Hitler, Aryanism, and the Japanese...

I’m worried I may need to retake World War II history, but I’m wondering if Hitler had reservations about an alliance with the Japanese? I mean, the Japanese aren’t exactly blonde-hair, blue-eyed Aryan fantasy.

I know a lot of people often say that the Japanese are also very xenophobic (I’m not supporting it), so was the agreement sort of let’s fight the same fight but stay on our respective sides of the planet?

Just curious.

Can’t contribute anything factual, but The Onion had a great take on it in Our Dumb Century:

Full story here…

From all I could tell, it was a marriage of convenience and they actually had relatively little to do with each other throughout the war. (I think a few submarines traveled from Germany to Japan, nothing even remotely like what we gave to the British government before we were even officially fighting anyone.) Germany and Japan had parallels in what they wanted out of the war and the reasons they used to justify their actions, but it was a case of convergent evolution with two countries in similar circumstances taking advantage of things in similar ways.

The Nazis were actually flexible when it came to ‘Aryan-ness’. They thought the white English-speaking people (including Americans and the British) were racially pure but lead by Jews and other subhumans to fight against their own racial self-interest. They also had no problems allying with Italy and helping Spain, the natives of which can be quite dark-skinned. (They didn’t officially ally with Spain during the war, as Spain was neutral. But Franco’s Spain was most certainly a Fascist government and got substantial help from Germany during the Spanish Revolution of the thirties.)

So my point is that the Nazis didn’t need consistency in their hatred as long as they always had someone to hate. Allegiances were made and revoked due to political and military concerns more than racial. (With allowances made for Nazi stupidity, of course. They could have turned a substantial part of the western Soviet Union, especially the kulaks of the Ukraine, against Stalin had they not been complete morons. The people of the vast, fertile grain-producing Ukraine had been starved under Stalin’s forced economic restructuring plans, and were eager to show Joe exactly where he could shove it.)

It was a marriage of convenience, just like the U.S. and Britain teaming up with the Soviets. The Germans and the Japanese didn’t like each other and probably didn’t trust one another (Japanese? Xenophobic? Naaaaawww), but they had a common enemy (the Soviets) and the world was certainly large enough for each to pursue its expansionist policies without getting in the way of the other.

IIRC Dodolf made the Japanese “honorary Aryans” or some such when they declared war on the West.

My interest in WWII has always tended toward the aircraft. But recently I’ve been reading more about other aspects. I’ve just started reading a small volume on the Genocide. The first chapter, which is as far as I’ve read, talks about the historical repression of the Jews. For a couple-thousand years the’d been persecuted. The Christian Church saw them as a threat. They, as a group, were also seen as economic competition by the merchant sector. Everything the Nazis did – segregation, exile, killings – have parallels in history. Jacques de Biez, a follower of Eduoard Drumont, who merged antisemitism with socialism, said in 1889, ‘We are socialists. We are national socialists. We want France for the French.’ After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 there was an economic crisis, and the unification of the German states into a single nation focused attention on ‘German-ness’. Jewish immigrants from the east did not fit the image of a ‘German’.

In October 1918 the German army was advancing. But a month later the Armisice was signed. Germany’s economy had been destroyed. The mutiny at Kiel and the naval blockade obviously were reasons why Germany capitulated. But as they had been advancing, some Germans thought there was another reason. They felt that Jews within the new liberal government had ‘stabbed Germany in the back’, and that the foreign powers, which had imposed harsh conditions on Germany’s surrender, were controlled by ‘International Jewry’.

I think that the ‘Aryan’ thing was less about a Nordic Germany, and more about the antisemitism that had been going on for 2,000 years. Certainly there are and were millions of Germans who did not have blond hair and blue eyes. Hitler would rather have not fought the French, English and Americans. The Nazis wanted, because of their antisemitic beliefs and the belief that Jews were to blame for Gernamy’s troubles, to rid the country of them and to defeat Bolshevism. I think Hitler wanted Western Europe and a large part of Eastern Europe in order to have Lebensraum and to be rid of the Communist threat – or at least keep it far away.

As far as I know, Hitler did not have aspirations for the control of Asia. He probably thought that ‘Aryans’ were a superior race to Asians, but he had no worries about having an Asian ally that opposed Russia and with whom Germany could trade.

Their common enemy was the British, not the Soviets (the Japanese signed a non-agression pact with the USSR at the same time).

Also, despite the Nazi disdain for Slavs, they still made an alliance with the Croatian fascists, declaring them, “Honorary Aryans”, IIRC.

Hitler wrote a sequel to Mein Kampf, which wasn’t published until after the war. In that book, he claims that the only way for the race to survive was through constant struggle. IIRC, the Hitler Channel program on the book said that Hitler’s plan was to let the Japanese wreak havoc in the East while he consolidated his power in Europe and the USSR, and then invade the East. So it seems likely that Hitler’s plan was to let the Japanese do all the hard work, and then he’d move in and take control of their empire (and probably wiping them out in the process).

The Nazis also had a rather weak and one-sided alliance with Romania which lasted until a successful coup in August 1944, led by a young King Michael I, deposed the fascist dictator Ion Antonescu and installed Michael as the leader of his country. King Michael promptly aligned Romania with the Allies and declared open season on all Germans and fascists in Romania – a move which enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the population as a whole. Most of Romania was liberated within a few days.

In 1993, Israel’s Yad Vashem Center awarded King Michael’s mother, Queen Elena, for her efforts to save the lives of tens of thousands of Romanian Jews. (Unfortunately, many Romanian Jews had already been deported prior to the coup.)

[No cites for the following; I’m just going from memory from my readings on the Battle of Stalingrad.]

Before the coup, however, the Romanian troops were frequently assigned the thankless task of protecting German supply lines and flanks and were not well-regarded by the German forces who commandeered them. The alliance between Hitler and Antonescu certainly benefitted the Nazis, as thousands of poorly-supplied and inadequately-armed Romanian troops were sometimes treated as cannon fodder in the battlefields of the Eastern Front, perhaps most notably in the failed attempt to counter Soviet forces encircling Stalingrad in the winter of '42-Jan. '43. Also, Romania’s Plovisti oil fields were a crucial source of petroleum for the Reich; protecting that supply with a buffer zone of German-controlled territory provided an additional incentive for Hitler to expand his reach through the Ukraine and into Southern Russia.

Indeed, the Nazis had an alliance (or at least a nonagression pact) with the ueberslavs . . . the Russians.

This being GQ and all, gotta a cite for that? Or is that just Ignorance In Action?

How many cites do you want? A simple Google search using the terms “Japan World War II xenophobia” yielded 421,000 hits. Granted, as with any search using such broad terms, only a small percentage of these are applicable. But here are a couple that seem to fit the bill:

Reading posts like this makes me think that they’re actually individuals out there that are somewhat jilted that Hilter gave an Aryan title to the Japs all the while referring to Americans as mongrels.

Take for instance, the word Aryan is a loanword, made up by the English as an alternative definition to Nordic which was the original categorization within which the English weren’t included. Now, why in the fucking hell would you change Hitler’s definition of who he considered Nordic just to include yourself within his categorization? The English are obviously German admirers in that sense.

I can’t figure out what you mean by saying Aryan was a loanword. What isn’t? And Aryan is an older term in English than Nordic, so it couldn’t have been a substitute.

The Nazis also had an alliance of convenience with the Middle Eastern Arabs, based somewhat on hatred of British imperialism, but primarily on hatred of the Jews. Even though it was common knowledge that the Nazis thought of Arabs as being lower than the Slavs. Barely a half-click above the Jews themselves actually, on a par with Africans (i.e. blacks)…

I think what it comes down to is, when you’re fighting a war, you take the allies you can get.

Japhetic. snort

There’s an underlying misconception. Nazi racial ideology didn’t exclude everyone who wasn’t nordic-looking. Aryan wasn’t synonymous with blond. The Nazis regarded the Nordics as the most noble of the Aryans, but according to their doctrine, the Italians, Spanish, Greeks, and all the other non-Slavic Europeans were also Aryans. Even the Slovenes and Croatians didn’t cause them any headaches, because it could be argued that they were Slavic only by language, not by race.
Someone else mentioned Romania, but Romanians aren’t Slavs at all, so they could be slotted as true “fellow-Aryans” - excluding the sizeable Gypsy minority, of course.

As for the Japanese, they may not have been Aryans in the strict sense (although they were granted the status of honorary Aryans), but due to their perceived racial purity, they were regarded as belonging to a separate but similarly “noble” race as that of the Aryans.

The Nazis for a while were quite friendly with the Nationalist Chinese. They helped train troops and such. But the Nationalists made it clear they were not so anti-Russian and if things got nastier, they’d throw in with the Brits and Yanks. Once the war started in the East, the Nazis figured out which side was better militarily and started to cultivate the Japanese.

Wikipedia links:


One Sino-Soviet oddity (Hey, at least they tried. Sort of.):