Nazi ideology sought to create a German nation that would incorporate the borders of Germany as it existed in the Middle Ages. For Heinrich Himmler, the boundaries of the old Germany reached as far east as Livonia, an area that encompasses present-day Latvia and Estonia. The policy of Lebensraum or “living space” required the conquest of these areas in the east, and the repatriation of ethnic Germans, living in the Baltic states and elsewhere, to the newly annexed German soil. The doctrine of Blood and Soil (Blut und Boden) also demanded that both the Slavic peoples and the Jews be removed from all areas under German control, allowing only a person of German or cognate ancestry to own land. Nazi ideology also taught that much of history involved the struggle for supremacy between the “Aryan” people and the Jews or Semites. Drawing on examples, such as the wars between Rome and Carthage, and the Greek wars against the Persians, Nazi ideology insisted that the defeat of the Semitic peoples (Jews) was the necessary precondition for the restoration of Germany’s greatness, which would last 1,000 years (“Thousand-Year Reich”). Germany’s weakness as a nation was attributed to the mixing of the races that led to the diminution of German “blood” and the nation’s decline. The ideology also contended that although the Aryan race was stronger than the Semites, the Jews had been victorious in one important area: religion.
   Christianity was viewed as a Semitic import imposed on Germany and its pagan religions. The objective was to either destroy Christianity and restore the German gods of antiquity or to turn Jesus into an Aryan. Nazi ideology refused to accept the belief that Jesus was a Jew, and therefore set about to Nazify the German churches by purging them of all their traces of Jewish origins, including the primacy of the Hebrew Testament.
   The Holocaust was the culmination of this conflict. It is an error to believe that Nazi ideology held the Jews as an inferior people. Rather, the Nazis viewed the Jews as bent on the nation’s conquest through intermarriage, their control of the press, finance, industry, Marxism, and the overall world of high culture. Jews, therefore, became the primary enemy in a struggle for the soul of Germany, whereby there was no room for half measures. From the Reich Hereditary Farm Law of September 1933 to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 to the death camps, Nazi ideology fostered the belief that the biological survival of the Aryan race was predicated on the elimination of the Jews from Europe.

Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. . 2014.


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