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The philosophical traditions of racism in Europe the economic catastrophes of the late 1920s and 1930s and the social attitudes following the end of World War I all led to the rise of the Nazi regime Beginning in the 1880s Social Darwinism--the belief that certain races are better inclined to rule--became a commonly accepted doctrine supporting imperialism by Europeans Two champions of this belief Houston Chamberlain and Gobineau espoused the idea that the Aryan and northern European races were better fit to rule also called the theory of Nordic Supremacy Also in the 1880s Freidrich Nietzsche and other philosophers began to argue against the power of the rational human mind The only hope for salvation of the human race from their loss of creativity was for a few superior individuals supermen to free themselves from the masses and in the process advance the human race Although his ideas were dismissed at the time the experience of World War I would bring his ideas to life Following the end of World War I the Age of Anxiety began to establish itself The world witnessed some of the most horrific fighting and mass death during World War I Its end left many philosophers and writers with an acrid taste for humanity The glorified view of human reason and rational thought that had prevailed previously was now replaced with a view of humans as irrational animal-like beings The belief that certain races were less savage than others led to the increase in racist and anti-semitic writings during this era Coinciding with this change in philosophical thought was the economic crisis resulting from World War I Germany and many other European countries had been left in shambles Since Germany had lost the war it was required by the Treaty of Versailles to pay reparations to the allies especially France As a condition
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