Nazis firmly (and erroneously) believed that the Earth was populated by several races – a superior “Aryan race” (which had a number of sub-races such as “Nordic race”) and a number of “inferior races” (e.g. Jews).
“Superior” and “inferior” in terms of their abilities for achievements in science, technology, culture, art and thus in developing a human civilization. In other words, “superior” Aryan race was capable of creating a superior human civilization while the “inferior races” were capable of creating only an inferior human civilization.
There was a major problem with this belief – there was no historic evidence that supported it. In fact, just about every race and many nations (including the much-hated by the Nazis Jewish nation) turned out to be capable of creating advanced human civilizations. And there was no correlation whatsoever between how “Aryan” the nation or race was and its civilizational achievements.
Another erroneous racial belief of the Nazis was that human races were fighting an existential racial war for the Lebensraum – the “living space”. In other words, for control over the limited resources of food supplies and other natural resources. The war which will inevitable result in the “survival of the fittest” (Social Darwinism applied to nations and races).
Again, there was no scientific historical evidence to support this claim. True, imperialism and colonialism were the natural features of just about any empire (in other words, every empire wanted to expand and conquer new territories).
However, these empires were usually multinational and every expansion was the endeavor not of an abstract nation (let alone race), but a very specific individual (Genghis-khan, Alexander the Great, Joseph Stalin, etc.) or a ruling elite of the state (not the nation) in question.
And all these expansion projects were driven by greed or pride (hunger for power) of individuals in question not by some mythical “racial drive”. Or – as it was the case with the Muslim empire, for example – by the desire to spread a certain religion (e.g. Islam) onto the largest possible territory.
Furthermore, there was always a problem of management of the conquered and occupied territories. Sooner or later the empire reached the “critical mass” of acquired lands and either stopped further expansion (because the “critical mass” simply became unmanageable) or quickly fell apart and thus cease to exist (for exactly the same reason).
Because of this inevitable stage at any territorial expansion, the human civilization was comprised of a number of empires and a lot of independent nations that did not belong to any empire.
The only empire that developed the tools to overcome this problem and thus to have the capability of actually conquering the whole world was the Soviet Empire led by the “Red Emperor” Joseph Stalin that I covered in one of the first chapters of this book.
Nazis (erroneously) believed that this “racial war” was fundamentally existential. In other words, that “the winner takes it all” and the loser (i.e. the race/nation that had lost the war) would be enslaved by the victors or annihilated altogether.
In reality, it seldom (if ever) happened this way. For a very prosaic reason – any attempt to enslave (let alone exterminate) the conquered nation would inevitably result in resistance so severe that the amount of resources required to crush this resistance will make this imperialist colonial war not worth it.
In reality, the conquest of other nations typically resulted in some form of a mutually beneficial partnership where victors (e.g. Roman, Spanish, British or French empires) provided often a significant amount of value (education, infrastructure, etc.) to the conquered nations.
And even when the victors (e.g. Christian or Muslim nations) forced or otherwise convinced the population of conquered territories (usually pagans) to convert to their religion, it also provided substantial spiritual and functional benefits to the nation in question. Therefore, in many ways the imperialist and colonialist expansion of an empire was a “win-win situation” for both the conquerors and the conquered.
Consequently, there were (and there could never have been) an “existential race war”. Yes, Germany was forced to fight an existential war with the Bolshevist Soviet Union but that war had nothing to do with race.
It was a cultural war, a religious war (Bolshevism was an ersatz religion, too), a civilizational war (the Soviet Union also was a unique civilization) but it was by no means a racial war.