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Eugenics and the Horrors of Genocide in Nazi Germany

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During the time between the 1870s and the 1930s, a relationship had developed between American eugenics experts and German scientists with the same goals. In the 1930s, however, the relationship became strained. The racism that developed in Nazi Germany involving those of an ethnic Jewish background became an issue of contention and the American scientists were not interested in the idea that being Jewish meant being inferior (Kuhl 98). One of the clear signs that the racism was infecting the society of Germany is that of the Nuremberg laws which stated that those with Jewish heritage in their background would not be allowed to have citizenship.

Decrees began to emerge that were further and further limiting the rights of those with ethnic Jewish ancestry, creating a prejudicial climate that began to define the nature of the beliefs as being centered on the heritage that broke the code of acceptable genetics which was growing in the nation (Kujl 99). The Americans were not limited to eugenic beliefs that were focused only on race based on skin color, but the anti-Semitism in the United States did not extend to the extent it was being practiced in Germany.

German propaganda suggested, however, that the United States was taking a similar stand on the position of Jewish people within their society (Kuhl 99). Although this was not strictly true, Hitler had been in close correspondence with scientists in the United States who were interested in the study of eugenics. Hitler used devices in order to create support in Germany for the beliefs that he was confusing with science. One of these devices was to give honorary degrees to German universities to scientists whose work supported some of his ideas (Kuhl). The idea of eugenics and the laws that were passed in Germany were framed by the German government as a science, proving that they had a superior knowledge of biology and the nature of genetics as they were applied to the species and sub-species of the human race.

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preview essay on Eugenics and the Horrors of Genocide in Nazi Germany
  • Pages: 6 (1500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Ph.D.
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