Aryanism and NazismMain articles: Aryan and Aryan race See also: Aryanisation and The Myth of the Twentieth Century
The term Aryan derives from the Sanskrit word (ā́rya), which derived from arya, the original Indo-Iranian autonym. Also, the word Iran is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryan (see also Iranian peoples).
Following the ideas of Gobineau and others, the Nazi theorist Alfred Rosenberg determined that these people, who, he claimed, were originally from Atlantis, were a dynamic warrior people who dwelt in prehistoric times in northern climates on the North German Plain, from which they migrated riding their chariots southeast, eventually reaching Ukraine, Iran, and then India. They were supposed to be the ancestors of the ancient Germanic tribes, who shared their warrior values. Rosenberg claimed that Christianity was an alien Semitic slave-morality inappropriate to the warrior Aryan master race and thus supported a melange of aspects of Hindu Vedic and Zoroastrian teachings (both of these religions having been organised by Aryans), along with pre-Christian European Odinistic paganism, which he also considered to be distinctively Aryan in character.
In Nazi Germany, a so-called mixed marriage of an "Aryan" with an "Untermensch" was forbidden in order to maintain the purity of the Germanic master race, eugenics was practiced. In order to eliminate "defective" citizens, the T-4 Euthanasia Program was administered by Karl Brandt to rid the country of the mentally retarded or those born with genetic deficiencies, as well as those deemed to be racially inferior. Additionally, a programme of compulsory sterilisation was undertaken which resulted in the forced operations of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Many of these policies are generally seen as being related to what eventually became known as the Holocaust.
The Nazis also took measures to increase the number of Nordics in Germany. The Lebensborn program was only open to German women who fit the Nordic profile. During the Nazi-Soviet occupation of Poland, the Nazis took young Nordic Polish children back to these Lebensborn houses so they could be raised as Germans.
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... Such arguments became especially significant when allied to the theory of Aryanism in the mid-19th century ... This theory held that native speakers of the Indo-European languages ("Aryans") are an innately superior branch of humanity, responsible for most of its greatest achievements ...