How do the documents in the Perry reading from Sources of the Western Tradition relate to Nazi World War II goals and the perpetration of military violence against other militaries and civilians?

Perry references Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Kurt G.W. Ludecke's "The Demagogic Orator" to explain the Nazis' goal of Aryan racial domination and why it was appealing to listeners. He also includes Thomas Mann's "An Appeal to Reason" to show that the Nazis' goals were based on pseudo-intellectual reasoning and barbaric behavior.

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In Sources of Western Tradition Volume II, Marvin Perry includes selections from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Kurt G.W. Ludecke’s “The Demagogic Orator,” and Thomas Mann’s “An Appeal to Reason” to exemplify the goals and thinking behind Nazi military violence.

Perry’s selection from Hitler’s Mein Kampf features Hitler’s writings on racial hierarchies. Hitler argues that the mixing of what he calls “inferior races” with “the higher race” goes against nature and threatens the progress and future of the higher race. He tells readers that modern nations must focus on cultivating the best racial elements to avoid destructive “racial poisoning.” According to Hitler, the higher race was the Aryan race and all people of color were inferior. Perry explains how Hitler’s argument fueled years of racial discrimination and anti-semitism. This goal of Aryan racial domination was what motivated Nazi’s military violence.

Kurt G.W. Ludecke’s “The Demagogic Orator,” explains what made Hitler able to convince so many people of the arguments he made in Mein Kampf. Ludecke himself supported the Nazi ideology, and he explains how Hitler’s speeches motivated him to attack Nazi enemies. The way that Ludecke portrays Hitler captivating the crowd helps contemporary readers understand why many people fought for the Nazi cause. Hitler provided listeners with a unifying goal, a future to fight for, and a community to be a part of. Germany had faced years of destruction and economic depression after World War I, so seeing a confident man like Hitler propose how to propel Germany to dominance was appealing to many people.

Finally, Perry also includes Thomas Mann’s “An Appeal to Reason.” Mann was an author who wrote this text two years before Hitler came to power. Mann warns that the current economic problems in Europe are leading to the rise of a barbaric form of fascism. He calls movements like Hitler’s “pseudo-intellectual” and he is fearful of what they mean for the future of humanity. Mann's explanation shows contemporary readers how the Nazi's power was growing and why it was so concerning.

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