Mixed-Race Germans: Nordicism Discredited

This excerpt from Nation & Race is Copyright©2014-2017 Wilk Mocy Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

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ALBRECHT WIRTH WAS AMONG those who detailed Germans’ multiraciality. He argued that Germans were originally composed of “Celtic, Lithuanian, Germanic and Slavic blood, then Romans, Jews, Huguenots and Italians, with a smattering of Swedes, Scots, Croats, Irish, Hungarians, Spaniards and Turks.”[1] Was this hybridity the reason for Germany having been so deeply divided for so long? For Germany having no single economic, cultural or political center until the advent of National Socialism?

Hutton suggests that in order to successfully overcome these divisions, an “operational conception” of Germanness had to be adopted by the Nazis. What Hitler came up with was nothing short of brilliant: we must recognize the importance of race as it relates to the German people, and secondly, we must acknowledge the presence of the Aryan which unites us all in a common bond. This operational definition of Germanness was initially workable, but over time it faced serious challenges to its validity and applicability. The Aryan concept yielded to the Nordic concept which then gave way to the more inclusive German-blooded concept. Hitler’s main concern was the creation of a Party and accompanying doctrine that could rival Marxism in its influence and ability to unite. This is why there was initially little tolerance for varied viewpoints. No movement was going to break Marxism’s appeal unless it was as intolerant and dogmatic as Marxism: hence the Aryan-Nordic cultism of the early NSDAP.


We will now delve further into the academic tensions of Third Reich racial discourse: for example, the battle between racial anthropologists and linguists. The problem with the linguistic approach to defining the German Volk was that it allowed inclusion of aliens whom were racially too far removed from the Germans, so much so that their inclusion would probably not result in harmonious assimilation and acculturation. These racial aliens were almost always Negroes, Jews and Gypsies. In addition, German racial anthropologists had a point when they declared that no one could mistake a Mongol for a black man or a Chinese man for a white man. The differences were apparent. What the racial anthropologists struggled with was defining the German in positive terms. How were they to differentiate Germans from the Jews living among them, for example? This difficult task of racial differentiation, which was ultimately biopsychosocial, is what led to the Nuremberg Laws. The only way to determine what was German was to exclude what was obviously or reasonably not German. In application, this meant exclusion of the majority of black Germans, Gypsies and Jews from Germanhood.

Contrary to NS propaganda, Nazi theorists, like most mainstream intellectuals at that time, acknowledged the mixed-race state of the German people. The central problem they dealt with was not determining what constituted the German race (deutsche Rasse) – a term that was rejected by the majority of German academicians and politicians alike – but which races made up the German Volk and which should be allowed to continue to infuse new blood into this Volk. Most Nazi theorists argued that the Germans were composed of some six different races and that some of these races created harmonious mixtures that surpassed the achievement and cultural levels of the two original stocks from whence they were derived.

One example that was frequently cited as superior to the Nordic element by itself was the Nordic-Alpine hybrid. Ernst Kretschmer said that while these two race cores were very different, they nevertheless mixed harmoniously. According to Max Gerstenhauer, the Alpine race resulted from “pure” Germanics interbreeding with the indigenous slaves. He did not view this mixing kindly and asserted that Germans had lost “racial quality” as a result. Gerstenhauer was ostensibly dismayed by the fact that the German Volk was only 2/3 Germanic; the other 1/3 consisted of Alpine non-Germanics. Juxtaposed to this trajectory was the thesis of Walter Goetz, who argued that “racial mixing was a prerequisite for the greatest human achievements.”[2] Hermann Muckermann avowed that “the contribution of the Nordic race was at its greatest where it had mixed in a harmonious way with other compatible racial groups,” such as the Dinaric, Alpine and Phalian races. Robert Gradmann argued that the Nordic-East Baltic mixture of northern Europe resulted in the blond-haired population there. Eugen Fischer suggested that the German Volkhad benefited” from the different European peoples mixing with one another. Fischer also avered that “…many of the great Germans had come from racially mixed areas of Germany, [and] that the Nordic race in its pure state had not achieved as much as in a mixed state. There were examples of gifted Mischlinge, such as Pushkin [part-black] and Booker T. Washington [also part black].” He therefore concluded that the Germans were fortunate to have benefited from the Nordic race, but “also from the other racial elements…” Wilhelm Schmidt asserted that race-mixing between the Hamitic and Nordic peoples “gave the Nordic race its special advantage, giving it both its conquering attributes, and, to a lesser degree, the artistic gifts of totemistic town-dwellers, as well as in a great measure the thoroughness, seriousness and conscientiousness of the matriarchal agricultural people.”[3] In addition, Schmidt argued that the Nordic race’s oldest links “stretched deep into Africa and Asia.” If accurate, this negates the argument that the Nordics were “racially pure” and that Scandinavia was their birthplace as a race. Hans Günther regularly depicted the Alpine race as the “ugliest” in his various publications. In an attack on Günther, race dynamic theorist Friedrich Merkenschlager stated that southern Germans bore “up to 80 per cent ‘yellow blood’ from the Mongol race.”[4] Otto Hauser wrote that the Alpine was the result of the Nordic race crossing with the Polar (yellow) race. Furthermore, he claimed that the Mediterranean race was the result of the Negro mixing with the Nordic. If correct, this means that a “bastardized, negrified” race surpassed the civilizational level of the “pure Nordics” in Scandinavia. Classical Greece and Rome were both Mediterranean products, not Nordo-Scandinavian products.


In the end the Nordicists were not only forced to come to terms with racial mixing, but they also conceded that the Nordic race was “frequently understood as related to, or hybridized with, the Phalian race.”[5] Notions of race purity were irretrievably out the door. (As an aside, “even the most liberal lines of racial anthropology were unable to distance themselves from the notion that the ‘Negro’ was essentially inferior. This assumption was built into the foundations of that academic science from the very beginning.”[6])

Another important thing to understand about this time period is that German academics and policymakers were worried about the fall of German civilization. Since Darwin’s evolutionary theory was taken so seriously in Germany, intellectuals feared that German civilization was doomed to collapse like all the great civilations before it. And of course with that collapse would go the German Volk. But the perceived ability to reverse Germandom’s decay and eventual collapse into oblivion via eugenics rekindled these racial pessimists’ hopes. Eugenics was one tool among several that offered a solution to Germany’s racio-cultural quandary. If only the best Germans were permitted to have children, then much of Germany’s degeneration could be halted and even reversed. The Nordicists saw in eugenics the promise of re-breeding a Nordo-German upper class which could then rule over all the “bastardized” and “racially degenerated” masses of Germans, eventually improving the German people overall. Fortunately such wild breeding schemes were never realized under the Nazi government and as a matter of fact Walter Schultze

stressed that there was no programme to ‘breed’ an ideal tall, narrow-faced, blue-eyed, blond type; no hereditarily healthy member of the German Volk should feel second-class or inferior on account of lacking these features. It was the psychology, the morality, the personality of the individual that counted, and the inheritance of external physical characteristics was a matter of secondary importance. The idea that racial policies took as their ideal a particular physical type was misinformation spread by the enemies of National Socialism.”[7]

The real threat to the German Volk was not the Jews per se, but “the losses of territory and vitality, rising assimilation into other nations [such as America] and the lack of internal unity.” Georg Schmidt-Rohr, a theorist who came under official fire but was later rehabilitated by the Race Policy Office in 1939, argued that “[t]hese problems could not be solved by persecuting Jews as an outlet for the embittered discontent of the masses: cheap anti-Semitism was no solution.”[8] Rohr stressed the importance of the German language in maintaining German identity worldwide. If Germans began speaking English, Spanish, etc., then they would slowly lose their attachment to their Germanness. And that is in fact what happened to many a German before, during and after World War II. Germans abroad were amongst the most numerous and unswerving enemies of the Reich, whether they were Polish, British or American. Himmler even remarked on this problem of ‘lost Germans’ in his Top Secret Posen speech of 24 October 1943 (see hitler & himmler UNCENSORED).

Jewish International vs. Nordic International

Perhaps even more interesting than Clauss’s insights was the idea that the Nordic race component was at war with the Jewish race component. The two were seen by certain Nordicists as twins, one good and one evil, and these twins were vying for world domination. There was in fact a “curious, half-repressed racial link” shared between the Jews and the Germans, as both “shared a partial origin in the Near Eastern race.”[18] But there was a fundamental difference between these two twins that made the Jew the stronger and more influential: the Jewish twin required no physical territory to thrive and in fact flourished in modernity and the urban realm. The Jewish twin could claim his written history (the Talmud and Torah) as the basis of his collective identity, so there was no need for a territorial one. The Nordic twin, on the other hand, had no recorded history with which to identify and was therefore only at home when he was tied to his land, nature and a rural existence. He could not contend with modernity and in fact went wayward when exposed to such a context. What’s more, the Jewish twin existed equally well as a pure race and as a mixed-race; the Nordic no longer had a pure form and his existence was altogether dependent on the Völker that still bore his blood. To make matters worse for the Nordic twin, his traits seemed to diminish when he mixed with other races whereas the Jewish twin’s traits dominated when he mixed. The Nordic was the frail dying twin, the Jew the robust thriving twin. It was this metaphysical backdrop that set the stage for the intellectual racialist trajectory that the Nordic International was at war with, and simply must triumph over, the degenerative Jewish International. The very existence of the German Volk depended on a Nordic International victory. All would be lost if the Jew triumphed, hence the desire to Nordify the German people who would otherwise continue to be Judaized. Since few Nazi theorists were able to completely disavow this intellectual milieu, Nordicism was able to hang on almost to the bitter end. Even rational Hitler hints at this raciospiritual war in his Platterhof speech.

[1] Christopher M. Hutton, Race and the Third Reich: Linguistics, Racial Anthropology and Genetics in the Dialectic of Volk (Malden: MA: Polity Press), p. 20.

[2] Ibid., p. 127.

[3] Ibid., p. 120.

[4] Ibid., p. 151.

[5] Ibid., p. 139.

[6] Ibid., p. 25.

[7] Ibid., p. 163.

[8] Ibid., p. 141.

[9 through 17 not included in this excerpt]

[18] Ibid., p. 60.