“Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
George L Gregory
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“Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”

Post by George L Gregory » 02 Nov 2021 17:35

I’ve just started reading Jeffrey Herf’s Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World and I read some really interesting stuff about the Nazis’ racial laws and their views of Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians and Turks.
In these same months, Hitler’s ideological pronouncements and those of the Nazi Party were translated into government policy in the form of the racial legislation. On April 7, 1933, the government announced the “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service.” Paragraph 3, which came to be known as the “Aryan paragraph,” read: “(1) Civil servants who are not of Aryan descent are to retire.” Article 2 of the “First Decree for Implementation of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service,” issued on April 11, 1933, stated, “A person is to be regarded as non-Aryan if he is descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. It suffices if one parent or grandparent is non-Aryan.” In spring 1933, a purge of Jews from positions in government and the universities began. On September 15, 1935, the by then purged and Nazified Reichstag unanimously promulgated the Reich Citizen- ship Law. Article 2 stated, “A citizen of the Reich is only that subject, who is of German or kindred blood and who, through his conduct, shows that he is both desirous and fit to serve faithfully the German people and Reich.” In November 1935, the Law for the Defense of German Blood and Honor forbad marriages between Jews and Germans.

Some Nazi officials interpreted the laws broadly as applying to “non-Aryans” who also were not Jewish. In 1935, one Johannes Ruppert, the son of the Turkish officer and a German woman, was forced to leave the Hitler Youth, a group to which he had belonged since 1933.7 His expulsion stemmed from his comrades’ belief that as the son of a Turkish man he was not a full Aryan as re- quired by the Reich Citizenship Law. Ruppert sought assistance from the Turkish Embassy in Berlin to clarify how “the Aryan question” affected his case. The Turkish Embassy brought the matter to the attention of the Foreign Ministry. In a note of December 20, 1935, a Foreign Ministry official wrote that “opening up the Aryan question in relation to Turkey is extraordinarily undesirable as well as dangerous for our relations with Turkey.” Moreover, it was “absolutely essential that the question of whether or not the Turkish people are to be viewed as Aryan in accord with German legislation should be decided in the affirma- tive as soon as possible.” In the international context of 1935, it was imperative to avoid “placing a cloud” over Germany’s relations with Turkey, a likely development if the Turks were to be characterized as non-Aryan. It was important that Ruppert be reinstated in the Hitler Youth and given assistance in finding employment as soon as possible so that he would not make further inquires at the Turkish Embassy.

The Ruppert case led diplomats in Turkey, in the Arabs states, in Iran, in French North Africa, and in India to wonder if the term “anti-Semitism” referred to non-Jewish “Semites.” Did the Aryan paragraph mean that they too did not meet the racial criteria for German citizenship and would be subject to similar discrimination under Nazi Germany’s race laws? In 1935 and 1936, Turk- ish, Egyptian, Iranian, and Iraqi diplomats, both those in their home countries and those posted to embassies in Berlin, raised these issues with their German counterparts. These inquiries and the German responses were placed in a most interesting file—entitled “Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”—now in the archives of the German Foreign Ministry. German diplomats, in particular career civil servants, recalled that Imperial Germany had presented itself as an anticolonial power before and during World War I. They recognized that the Nazi regime’s racial ideology and racial legislation could undermine its effort to present itself as a power sym- pathetic to Arab and Muslim opposition to British and French colonialism in North Africa and the Middle East.

A memo from the Foreign Ministry to the Nazi Party’s Rassenpolitisches Amt (Office of Racial Politics) of January 14, 1936, indicated that there had been “individual cases,” that is, others in addition to Ruppert, in which “German cit- izens with Turkish mixed-blood had run into difficulties with the state and the [Nazi] Party due to their origins.” Hence the Foreign Ministry thought it was “essential that determination of whether the Turks are Aryan be decided as soon as possible” so that the Foreign Ministry could give “a satisfactory answer” to the Turkish Embassy’s repeated questions about the issue. On February 2, 1936, Walter Gross, the director of the Rassenpolitisches Amt, wrote to I. A. Richards, in the Foreign Ministry, and observed that the language of the Nuremberg race laws of September 15, 1935, no longer distinguished “between Aryans and non-Aryans, but rather between persons of German and kindred [artverwandt] blood, on the one hand, and Jews as well as other aliens [Artfremden], on the other. Blood that is kindred to German blood is the blood of those peoples whose racial composition is related to that of the Germans.” According to the official commentaries on the Nuremberg race laws by Wilhelm Stuckart and Hans Globke, this was the case for Europeans and their relatives living outside Europe “who have preserved their racial purity.” The Turks lived in Europe, thought of themselves as Europeans, and supported Germany in World War I. Therefore, German diplomats should reply to inquiries from the Turks that “in Germany the Turkish people are seen as a European people and that therefore the individual Turkish citizen receives the same treatment by German race law as the members of other European states.” Labeling Turks as Europeans left unanswered the question of how to think about the obviously non-European Arabs, Persians, and Muslims. By March 30 the Foreign Min- istry, Interior Ministry, Office of Racial Politics, Propaganda Ministry, and SS agreed on the preceding policy regarding the Turks. But they also cautioned that “states such as Egypt, Iran, or other countries in the Middle East cannot point to this inclusion of Turkey in the circle of European peoples as a prece- dent because these states have not yet raised a claim to belong to Europe.” Further, Turkish Jews or Turks of a “colored origin” were still considered as racially alien no less than such persons from European countries would be. Following approval from these offices, the text was sent to all ministries of the Nazi regime as well as to Hitler’s Reich Chancellery on April 30.

By June, the still unresolved issue of the racial categorization of Arabs, Persians, and Muslims surfaced in newspapers in the Middle East. The resulting furor unleashed a flurry of cables and memos between the Foreign Ministry and German embassies in Cairo and Tehran. On June 15, the German am- bassador in Cairo, Eberhard von Stohrer, wrote to the Foreign Ministry that the Cairo-based, French-language “Jewish newspaper, La Bourse Egyptienne” reported that German officials had decided that “the inhabitants of Iran, Iraq, and Egypt were non-Aryans” and that therefore the Nuremberg race laws did in fact apply to Egyptians. This had caused “great unhappiness” in Egypt. Stohrer and other German diplomats began a concerted effort to undo the damage. On June 18, Vicco von Bülow-Schwante in the Foreign Ministry in- formed the German Embassy in Cairo that, contrary to reports in the foreign press, “the Nuremberg race laws are aimed only at the Jews (without regard to their citizenship).” While the Egyptian ambassador in Berlin understood that this was the case, “he declared that the Egyptians regarded their blood to be kindred with the German blood.” Although this view was not shared by Ger- man officials, the ambassador stressed that “discrimination against peoples of other races was completely excluded by German racial legislation.” Bülow-Schwante assured Egyptian diplomats in Berlin that the German race laws did permit marriages between Egyptian women and German men, and that chil- dren of such marriages were legitimate and had full citizenship rights. Upon marrying a German man, an Egyptian woman received German citizenship; their children would receive German citizenship at birth. In a telegram to the German Embassy in Tehran on the same day, Bülow-Schwante described “re- ports abroad from certain sides” to be “completely wrong” in asserting that the “Nuremberg laws labeled inhabitants of Egypt, Iran, and Iraq to be non- Aryans.” The law did not use the “Aryan concept. . . . As everybody knows, these laws are aimed against Jews, without regard to their country of citizenship.” The Iranian Ambassador in Berlin had expressed the view that “the Iranian people are racially kindred to the German people.” Bülow-Schwante cautiously wrote that this view would be the subject of “fundamental interpretation” in department discussions.

These issues moved further into the spotlight of public attention when they became intertwined with preparations for the Berlin Olympic games of sum- mer 1936. On June 17, 1936, Stohrer penned an extensive memo on “The Jewish Campaign against the Olympic Games.” He claimed that the “Jewish press” in Egypt was continuing its “campaign against Germany” by claiming that the Nuremberg race laws applied to Egyptians. Because he believed that the Nuremberg race laws discriminated against Egyptians, an Egyptian member of the International Olympic Committee and president of Egypt’s national Olympic committee “expressed grave concerns about the impact on [Egypt’s] participation in the Olympic games.” On June 23, Mohamed Taher Pasha, an Egyptian member of the International Olympic Committee, telegraphed Olympics officials in Berlin that Egypt’s participation in the Olympic games was now in question. He was immediately informed that the Nuremberg laws did not apply to Egyptians. Further, “it was certain that Egyptian participation was heartily welcomed by all Germans.”
On June 22, Stohrer informed Berlin that Egyptian diplomats were now re- assured that “German laws unconditionally permitted non-Jewish Egyptians to marry German women under the same conditions that would apply to non- German Europeans,” and “non-Jewish Egyptian women” could marry Ger- man men under the same legal standards as applied to “non-Jewish European women.” He was also pleased to send a copy of a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry confirming that Egyptian officials now understood that the Nuremberg race laws did not apply to Egyptians. In a 2,000-word memo of June 24, he attacked “the agitation against Egyptian participation in the Olympic games” by “Jewish or Jewish influenced newspapers,” such as La Bourse Egypti- enne. The Egyptians rejected “any effort to place them on the same level as the Jewry.” Stohrer was “especially worried” about the impact of the reports on the Egyptian Olympic Committee, whose president, Prince Abdel Moneim, an- nounced that Egypt would not participate in the games. In the absence of an ef- fective German response, Egyptians were returning tickets on German ships as well as tickets to the Olympic games. He was doing his best to counter the cam- paign of “the Jewish press” and the “Jewish wirepullers.” In Berlin on July 4, 1936, the Foreign Ministry again assured Egyptian diplomats that “there are no barriers to a marriage between a non-Jewish Egyptian man and a non-Jewish German woman. In marriages between a German citizen with German blood and a non-Jewish foreign woman, the same legal limitations in German law apply to Egyptians as to citizens of any other state. Hence a non-Jewish Egyptian is not worse off than the citizen of any other state.” Finally convinced that the Nuremberg race laws did not apply to them, the Egyptians decided to partici- pate in the Berlin Olympics.

In mid-June, the Iranian ambassador to Berlin assured German officials that “there was no doubt that the Iranian, as an Aryan,” was “racially kindred” (artverwandt) with the Germans. Assertions suggesting that the Nuremberg laws applied to Iranians were simply “a Jewish propaganda maneuver.” On June 22, the Foreign Ministry assured the Iranian Embassy in Berlin that the correct distinction in the Nuremberg race laws was one between “persons of German and related blood on the one hand and Jews as well as racially alien on the other” rather than one between “Aryans and non-Aryans.” The importance of the matter was evident in the number of high-ranking government offices involved. The Foreign Ministry sent copies of its note to Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy in the Nazi Party; the Prussian Interior Ministry and its Ministry for Scholarship and Education; the Reich Propaganda Ministry; the Reich Justice Ministry; the Reich and Prussian labor ministries; and the Nazi Party’s Office of Racial Politics, its Office for Foreign Policy, and its Foreign Organization (Auslandsorganization). On the same day, the Foreign Ministry informed the above-mentioned offices in Berlin that the Iranian ambassador now understood that “in place of the contrast between Aryan and non-Aryan” the Nuremberg berg race laws referred to the “distinction between persons of German and kindred blood, on the one hand, and Jews as well as related alien blood, on the other.” Thus reassured, the Iranians, like the Egyptians, also agreed to partic- ipate in the Olympic games.

This blizzard of memos was not only evidence of German efforts to con- vince Arabs that the Nuremberg race laws were not aimed at those Semites. Ger man officials were also trying to clarify for themselves how an officially racist government could appeal to Arabs and Muslims. On July 1, 1936, more than twenty high-ranking officials gathered in the Foreign Ministry to discuss a response to Egyptian and Iranian inquiries regarding the meaning of the concept artverwandt, “racially kindred.” Attendees included Walter Gross, the direc- tor of the Nazi Party’s Office of Racial Politics; State Secretary Wilhelm Stuckart of the Reich and Prussian Interior Ministry; and officials from the ministries of Propaganda and Justice, the Prussian and Education ministries, and the Nazi Party’s foreign policy and foreign membership organizations. Foreign Min- istry officials observed that the Egyptians were concerned about protecting the legality of marriages between Germans and Egyptians, while the Iranians wanted assurance that they were considered to be Aryans under the terms of the Nuremberg race laws. Gross stressed that the Iranian issue “absolutely” needed to be addressed but that it was best to do so in conversations with the Iranian ambassador. The Iranians, however, “could not at all expect” that they “could be declared to be Aryans lock, stock and barrel.” The Egyptian ambas- sador would have to make do with the statement that “the Egyptians are no worse off than members of other nations.”

State Secretary Stuckart was chairman of the government’s Committee for the Protection of German Blood and coauthor with Hans Globke of commen- taries on the Nuremberg race laws. Regarding the question of who was artver- wandt or artfremd or racially kindred or alien, Stuckart pointed to the defi- nitions he had offered in the famous commentaries. “All those peoples are [artverwandt ] kindred who have the same type of blood [blutarten] as the Ger- man people.” He counseled, however, against publicly presenting the definition “in an official declaration of the German government because doing so must immediately lead to a conflict, above all with Japan.” Foreigners did not under- stand that the German idea of distinctions among the races “does not amount to discrimination [of one race over others].” The distinctions were not easy to follow. German racial legislation distinguished between “bearers of German [deutschblütigen] and racially kindred [artverandten] blood on the one hand, and bearers of [artfremden] alien blood [fremblütigen] on the other.” The legis- lation rested on the conviction that mixing German and “racially alien” (art- fremden) blood was damaging for both “the bearers of German as well as for bearers of racially alien blood” and would be “disadvantageous for the individ- ual” as well as “for the whole people to whom he belongs.”

Therefore, German race law forbad marriage between a “man with German blood and citizenship, on the one hand, with a woman of alien blood, whether or not she has German or foreign citizenship.” On the other hand, “the marriage of a man of alien blood [fremdblütigen] with foreign citizenship with a women with German blood and German citizenship is, however, not forbidden,” although “from a German standpoint this is not desired.” Stuckart asserted that the German gov- ernment “would welcome the passage of laws by a foreign state that would for- bid marriage of one of its citizens with a German citizen on the ground of a dif- ference in blood [Blutverschiedenheit].” In fact, German race laws did “not regard foreign peoples as of less value than the German people.” On the con- trary, they respected “the peculiarities of alien peoples to the same extent as they place value on the preservation of German distinctiveness.”

These fine and abstruse distinctions had practical implications for who could marry whom. German race laws permitted marriages between a “non- Jewish Egyptian, like a non-Jewish member of a European peoples” and “a non- Jewish German woman.” They also permitted marriage “of a German blooded German citizen with a non-Jewish Egyptian . . . if the loved one” was “not of alien blood [fremdblütig].”The question of whether a non-Jewish person is de- fined as being of “racially alien blood” was “not determined by their citizenship but by their race.” Therefore a general statement about the race of citizens of foreign states could not be made as they could have both “German or kindred blood” as well as “racially alien blood.” If it was determined that the partner was of “alien blood,” the Reich minister of the interior could “allow the German citizen to marry an alien blood Egyptian woman as well as the alien blood mem- ber of another state.” The diplomats understood that Stuckart’s hair-splitting distinctions would be difficult to explain outside Germany, but nevertheless they convinced the Egyptian ambassador that the regime would not forbid marriages between Germans and Egyptians, provided that they did not involve Jews and that the persons involved passed racial scrutiny. The Iranians were harder to mollify as they regarded themselves as “the ancestors of the Aryan races” and thus not comparable to Turks or Egyptians.

As a result of the discussions of spring and summer 1936, Nazi officials had reassured Arab diplomats that Nazi ideology and policy were directed against the Jews, not non-Jewish Semites. Nazism viewed Arabs and Muslims as different but, in clear contrast to the racial hierarchy presented in Mein Kampf, not as racially inferior. German racial legislation permitted marriage between Germans and non-Jewish Arabs and Muslims. But as it was best that races not mix, non-Jewish Germans should marry other non-Jewish Germans. These abstruse discussions of the meaning of blood and race in summer 1936 offered a legal and conceptual foundation for reconciling German racial ideology and legisla- tion with close and ongoing work with non-Jewish Semites, that is, Arabs and Muslims, before and during World War II. As a consequence of the exchanges of spring and summer 1936 and the Egyptian and Iranian decisions to attend the summer Olympics, German officials learned that they could reconcile Nazi Germany’s anti-Jewish policies with efforts to find allies among non-Jewish Semites. They also learned that at least some Arab and Persian diplomats had no principled opposition to anti-Semitism so long as it was aimed only at Jews and even had become accustomed to thinking about peoples and nations in the racist categories emerging from the National Socialist regime.

The dilemma of how a racist regime could appeal to Arabs and Muslims surfaced in the Nazi regime’s efforts to produce an Arabic-language edition of Mein Kampf. Sections of the work first appeared in spring 1934 in newspapers in Baghdad and Beirut. Fritz Grobba played a key role in urging publication. One of the Foreign Ministry’s leading experts on the Arab world, he had served in the German legation in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1923 and retained his interest in the region when back in the Berlin office. Grobba was the German ambas- sador to Iraq from 1932 until the break of diplomatic relations at the beginning of the war in Europe in September 1939. From Berlin, he was involved in Ger- man policy toward Iraq during the attempted pro-Axis coup of spring 1941. Then he met Rashid Ali Kilani, one of the leaders of the coup who was briefly the Iraqi prime minister. Grobba served as Kilani’s primary contact in the For- eign Ministry in Berlin. In 1942 he was working in the Office VII/Orient of the Political Department. From Baghdad in 1934, Grobba initiated discussions in the Foreign Ministry, in the Propaganda Ministry, and with Hitler himself about whether an Arabic translation should be allowed. Grobba thought that a translation would be met by Arab readers “with great interest” but suggested that those parts of the book dealing with the race question should be modified “inwaysthatcorrespondtothesensitivitiesoftheraceconsciousArabs.”Grobba’s modifications included replacing the term “anti-Semitic” with “anti-Jewish,” and “anti-Semitism” with “anti-Judaism.” Hitler’s chapter “Nation and Race” posed a seemingly insoluble problem, for in it Hitler clearly asserted that there was such a thing as an “Aryan race,” standing at the top of a racial hierarchy.

Grobba suggested inserting the following sentence at the head of the chapter: “German racial legislation does not want to pass judgment on the quality and worth of other peoples and other races.” In July 1934, Grobba sent the Arabic newspaper installments to Berlin and requested official government agreement for the publication as a book. Two years later the Propaganda Ministry in- formed the Foreign Ministry that Hitler had agreed to a translation with Grobba’s edits. While his core racial ideology could not be expunged, Hitler agreed to modify his racist arguments and delete the passages bound to of- fend Arabs and Muslims. Bernard Moritz, an Arabist consulted by the Foreign Ministry, declared the Arabic translation sent by Grobba to be “a collection of fragments from the original, taken out of context and incorrectly rendered, often to the point of incomprehensibility.” This edition was not published.
Pages 19-25.

GregSingh
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Re: “Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”

Post by GregSingh » 04 Dec 2021 03:17


George L Gregory
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Re: “Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”

Post by George L Gregory » 08 Dec 2021 15:05

Were there any Nazis of Middle Eastern descent?

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Hans1906
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Re: “Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”

Post by Hans1906 » 09 Dec 2021 03:31

Rudolf Walter Richard Heß (* 26. April 1894 in Alexandria, Ägypten; † 17. August 1987 in Berlin-Wilhelmstadt)

"Aryan" enough, as the deputy of the "Führer" ? :?

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Heß

Any other questions ? (Somehow you did not hear the "shot", probably someone used a silencer ?) 8O


Hans
The paradise of the successful lends itself perfectly to a hell for the unsuccessful. (Bertold Brecht on Hollywood)

George L Gregory
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Re: “Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”

Post by George L Gregory » 09 Dec 2021 15:31

Hans1906 wrote:
09 Dec 2021 03:31
Rudolf Walter Richard Heß (* 26. April 1894 in Alexandria, Ägypten; † 17. August 1987 in Berlin-Wilhelmstadt)

"Aryan" enough, as the deputy of the "Führer" ? :?

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Heß

Any other questions ? (Somehow you did not hear the "shot", probably someone used a silencer ?) 8O


Hans
Rudolf Hess was born in Egypt to ethnic German parents. He wasn’t a Middle Easterner. Don’t be so disingenuous.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: “Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”

Post by Sid Guttridge » 10 Dec 2021 05:55

Hi GLG,

Very interesting. It seems to emphasize that Nazi racial policies were less subject to what they considerd "scientific" bases than to political and diplomatic expediency.

What a bunch of homicidal charlatans!

Cheers,

Sid.

George L Gregory
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Re: “Membership of the Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Persians and Turks in the Aryan Race”

Post by George L Gregory » 10 Dec 2021 13:05

Sid Guttridge wrote:
10 Dec 2021 05:55
Hi GLG,

Very interesting. It seems to emphasize that Nazi racial policies were less subject to what they considerd "scientific" bases than to political and diplomatic expediency.

What a bunch of homicidal charlatans!

Cheers,

Sid.
I thought that was obvious to anyone who had studied the Third Reich.

Even the Slavs, whom the Nazis considered to be racially inferior, were considered to be ‘Aryans’. One being an Aryan didn’t exclude him or her from Nazi policies.

The leading race theorist Hans F. K. Günther even wrote that ‘Aryan’ was NOT a racial term and that there was nothing scientific about it. That’s why the Nazis used the term ‘German or related blood’ in documents as a way to try and come across as more scientific even though they never defined the term. Similarly, the Nazis never defined the term ‘Jew’ and there were many ‘Jews’ who were exempted from Nazi policies.

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