revised 12.02.2010
and 17.10.2012

It was assumed at Nuremberg that every word has only meaning and can only be used in one sense, and has, therefore, only one translation. The "translation" is then treated as if it were engraved in stone, by God, on Mt. Sinai, and is introduced into evidence as "proof" of more accusations!
This is like judging a beauty contest, choosing a girl, and then using your own choice as "proof" that the girl you chose is the most beautiful.

For example, I do not believe that "Master Race" is a correct translation of "Herrenvolk".
To start with, "Volk" is not the same as "Rasse", and "Herr" is not necessarily "Master".
For example, the Jews will admit to being a "Volk", but never a "Rasse".
What do you think would happen if you translated the Gettysburg Address into German using "Rasse" instead of "Volk"?

Herrenvolk is not "Eroberervolk" (a people or nation of conquerors). It is not "Versklavervolk" (a people, nation or tribe of enslavers). It is not "Ausbeutervolk" (a nation of exploiters). It is not "Sklavenherrenvolk" (a nation of slave masters).
It is just... well... Herrenvolk.

(At any rate, "slave master" in German is not "Herr" anyway, it is "Sklavenhälter".
The word "Sklavenherr" does exist, but it is so rare that it is almost impossible to find on the Internet.
The only place I have ever seen it is in a translation from Cicero.)

It is worth noting in this regard that Germany is the only country in Europe which never had anything to do with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and in actual fact has been involved in fewer wars than any other country in Europe.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DYNAMICS, by Pyotr Sorokin; A STUDY OF WAR, by Quincy Wright)

To me, the most obvious meaning of "Herrenvolk" is a nation of people possessing "Volksherrschaft", or popular government (and, presumably, a "Volkswirtschaft", a somewhat nationalist or socialist economy).

The term "Herrenvolk" implies that the "Volk", i.e., the working class, are placed on a level of equality or are identified with the "Herren", i.e., the middle classes, the bourgeoisie; a society in which Volk = Herren.

This was the essential concept of National Socialism: a unification of the Socialist and Nationalist movements: that manual workers and intellectual workers -- "die Arbeiter der Stirne und die Arbeiter der Faust" -- would realize that they needed each other, and treat each other with respect.

"Herr" simply means a gentleman. Naturally, a gentleman may be "master" of something, but this begs the question: "Master of What"? Germany in the 1920s and 30s was not 18th century England or France; it was not Renaissance Italy or the ante-bellum South. A "gentleman" in Germany was not a useless member of a landed aristocracy, losing fortunes at dice and cards, fighting duels with sword and pistol; a German "gentleman" was usually someone who had passed certain state exams and had a claim on prestige by virtue of his education. He usually had very little money, and almost no real power. He may have been "Master" (Herr) in a Master-Servant relationship (Herr-Dienerverhältnis) with a cook or housekeeper, but he was not really a person of any real power. Instead, he had a claim to respect.

"Herr" is a term of respect. To address or describe someone as "Herr" is a compliment.

Generally speaking, there are 5 meanings of the word "Herr".

1) Man, 2) Gentleman, 3) Master (not in the sense of "dancing master or master cabinet-maker", that is "Meister") 4) Lord, 5) God ("Herr im Himmel").

There are 4 main meanings of the word "Volk": a) nation, b) people, c) race [usually in a more or less figurative sense, i.e., the English race, Irish race, etc.], d) tribe.

So, if Herr = Volk, you have 20 possible combinations, count them, where literal translations are concerned.

"Master Race" is combination 3c.
So, if you really want a literal translation, why not combination 1a, "A Nation of Men", or 1b, "A Nation of Gentlemen?"

What is a gentleman? Well, first of all, gentleman is a man, with everything that implies: courage, strength, self-reliance, reliability, acceptance of responsibility. To be a "gentleman" implies, in addition, a certain sense of chivalry, of honour, of self-respect. Thus, to me, a "Nation of Men/Gentlemen" is a nation possessing self-respect, and demanding respect from others. A Nation of Gentlemen is a nation which causes itself to be respected.

In Italy, "un uomo che si fa rispettare" is somebody to be careful of. The same is true of nations.

The National Socialists talked a great deal about "fremde Herrschaft" (foreign rule) and "Zinsknechtschaft" (interest rate bondage). A "Knechtvolk" is a subservient people, a nation of serfs.
A "Herrenvolk" would be just the opposite.

The American equivalent to this concept is expressed by the rattlesnake flag: "Don't Tread on Me".

A gentleman may be "master" of very little in a material sense, but one thing is for certain: he is master of himself. He is independent. He possesses "Selbstbeherrschung" -- self-control. He is "Herr der Lage", master of the situation. He is "Herr im Haus", master in his own house.

To be "master in your own house" means that you will not be kicked around by foreigners.

In the 1943-45 film Kolberg, the most expensive National Socialist film ever made, the mayor of a small town during the Napoleonic wars receives a letter from Napoleon asking him to surrender. Napoleon doesn't consider it worthwhile sending an army after them, so they are conquered by mail order! The mayor, Joachim von Nettelbeck, played by the great German actor Heinreich George, says, "Knecht sein im eigenen Haus, wo man Herr sein könnte" -- "to be a servant in your own house, where you could be the master".

Thus, to me, a "Herrenvolk" is a "people" (Volk) who are "Master" (Herr) in their own house.

Equivalents in other languages

No one would bomb Spain back into the Stone Age if some Spanish patriot described Spain as a "Pueblo de Señores" (the usual translation into Spanish of "Master Race").

If you told people in Spain that you thought that the Spanish were a "pueblo de señores", they would be immensely pleased. If they ask what you mean, just say that Spain is country in which ordinary people possess a quality known as "Señorío", dignity, stateliness, seriousness. They will probably compliment you on your profound depth of psychological observation and detailed knowledge of Spanish.

"País de hombres, con cojones y con honor..." --
it's the same thing: a "Herrenvolk".
Another perfectly correct (and highly plausible) translation of "Herrenvolk" into Spanish would be "Pueblo de Caballeros".
"Herren" on a door means exactly the same thing in German as "Señores" or "Caballeros" in Spanish: it means "Men" or "Gentlemen" (usually, men's toilet).
A certain degree of "Ritterlichkeit"or chivalry is inherent in the concept of "Herr"; a "caballero" is a gentleman or knight.
A "knight errant" in Spanish is a "caballero errante": Don Quijote!
What could be more Spanish than that?

No one would bomb Spain back into the Stone Age if the Spanish insisted on referring to themselves as a "Pueblo de Caballeros".
They could do so for centuries and no one would care.
Why should "Herrenvolk" be any different?
Obviously, "Herrenvolk" is "Herrenvolk", and not "Rittervolk", a "Nation of Knights"; that would be an exaggeration. Yet "Ritterlichkeit" or chivalry is inherent in the concept of "Herr".
If it were the intention of the speaker to refer to the citizens of his own country as a "People United in the Selfless Service of Some Great Ideal" -- like the Teutonic Knights of the Middle Ages -- use of some similar word in this sense would be quite plausible in any language.

"Pays de Chevaliers" for the French, "Nation of Cavaliers" for the English; a bit antiquated, a bit 16th-17th century, perhaps, but quite plausible; why not?
Yet all these terms are roughly equivalent, in a certain sense, to the German term "Herrenvolk" -- which was, in any case, although a bit more modern, an extremely rare word.


The Americans and British as "Herrenvölker"

When the Americans talk about "We the People", etc., what do they mean? They mean that the people, "das Volk", are the ultimate source of power in the state; that the people rule, "das Volk herrscht". The Americans are a "Herrenvolk" (or think they are).

Americans brag that they are citizens of "God's Own Country"; they are "Gottesheimatsstaatsbürger"; they are a "Herrenvolk" -- a nation of gods (or think they are). Why not?

They interfere everywhere; they tell everybody else what to do; they invent all sorts of new rules of "international morality" which they never follow themselves; and they kill on a huge scale. If that isn't "God-like", then what is?

In the 1960s, the American blacks made a huge issue out of insisting upon being called "Mister". Not just "boy", not first name, but Mister, with last name."They call me Mister Tibbs!", etc. The American blacks are a people or race (Volk) of "Misters" (Herren). They are a "Herrenvolk".

How about the British? "Hail, Britannia, Britannia Rules the Waves"; the British are the masters of the seas, "Herren der Meere"; they are a "Meeresherrenvolk".
The "Sun Never Sets on the British Empire"; the British are a nation of colonial "lords and masters"; they are a "Kolonialherrenvolk", indeed, a "Weltherrenvolk".
The British are a nation of great generals; they are a "Feldherrenvolk".
The English in Africa were addressed as "Bwana" by the natives; they are a "Bwana people"; "Bwana" = "Herr"; they are a "Herrenvolk".

When cartoonist R. Crumb draws an American black saying to a white man, "Yo' fo'fathahs wuz bad-asses, but you be weak!", what is this but a translation of "Ihre Väter waren ein Herrenvolk, aber Ihr seid ein Knechtvolk"?

When Crumb says "Now the black man shall rule supreme in this nation", what is this but a translation of "Jetzt ist der Neger das Herrenvolk"?

When R. Crumb says "the white man has lost his fighting spirit", what is this but a translation of "Der weisse Mann hat seinen Herrenstandpunkt verloren?"


"Herrenvolk" is obviously an adaptation of the term "Aryan", which means "of noble birth". In European languages, the words for "race" often refer, traditionally, to family, breeding, pride of family, etc. For example, Francisco Franco of Spain made a film, under an assumed name, called "Raza", which was essentially an attack on Freemasonry; it contains nothing about "race" in the modern, American, sociological-biological, "racist" sense. In French, "une fille de bonne race" means, not a "girl of good race", but rather, a "girl with good breeding, from a good family" (or perhaps "strong and muscular", if she's a peasant -- like a horse), etc.

There is also an etymological relationship between "Herr" and Aryan". Thus, if "Herr" means "Aryan", and both mean "of noble birth", then it is a tautology even to say that the "Aryans" were a "Herrenvolk". But neither means "Master Race".

Racial Theorists -- the Jews

Racial writers like Gobineau do not claim to belong to a "Chosen People" possessing the "right" to "exterminate", "enslave", and "exploit" the world; if you want to find that, you need look no further than your bedside Old Testament or present-day Palestine.

[Note: Gobineau never used the term "race des seigneurs", although the term has been attributed to him. See note.]

Racial theorists simply point out the obvious fact that the different races differ in their ability to create civilizations, and in the value of the civilizations they create. This should be obvious. It is absurd to argue, for example, that we mustn't "prefer" our own people, our own race, our own culture, the basis of patriotism; that we mustn't believe that we are "better than others", because if we do, we are "immoral"; and that we must therefore allow our civilization, race and country to be destroyed by foreigners! One might as well say, if you prefer the Parthenon to a McDonald's, you are "immoral" (and insulted with some opprobrious neologism; in this case, probably "Parthenonists"?). Of course, the only way to prove you are not "immoral", is to allow the Parthenon to be destroyed so that some Jew can put up a McDonald's in its place!

This is the logic of the Jews at all times and under all circumstances: heads they win, tails you lose. Either you surrender everything that is rightfully yours -- your civilization, your culture, your race -- or you incur their "moral condemnation". But so what?

The conscious and deliberate promotion of a double standard, at all times and under all circumstances, is the secret weapon of the Jews.

If the Jews think we are "immoral" for "preferring" our own people while they exterminate, starve, exploit and destroy the Gazans and Palestinians, well, what do we care?

All these accusations are the mirror image of what the Jews are allowed to get away with all the time. If the Jews can be "God's Chosen People" for 3,000 years, why can't the Germans be a "Herrenvolk" if they want to?
Every nationality has its quirks. What's it to us? What do we care?

The Jews are the only people that ever invented a religion to justify all their crimes. The Bible contains 137 descriptions of racial and racial genocide, committed on God's orders. You can count them. The only problem in counting them is deciding when one description stops and the next one begins, since they are virtually continuous. It appears highly likely that the total number of people the Jews brag of having killed in the Bible would outnumber the population of the Middle East at that time.

Who are the Jews (or anyone else) to lecture the world about the use, by the Germans, of a single word, 8 or 9 times, 65 years later?

Hitler -- Nuremberg Trial Evidence

Hitler uses the term "Herrenvolk" in Mein Kampf a grand total of 3 times, in the sense of "dominant race"; as far as I can tell, he does not identify the term with Germany. Goebbels, in a speech which he never made and which nobody can find, is said to have used the term once, essentially paraphrasing the Kaiser, that Germany was a nation "seeking its place in the sun" in a struggle for colonies and world trade; Erich Koch, Reichskommissar for the Ukraine, used the term twice, in one speech, saying essentially, "look, we're at war, we occupied the place, we're in charge around here, and these people have to do what we say".

It was, of course, very naughty of Koch to say that the lowliest German worker was worth 1000 times as much "biologically" as the local people, but this is the way everybody thinks and feels, whether we admit it or not.

Let's face it. What do you really care about? When you drop a piano on your toe, or when ten million people are crushed to death in an earthquake in Turkey or China someplace?

What do you really care about? When your best friend or father or son or brother is killed in Viet Nam, or when a million Vietnamese are roasted to death with napalm, poisoned with Agent Orange, mutilated or killed by unexploded ordinance, abandoned land mines, etc. etc.? Same with Irak.

Let's not be so hypocritical.

You don't feel this way because you are "immoral", you feel this way because it is normal
(unless you want to be traumatized for life every time you read a newspaper).

In fact, Claassen, a German official listening to Koch, was appalled, and protested to Bräutigam, who protested to Hitler. Koch had a very bad reputation for making anti-Slavic statements at a time when the German Wehrmacht was recruiting hundreds of thousands of volunteers a year from the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, to fight Bolshevism.

What happened then? Was Koch reprimanded? Nobdy knows. The document is a copy of a copy several times over, with extensive deletions; Bräutigam and Koch both survived the war by 20 or 25 years. In all that time, nobody ever asked "Hey, what happened about that speech in the Ukraine?" "Hey, did you really say this? And if so, what did you mean by it?" There should have been a whole file on the incident. What happened to it?

At Nuremberg, the "Master Race" accusation was made over and over again, without any serious effort to prove it by reference to documentary sources. It was considered self-evidently obvious, as absolutely axiomatic, that all racial doctrines (with the natural exception of Judaism) preach the "Master Race"; National Socialism was a racial doctrine; ergo, National Socialism preached the "Master Race".

Essentially, the whole "Master Race" accusation is based on Mein Kampf. So if you've read Mein Kampf, you know all there is to know about the "Master Race". If you can find it, that great plan to conquer and torture and torment the world, well, your eyesight must be better than mine, because, well, I just don't see it.

As usual, these accusations are usually truest of the people making them, for example, the Soviets, the British, the Zionists and the Americans. Une atrocité peut en cacher une autre.

What I do see is the historical context which caused Hitler to write these things. We do but teach bloody inventions which, being taught, return to plague the inventor. If Hitler believed in the primacy of force in 1924 -- that "Peace and plenty breed cowards" - (Shakespeare); that "War is the father of all things" - (Heraclitus); that "There is No Substitute for Victory" - (Douglas McArthur); or that se vis pacem para bellum -- ideas that are as old as the world -- then this was the lesson taught to him by the democracies, at Versailles and elsewhere.

Most of the relevant passages are purely theoretical, relating to the remote past or far distant future. At no time does he identify the ancient, Aryan, dominant race, as German. He mentions the Germanic element in America, by which he obviously includes people of British stock. And so on.

It should be noted that his actual career was far different from what one would have expected from reading Mein Kampf. From an advocate of brute force, he became a master of diplomacy.

Hitler is the most exciting speaker I have ever heard, but I have never been able to read much of his stuff, especially in English. I've got 40 hours of NS speeches, mostly Hitler, in MP3 files in German, and they are not what you would expect.
The speeches discuss political and economic events and trends in Germany and abroad, mostly from about 1917 until 1945 -- Wilson's 14 Points, Versailles, reparations, disarmament proposals, rearmament, German social legislation and ideals, France, Britain and the British Empire, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, Marxism, the gold standard, unemployment, the Corridor, all the various negotiations attempts, military campaigns, the Boer War, the Opium War, the Röhm Putsch, the von Stauffenberg assassination attempt, etc. etc.
Some of these speeches I've been listening to for 30 years.
The best Internet collection of Hitler speeches I know of in written translation may be found at:

It is simply untrue to imagine that the National Socialists spent all their time talking about exterminating the inferior races and building a "Master Race".
There is no mention of any of this "Master Race" bilge, no matter what you call it in German.)


For source material:
Note: Hitler never uses the word "Herrenrasse", only "Herrenvolk", 3 times. I have placed the word "Herr" in italics.
Document 1130-PS (speech by Erich Koch)
Letter 39.htm ON THE "MASTER RACE"
See also www.cwporter.com/rauschningnotex.htm
The Myth of the Illegality of Concentration Camps by C. W. Porter
War Crimes Trials by C. W. Porter (WITH ANSWER TO YALE EDEIKEN)
Part-Jewish Pro-Lifer Demands a Retraction and an Apology
THE SURVIVORS by William Jaspers (from www.thenewamerican.com) (excerpts; with comments)  
In Praise of Stalin by C.W. Porter (satire)
In Praise of Christianity by C.W.Porter (satire)
National Socialism and Race by James Gregor
Requiem for Rhodesia
Stone Age Immigrants Bring Cannibalism to Britain
Stone Age Immigrants Bring Muti Murders to Ireland
Is Race Really Just "Skin Deep"?
If the Germans gassed millions of Jews, did they also ...