1 Origins and history 2 Francis Galton 3 In Germany 4 See also 5 References
Origins and history German social Darwinists felt the need for intervention in what they believed was the degeneration of humans. This desire for intervention was based on their belief that provision of health care to the lower social ranks and the rapid multiplication of the poor and weak members of society contributed to the corruption of the human race. However, this discussion was not restricted to Germany. British Social Darwinist voiced his opinions on the race problem by saying that diseases such as scrofula and tuberculosis were "our racial friends" because they rid society of the weak of constitution.
Herero chained by the Germans during the 1904 rebellion in South-west Africa
There have been several examples of unethical medical experimentation that has been performed on various groups in Africa, which acted as a precursor to the holocaust. An example of this medical experimentation on African prisoners of war was in concentration camps in Namibia during the Herero and Namaqua Genocide. German South West Africa was a German colony. Sterilization experiments were conducted on Herero women who were the offspring of mixed race to gather evidence to ban interracial marriages. Though they have been less covered in scholarly data, eugenics movements in Central and Southeast Europe have received significant analytical effort in recent times. Géza von Hoffman (1885–1921) was a Hungarian eugenicist who wrote Eugenics in the Central Empires Since 1914, which was a comprehensive analysis of all the eugenic movements in central Europe at the time. American eugenicist Samuel J. Holmes wrote a similar A Bibliography of Eugenics that also covered central European movements along with German, French and British movements. Francis Galton Francis Galton was a polymath and statistician who coined the term 'eugenics', which is the basis of racial medicine. He defined eugenics as "the study of the Agencies under social control, that improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally". His father initially forced him to pursue a path of medicine, which he later gave up. Galton was one of the founders of the eugenics movement and a strong proponent of the concept of 'nature vs nurture'. One of his most lasting contributions to the study of heredity is his theory that race defines a person far more than the person's environment. In Germany See also: Nazi eugenics
The German eugenicist Alfred Ploetz introduced the term Rassenhygiene in his "Racial hygiene basics" (Grundlinien einer Rassenhygiene) in 1895. He discussed the importance of avoiding "counterselective forces" such as war, inbreeding, free healthcare for the poor, alcohol and venereal disease. In its earliest incarnation it was concerned more with the declining birthrate of the German state and the increasing number of mentally ill and disabled people in state-run institutions (and their costs to the state) than with the "Jewish question" and "degeneration of the Nordic race" (Entnordung) which would come to dominate its philosophy in Germany from the 1920s through the second World War.
Eva Justin checking the facial characteristics of a Romani woman as part of her "racial studies"
In Nazi propaganda the term "race" was often interchangeably used to describe and mean the "Aryan" or Germanic "Übermenschen" which was said to represent an ideal and pure master race that was biologically superior to all other races. In the 1930s, under eugenicist Ernst Rüdin, National Socialist ideology embraced this latter use of "racial hygiene", which demanded Aryan racial purity and condemned miscegenation. This belief in the importance of German racial purity often served as the theoretical backbone of Nazi policies of racial superiority and later genocide. These policies began in 1935, when the National Socialists enacted the Nuremberg Laws, which legislated racial purity by forbidding sexual relations and marriages between Aryans and non-Aryans as Rassenschande (racial shame). Racial hygienists played key roles in the Holocaust, the German National Socialist effort to purge Europe of Jews, Romani people, Poles, Serbs (along with majority of other Slavs), black people, multiracial people, the physically disabled, and the mentally retarded. In the Aktion T4 program, Hitler ordered the execution of mentally ill patients under the cover of euthanasia and deaths from strokes and illnesses. The methods and equipment that had been used in the murder of thousands of mentally ill were then transferred to concentration camps because the materials and resources needed to efficiently kill incredibly large numbers of people existed and had been proven successful. The nurses and staff that had assisted and performed the killings were then moved along with the gas chambers to the concentration camps that were being built in order to be able to replicate the mass murders over and over.  The doctors who executed horrific experiments on the prisoners in concentration camps specialized in racial hygiene and used this supposed science to back their medical experiments. Some of the experiments were used for general medical research, for example injecting prisoners with known diseases in order to test vaccines or possible cures. Other experiments were used to further the German’s in war strategy, putting prisoners in vacuum chambers to see what could happen to pilot’s bodies if they are ejected at a high altitude or immerse human prisoners in ice water to see how long they would survive and what materials could be used to prolong life to be able to make effective coats or suits for German pilots who get shot down in the English Channel.  The precursors of this notion were earlier performing medical experiments on African prisoners of war in concentration camps in Namibia during the Herero and Namaqua Genocide. A key part of National Socialism was the concept of racial hygiene and during their rule the field was elevated to the primary philosophy of the German medical community, first by activist physicians within the medical profession, particularly amongst psychiatrists. This was later codified and institutionalized during and after the Nazis' rise to power in 1933, during the process of Gleichschaltung (literally, "coordination" or "unification") which streamlined the medical and mental hygiene (mental health) profession into a rigid hierarchy with National Socialist-sanctioned leadership at the top. The blueprint for Nazism's attitude toward other races was written by Erwin Baur, Fritz Lenz, and Eugen Fischer and published under the title Human Heredity Theory and Racial Hygiene (1936). See also
Aktion T4 Endogamy Ethnic cleansing Eugenics in Japan Eugenics in the United States Euthanasia Genetic pollution, a controversial term because of its similar connotations Mental hygiene Miscegenation (in humans), Outcrossing (in non-human organisms) Pure blood theory in Korea Purebred Race (human classification) Race of the future – a theoretical composite world race which will result from ongoing racial admixture Racial policy of Nazi Germany Rassenschande White supremacy
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