Monday, December 11, 2017

Hitler and the "Asiatic Races"

Author: Jonathan Harrison
In December 1942, Hitler held a meeting concerning the Netherlands with Mussert, Seyss-Inquart, Himmler, Lammers, Schmidt and Bormann. The meeting's notes, written up by Bormann, were published in 1976 in the collection De SS en Nederland Documenten uit de SS-archieven 1935-1945, which was recently made available through NIOD and Wikimedia Commons here in two pdf files. The first file, from pages 893-899, reproduces Bormann's record of the meeting.

In one of its key passages, Hitler depicts the war in the East as a life-or-death struggle because the Bolsheviks would exterminate all European strata (p.895). Hitler also makes it clear that his opposition to the Bolsheviks is racial, not political or ideological: Germany is up against the Asiatic races who intend to destroy European civilization and impose race-mixing (p.894).

These remarks can be compared to other sources. Hitler was, in part, echoing Diewerge's formulation "Who Should Die — Germans or Jews?" The same day that Bormann produced his notes, Goebbels wrote in his diary, "Jewry must pay for its crime just as our Fuehrer prophesied in his speech in the Reichstag; namely, by the wiping out of the Jewish race in Europe and possibly in the entire world." Crucially, however, Hitler's comments were not just antisemitic but pointed to a willingness to exterminate all 'Asiatic' life in his path that was incompatible with his view of European civilization. They therefore converge with the starvation goals of May 1941, in which the Nazis were willing to condemn to death thirty million people (see, for example, Kay, p.689), and the plan to to totally destroy the major Soviet cities and make the areas uninhabitable (see here).

No comments: