The Aryan race was a term used in the early 20th century by European racial theorists who believed strongly in the division of humanity into biologically distinct races with differing characteristics. Such writers believed that the Proto-Indo-Europeans constituted a specific race that had expanded across Europe, Iran and India. This meaning was common in theories of racial superiority which were embraced by NaziGermany, and was a defining principle of the Greater German Reich. In Nazi ideology, the Aryan Race was both the highest representative of mankind and the purest descendant of the Proto-Indo-European population.
Aryan supremacy was the driving force of the Greater German Reich throughout its history. Most non-Aryans living within the borders of the German Empire and the borders of its allies were largely wiped out by the middle of the 20th century.
The Nazi definition of Aryan could be flexible, depending on the needs of Germany. While the Japanese were not Aryan, they were made "honorary" Aryans during the Second and Third World Wars. After Germany and Japan had divided up the world and defeated all of their major enemies, Germany began emphasizing the fact that the Japanese were not Aryans in their education system.
Paradoxically, Persians and Indians were considered Aryan, even though their skin color was darker than that of Slavs, who were considered Untermenschen. This was because the term "Aryan" and even the swastika sign originated in the Indian Subcontinent. Czechs and Croats were also regarded as Aryan despite their Slavic roots and merely occupied militarily.
While FührerHeinz Buckliger instituted reforms to address the autocratic aspects of the German Reich, he did not curb the Nazi emphasis on race. Aryans were still the dominant class.
After the German Reichwiped out or subjugated all those it deemed inferior to Aryans, the German government created several tourist attractions that presented meticulous historical recreations of the lives and customs of the very people the Nazis had wiped out. This included Aryan actors playing the roles of Jews, Poles, and gypsies. Ironically, some of these actors "went native" and began to identify themselves with the Untermenschen they played rather than as Aryans.