The Nazi Master Race

Of Pure Blood, by Marc Hillel and Clarissa Henry (McGraw-Hill, 1977, 256 pp., $10.00), is reviewed by Richard V. Pierard, professor of history, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana.

One of the vexing theological problems of our times is Nazi Germany. How was it possible that in the land of the Reformation and in the “enlightened” twentieth century the National Socialist regime could come to power (with the active support or at least passive acceptance of most Christians) and then embark upon the systematic destruction of millions of human beings whom they regarded as racial inferiors, including the entire Jewish population of Europe? What does this inscrutable event tell us about the presence of sin in the world, about the times we live in, about ourselves?

The most appalling feature of Nazi racial policies was the deliberate, dispassionate way in which they were carried out. The surviving documents reveal an impersonal, bureaucratic precision of frightening proportions, both in the destruction and creation of life. The story of the efforts of Heinrich Himmler, the mousy little ex-chicken farmer who headed the SS and held almost complete control over the police and security forces of the Third Reich, to foster the development of the pure “Nordic” master race by eliminating the inferior races—Poles, Gypsies, Jews, and others—has been told many times, and the full magnitude of the barbarity utterly eludes comprehension. One aspect of this madness that up to now had not been adequately chronicled was Operation Lebensborn (Fountain of Life). This was the counterpart to Nazi genocide, the selective breeding of the new Germanic super race that would occupy the vacant ...

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