Adolf Hitler on Subjects and Citizens in the National Socialist State

FROM MEIN KAMPF, CHAPTER THREE OF VOLUME TWO, pages 135-141 of the Thomas Dalton dual-translation. (See here for series introduction.)

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TODAY [1925] THE RIGHT OF CITIZENSHIP is acquired primarily by being born within the borders of a State. Race or nationality plays no role whatsoever. A Negro who once lived in one of the German protectorates and now takes up residence in Germany, has a child that automatically becomes a 'German citizen' in the eyes of the world. Similarly, the child of any Jew, Pole, African, or Asian may automatically become a German citizen.

Apart from birthright citizenship, there is the possibility of later naturalization. […]

Racial matters play no part at all.

3.1 Citizens-Subjects-Foreigners

The whole process of acquiring citizenship isn't that different from being admitted into an automobile club, for instance. […]

In this way, every year, those organizations that we call States take in poisonous material that they can hardly ever overcome.

The citizen is only distinguished from the foreigner by the fact that he's open to all public offices, that he may eventually have to do military service, and that, in return, he's permitted to take a passive or active part in elections. Regarding personal rights and personal freedom, the foreigner enjoys the same amount of protection as the citizen, and frequently even more; anyway, that's how it happens in our present German [Weimar] Republic.

[…]

At present there is one state that's making at least some modest attempts at a better conception—the American union that attempts to at least partly conform to reason. By refusing immigration of those with bad health, and by excluding certain races from naturalization, the American union has begun to introduce principles that are particular to the folkish State.

The folkish State divides its inhabitants into three classes: citizens, subjects, and foreigners. [Being a] subject carries no right to fill any office … or take part in elections. … A subject is always free to cease being a subject. … The only difference between a foreigner and a subject is that the former is a citizen of another country.

3.2 The Citizen as Master of the Reich

The bestowal of a diploma of citizenship must coincide with a solemn oath of loyalty to the national community and the State. … This high honor also has its obligations. Those without personal honor or character, or common criminals, or traitors to the Fatherland, can be deprived of this right at any time … become once again merely a subject.

The German girl is a subject, and becomes a citizen only when she marries.* But those female German subjects who earn an independent livelihood can also become citizens.

[*I'm not sure if this actually became the law during 1933-45, since I can't find any mention of it. The fact that AH added that German females could become citizens without being married does take away from it's significance, and by the time 1935 rolled around, he may have dropped the whole subject. -cy]

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Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf