Hitler and Goebbels—and Carolyn Marvin:
Blood Sacrifice Preserves the Nation
Hitler, a theorist of nationalism, stated that the capacity for civilization arises out of the individual’s willingness to renounce personal interest and to “sacrifice in favor of the large group.” To be an Aryan meant to “sacrifice the life of the individual, always and forever, at all times and places.”

Well before Carolyn Marvin (1999), Hitler was thoroughly convinced that “blood sacrifice preserves the nation.” His primary project as Nazi leader was to wage war—in order to generates blood sacrifice and therefore to preserve Germany. Hitler theorized that in the absence of blood sacrifice, Germany would cease to exist.

Goebbels, similarly, theorized that only a willingness to sacrifice “transforms a collection of individuals into a people, and in higher sense, a nation.” The duty of the individual extended to “sacrificing his life for the life of his nation.”

By dying at the front the soldier “fulfilled his duty.” Goebbels asserted (on June 5, 1943), “The laws of war are harsh. Millions of German soldiers have to be ready to die on the battlefield.”

Carolyn Marvin states that “society depends on the death of its own members at the hands of the group.” Hitler and Goebbels put forth an identical theory. They waged war with the purpose of sacrificing the lives of Germans—in order preserve Germany.