HANS FRIEDRICH KARL GüNTHER (February 16, 1891 – September 25, 1968) was a German race researcher and eugenicist in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich . He was also known as Race Günther (Rassengünther) or Race Pope (Rassenpapst). He is considered to have been a major influence on Nazi racialist thought. He taught at the universities of Jena , Berlin , and Freiburg , writing numerous books and essays on racial theory. Günther's Short Ethnology of the German People (1929) was a popular exposition of Nordicism . In May 1930 he was appointed to a new chair of racial theory at Jena. He joined the Nazi Party in 1932 as the only leading racial theorist to join the party before it assumed power in 1933.
* 1 Life and career
* 2 Racial theories
* 3 Influence on
* 5 References
* 5.1 Bibliography
* 6 Further reading * 7 External links
LIFE AND CAREER
Pages 34-5 of Short Ethnology of the German People. On the left
page (right of two) there is an image of
Josef Stalin as
representative of the
Armenoid race while on the right page (bottom
two of four) there are two images of
Günther was the son of a musician. He studied comparative
linguistics at Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, but also
attended lectures on zoology and geography . In 1911, he spent a
semester at the
In 1919, after the end of the war, he started his writing career. He
wrote a polemical work entitled "The Knight, death and the devil: the
heroic idea", a reworking of the tradition of German Pagan-Nationalist
Romanticism into a form of "biological nationalism". Heinrich Himmler
was very impressed by this book. In 1922 Günther studied at the
University of Vienna
He received several honors during the
Third Reich , notably in 1935
he was declared "pride of the NSDAP" for his scientific work. In the
same year he received the Rudolph Virchow plaque, and in 1940 the
World War II
Günther's theories arose from the Nordicist ideology prevalent at the time. Eugen Fischer , the professor of anthropology in Freiburg, was an influential proponent of these ideas and had lectured at Albert Ludwigs University when Günther studied there.
He wrote that a race could be identified in the following manner.
A race shows itself in a human group which is marked off from every other human group through its own proper combination of bodily and mental characteristics, and in turn produces only its like
This definition of "race" was used in
Günther in his writings was quick to mark out the distinction
between "race" and "
Volk ". He acknowledged that
Günther described in a chapter of one of his works "Racial
Characteristics of the Jewish People" that
Günther divided the European population into six races, the Nordic , Phalic, Eastern, Western, Dinaric and East Baltic . "Western" and "Eastern" were, in practice, alternatives for the more widely used terms "Mediterranean " and "Alpine ". The "Phalic" race was a minor category dropped in many of his writings.
Günther in his book Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes (Racial Science of the German People) categorized Germans as belonging to the Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine and East Baltic races. In the book, he argued for Germans to avoid race mixing .
Opposed to the Nordics were the Jews, who were "a thing of ferment and disturbance, a wedge driven by Asia into the European structure." Günther argued that the Nordic peoples should unite to secure their dominance.
Although Günther seemed to admire Mediterraneans and Dinarics, as well as the highly praised Nordics, the East Baltic race was considered inferior in nearly every instance Günther mentioned it in his book, The Racial Elements of European History.
Günther believed Slavic people to be of "Eastern race" separate from Germany and Nordics and warned about mixing "German blood" with Slavic one.
Among Günther's disciples was
Bruno Beger who, after an expedition
INFLUENCE ON HITLER
Timothy Ryback , who examined the books retrieved from Adolf Hitler
's private collection, notes that
* ^ Steinweis 2008 , p. 26. * ^ Donna F. Ryan, John S. Schuchman. 2002. Deaf People in Hitler's Europe. Gallaudet University Press p. 19 * ^ Gunther, Hans F. K., The Racial Elements of European History, translated by G. C. Wheeler, Methuen & Co. LTD, London, 1927, p. 3 * ^ "You and Your People (Volk)" . 1940. * ^ A B Steinweis 2008 , p. 29. * ^ A B C Steinweis 2008 , p. 28. * ^ A B Steinweis 2008 , p. 33. * ^ Steinweis 2008 , p. 32. * ^ Yeomans & Wendt 2013 , p. 38. * ^ Anne Maxwell, Picture Imperfect: Photography and Eugenics, 1870-1940, p. 153 * ^ Wulf D. Hund, Racisms Made in Germany, (2011), p. 19 * ^ Timothy Ryback, Hitler's Private Library: The Books that Shaped His Life (New York: Knopf, 2008), 110. * ^ Timothy Ryback, Hitler's Private Library: The Books that Shaped His Life (New York: Knopf, 2008), 69. Ryback does not cite a source for this list, which may have been a book list distributed by Alfred Rosenberg's Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur. See Jan-Pieter Barbian, Literaturpolitik im Dritten Reich: Institutionen, Kompetenzen, Betätigungsfelder(Nördlingen, revised edition 1995), p. 56ff.
* Steinweis, Alan E (2008). Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674027612 . * Yeomans, Rory; Wendt, Anton Weiss (2013). Racial Science in Hitler's New Europe, 1938-1945. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-4605-6 .
* Spiro, Jonathan P. (2009). Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant. Univ. of Vermont Press. ISBN 978-1-58465-715-6 . Lay summary (29 September 2010).
* Works by or