Adolf Hitler’s Armed Forces: A Triumph for Diversity?
By Veronica K. Clark
Triumph of diversity: This is precisely what characterized the German Armed Forces of World War II by the year 1945. While this may be difficult for many historians to accept, it is nevertheless an accurate summation of what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Even though the Germans initiated their war with a racist doctrine in mind, one that sought to create a “New Order” for Europe, with Germany at the center and German elites at the top of the European political and racial hierarchy (a German version of the so-called “White man’s burden,” so to speak), the Germans nevertheless had to scrap this racial doctrine for one that promoted internationalism and tolerated multicultural and interethnic cooperation and intimate relations. Many Nazis were deeply affected by the non-Germans with whom they fought and worked. For example, Fritz Freitag ended up throwing National Socialist doctrine to the wind, and instead focused on building a Ukrainian liberation army.