Adolph Hitler posing with an officer of the Lebensborn, ca. 1941.

Adolph Hitler, Lebensborn, Ubermensch, Nazi Superman


Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party ascribed to the concept of the “Master Race”.  This ideology held that the Aryan Races, people of Northern European descent, represented a superior and “pure race”.  An ideal member of the Master Race was referred to as an “Übermensch”, or literally, a “Super Man”.  Any person not of pure, Aryan descent was considered an “Untermensch”, or literally, a “Sub-Human”.  This site will present the fundamental ideologies of the Master Race, and discuss Hitler’s obsession with creating and perfecting the figure of the Übermensch.

The notion of the Master Race originated from 19th century racial theory, which posited that there is a hierarchy of races, and that cultures degenerate when distinct races mix.  The bottom of this hierarchy included dark-skinned indigenous peoples, such as Aboriginal Australians and Native Africans.  The Nazi’s considered darker-skinned people to be mentally and physically inferior to the European races.  The middle of the hierarchy belonged to Southern Europeans (Spanish, French, Portuguese, & Italians).  These Europeans, with their dark hair and olive skin, were considered to be only partially-tainted by mixing with the Untermenschen.  The top of the hierarchy was reserved for the Aryan races (Germans, Swedes, Icelanders, Norwegians, Danes, English, & Dutch).  The figure of the Übermensch, with his blonde hair and blue eyes, was a member of the superior race which was intended to rule the earth during the Nazis’ so-called “Thousand Year Reich”.
Ubermensch, Nazi Superman


  A group of soldiers posing after the Nazi invasion of Paris, ca. 1940.  








Aryan family, Eugenics


To ensure the genetic purity of his country, Hitler implemented selective human breeding through the racial pseudo-science of eugenics.  Mixed-marriages between an Aryan and a member of a “lesser race” were forbidden, and the Nazis forcibly sterilized hundreds of thousands of people whom they viewed as mentally or physically unfit.  Many of these policies are generally seen as being related to what eventually became known as the Holocaust.

nazi eugenics poster

  An ideal Aryan family, ca. 1942.   Propaganda warning of the growing population threat of the Untermensch.








Hünenkreuz medal of purity.

Hunenkreuz Nazi medal

In 1932 Hitler implemented the Lebensborn program, which sought to be the literal “spring of life” for the Master Race.  He created breeding facilities in which Aryan women were recruited to be impregnated by S.S. soldiers.  A male German seeking admission into the program had to prove that he was in perfect physical condition, and that he was “racially pure” as far back as 1750.  Before the program ended in 1944, the Lebensborn produced more than 42,000 babies. 

The Germans also captured Aryan women and children from the surrounding conquered countries.  From Poland, alone, they kidnapped 200,000 blond-haired, blue-eyed children.


Adolph Hitler, Ubermensch, Nazi Superman







Hitler awarding the Hünenkreuz to a model Übermensch, ca. 1942.

Hitler’s definition of genetic superiority did not stop with blonde hair and blue eyes.  The value that Hitler placed on physical power led him to favor Aryan men with the strongest physiques and the tallest statures.  Near the end of the Lebensborn program, Hitler set requirements that new male applicants be at least 6 ft. tall.  Hitler regarded individuals who were 6 ft. 6 in. and taller as being the highest creed of Übermensch, the so-called “Hünenmensch”.  He considered men of this stature to be the closest relatives of the original Germanic warrior tribes, from which the Aryan peoples are said to have descended.  Being 6 ft. 6 in. entitled a Nazi soldier a special medal of honor, called the Hünenkreuz, and an instant promotion to the status of S.S. officer.

Individuals who were unusually tall due to gigantism were not recognized as being Hünenmenschen by the government of the Third Reich.  Because the abnormal height of a giant is the result of a defective pituitary gland, these individuals were deemed Untermenschen.  Sterilization was, more often than not, their reward.


Ubermensch, Nazi Superman, Super-Aryan

    Nazi S.S. officers sharing a laugh with a Hünenmensch at Auschwitz, ca. 1943.  

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