Year 11 IB
History
Ms. Watson
“How did Hitler persecute the minority groups of Germany so that he could
create his perfect Aryan society?”
Word Count: 1488
22/3/04
Michael Currie
During Hitler’s time in power minority groups in Germany and in Europe were
tortured, tormented, exiled and killed. Hitler persecuted various minority
groups because he thought they had no place in his master race. Hitler had
a vision of a master race called the “Aryan race” which he planned to
purify and become world dominators. Hitler decided that to make this master
race he would have to exterminate all the minorities which did not fit
under the Aryan race. Examples of these minorities are the Jews, Gypsies,
Homosexuals, handicapped and anyone who he believed to be asocial or
defective. Not only did Hitler persecute these groups in Germany, as he
started invading other countries he persecuted the minorities in those
countries as well. Some of the most affected countries were Poland,
Holland, Austria and France. Hitler’s persecution of Minority groups was an
issue that affected Europe as a whole.


What was Hitler’s view of a master race? In Hitler’s book Mein Kampf Hitler
divides humans into categories based on physical appearance, establishing
higher and lower orders, or types of humans. At the top, according to
Hitler is the Germanic man with his fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes.

Hitler refers to this type of person as an Aryan. He asserts the Aryan is
the supreme form of human, or master race. “All the human culture, all the
results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are
almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan…”
(http://www.bofhlet.net/tasteless/13/kampf.htm). This direct quote gives an
excellent view of Hitler’s belief. Hitler used powerful propaganda
techniques to convince not only the German people, but countless others,
that if they eliminated the people who stood in their way and the
degenerates and racially inferior, they – “the great Germans” would prosper
(http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/romgypsies.htm). Hitler gave the title
degenerates and racially inferior to the Jews and other minority groups.

Although the Aryan race was superior there were still people within the
Aryan race who were considered a burden to the society and were taken away
and treated as one of the minorities. These people were normally the
disabled and mentally ill and although they were of Aryan decent they were
persecuted just like the minorities because of their individualities.


There were many different groups of people who were persecuted by the
Nazis, but by far the largest group was the Jews. There are many different
suggestions of why Hitler hated the Jews, one being that his mothers doctor
was a Jew and when he couldn’t save her, Hitler blamed his mother’s death
on the Jews and another that he heard voices in his head telling him to
save Germany form the Jews (War Time leader series: Adolf Hitler. Learning
essentials, Victoria), however this video source does seem to mix fact and
opinion making assumptions of what was on Hitler’s mind. The fact is that
the Jews were chosen for annihilation because of their race. Even though
Jews are defined by religion, Hitler saw the Jewish people as a race that
he believed needed to be completely annihilated
(http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/romgypsies.htm). This source is also
supported by many other historical writings. Hitler said it was the Jews
who are engaged in a conspiracy to keep this master race from assuming its
rightful position as rulers of the world, by tainting its racial and
cultural purity and even inventing forms of government in which the Aryan
comes to believe in equality and fails to recognize his racial superiority.

For Hitler and committed Nazis the Jews were the arch-enemy. Persecution
began with a boycott of Jewish businesses and professionals on April 1,
1933, allegedly in response to “atrocity propaganda” by Jews abroad. The
campaign to destroy world Jewry continued, and endless trains took millions
of Jews to extermination camps. On the Night of Broken Glass
(Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938) throughout Germany, Jewish synagogues
were torched, Jewish businesses and dwellings ransacked, Jews beaten up, in
some cases killed, and thousands sent to concentration camps. With the war
against the Soviet Union in June 1941, the SS deployed “task forces”
(Einsatzgruppen) behind German lines, who systematically massacred hundreds
of thousands of Jews. In the winter of 1941 to 1942, the SS began the
systematic murder of Jews through the use of gas, first through exhaust
fumes in vans and then in gas chambers in six death camps: Chelmno, Belzec,
Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek. This continued until
the end of 1944. The total Jewish death toll from ill treatment, shooting,
and gas has been estimated at between 5 million and 6 million (Microsoft
Encarta Encyclopedia 2003. 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved). While some individuals dispute these figures, their factual
basis is accepted in nearly all history texts.


Although The Jews were heavily persecuted there are many other minorities
that were persecuted as well and should not be forgotten. These groups are
the homosexuals, gypsies, mentally ill and the handicapped. Hitler had
planned to persecute the homosexuals but it was not until 1933 when Hitler
had become supreme legal authority of the Third Reich that the active
persecution of gays had begun. One of the biggest issues regarding the
persecution of the homosexuals was Hitler’s persecution of Ernst Rohm, head
of the SA (storm troopers). Rohm’s army was growing ever strong and Hitler
knew that he could not maintain power without the help of Rohm and his army
so Hitler came to Rohm’s defence by saying, “His private life cannot be an
object of scrutiny unless it conflicts with basic principles of the
National Socialist ideology” (http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/nazi.htm). When
Rohm’s army grew to 500,000 men by 1932, Hitler saw a threat and decided
that Rohm’s private life did conflict with the parties ideologies. On June
30th, 1934 Hitler made his move on Rohm and his army which came to be known
as the “The Night of Long Knives”. A group of Hitler’s men barged into a
party that the SA were having and shot some men on the spot while 200 other
SA leaders were rounded up and taken to Berlin where they were massacred.

Rohm was taken to Stadelheim prison in Munich by order of Himmler and
Goring, given a gun a told to kill himself. He refused saying, “Let Adolf
do his dirty work”. They shot him down
(http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/nazi.htm). These quotes seem plausible but
the source maybe biased as it appears to be from a gay activist’s
perspective. On that same day Hitler ordered the elimination of all
homosexuals from the army in fear that they had started a secret order
within the army. Although the Night of the Long Knives marks the beginning
of the slaughtering of gays, the year before (1933) began the persecutions.

On February of that year all gay bars and hotels were banned. On March 3rd
nudism was banned. March 7th the West Germany city Administration began its
campaign against homosexuals, Jews, Negroes, and Mongols. November 13th the
Hamburg City Administration asked the Head of Police to pay special
attention to transvestites and to deliver them to the concentration camps
if necessary (http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/nazi.htm).


The Gypsies were persecuted like the Jews for being “racially inferior and
degenerate”. The gypsies were also seen as being asocial which added to
their worthlessness to the Nazis vision of a master race. It was because of
this view, as an asocial race, that the gypsies were sterilized. This
sterilization occurred so that they were not able to reproduce, and
therefore in the long run the gypsies would eventually become an extinct
race. Like the Jews, the Gypsies were also moved into special areas set up
by the Nazis. Half a million Gypsies, almost the entire Eastern European
Gypsy population, was wiped out during the Holocaust
(http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/romgypsies.htm)
Forced sterilization was the forerunner of the systematic killing of the
mentally ill and the handicapped. Hitler made a law that allowed doctors to
kill people who were suffering from an incurable illness. This program was
called Euthanasia and was as a euphemism used by the Nazis as their true
goal was to exterminate the mentally ill and handicapped which would
cleanse the Aryan race. Originally the patients were killed by lethal
injection, but carbon monoxide proved to be a more efficient method of
killing as gas chambers could be disguised as showers complete with fake
nozzles in order to deceive victims. This method carried on through the war
and was later inserted into the extermination camps and many more were
built in Poland for use later in the war (http://www.us-
israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/disabled.html). This evidence is very clear
and consistent and is believed to be true in many historical texts. However
the website is made from the perspective of a US-Israel organization.


Hitler’s persecution of minority groups spread to other countries as well.

Poland was severely affected as it was great agricultural land close to
Germany filled with strong healthy farmers. Hitler forced the Polish Jews
into Ghettos and imprisoned the people of Poland inside their own land.

Blonde haired children were Germanized and taken back to Germany to be
trained as Nazi supporters. (http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/fivmil.htm)
Holland was invaded by Germany because they were considered to be the
“superior” racial composition of the Dutch people, certifiably 100% Aryan;
German interbreeding with the Dutch could in fact improve the racial purity
of the new German super-nation (http://www-
lib.usc.edu/~anthonya/war/holnazi.htm).

An example of a minority persecuted in Holland is Anne Frank. Anne Frank
was one of the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution during the Second World
War. After Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940, increasingly
severe anti-Jewish measures began there
(http://www.channels.nl/amsterdam/annefran.html). The information found on
Anne Frank is from a Dutch website which summarises her factual account and
which is a well recognised source of information of the effects of Hitler’s
regime on Holland and on her as one individual.


In conclusion, because of Hitler’s vision of a master race, so many
innocent people were persecuted all over Germany and Europe. Hitler
committed genocide so that everyone could be the same without differences.

By doing this he took away the one thing that makes a person, their
individuality.


Bibliography:
Internet Sources:
. http://www.bofhlet.net/tasteless/13/kampf.htm
. http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/romgypsies.htm
. http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/nazi.htm
. http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/fivmil.htm
. http://www-lib.usc.edu/~anthonya/war/holnazi.htm
. http://www.channels.nl/amsterdam/annefran.html
. http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/disabled.html
. http://www.channels.nl/amsterdam/annefran.html
CD-ROM Sources:
. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2003. 1993-2002 Microsoft
Corporation
Video Sources:
. War Time leader series: Adolf Hitler. Learning essentials, Victoria