Hungary and Japan were Nazi Germany's allies during WWII, yet it could not possibly be argued that the Japanese belong to the "Aryan race", and Hungarians speak a non-Indo-European language, which probably disqualifies them as Aryans too. Did the German propaganda try to account for that? Were there any statements from the Nazi officials or scholars regarding the racial status of the Hungarian and Japanese people?

Additionally, considering that the Nazi leaders planned enslavement and subsequent extermination of Poles on racial grounds, were any analogous statements made about Russians during the time the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact held? What about other Axis or pro-Axis Slavic nations such as Slovaks or Bulgarians?

3 Answers 3


The German government considered the Japanese people as "honorary Aryans". According to Hitler, the Japanese and the Chinese, like the Germans, belonged to ancient civilizations. Wikipedia also discusses this.

  • I think (really it is my personal opinion, but maybe I am not alone) Hitler and so the Nazi Germany was less racist as they show in movies and documentaries. They obviously hated jews, gypsies, but over that he thought in alliances and cultures. Race itself wasn't that marginal in those times. He admired Budapest as city and had a plan to reshape Salzburg to beat Budapest's beauty. He was more sort of "cultural nazi". Commented May 7, 2013 at 12:04
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    This would get an upvote from me, if you could dig up a reference and some text for the Hungarian half of the question.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 12:49
  • @T.E.D. no prob, but it will take some time. I have a Hungarian source, which I guess is not the best in an English site :) Commented May 7, 2013 at 14:24
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    @CsBalazsHungary: What I'd do is to link the Hungarian source, and then translate a few relevant portions into English.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Oct 26, 2013 at 21:39
  • Although the Japanese were no doubt aware of their honorary Aryan status, they were also no doubt skeptical about this. As one of the nations who had contributed to winning WW1 and yet had their representatives ignored at meetings among these nations after the war, they were sensitive to racism and actually opposed nazi ideas about Jews -- the paradox of Jews being protected by Japan during WW2 (not just one very good guy but as a general government policy) is well known, I think.
    – releseabe
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 10:03

There was no consistent racial theory that the Nazis endorsed as somehow "official". All decisions were made on case-by-case basis depending on current situation and Hitler's personal preferences.

The Hitler's personal preferences were that he hated Jews, Poles and Russians. He was quite neutral regarding some other nations, including Slavic. He regarded Ukrainians better than both Poles and Russians.

He regarded Turkmens (who are Mongoloid, spoke Turkic language and Muslims) better than Lithuanians and Latvians, who are white, Christian and spoke languages which retain the most features of the ancient Indo-Europen.

He preferred Tatars to both Russians and Ukrainians.

This all was completely arbitrary.

It should be noted that along the so-called "Aryanism" ideology there were competing ideologies of Nordicism and Germanism and racial purity theory, as well as others. Of the first three it seems that Hitler liked Germanism the most while Nordicism the least.

All these were cited in different contexts depending on situation. For example, Aryanism was used to exclude Jews, Germanism - to exclude Slavs and Nordicism and racial purity - to attack the French and Italians, as well as Gypsies.

Another theory was that "heroic" nations, i.e. nations that conquered and enslaved their neighbors should be preferred to merchant nations that expanded by trade and the both should be preferred to the nations that were sometime in their history enslaved themselves.

From this point of view Jews were excluded as both merchant and enslaved nation (enslaved as long ago as Biblical times). Russians were seen as being "natural slaves" because they invited the Scandinavian Varangians to rule them, because the majority of pre-revolutionary Russian nobility and the Tsar himself were of German descent (while the serfs were Slavs) and because the Nazis believed that the very word "Slave" was derived from 'Slav" (in German the both words coincide). On the similar grounds Arabs (as "heroic") were preferred to the British (as "merchant") and African blacks were preferred to American blacks (the descendants of the slaves), warlike Caucasus dwellers, Chechens and Cossacks were preferred to "peaceful" Russians etc.

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    Citations? Sources?
    – MCW
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 14:43
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    Seconding (or thirding?) the call for sources. I'd heard elsewhere that he rather liked the English, as fellow "Aryans", and felt that he ought to be able to make some kind of accomodation with them after defeating their Polish and French allies.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 12:46
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    Please do not make wrong edits. Slav and Slave ARE NOT etymologically connected. Slave is derived from Latin "sclavus" and cognate to "conclave", "enclave", "clavis" etc.
    – Anixx
    Commented Feb 18, 2014 at 3:42
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    Good answer. Points out the extremely non-scientific and ultimately arbitrary view the Nazis had when it came to racial policy. Turkic, Japanese, etc. are all extremely far from "Aryan"/Indo-European in language, history, culture, genetics, and yet he preferred them over some of the languages and peoples most akin to the ancient Indo-Europeans in many ways, like Latvians.
    – Noldorin
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 0:55
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    @Anixx: Regarding "slave" however, I don't believe that's true. All the etymological sources I've read, including the OED, Merriam-Webster and other prominent ones, have the ultimate source of "sclavus" and thus "slave" as "Slav", do to the thraldom of some early Slavic peoples under Germanic ones, e.g. Eastern Slavs under Varangians. For reference, see etymonline.com/index.php?term=slave&allowed_in_frame=0, oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/slave merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slave
    – Noldorin
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 0:58

EDIT: Wow, I did not see this was from 2012. It appeared at the top of the questions page, so I answered it. That's strange...I wonder why it was at the top of the "newest" section. I wouldn't have responded if I had seen the date.

I studied this in college (History was my major).

The short answer:

Hitler wanted to conquer the world as quickly as possible. His initial plan was to align with a few strategic groups and later conquer them as well. An example of this gone wrong is how Hitler aligned with Russia and then tried to take over the country after getting what he wanted from them.

Hitler obviously had no way of making a move in the Pacific as Germany is nowhere near that region, so he told the Japanese to do whatever they wanted and he'd back them up. His plan was to let them do the dirty work and then he'd take them over, too, when the Euro region was controlled. Russia again messed this up because hitler planned on utilizing the Trans-Siberian Railway to send troops and supplies from Moscow to Vladivostok to conquer China, Korea, and Japan, but when his Russian campaign failed, he really let Japan have free reign...because he had no choice at this point.

As for Hungary, Hitler aligned with them because he wanted to conquer the Middle-East and The Balkans, but had no initial means to carry this out. Hungary became his go-to country because it is positioned strategically between Germany, The Balkans/Middle-East, Poland, and the Ukraine. Hungary was his key to the near East. His plans began to fail when the Hungarian Resistance became more brazen and continued to disrupt his affairs in Hungary.

From the beginning, Hitler's goal was to enslave everyone but Germans with purely German ancestry that was documented for multiple generations. Everyone outside of that group was initially told otherwise, so that he could use them and defeat them. This concept applied to Vichy France, as well. In his Mein Kampf book, he wrote all of this out. The sad part is, before he became known, everyone thought he was a loony and didn't bother to read his book. He nearly followed his book's plans to a T, so it has been academically debated that the war could have been prevented, or at least foreseen if officials had looked into his book, which was actually widely published at the time. Remember, most nations aligned with him out of fear. The Nazis had the most advanced weaponry and tactics at the time and countries were literally falling within hours to days of his attacks. When Poland fell and Hitler kept bulldozing through countries, the ones that were offered alignment, did so to protect their people, culture, and history because remember, Hitler was also actively destroying the histories and cultures of countries so that no one could ever know anything other than Nazism once he took full control.

My source is my university education and research background.

Hope this helps!

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    This could definitely use some references. Also the final paragraph claims that Mein Kampf was "widely published at the time" but people "didn't bother to read [it]" and somehow "everyone thought he was a loony" "before he became known". Both of which seem contradictory.
    – Steve Bird
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 5:11
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    Thank you for your contribution Yistorian. However, Mentioning Source in Yahoo Answers style is not how things work on SE. Please add valid references to key points.
    – NSNoob
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 6:41
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    About 200k+ copies of Mein Kampf were published in Germany at the time, which is extensive for the era. Only people in his political circle (small at the time since Hitler was still relatively unknown) read it. He wrote it in jail after he was convicted of trying to stage a coupe against the sitting German govt. That's why people thought he was loony, besides his milk crate rhetoric. As for sources, History Stack states personal experience counts as a source. I learned all of this through my academic research and convos with profs in university.
    – Yistorian
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 8:24

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