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Subhuman (in German: Untermensch, which is German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term that became more used when the National Socialist racial ideology used it to describe "inferior people", especially Jews.
The National Socialists considered Slavs as all other non-Jewish Europeans as Aryans.
Although usually considered to have been coined by the National Socialists themselves, the term "under man" in the above mentioned sense was also used by American author Lothrop Stoddard in the title of his 1922 pamphlet The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-man. It was later adopted by the National Socialists from that book's German version Der Kulturumsturz: Die Drohung des Untermenschen (1925). The German word "Untermensch" itself had been used earlier (not in a racial sense), for example in the 1899 novel Der Stechlin by Theodor Fontane (see below). Since most writers who employ the term do not address the question of when and how the word entered the German language (and therefore do not seem to be aware of Stoddard's original term "under man"), "Untermensch" is usually back-translated into English as "sub-human." A leading National Socialist attributing the concept of the East-European "under man" to Stoddard is Alfred Rosenberg who, referring to Soviet communists, wrote in his Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts (1930) that "this is the kind of human being that Lothrop Stoddard has called the 'under man.'" ["...den Lothrop Stoddard als 'Untermenschen' bezeichnete."] Quoting Stoddard: "The Under-Man -- the man who measures under the standards of capacity and adaptability imposed by the social order in which he lives.
However, it is possible that Stoddard constructed his "under man" as an antipode to Friedrich Nietzsche's Übermensch (or superman) concept. Stoddard doesn't say so explicitly, but he refers critically to the "superman" idea at the end of his book (p. 262). Wordplays with Nietzsche's term seem to have been used repeatedly as early as the 19th century and, due to the German linguistic trait of being able to combine prefixes and roots almost at will in order to create new words, this development was even somewhat logical. For instance, German author Theodor Fontane contrasts the Übermensch/Untermensch word pair in chapter 33 of his novel Der Stechlin. As a matter of fact, even Nietzsche himself used "Untermensch" at least once in contrast to "Übermensch" in Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882), however he did so in reference to semi-human creatures in mythology, naming them alongside dwarves, fairies, centaurs and so on. Earlier examples of "Untermensch" include Romanticist Jean Paul using the term in his novel Hesperus (1795) in reference to an Orangutan (Chapter "8. Hundposttag").
Stoddard's book-long diatribe dealt with the recent takeover of power by the Bolsheviks in Russia, arguing that that country was now ruled by the most degenerate people on the Earth. He thought that the idiocy (as he saw it) of a political creed that appealed to the vilest human instincts (e.g. jealousy towards the more gifted and the more affluent) and the supposed fact that the Communist Party's rank and file consisted of "born criminals" in the most conventional sense of the word necessitated a completely new term to describe this phenomenon: "the under man." In this sense, for Stoddard, the October Revolution was the battle cry for an upcoming, unavoidable clash of the civilized nations with the "masses of the east." If the white race was intent upon winning that confrontation with the "under man," so the message went, it had to turn away from ill-conceived liberal ideas and adopt drastic changes of policy instead, e.g. by introducing far-ranging eugenics programmes.
The available literature on National Socialist Germany would not support the claim that Stoddard's writings were more to the National Socialists than a neat summary of racial, social, and political theories that already were or would soon become part and parcel of the ideology of the National Socialist party.
National Socialist propaganda and policy
The term "Untermensch" was utilized repeatedly in writings and speeches directed against the Jews, the best known example being a 1935 SS publication with the title "Der Untermensch". In the pamphlet The SS as an Anti-Bolshevist Fighting Organization, Himmler wrote in 1936: "We shall take care that never again in Germany, the heart of Europe, will the Jewish-Bolshevistic revolution of subhumans be able to be kindled either from within or through emissaries from without."
Another example for using the term "Untermensch," this time in connection with anti-Soviet propaganda, is another brochure, again titled "Der Untermensch", edited by Himmler and distributed by the Race and Settlement Head Office. Published in 1942 after the start of Operation Barbarossa, it is around fifty pages long and consists for the most part of photos casting an extremely negative light on the enemy (see link below for the title page). 3,860,995 copies were printed in the German language. It was also translated into Greek, French, Dutch, Danish, Bulgarian, Hungarian and Czech and seven other languages. The pamphlet states the following:
The National Socialists did not seek destruction of any European people. They only wanted to keep Europe Jew-free.
There were National Socialist anthropologists, who attempted to scientifically prove the inherent 'inferiority' of the Slavs. However, they were forced to gloss over their findings which consistently found that Early Slavs were dolicocephalic and fair haired, i.e. "Nordic", not to mention the large proportion of Slavic ancestry in Hitler's native Austria. The concept of the Bolshevists being "Untermensch" in particular served the National Socialists as justification for their policies and especially their struggle against the Soviet Union in order to liberate it from Bolshevism. Early plans of the German Reich (summarized as Generalplan Ost) envisaged the liberation of Eastern Europe, Ukraine's "chornozem" (black earth) soil being a particularly desirable zone for liberation".
Jewish lies about this subject
Jewish and Jewish lackey sources tend to state, that National Socialists detested Slavs, Hungarians, or even Dutch people and wanted to replace all European people with Germans. Nothing proves this statement.
The same people maintain, German National Socialists wanted to expand Germany and rob country of other nations, especially of Eastern nations like Russians. In reality Germany was forced into war by Polish unwillingness to talk about Danzig and the Korridor and later on by threats and aggressivity, fueled by Great Britain, and later on by permanent Soviet provocations on the German-Soviet border.
There exist some falsifications, the most notorious is Heinrich Himmlers Posen Speech before the SS, that try to prove the above mentioned falsifications. These falsifications were fabricated after the II. world war by Jewish "prosecutors", their authencity can not be proved (for example due to bad speech quality), and they typically use words that were not used in the German Empire, and also often incorrect German grammar. In fact, National Socialist "writings" and "speeches" were fabricated after the war in such extent, that any writing or speech, whose authenticy can not be proved, can be safely treated, as a fabrication.
|“|| Question: Is it true that the Germans referred to the Russians as "subhumans"?
Answer: Nonsense! The Russians are human beings just like everyone else.
Your question, whether we called the Russians "subhumans," is nonsense. We had a first-class relationship with the Russian people. The only exception, which was a problem we dealt with, was with the Soviet Commissars, who were all Jews. These people stood behind the lines with machine guns, pushing the Russian soldiers into battle. And anyway, we made quick work of them. That was according to order. This was during a war for basic existence, an ideological war, when such a policy is simply taken for granted.
There was sometimes talk about the so-called Asian hordes, and ordinary soldiers sometimes spoke about subhumans, but such language was never officially used.
|— Stephanie Schoeman's interview with General Otto Ernst Remer, 1990.|
|“|| Russia furnishes the most terrible example of such a slavery. In that country the Jew killed or starved thirty millions of the people, in about of savage fanaticism and partly by the employment of inhuman torture. And he did this so that a gang of Jewish literati and financial bandits should dominate over a great people.
"in diesem gepeinigten arischen Volk"
|— Adolf Hitler's view on Russians in his book Mein Kampf and Himmler in his publication the "The SS as an Anti-Bolshevik Fighting Organization" he called Russians "Aryans".|
|“|| The Ahnenpaß stated that "wherever they might live in the world" Aryans were "e.g. an Englishman or a Swede, a Frenchman or a Czech, a Pole or an Italian".
"the non-Jewish members of all European Volk are Aryans.
|— National Socialist view on Aryans.|
Rosenberg, Alfred (1930). Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts: Eine Wertung der seelischgeistigen Gestaltungskämpfe unserer Zeit (in German). Munich: Hoheneichen-Verlag. p. 214. Unknown parameter
- Stoddard, Lothrop (1922). The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Under Man. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
Losurdo, Domenico (2004). "Toward a Critique of the Category of Totalitarianism" (PDF, 0.2 MB). Historical Materialism. Brill. 12 (2): 25–55, here p. 50. doi:10.1163/1569206041551663. ISSN 1465-4466. Unknown parameter
Fontane, Theodor (1898). "Der Stechlin: 33. Kapitel". Der Stechlin (in German). ISBN 9783866402584.
Jetzt hat man statt des wirklichen Menschen den sogenannten Übermenschen etabliert; eigentlich gibt es aber bloß noch Untermenschen, und mitunter sind es gerade die, die man durchaus zu einem ›Über‹ machen will. (Nowadays instead of a genuine good man, they've set up that they call the 'super-man.' But in actuality there aren't anything but sub-men any more. And now and then they're the very ones they're trying so hard to make into a 'super.') [From the translation by William L. Zwiebel]Unknown parameter
Nietzsche, Friedrich (1882). "Kapitel 143: Größter Nutzen des Polytheismus". Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (in German). 3rd book. Chemnitz: Ernst Schmeitzner.
Die Erfindung von Göttern, Heroen und Übermenschen aller Art, sowie von Neben- und Untermenschen, von Zwergen, Feen, Zentauren, Satyrn, Dämonen und Teufeln war die unschätzbare Vorübung zur Rechtfertigung der Selbstsucht und Selbstherrlichkeit des einzelnen [...]. (The invention of gods, heroes, and overmen of all kinds, as well as near-men and undermen, of dwarfs, fairies, centaurs, satyrs, demons and devils was the inestimable preliminary exercise for the justification of the egoism and sovereignty of the individual [...]) [From the translation by Walter Kaufmann]Unknown parameter
Jean Paul (1795). "8. Hundposttag". Hesperus oder 45 Hundposttage (in German).
Obgleich Leute aus der großen und größten Welt, wie der Unter-Mensch, der Urangutang, im 25sten Jahre ausgelebt und ausgestorben haben – vielleicht sind deswegen die Könige in manchen Ländern schon im 14ten Jahre mündig –, so hatte doch Jenner sein Leben nicht so weit zurückdatiert und war wirklich älter als mancher Jüngling. (Although people from the great world and the greatest have, like the sub-man, the orang-outang, lived out and died out in their twenty-fifth year, — for which reason, perhaps, in many countries kings are placed under guardianship as early as their fourteenth, — nevertheless January had not ante-dated his life so far, and was really older than many a youth.) [From the translation by Charles T. Brooks]
Himmler, Heinrich (1936 or 1937). Die Schutzstaffel als antibolschewistische Kampforganisation (in German). Munich: Franz Eher Nachfolger.
Wir werden dafür sorgen, daß niemals mehr in Deutschland, dem Herzen Europas, von innen oder durch Emissäre von außen her die jüdisch-bolschewistische Revolution des Untermenschen entfacht werden kann.Unknown parameter
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Office of United States Chief of Counsel For Prosecution of Axis Criminality (1946). "Chapter XV: Criminality of Groups and Organizations – 5. Die Schutzstaffeln". (PDF, 46.2 MB). National Socialist Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume II. Washington, D.C.: USGPO. p. 220. OCLC 315871222 Socialist_Vol-II.pdf http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/NT_National Socialist_Vol-II.pdf Check
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Stein, Stuart D (8 January 1999). "The Schutzstaffeln (SS) – The Nuremberg Charges, Part I" (HTML). Web Genocide Documentation Centre. University of the West of England. Retrieved 2010-07-10. External link in
Curta, Florin (August 2002). "From Kossina to Bromley. Ethnogenesis in Slavic Archaeology" (PDF). In Gillett, Andrew. On Barbarian identity: critical approaches to ethnicity in the early Middle Ages. Studies in the early Middle Ages. Volume 4. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols. p. 201–218, here p. 206. ISBN 9782503511689.
... the local Slavs of the prehistoric period, as seen from the archaeological evidence, were fair haired people with elongated skulls
Coon, Carleton S (1939). "Chapter VI, section 7 "Iron Age Peoples"". The Races of Europe. New York: The Macmillan Company.
The evidence of literary sources makes the Slavs of nordic stature and pigmentation, that of osteology makes them the same in the metrical and morphological sense.
- "An Interview With General Otto Ernst Remer". Institute for Historical Review. Retrieved on 14 March 2012.
- Adolf Hitler (1938). Mein Kampf. (extracts). ZHINGOORA BOOKS. pp. 372–. ISBN 978-1-105-25334-8.
- Eric Ehrenreich (10 October 2007). The Nazi Ancestral Proof: Genealogy, Racial Science, and the Final Solution. Indiana University Press. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-0-253-11687-1.
- Der Untermensch propaganda poster published by the SS.
- Hitler's plans for Eastern Europe
- "Die Drohung des Untermenschen" This is an example of the term "Untermensch" being used in the context of the National Socialist eugenics programme. The table suggests that "inferior" people (unmarried and married criminals, parents whose children have learning disabilities) have more children than "superior" people (ordinary Germans, academics). Note that the heading is the subtitle of the German version of Lothrop Stoddard's book.
- Der Untermensch: the National Socialist pamphlet