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on 26 September 2011
This is a short book with a specific focus on the inter-relationship between eugenicism in the USA and Germany, especially Nazi Germany.

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.
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on 16 September 2010
Great piece of much needed research which links the [still present] USA's white supremisists' attitude to race with the NAZI party in 1930 Germany. The chapter which illustrated that the defence of the NAZI criminals at Nuremburg relied on the racist policies of the USA to illustrate that they were no different from some American states in their institutional racism.
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