Fake Hitler Quote about Slavery

This fake quote appears in the third installment of the U.S. Army’s Why We Fight series, titled “Divide and Conquer.” It appears, bizarrely enough, in the context of a description of how the French were treated following the armistice in 1940. The French were certainly not enslaved; the peace-conditions that Hitler gave the French were in fact rather generous: they were allowed to retain colonies and some of their army and their navy, and to remain neutral in the war. 

Mein Kampf is sometimes alleged as the source of the statement, but in fact it is slightly modified from the usual source of fake Hitler quotes, the utterly discredited Hermann Rauschning:

“There will be a Herren-class, he said, “an historical class tempered by battle, and welded from the most varied elements. There will be a great hierarchy of party members. They will be the new middle class. And there will be the great mass of the anonymous, the serving collective, the eternally disfranchised, no matter whether they were once members of the old bourgeoisie, the big land-owning class, the working class, or the artisans. Nor will their financial or previous social position be of the slightest importance. These preposterous differences will have been liquidated in a single revolutionary process. But beneath them there will still be the class of subject alien races; we need not hesitate to call them the modern slave class. And over all of these will stand the new high aristocracy, the most deserving and the most responsible Führer-personalities. [Hermann Rauschning, Hitler Speaks, pp.50-51]

The fact that the statement comes from Rauschning already means that it is spurious. But let us look at how even Rauschning’s false testimony underwent further distortion by a Hollywood screenwriter.

Why Hollywood Tweaked an Already-Fake Quote

The omission of still in the propaganda-film is significant. While the statement in the film is presented in reference to the treatment of the French after their defeat in 1940, there is no indication of this in Rauschning. On the contrary, in Rauschning the statement seems to be about a class of subject alien races that already existed, such as Indians and Black Africans. Elsewhere in The Voice of Destruction, Rauschning portrays Hitler as saying that Germany would take over the colonies of other European powers. Since it would have made no sense to refer to the French as belonging to some pre-existing class of “subject alien races,”  the word “still” had to be excised. 

Furthermore, as the fictional speech continues, Rauschning represents Hitler as saying:

“Certainly we shall admit to our new ruling class members of other nations who have been worthy in our cause. On this point I entirely agree with Darré and Himmler. The racial and biological aspect is only one side of the total process. In fact, we shall very soon have overstepped the bounds of the narrow nationalism of today. My party comrades, it is true that world empires arise on a national basis, but very quickly they leave it far behind.”

Evidently that new aristocracy would include some French people, since a leading National-Socialist with a French name is mentioned.

The meaning that Rauschning attributed to Hitler, that Blacks for example were a “subject alien race” and de facto slaves, would not have seemed nearly so shocking  to an American audience of the 1940s as the same idea applied to the White people of France. At that time there were still considerable numbers of people that could remember when de jure Negro slavery existed.

Thus the statement from Rauschning, already a falsification, was deprived of its original context and altered to make it consistent with the purport of Why We Fight, that Hitler was treating the White people of France as slaves.

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