Esther M. Zimmer Lederberg
German Anthropological Studies on the Rhine
Well before the NAZI Third Reich, during the Second Reich (and before
even the Second Reich), the German people focused upon hate directed
against Jews, Gypsies, "Polaks", Lithuanians, Russians, Ottomans, etc.
The Germans were hardly unique in their racial
"Enlightenment" attitudes learned from
different sources, including Emmanuel Kant and Frederick the Great (so
admired by Hitler).
Wilhelm II (1890) entered upon a program of overseas (salt-water)
African colonies (also including Pacific Ocean colonies, and colonies
elsewhere). Thus, this program of colonial aggression was accompanied by
racial "Social Darwinian" ignorance. These backward views were a part of
the German ideology at the eve of World War I (and persist today).
Although Germany lost WWI on the Western Front, Germany was not beaten on
the Eastern Front. The terms of the rejected Versailles treaty did not
permit a German Army. As a worker's rebellion under Karl Liebknecht and
Rosa Luxemburg appeared imminent (especially due to an Allied-Powers
food blockade in Germany), as well as a revolution by Vladimir Ilyich
Ulyanov (Lenin) in Russia. The Allied Powers looked the other way as a
prohibited "unofficial" army of volunteers called the Freikorps was created.
As WWI was ending, elements of the Freikorps opposed the French as the
French occupied the Rhineland. The French imported colonial troops from
Morrocco, and Annam (Indochina). The German government used the presence
of these dark skinned colonial troops as a basis of racial propaganda,
proclaiming a "Shame on the Rhine". The
propaganda posters below exemplify the continuity of German politically
oriented racial hatred.