Germany in WW2
Adolf Hitler

Why did Hitler say Germans were the Master race?


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Nazi philosophy was based on a belief that Germans were the only descendants of the Aryan race. The origins of this race are not clear, but it was presumed that they were a fair-haired, fair-skinned group that migrated to northern Europe from somewhere in the region of Persia or northern India (which is part of why the Nazis used Indian symbolism, such as the swastika). In Nazi mythology, this race was the rightful rulers of that land, but was driven out by the semites (Arabs, Jews, and related peoples) who have populated those regions since. This idea of being the rightful but dispossessed rulers was combined with a pseudoscientific form of genetics which claimed that the Aryan race (and its descendants) were the only genetically 'pure' race of humans, and that other races were more akin to animals. This lead to the belief that the Germans (as the descendants of the Aryans) should rightfully rule over the other races because (a) they had an ancestral right to recapture the dominion of the original Aryans, and (b) 'humans' naturally rule over 'animals'. Thus the Germans were (supposedly) a race of masters for the other races. This belief, incidentally, did not originate in Germany, was not specific to Nazis, and can be traced back well before World War II. For instance, European colonialism was based on similar notions of European superiority, though generally of a much weaker variety. There were, however, a number of factors that contributed to extreme and murderous form of this belief that gained power in Germany (crushing poverty and loss of national pride after WWI; the introduction of mass media - film and radio, particularly - and propaganda; the particular forms of state socialism that were then on the rise in European political thought; etc.).