Nazi Ideas about Race and Religion

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1 Nazi Ideas about Race and Religion Nazi Germany This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable. 1 of 25 For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation.

2 What we will learn today 2 of 25 As well as their ideas about politics and society, the Nazis also had some strong beliefs about race and religion. In this presentation you will investigate: 1. Race: Hitler s ideas about the master race, and how these ideas affected his treatment of Jews, tramps, homosexuals and the handicapped. 2. Religion: Hitler s feelings about the Christian faith, and how these ideas affected his treatment of Catholics and Protestants.

3 3 of 25 Nazi Ideas about Race

4 Social Darwinism: the European context 4 of 25

5 Social Darwinism: the world context 5 of 25

6 6 of 25 Social Darwinism: the Nazi context The Nazis took Social Darwinism even further by arguing that conflict between races of people was inevitable. Hitler believed in an Aryan 'master race' of blue-eyed, white-skinned, fair-haired people. He felt this race was undermined by toleration of: (a) undesirable other races, such as Jews and Gypsies (b) undesirable Aryan specimens, such as the mentally ill and people with disabilities. In order to create a strong 'Volk', Hitler believed it was necessary to rid Germany of both groups of undesirables ( Victory goes to the strong; the weak must be eliminated ). This presentation will deal with how Hitler treated these undesirables.

7 Why did Hitler hate the Jews? 7 of 25 Hitler hated the Jews. He considered them communists and war profiteers who had stabbed Germany in the back at the end of World War I. Where did these ideas come from? Jews were historically blamed for killing Christ, so they were: Politically denied basic rights in many Christian countries. As a result, they either: Economically excluded from professions. Became very poor and so attracted to communism, which scared the wealthy or Became very rich by setting themselves up as moneylenders (a profession closed to Christians) so they were hated by the poor.

8 What did Hitler have to say about the Jews? 8 of 25 The Jews inhabited Hitler s mind. He believed that they were the source of all evil, misfortune and tragedy. They were devils whom he had been given a divine mission to destroy Lucy Dawidowicz, 1975.

9 What did Hitler have to say about the Jews? 9 of 25

10 Nazi Anti-Jewish policies of 25 As soon as he came to power, Hitler began a systematic state-led attack on the German Jews. In 1933 he organized a boycott of Jewish businesses. SA members barred entry to Jewish shops. Jews were made to use separate seats on buses and trains, and were banned from public places like parks and cafes. Jews were excluded from many professions. Jewish civil servants and teachers were sacked and Jews were not allowed to edit newspapers or study law. Jews could not join the Chamber of Culture or the German Labour Front, further removing them from public life.

11 Nazi Anti-Jewish policies of 25 Photograph courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, London. This cartoon is from a German school book from the inter-war period. What message do you think this cartoon is trying to give to German school children?

12 The Nuremberg Laws of 25

13 Kristallnacht the Night of Broken Glass 13 of 25 In November 1938, a high-ranking Nazi was shot by a Jewish man in Paris. Hitler used this as an excuse to organize a week of violence against the German Jews. On 10 November, Himmler and the SS led attacks on Jewish businesses. 10,000 shops were looted and 200 synagogues burnt down. 91 Jews were killed during the seven-day campaign of terror, and 20,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps. To add insult to injury, Hitler then fined the Jewish community a billion marks to pay for the damage caused.

14 The Jewish Exodus 14 of 25 Many Jews left Germany during this period. When do you think most Jews would have left, and why? Many Jews nevertheless chose to stay. Why do you think that this was?

15 15 of 25 Other Undesirable Groups

16 16 of 25 (a) Tramps Nazi motives: Anyone who demonstrates through behaviour towards the community that they will not adapt themselves to the natural discipline of a Nazi state [should not be allowed to have children]. Himmler, 1935 Nazi actions: By 1945, 350,000 men who were considered vagrants had been forcibly sterilized. 100 of these had died as a result of the Hitler cut.

17 (b) Homosexuals 17 of 25 Nazi motives: There are homosexuals who take the view: what I do is my business. However, all things which take place in the sexual sphere signify the life and death of the nation... A people of good race which has too few children has a one-way ticket to the grave. Himmler, 1937 Nazi actions: During the Nazi period, between 10 and 15 thousand homosexuals were imprisoned. They were then either castrated or subjected to medical experiments to correct their sexuality.

18 (c) The Disabled 18 of 25 Nazi motives: [Doctors can] decide whether those who have as far as can be humanly determined incurable illnesses should, after the most careful evaluation, be granted a mercy death. Hitler, 1939 Nazi actions: By 1945 the mercy killing of people who were ill or disabled had resulted in nearly 280,000 deaths. The euthanasia programme set a dangerous precedent that paved the way for the Holocaust.

19 Discussion points 19 of 25

20 20 of 25 Nazi Ideas about Religion

21 Hitler s attitude 21 of 25 Hitler was in two minds about what his policy towards the Christian churches should be. On the one hand, the churches could be a powerful ally. The Catholic Church had supported the Nazis because it saw them as a bastion against Communism. On the other hand, the Church represented a rival authority to the Führer. Catholics were required to give their allegiance to the Pope, and the Protestant churchman Martin Niemoller, had openly spoken out against the Nazis.

22 (a) Catholic Church 22 of 25

23 (b) Protestant Church 23 of 25 Hitler united the Protestant churches into one organization led by the pro-nazi Bishop Muller. Its members were called 'German Christians' and their slogan was The swastika on our breasts and the cross in our hearts. Over the course of the next few years the churches came increasingly under attack. By 1939, RE lessons had been abolished and all church schools closed. What do you think the slogan of the German Christian Movement was getting at?

24 (c) The German Faith Movement 24 of 25 In 1934 the German Faith Movement was set up. This became the state religion and was based around the Hitler Myth. It aimed to promote the Aryan people and Nazi ideology. "The National Reich Church demands an immediate stop to the printing and sale of the Bible in Germany... On the altars must be nothing but Mein Kampf, and to the left of this a sword." From the rules of the National Reich Church.

25 Plenary 25 of 25

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