There was no 'complete', official theory of Nazism, anywhere. Hitler's political beliefs themselves were formulated in Mein Kampf (My Struggle, 1925). His views were composed of three main axes, which he dogmatically asserted: a conception of history as a "race struggle," which was influenced by social darwinism; anti-Semitism and the idea that Germany needed to conquer a "Lebensraum" ("living space") from Russia. His anti-Semitism, coupled with his anti-Communism, would give the grounds of his conspiracy theory of "judeo-bolshevism.[16]" Hitler first began to develop his views through observations he made while living in Vienna from 1907 to 1913. He concluded that there was a racial, religious, and cultural hierarchy, and he placed "Aryans" at the top as the ultimate superior race, while Jews and "Gypsies" were people at the bottom. He vaguely examined and questioned the policies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where as a citizen by birth, Hitler lived during the Empire's last throes of life. He believed that its ethnic and linguistic diversity had weakened the Empire and helped to create dissension. Further, he saw democracy as a destabilizing force because it placed power in the hands of ethnic minorities who, he claimed, "weakened and destabilized" the Empire by dividing it against itself. Hitler's political beliefs were then affected by World War I and the 1917 October Revolution, and saw some modifications between 1920 and 1923. They were then definitively formulated in Mein Kampf.[17]

The Nazi state was founded upon a racially defined "German people" and principally rejected the idea of being bound by the limits of nationalism;[18] that was only a means for attempting unlimited supremacy. In that sense, its nationalism and hyper-nationalism was tolerated to reach a world-dominating Germanic-Aryan Volksgemeinschaft. This is a central concept of Mein Kampf, symbolized by the motto Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein F├╝hrer (one people, one empire, one leader). The Nazi relationship between the Volk and the state was called the Volksgemeinschaft ("people's community"), a late 19th or early 20th century neologism that defined a communal duty of citizens in service to the Reich (opposed to a simple "society"). The term "National Socialism", derives from this citizen-nation relationship, whereby the term socialism is invoked and is meant to be realized through the common duty of the individuals to the German people; all actions are to be in service of the Reich. In practice, the Nazis argued, their goal was to bring forth a nation-state as the locus and embodiment of the people's collective will, bound by the Volksgemeinschaft as both an ideal and an operating instrument. In comparison, non-national socialist ideologies oppose the idea of nations. For further information on national socialism and socialism, and Nazism and fascism, see Fascism and ideology

Nazi rationale also invested heavily in the militarist belief that great nations grow from military power and maintained order, which in turn grow "naturally" from "rational, civilized cultures". The Nazi Party appealed to German nationalists and national pride, capitalizing on irredentist and revanchist sentiments as well as aversions to various aspects of modernist thinking (though at the same time embracing other modernist ideas, e.g. admiration for engine power). Many ethnic Germans were deeply committed to the goal of creating the Greater Germany (the old dream to include German-speaking Austria) and some felt that the use of military force was necessary to achieve it.

Racism and discrimination

The Nazi racial philosophy wholly embraced Alfred Rosenberg's Aryan Invasion Theory, which traced Aryan peoples in ancient Iran invading the Indus Valley Civilization, and carrying with them great knowledge and science that had been preserved from the antediluvian world. This "antediluvian world" referred to Thule, the speculative pre-Flood/Ice Age origin of the Aryan race, and is often tied to ideas of Atlantis. Most of the leadership and the founders of the Nazi Party were made up of members of the "Thule-Gesellschaft (the Thule Society)", which romanticized the Aryan race through theology and ritual.

Hitler also claimed that a nation was the highest creation of a "race", and "great nations" (literally large nations) were the creation of homogeneous populations of "great races", working together. These nations developed cultures that naturally grew from "races" with "natural good health, and aggressive, intelligent, courageous traits". The "weakest nations", Hitler said, were those of "impure" or "mongrel races", because they had divided, quarrelling, and therefore weak cultures. Worst of all were seen to be the parasitic "Untermensch" (Subhumans), mainly Jews, but also Gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and so called anti-socials, all of whom were considered "lebensunwertes Leben" ("Life-unworthy life") owing to their perceived deficiency and inferiority, as well as their wandering, nationless invasions ("the International Jew"). The persecution of homosexuals as part of the Holocaust has seen increasing scholarly attention since the 1990s.

According to Nazism, it is an obvious mistake to permit or encourage plurality within a nation. Fundamental to the Nazi goal was the unification of all German-speaking peoples, "unjustly" divided into different Nation States. The Nazis tried to recruit Dutch and Scandinavian men into the SS, considering them to be of superior "Germanic" stock, with only limited success. In a speech to SS leaders in October 1943, Himmler stated that, "There were no great figures -- this is the tragedy of the renewal movements in Holland, in Flanders, in Norway, and in Denmark -- able to win their people over to us and lead them into the Germanic political community today, according to their own political laws.... The select few who come to us, and fight in our Germanic volunteer units, ... are naturally some of the most valuable members of the Germanic nations. These men ... will be the old fighters of the greater Germanic community."[19]

Hitler claimed that nations that could not defend their territory did not deserve it. He thought "Slave races", like the Slavic peoples, to be less worthy to exist than "leader races". In particular, if a "master race" should require room to live ("Lebensraum"), he thought such a "race" should have the right to displace the inferior indigenous races.

"Races without homelands", Hitler proclaimed, were "parasitic races", and the richer the members of a "parasitic race" were, the more "virulent" the parasitism was thought to be. A "master race" could therefore, according to the Nazi doctrine, easily strengthen itself by eliminating "parasitic races" from its homeland. This was the given rationalization for the Nazis' later oppression and elimination of Jews, Gypsies, Czechs, Poles, the mentally and physically handicapped, homosexuals and others not belonging to these groups or categories that were part of the Holocaust. The Waffen-SS and other German soldiers (including parts of the Wehrmacht), as well as civilian paramilitary groups in occupied territories, were responsible for the deaths of an estimated eleven million men, women, and children in concentration camps, prisoner-of-war camps, labor camps, and death camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka.

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