How Darwin Inspired Hitler

"In Darwin's biological theory, Hitler finds his most powerful weapon against traditional values..."

Originally appeared at:

National Socialism (Nazism for short) is one of the most terrible evils, not only of the twentieth century, but of all human history. Countless books have been written about it, films have been produced, monuments have been erected to millions of its victims, they talk about it in schools and universities, and on January 27 the entire civilized world celebrates Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Few people know, however, that the policies of this regime were largely based on the ideas of the English naturalist Charles Darwin. The direct connection between Darwinism and Nazism is noted in the works of a number of creationist scientists, and above all, in the famous book by Californian historian Richard Weikart “From Darwin to Hitler. Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). This book caused fierce debate between creationists and evolutionists.

The English writer Malcolm Bowden draws attention to the connection between Darwinian theory and the genocide committed by Nazi Germany:

“The evolutionary basis of Nietzschean theories about the superman is known, and their practical application by Hitler in implementing the plan of a “master race” is also known. The chilling consequences of bringing the evolutionary theory to its logical conclusion — the extermination of “weak” races — was carried out in the concentration camps of Belsen, Auschwitz, etc. Historians carefully collect information about the atrocities of the Hitler regime, but it never occurs to anyone to put in first place the fact that it was based on evolutionary philosophy. In fact, Darwin's theory is considered sacred. It is carefully guarded from any criticism.”[1].

The American scientist Henry Morris shares the same opinion:

“Despite the fact that every schoolchild is aware of the evil that Hitler and his National Socialism brought to the world, it is not explained to children at all that the basis of all this is evolutionary theory. Such an obvious attempt to hide the truth is nothing more than a distortion of history. Modern evolutionists react quite angrily when they are reminded that evolutionary theory served as a justification for Nazism, but that is precisely the case.”[2].

Morris goes on to quote Sir Arthur Kane, a renowned British scholar of evolutionary anthropology, who writes:

“To understand how evolutionary principles and tribal morality are vigorously inculcated in the life of a great modern nation, one must look back to Germany in 1942. Hitler firmly believed that evolution represents the only true basis for national policy... The German Fuhrer, as I have already proven more than once, was an evolutionist. He consciously sought to adapt the country's policies to evolutionary theory."[3].

In Germany, Darwinism was preached by the popular Monist League, founded by the atheist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919)[4]. But if Darwin was convinced that humanity was developing in a single stream (monogenesis), then Haeckel believed that from the original “proto-man” (Urmensch) several races arose that compete with each other (polygenesis). Under Haeckel's influence, many German scientists and intellectuals abandoned religion and adopted a materialistic, racist, chauvinistic and imperialist worldview. Geologist Kenneth Hsu writes:

“Hitler's views on history, politics, religion, Christianity, nature, eugenics, science, art and evolution... largely coincide with Haeckel's views... In Darwin's biological theory, Hitler finds his most powerful weapon against traditional values.”[5].

Evidence for these claims can be found in Adolf Hitler's notorious book Mein Kampf (1925-1926). It especially emphasizes the concepts of “struggle for existence” and “survival of the fittest” inherent in Darwin’s theory. The Führer's theories concerning the German people and German foreign policy are based not on economics, as in Marxism, but on a biological interpretation of history, a romantic idealization of the peasant and his “right to till the land with his own hands,” and on Nazi fantasies about races and states. These ideas contain the principles of separation of races, the prohibition of marriage with people of the “inferior race,” the ideas of the superiority of the Aryan race and especially the German people over all others, and hatred of Jews. Hitler read a lot and took ideas not only from Darwin, Haeckel and Le Bon, but also from others, such as his favorite composer Richard Wagner.

In Mein Kampf, biological theory is presented in the chapter on peoples and races. Hitler extends the theory of natural selection to natural laws in general and concludes that humanity is also subject to the principles of natural selection. This logic leads him to morally absurd conclusions. Hitler argues that caring for the weak is contrary to the laws of nature:

“The seed of the new generation will inevitably grow and will be so much more deplorable as long as this mockery of nature and its will continues. And in the end, such a people will cease to exist on this earth... A strong race will supplant the weak... Humanity acquired greatness in an eternal struggle and can only be destroyed by eternal peace.”[6].

The Führer emphasizes the biological fact that living beings unite only within the boundaries of their own species, and rare exceptions usually produce sterile offspring. This, in his opinion, is an argument against mixed marriages between representatives of different races. Here his evolutionist interpretation of human history is also manifested:

“Nature is disgusted by marriages between the strong and the weak, but even more disgusted by the mixing of a higher and lower race, although this with one blow can destroy her work to create a higher race, which has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years... Trying to rebel against the iron logic of nature, man fights against the laws on which his existence rests.”[7].

Hitler openly denies the biblical account of creation and the supernatural nature of the soul. He believes that people are purely material beings:

“This planet has revolved in the ether for millions of years without human beings, and this may happen again if people forget that they owe their highest existence not to the ideas of a group of crazy ideologues, but to the knowledge and ruthless application of the inexorable laws of nature.”[8].

“Man has only one sacred right, namely, to preserve the purity of blood, and by preserving the best that is in humanity, to create the possibility of ennobling man. Therefore, the people's state must begin by elevating marriage above the level of constant desecration of the race and giving it the status of a sacred institution designed to reproduce the image of God, and not the monsters caught in the middle between man and ape... The people's state must place race at the center of life... It must watch for the birth of only healthy children... The state must guard the thousand-year future, before which all selfish desires of the individual must be considered insignificant and suppressed. The most modern means of medicine must be put at the service of this. The state must stop the reproduction of all those who have obvious or hereditary diseases and this prohibition must be implemented in practice.”[9].

Hitler's goal is to “put an end forever to the poisoning of the race due to constant and continuous original sin and to give the almighty Creator such people as He Himself created.”[10].

Mein Kampf became one of the most widely read books in Germany. It was given to all newlyweds and sent free to front-line soldiers. In 1944 alone, 11 million copies were sold. The theory of evolution and racism was accepted and approved by many German scientists and all Nazi leaders, including Himmler and Dr. Mengele, the “angel of death” at Auschwitz.

Not only in Mein Kampf, but also in his speeches, Hitler calls for the improvement of human hereditary qualities through the violent intervention of a totalitarian state. Before the Nazi rally in 1929, he states: “The greatest danger is that we ourselves interrupt the process of natural selection by caring for the sick and weak... The most far-sighted racist state in history, Sparta, systematically applied racist laws.”[11].

Hitler's perverted Darwinian ideas were reflected in German legislation during his reign (1933-1945). The Nazi regime forcibly sterilized hundreds of thousands of people considered “inferior” (Untermenschen). Tens of thousands of physically and mentally ill people were killed. About 17 million Jews, Poles, Russians, gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Freemasons, communists and trade unionists were killed. Even military invalids from the First World War were killed, although Hitler himself was proud of his “exploits” at the front. At the same time, “positive” eugenics and the birth of “Aryan” children were encouraged by all means. Abortion was outlawed. Unmarried women did not have the right to refuse pregnancy and had to give birth to healthy children; otherwise they were subject to destruction.

A number of scientists consider the Holocaust not only the worst genocide in human history, but also an attempt to destroy the ethical code that opposes the mass destruction of innocent people[12]. This code is Christian ethics, which proclaims love and not hatred as the supreme principle; equality, not division and opposition; self-sacrifice rather than sacrificing others. “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).


[1] Bowden, M. The Rise of the Evolution Fraud. Bromley, 1982, p. 81.

[2] Morris, H. The Long War Against God. Grand Rapids, 1989, p. 76.

[3] Keith, A. Evolution and Ethics. New York, 1947, p. 28, 230.

[4] Di Gregorio, M. A. From Here to Eternity: Ernst Haeckel and Scientific Faith. Goettingen, 2005.

[5] Hsu, K. J. Sedimentary Petrology and Biologic Evolution. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 56, 1986, Sept., p. 730.

[6] Hitler, A. Mein Kampf. London, 1969, p. 122, 124.

[7] ibid., p. 260.

[8] ibid., p. 262.

[9] ibid., p. 365-367.

[10] ibid., p. 369.

[11] Цит. из: Heinsohn, G. What Makes the Holocaust a Uniquely Unique Genocide. Journal of Genocide Research, 2, 2000, №3, р. 416.

[12] ibid., p. 426.

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