Source: SS Leitheft. Year 10, Issue 7, 1944
Already many weeks before the birth of a son or little daughter, the parents occupy themselves with the question what name they should call their child. In the past, the task of name selection was usually solved by the expectant mother holding a Christian calendar and selecting a few boy’s and girl’s names whose sound appealed to her. She would take care that these names were used in the area or among the relatives, and so perhaps a list like this might emerge: Fritz, Hans, Klaus, Karl-Heinz, Peter for a boy and Ursel, Gisela, Annemarie, Bärbel or Gerda for a girl. Then she discussed this with the father. He might also look at a calendar and add his list to that of the wife, and then they agreed on two or four names, each according to whether the expected children were blond or dark or resembled this or that side of the family. The remaining names were not discarded, rather just postponed.
Yes, most of the parents meant well, but nonetheless did not think enough. Above all, they did not consider the name’s historical origin and its special meaning.
On the list of the mother, which we here discuss, there are indeed nothing but common names, but they have diverse origin and meaning. Fritz, as a short form of Friedrich, is an old German name and is formed from two Germanic vocal syllables: “frid” and “richi”. “frid is related to “froh” [happy] and “frei” [free]. “Fro” is the old word for free man, master. “Frowe” means the free woman, the mistress. “Friedrich” is one who is rich in peace of well-founded power. When our ancestors in the pre-Christian period could form such splendid names, we can directly deduce from that the high standard of their life-feeling, their life-order. So when the parents with full consciousness intended to give a son the name Friedrich, that is really a name-giving, a reference to essence, a designation of kind. Emst Wasserzieher writes in his booklet “Hans und Grete”: “The name Friedrich has been extremely popular since the Hohenstaufen period due to the saga-surrounded figures of Friedrich Barbarossa and Friedrich II, and more recently since Friedrich der Grosse [Frederick the Great], the ‘Old Fritz’.”
Usually, however, when the German name Fritz is conferred, as little thought is given to origin and meaning as for example with the name Hans and others. Very few people know that “Hans” is only a Germanized short form of the Hebraic “Johannes” [Joseph], Johannes means “Jehova is merciful”. All biblical names that start with “Je” and “Jo” like Jeremias, Joachim, Job, Jonas and Joseph contain in this syllable in shortened form both names of the Jewish god Jehova and Jahwe. What about Klaus? Klaus is the short form of Nikolaus; this name, as a Greek name, is also brought from afar. Karl- Heinz? Both Karl as well as Heinz are oldest German names. Karl designates a capable “Kerl” [fellow], a free man not of the knightly class, the free peasant on his hereditary farmstead. Heinrich comes from Hagenreich, the master of enclosed grounds.
Peter is a widespread Christian standard name; popular songs further spread it. Peter stems from Petrus, the rock, a Roman name that was added to the apostle Simon as the first pope.
At present the Hebrew name Michael pops up very frequently. Many an upright citizen believes he names his son after an incredibly powerful arch-angel, and gives him a very timely name. But like all parents who today still give their children foreign names, they do not do well; for their children grow in a period of the final return to their own kind and will later ask their parents the painful question: How could you, in 1944, eleven years after the National Socialist revolution, still give us Jewish names?
To the five girl’s names on our mother’s list ,this is to be said: Ursula is Latin and means “little bear”. The name has become popular due to its pleasant sound. Bärbel, a pet name version of Barbara, is of Greek origin and means “the strange one” (“the barbarian”). Annemarie is in both parts Jewish.
Given the great number of beautiful, native names, we no longer have to put our poverty on display by calling the girls of our folk by these and similar names and their hundred-fold pet name versions like Micke, Mia, Maja, Ria, Mimi, Miezel, Anke, Änne, Antje, Annchen etc. The same goes for the widespread oriental names Margarete and its short forms from Marga to Grete.
Our name-selecting mother has chosen six foreign, mostly Jewish, names out of ten and only four native ones.
After this critical examination of a careless name selection, that is still common, we want to set these maxims for a native, racially-conscious name selection:
First, first and nick names are affirmation of one’s own racial and folkish kind, are wish and task for coming generations. Knowledge of character values and consciousness of clan, of folk and of God are expressed in them.
Second, we have the task to give our children native names and to finally end the tradition of foreign names that still exists here and there.
Third, each first name has a distinct racial origin and meaning. We distinguish primarily between: North Germanic first names (Harald, Sigurd, Astrid, Thora), German ones (Albert, Heinrich, Gertrud, Irmgard), Roman ones (Anton-ius, Martin- us, Paul-us, Pet(e)er-us; Agnes, Klara), Greek ones (Georg, Eugen; Lydia, Monika) and Jewish ones (Jakob, Joachim, Johann, Joseph, Matthias, Michael, Thomas; Anna, Elisabeth, Eva, Edith, Gabriele, Magdalena, Martha, Maria, Susanne).
Fourth, the name should be taken from the treasure of names of the parent’s homeland. In Frisia different names are common than in Bavaria. The name must correspond to the kind. Thus it is obvious to us to first inquire about the significance of the name, before we give it to our child. (A special publication, “Native First Names”, has been published by the SS-Main Office. Information can also be provided by the NSDAP local branches and local teachers.)
Fifth, the first name should fit with the last name and together with it form as much as possible an organic whole. But since many family names are poor in meaning, this cannot always be achieved. The meaning should not be subordinated to the sound.
Sixth, the custom to again give children the native names of their ancestors (grandparents and great-grandparents) is natural. The name is an obligation to the child to be a young monument to the ancestor. If father and son have the same name, confusion is possible. The son will, however, proudly bears the name of his fallen father. If names of side relatives are selected, this expresses the wish for clan ties. While family names and clan names designate and mark the closest blood kinship and close community, first names give us the opportunity to observe and mark the becoming, the development of the blood legacy. This is the most difficult aspect of bestowment of name. It preconditions an experienced view for hereditary signs as well as knowledge of one’s own clan and has as a result, that we must also again create new names, if the bestowment of name is not to conservatively remain behind the life development.
Seventh, instead of the short forms that have become common, in the future the full name should again be selected and, aside from so-called pet names in the family circle, also be used as much as possible.
Eighth, double-names (Karl Heinz, Ernst Dieter) are only meaningful if based on the clan designation or the connection to the name of the godfather. Such connections should again and again be brought to the attention of the children later on their birthdays.
The use of several first names is, due to the great frequency of certain family names like Bauer, Müller, Schmidt etc., desirable. The integration of several names into one (Karlheinz among others) is to be rejected.
In the age of the racial re-ordering of the folk and its clans, name selection is no longer an arbitrary act. The bestowment of name must contain an affirmation of our view that the individual is a link in his clan’s chain of generations and a branch on the life-tree of his folk. He name is both an admonishment in this direction and a band of the same blood. The bestowment of name poses a measuring stick for the continuous folk awakening, and when all Germans will again only have German names, then one can to a good extent also conclude from that that both mate selection as well as clan hygiene will again be taken seriously and respected as a holy duty.
The name should be expression of kind!