roman Empire was founded by the Italics, who were related to the Celts. With the vanishing of the Nordic component-that is, with the disappearance of Nordic blood-the fate of these proud empires was sealed. The Goths, Franks, Vandals, and Normans, too, were peoples of Nordic blood. A renaissance took place only in the Western Roman Empire, not in its eastern counterpart, because in the west Nordic blood developed its creative power in the form of the Longobards. Remnants of the western Goths created a Spanish empire. The spread of Christianity in northern and eastern Europe was in the main supported by Nordic people, and the Nordic longing for freedom of the spirit found powerful expression in the Reformation. It was Nordic energy and boldness that were responsible for the power and prestige enjoyed by small nations such as the Netherlands and Sweden. The successors of the northern Franks, Goths, and Germanic peoples created the might and greatness of France in the past centuries, and even the Russian empire was founded by Normans. The opening up of North America, South Africa, and Australia was carried out with unequaled success by the Anglo-Saxons, the descendants of the Saxons and Normans. Everywhere Nordic creative power has built mighty empires with high-minded ideas, and to this very day Aryan languages and cultural values are spread over a large part of the world, though the creative Nordic blood has long since vanished in many places. Ethnological historical research has proved that the Nordic race has produced a great many more highly talented people than any other race.

Nordic boldness not only is a precondition for the martial exploits of nations of Nordic origin, but it is also a prerequisite for the courageous profession of new, great ideas.

How We Can Learn to Recognize a Person's Race


I. Summarize the spiritual characteristics of the individual races.

2. Collect from stories, essays, and poems examples of ethnological illustrations. Underline those terms which describe the type and mode of the expression of the soul.

3. What are the expressions, gestures, and movements which allow us to make conclusions as to the attitude of the racial soul?

4. Determine also the physical features which go hand in hand with the specific racial soul characteristics of the individual figures.

5. Try to discover the intrinsic nature of the racial soul through the characters in stories and poetical works in terms of their inner attitude. Apply this mode of observation to persons in your own environment.

6. Collect propaganda posters and caricatures tor your race book and arrange them according to a racial scheme. What image of beauty is emphasized by the artist (a) in posters publicizing sports and travel? (b) in publicity for cosmetics? How are hunters, mountain climbers, and shepherds drawn?

7. Collect from illustrated magazines, newspapers, etc., pictures of great scholars, statesmen, artists, and others who distinguished themselves by their special accomplishments (for example, in economic life, politics, sports). Determine the preponderant race and admixture, according to physical characteristics. Repeat this exercise with the pictures of great men of all nations and times.

8. When viewing monuments, busts, etc., be sure to pay attention to the race of the person portrayed with respect to figure, bearing, and physical characteristics. Try to harmonize these determinations with the features of the racial soul.

9. Observe people whose special racial features have drawn your attention, also with respect to their bearing when moving or when speaking. Observe their expressions and gestures.

10. Observe the Jew: his way of walking, his bearing, gestures, and movements when talking.

11. What strikes you about the way a Jew talks and sings?

12. What are the occupations engaged in by the Jews of your acquaintance?

13. What are the occupations in which Jews are not to be found? Explain this phenomenon on the basis of the character of the Jew's soul.

14. In what stories, descriptions, and poems do you find the psychical character of the Jew pertinently portrayed. ("The Jew in the Prickle" from Grimm's Fairy Tales; Debit and Credit by Gustav Freytag; Ut mine Stromtid by Fritz Reuter; The Hunger Pastor by Wilhelm Raabe; The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare. [1]) Give more examples.

From Jakob Graf, Familienkunde und Rassenbiologie fur Schuler (2nd ed.; Munich, 1935), pp. 107, 114-115.



1. All these works were widely read, and in all of them the Jewish stereotype appears, even if not yet dressed up in racial garb. With the exception of Shakespeare, the authors lived in the nineteenth century.

The New Biology: Training in Racial Citizenship, by PAUL BROHMER

How did it come about that Darwin's doctrine aroused his contemporaries to such a pitch of violence, that passionate quarrels broke out for and against the new theory? His fellow biologists soon espoused one or the other shadings of the Law of Descent.... The success of this doctrine derived from the fact that all events in nature were reduced to a single formula by which everything was explained.... In addition, there was also the strong desire for a mechanistic explanation of events, as this also found expression in the philosophy of positivism. Darwin's theory, however, is purely mechanistic....

From our pedagogical standpoint, which considers the task of the school to be the inculcation of Volkish thinking and volition, in opposition to the carrying-over of Darwinian ideas to the teaching of biology in schools, it can be objected that teaching these ideas will hardly serve this pedagogical aim. These teachings are, so to speak, international, since they examine all the countries of the world for the phenomena which the laws of the theory of descent supposedly predict. Thus, we find that textbooks deal with almost more foreign animals and plants than native ones; the selection is made on the basis of localities where the phenomena under consideration -- mimesis, protective coloration, adaptation -- can best be recognized. Thus the student learns all about the Indian meal moth, the walking-stick insect, the walking leaf, but not about the parasites which destroy the harvest in our own orchards or cause enormous losses in the fields of German agriculture. The student might be familiar with the Australian monotremes and marsupials, but know hardly anything about the animals and plants that are most frequently come upon in the fields and forests of the homeland.

Such knowledge may well be of use to the researcher, but not to the German who is not an expert in the field of biology. It is no exaggeration to assert that much of the subject matter of biology teaching is alien to life, the homeland, and the Volk. The reason for this aberrant development in the teaching of biology lies mainly in the fact that, owing to the tendencies of the time, the Darwinian ideas became the principal content of instruction in the schools....


The inclusion of physiological viewpoints in the teaching of biology leads to a specific technical procedure, to an elaboration of biology as subject matter for the school based on instructive work-experience. In this sense there has already been a great improvement in the past few years. But this is not the essential problem. It is not just a question of improving the teaching procedure, but rather of transforming the content of our subject, of guiding the student to a new conception of nature! To accomplish this, teachings taken from physiology must be introduced. Consequently, this purpose is not served if a number of physiological experiments are carried out and interpreted as postscripts or appendices, so to speak. Here, too, from the very beginning the student must be guided to an over-all, total view, and not, say, to one that is encyclopedic. He should perceive and feel that behind the individual achievement there is a meaningful plan, that behind it stands the whole organism. Let us take, for example, an experiment showing the action of saliva in changing starch into sugar. This is not just a random interesting fact, but a real accomplishment, a process in the service of the preservation of the whole organism. Or, let us consider the process of seeing: the eye by itself is not able to produce any visual images but requires the cooperation of a number of organs. Thus, the act of seeing is also an accomplishment achieved by the entire organism.

These examples show us two ways in which physiology considers the whole: first, in that the accomplishment is in the service of the whole; second, in that it is achieved by the whole. Hence these two methods of observing an event from the standpoint of the whole organism are intimately connected: the conception that every occurrence is planned, as a part of the total accomplishment, and the conception of the organism as a totality, in which everything that occurs is conditioned and regulated by a meaningful plan. If we guide the student to this conception of nature as a unified totality by way of repeated concrete examples, we shall have helped to provide him, at least in this branch of biology, with a modern method of observation and he will have acquired the basis for an organic Volkish-based thinking. Naturally, this must also be done in the other branches of our subject....

The importance of emphasizing physiological ideas in the teaching of botany and zoology is also to be found in the fact that the way for it is prepared by the new teaching of anthropology. The physiological processes in plants and animals with which the student becomes acquainted create a basis for an understanding of the corresponding processes in man. In the actual teaching of anthropology, however, a strong emphasis on physiology is necessary because it prepares the way for teaching hygiene, and it certainly is a task of this branch of instruction in biology to provide a guide for a rational way of life. Individual hygiene, again, is a prerequisite for racial hygiene, which is so important. Thus the study of physiology is likewise connected with this problem. It can be successfully utilized, however, only on the basis of a total view, which must be introduced into all branches of the teaching of biology.

The concept of the total view will come to the fore in the study of living plant or animal communities more than it will in any other branch of biology teaching.... Unfortunately this idea has been understood by many methodologists in a purely external way as a principle of the organization of matter. It is more than that. Behind it stands a repudiation of an outmoded tendency in research; the aim should be to present a view of the whole, to apply methods of instruction relevant to the subject matter, to arrive at a national formulation of biology teaching and the discovery of internal interconnections in the occurrences of life. The metabolic changes in a closed biotic community reveal a meaningful plan in the greater occurrences of nature, and when we come to understand that the whole world is a living space for one biotic community, we can then discover ultimate interconnections, and finally arrive at a concept of nature that does not conflict with religious experience, whereas this was necessarily the case with the former purely mechanistic attitude.

Introducing the student to this mode of observation is in the spirit of a Volkish education. On the basis of the elaboration of the laws of biology we turn to the emotional life of the student: he must come to see Germany as his "living space" and himself as a link in the German biotic community and the German destiny; and he must regard all Germans as his blood relations, his brothers. If we reach this goal, then all party and class divisions sink into nothingness, and more is accomplished for education in citizenship than is done by studying governmental and administrative structures.

For the very reason that the theory of the biotic community is so important for the development of biological knowledge and for education in organic Volkish thinking, it would be expedient to base the school curriculum on this idea. When we go into the free, open spaces we always come upon animals and plants in their specific living space in which they form biotic communities. It is not a mechanical system which orders the natural arrangement of organisms, but the living space. This living space not only presents an external frame of community but links its inhabitants to each other with indissoluble bonds. Whoever, in teaching the concept of the biotic community, utilizes it only as a principle of the organization of matter has not grasped the deeper meaning of bionomics. He stands, as it were, in front of a deep well of precious water and draws nothing from it although his companions are dying of thirst. Thus it is a question of opening up Volkish values to the students.

At the same time this produces effects which, from a didactic point of view, are not to be scorned. For one thing, instruction along the lines of the concept of the living community compels the teacher to take his students on frequent trips outside the classroom and to collect observations for later evaluation. Thus a true teaching of life is striven for, not just an accumulation of knowledge acquired by studying "animal skeletons and dead bones." There is little justification for a "museum" biology in the instruction which we are striving to establish. Even the illustrative specimens, which in many school lessons still must serve as a substitute for nature, can be dispensed with in most cases. They may still serve as a supplement to what has been seen in a living context, but they can no longer be the source for the formation of views.

It is not enough to make one visit to a biotic community, such as a beech wood. Rather, it must be visited at least once every season. How different is the effect which a beech wood, for example, makes on us in early spring, when the ground is covered with a carpet of anemones, from that which it makes on us in midsummer, when a mysterious penumbra prevails, when it looks to us like a cathedral with high, slender columns! Anyone who absorbs the atmosphere of the landscape, its soul, begins to love his homeland, and it is precisely love of the homeland which we want to arouse and can arouse with the help of the concept of the biotic community. It is almost self-evident that educational hikes to the biotic communities in his regional environment provide the student with a knowledge that is not limited to the field of biology but includes knowledge about the homeland.

It is necessary to take several such hikes through a biotic community in order to be able to grasp fully the metabolic changes which take place within it. The seasonal changes in the world of the organisms play an important part in this metabolism. From this results a methodological conclusion of great significance. For most schools it is not feasible to deal with only one kind of biotic community in the course of a school year. Even though this would involve a very thorough investigation of one living space and its inhabitants, it is opposed by the requirements of life, which demand a certain versatility. According to my experience, it is easily possible in one school year to deal with three or four biotic communities, putting more stress on one than on the others. If it is desired to visit each one of these biotic communities at least once every season, then it is impossible to treat the individual biotic communities as self-contained teaching units -- for example, by dealing with one in the first semester, the second in the following semester, etc. Rather, the treatment of the three or four biotic communities prescribed by the school curriculum for one year would parallel each other. In this way the summer can be used mainly for gathering observations and the winter can serve more as a period of evaluation....

Another change we must make in the teaching of biology if its cultural value is to be increased concerns the position of man in our discipline. In the usual textbooks, anthropology is treated as a supplement to biology; man is dealt with in somewhat more detail than any other mammal, but according to the same points of view. The only difference is that, on the basis of the knowledge of the structure and functioning of the organs, some rules on health may be offered, and it has been said that the teaching of anthropology should offer the student a guide to intelligent living. No doubt, anthropology should fulfill this task too. But all it does is promote knowledge as such; it does not add to the growth of the student's intellectual or religious culture.... Furthermore, knowledge as an individual accomplishment must be supplemented by a knowledge of a supra-individual character, because German man must not think only of himself, but should be cognizant of his duty to place himself in the service of the people.

Our aim is not merely that man be made the object of the study of nature, but that he should also be placed as subject in the biological consideration of nature. To be sure, everybody must have a certain fund of knowledge about the structure and function of his "body tools," and everybody should also know how to keep healthy. Hence we should welcome the methodological demand that the road to the teaching of anthropology should always be prepared by the teaching of biology. Consequently, it is possible in zoology to elaborate, for example, on the nature of digestion, breathing, etc., and then refer back to it in anthropology. The study of botany, too, offers many opportunities for preparing the way for anthropological knowledge....

Beyond and above this, the place of man vis-a-vis nature must constantly be discussed in the teaching of biology. This is made easy precisely by arranging the subject matter, and the insights deriving from it, in terms of a biotic-community approach. We would start with -- since our concept of biotic community is a broad one -- the domain of "house and home." In it man is the master; he has taken into his household the animals and plants which he keeps either for his use or for his pleasure. He gives them shelter, food, and care; he has changed them through breeding and he holds their lives in his hands. Without him most of the organisms he keeps as domestic animals or indoor plants would perish. At this point we can discuss in an elementary way the attitude of man toward nature. In this biotic community we meet first and foremost the will to rule over nature, the viewpoint of utilitarianism, which is, however, accompanied by the joy in the beauty of the things of nature and love of nature itself. Similar discussions will come up in the study of biotic communities in the garden, field, and meadow.

It might be thought that with the "anthropological idea," as I should like to designate the emphasis on anthropology in biology teaching, our aim is to return to the anthropocentric point of view which has been justifiably attacked; or that we wish to foster a utilitarian pedagogy by discussing more thoroughly than was done in the past domestic animals, useful plants and their parasites, and eugenics from the viewpoint of the individual and the race. It is anthropocentric if it is assumed that nature has been created only for man. We decisively reject this attitude. According to our conception of nature, man is a link in the chain of living nature just as any other organism. On the other hand, it is a fact that man has made himself master of nature, and that he will increasingly aim to widen this mastery. The teaching of natural history must contribute to this. Thus its task is not merely to transmit theoretical knowledge, to foster joy in nature, to arouse love of one's homeland and one's country; it has, in addition, practical aims. One may call this utilitarian pedagogy if one so pleases. But in our view instruction in biology that does not take the problems of agriculture, forestry, gardening, and fishing into consideration is a failure; it is a form of teaching that is alien to the practical life of our people. School is not a research laboratory, but an institution which aims to educate Germans, and these should stand at their posts in the life of the German Volk. We are as far removed from a one-sided utilitarian viewpoint as we are from pedagogy that is alien to life....

Still more important, it seems to me, is the fact that the task of biology teaching, briefly referred to above, can be fulfilled by an orientation toward the concept of the biotic community. It must be grasped here once more on the basis of another idea. We have said that the student must be led to the conception that Germany is his living space to which he is linked by the bond of blood. We have explained in detail that the bionomic approach teaches that the organisms within a living space are dependent on each other as well as dependent upon the whole, and that each link must perform an indispensable function in the total accomplishment. When this insight is applied to the human biotic community, when the future German racial-comrade feels himself to be a link in the German biotic community, and when he is imbued with the idea of the blood relationship of all Germans, then class differences and class hatred cannot take acute forms, as was often the case in the past due to a misunderstanding of the actual bond that unites all estates together. Once every German regards Germany as his living space and feels himself to be a link in the German biotic community, he will be fully conscious of the fact that every individual within the metabolism of the biotic community into which he was born must fulfill his own important task. Thus a supra-individualistic attitude is created which constitutes the best possible foundation for training in citizenship. Indeed, it can be said that it has achieved its deepest fulfillment once this attitude is transformed into action.

Racial eugenics works in the same direction, namely, the education of the student in a national sense. Although it constitutes the finishing touch of biology teaching, its concepts should from the very beginning permeate all biological instruction in all types of schools, and not be left for discussion in anthropology, which concludes the study of biology. It should be repeatedly emphasized that the biological laws operative in animals and plants apply also to man; for example, that the knowledge acquired from studying the genetics of these organisms can, in a general way, be applied to man. Thus, the teaching of animal breeding and plant cultivation can effectively prepare the way for conceptions of racial biology. Naturally, a more systematic discussion of these questions will first take place in the teaching of anthropology.

It is not so much a matter of making the student knowledgeable on all questions of eugenics, but of creating motives for his action. Racial eugenics is particularly valuable for school because of its educational significance. If the emphasis on the ideology of the biotic community creates a feeling of belonging to our people and state, then racial eugenics creates the will to struggle, body and soul, for the growth and health of this biotic community.

This is also the place for discussing, from a biological viewpoint, the family as a value, and the improvement of the sense of family which has been sorely neglected by many modern pedagogues. The family, after all, is the smallest biotic community since it forms the germ cell of the state. If we take up these questions, the fields of individual hygiene and racial eugenics, of genetics and sex education, combine to form a meaningful unit, just as, generally, the teaching of biology, which in the past was fragmented into many unrelated individual fields, will be fused into a unified whole once our efforts achieve fruition. In these discussions on the family we are less concerned with the student's enlarging his knowledge and more with the aim that he be imbued with a sense of responsibility, that he begin to sense that the deepest meaning of human life is to grow beyond himself in his children, and that nothing he could leave to them would be more valuable than the German heritage which he has received from his ancestors, and that, through race mixing, he could taint and impair his progeny in a most unfavorable way.

Such ideas lead to an ethnology of the German people, which we mentioned earlier by way of a few pedagogical observations. All that remains to be discussed is at what stage it should be introduced. As we have explained, the way to it is already prepared in zoology and botany and it is concluded in the teaching of anthropology. Now a short remark on the goal of ethnology: the knowledge of physical and spiritual features of the individual races has little value if it does not lead to the firm will to fight against the racial deterioration of the German nation and if it does not imbue the student with the conviction that the fact of belonging to a race imposes a responsibility....

The actual method of teaching racial eugenics of necessity will vary with the individual types of schools. Even the simplest village school may not pass over these problems. It can build upon the children's own radius of experience in the fields of animal breeding and plant cultivation. From this, simple rules of heredity can be deduced; these, however, do not need to involve cellular research and the theory of chromosomes. Children are familiar with symptoms of degeneration in animals and plants, and not much initiative is required to find such signs of degeneration and decline in man too. Thus a point of departure is created for introducing racial eugenics during instruction in zoology and botany. At suitable opportunities -- this can also be done in the teaching of geography and history -- such ideas will be elaborated further until they are most fully treated in the teaching of anthropology. Not one elementary-school pupil should leave school without having internalized the iron command that he is to bear part of the responsibility for the fate of his fatherland, without the awareness that he is only a link in the chain of his ancestors and descendants and the carrier of the future generation. The higher schools can devote more time to racial eugenics: the students in the later classes are more mature than those in the elementary and intermediate schools. Here, too, the way will be prepared in zoology and botany. Further, the teaching of history can be made very meaningful through racial eugenics, since we know that modern historians consider the cause of the collapse of the ancient world to lie in non-eugenic racial mixtures....

When teaching the theory of family and race, as well as eugenics, it is methodologically important to stimulate independent activity on the part of the student to the greatest possible degree. It can be suggested that the student draw up a genealogical chart of his family as far back as he can go. In addition, he can be asked questions about the physical characteristics of his parents and other forebears as far as they can be determined (size, figure, shape of head and face, color of hair and eyes, form of nose, etc.), about their intellectual and characterological qualities, their special achievements (for example, rescues during the war, scientific or literary publications, compositions), their life span and cause of death. In given cases, deformities and hereditary diseases should also be reported. The number of children produced by the student's ancestors should be determined. This is the kind of material in which the student will be directly interested. But when explaining hereditary diseases the teacher must take care not to arouse feelings of inferiority or fear of such diseases in students who come from families with handicaps of a hereditary character. It also goes without saying that he is duty-bound to keep certain information confidential as far as the other students are concerned. In every class, then, there will be sufficient usable material which can serve as a basis for teaching in the afore-mentioned fields.

From Paul Brohmer, Biologieunterricht und volkische Erziehung (Frankfurt: Verlag Moritz Diesterweg, 1933), pp. 8-10, 68-72, 74-80.

To Preserve the Strength of the Race: Compulsory Sterilization, by ERICH RISTOW

There is complete unanimity on the decision which stipulates that a recommendation of sterilization is not to be postponed for the reason that the person subject to this measure is pregnant. Consequently, the measure has to be carried out and the order thereto is to be issued by the Hereditary Health Law Court (Erbgesundheits-Gericht). [1]

The decision of the Hereditary Health Law Courts will be carried out in such a way that the ovaries of the woman are removed or unbound. Care must be taken to make it as difficult as possible, if not in fact impossible, for surgery to undo this measure, so as to avoid the rejoining of the parts that have been separated.... Persons who have been sterilized must be prevented from traveling abroad in order to have physicians there counter the effect of the surgery.

When a Hereditary Health Law Court has legally decreed the sterilization of a woman who is pregnant at the time this measure is to be carried out, the pregnancy can be interrupted with the permission of the pregnant woman, except when the fetus is already in a stage of viability or if the interruption of pregnancy would seriously endanger the woman's life or health.

From Erich Ristow, Erbgesundheitsrecht (Stuttgart and Berlin: Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 1935), pp. 127, 159, 226, 256.



1. These courts were composed of two doctors and one judge.

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