The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism Paperback – 1 Jan 1994
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A narrow but important study of the institutional, ideological and personal connections between the eugenic programmes of the two nations, The Nazi Connection is the most detailed book available on this disturbing chapter in American-German relations. (Journal of American Studies)
... a sobering and thoroughly documented history of the links between the Nazi eugenic programme and American eugenic science and legislation. (Journal of American Studies)
About the Author
About the Author:Stefan Kühl is a Fellow of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Munich, Germany.
Top customer reviews
Kuhl traces the origins of the relationship to conferences in the early twentieth century and from this beginning, German eugenicists admired the achievements of their American counterparts with both subscribing to the notions that the handicapped should be sterilised and that eugenics could be used to improve the so-called 'White race'. Thus, when the Nazis came to power, their policies in these fields represented a continuation as opposed to a break with previous practice. Only later in the 1930's did some American eugenicists break with the Nazis over their antisemitism. The Nazis pointed out, quite correctly as it happened, that this was hypocrisy given the treatment of blacks in the USA. Afterall, US racists had complained that now the Germans were "beating them at their own game".
Kuhl also shows that eugenicism, and German eugenicists, were aided in their rehabilitation after WWII by American colleagues.
In many ways this book is too narrowly focused and could be a lot broader. Sometimes just a snippet of information is given, such as Hitler's admiration for US immigration laws without a clear explanation of the the content and purpose of such a law, and the reader is left pondering exactly what exactly Hitler found attractive. Also, Lothrop Stoddard is mentioned several times but the fact that the Nazi concept of the 'untermensch' owes much to Stoddard is never raised by Kuhl.
Still, the book is very valuable as it adds to evidence that Nazi Germany was not aberrant to Western civilisation but a clear part of it.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
First of all, it is important to remember that German science was rescued from the post-WWI catastrophe by American philanthropists, but most importantly, its eugenics movement was kept afloat by prominent American and British scientists while the rest of Germany sank into the depths of The Depression.
Most historians prior to Stefan Kuhl either missed the connection, or intentionally omitted it from their telling of history. Unfortunately, there are undeniable connections between Hitler's eugenic laws and American research institutions, as well as the legislatures and supreme courts of over 30 States and the United States Supreme Court. The founding members of various birth control institutions, as well as many leading universities and philanthropies, have an ugly history many would like to simply forget. I would go as far as to state that you simply cannot gain a workable understanding of the eugenics movement if you do not understand the contents of this book.
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