The Third Reich
Hitler and the Third Reich remain one of the most difficult historical areas with which to come to grips. The reason for this is that Hitler still has a massive influence on everyday politics and life at the end of the 20th Century, and it is difficult to find any source which has an objective view of the state created by the Nazis from 1933 to 1945 in Germany. In fact, a large amount of what has been written about Hitler and Nazi Germany has been particularly subject to the pressure of political correctness.
The very first law passed by the Nazi controlled parliament of the territory of East Prussia in 1933, under the premiership of Herman Goering, was the abolition of vivisection, or experimentation on animals.
Imitating ancient Greek and Roman attempts to encourage population growth, the German government rewarded those families with large numbers of children: a special Mother’s Cross was struck, given in bronze to German women who had four children, silver for six children and gold for eight. Hundreds of thousands of these medals were given out before the war ended. Financial payments and tax concessions were also offered for large numbers of children.
A combination of these incentives, the abolition of abortions (except in cases of the mentally ill) and the expansion of the borders of Germany eventually caused an increase in the number of children born in Germany during the Third Reich era of just over three million.
SS-leader Heinrich Himmler speaks
A valuable insight into exactly how the Nazis viewed other European populations is afforded through the memoirs of Artur Silgailis, chief of staff of the Latvian Waffen-SS, in his book Latvian Legion (James Bender Publishing, 1986, pages 348-349.) In that book, Silgailis describes a conversation he had with Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany: “He (Himmler) then singled out those nations which he regarded as belonging to the German family of nations and they were: the Germans, the Dutch, the Flemish, the Anglo-Saxons, the Scandinavians and the Baltic people.” (Himmler said):
To combine all of these nations into one big family is the most important task at the present time.
This unification has to take place on the principle of equality and at that same time has to secure the identity of each nation and its economical independence, of course, adjusting the latter to the interests of the whole German living space. After the unification of all the German nations into one family, this family has to take over the mission to include, in the family, all the Roman nations whose living space is favored by nature with a milder climate.
I am convinced that after the unification, the Roman nations will be able to persevere as the Germans. This enlarged family of the White race will then have the mission to include the Slavic nations into the family also because they too are of the White race. It is only with such a unification of the White race that the Western culture could be saved from the Yellow race.
At the present time, the Waffen-SS is leading in this respect because its organization is based on the principle of equality. The Waffen-SS comprises not only German, Roman and Slavic, but even Islamic units and at the same time has proven that every unit has maintained its national identity while fighting in close togetherness, I know quite well my Germans. The German always likes to think himself better but I would like to avert this. It is important that every Waffen-SS officer obeys the order of another officer of another nationality, as the officer of the other nationality obeys the order of the German officer.
This private discussion is illuminating, as it shatter a few myths which have arisen around Nazi Germany’s racial policies: namely that the Nazis viewed Germans as the only superior race, and that they regarded Latin or Slavic nations as inferior. Both these allegations are utterly false, as revealed here in Himmler’s own words.
The Waffen SS recruited heavily amongst Russians, Ukrainians, Cossacks, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians. Thousands more Russians volunteered for service with the German army: in 1944, they were organized into a separate unit under a former Soviet Army general, Vlassov, who had been taken prisoner by the Germans very early in the war.
Vlassov and his Russian army fought bitterly until the end, and when all was lost he and thousands of his soldiers fled into the West to surrender to the Americans and British rather than face capture by the Soviets. His hope was misplaced: in an operation codenamed Keelhaul, Vlassov and around 20,000 of his soldiers were then handed over to the Soviets by the Western allies: unsurprisingly, they were never heard of again.