Camillo Berneri: Against the Racist Delirium

Camillo Berneri

Camillo Berneri

Camillo Berneri (1897-1937) was an Italian anarchist forced into exile in 1926 as a result of his anti-fascist activities. A professor of literature and philosophy, he refused to take an oath of allegiance to Mussolini and to join the Fascist “syndicate,” a state controlled corporativist organization (not to be confused with the revolutionary trade union organizations of the anarcho-syndicalists, such as the Union Sindicale Italiano (USI) – Italian Syndicalist Union). Berneri moved from country to country, being refused refugee status and often expelled. He was a prolific writer active in the international anarchist and anti-fascist movements. English translations of some of his writings can be found at: http://struggle.ws/berneri.html.

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When the Revolution and Civil War broke out in Spain in July 1936, Berneri went there to continue the fight against fascism, only to be murdered (probably by Stalinist agents, but possibly by Italian Fascists) during the May Days in Barcelona in 1937. Berneri was an eloquent critic of anarchist collaboration with the Republican government in Spain. In the following excerpts, translated by Paul Sharkey, Berneri dissects the vicious and absurd Nazi (“National Socialist”) doctrines of racial purity and superiority that were coming to ascendancy in Germany and other European countries. Originally published as El Delirio Racista (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Iman, February 1935). The anarcho-syndicalist, Rudolf Rocker (1873-1958), develops a more extensive anarchist critique of nationalism, racism and power in his book, Nationalism and Culture (Los Angeles: Rocker Publications Committee, 1937; reprinted by Black Rose Books), excerpted in Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, Volume One, Selection 121. Berneri’s spouse, Giovanna, was also very active in the international anarchist movement, as was their daughter, Marie Louise Berneri. Selections from some of Marie Louise’s writings are included in Volume Two of the Anarchism anthology.

Giovanna & Camillo Berneri

Giovanna & Camillo Berneri

THE RACIST DELIRIUM

Fascism, the triumph of the irrational, has taken the most discredited myths of pre-scientific ethnology to its bosom. One of the theorists of Hitlerism (assuming that it can be regarded as a body of doctrine), Ernest Krieck, in his book National Political Education (page 17), proclaims the need to subject science to National Socialist politics, thereby giving science the kiss of death.
“The age of ‘pure reason’, of ‘science for the sake of science’, of ‘disinterested science’, is over. Any science that has an active contribution to make towards a broad objective becomes political, and thus, like politics, has its principles and its accomplishments alike, imbued with racism, nationalism and National Socialism.”
On 11 May 1933, while carrying out sentence passed on 20,000 impounded books in Berlin, Goebbels announced: “Intellectualism has had its day.”
It is absolutely plain from the racist delirium (an out-and-out collective psychosis) that Hitlerism represents a great eclipse of German intellect and culture. On 25 March 1933, Goering, the then Reich minister of the Interior, told foreign press representatives: “Plainly, anti-semitism is part of the official program of the National Socialist Party and the manner in which the latter has moulded its storm troops makes it plain that today every member of the storm troops looks at Professor Einstein with a feeling of racial superiority.”
The most grotesque stance of all is the stance of the Hitlerian scientists (?). Race professor H. Günther, speaking as a National Socialist, announces: “Only regeneration of the Nordic blood, to which the Indo-Germanic peoples are indebted for their historical greatness, can ward off defeat. Rebirth is impossible until the Nordics become many and strong again.” “Onwards, to Nordification!” What a stunning watchword! Meanwhile “with the Nordic race as its objective, a new notion of duty must be born.” But he finds himself greatly embarrassed as an ethnologist, not knowing how to reconcile the watchword with the scientific data and is obliged to confess: “Race science is, sadly, obliged to class the vast majority of the inhabitants of Europe as bastards and mixed-bloods. Which makes it a difficult and disagreeable science and renders it as unacceptable as the dictum: Know thyself. A really difficult and unpleasant undertaking, even for the champions of racism…”
German racism claims to seek “the purification of the German race” and at the same time exalts the myth of racial purity, proclaiming the superiority of the Aryan-Germanic race.
AN ARYAN MYTH
Mussolini told Emil Ludwig: “There is no pure race. The laughable fact is that none of the champions of German racial purity was German: Gobineau was French, Chamberlain English, Woltmann Jewish.”
If anti-semitism were to become necessary for the survival of Italian fascism, Mussolini, worse than Macchiavelli, would follow in the footsteps of Gobineau, Chamberlain and Woltmann and he too would be talking about racial purity [as he did in 1938, when the Fascists introduced "race purity" laws in Italy]. Hitler, being self-educated and bereft of any critical sense, is taken in by the Aryan myth, however. Speaking to representatives from the medical associations in Germany, he stated, on 6 April 1933: “In the world of the intellect, the greatest advances have never been made by elements outside of the race, but rather by Aryan and German brains.” This simplistic notion is emphasized in several passages in his book Mein Kampf (pp. 478-479, 316, 322), where he takes vigorous exception to the intellectual emancipation of blacks. According to him, it is an affront to reason and criminal lunacy “to teach a half-monkey to believe that he can make it as a lawyer”. The myth of creative races prompts him to these typical expressions: “All that we admire on this earth—science and art, technology and invention—all of it, is the exclusive creation of a few peoples and perhaps, initially, of a single people. Upon those peoples depends the existence of civilization as a whole. If they perish, all that is fine upon this earth will be buried with them… Denied the possibility of using men of inferior race, the Aryans would never have been able to take their first steps towards their subsequent civilization, just as, without the aid of some animals which man has successfully domesticated, it would have been impossible to perfect the technology which today allows us gradually to dispense with those very same animals…”
In October 1933, the German Philosophy Society held its annual congress in Magdeburg. Its chairman, Professor Kruger, closed his address with a eulogy to Hitler. The gathering sang “Deutschland über Alles” and the Nazi anthem “Horst Wessel”. Hitler had telegraphed the congress: “I send my greetings to the German Philosophy Society. May the powers of an authentically German philosophy help to inspire and bolster the German outlook on the world.” One might be inclined to believe that these were the “hired philosophers” rightly held up to ridicule by Schopenhauer. Not so. The German Philosophy Society was established in 1917 with the aim of erecting a “bulwark against the invasion of Germany by foreign ideas and in order to cultivate thinking in tune with the race.”
The race delirium is not a product of Hitlerism: it predated and largely generated the latter. Even Nietzsche expressed scorn for the unbelievable exaggerations of the racism of his day and wrote: “How much bad faith and how much pettiness are required to raise race issues in today’s confused Europe… Have nothing to do with anyone who has any hand or part in the shameful fraud of racial issues”…
PAN-GERMANISM
…[I]t should come as no surprise to us to find that in the schools of Hitlerite Germany it is taught that Jesus Christ was born of a blue-eyed, blond-haired mother by a German soldier who had enlisted in the Roman army. The Prussian minister of Public Education and Worship declared in his appeal to the Protestant masses (18 July 1933) that the advent of Jesus Christ represented “ a return to Nordic influence”. Hardly surprising then that a Hitlerite newspaper (the Voelkischer Beobachter of 14 March 1933) should assert: “The Marseillaise is an ancient German air set to music by a writer from Wurttemburg”, while one teacher, a certain Zinner, published a 674-page History of Astronomy in which the work of French, British, American and Italian astronomers is summed up under the heading ‘Die Stern Kunde der Germanen’ (German Astronomy). But there’s worse. Architect Hermann Wille, at a meeting of the Society for the Study of Germanic Pre-History, has argued that the stone monuments marking prehistoric graves thus far uncovered are in fact merely the most ancient forms of German temples. The temple of Delos supposedly demonstrates the Germanic influence and some Germanic temples supposedly date back to the Bronze Age.
The Prussian minister of Public Education is not content with the Bronze Age and has reached back even further to the Ice Age, writing in his circular: “History textbooks designed for Prussian youngsters should start with the Ice Age in Central Europe because prehistory is an eminently national science and will rebut the commonly held prejudices regarding the inferiority of the culture of the Germans, our ancestors.”
And again: “Neanderthal man, Arignac man and Cro-Magnon man must serve as an example in showing that countless races have had original cultures.”
“Teachers must briefly demonstrate how the Nordic race and the Falish race (a neologism devised by German racists to refer to what some ethnologists refer to as the Dalic race) spread throughout the North and Centre of Europe.”
“The Hindus, the Medes, the Persians and the Hittites had Nordic roots. Similarly, Greek history should be traced back to central Europe; indeed, the conquering Hellenes were Nordic and it was they that formed the master-caste in the country.”
And the minister concludes: “Democracy (sic) has triggered race mixing. Depopulation was the ruination of the Nordic race in Greece. Thus, in Italy, the strife between patricians and plebeians was a racial struggle: the vast majority of the population of Italy was made up of descendents of Oriental slaves.
The migration of the Germanic peoples (the barbarian invasions) injected fresh Germanic blood (sic) into a hodgepodge of races in the degenerate later empire. Which explains the fresh cultural upsurge of the Middle Ages, since this took place only in countries where the Germanic tribes finally settled: Northern Italy (as distinct from the South), Spain, France and England”…
THE ABRA CADABRA OF HITLERITE ANTHROPOLOGY
…All German official publications popularizing ethnology are utterly bereft of any scientific value. They are devised exclusively for rabble-rousing and propagandistic purposes (in the nationalistic sense), as encapsulated in this snatch from the Berlin Morgenpost: “Just as Goethe was descended from the German emperors and kings, so the veins of a modest artisan or peasant should carry princely blood. The object of research will be to convince sons, grandsons and great-grandsons that, being descended from illustrious forebears, they must show themselves worthy of them by living a glorious existence.”
The Aryan myth fits in with National Socialist mysticism perfectly. On the one hand, it heightens national feeling and on the other it worships the people by conferring a sort of congenital nobility upon them. Hitlerism tends towards a collectivization of blue blood; which is the main reason for the popularity which this colossal fraud is gaining…
A 100% German will look at himself in the mirror once he reads in government publications these precepts of Hitlerite science:
‘In non-Nordics, the roots of teeth are slanted more, as they are in animals, and this corresponds with the protruding upper jaw in animals.’
And will be tempted to reach for his wife’s make-up pencil as he reflects upon this other precept:
‘As the colour red has an exciting effect, the light pink lips of a Nordic man, by inviting kisses, play an important part in love-play.’”
When eating, he will try to monitor the work of his jaws, taking care with his mouth or trying to shape it like a knife blade; otherwise he might be mistaken for a Dinaric type or an Eastern-Balt or even a Jew. In fact, official publications caution:
“The mastication of the Nordic who tends to crush and grind food down is carried out with mouth closed. By contrast, in non-Nordics, vertical mastication tends to be noisy, like in animals.”
“…in non-Nordics, wide mouth and thick lips are indicative of concupiscence. Ingestion is noisy and eager and sensation-hungry. Movement is frantic and pleasure is taken in the ability to cause upset.”
And with no fear of embarrassment, he will turn as red as a pepper or at least a shy girl, because:
“Shame proper is pretty much non-existent in non-Nordics, who in fact use the word ‘shame’ to designate the sexual organs. Besides, the dark-skinned man finds it very difficult to blush from embarrassment.”
If his teeth are good and straight and his lips pink, etc., etc., he can feel well satisfied because he will think himself the perfect man and not a half-monkey. Hitlerite anthropology teaches:
“The non-Nordic is half way between Nordic man and the animals, coming right after the anthropomorphic monkeys. Thus he is not the perfect man nor in fact a man as against an animal; he is merely a transition, an intermediate stage. The designation ‘un-man’ would be a lot fairer and particularly appropriate”…
PURE RACES
In Europe it is in fact the bigwigs that cannot lay claim to the tag of ethnic “purity”. In the aristocracy and bourgeoisie down through the ages, interbreeding has always been commonplace and these are the very classes that have provided the largest numbers of philosophers and artists regarded as typifying the “national psyche”. I cannot dwell longer upon this subject which would require a very full exploration, but I think it may be opportune to cite a few examples because, even in our own ranks which are alien to racist infatuations, phrases such as the “Latin mind”, or “Slav mind”, etc. are often employed in order to characterize aspects of the culture of one people or another.
The emperor Justinian, regarded as the man who brought systemization to Roman law and who was hailed as the top symbol of Rome’s greatness, was the son of a Slav peasant woman. Montaigne, on whose “French spirit” many have expounded, was the son of a Jewish mother. The Slav soul that the critics invoke in order to explain away nearly every aspect of Russian literature is a myth, if it is meant as a body of attitudes tied to ethnicity. Pushkin, the great Russian poet, had a grandfather who was the son of an Abyssinian man and a German woman and his paternal forebears included a Prussian who married an Italian woman. The Russian poet Vassili Zhukovsky had a Turkish woman for a mother and the Russian poet Ogarev was of Tartar descent. The Russian poet Del’vig belonged to a German family and the Russian poet Prince Kantemir was the son of a Greek mother. The Russian poet Fet was descended from a German woman. Mikhail Lermontov was of Scottish extraction and Herzen had a German for his mother.
Many contemporary writers have a mixed bag of ancestors, reminiscent of the family tree of the French socialist writer Paul Lafargue whose maternal grandmother was a mulatta from the island of Santo Domingo, while his maternal grandfather was a Jew and his maternal grandmother a Carib Indian, that is, a survivor of the aboriginal population of the West Indies.
WHAT THE JEWISH RACE IS
The superstition of race defined as homogeneous ethnic origins, while it has generated inane Aryan pride, has also led to racist anti-semitism, the first systematic exposition of which appears in Dühring’s book The Jewish Question Considered as the Outcome of Racial Character. In the wake of that book, which was rebutted by Marx, many other authors have argued that the Jews are a race and that that race is an inferior one.
The enormous anthropological variety among Jews is the best proof of the non-existence of a Jewish race. The Jews of North Africa, Italy, the Iberian peninsula and the French Midi are dolichocephalic (cf. Prunier-Bey, Lombroso, etc.), whereas the Polish, Russian and German ones are brachycephalic (cf. Kopernicki, Mayer, etc.). There are black Jews like the Daggatun (a tribe living on the fringes of the Sahara), the Abyssinian Falashas 3 and the black Jews of India. There are fair-haired types (in Bohemia and Germany), Mongoloid Australian types (in China and the Caucasus). And there are tall Jews (in southern Russia) and squat Jews (in Galicia and Poland).
Numerous investigations have been mounted into the huge ethnic diversity among Jews, some of them hugely valuable scientifically speaking and we need not cite texts. Let us confine ourselves to a few observations. The largest number of Jews lives in Russia and Poland and since, in the first centuries of the Christian era, many Slavs converted to Judaism under the influence of fugitives, there are grounds for believing that the Jews currently found in Bessarabia, the Ukraine and Poland are, the majority of them, Slavs and Tartars. Remember here that an entire people, originally from Sarmatia but who settled between the Caspian and the Black Seas, the Khazars, converted to Judaism almost to a man around 763 AD. In the 4th century the Khazars were subjugated by the Huns and later by the Avars and Turks. In the 7th century they defeated Persia and allied themselves with the Byzantine Empire. In the first half of the 8th century, their capital, Semender, was overrun by the Arabs and they were driven into Mesopotamia. This traffic leads us to believe that there was a mixing of Mongolian-Semitic-Mediterranean Greek types. According to other writers, the Ashkenazy Jews are likely of pure Israelite extraction.
The ancient Jews were by no means an ethnic unit and the whole of Jewish history is an ongoing succession of intermarriages. In Herod’s times, the Jewish people was a mixture of Idumeans, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Syrians and Greeks. There was a city called Scitopolis, a Greek name that refers to the Scythians who had invaded Palestine during the reign of Josiah (639-608 BC). Pella, Gadara, Hipos, Gamala and Gerasa (east of the Jordan) were Greco-Roman cities. Josephus Flavius (De Bello Judaico, Book VII, Chapter III, part 3) asserts that many Greeks in Antioch converted to Judaism.
In Man and the Earth, Elisée Reclus states that the Aryans of Armenia were heavily judaicized but remained Aryans and were regarded (in Byzantium and all the other cities to which their nomadic lifestyle brought them) as belonging to the Jewish race: which goes to show that physically the Armenians and the Jews resembled one another. It is no surprise to find that the Assyrian conquerors scattered their Jewish captives by the hundreds of thousands through the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, the mountains of Armenia and the Caucasus. The Jewish Semites thus lived cheek by jowl with the Aryans of Armenia. There were even Jews who became sovereign over the whole Aiasdan region, Georgia included. The pure Aryan element therefore had a hand in the ethnic changes of the Jews in a variety of ways: through the Armenian and, above all, the Greek influence.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Copenhagen’s Dagens Nyheter, Streicher, the official organizer of the boycott of the Jews in Germany, conceded that the Jews are not a race; and, whereas in the Hitlerite press one frequently reads the assertion that the Jewish people is a mixture of races, when it comes to anti-Semitic propaganda the German National Socialists seize upon all the old chestnuts—the Jew is grasping, the Jew is lascivious, etc., perpetuating and spreading the fable that the shortcomings (real or imagined) of the Jews are a by-product of their “Semitic blood”. The “Jewish nose” is seized upon by all the caricaturists, whereas a German survey has found that 13-14% of Jews have an aquilinine nose and all the rest had “Greek” noses. Paragraph 4 of the National-Socialist Program declares that the Jews may not be “blood comrades” to Germans, while all the comparative analyses of blood show that there is no such thing as “Jewish blood” or “German blood”, nor any other national blood type.
Anti-Semitism has to generalize and characterize and represent the Jew as a fixed human type identifiable at a glance or by smell, as recommended by Professor Fischberg.
Denying the existence of a Jewish race when there are Jews in existence might seem a bit of a paradox. Schopenhauer said that “the Jewish homeland is other Jews” and Renan, who subscribed to no racist myths, eventually contrasted Jewish tradition with Jewish race. Elisée Reclus rightly noted that the Jews constitute a nation “insofar as they share an awareness of a collective past of joys and sufferings, a sediment of identical traditions such as the more or less illusory belief in a shared ancestry”. Bernard Lazare spelled out the same idea , to which all serious students of the Jewish question subscribe…
RACE
…Since Darwin, the notion of the human race has been closely bound up with that of heredity and the race issue has looked like a biological issue.
H. Günther defines race as “a human group that is separated from other human groups by physical and moral features of its very own which are passed on through heredity”.
The issue of the unity of the species is being resolved in a scientific monogenesis that looks beyond the diversity by highlighting the factor of social life. In an article entitled “Is there any basis to race theory?”, Professor Schaxel (in Le Monde, Paris, 28 October 1933) clearly illustrates where the issue currently stands:
“We know the law governing the reproduction of the same characteristics over successive generations. We put resemblance to parents, in which the features observed (measured in terms of quantity, quality and chronology) are the same, down to heredity, insofar as these same hereditary factors can be discerned in forebears or descendants. A particular hereditary group should therefore display a very specific collection of characters. There is no way of reproducing similar features with the requisite precision except by means of a series of rigorously studied experiments. Broadly speaking, the requisite scientific monitoring can only be implemented in instances of asexual or incestuous reproduction. In other cases we are dealing with mixed groups that are impossible to study or take under consideration in terms both of the science of heredity and of the race angle. Furthermore, the same hereditary ‘product’ emerges in a completely different way depending on the external surroundings. No verification is feasible unless due scientific regard is given to the environmental factor.
Applied to humanity, what this means is simply that all existing human groupings (especially the inhabitants of central Europe) are mixed ‘products’, even if only in terms of heredity. So due account must be taken of the geographical and social location of the individual, his environment, the environment in which a man develops absolutely independently of his overall inherited origins. The economic and social factors determine his fate.
From the scientific point of view, there is nothing more to be said as to his racial character.”
It strikes me that… it is plain that race can no longer be viewed as a prime factor, as the absolute origin of physical and psychological features observed in the description of a human grouping, but rather as a checklist of those features. Race does not appear as an expression of a straightforward law, but rather as the extremely complex outcome of a whole series of influences.
ANTHROPOLOGICAL TYPE
…In a speech, Frick, the Reich’s minister of the Interior argued: “Study of the races must be cultivated at all levels of teaching in order to further the exercise of children’s educated eye in picking out the races.” (Voelkischer Beobachter, 10 May 1933). In Michael (p. 86), Goebbels writes: “As I see it, the Jew is a source of physical revulsion. The mere sight of him makes me nauseous.” We could fill an entire book if we wanted to cite this obsession with anthropological type in Germany which extends not just to external morphology but also to blood composition. In the Hitlerites’ articles, speeches and songs, there is a lot of talk about “Aryan blood” or “Germanic blood” and bio-anthropological research is being conducted into various physical-chemical properties in human blood, with the findings brazenly falsified…
Human scent has even been invoked as an anthropological-type factor, but that factor too is of very little significance in racial individuation. One of the sections of the German Race Study Institute is busily if tendentiously looking into the olfactory aspect of race and very learned memoirs have been published on this matter by three race theorists: Günther, Fischberg and Genning. Günther credits the specific scent of each race partly to heredity and partly to environment, but does not go as far as Fischberg who contends that Jews give off a sharper and more unpleasant smell than negroes and that if Aryans can bear to have Semites near them it is because the latter neutralize their body odour with all manner of perfumes and cosmetics. Like Herr Ellis, Genning goes so far as to advise against marriage between Aryans and Jews and vice-versa, precisely because of the unbearable Semitic stink that is a barrier to the couple’s happiness.
The funny thing is that one expert in such matters, the Japanese Adaki, insists that his own countrymen find the smell of white people offensive. In the nostrils of the Japanese, who are also expert in matters of race smells, white people all smell alike—be they Italians or Scandinavians, Jews or dolichocephalic, blond-haired Germans .
NATION, RACE AND CLASS
Günther, the Third Reich’s racist pope, concedes that “peoples are racially mixed and are not themselves races” and he argues that what distinguishes one people from another is “the degree of race mixing”. According to Günther, the German people is made up of seven “Aryan” strains. The psychic features of these strains are supposedly hereditary and determined in such a way as to make a man a genius or a criminal.
Günther has credited the finest qualities to Nordic man who supposedly make up between 6% and 8% of the German people and he depicts the other races as inferior and mediocre. This “Nordicism” of Günther’s has raised a storm from defenders of the other six “Aryan racial strains”. Rosenberg, one of the theorists of Hitlerism, refutes these opponents:
“These typically Talmudist show-offs must be shown that race science identifies about five races in Europe, each with its own characteristic features, temperament and state of mind and there can be no doubt but that the German nation is not an equal mixture but that its origins are 80% Germanic (Nordic)”…
On the one hand, Hitlerism tends to affirm the racial unity of the Germanic people; on the other it tends to award the Nordic strain the lion’s part in the racial mixture.
On the one hand, there is a tendency to dismiss classes in order to affirm national and racial unity, and on the other the superior race is accorded a caste supremacy. In one of his speeches Hitler said: “Here in Germany where every German shares the same blood, the same eyes and speaks the same language, we cannot have classes: there is but one people and nothing else.” In another speech he stated: “National Socialism recognizes the existence of several racial strains in our people. Far from refuting this mixture which encapsulates our people’s entire life expression, it wishes to be guided politically by that race, whose exceptional heroism, thanks to its genius, has conjured the German people out of a clutch of differing elements.”
The German “national community” is therefore supposed to be made up of six strands, only one of which is allegedly the creative element. Saller’s “Germanic race” serves to provide a biological basis for the “national community”, but is not enough to justify bourgeois privilege and the Hitler dictatorship. The Third Reich is therefore founded upon Günther’s theory:
“We must suppose that within every people or tribe in every continent the ruling strata are of a different racial make-up from the ruled. In certain instances, the ruling strata and the ruled share the same racial blood but in differing proportions. As for the peoples of the west, among the upper strata there is a higher amount of Nordic, Falish and Dinaric blood; among the lower orders, on the other hand, there is more eastern and Baltic blood.”
The social and political ruling class is supposedly the superior race. The rise of the proletariat would bring the inferior orders to the top.
Class privilege has been converted into race privilege, trampling not only over anthropology but also over common sense.
IN THE THROES OF DELIRIUM
Here are a few newspaper clippings from the German press offering some idea of the degree of lunacy attained by Hitlerian racism:
“The Reichsminister for Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones has informed the public that in future the following phraseology should be used when spelling out a name by telephone: Dora rather than David for D, Julian instead of Jacob for J, Siegfried instead of Samuel for S, Zeppelin instead of Zachary for Z.”
“The movie, Typhon, based on the comedy by the Hungarian writer Lendengyel, has been banned in Germany. The censorship board justifies this decision by pointing out that in the movie the person whose behaviour is exemplary is Japanese. The white people all behave rather badly. The Japanese, with whom the heroine strikes up a friendship, is an impeccable gentleman. Moreover the movie shows French people and in fact does not deal with Germans. In short, this work is regarded as, by omission, an insult to the Aryan race, whose superiority is not even mentioned.”
“In order to show the high levels of culture of the ancient Germans, according to government instructions, a professor at the University of Gottingen recently came up with the idea of presenting his wife at a high society event dressed in an evening gown copied exactly from the clothing in vogue among the Germans of about two thousand years ago.”
“The German association for the blind has decided to add to its statutes a paragraph calling for the expulsion of blind Jews.”
Large numbers of such reports could be gathered. And it would be just as easy to put together an anthology of Hitlerite idiocy. This is how Alfred Rosenberg, in his book The Twentieth Century Myth deals with the race issue (pp. 125, 505 and 584): “If the womenfolk of the European nations carry on bearing bastards to blacks and Jews, if the slimy tidal wave of ‘negro art’ continues to break over Europe unhindered, if Jewish brothel literature carries on invading our homes and the gentlemen on the Kurfurstendamm continue to be looked upon as race brethren (Volksgenosse) and marriageable men, we will find ourselves in a situation where the heartlands of Germany and the whole of Europe will be populated exclusively by bastards”… “If a German woman willingly consorts with blacks, yellows, half-breeds or Jews, she places herself outside of any lawful protection and the children, legitimate or illegitimate, will not be able to claim the rights of German citizens. Rape committed by a person of a different race is to be punishable by flogging, forced labour, confiscation of assets and definitive expulsion from the German Reich…”
“Bolshevism represents the rebellion of the Mongol type against Nordic forms of culture… It is an expression of the hate that nomads feel for settled individuals.”
Professor Ernst Bergmann (in Erkentnissgeist und Muttergeist) suggests “breeding camps” for the Nordic race:
“There are enough willing and hard-working (!) men and youths available to fertilize women and girls and luckily one vigorous male per ten to twenty women who have not yet lost the urge to bear children, if only we can do away with the cultural and unnatural nonsense of everlasting monogamy” (quote taken from The Brown Book, French edition, pp 202-203).
The National Socialist theorist Gorsleben, in his book, The Apogee of Humanity, calls for “long-distance procreation”. “The life of a woman is largely determined by the man to whom she sacrifices her virginity: the children that such a woman brings into the world will be more or less influenced by that first lover. Science defines this phenomenon as long-distance procreation… That said, it is plain that the old custom of ‘jus primae noctis,’ to wit, the right of a nobleman or priest to deflower a virgin, was designed to better the race. We are indebted to that right for the existence of a humanity that is racially and spiritually of a very high order in certain regions” (taken from Arbeiter Zeitung, Vienna, 16 January 1934).
Darré, the Reich’s agriculture minister, has written a learned book to show that “the pig distinguishes the Nordic from the Semitic peoples”. His conclusion is as follows: “On the one hand, Semites refuse to have anything to do with the pig, whereas the Nordic peoples hold the pig in the highest regard. The pig is the sacred animal of the Nordic cult of the sun…”
“In the religion of the Germans the pig occupies pride of place and is the first among the domestic animals.
Thus, out of the shadows of history step two human races whose approaches to the pig clearly contradict each other”…
We could fill a book with material on the race delirium in the realms of German culture. Here we shall make do with recalling a few points from the program of the proclamation Against the non-German mentality, issued on 13 April 1933 by the German Students’ Association:
“The Jews and their followers are our most dangerous foes.”
“The Jews cannot help but think Jewish. If he writes in our language, he lies.”
“We respect the Jew as an outsider and assess his racial character seriously. We also call for censorship of Jewish works appearing in Hebrew. If these appear in German, there ought to be a note stating that it is a translation. We should come down heavily on the illicit use of ‘Gothic’ script which only Germans are authorized to use.”
Philosophers, physicists, physiologists, writers, musicians, etc., have had to leave Germany simply because they are “non-Aryans”. This cultural exodus is embodied by Einstein and Hirschfeld, the literary exodus by Toller and Plivier, the musical one by Walter and Reinhardt and the deaths of the philosopher Lessing and the poet [and anarchist Erich] Mühsam [tortured to death by the Nazis] show that the Third Reich is a reversion to the Middle Ages.
To the famous ‘Aryan’ orchestral conductor Furtwaengler who had written to him: “I recognize only one boundary: the one that divides good art from bad”, Goebbels replied: “Of the existence of your single boundary I know nothing. Art should not merely be good; it should also be national and militant” (Frankfurter Zeitung, 11 April 1933).
The latter brat declared in an interview in Sunday Referee (30 July 1933): “For 14 years now our war cry has been ‘Death to Judah!’ And now the ghetto is finally dying out once and for all!”
Jazz music has been banned by Goebbels on the grounds that it is negro music, but he has pronounced that the saxophone is ‘Aryan’ in that it was “invented by the German Adolf Sax” and because it is played in military bands.
The whole of Germany is delirious. Pope Pius XI is described as the “illegitimate son of a Dutch Jewess by the name of Leiaman”, and is therefore “a vulgar Jew”; the president of the Council of State in Schleswig has ordered that the story of the sacrificing of Isaac should be eradicated; German Jews are denied access to public beaches and baths and sexual relations between ‘Aryans’ and Jews are banned. This latter facet of the racist delirium deserves special scrutiny.
RACIST MARRIAGE
In one of his speeches, Hitler declared:
“…The Third Reich is not founded on the principle of monogamy. Adultery is not regarded as a crime unless it is liable to harm the purity of the race, which is to say, unless a German woman or man has sexual intercourse with blacks, yellows, Jews, etc.”
In August 1933, the Berliner Tageblatt carried the following news item: “In Nuremburg Pastor Munchneyer has declared that none of the German political parties, from the Communist through to the German National Party, was imbued with a sense of German honour because they all allowed Jews to play a crucial part within them. Only the National Socialist movement demands, in the name of German honour, that the country be released from the chains of Judaism. Any Jew who corrupts a German woman deserves the death penalty.”
That same month, the Nazi Julius Streicher in an article carried by Der Stürmer in Nuremburg pilloried German girls guilty of loving Jews.
In August 1933, a letter in the Times reported this sordid incident: “The son and daughter of the United States ambassador in Berlin were among foreigners staying in Nuremburg when, on Sunday the 13th, they witnessed a young girl dragged through the streets with her head shaved and wearing a placard on her back that read: ‘I offered myself to a Jew’.
Many other foreigners were eye-witnesses to this spectacle. And such a spectacle was made of the girl that the entire city turned out to watch.
The girl was tiny and fragile and spectacularly beautiful. She was trailed from one international hotel to the next and also close to the station where the mob blocked traffic, and then from one drinking establishment to another. She had an escort of storm troopers: and was followed by a mob estimated at two thousand people.
Every so often she would fall to the ground, but the vigorous brownshirts escorting her would get her back on her feet and hold her up so that the most distant onlookers might see her. Whereupon there would be shouting and insults from the crowd…”
In September that year, a letter from Berlin reported the following: “For having had relations with a young Christian girl, a Jew from Cassel, the son of a factory manager, was dragged through the streets of the city by the Hitlerite militia along with the girl and her mother.
The Hessische Volkswacht writes that this public degradation was decided upon because the girl insisted that the government had no power to ban her from loving the young man. Her mother was punished for having tolerated these things.
Furthermore, the Oberhessische Zeitung points out that in a similar case a young Christian girl was dragged through the streets of Marburg.
Finally, in Worms, a statement from the local police refers to a Jew having been jailed for having tried to date a Christian girl.”
The following November, the press carried this report:
“The Harburg-Wilhelmsburg police chief has reported that a non-Aryan shop assistant and a ‘racially pure’ female Christian shopowner were handed over to the police by members of the storm troops. The militiamen had successfully, though not without some difficulty, gotten wind of the ‘culpable relations’ between the two representatives of different races. Moreover, the offenders have ‘confessed their shame’…
The chief of police informs ‘all interested parties that any trespass against race purity will be punished with the utmost severity, even if it predated the passage of the relevant legislation’.”
Two widely distributed manifestoes threaten to disfigure young German girls having relations with Jews.
A draft bill drawn up by Professor Stammler “for the preservation of race purity” proposes:
“1. Marriages between the German and foreign races are banned. Those already contracted retain their validity; but further marriages may not be contracted and will not be recognized.
2. Extra-marital sexual relations between Germans and foreigners of different race are punishable by penal incarceration of the foreigner and imprisonment of the German partner. Prostitutes are not covered by this legislation.
3. The entry into this country of those outside of the race is not permitted except in special cases. Immigration is forbidden.
4. Changes of name which generally have no purpose other than to conceal racial origin are banned pending further notice.
Name changes effected from 1914 until now are hereby annulled.”
The most significant document here is the Race Crime Law of Hans Kerre, the Prussian justice minister (1933). This book represents a draft criminal code and is prefaced by an explanatory memoir. Part two of the project is entitled: “Defence of the Race and People” and opens with a chapter (on “Attacks on the Race”) that contemplates two new offences: “Race Treason” and “Offences against Race Honour”:
“Any sexual liaison between a German and a person of another race is to be regarded as race treason and both culprits will face punishment. Even should precautionary steps be taken within such liaisons, this will not prevent their being looked upon as constituting sexual liaisons falling under the rigours of this present law. Deliberate concealment of one’s real race in sexual liaisons outside of marriage or within marriage will be regarded as an aggravating circumstance.
From the point of view of civil law, marriages between persons of differing races are to be declared null and void.
Anyone who may favour sexual relations between a member of the German race and a member of another race, thereby contributing to the decadence and demoralization of the German people, will be guilty of treason against the race. Such treachery will be found even where contraceptive measures are taken.
Offences against race honour are punishable under the article that states: ‘A German who offends German feelings through the maintenance of relations with persons belonging to coloured races becomes culpable of offences against German honour’.”
The memoir stipulates that this article does not so much apply to sexual relations as to consorting in public with a coloured person. For instance “indecent dancing with a negro in a public place”.
Here are the ten commandments of German marriage as devised by Dr. Heinsius of Berlin, in concert with the Reich Interior ministry, the Racial Hygiene Office and the National Socialist Party’s Race Bureau:
1. Remember that you are German.
2. If you are genetically healthy, you should marry.
3. Keep your body healthy.
4. Keep your spirit and mind healthy.
5. As a German, do not choose as a spouse anyone other than a German or someone of Nordic blood.
6. When choosing a spouse, check into ancestry.
7. Health is also a condition of outer beauty.
8. Do not marry for love.
9. Do not choose a playmate, but look to your spouse as a marriage partner.
10. The real meaning of marriage is healthy progeny. Survival is assured after the third or fourth child.
The eighth commandment is the hardest to honour, judging from the matrimonial recommendations in fashion, as reported in the German press. In an article in the Berlin weekly magazine Das Wissen der Nation (6 August 1933) every racially pure citizen is urged to “marry a blond Aryan with blue eyes, oval face and white skin and not a young, long-bodied, short-legged brunette of Mediterranean race with dark hair and fleshy lips…”
The well-advised and consistent Aryan is not going to marry a Mediterranean woman, nor is he to marry a young woman who has shown a penchant for parties and theatre, who has played sports or practiced a liberal profession. “He is to marry only a hard-working young woman, a good housekeeper with a love of children.”
So the ideal wife should be an Aryan, Nordic housewife ready to bear lots of children, with no Jews among her forebears, and she must be healthy. Anthropological-eugenic-Hitlerite-racist love is no longer a heaven-sent Cupid but is, rather, a sharp-eyed magician armed with anthropometric instrumentation, race laws, a set of matrimonial ten commandments and genealogical records.
HITLERITE STERILIZATION
Hitlerite sterilization is excused by invoking eugenic arguments, but National Socialist doctors still look upon it as an arrangement bound up with racial purity. Dr. Vellguth writes in a leading medical review (Aerzliche Mitteilungen, Leipzig, 20 May 1933) in praise of sterilization: “The infiltration of foreign blood into the body of our people must be prevented. The Jews, the Mongols and others can therefore be lawfully sterilized with their consent, be they healthy or ailing individuals.” The good doctor goes on to suggest “encouraging persons of different race to allow themselves to be sterilized by offering a reasonably high premium.”
What assurances can Hitler’s Germany offer regarding the sterilization option? The Jews, barred from offices and factories, persecuted in a pogrom-like climate, might be starved into being sterilized as their only salvation. How much and what sort of pressures can be brought to bear in a country like today’s Germany? The Frankfurt police chief Von Westrer declared at a Hitlerite demonstration in March 1933:
“Germany is awake. Fear not, Jews, we will abide by the law, but we will be so law-abiding that that law will prove bothersome to you. Then you can go back to Palestine and slaughter one another”…
Hitlerite sterilization has been enforced for political reasons and will be taken to the most nonsensical extremes. In order to justify the switch from eugenic sterilization to racist sterilization all of the old theories about Jewish pathology rebutted by medical science are being unearthed.
CONCLUSION
The issue explored in very cursory fashion here is immense and complex and my only intention has been to bring the race issue to the attention of educated young people. It was looking as if racial prejudice had become a thing of the past among the educated classes in the more advanced nations. Instead, it lingers. In Austria in October 1933, the courts granted a divorce in a marriage contracted between an Aryan and a Jewess, in a verdict in which the grounds cited include incompatibility deriving from race difference between the spouses, a difference that ought “in a symbiosis as close as marriage, inevitably trigger profound frictions.” In Lithuania the National Socialist Party there is calling for a ban on marriages between Jews and non-Jews. In France we have seen the launching of a blatantly racist and anti-semitic Celtic League. In the United States of America there are laws banning marriages between blacks and whites, there are universities closed to black students and anthropologists who talk of an American race (not to mention lynching!). And among the mastheads of the Italian nationalist press are La Razza, La Stirpe, Il Grido della Stirpe, etc…
Paris, November 1934

Published on June 6, 2009 at 8:47 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. [...] In this 1954 article by Giovanna Berneri (1897-1962), veteran anarchist activist, widow of Camillo Berneri and mother of Marie Louise Berneri, she criticizes Fontenis’ approach and reviews its [...]

  2. [...] English version from: http://robertgraham.wordpress.com/camillo-berneri-against-the-racist-delirium/ Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Race and [...]


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