January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Schizophrenia
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‘The science of racial fitness though correct breeding and a healthy environment.’

Why is it relevant?

Eugenics isn’t a CAUSE of the Holocaust as such. But it is an UNDERLYING FACTOR.

Where did it come from? Charles Darwin (sort of)

How did that happen?

Darwin is famous for two theories. What are they?



EUGENICS Francis Galton (Darwin’s cousin) sought to apply Darwin’s theories to humans. He called it ‘eugenics.’


The ‘science’ of eugenics became very popular in the early 1900s with governments, individuals and institutions funding it, researching it, and applying it.

Why popular at this time? •

Pre and post World War I: there was much concern over the quality of the ‘human stock’ in regard to war.

Increasing immigration to certain countries was causing concern.

Social issues like alcoholism, prostitution, and poverty were perceived to be on the rise and threatening those contributing in a positive way to society.


1912 Eugenic Conference in London

1921 1932 Eugenics Conferences in New York

1926 Eugenics Movement magazine published in Japan. Race Eugenic Protection Law 1940.

Eugenics and Race •

Superior and inferior races were identified as part of eugenic science.

1903 Encyclopaedia Britannica pointed out the differences between Europeans and negroes in terms of intelligence and brain capacity.

Winston Churchill, “Why be apologetic about AngloSaxon superiority. We are superior.”


Australia: separation of mixed-race Aboriginal children from their Aboriginal families.

USA: bans on marriage, sexual relations of the ‘eugenically unfit.’ Forced sterilisations carried out.

Canada: Eugenic laws kept in place until 1972

New Zealand

Truby King (founder of Plunket) was the most well known advocate of Eugenics.

He wanted to promote the health of mothers and infants.

His guidelines for babies were rigid and strict but did help reduce infant mortality.

Historian Brownwyn Labrum, “somewhere in him was a watered-down streak of Hitler.”

Truby King, “The destiny of the arce is in the hands of its mothers.”


Eugenics was popular in Germany as in many other countries. It was appropriated in to Nazi ideology and racial theory.

Certain groups were considered biologically unfit: racial groups like Jews and Gypsies and those considered hereditarily ill.

Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring

Passed in July 1933.

Included: ‘congenital feeblemindedness,’ schizophrenia, manic depression, hereditary epilepsy, Huntington’s Chorea, hereditary blindness/deafness, physical deformities, chronic alcoholism.

The law facilitated compulsory sterilisation: 350 000 people were sterilised and 100 died of the operation.

This changed into euthanasia. A father wrote Hitler a letter requesting that his deformed son be put to sleep. Hitler initiated Action T4 to euthanise disabled children. It was later extended to adults and by 1944 200 000 people deemed mentally or physically disabled had been killed.

Staff and techniques from T4 were later used in the Holocaust.

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