Spread of Nazism Throughout Europe

In Dark Continent, Mazower briefly discusses Germany’s view of Europe as a racial entity.  The movement to eradicate Jews from the population did not exist only in Germany—it was a genocide that aimed to span the entire continent. Mazower argues that racism was the driving force behind World War II, and the desire to improve and cleanse the population occurred throughout Europe. As the power of the Nazi party strengthened, it expanded outside of Germany and ultimately led to one of the greatest genocides in history.

When comparing these concepts to the 25 Points, there is an interesting contradiction when defining national identity.  The 25 Points was written in 1920, before Germany began to expand into other European countries.  Because the Nazis invaded other countries in the following years, the definition of nationality became somewhat confused.  In order to promote a united front, the Nazis accused Jews of being scapegoats for the hardships that Germany faced during the interwar period.  What ultimately led to Germany’s continental dominance, and the mass extermination of Jews, was the need for a blame for Europe’s dark interwar period. Overall, racism was the catalyst behind German power during the Nazi regime.

How did the increase in German power affect the 25 Points? Did it strengthen or weaken the document?

2 thoughts on “Spread of Nazism Throughout Europe

  1. As far as German power affected the 25 points, I would assume it vindicated them. Imperial powers tend to confuse material superiority with physical, intellectual, and moral superiority. Even if such notions do not automatically legitimize genocide or abuse of conquered peoples for the citizens of an imperial power, they can at least serve to minimize their weight on their collective conscience.

  2. I think we see what the defintion of nationality to the regime is in the document. They see non-citizens as foriegners in their country, and only German blood, inside and out of the country are to be considered citizens. Nonetheless, German power at this point was only rising, so outlining the regime’s ideals for the nation seemed to make sense.

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