The Nazi Connection

The Nazi Connection : Eugenics, American Racism and German National Socialism

3.62 (32 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This study demonstrates the full extent of eugenic/racist connections between Nazi Germany and the United States. Drawing on original research, the author shows that German and American eugenic/racist theories were mutually influential, from Hitler acknowledging a debt to the US Immigration Restriction Act for its exclusion of "undesirables" to the collaboration between scientists of both nations throughout the 1930s. It also reveals the links between Nazi and American views on racial purity. Exposing the key part Americans played in the furtherance of international racism, the study draws the uncomfortable conclusion that while other nations may not have planned the mass killings ordered by the Nazis, the responsibility for them extends beyond Germany.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 184 pages
  • 162.56 x 243.84 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195082605
  • 9780195082609

About Stefan Kühl

About the Author: Stefan Kuhl is a sociological researcher in Bielefeld, Germany."show more

Review Text

Narrowly focused yet chillingly effective indictment of the American scientists and social theorists who inspired and applauded Nazi racist ideology. Eugenics - part science, part twisted Social Darwinism, according to German sociologist Kuhl - was first defined in 1883 by Francis Galton as the "science of improving the stock" - a science that went on to give academic respectability to the earliest expressions of Nazi racism. Insisting that many of the assumptions underlying Nazi thought were "by no means limited to German scientists," the author skillfully dismantles postwar attempts to marginalize the activities of the worldwide eugenics establishment, particularly in the US. With European ties frayed post-WW I, America became the main scientific reference point for German theorists seeking international legitimacy: it unfortunately proved an influential model, not only intellectually but politically. A 1907 Indiana law permitting the sterilization of the mentally handicapped long predated Germany's 1933 Law on Preventing Hereditarily Ill Progeny, and the 1924 American Immigration Restriction Act was later praised by the future Fuhrer in Mein Kampf. Meanwhile, US sponsors - including the Rockefeller Foundation and Jewish philanthropist James Loeb - helped fund major eugenics institutes in Germany. In turn, many of these sought greater recognition by offering honorary degrees to leading US eugenicists - two of whom, Leon Whitney and Madison Grant, are glimpsed here proudly comparing appreciative letters from Hitler. A brief reference to a resurgence of scientific racism in today's academia acids an especially pertinent cautionary note. More a monograph than a fully realized history but, still, a well-documented revisionist rebuke to those who would isolate Nazism as a unique phenomenon. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

32 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 22% (7)
4 31% (10)
3 34% (11)
2 12% (4)
1 0% (0)
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