Thursday, December 8, 2016

'Ewiger Wald: Bedeutung der Natur im Dritten Reich'

Also known in English as 'Enchanted Forest,' a 1936 film by Hanns Springer and Rolf von Sonjevsk-Jamrowski, connecting the German people to their primeval past.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

'Permitting the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life': Brief Excerpts and Remarks on Scale and Scope

Binding and Hoche's book was a seminal work. It placed the question of life and death in proper scientific, legal, and political context. But the concept of 'life unworthy of life' is a normative concept, both broader and deeper than the medical context to which their book applied it. Its extension and expansion by the NSDAP and the SS to cases not mentioned by Binding and Hoche, as a reflection of its scale and scope, was legitimate.

Binding and Hoche's book, Permitting the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life, published in 1920 following Binding's death, examines the theoretical, legal, and medical contexts of the question: "When is the state justifiably engaged in the ending of life?" Their answer: When it involves life unworthy of the name. The forfeiture of a will to life that is coupled with a grave medical affliction or condition and concomitant burden on family and state. In such cases, to end life is justifiable and praiseworthy. The state must assume the burden of making the killing of such life feasible.

The book was published following the end of World War I. That context reveals itself in the examples that are found in the book. The reader is asked to envision battlefields where a healthy soldier dies in a dysgenic war while the unhealthy, back home, sap the vitality of an already burdened state in its medical facilities.

Binding and Hoche's restriction of the concept of 'life unworthy of life' to medical contexts in general, but specifically cases of terminal illness, were broadened by the NSDAP and the SS to include other groups besides the terminally ill. These included larger segments of the population, including not just the terminally ill, the feeble minded, and those for whom life is a greater burden than blessing, but also racial and ethnic groups. Hoche was later critical of this expansion, and Anglo-American writers have constantly attacked it. A typical example is "Binding and Hoche's 'Life Unworthy of Life': An Historical Analysis," by Howard Brody and M. Wayne Cooper.

The concept of 'life unworthy of life,' however, is a normative concept, not a political, medical or scientific concept. Even Binding and Hoche acknowledge, in their last paragraph, that it is a concept that existed even in the ancient world. Constant proximity to death meant that the concept was accepted without question:
There was a time, now considered barbaric, in which eliminating those who were born unfit for life, or who later became so, was taken for granted.
The NSDAP and the SS's expansion and broadening of the concept was legitimate, as were their determinations about the groups of people to whom the concept was applied. Every people inevitably frames answers to the question that was posed above: "When is the state justifiably engaged in the ending of life?" An extensive catalog of deaths that resulted from the policies of nations before, during, and after World War II would provide a revealing view of how pervasive some variant of an answer manifests itself among different peoples. We must come to accept that not everyone is deserving of life and relearn how to devalue human detritus.

Source: K. Binding und A. Hoche, Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens (Leipzig, Felix Meiner Verlag: 1920). German here. [1]

Dr. Karl Binding (1841-1920)

Dr. Alfred Hoche (1865-1943)

... Should permissible taking of life be restricted, except in emergency situations, to an individual's act of suicide as it is in current law, or should it be legally extended to the killing of fellow human beings, and under what conditions?


To what extent, then, is killing humans allowed today, again apart from emergency situations, and what is to be understood by this? Recognizing a right to kill would be the opposite of "allowing."

[...]

Are there human lives which have so completely lost the attribute of legal status that their continuation has permanently lost all value, both for the bearer of that life and for society?

Merely asking this question is enough to raise an uneasy feeling in anyone who is accustomed to assessing the value of individual life for the bearer and for the social whole. It hurts him to see how we handle the most valuable of lives (filled with and sustained by the strongest will to live and the greatest vital power), and how much labor, power, patience, and capital investment we squander (often totally uselessly) just to preserve lives not worth living - until nature, often pitilessly late, removes the last possibility of their continuation.

Reflect simultaneously on a battlefield strewn with thousands of dead youths, or a mine in which methane gas has trapped hundreds of energetic workers; compare this with our mental hospitals, with their caring for their living inmates. One will be deeply shaken by the strident clash of the sacrifice of the finest flower of humanity in its full measure on the one side, and by the meticulous care shown to existences which are not just absolutely worthless, but even of negative value on the other.

It is impossible to doubt that there are living people to whom death would be a release, and whose death would simultaneously free society and the state from carrying a burden which serves no conceivable purpose, except that of providing an examples of the greatest unselfishness. And because there actually are human lives, in whose preservation no rational being could ever again take any interest, the legal order is now confronted by the fateful question: Is it our duty actively to advocate for this life's asocial continuance (particularly by the fullest application of criminal law) or to permit its destruction under specific conditions? One could also state the question legislatively, like this: Does the energetic preservation of such life deserve preference, as an example of the general unassailability of life? Or does permitting its termination, which frees everyone involved, seem the lesser evil?

[...]

But I cannot find the least reason - legally, socially, ethically, or religiously - not to permit those requested to do so to kill such hopeless cases who urgently demand death.

[...]

Despite everything, this new question allows only a very slowly unfolding process of change and adjustment. The consciousness of the meaninglessness of merely individual existence when compared with the interests of the whole; the feeling of one's absolute obligation for integrating every available power and discarding all useless tasks; the feeling of being a totally responsible participate in a difficult and painful undertaking: these must all become part of the common understanding to a much greater extent than today before any of the ideas presented here can receive complete recognition.

[...]

... Goethe originated the model for how important human questions evolve. He saw them as a spiral. The core of this model is the fact that at regular intervals a spiral line rising in a particular direction perpetually returns to the same position relative to the axis crossing it but each time a step higher.

Eventually, this image will be apparent even in connection with the cultural question we have been discussing. There was a time, now considered barbaric, in which eliminating those who were born unfit for life, or who later became so, was taken for granted. Then came the phrase, continuing into the present, in which, finally, preserving every existence, no matter how worthless, stood as the highest moral value. A new age will arrive - operating with a higher morality and with great sacrifice - which will actually give up the requirements of an exaggerated humanism and overvaluation of mere existence. ...

--------------------
[1] The English excerpts that I include in this post are cross-referenced with the translation of the National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent & Disabled, published in Issues in Law & Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1992: 231-265.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Excerpt from 'For the Hitler Youth' (1938) by Helmut Stellrecht; Translation by M.H.

Translation by M.H.; full credit extended to him.

Adolf Hitler with eager members of the Hitlerjugend...
You carry in your blood the holy inheritance of your fathers and forefathers. You do not know those who have vanished in endless ranks into the darkness of the past. But they all live in you and walk in your blood upon the earth that consumed them in battle and toil and in which their bodies have long decayed. Your blood is therefore something holy. In it your parents gave you not only a body, but your nature. To deny your blood is to deny yourself. No one can change it. But each decides to grow the good that one has inherited and suppress the bad. Each is also given will and courage. You do not have only the right, but also the duty to pass your blood on to your children, for you are a member of the chain of generations that reaches from the past into eternity, and this link of the chain that you represent must do its part so that the chain is never broken. But if your blood has traits that will make your children unhappy and burdens to the state, then you have the heroic duty to be the last. The blood is the carrier of life. You carry in it the secret of creation itself. Your blood is holy, for in it God’s will lives.


Friday, August 5, 2016

The Use of Race, Folk, and 'Aryan' in National-Socialism

"Thus men without exception wander about in the garden of nature; they imagine that they know practically everything and yet with few exceptions pass blindly by one of the most patent principle's of nature's rule: the inner segregation of the species of all living beings on this Earth." 
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, chapter eleven
National-Socialism is a form of fascism that takes the reality of man as a biological entity as its starting point, focusing on his racial and ethnic constitution, evolutionary and ecological contexts, and embedding these in domestic and foreign policy. The concept of folk or people and that of race in general and 'Aryan' in particular, and the nation, are integral to its central ideological foundations. In this article, I address some misconceptions about these and place them in proper context.

For example, the word, 'Aryan,' was used well before National-Socialism: The Sanskrit ārya that it comes from originally meant "noble." Hindu scriptural context conceived of an "Aryan" as "someone that does noble deeds."[1] By the nineteenth century, the term was emptied of its religious and scriptural context. It was increasingly used to refer to ethnolinguistic and also racial groupings.

Karl W.F. Schlegel used 'Aryan' in 1819 to link Indo-Iranian languages with the Germanic tongues (e.g. German, English, Dutch, and so on) in a broader ethnolinguistic family. 'Aryan' therefore came to encompass the ethnolinguistic family of peoples and their associated languages that included all Indo-European languages and the people that spoke them: Iranians, Indians, and Europeans. In sum, use of 'Aryan' evolved from a religious context to a scientific one.

Arthur de Gobineau helped solidify the Indo-European connotation of 'Aryan' in the 1850s: His Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races argued that the human species is divided into three major races: A "white race," a Negro or "black race," and an Asian or a "yellow race." De Gobineau argued that an "Aryan race" also existed, encompassing a subset of a much broader white race, and was comprised principally of the various Northern European peoples: Britons, Germans, etc.

On this view, the "Aryan race" encompassed non-Semitic white Europeans but omitted all Mediterranean peoples. Throughout the later nineteenth century, the idea of such a narrow view of "Aryans" as a race was taken up by other naturalists, including those who sought to strengthen the relationship of, if not outright identify, "Aryan" and "Nordic": Either placing the later at the center or core of the former, as a binding element, or identifying "Aryans" with "Nordic" peoples.[2]

When 'Aryan' was used principally with linguistic groups, it was typically used to refer to all of the languages of the Indo-European family: extant, including Albanian, Armenian, Baltic, Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic, Italic, Iranian and Slavic languages, and extinct, including the Anatolian and Tocharian linguistic branches.

When 'Aryan' was used principally in context to racial groups, it was viewed simultaneously as both a subrace and a race with its own subraces. The "Aryan race" was viewed as a subrace of the Caucasoid or "white race," which was one of three principal races that also include the Negroid or "black race" and Mongoloid or "yellow race." H.S. Chamberlain held that the Aryan race's own subraces included the Nordic, Alpine, Dinaric, Atlantid, Iranid, and various other subraces.

Science writer H.G. Wells likewise held that the three major races - white, black, and yellow - existed and that the Aryan race was, along with the Hamitic, Iberian, and Semitic races, a subrace of the larger "white race." Wells, however, separated the Iberian, or Mediterranean, race from the "Aryan race," while H.S. Chamberlain included Mediterranean peoples in the "Aryan race." Other racial subdivisions were also made, and equally adept naturalists made their own subdivisions.


The biological thought of H.S. Chamberlain, Arthur de Gobineau and Hans F.K. Günther was formative for Hitler's views on race and later NSDAP racial policy. The context of the Darwinian Revolution, which irrupted into academic and scientific biology in the nineteenth century, solidified a naturalistic context of biological thought. It leveled the previous field of thought and undermined the prevailing view of species and subspecies (races, or nascent species) as static natural groups.

A race is what biologists call a subspecies or variety. A particular race has several different properties: Morphological, physiological, genetic, genealogical, behavioral, developmental and in the case of animals with advanced nervous systems, psychological attributes. A race is also geographically distinct. The white or Caucasoid race originates in Europe. The black or Negroid race originates more recently in Africa. The yellow or Mongoloid race originates in Asia.

A race is distinguished by manifestations of the above properties: Skin pigmentation, bone and skeletal structure, bone density, skull shape, maturation rate, brain size, susceptibility to disease, propensities to intelligence, sexual impulse, aggressiveness, and other behavioral, physical, and psychological properties. Contrary to popular belief, race is not a measure of "skin color" or pigmentation alone.

Race, or subspecies, is vital to the evolutionary process. When a species emerges in nature it does so by having originated as a subspecies, or race, in a previous species. Every race is a potential species in its own right. When those who attempt to argue against the reality of race emphasize species, claiming that species have a reality that races lack, they ignore the very origins to which every species owes its existence: Species start as subspecies, as races, in parent species.

National-Socialism identifies the necessity to safeguard racial elements as the most crucial dimension of domestic and foreign policy. This is clearly echoed by nature, itself. When a given subspecies, or race, emerges within a species, natural and social barriers to gene flow arise and are perpetuated so that the subspecies can maintain its distinctiveness. If a subspecies loses these natural barriers, then it cannot maintain its uniqueness and as such inevitably disappears.

Biologists refer to different barriers as either "pre-zygotic" or "post-zygotic": "Pre-zygotic" barriers include mating barriers, courting rituals, or even songs. However, "post-zygotic" (or, after birth) barriers also exist, and include such outcomes as infertility or sterility, as when an organism cannot yield offspring.

The concept of "racial purity" is often attacked by leftists, but they misunderstand the nature of the concept and the fact that it is readily echoed by lineages of organisms in nature. The concept refers to the natural integrity that every unique subspecies inherently possesses, an integrity that consists of the unique combination of traits that it possesses. Every lineage of organisms naturally aspires to maintain this unique combination of traits, and in doing so it resists its dissolution.

The policies of the NSDAP were simply a formal expression in human institutional terms of an impulse that is pervasive in the natural world. By politically enshrining this common and natural tendency, Hitler's government simply enacted a policy that is innately woven into the natural fabric of organismal lineages.

Put another way, the diversity of life on Earth exists because organisms naturally incline to segregation and discrimination. Segregation leads to the creation of boundaries between subspecies, the precondition of the formation of species. Discrimination is simply the natural insistence on exclusivity, that natural selective tendency among organisms to preserve the uniqueness of their lineage by sifting and sorting among potential mates and selecting the appropriate mate.

In affirming race, National-Socialism affirms life, and that is because race is central to life, to its diversity and its distinctiveness. The history of life on Earth is the history of many different biological lineages in conflict one with the other, over space within which to live, the natural precondition for flourishing and well-being.

The concept of an "Aryan race" came to acquire a practical significance in Hitler's thought and in NSDAP racial policy. It was understood in distinct terms, and in distinct phases, from the early period of 1933 to 1936, from 1936 through 1939, and as the practical necessities of war imposed on Germany realized themselves, the political, social, and especially legal exigencies of the scope of 'Aryan' retreated from the purely theoretical. It acquired a definite societal and moral utility.

A people, or "folk" (Volk, in German), is, however, distinct from a race [3]:
Folk and race are not the same. "Folk" is a political and cultural concept; "race" is a concept of biology and natural science. The folk is a bond of destiny; the race by contrast is not a political community but the eternal spring from which the people derives its strength.
A folk, or people, subsumes the racial and biological, in addition to other qualities:
Folk (Nation) is a community of human beings with the same descent, language, culture, history, and homeland, and the same political will. The folk is a community of blood and destiny. Shared ancestry is the most important characteristic. We Germans are all related to each other.
Therefore, a folk is both an historical and a biological entity; while human subspecies, or races, exhibit many of the qualities and traits that comprise subspecies, or races, of nonhuman species. That is, human and nonhuman subspecies are principally biological entities. However, a "folk" or people is a unique human configuration, woven together from the underlying fabric of species, but also knitted together by their varied historical, social, cultural, political and linguistic fibers.

A folk is a distinct people (e.g., the "German people," the "English people," or the "French people"), and it is composed of one or more races: The German people is a member of the "Aryan race," at a higher level, but also at a lower, constitutive level, it is comprised of racial elements from the Alpine, Phalian, Baltic, Mediterranean, East Baltic, Dinaric, and Nordic races. The Nordic race is the German people's binding racial element, though it is not the only one nor the most common.[4]

A nation, however, is the combination of a folk or people and the land and territory on which it conducts its life. A nation is the natural unity of the core of a people and its soil. Hitler saw the nation as equally engaged in evolutionary struggle as the individual; both, he believed, vied for resources and living space.

Hitler owed his biological conception of the Aryan race to Gobineau and Chamberlain, who saw in the Germanic peoples its core: Germans, Swedes, the Dutch, the English, and the Scandinavians, at least. The Aryan race was conceived of and understood in biological terms, but was ultimately given practical scope in legal and political contexts by the NSDAP: Various offices were established, and numerous laws put into effect, in order to secure its concrete interests.

An early period of National-Socialistic thought and legal policies followed Hitler's assumption of office from 1933, through the Roehmist insurgency of 1934 and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 to the pivotal 1936 reoccupation of the Rhineland. The realization of Hitler's fundamental goal of reuniting the German people transpired in the period from 1936 through early 1939, also integral to realizing geopolitical preparedness for confrontation with the U.S.S.R.


The formation of domestic racial policies under the NSDAP owed as much to Chamberlain, Gobineau, and Günther's theoretical formulations as the practical exigencies of German life and society. Hitler had read Günther's 1922 book, Racial Science of the German People, and even attended Günther's inaugural appointment in anthropology at Jena in 1932. His ideas were crucial to the development of NSDAP racial policy, which were based on a fluid and a dynamic view of race.

The concept of an "Aryan race" derived from the ideas of these naturalists was subsumed to a practical necessity of identifying potential members of a racial community: In other words, German society under National-Socialism developed a pragmatic definition of 'Aryan,' while keeping the term and concept anchored to what the NSDAP conceived of as sound biology. A legal and political context coalesced on an "Aryan" as someone that could assimilate into the German people.

That is to say, under Hitler's government, 'Aryan' came to be a practical term identifying a man or woman of European descent that had little, or no, Jewish ancestry and who could be ethnically integrated into German society without threatening the ethnic or racial fabric or integrity of the German people. The National-Socialist view of 'Aryan' encompassed neither the "Nordicist" view of the term nor a term connoting "nobility" in behavior, as some advocates today claim.

The practical use of 'Aryan' under National-Socialism becomes even clearer by extension to concrete examples: Instances of persons who immigrated to and were welcomed in Hitler's Germany: Irish radio personality William "Lord Haw Haw" Joyce, the Hungarian brunette and actress Marika Rökk, and of course, Hitler's "favorite actor," Johannes Heesters. These and other examples clearly show that Germany did not preclude those who lacked "Nordic" traits, propaganda aside.

To these examples could easily be added others, including leading members of the NSDAP itself, such as Himmler, who had distinctively Alpine features. This is not to say that Hitler's government did not recognize the importance of the vital Nordic strain in the German people only that the practical extension of "Aryan" included people of European descent who were not necessarily Nordic. The Nordic subrace was a core element of a German people with other racial components.

Many distortions of National-Socialist concepts abound, and these are certainly not limited to 'Aryan' and related terms. The term, herrenvolk, for example, is often mistranslated as "master race," even though 'volk' means "folk" or "people," and 'herron' means "gentleman." The literal translation of the term is "gentleman's people," and the proper contextual meaning of the term is "a higher people." But propagandists continue to claim that the term means "master race."
--------------------
[1] Wiktionary gives us the following: "Borrowed into English in the 19th century, at first as a term for the Indo-Iranian languages, and later partly extended to the Indo-European languages and peoples following a theory by Friedrich Schlegel that connected the Indo-Iranian words arya / ā́rya with German Ehre ‎(“honor”) and some older Germanic names, thus assuming that it was the original Indo-European autonym meaning "the honorable people"."
[2] As in The Aryan Race (1888) by Charles Morris and in The Aryan and His Social Role (1899, L'Aryen et son rôle social) by Georges Vacher de Lapouge.
[3] Political Primer of National-Socialism, "Folk and the Jewish Question," by Hansjoerg Maennel (1940), Trans. by Hadding Scott (2009).
[4] Political Primer of National-Socialism, "Race," by Hansjoerg Maennel (1940), Trans. by Hadding Scott (2009).

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Origination and Persisting Relevance of 'Living Space'

The term, living space, was introduced into ethnography and geography by Friedrich Ratzel, a 19th century German naturalist. It was absorbed by geopolitical thinkers like Karl Haushofer and popularly diffused in literature by writers such as Hans Grimm. US and British historians claim that the concept is discredited, but it remains as relevant to people of European descent today as it was to Hitler's ultimate aims.

Friedrich Ratzel (1844-1904); naturalist,
geographer, and ethnographer.

The term living space, or Der Lebensraum in German, is one of the more well-known, and also distorted and less understood, concepts in German thought. It originates in the halls of the history of biology and geography at their intersection, first used in an academic context by Friedrich Ratzel (see the image, above), a German naturalist who taught and researched at Leipzig University. He uses the term in his publication, "Der Lebensruam."[1] Ratzel's use was scientific and not political.

By 'living space,' Ratzel meant the geographical expanse in which the populations of a given species or subspecies are able to support themselves, their size and mode of existence. [2] It will first be useful to remind the reader of the meaning of 'species,' 'subspecies,' as well as some related biological terms and ideas.

Biologists do not have universal agreement on what 'species' refers to, and defining species as populations whose members can interbreed ignores most of life, which is asexual, and omits the first two thirds of the history of life on Earth. Many hold species are populations of organisms, at a minimum, and disagree on what properties are important. A race is what is called a 'subspecies.' Races are integral to evolution: every species starts as a subspecies of a prior species.


However, Ratzel does not emphasize subspecies, or race, and though he stresses the folk [Das Volk] he spuriously and questionably emphasizes the cultural properties of a people or folk. He views culture as man's primary means of adaptation.[3] Ratzel argues that peoples are shaped by their relationship to their living space. States, for example, are the outcome of particular relations that given peoples have with their own environments and their unique assemblages of flora and fauna.

There are two important dimensions regarding living space, for Ratzel, that are crucial to understanding it: 1) migration and 2) colonization. The relationship of a population to its living space is directly connected to both. An expanding living space is the consequence of a population migrating to new territory, or increasing the proximal space of prior territory and therefore pushing elements of the population into it, and also a continual, successful colonization of such territory.

Vitally, successful migration and colonization means that living space, for human beings at least, is space within which farming, cultivating, and growing crops can take place. Genuine living space is irrigable and farmable soil and land.

The notion of living space was developed in the context of important advances in biological thought, including Darwin's hypothesis of natural selection. Crucially, it was also extended and embedded within German politics. Karl Haushofer (1869-1946), a German geopolitician, diffused his ideas, deeply influenced by Ratzel, to leading figures of the National-Socialist movement in Germany. Rudolf Hess was a student of Haushofer; both expanded the political relevance of Ratzel's ideas.

Popular writers, such as Hans Grimm, diffused the political relevance of living space into a popular context. His book, Volk ohne Raum, or People Without Space, was published in 1927. It is a novel that highlights the geographic limitations constraining the German people and dramatizing their very real need for greater living space. Published at a time when the Empires of Europe, including France and Britain, still had great colonial holdings, it makes a case for such, for Germany.[4]

Throughout the later Middle Ages, German settlements were in constant flux in their relation with peoples in Eastern territories. The tendency to push Eastward arose as a consequence both of planned marches as well as a natural, demographic tendency. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the convergence of this historical tendency with the concept of living space led to formal advocacy of a modern Drang nach Osten: a "drive to the East" or "yearning for the East."

The incorporation of the term 'living space' into National-Socialism was accompanied by its correlation with Germany's geopolitical predicament on the European Continent. Germany, at the time Hitler was writing Mein Kampf in the early 1920s, had been stripped of overseas colonies and was sandwiched between hostile Empires in the West and a growing Soviet threat in the East. Western European nations had vast Empires for surplus populations, and the US enjoyed limitless land.

Chapter 14 of Mein Kampf, "Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy," accompanies his views on the unenviable geopolitical situation of Germany in Europe with the observation of its parallel need for natural resources. The solution to this dilemma, Hitler writes, is to secure peace with the Empires of Western Europe and a neutral Britain, France, and US, and to extend the living space of the German people eastward. The Soviet Union would have to give way to this new policy.

Hitler's conception of living space emphasizes the necessity of unbroken soil. A people benefits from this continuity: Racially, ethnically, and geographically. It was for this reason that he rejected overseas colonies, though doing so also reminded his desired ally in Britain that Germany had little or no interest in readjustments to the status quo elsewhere in the world. A growing German population, enriched by unbroken soil laced with autobahns, was preferable to faraway lands.

Since World War II, it has been claimed that the defeat of Germany in World War II implies that National-Socialist racial ideas and conception of living space was false. The implication, among other things, is that National-Socialist ideas are scientifically discredited and relying on them entails lending credence to pseudoscience. In other words, if Hitler's ideas about living space were credible and reflected nature, then Germany should not have lost the war with Russia, or World War II.

In his article, "Friedrich Ratzel and the Origins of Lebensraum," Woodruff writes: "The disastrous consequences [of adopting the concept of living space and embedding it in Eastern foreign policy] stemmed from the lack of correspondence between the concept and the social reality that it was supposed to explain." [5]

First of all, the concept of living space, as Hitler employed it, is a descriptive concept, not an explanatory one. It is the combination of Hitler's views of race, his changing assumptions of the German people and inhabitants of Eastern lands, and living space, taken together, that form an explanatory amalgam whose collective claim is relevant to the outcome of World War II. Hitler's views changed as a result of the war, and so did relevant variables, such as an unwelcome war in the West.

If there had not been a war in the West, then this same amalgam of assumptions, ideas and claims would have been correlated with a very different outcome. To assume that it was the scientific validity of beliefs held by Hitler that was principally relevant to consequences of politically applying them is overly simplistic.

The validity of scientific terms, descriptive and explanatory, is unaffected by consequences that are moral or aesthetic in nature. This is as true of Hitler's racial ideas as it is of his use of the concept of living space. The postwar decision to reject race as a scientific concept as well as a basis of identity in politics was completely unrelated to their persisting scientific validity and political utility. The reality of race and relevance of living space are unaffected by the fact of the war.

Human beings clearly understand and apply the principles underlying this conclusion in yet other spheres of their lives. The fact that organized religion has caused and continues to cause grief, strife and death appears irrelevant to the insistence of many humans on their belief and practice of religion. In one way, this is not a good analogy, because religious faith is not comparable to scientific terms, but the point is human willingness to overlook past implications of beliefs, in this case religious.

Biology, anthropology, and science in general have greatly suffered as a consequence of the insistence on deemphasizing race, ethnicity, and other concepts. Similarly, despite the fact that ethnic nationalism and racial identity remains strong among Asian, Arab, Latino and African peoples, European peoples have allowed their revulsion over their view of the past to undermine their own ethnic and racial identity, and the relevance of concepts that remain as important as ever.


The notion of living space retains its political relevance, not only for the German people but also for people of European descent in general. The notion has not evaporated just because there is a temporary consensus in science and politics to reject ideas that were important to Hitler. The fact that their ethnic and racial decline is becoming obvious to European peoples today echoes this reality.

Biological entities persist in having spatial relationships with each other, no matter what we decide to do with the concept of living space. For this reason, we had better retain the idea and, for people of European descent most of all, wrestle with its meaning and subsume the question of our relationship to the space we occupy. The idea of living space entails the relation a population has with its environment, including soil and land and the buildings and objects that decorate it.

The notion of living space, therefore, has both a descriptive and explanatory relevance and also an ethical, moral, and aesthetic relevance. It relates not only to the reality of human populations in concrete biological terms but also to the political and social dimensions of our relationship with the space we occupy and the objects within that space. Consider this with respect to our current decline.


The space of men and women of European descent is daily shrinking, both in the sense of a reduction of unmolested and unsullied domains of public and family life but also the practical sense of space within which daily life is safely lived. When a young German woman cannot traverse a street, when a white family cannot eat at a restaurant, or when a Frenchman is unable to enjoy a stroll in a park, in every case because of deliberate hostility toward them, it is a diminution of space.

Because there has been a very restricted historical interpretation of the concept of living space, limiting our understanding of it solely to German expansion, we have ignored the fact that the concept actually has much greater relevance.

Living space is not only relevant to an expanding or growing nation or people. It is equally relevant to a nation or people in decline, because that decline is directly correlated with the shriveling or circumvention of life activity within otherwise normal living space. Ethnically or racially aware people of European descent need to incorporate a renewed conception of their total environment. Racial, ethnic, and national decline is intimately connected with the living space of peoples.

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[1] Friedrich Ratzel, "Der Lebensraum: Eine biogeographische Studie," in K. Büchner, K.V. Fricker, et al., Festgaben für Albert Schäffle zur siebensigen Wiederkehr seines Geburtstages am 24, Februar 1901, Tübingen, 1901, pp. 101-89.
[2] Friedrich Ratzel, Die Erde und Das Leben: Eine vergleichend Erdkunde, 1901, Leipzig and Vienna, Vol 1 (in two volumes), pp. 101-189.
[3] Friedrich Ratzel, "Geschichte, Volkerkunde und historische Perspektive," Historische Zeitschrift, 1904, 93, pp. 1-46.
[4] Woodruff Smith, "The Colonial Novel as Political Propaganda," German Studies Review, 1983, 6 (2), pp. 215-235.
[5] Woodruff D. Smith, "Friedrich Ratzel and the Origins of Lebensraum," German Studies Review, 1980, 3 (1), pp. 51-68.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"A Real Case Against the Jews," by Marcus Eli Ravage

This is the full text of Ravage's short tract. I previously posted an excerpt of this but I came across the full body of his short piece and decided to share it here.

"You shall gobble up the peoples of the Earth"
from Der Stürmer, Issue 39, 28 Sept. 1944 [1]

Source: The Century Magazine, Jan. 1928, Vol. 115, Num. 3, pp. 346-350. [2]

"A Real Case Against the Jews
By Marcus Eli Ravage

OF COURSE, you do resent us. It is no good telling me you don’t. So let us not waste any time on denials and alibis. You know you do, and I know it, and we understand each other. To be sure, some of your best friends are Jews, and all that. I have heard that before once or twice, I think. And I know, too, that you do not include me personally - "me" being any particular individual Jew - when you fling out at us in your wholesale fashion, because I am, well, so different, don’t you know, almost as good as one of yourselves. That little exemption does not, somehow, move me to gratitude; but never mind that now. It is the aggressive, climbing, pushing, materialistic sort you dislike - those, in a word, who remind you so much of your own up-and-coming brethren. We understand each other perfectly. I don’t hold it against you.

Bless my soul, I do not blame anybody for disliking anybody. The thing that intrigues me about this anti-Jewish business, as you play at it, is your total lack of grit. You are so indirect and roundabout with it, you make such transparent excuses, you seem to be suffering from self-consciousness so horribly, that if the performance were not grotesque, it would be irritating.

It is not as if you were amateurs: you have been at it for over fifteen centuries. Yet watching you and hearing your childish pretexts, one might get the impression that you did not know yourselves what it is all about. You resent us, but you cannot clearly say why. You think up a new excuse - a "reason" is what you call it - every other day. You have been piling up justifications for yourselves these many hundreds of years and each new invention is more laughable than the last and each new excuse contradicts and annihilates the last. Not so many years ago I used to hear that we were money-grubbers and commercial materialists; now the complaint is being whispered around that no art and no profession is safe against Jewish invasion. We are, if you are to be believed, at once clannish and exclusive and unassimilable because we won’t intermarry with you, and we are also climbers and pushers and a menace to your racial integrity. Our standard of living is so low that we create your slums and sweated industries, and so high that we crowd you out of your best residential sections. We shirk our patriotic duty in wartime because we are pacifists by nature and tradition, and we are the arch-plotters of universal wars and the chief beneficiaries of those wars (see the late "Dearborn Independent," passim, and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion").

We are at once the founders and leading adherents of capitalism and the chief perpetrators of the rebellion against capitalism. Surely, history has nothing like us for versatility! And, oh! I almost forgot the reason of reasons. We are the stiff-necked people who never accepted Christianity, and we are the criminal people who crucified its founder. But I can tell you, you are self-deceivers. You lack either the self-knowledge or the mettle to face the facts squarely and own up to the truth. You resent the Jew not because, as some of you seem to think, he crucified Jesus but because he gave him birth. Your real quarrel with us is not that we have rejected Christianity but that we have imposed it upon you! Your loose, contradictory charges against us are not a patch on the blackness of our proved historic offense. You accuse us of stirring up revolution in Moscow. Suppose we admit the charge. What of it? Compared with what Paul the Jew of Tarsus accomplished in Rome, the Russian upheaval is a mere street brawl. You make much noise and fury about the undue Jewish influence in your theaters and movie palaces. Very good; granted your complaint is well-founded. But what is that compared to our staggering influence in your churches, your schools, your laws and your governments, and the very thoughts you think every day? A clumsy Russian forges a set of papers and publishes them in a book called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which shows that we plotted to bring on the late World War. You believe that book.

All right. For the sake of argument we will underwrite every word of it. It is genuine and authentic. But what is that beside the unquestionable historical conspiracy which we have carried out, which we have never denied because you never had the courage to charge us with it, and of which the full record is extant for anybody to read? If you really are serious when you talk of Jewish plots, may I not direct your attention to one worth talking about? What use is it wasting words on the alleged control of your public opinion by Jewish financiers, newspaper owners and movie magnates, when you might as well justly accuse us of the proved control of your whole civilization by the Jewish Gospels? You have not begun to appreciate the real depth of our guilt. We are intruders. We are disturbers. We are subverters. We have taken your natural world, your ideals, your destiny, and played havoc with them. We have been at the bottom not merely of the latest great war but of nearly all your wars, not only of the Russian but of every other major revolution in your history. We have brought discord and confusion and frustration into your personal and public life. We are still doing it. No one can tell how long we shall go on doing it.

Look back a little and see what has happened. Nineteen hundred years ago you were an innocent, care-free, pagan race. You worshiped countless gods and goddesses, the spirits of the air, of the running streams and of the woodland. You took unblushing pride in the glory of your naked bodies. You carved images of your gods and of the tantalizing human figure. You delighted in the combats of the field, the arena and the battle-ground. War and slavery were fixed institutions in your systems. Disporting yourselves on the hillsides and in the valleys of the great outdoors, you took to speculating on the wonder and mystery of life and laid the foundations of natural science and philosophy. Yours was a noble, sensual culture, unirked by the prickings of a social conscience or by any sentimental questionings about human equality.

Who knows what great and glorious destiny might have been yours if we had left you alone. But we did not leave you alone. We took you in hand and pulled down the beautiful and generous structure you had reared, and changed the whole course of your history. We conquered you as no empire of yours ever subjugated Africa or Asia. And we did it all without armies, without bullets, without blood or turmoil, without force of any kind. We did it solely by the irresistible might of our spirit, with ideas, with propaganda. We made you the willing and unconscious bearers of our mission to the whole world, to the barbarous races of the earth, to the countless unborn generations. Without fully understanding what we were doing to you, you became the agents at large of our racial tradition, carrying our gospel to the unexplored ends of the earth. Our tribal customs have become the core of your moral code. Our tribal laws have furnished the basic groundwork of all your august constitutions and legal systems. Our legends and our folk tales are the sacred lore which you croon to your infants. Our poets have filled your hymnals and your prayer books. Our national history has become an indispensable part of your pastors and priests and scholars. Our kings, our statesmen, our prophets, our warriors are your heroes. Our ancient little country is your Holy Land. Our national literature is your Holy Bible.

What our people thought and taught has become inextricably woven into your very speech and tradition, until no one among you can be called educated who is not familiar with our racial heritage. Jewish artisans and Jewish fishermen are your teachers and your saints, with countless statues carved in their image and innumerable cathedrals raised to their memories. A Jewish maiden is your ideal of womanhood. A Jewish rebel-prophet is the central figure in your religious worship. We have pulled down your idols, cast aside your racial inheritance, and substituted for them our God and our traditions. No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you. How did we do it? Almost by accident.

Two thousand years ago nearly, in far-off Palestine, our religion had fallen into decay and materialism. Money-changers were in possession of the temple. Degenerate, selfish priests mulcted our people and grew fat. Then a young patriot-idealist arose and went about the land calling for a revival of faith. He had no thought of setting up a new church. Like all the prophets before him, his only aim was to purify and revitalize the old creed. He attacked the priests and drove the money-changers from the temple. This brought him into conflict with the established order and its supporting pillars. The Roman authorities, who were in occupation of the country, fearing his revolutionary agitation as a political effort to oust them, arrested him, tried him and condemned him to death by crucifixion, a common form of execution at that time. The followers of Jesus of Nazareth, mainly slaves and poor workmen, in their bereavement and disappointment, turned away from the world and formed themselves into a brotherhood of pacifist non-resisters, sharing the memory of their crucified leader and living together communistically. They were merely a new sect in Judea, without power or consequence, neither the first nor the last. Only after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans did the new creed come into prominence. Then a patriotic Jew named Paul or Saul conceived the idea of humbling the Roman power by destroying the morale or its soldiery with the doctrines of love and non-resistance preached by the little sect of Jewish Christians. He became the Apostle to the Gentiles, he who hitherto had been one of the most active persecutors of the band. And so well did Paul do his work that within four centuries the great empire which had subjugated Palestine along with half of the world, was a heap of ruins. And the law which went forth from Zion became the official religion of Rome. This was the beginning of our dominance in your world. But it was only a beginning. From this time forth your history is little more than a struggle for mastery between your own old pagan spirit and our Jewish spirit. Half your wars, great and little, are religious wars, fought over the interpretation of one thing or another in our teachings.

You no sooner broke free from your primitive religious simplicity and attempted the practice of the pagan Roman learning than Luther armed with our gospels arose to down you and enthrone our heritage. Take the three principal revolutions in modern times—the French, the American and the Russian. What are they but the triumph of the Jewish idea of social, political and economic justice? And the end is still a long way off. We still dominate you. At this very moment your churches are torn asunder by a civil war between Fundamentalists and Modernists, that is to say between those who cling to our teachings and traditions literally and those who are striving by slow steps to dispossess us. In Dayton, Tennessee, a Bible-bred community forbids the teaching of your science because it conflicts with our ancient Jewish account of the origin of life; and Mr. Bryan, the leader of the anti-Jewish Ku Klux Klan in the Democratic National Convention, makes the supreme fight of his life in our behalf, without noticing the contradiction. Again and again the Puritan heritage of Judea breaks out in waves of stage censorship, Sunday blue laws and national prohibition acts. And while these things are happening you twaddle about Jewish influence in the movies! Is it any wonder you resent us?

We have put a clog upon your progress. We have imposed upon you an alien book and an alien faith which you cannot swallow or digest, which is at cross-purposes with your native spirit, which keeps you everlastingly ill-at-ease, and which you lack the spirit either to reject or to accept in full. In full, of course, you never have accepted our Christian teachings. In your hearts you still are pagans. You still love war and graven images and strife. You still take pride in the glory of the nude human figure. Your social conscience, in spite of all democracy and all your social revolutions, is still a pitifully imperfect thing. We have merely divided your soul, confused your impulses, paralyzed your desires.

In the midst of battle you are obliged to kneel down to him who commanded you to turn the other cheek, who said "Resist not evil" and "Blessed are the peacemakers." In your lust for gain you are suddenly disturbed by a memory from your Sunday-school days about taking no thought for the morrow. In your industrial struggles, when you would smash a strike without compunction, you are suddenly reminded that the poor are blessed and that men are brothers in the Fatherhood of the Lord. And as you are about to yield to temptation, your Jewish training puts a deterrent hand on your shoulder and dashes the brimming cup from your lips. You Christians have never become Christianized. To that extent we have failed with you. But we have forever spoiled the fun of paganism for you. So why should you not resent us? If we were in your place we should probably dislike you more cordially than you do us. But we should make no bones about telling you why. We should not resort to subterfuges and transparent pretexts. With millions of painfully respectable Jewish shopkeepers all about us we should not insult your intelligence and our own honesty by talking about communism as a Jewish philosophy. And with millions of hard-working impecunious Jewish peddlers and laborers we should not make ourselves ridiculous by talking about international capitalism as a Jewish monopoly. No, we should go straight to the point. We should contemplate this confused, ineffectual muddle which we call civilization, this half-Christian half-pagan medley, and - were our places reversed - we should say to you point-blank: "For this mess thanks to you, to your prophets and to your Bible."

--------------------
[1] The original image also included this poem with it:
Life is not worth living
When one does not resist the parasite,

Never satisfied as it creeps about.

We must and will win.
[2] Follow this link to see the original excerpt that I shared.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The USSR Did Not "Save the World" from Fascism; the USSR Was Saved from a One Front War with Germany

In May of every year, the successor state to the USSR inflicts on itself and other nations the exasperated delusion that it "saved the world" from fascism. Had Britain not given Poland a war guarantee, there would have been no war in the West, no German invasion of France or the Low Countries, and above all, no second World War. The USSR, whose Red Army was decimated by purges, would have faced a one front war with Hitler.

Every year, Europe and the world are treated to claims by Russia that the USSR "saved the world" from fascism and National-Socialism. Leftists and, on occasion, conservatives, in the West write articles praising, or at least recognizing, the Soviet Union's "contribution" to the second World War. For example, in a recent article in the Washington Post by left wing writer Ishaan Tharoor, "Don't Forget How the Soviet Union Saved the World from Hitler," the writer summarizes the basic arguments arrayed in favor of this conclusion.

At one point, Tharoor writes and quotes the following:
The Red Army was "the main engine of Nazism’s destruction," writes British historian and journalist Max Hastings in "Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945." The Soviet Union paid the harshest price: though the numbers are not exact, an estimated 26 million Soviet citizens died during World War II, including as many as 11 million soldiers. At the same time, the Germans suffered three-quarters of their wartime losses fighting the Red Army.
Of course the Red Army bore the brunt of the German war effort: Hitler's primary goal in Europe, from the writing of Mein Kampf through his appointment as Reich Chancellor until the outbreak of war in 1939, was to reunify the German people and secure their existence through living space won at the expense of the USSR. That is why German and Soviet casualties were at their highest in the Eastern front. But Tharoor writes as if these casualties reflect some unique effort on a front as relevant as any other in this war.

While he praises the USSR's contribution to the second World War, Tharoor nonetheless draws attention to Stalin's mistakes and the nature of his regime. Tharoor writes:

For Russia's neighbors, it's hard to separate the Soviet triumph from the decades of Cold War domination that followed. One can also lament the way the sacrifices of the past inform the muscular Russian nationalism now peddled by Putin and his Kremlin allies. But we shouldn't forget how the Soviets won World War II in Europe.
That is to say, although Stalin was brutal and cruel, Tharoor concludes, the Soviet Union must nonetheless be given recognition for having stopped Hitler. And by this is meant, of course, as numerous historians have argued, that Hitler was intent on dominating the world. In reality, Hitler's goal was far more limited and restricted: His continental policy was to restore Germany to great power status, place itself aside the other great powers, and build an empire that would extend eastward into a defeated and occupied USSR.

Tharoor's article and its claims were challenged by Daniel Greenfield, who wrote an article that was titled, "The USSR Didn't Save the World from Hitler, It Allied with Hitler." Rather than granting that the Soviet Union deserves some sort of recognition and respect for being a decisive force in defeating Germany in World War II, he argues that Tharoor's article and claims in particular and "leftist revisionism" in general exaggerate the USSR's historical position. The Red Army was not some heroic vanguard deserving of high appraisal: 
It's not courage. Slaves driven to do something at gunpoint, starving and brutalized are not courageous. Does Ishaan view North Korea as courageous? The USSR under Stalin was no better.
Furthermore, according to Greenfield, the USSR empowered Hitler by entering into an alliance with Germany. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that exploded onto the world in August 1939 stunned Britain, France, and the West and conveyed very clearly that the Soviet Union would not be enlisted in a Western effort to confront and corner Hitler's Germany. Greenfield claims that this allowed Hitler to occupy western Poland and go on to pursue mastery of the European continent. Again, claims that distort the facts and misrepresent history.

The Soviet regime under Stalin knew differently, and grasped that a primary goal of Hitler was to invade and occupy the Soviet Union. Hitler was intent on moving eastward, anyway, whether the Soviet Union had temporarily aligned itself with Germany, or not. The West, by contrast, increasingly acted on the touted assumption that Hitler was intent on "dominating the world." The USSR encouraged this illusion, and used the time it had gained from its pact with Germany to build up its military and geopolitical position relative to Europe.

And from 1939 through June 1941, that is what occurred. Stalin doubled his troops, tripled his divisions, and doubled his number of available guns, planes, and mortars.

Hitler had not wanted an alliance with the Soviet Union, having only agreed to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact because Britain gave Poland an unsolicited (that is, unrequested) war guarantee on 31 March 1939. In Mein Kampf, Hitler singles out the Kingdom of Italy and the British Empire as the two "natural" allies of Germany: Britain, for racial and geopolitical reasons and Italy, for ideological and geostrategic reasons. Hitler admired the British people, racially, and respected the stability that their Empire brought to the world.

British policymakers, principally Churchill, knew this, just as they also knew that HItler's aim was to build a land empire extending into a defunct USSR. In 1937, Ribbentrop, serving as German Ambassador, met with Winston Churchill to again stress these aims. Ribbentrop told Churchill that Germany was prepared to recognize the British Empire, and even offered German military support to sustain it. Hitler was ready to contribute to sustaining white rule in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East in return for a "free hand" in Eastern Europe.

That is, Hitler wanted to be able to march against the Soviet Union in exchange for British neutrality during a German-Soviet war. In early 1939, Hitler revived the issue of Danzig with the Polish government. Germany was prepared to let Poland retain economic rights in the city and also join the Anti-Comintern Pact that was militarily directed against the Soviet Union. In return, the Polish government would return Danzig to Germany and allow an autobahn motor highway connecting East Prussia and Germany over Polish soil.

Instead, goaded by Churchill and urged on by Jewish handlers in Washington D.C., above all by William Bullitt, British policymakers decided to derail Germany's efforts to unite Poland and Germany against the Soviet Union. Churchill knew, from his meeting with Ribbentrop in 1937, what Hitler really wanted. But through 1939, Churchill continued lying to Parliament, to the British people, and the world, claiming, in vulgar defiance of the facts and Hitler's obvious aims, that Hitler was intent on destroying Britain and overrunning the West.

The British then handed Poland the war guarantee, which had the dual effect of persuading the Polish government that it could keep Danzig and defy Germany and also placing Britain on a collision course with Germany. Churchill, who detested Germany, would rather have enlisted his own people in a war against Hitler rather than divest the British people of an entirely pointless war and allow Germany and the USSR to enter a war instead. Churchill knew, probably better than any statesman, Hitler's aims did not threaten Britain.

When the war guarantee was given to Poland, Churchill gloated and bragged aloud: "Hitler's path to the East is closed." Now, rather than the Soviet Union facing Hitler alone in a one front war with Germany, Britain was instead hurling itself toward war with Germany.

Sir Mosley of the British Union of Fascists captured the absurdity of his government's future position in an article that he contributed to Fascist Quarterly in 1936:
In fact, the only policy which can logically produce another explosion on the Western frontiers of Germany is the denial of expansion; not only on her Eastern frontiers but in her limited though necessary and natural colonial ambitions. Yet Financial-Democratic policy could not be more perfectly designed to promote that explosion than by the dual policy of denying Germany colonial outlet and of circumscribing her in the East by a menacing Democratic-Soviet alliance.
As Sir Mosley correctly observed three years before the war began, the only cause Hitler would have had to march westward is if Britain denied Hitler's march eastward. The lack of reason in Britain's foreign policy from 1938 baffled him. This is precisely what happened: On the groundless premise that Hitler was out to conquer the world, the British government justified keeping Hitler from marching east against the USSR. Hitler marched east, anyway. Britain and France declared war, spurning several later peace offers from Hitler.

This is why Hitler turned West, and invaded France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

US President Roosevelt's administration and his Jewish entourage had set Europe against itself. From 1939 through 1941, America supplied Britain with moral and material aid and struggled to keep Britain at war with Germany. When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, America began supplying the USSR with Lend Lease almost immediately. The war Hitler declared on the US in late 1941 was only a formal expression of a de facto war that America had already been waging on Germany for years, another war Hitler did not want.

Greenfield is mistaken in his claim that Stalin empowered Hitler. Stalin simply took what he had been offered, a temporary alliance, which he then used to rebuild a Red Army ravaged by his purges. Hitler then turned West, away from the USSR, toward the nations that were trying to constrain him. If Britain had not offered protection it could not give to a nation it was unable to save over a Danzig question it did not care about, there would have been no war in the West and no World War II. Stalin was a passive beneficiary of these events.

In refusing to allow Hitler to move East and in rejecting Hitler's many peace offers, the West created the conditions for the temporary German-Soviet alliance and gave the USSR time to prepare for a German attack. The Soviet Union was spared the prospect of facing Hitler both earlier and alone. Despite this, every year the dying populations of a fading West must hear that the USSR saved their nations from Hitler. Meanwhile, their leaders are perpetually engaged in justifying a war whose occurrence is the primary cause of their decline.