Friday 1 February 2019

Stalin versus Hitler: A Test of Racial Theory

Iosif Stalin and Adolf Hitler: Mortal Enemies

The confrontation between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War was apart from being a contest of ideological supremacy also a long expected showdown between different races. In this case, Adolf Hitler theorised the superiority of the German “ubermensch” over the Slavic “untermensch”. In his quest for Lebensraum, Hitler envisaged that the western part of Russia and neighbouring lands would be conquered and then colonised by German people. (A project formulated by SS planners in 1941 foresaw over 30 million Slavs being deported to the eastern part of Russia). Stalin responded to this in 1934. He was particularly prescient in his observation that the German racial supremacists of the Third Reich would be brought down by those who they considered to be their inferiors in the same way that the “inferior” Germanic Barbarians overthrew the “superior” Romans:

Still others think that war should be organised by a “superior race”, say, the German “race” against an “inferior race”, primarily against the Slavs; that only such a war can provide a way out of the situation, for it is the mission of the “superior race” to render the “inferior race” fruitful and to rule over it.

Let us assume that this queer theory, which is as far removed from science as the sky from the earth; let us assume that this queer theory  is put into practice.

What may be the result of that?

It is well known that ancient Rome looked upon the ancestors of the present-day Germans and French in the same way as the representatives of the “superior race” now look upon the Slav races. It is well known that ancient Rome treated them as an “inferior race”, as “barbarians” destined to live in eternal subordination to the “superior race”, to “great Rome”, and, between ourselves be it said, ancient Rome had some grounds for this, which cannot be said of the representatives of the “superior race” today.

Thunderous Applause

But what was the upshot of this? The upshot was that the non-Romans, that is, all the “barbarians”, united against the common enemy and brought Rome down with a crash. 

The question arises: What guarantee is there that the claims of the representatives of the “superior race” of today will not lead to the same lamentable results? What guarantee is there that the fascist literary politicians in Berlin will be more fortunate than the old and experienced conquerors of Rome? Would it not be more correct to assume that the opposite will be the case?

- Report to the Seventeenth Party Congress on the Work of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. (B). January 26, 1934

When the Red Army encircled and destroyed the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad nine years later, it put an end to the seemingly unstoppable conquests of the German Wehrmacht on the Ostfront. It began a permanent slide in the fortunes of Nazi Germany until the Red Army eventually sacked Berlin and brought the Third Reich “down with a crash.”

© Adeyinka Makinde (2019)

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

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