Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stephen Fritz

Committee Members

Daniel Newcomer, John Rankin


The Nazi violence did not have its origins only in the brutality of the First World War or radical nationalist ideologies, but also in European colonialism. Hence, the goal of this thesis is to demonstrate that colonial processes were fundamental to the origins of the Holocaust. To prove this, I applied the content analysis to detect colonial discourse (stereotype, ambivalence, and mimicry) in three legislations from different contexts, which prohibited sexual relations and marriages between races. The documents analyzed exemplified the segregationist thinking of each period of colonization. Portuguese laws from the beginning of modernity demonstrate the transition from religious to racist thought. Analyzing German Southwest Africa, there is the application of racist pseudoscience, and finally, in Nazism, a mixture of both, but also an evolution of colonial discourse. At the end, I proved the existence of colonial discourse in the Nuremberg Laws, demonstrating how earlier colonialisms influenced the Holocaust.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.