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Author Topic: Nazis actually considered Native Americans "Aryan"?
die daagliks phosdex
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Your Correspondent recalls reading somewhere that the Nazi regime in Germany, following some research into the racial purity of a would-be Nazi Party member, concluded that the Sioux Indians were within Nazi characteristics for what they saw as "Aryan."

(Remember, this was the exaggerated, pseudoethnological context the Nazis used for the term "Aryan," as in "any non-Jewish Caucasoid of Northern European derivation, preferably with Nordic characteristics.")

Tell me this isn't taking Nazi standards of "racial honour" to new and hilarious lows of absurdity....

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Stoneage Dinosaur
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Here's a reference to the book Fads and Fallacies In the Name of Science by Martin Gardner, which apparently stated that a "high-level Nazi had a Sioux grandmother, so an official opinion went out pronouncing the Sioux to be Aryan."

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Ophiuchus
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Some Native American tribes, particularly the Navaho, Hopi and Ute, but probably a couple others, are demonstratably genetically related to the Celts, Norse and Russians and thus likely to the Aryans as well. Other tribes are more closely related to northeast Asians.

I'm not entirely certain which are which, but it is very likely that all of them were mixed to some point after arriving. It is also possible that the enviroment was enough to make what were originally different ethnic groups to grow to look similar over thousands of years.

Anyhow, I cannot imagine exactly why the Germans would pick any particular Native American tribe to be 'acceptible'. Surely they must have accepted Italians, Middle Easterners and Japanese to be 'acceptible', else their alliances couldn't have worked well.

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candycane from strangers
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Why is this in NFBSK?

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Tomcat
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quote:
Originally posted by candy from strangers:
Why is this in NFBSK?

Because it is rumored that American Indians have large penises.

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Spindely Fingers
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Doesn't matter. Supposedly Roma (Gypsies) were Aryan under the Nazis' racial classifications as well, so the Nazis just had to find another excuse to execute them. Like many before and after them, they had a prefered conclusion, then developed a system to support it.

ETA: According to Wikipedia Native Americans were considered Mongoliod. But the Sioux could be an exception for some reason. One can't really look at the native inhabitants of the Americas as one uniform ethnic group.

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Norton II
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I remember reading, and no, I don't have a reference, that some India Indians were also considered Aryans.

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Honey Bunching Oats
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It was hypothesized in pre-war Germany that the Aryan Homeland was Tibet. Nazi Germany sent an expedition to the area including anthropologists with head calipers to quantify racial characteristics.

This is the first I've heard of native americans. Then again this would conflict with the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (mormons) that native americans are the lost tribes of Israel.

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xtargeeter
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As a side note, the Nazis had to do some real twisting to get the Japanese recognized as Aryan so they could be allies in the war.

See http://experts.about.com/q/European-History-670/German-Japanese-alliance.htm for details.

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DAnnino
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In the book Adolf Hitler by John Toland, it is metioned that Hitler had expressed admiration for the way the US governement relocated Native Americans to reservations, as well as the military campaigns against them. He modeled some of his early concepts for what became the Shoah on this.

The SS had a whole section devoted to racial research (I won't attempt to spell Aneherbe, or whatever it was called). And the alliance with Japan was basically pushed by geopolitical researcher Karl Haushofer, motivated by a desire to surround the USSR, and then dressed in racial theory. There have been a couple of shows on the History Channel which cover both the SS sending expeditions to Tibet and the German-Japanese alliance. One was The Swastika and The Samurai, the other was The SS.

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Don Enrico
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The Nazis liked their race propaganda, but more than that they liked doing whatever was needed to come to and stay in power - how else could you imagine a dark-haired, short and limping Minister for Propaganda hailing the strong, tall, healthy, fair-haired and blue-eyed Aryan Race?

So, if a high level Nazi had a Sioux grandmother, that was reason enough to declare this particular group "aryan".

BTW, DAnnino, it is spelled " Ahnenerbe" and translates as "ancestors heritage".

Don Enrico

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DAnnino
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quote:
Originally posted by Don Enrico:
The Nazis liked their race propaganda, but more than that they liked doing whatever was needed to come to and stay in power - how else could you imagine a dark-haired, short and limping Minister for Propaganda hailing the strong, tall, healthy, fair-haired and blue-eyed Aryan Race?

So, if a high level Nazi had a Sioux grandmother, that was reason enough to declare this particular group "aryan".

BTW, DAnnino, it is spelled " Ahnenerbe" and translates as "ancestors heritage".

Don Enrico

Thanks for the spelling back-up and the translation.

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Koshka
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I read once (library book, not one of mine, so I can't give a cite) that the Nazis directed some of their propaganda directly at American Indian tribes, claiming the tribes were Aryan and thus would be part of the ruling class once the Nazis took over the world. That doesn't mean the Nazis believed it -- personally, I think they were trying to create civil unrest in the US to slow down war-related work, and the American Indians were the only minority group big enough to matter and vaguely plausible as Aryan. (And IIRC the American Indians didn't buy the story either.)
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educatedindian
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Hi, this is my first post at Snopes. In fact this topic was the reason I joined, and I'll probably be showing up a lot in the history posts.

Hitler and the Nazis' reason for naming Natives as "honorary Aryans" had nothing to do with any Nazi officer's claims as far as I know. It had to do with his love of Karl May novels. Kenneth Townsend wrote a chapter on the subject in American Indians in World II. (It's not a very good book otherwise.) The German American Bund and the Silver Shirts did ally themselves with the American Indian Federation, led by a Seneca woman, Alice Jemison. It's still being debated if the AIF were naive, genuinely racist, or just using the Nazis to fund their efforts to stop FDR's New Deal for Indians.

When it comes to strange German beliefs about NDNs, most can be traced back to May. The hero in May's books had an NDN sidekick, Winnetou, a "Teutonized Indian". The mistakes in his books are even worse than James Fenimore Cooper's, such as showing Apaches living in pueblos. Only a few years ago, a German studio put out the film Winnetou, a comedy mocking the May novels. A German activist for Native causes tells me that's made their work that much harder. You say NDN and many Germans crack up laughing.

(To be fair, Germans aren't the only Europeans with strange ideas about NDNs. Remind me to tell all of you about a speaking tour I did in Europe. People were coming to the speeches dressed in buckskin, asking questions about reincarnation. "Wrong kind of Indian" I kept telling them.)

Opiuchus, I have no idea where you got such bizarre and ludicrous ideas. There are many Native oral traditions about visitors from overseas, but not in enough numbers to make them genetically similar. And most of those traditions describe Africans or Maoris, not Europeans.

Tomcat, yeah, I've heard that too. But I can't speak for anyone but myself and the women I dated.

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Mad Jay
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quote:
Originally posted by Norton II:
I remember reading, and no, I don't have a reference, that some India Indians were also considered Aryans.

[lol] Considering that they stole the word from Indians, it is highly plausible that they consider many Indians to be Aryans

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Mad Jay
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by educatedindian:
Hi, this is my first post at Snopes. In fact this topic was the reason I joined, and I'll probably be showing up a lot in the history posts.

Hitler and the Nazis' reason for naming Natives as "honorary Aryans" had nothing to do with any Nazi officer's claims as far as I know. It had to do with his love of Karl May novels. Kenneth Townsend wrote a chapter on the subject in American Indians in World II. (It's not a very good book otherwise.) The German American Bund and the Silver Shirts did ally themselves with the American Indian Federation, led by a Seneca woman, Alice Jemison. It's still being debated if the AIF were naive, genuinely racist, or just using the Nazis to fund their efforts to stop FDR's New Deal for Indians.

When it comes to strange German beliefs about NDNs, most can be traced back to May. The hero in May's books had an NDN sidekick, Winnetou, a "Teutonized Indian". The mistakes in his books are even worse than James Fenimore Cooper's, such as showing Apaches living in pueblos. Only a few years ago, a German studio put out the film Winnetou, a comedy mocking the May novels. A German activist for Native causes tells me that's made their work that much harder. You say NDN and many Germans crack up laughing.

(To be fair, Germans aren't the only Europeans with strange ideas about NDNs. Remind me to tell all of you about a speaking tour I did in Europe. People were coming to the speeches dressed in buckskin, asking questions about reincarnation. "Wrong kind of Indian" I kept telling them.)

Opiuchus, I have no idea where you got such bizarre and ludicrous ideas. There are many Native oral traditions about visitors from overseas, but not in enough numbers to make them genetically similar. And most of those traditions describe Africans or Maoris, not Europeans.

Very informative post, educatedindian. Thank you and welcome to the boards!! Not bad for a first post, if I may add

quote:


Tomcat, yeah, I've heard that too. But I can't speak for anyone but myself and the women I dated.

[Eek!] Native American women have penises!!

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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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