Hitler wanted to promote the "master Aryan race" of blonde haired blue eyed people, but even in Germany, many Germans could not have passed this standard: large numbers looked Eastern Europe and French or other ethnicities. Hitler believed the people of Germany and other Germanic countries contained the most blood of the Aryans, but that their bloodlines needed to be protected and improved from the harmful intermarriages that had been ongoing for centuries.

So what was life like for a Germany citizen that looked like the wrong "racial background?" Were they ignored, drafted, given extra labor duties, the subject of more police targeting? Were there groups they couldn't join like the SS or others, even if their German bloodline was provable?

Was there real discrimination against them?

Did Hitler or anyone in the NAZI Party have a future plan to eventually clean out the ethnic diversity of the German populace?

  • 1
    I was able to find in a couple of sources mention of the SS carrying on periodic surveys of the "racial integrity" of German children. The documentary, Hitlers Children mentions a child that was removed from school for looking too Slavic. Tall, Nordic type men received an award in the military. The discrimination therefore existed, but I'm not sure how common or severe it was or if there were future plans to expand it. – Razie Mah Nov 29 '14 at 20:30

While there was an idealzed physical appearance of the "master race" (blonde hair, blue eyes, ect.), it was not practical to use that as a basis for discrimination because too few people would have passed - most importantly not Hitler himself!

Instead, the Aryan certificate required to keep full citizen's rights was based entirely on ancestry: if your parents and grandparents were non-Jewish Germans (or at least non-eastern europeans), then you were considered "Aryan". There was a more strict certificate required for SS and NSDAP membership.

So as long as you had your certificate, you didn't suffer any official discrimination, though there probably was the kind of unofficial discrimination that you still see today as racial discrimination, towards people whose looks fell too far away from the ideal.

  • This question is about unofficial types of discrimination, such as the examples listed in the question. – Razie Mah Nov 28 '14 at 18:45

To qualify as “Aryan” you had to prove that none of your four grandparents was Jewish. In practice, this meant that you had to prove that they were baptised Christians. If you had a Jewish great-grandparent you would still qualify as “Aryan” if that great-grandparent had converted to Christianity and had his or her children baptised. So the Nazi “race” policy actually boils down to a question of religion. But that is because race is an essentially fictitious concept.

There is a fairly detailed discussion here: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariernachweis

  • This didn't answer my question. – Razie Mah Nov 28 '14 at 18:48
  • That is true, but it is because you have changed the question since I answered it. – fdb Nov 28 '14 at 19:48
  • It's the same question. – Razie Mah Nov 28 '14 at 20:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.