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Hitler's Plan for a Roman-Style German Empire

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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-06-06 09:15 AM
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Hitler's Plan for a Roman-Style German Empire
Intolerance of homosexuality and bisexuality seems to have been one of Hitler's policies, but not a Roman policy. What moral authority did Hitler rely upon as his basis for that particular intolerance?
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-16-06 01:40 AM
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1. The socio-cultural influence of nearly two millenia of Christianity?
Hitler was a Catholic, nominally though not perhaps practising, after all, and there's a lot of cultural baggage that goes with that (including centuries of European anti-Semitism).
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 02:02 AM
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2. The intolerance of homosexuality and bisexuality
had little to do with the Romans, and everything to do with the myth of the perfect Aryan race.

Anything that deviated from the blond, physically perfect Aryan stereotype was to be eliminated
from German society. No physical or mental "deformities" were to be tolerated. And since a
breeding program was an integral part of the building of the Third Reich, and homosexuals by
definition couldn't breed, they were to be exterminated, along with Jews, gypsies, and the mentally
and physically disabled.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 10:50 AM
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3. "homosexuals by definition couldn't breed"
Are you suggesting that anyone in Nazi Germany who had a biological child was safe from any accusation regarding his or her sexuality?

For example, was the Nazi government unaware of the possibility of artificial insemination?

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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 08:27 PM
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4. That was part of the Nazi rationale.
Edited on Mon Jul-10-06 08:36 PM by Matilda
It was always Hitler's thinking that dominated and overcame any rational thought to the contrary,
and in his mind homosexuality was a disease, a mutation that could be passed on if homosexuals were
allowed to reproduce. It had to be stamped out, along with any tendency to disability (physical or
mental), and of course, inferior racial qualitities. Even homeless people were deemed to be unfit
and rounded up and sent to the camps as being unworthy to be part of German society. There was
simply no room for any but the most perfect Aryan specimens in Hitler's vision.

The tragedy was that such a deeply flawed human being as Hitler not only survived but was allowed
to dominate for as long as he did.

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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-15-06 10:54 PM
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5. Moral Authority ...

Hitler didn't claim a "moral authority" in the sense we generally use the phrase today. As Matilda said, homosexuality was wrong because he, and many like him, believed it was a defect, a disease, that had to be eradicated from society in order to achieve the goal of increasing the population of perfect so-called Aryans.

Hitler's intolerance for such things has a deeper, philosophical underpinning, which may be what you're getting at, but Hitler's specific ideas were actually an extreme manifestation of the general idea. In the early 20th century, the ideas of Darwin were perverted beyond all reasonableness and combined with the ideology of nationalism to create a particularly absurd, yet lingering idea of what constitutes a "race" of people. Hitler, and others of his generation, were influenced by French and other Western philosophers who were expanding on the ideas of Darwin in some rather bizarre directions too complicated to summarize here. Suffice to say, these philosophies coalesced at just the wrong moment to form the justification, the "moral authority" if you will, of a peculiar concept that might be called Darwinian Nationalism. Only the strong survive was taken out of nature and placed into the world of politics and then recombined with nature as a political tool. Put another way, only strong nations survive, and the nations can only be strong if the people are strong, and the people can only be strong if they are genetically "pure." This purity was somewhat arbitrary. (Hitler's notions of perfect Aryanism were largely mythical and at best based on deeply flawed pseudo-science of the variety that in the United States half a century before claimed a scientific basis for the inherent inferiority of Blacks.) But, as the trite saying goes, perception is reality, and what Hitler did was inforce his perceptions to make his, and his nation's, own reality.

See Hannaford, _Race: A History of an Idea in the West_

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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 11:01 PM
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6. Interesting question ...
Edited on Tue Mar-06-07 11:12 PM by Lisa
I seem to recall reading that the ideas and mythology which formed Nazi doctrine drew on the belief that "decadent" cultural practices from other areas (not just Slavic or Jewish regions, but the southern Mediterranean as well) had "contaminated" Nordic/Germanic culture. Simon Schama's book about German history mentions that the Nazis went so far as to try to eradicate introduced varieties of plants and animals, too. There was already an attitude in western Europe that Greece may have been the birthplace of democracy, but that it was morally corrupt, particularly when it came to sex. Rome was admired for its power and control, but people who wanted to emulate Roman culture (like the neoclassical movement) would have to come to terms with the fact that they might not agree with all aspects of it. I'm wondering if placing so much blame on Greece was a way of whitewashing Rome, and also hinting that perceived "immorality" had dire consequences ("the Greeks led them astray and caused the empire's decline").

German folk culture had an established basis for rejecting some things associated with Rome, while imitating others. There were historical situations where German leaders (formerly Roman allies), like Arminius and Civilis, had rebelled against Rome and won dramatic victories. Civilis had tried to set up an empire to rival Rome (something which was actually copied from Rome itself?). I admit that I'm kind of out of my area here, but given that background, it wouldn't be surprising to me if Hitler felt he could pick and choose -- for example, using the eagle symbol of the Roman legions, while referring to "pure German" mythological figures (Arminius, Siegfried, etc.) -- and mixing all of that with pseudo-scientific (mis)interpretations of Darwin's theories (extreme environmental determinism), as RoyGBiv already mentioned.

From what I've read (from Schama, William Rollins, Neil Smith, and other historians), a lot of the ideas in Nazi doctrine existed already, and were incorporated into their platform because they were popular -- including a type of environmentalism/sustainability (protection of the homeland from pollution and bad development), geopolitical theories about how nations had to expand to gain more resources (from Ratzel and other 19th century geographers), and environmental determinism (other "races" are biologically inferior). I'm sorry to say that there were some prominent academics, not just in Germany either, who vigorously supported colonialism and even eugenics, in the decades leading up to WWII.
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