Foreign races

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Foreign races (German: Fremdvölkische) was a term used during the Nazi era to describe people who were not of "German or related blood" (Nuremberg Laws). The term at first was used only by members of the Schutzstaffel, but later became used by the Reich police, justice system and state bureaucracy.

Folkish community[edit]

With the Führerprinzip (leadership principle) of Hitler and the Nazi party supremacy over Germany, the fundamental political life of Nazism was primarily focused on the Aryan race, but also the pan-German nationalism that was to make sure the Germans belonged to the Volksgemeinschaft (national community). The term "foreign" was not used in the term of a migrant but rather racially defined as to who were German citizens but who were not of German or related blood. In 1935 after the Third Reich introduced the Nuremberg race laws, the foreign races who were defined as Jews, Gypsies and blacks were forbid from civil service and sexual relations with Aryans and were given the "non-Aryan" status under these racial laws.[1] Although to be noted, the laws did not just effect people who were not Aryan, but also opponents of the Nazis, who were also stripped from civil service.

People of Central Europe and Eastern Europe[edit]

With the Nazis policy of Lebensraum (living space) in the East, which called for Germans to settle there and the whole area to undergo a procedure of Germanization for the creation of a Greater Germanic Reich. The people of these areas were targeted as "foreign Nationalists" not "foreign races" since Slavs were not a distinct race, even according to Nazi racial science (Hans F. K. Günther - called - race-Günther - 1930). Thus, the notion of foreign was used not only for people who were classified as racially different but also people who were not part of the German community. In Mein Kampf, Hitler criticized previous Germanization towards ethnic Poles who he regarded as belonging to a "foreign race" to the Germans.[2] In his 1928 unpublished book Zweites Buch, Hitler stated that the Nazis would never Germanize any foreign elements such as the Poles or Czechs as it would lead to a racial weakening of the German people.[3][4]

According to Nazi ideology the Slavic people were simply uncultured and inferior. The Nazis feared the fertility of the Slavs and called for a depopulation policy towards them. A secret plan called the General Plan East implemented the enslavement, expulsion and possible extermination of most people of both Central and Eastern Europe.[5] The foreign worker was given the status of the Ost-Arbeiter, estimates put the number of Ostarbeiters between 3 million and 5.5 million.[6] The possibility of naturalization came at different levels, however, applied only to the so-called annexed eastern territories. Naturalized - but with possibility of withdrawal - were so-called German people, the foreign-born Germans living in these occupied and annexed areas, as well as Poland, the Germans were connected (through marriage, language and culture, etc.). This served to attract so-called racially valuable children, a small percentage of people in these areas were given a "racially valuable" by Nazi racial theorists and were to undergo Germanization and be taken to the Reich and be raised as Germans. The aim was to give the kingdom German citizenship since the 1935 race laws introduced these people after a certain period of probation and allowed them to strip their foreign national status. (This possibility of naturalization, however, did not apply to the "General".)[7]

History of the term[edit]

Already in the interwar period of the Weimar Republic the term appeared in 1926, "fremdvölkisch" in the legal literature in the discussion about the "legal status of minorities" on: After the lawyers Martin Dachselt Poland, were turning, Danes and Lithuanians "fremdvölkisch" in contrast to Mazury, Friesen and other "non-established, scattered over the rest of Germany smaller groups" such as the Ruhr Poles.

The term after World War II[edit]

After the end of the war, many young men who were of Polish ancestry in the context of dealing with the term "foreign nationalists" in the "Annexed Eastern Territories" of the Third Reich were recruited into the German Wehrmacht, after they received German citizenship revoked. It must however be mentioned that many children and grandchildren of those effected, they do not fall prey to general proscription in the present Poland. Discredited as Lech Kaczynski before his election to the presidency his rival Donald Tusk with the rumor, whose grandfather was in the German army. Journalist Barbara Szczepula from Danzig to the previously published only in a Polish published book " grandfather in the Wehrmacht." "Very many sufferers have told me that we can not publish our names" said Szczepula.[8] Here, the fate of these people is extremely tragic: They were forced to join the army - refusal threatened with internment in concentration camps. While many were deserted during the war and had fought on the British side against the Nazis, but the stigma remained towards these people. After the war and the territorial differences between the war and after the war made many Germans lose their German citizenship and were regarded as "foreign nationalists".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2016-05-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Hitler, Adolf. "Volume Two - The National Socialist Movement, Chapter II The State". Mein Kampf. Not only in Austria, however, but also in the Reich, these so-called national circles were, and still are, under the influence of similar erroneous ideas. Unfortunately, a policy towards Poland, whereby the East was to be Germanized, was demanded by many, and was based on the same false reasoning. Here, again, it was believed that the Polish people could be Germanized, by being compelled to use the German language. The result would have been fatal. A people of foreign race would have had to use the German language to express modes of thought that were foreign to the German, thus compromising, by its own inferiority, the dignity and nobility of our nation.
  3. ^ Hitler, Adolf. "National Socialist Foreign Policy". Zweites Buch. The National Socialist Movement, on the contrary, will always let its foreign policy be determined by the necessity to secure the space necessary to the life of our Folk. It knows no Germanising or Teutonising, as in the case of the national bourgeoisie, but only the spread of its own Folk. It will never see in the subjugated, so called Germanised, Czechs or Poles a national, let alone Folkish, strengthening, but only the racial weakening of our Folk.
  4. ^ Hitler, Adolf. "German needs and aims". Zweites Buch. The Folkish State, conversely, must under no conditions annex Poles with the intention of wanting to make Germans out of them some day. On the contrary, it must muster the determination either to seal off these alien racial elements, so that the blood of its own Folk will not be corrupted again, or it must without further ado remove them and hand over the vacated territory to its own National Comrades.
  5. ^
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  8. ^ 15. August 2007 in „3sat-Kulturzeit"

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