AMERICA'S HISTORY OF RACE BASED IMPERIALISM, SLAVERY AND GENOCIDE INSPIRES NAZI PLANS
In the nineteenth century the world experienced the most massive period of global imperialism since the time of the Mongol invasions of the thirteenth century. By 1900 four great empires had emerged: two giant land empires, America and Russia, and two giant overseas colonial empires, France and England.
Unfortunately, the scramble for world empire created the seeds of conflict, particularly since one major world power, Germany, had come late to the game of world empire and had ended up on the losing end of the global imperial power struggle. Other nations were also deeply embittered. China had been knocked out as a world power and was being torn to pieces by the European powers. Japan had survived but remained bitterly discontented with its share of world territory.
Imperial Germany's defeat in World War I compounded the sense of desperation in German geopolitical circles. Germany was stripped of the few colonies it had gained. The German fleet was sent to the bottom. The German army was so weakened that Germany could not even match the power of the Czech Army. (Click here to see a 1939 German view of Germany's position in the world as related to Britain and its Empire.)
It was within this context that Adolf Hitler began his bid for power. At the same time another figure in world geopolitics also sought power for Germany. This man was Karl Haushofer, one of Germany's leading geopolitical minds. Haushofer was a a highly ambitious man with a keen instinct for political intrigue. Through his friendship with Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, Haushofer was able to bring his ideas to the attention of Hitler. At the same time, through his travels in Japan he also found a receptive audience among Japan's leaders.
Haushofer succeeded in convincing the leaders of Germany and Japan that both nations faced doom unless they were able to create giant land empires to match the four great world powers. Where would this land come from? There was only one answer, the Soviet Union. The cornerstone of Nazi foreign policy was the conquest of the European part of the Soviet Union, ideally in coordination with a Japanese conquest of Siberia. (The following map shows the world as it might have been if this plan had been carried out.)
"We National Socialists consciously draw a line through the foreign policy trend of our pre-War period. We take up at the halting place of six hundred years ago. We terminate the endless German drive to the south and west of Europe, and turn our gaze toward the lands in the east. We finally terminate the colonial and trade policy of the pre-War period and proceed to the territorial policy of the future … if we talk about new soil and territory in Europe today, we can think primarily only of Russia and its vassal border states."
So a major part of Hitler's overall plan initially involved making an alliance with Western European nations, while carving out a land empire for Germany in the east. This would be known as General Plan Ost, or General Plan East. Yet Hitler's plans were nothing new. In fact, he drew a lot of inspiration from America and the creation of their land empire through genocidal and race based policies.
AMERICAN IMPERIALISM AS A MODEL FOR HITLER
Growing up, Hitler was a large fan of Karl May, a popular author of fictional tales about the American West. Tales of the American West were very popular among young boys in Germany and Austria and one of Hitler's favorite game to play outside was "cowboys and indians." Hitler read, and reread the books of Karl May. In particular, he was a fan of May's invented hero "Old Shatterhand," who always won his battles against the Native Americans. Hitler read every single one of May's books about Old Shatterhand, which totaled to more than 70 novels. He continued to read them even as Führer. During the German attack on the Soviet Union he sometimes referred to the Russians as Redskins and ordered his officers to carry May's books about fighting.
Yet Hitler wasn't just inspired by fiction. Hitler's model for his empire was America. He owed much of his study and implementation of concentration camps, so he claimed, to the study of U.S. and English history. Hitler was intrigued and inspired by the complete genocide of indigenous people that took place on the American landscape in the 19th century, and the "taming of the west" in this era. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America's extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the "red savages" who could not be tamed by captivity.
He greatly admired America's policy of forced deportations of local inhabitants and their replacements by European immigrants. The very fact that he named his train "America" is a testament to his admiration. Hitler sought to duplicate America's model of expansion on a far larger scale using far more specific concepts of racial and eugenic thinking. Hitler sought nothing less than a racial and demographic revolution in Europe, where the racial and genetic structure of Europe's population would be rearranged forever by means of a huge empire in the east where the "Aryan" blood of Europe would expand its share of Europe's population.
Hitler never significantly altered the global geopolitical vision that he outlined in Mein Kampf. Throughout the 1930s, in fact, Hitler and his representatives attempted numerous diplomatic maneuvers, before resorting to war, that were intended to give Germany a free hand in Eastern Europe. These maneuvers included attempts to form an agreement between Great Britain and Germany, in an effort to keep Britain out of a future German-Soviet conflict.
Hitler Quotes About the Genocide and Removal of the American Indian
There is only one task: Germanization through the introduction of Germans [to the area] and to treat the original inhabitants like Indians. … I intend to stay this course with ice-cold determination. I feel myself to be the executor of the will of History. What people think of me at present is all of no consequence. Never have I heard a German who has bread to eat express concern that the ground where the grain was grown had to be conquered by the sword. We eat Canadian wheat and never think of the Indians ."
Himmler's Quote About Turning Ukraine into the "California of Europe"
“Without end, the steppes of the Russian area extend [to] eastern Europe. Abrupt and sudden is the difference between the cultural levels of central Europe and the gigantic districts [to the east]. And yet, on both sides of the frontier there is the same soil, but not the same people. Only man alone is able to impress his stamp upon the country. Therefore, on the one side the well ordered fertility, planned harmony of fields and carefully designed villages of Germany, and on the other side the zones of an impenetrable jungle, of the steppes, of never ending primeval forests, where silting rivers painfully cut their ways.
Badly exploited, fertile soil of black earth that could be a paradise, a California of Europe, and in reality abandoned, dreadfully neglected, branded with the stamp of a crime against culture beyond imagination even today, is a perpetual accusation against the sub-human and his rule.
Hitler’s Inspiration and Guide: The Native American Holocaust (Jewish Journal, 6-18-13)
THE GENOCIDE OF AMERICA'S INDIGENOUS PEOPLE:
The European colonization of the American continents is one of the most brutal campaigns of racial genocide in human history.
It is estimated that the indigenous population for North, Central and South America was anywhere between 50-100 million before the arrival of Europeans en masse in the era of Columbus. Yet after the arrival of Europeans to the American continents, an estimated 80%-90% of the indigenous population died off. A large factor was the transmission of European diseases like Small Pox. Yet the genocide and forced relocation of indigenous people on the part of European immigrants also played a large role.
"Manifest Destiny" in particular was a plan of the U.S. government to tame the entire American landscape and set up a nation that stretched from "coast to coast" uninterrupted. Much of this was accomplished in the form of forcefully relocating Native American communities who "got in the way" to reservations, or killing off those who didn't cooperate. Many of these reservations were on uninhabitable lands and several Native Americans starved to death in the relocation process.
In the formation of his "General Plan East," Hitler wanted to do much of the same thing in Russia: exterminate or relocate the Slavic inhabitants and set up a vast empire of "Aryan" stock.
A Book Review: Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1846-1873 (Indian Country, 8-10-12)
The Great California Genocide (Daily Kos, 8-14-08)
QUOTES FROM AMERICAN FOUNDING FATHERS ABOUT AMERICAN INDIANS:
Orders of George Washington to General John Sullivan, May 31, 1779
“The immediate objectives are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops in the ground and prevent their planting more .”
Letter to James Duane, September 07, 1783. Washington compares Indians to animals.
Settlements will as certainly cause the Savage as the Wolf to retire; both being beasts of prey tho’ they differ in shape .
“If it be the design of Providence to extirpate these Savages in order to make room for cultivators of the Earth, it seems not improbable that rum may be the appointed means .”
GOVERNOR OF INDIANA TERRITORY
Governor William Henry Harrison, of the Indiana Territory (1800-1812) while defending displacement of the Indians
“Is one of the fairest portions of the globe to remain in a state of nature, the haunt of a few wretched savages, when it seems destined by the Creator to give support to a large population and to be the seat of civilization ?”
“If ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe, we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or driven beyond the Mississippi… in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy them all .”
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, December 29, 1813
“This unfortunate race, whom we had been taking so much pains to save and to civilize, have by their unexpected desertion and ferocious barbarities justified extermination and now await our decision on their fate .”
In a letter to Andrew Jackson, October 5, 1817
“The hunter or savage state requires a greater extent of territory to sustain it, than is compatible with the progress and just claims of civilized life, and must yield to it. Nothing is more certain, than, if the Indian tribes do not abandon that state, and become civilized, that they will decline, and become extinct. The hunter state, tho maintain’d by warlike spirits, presents but a feeble resistance to the more dense, compact, and powerful population of civilized man .”
First Annual Message to Congress, December 8, 1829 Jackson lays out his policy for relocating Indians of the east to territories west of the Mississippi. This policy becomes law as the Indian Removal Act by his next annual address. An excerpt from the speech:
"Our conduct toward these people is deeply interesting to our national character. Their present condition, contrasted with what they once were, makes a most powerful appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found them the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By persuasion and force they have been made to retire from river to river and from mountain to mountain, until some of the tribes have become extinct and others have left but remnants to preserve for awhile their once terrible names. Surrounded by the whites with their arts of civilization, which by destroying the resources of the savage doom him to weakness and decay, the fate of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware is fast overtaking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the states does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity." To read the rest of Jackson's speeches on the Indian Removal Act, go to this page.
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 (Library of Congress)
Andrew Jackson Quote From the Journal of the U.S. Senate. First Session of the 23rd Congress.
“My original convictions upon this subject have been confirmed by the course of events for several years, and experience is every day adding to their strength. That those tribes cannot exist surrounded by our settlements and in continual contact with our citizens is certain. They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear .”
Abraham Lincoln's Order of December 6, 1862, Authorizing the Execution of Thirty-Eight Sioux Indians“Ordered that of the Indians and Half-breeds sentenced to be hanged by the military commission, composed of Colonel Crooks, Lt. Colonel Marshall, Captain Grant, Captain Bailey, and Lieutenant Olin, and lately sitting in Minnesota, you cause to be executed on Friday the nineteenth day of December, instant, the following names, to wit ."
Lincoln defends Andrew Jackson in "Speech at Peoria, September 17, 1852"
“Is it true that the noble hearted man and Christian gentleman who as the agent of a democratic administration, removed the Cherokee Indians from their homes to the west of the Mississippi in such a manner as to gain the applause of the great and good of the land, is a fool ?”
Lincoln in Seventh and Last Joint Debate at Alton, Illinois, October 15, 1858: In response to the statement in the Declaration of Independence that "All men were created equal."
“I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say that all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social capacity ”
Lincoln in Lecture on Discoveries, Inventions, and Improvements, Springfield, Illinois, February 22, 1860
“why did Yankees almost instantly discover gold in California, which had been trodden upon and overlooked by Indians and Mexican greasers for centuries ?”
The U.S. Homestead Act of 1862 (The National Archives). This act, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, opened up the West to be farmed by whites and freed slaves. This act had the effect of removing Native Americans from their ancestral lands and replacing them mostly with white settlers.
“I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth .”
AMERICA'S RACE BASED SYSTEM OF SLAVERY INSPIRES NAZI SYSTEM OF FORCED LABOR:
Yet Hitler's desire to emulate America wasn't just based on their massive land expansion in a short period of time. He was also fascinated by their racial policies in general. One area in particular was America's institution of race based slavery.
Slavery has existed throughout all of human history. Yet in western civilizations like Rome and Greece, slave labor for the most part was not race based. Race based labor was more of a policy in Hindu India with their racial caste system, which Hitler was inspired by as well. (See our page on The Caste System and Fascism in India)
However in places like Rome and Greece, slaves were generally the people conquered in wars or those who couldn't afford to pay off their debts. So generally the western empires had light and dark skinned people alike performing slave labor. The Trans-Atlantic slave trade (16th-19th century) of captives from West Africa into European colonies was the first time that the West used race based slavery on a major economic scale.
Much of the early U.S. economy was built up through this racial system of mass slavery. In 1860, 13% of the country and roughly one third of the American South was populated by African American slaves.
This is not to mention that 12 American presidents owned slaves. This list includes: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, (William) Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant. During his presidency, George Washington held anywhere between 250 to 350 slaves.
The idea of white supremacy gained a lot of traction in the 19th century, and many European campaigns of imperialism were supported by such ideas. In fact, much of the scientific literature of the time promoted the idea of whites as a "master race." (Of course we at World Future Fund contend that whites were a very poor master race if you look the results of their world order - two world wars and the greatest environmental destruction in history since the Permian Extinction). So the attempt of creating a nation of "equality for all" was not a racial reality in America, and there was no serious legal pursuit of this ideal until the 1960's, and even then there are some questions about our racial policies in modern times.
So in summary, Hitler was inspired by the ideas of white supremacy found in 19th century European imperialism and American slave labor. Yet he didn't just stop there. He saw Western Europeans - particularly Germanic and Nordic Europeans - as a superior race to the Slavs in the east. Hitler himself promoted the idea of using what he saw as inferior races - Jews, Slavs and other Eastern Europeans- to perform forced labor. The use of forced labor in Nazi Germany and German occupied Europe during World War II took place on an unprecedented scale. It was a crucial part of the German economic exploitation of conquered territories. Eventually this forced labor made up 20% of the German work force and an estimated 15 million people were forced laborers at some point in the war.
AMERICAN EUGENICS AND STERILIZATION PROGRAM PRECEDES HITLER
Eugenics as a social movement in the United States existed for years before Hitler got his own eugenics program started. This was not some obscure movement of a few crazy radicals either. The eugenics movement was enshrined into law and received funding from some of America's most enduring business institutions, including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.
Beginning with Connecticut in 1896, many states enacted marriage laws with eugenic criteria, prohibiting anyone who was "epileptic, imbecile or feeble-minded" from marrying. Indiana became the first state to enact sterilization legislation in 1907, followed closely by Washington and California in 1909. Sterilization rates across the country were relatively low (California being the sole exception). While California had the highest number of sterilizations, North Carolina's program was the most aggressive: an IQ of 70 or lower meant sterilization.
There were also a few key agencies that were put in place to help study and support America's burgeoning eugenics movement. In 1911 the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded in Cold Spring Harbor, New York in 1911 by the renowned biologist Charles B. Davenport, using money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institution. As late as the 1920s, the ERO was one of the leading organizations in the American eugenics movement. The ERO's founder Charles Davenport supported restricting immigration and sterilization of the unfit.
Charles Davenport was also involved in the founding of the American Breeder's Association (ABA). The ABA was formed specifically to “investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.” Membership included Alexander Graham Bell, Stanford president David Starr Jordan and Luther Burbank.
Eugenics was also widely accepted in the U.S. academic community. By 1928 there were 376 separate university courses in some of the United States' leading schools, enrolling more than 20,000 students, which included eugenics in the curriculum.
Immigration restriction was also put in place by U.S. policy to limit "inferior races" from entering the United States. The Immigration Restriction League was founded in 1894 to enforce this idea. The founders of this league did not want immigrants to dilute what they saw as the "superior American stock" (upper class Northerners of Anglo-Saxon heritage). Many American eugenicists felt that this superior breed would be weakened by mixing with immigrants of Southern European and Eastern European blood, and such ideas were put into written law via the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924. Not only did this law limit the immigration of Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans, but it also severely limited the immigration of Africans, East Asians, Arabs, and Indians.
The desire of eugenicists to preserve America's "Nordic Stock" from Eastern European and Southern European blood is eerily similar to the ideals of Adolf Hitler for his own empire.
We will also note that it was not until the aftermath of World War II that eugenic ideas and policies began to wane in the United States. After the world became disgusted by the policies of Hitler, there was a big effort to hush up and dissolve the eugenics program in America.
So of course, the actions of Hitler were very evil - a murderous atrocity that deserve the most severe condemnation. However, the condemnation of Hitler for his race based campaign of genocide and slavery by western super powers is very hypocritical, considering that the key super powers of the 19th and 20th century (America, Britain and France) were all built up by their own systems of racial genocide and terror.
 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf 8th Edition (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1939), pp. 950-951.
 Minutes of Hitler Conference, 17 October 1941 reproduced in Czesław Madajczyk, ed., Generalny Plan Wschodni: Zbiór dokumentów (Warszawa: Glówna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce, 1990).
 Fitzpatrick, John C (1931–1944). "Instructions to Major General John Sullivan". The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources, 1745–1799. Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
 George Washington. Letter to James Duane. Rocky Hill. September, 07, 1783
 Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Buisson, Paris (French edition) J. Parson's, London (First English reprint) 1791) pp. 56
 Jacques Semelin, Purify and Destroy. The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide (Columbia University Press, 2007) pp. 335
 Carl Benn, Native Memoirs from the War of 1812: Black Hawk and William Apess (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013) pp. 127
 J.Jefferson Looney, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton University Press, 2010) pp. 91
 Wayne Moquin and Charles Van Doren, Great Documents in American Indian History. (New York Praeger, 1973) pp. 109
 Journal of the Senate of the United States of America. First Session of the Twenty Third Congress (Washington DC) December 2, 1838. pp. 18
 Lincoln's Order of December 6, 1862 to General Sibley, Authorizing the Execution of Thirty Eight Sioux Indians
 Lincoln, Abraham. “Speech at Peoria, September 17, 1852,” in Basler, Roy P. (Ed.), The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, v.2. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953.
 Lincoln, Abraham. “Lecture on Discoveries, Inventions, and Improvements, Springfield, Illinois, February 22, 1860” in Nicolay, John G., and Hay, John
 Lincoln, Abraham. “Third Joint Debate at Jonesboro, Illinois, September 15, 1858” in Nicolay, John G., and Hay, John (Ed.s), The Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, v. 5. New York: Francis D. Tandy Company, 1894.