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The racist and fascist ideals of Nazism have long claimed to be based on and supported by the writings of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In actuality however, Nietzsche’s ideas could not be more opposed to those of the Nazis. The blatant racism, oppression, and mass mentality of the National Socialists in no way fits with Nietzsche’s writings or ideals. Knowing this, it is difficult to understand how Adolf Hitler managed to warp Nietzsche’s individualistic, anti-racist, and anti-German ideas to fit his own intolerant totalitarian agenda. Though Nietzsche’s writings did influence Hitler, it was only through misinterpretation that Hitler came to believe that Nietzsche held pro-Nazi beliefs.

The most obvious and controversial of Hitler’s ideas are those that deal with race. His ideas of a “master race,” often placed through the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryan, was his entire policy and agenda. According to Hitler, the Germanic people were this race, the “highest race, master people,” destined for world domination (Hitler).Nietzsche speaks highly of “superior races” and their superiority in fields such as science, art, and war. . Nature, according to Hitler, “by no means believes in an equality of the races, but . . . recognizes their higher or lesser value” (Hitler).

The Nazi racist ideology, including such policies as the Final Solution, embraced “the better and stronger race, and demanded for the seperation of the inferior and weaker races in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe” (Hitler). Hitler’s admiration of and lust for conquest, his promotion of the German race, and his repression and attempted annihilation of “lesser” races such as Jews, Gypsies, and Poles, it is clear that Hitler believed in the supremacy of the German race. . By 1943, the ghetto’s people had organized an army of about 1,000 fighters, mostly unarmed and without weapons. They were united by thousands of others, mostly the young and able-bodied, still needed for forced labor. By that time, the half million original people had been exterminated to about 60,000 as a result of starvation, disease, cold and deportation.In foreign affairs, as long as Hitler felt weak, he shielded his regime by peaceful declarations and by treaties, such as those with the Vatican in July 1933 and with Poland in January 1934. In October 1933, he withdrew from the League of Nations. As his strength increased, he proceeded to take regulations imposed by the Versailles Treaty by claming open rearmament in March 1935 and by remilitarizing the Rhineland in 1936. Simultaneously, he tried to win the neutrality of Britain through a naval treaty in June 1935, and gained Italy’s allegiance by supporting mussolini in theEthiopian war (1935-1936)

In November 1937 he released his war plans to his ministers, and when they objected, he dismissed Schacht and the heads of the army and of the foreign ministry. By replacing these men, he eliminated the last traces of the conservative alliance and cleared the way for war. .. When he nevertheless extended his rule over all of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 and then threatened Poland, Britain and France abandoned their appeasement policy and guaranteed Poland’s safety. Unimpressed, Hitler continued his agenda by signing a nonaggression pact with Russia on August 23. When he attacked Poland on September 1, Britain and France surprised him by declaring war.

Allied neutrality and a win over Poland permitted Hitler to mobilize his forces fully and to persuade his generals to intensify the war effort. In April 1940, German troops conquered Norway and Denmark, in May and June they swept through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. On June 22, Hitler forced France to sign an armistice at Compiegne, the site of the armistice of 1918. He was at the peak of his career, having now proved himself a superior military commander, and he began to build his New Order in Europe. The New Order’s only tangible result was Heinrich Himmler’s policy of racial reorganization. It combined a senseless resettlement of racially “valuable populations with a relentless suppression and extermination of “subhumans, among them about 6 million Jews, through slave labor, concentration camps, gas chambers, firing squads, and starvation.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s determination and the imminent conflict with Russia forced Hitler to go on. After unsuccessfully trying to defeat Britain through a heavy bombing attack on the British Isles and a ground offensive against British troops in North Africa, Hitler turned with full force to the east. On June 22, 1941, he launched his attack on the Soviet Union. But the German advance was stopped before Moscow by a harsh winter and a Russian counterattack. At the same time Japan, with which Germany had a nonaggression pact, attacked Pearl Harbor, and Hitler declared war on the United States.

In 1942, Hitler was still scoring victories in the Ukraine and in North Africa, but his judgment increasingly failed him. He withdrew into his headquarters, concentrating on military affairs to the exclusion of politics and diplomacy, and quarreling with his generals’ judgments. With the German defeat at Stalingrad and the Allied reconquest of North Africa in 1943, the war was lost. Hitler, however, ordered the total mobilization of the economy and tried to rebuild Mussolini’s regime in northern Italy after its collapse in July 1943. He also maintained his power over his people and the masses, assisted by Allied air raids against the cities, which respirited the fighting spirit of the people.

A group of civilians and officers had been conspiring since 1938 to overthrow Hitler. But Hitler’s popularity with the masses, the conspirators’ need for complete secrecy, and their doubts about the rightness of their cause gave them an advantage . Furthermore, they failed to reach an understanding with the Allies. The energy of Col. Claus von Stauffenberg finally brought the plot to a head on July 20, 1944. On June 6, 1944, the Allies invaded France; later, the Russians broke through in the east, forcing Hitler to move his headquarters to Berlin. He showed increasing signs of physical and mental fatigue . With the Allies crossing the Rhine River and the Russians closing in on Berlin, he at last acknowledged defeat and decided to commit suicide; but he wanted Germany to follow suit. Germany, he argued, had proved itself unworthy of his genius and had failed to prevail in the struggle for life.