Racial Science in Hitler's New Europe, 1938-1945

Racial Science in Hitler's New Europe, 1938-1945

Racial Science in Hitler's New Europe, 1938-1945

Racial Science in Hitler's New Europe, 1938-1945

Synopsis

In Racial Science in Hitler's New Europe, 1938–1945, international scholars examine the theories of race that informed the legal, political, and social policies aimed against ethnic minorities in Nazi-dominated Europe. The essays explicate how racial science, preexisting racist sentiments, and pseudoscientific theories of race that were preeminent in interwar Europe ultimately facilitated Nazi racial designs for a "New Europe."

The volume examines racial theories in a number of European nation-states in order to understand racial thinking at large, the origins of the Holocaust, and the history of ethnic discrimination in each of those countries. The essays, by uncovering neglected layers of complexity, diversity, and nuance, demonstrate how local discourse on race paralleled Nazi racial theory but had unique nationalist intellectual traditions of racial thought.

nbsp;Written by rising scholars who are new to English-language audiences, this work examines the scientific foundations that central, eastern, northern, and southern European countries laid for ethnic discrimination, the attempted annihilation of Jews, and the elimination of other so-called inferior peoples.

Excerpt

it is now thirty years since the publication of Bernt Hagtvet, Jan Petter Myklebust, and Stein Ugelvik Larsen’s Who Were the Fascists ? As stated in their introduction, one of the objectives of the book was the creation of an international network of scholars interested in the social history of fascism. Much has changed during the past three decades, both in scholarship and in the wider world. The dominant scholarly discourse under which many of the East European contributors to the book operated—Marxist historiography—has vanished along with the Communist countries to which they once belonged. Simultaneously social history has been superseded by cultural history as the dominant tool for the study of totalitarian regimes. Nonetheless, the history of Nazi Germany and specifically the HolocausThis one field of research that has demonstrated continuous scholarly interest in modernization.

Zygmunt Bauman was one of the first scholars to argue that the Holocaust— and by extension the racial theories that underpinned it—was “genocide with a purpose.” Eradicating populations, he contended, was not an end in itself but a grand vision of a better and different kind of society. For Bauman, “modern genocide is an element of social engineering, meant to bring about a social order . . .

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