Nazi Germany - Minority Groups
Adolf Hitler was familiar with the work of 19th century scientists who spoke of Northern European blond-haired, blue-eyed peoples as being Aryan, a ‘Master Race’ because they had remained racially pure throughout the ages.
In his book, Mein Kampf (Mein Struggle), Hitler explained how he believed that the German people were the true Aryan race and that their purity and superiority had to be maintained at all costs by prohibiting intermarriage and expelling or eliminating those who had no place in the master race. Hitler also explained how the Aryans had been responsible for all major advances in civilisation but that the Jews wanted to destroy everything they had achieved.
The persecution of those who did not fit Hitler’s ideal Aryan master race began soon after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. They included Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, the disabled, Jehovah’s witnesses, political opponents, the unemployed, the homeless and ethnic minorities.
As a result of the Nazi’s desire to achieve the perfect Aryan master race:
7 million non-Jewish Soviet people were killed
6 million Jews were killed
2.8 million Soviet prisoners of war were killed
2.5 million non-Jewish Poles were killed
1.5 million non-Jewish Poles were sent to forced labour concentration camps
500,000 gypsies were killed
400,000 people were forcibly sterilised
250,000 disabled people were killed
15,000 homosexuals were sent to concentration camps
10,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent to concentration camps
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