This excerpt is from The National Socialist German Catechism, a Nazi pamphlet intended to be read by schoolchildren and members of NSDAP youth groups. Its content reflects the core ideas in Nazi anti-Semitism and racial theory. Extract reproduced with the permission of the German Propaganda Archive.
What is a race?
“A group of living creatures is a race when its individual members share the same appearance and genetic inheritance.”
What do I understand under “appearance and genetic inheritance”?
“Physical characteristics that are passed along: the colour of the skin, the shape of the skull, and particularly facial features (shape of the nose, mouth, lips), etc.”
What are the major races?
“White, black, and yellow.”
To which race do Europe’s peoples belong?
“The peoples of Europe do not belong to a particular race but are rather a racial mixture. Our German people is comprised primarily of six races.”
And what are they?
“The Nordic, the Pfalzish, the Western European, the East Baltic, the Ostic and the Dinarish races.”
What were and are the particular characteristics of the Nordic race?
“Courage, bravery, creative ability and desire, loyalty.
The German people are, along with the English, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, the most racially pure of the European peoples. With regards to the purity of language, the Scandinavian peoples are in first place. Its Gothic script is particularly lovely, and it should be maintained.”
Which race must the National Socialist race fight against?
“The Jewish race.”
“The goal of the Jew is to make himself the ruler of humanity. Wherever he comes, he destroys works of culture. He is not a creative spirit, rather a destructive spirit.”
How is that evident?
“The work of Aryan peoples shows a true creative spirit. The Jew is mostly a merchant, as he was for millennia in the past. There are no Jewish construction workers in Germany, no smiths, no Jewish miners or seamen. Nearly all major inventions were made by Aryans.”
How has the Jew subjugated the peoples?
“With money. He lent them money and made them pay interest. Thousands and thousands of Germans have been made wretched by the Jews and been reduced to poverty. Farmers whose land had been in the family for more than 100 years were driven from their land because they could not pay the interest.”
What happened to those farmers?
“They had to move to the cities. Torn from the land to which they belonged, robbed of their labour that gave their lives purpose and meaning, they fell victim to poverty and misery. Worn down, their souls crushed, they accepted Jewish doctrines that denied the Fatherland and opposed all that was nationalistic. Their strength and ability faded. The Jew had reached his goal.”
What other guilt does the Jew bear?
“While the German people were fighting a life and death battle during the World War, the Jew incited people at home and seduced them into treason. The November Revolution of 1918 that brought about Germany’s collapse was the work of the Jew. In countless newspapers in Germany and abroad, he brought everything German into the mud, slandering us and inciting our enemies even more than they already were. His lackeys in leading positions in the Reich persecuted the National Socialist movement, bringing the fighters for a new Germany before judges and throwing them into prison. He corrupted Germans through bad books, and mocked true literature and German music, replacing it with un-Germanic music. Everywhere, his influence was destructive.”
What is racial defilement?
“Forgetting our spirit and our blood. A careless disregard of our nature and a contempt for our blood. No German man may take a Jewish woman as his wife, and no German girl may marry a Jew. Those who do that exclude themselves from the community of the German people.
What must the National Socialist movement do?
“Adolf Hitler said: “Care must be taken, at least in our nation, that the deadliest enemy (the Jew) is recognized, and that the battle against him is seen as the shining symbol of a brighter day that will also show other peoples the path to the salvation of fighting Aryan humanity.”
Which European people disregards the racial question?
“France. It has accepted large numbers of blacks into its army. It has given them the same political rights as the whites. Thus it can happen that black officers command whites. Blacks and Moroccans fought against Germany in the World War. After the war, blacks raped German women and girls in the Rhineland. Germans — never forget that!”
What do your people mean to you?
“You are born into your people, my child, of a German mother. Your father is a German. And you belong to the German people just as every part of your body belongs to you. You are a link in a great chain, a part of the whole. Alone, you are nothing, but when you live for your people you are everything. Your people’s destiny is your destiny. Its struggles and sorrows, its joys and its miseries, are yours. All Germans are your brothers. You may not think, want or do anything that harms your people! The history of your people is great and glorious, and you can be proud of it. The days of betrayal and the years of shame that Germany had to endure between 1918 and 1933 are a warning to you. You must work and create for the resurrection of your Fatherland.
The greatness of your people calls you to loyalty! Never forget that Frederick the Great and Bismarck were your brothers, as are those heroes of the World War who sleep in foreign soil or in the depths of the sea! The war memorials in the streets of the cities and the marketplaces of the villages call to you. Never forget that we cheerfully shed our blood for you, for Germany’s holy soil, for the good and the life of this great people!”