Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:02 am

Planned Parenthood’s Century of Brutality
by Kevin D. Williamson
National Review
June 19, 2017 8:00 AM

It is functioning today as its eugenics-obsessed founders intended.

Infanticide did not go out of fashion with the advance from savagery to barbarism and civilization. Rather, it became, as in Greece and Rome, a recognized custom with advocates among leaders of thought and action.

— Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race

Clarence C. Little was a cultivated man. He was a Harvard graduate who served as president of the University of Maine and the University of Michigan. He was one of the nation’s leading genetics researchers, with a particular interest in cancer. He was managing director of the American Society for the Control of Cancer, later known (in the interest of verbal economy) as the American Cancer Society; the president of the American Eugenics Society, later known (in the interest of not talking about eugenics) as the Society for Biodemography and Social Biology; and a founding board member of the American Birth Control League, today known (in the interest of euphemism) as Planned Parenthood. His record as a scientist is not exactly unblemished — he will long be remembered as the man who insisted that “there is no demonstrated causal relationship between smoking or [sic] any disease” — but he was the very picture of the socially conscious man of science, without whom the National Cancer Institute, among other important bodies, probably would not exist.

He was a humane man with horrifying opinions.

Little is one of the early figures in Planned Parenthood whose public pronouncements, along with those of its charismatic foundress, Margaret Sanger, often are pointed to as evidence of the organization’s racist origins. (Students at the University of Michigan are, at the time of this writing, petitioning to have his name stripped from a campus building.) Little believed that birth-control policy should be constructed in such a way as to protect “Yankee stock” — referred to in Sanger’s own work as “unmixed native white parentage,” if Little’s term is not clear enough — from being overwhelmed by what was at the time perceived as the dysgenic fecundity of African Americans, Catholic immigrants, and other undesirables. (“The feebleminded are notoriously prolific in reproduction,” Sanger reported in Woman and the New Race.) The question of racial differences was an obsession of Little’s that went well beyond his interest in eugenics and followed him to the end of his life; one of his later scientific works was “The Possible Relation of Genetics to Differences in Negro–White Mortality Rates from Cancer,” published in the 1960s.

The birth-control movement of the Progressive era is where crude racism met its genteel intellectual cousin: Birth Control Review, the in-house journal of Planned Parenthood’s predecessor organization, published a review, by the socialist intellectual Havelock Ellis, of Lothrop Stoddard’s The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy. Ellis was an important figure in Sanger’s intellectual development and wrote the introduction to her Woman and the New Race; Stoddard was a popular birth-control advocate whose intellectual contributions included lending to the Nazi racial theorists the term “untermensch” as well as developing a great deal of their theoretical framework: He fretted about “imperfectly Nordicized Alpines” and such. Like the other eugenics-minded progressives of his time, he saw birth control and immigration as inescapably linked issues.

Stoddard’s views were so ordinary a part of the mainstream of American intellectual discourse at the time that F. Scott Fitzgerald could refer to his work in The Great Gatsby without fearing that general readers would be mystified by the reference. What did Stoddard want? “We want above all things,” he wrote,

to preserve America. But “America,” as we have already seen, is not a mere geographical expression; it is a nation, whose foundations were laid over three hundred years ago by Anglo-Saxon Nordics, and whose nationhood is due almost exclusively to people of North European stock — not only the old colonists and their descendants but also many millions of North Europeans who have entered the country since colonial times and who have for the most part been thoroughly assimilated. Despite the recent influx of alien elements, therefore, the American people is still predominantly a blend of closely related North European strains, and the fabric of American life is fundamentally their creation.

Yesterday’s scientific progressives are today’s romantic reactionaries.

Sanger, who believed that the potential for high civilization resided within “the cell plasms” of individual humans, made statements that were substantially similar: “If we are to develop in America a new race with a racial soul, we must keep the birth rate within the scope of our ability to understand as well as to educate. We must not encourage reproduction beyond our capacity to assimilate our numbers so as to make the coming generation into such physically fit, mentally capable, socially alert individuals as are the ideal of a democracy.”

Such was the intellectual ferment out of which rose the American birth-control movement — or, rather, the American birth-control movements, of which there were really two. Sanger, working within the socialist–feminist alliance of her time, was a self-styled radical who published a short-lived journal called “The Woman Rebel,” the aim of which as described in its inaugural issue was “to stimulate working women to think for themselves and to build up a conscious fighting character.” To fight what? “Slavery through motherhood.” The Post Office refused to circulate the periodical, a fact that The Woman Rebel reported with glee: “The woman rebel feels proud the post office authorities did not approve of her. She shall blush with shame if ever she be approved of by officialism or ‘comstockism.’” But Sanger and her clique did not have a monopoly on the birth-control market. Her rival was Mary Ware Dennett, founder of — see if this name sounds familiar — the Voluntary Parenthood League (VPL).

Where Sanger was a radical, Dennett was a liberal, couching her advocacy in the familiar language of the American civil-libertarian tradition. She was an ally of the American Civil Liberties Union, which had defended her when she was charged with distributing birth-control literature classified (as most of it was at the time) as “obscene.” While Sanger’s organization was focused on setting up birth-control clinics (the first was in Brooklyn), Dennett’s group was focused on lobbying Congress for the legalization of contraception. Sanger’s group was characterized by a top-down management structure (the local affiliates had no say in American Birth Control League policymaking) and a cash-on-the-barrelhead approach to social reform: Its membership and coffers were swelled in no small part by the fact that the ABCL [American Birth Control League] would not provide birth-control literature to anyone who was not a dues-paying member.

As Linda Gordon put it in The Moral Property of Woman: A History of Birth-Control Politics:

Increasingly the ABCL organized its local affiliates as upper-class women’s clubs, even high-society charity groups. In 1926, league organizing in Philadelphia was focused mainly on women of the Main Line, a group of extremely wealthy suburbs. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mrs. C. C. Edmonds, of 1414 Wealthy St., S.E., was collecting “influential people” for a local group. New York meetings were held in the Bryn Mawr Club. These details pile up, drawing an unmistakable picture of an organization of privileged women.

In the contest between the ABCL and VPL, we see the familiar struggle that has long characterized the broader American Left: On one hand, there are liberals advocating a legislative reform project through ordinary democratic means; on the other hand are progressives, often led by radicals, who are engaged in a social-change project based on coopting institutions and the expertise and prestige associated with them. Gordon concludes: “It was Sanger’s courting of doctors and eugenists that moved the ABCL away from both the Left and liberalism, away from both socialist-feminist impulses and civil liberties arguments toward an integrated population ‘program for the whole society.’”

Which is to say, the word “planned” in “Planned Parenthood” can be understood to function as it does in the other great progressive dream of the time: “planned economy.”

Who plans for whom?

Sanger herself was generally careful to forswear compulsion in her eugenics program, but in reality the period was characterized by the widespread use of involuntary sterilization. Mandatory-sterilization bills were introduced unsuccessfully in Michigan and Pennsylvania at the end of the 19th century, but in 1907 Indiana became the first of many states to create eugenics-oriented sterilization programs, targeting such “unfit” populations as criminals and the mentally ill, along with African Americans (60 percent of the black mothers at one Mississippi hospital were involuntarily sterilized) and other minority groups. The Oregon state eugenics board was renamed but was not disbanded until the 1980s. About 65,000 people in the United States were involuntarily sterilized.

European programs went even further, with the Swiss experiment in involuntary sterilization drawing the attention of Havelock Ellis, who wrote up his views in “The Sterilization of the Unfit.” Ellis, too, objected to compulsory measures — up to a point. “There will be time to invoke compulsion and the law,” he wrote, “when sound knowledge has become universal, and when we are quite sure that those who refuse to act in accordance with sound knowledge refuse deliberately.” He did not have access to the modern progressive term “denialist,” but the argument is familiar: Once the science is settled, then the state is empowered to act on it through whatever coercive means are necessary to achieve the end. Two recent press releases from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, both from May, are headlined: “State Abortion Restrictions Flying in the Face of Science” and “Many Abortion Restrictions Have No Rigorous Scientific Basis.”

Progressives frequently talked about eugenics in zoological terms, but, in the main, eugenics was subordinated to the larger progressive economic agenda: the management of productive activity by enlightened experts.

Progressives holding views closer to those of the proto-Nazi Lothrop Stoddard frequently talked about eugenics in zoological terms, but, in the main, eugenics was subordinated to the larger progressive economic agenda: the management of productive activity by enlightened experts. The great economic terrors among progressives of the time were “overproduction” and “destructive competition,” both of which were thought to put downward pressure on wages, profits, and, subsequently, standards of living. Contraception was widely understood as a political solution to a supply-and-demand problem, with birth control understood as one element in a broad and unified program of economic control. Ellis sums up this view in his foreword to Sanger’s Woman and the New Race:

The modern Woman Movement, like the modern Labour Movement, may be said to have begun in the Eighteenth century. The Labour movement arose out of the Industrial Revolution with its resultant tendency to over-population, to unrestricted competition, to social misery and disorder. The Woman Movement appeared as an at first neglected by-product of the French Revolution with its impulses of general human expansion, of freedom and of equality. . . . Woman, by virtue of motherhood, is the regulator of the birthrate, the sacred disposer of human production. It is in the deliberate restraint and measurement of human production that the fundamental problems of the family, the nation, the whole brotherhood of mankind find their solution. The health and longevity of the individual, the economic welfare of the workers, the general level of culture of the community, the possibility of abolishing from the world the desolating scourge of war — all these like great human needs, depend, primarily and fundamentally, on the wise limitation of the human output.

Or, as Sanger insisted: “War, famine, poverty, and oppression of the workers will continue while woman makes life cheap.”

There is more to this history than exegesis of Progressive-era thinking. It is significant that Sanger’s birth-control movement, and not Dennett’s, came to dominate the field. The financially driven structure of local affiliates working in complete subordination to a tightly controlled national body of course survives in the modern iteration of Planned Parenthood, but, more important, so does the humans-as-widgets conception of sexuality and family life. The eugenic habit of mind very much endures, though it is less frequently spoken of plainly.

In his Buck v. Bell decision — confirming that involuntary-sterilization programs pass constitutional muster “for the protection and health of the state” — the great humanist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. declared: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Never having been overturned, Buck remains, in theory, the law of the land.
But that was long ago. And yet: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a reliable supporter of abortion rights, has described Roe v. Wade as being a decision about population control, “particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” Like Ellis and Sanger, Ginsburg worries that, without government intervention, birth control will be disproportionately practiced by the well-off and not by the members of those “populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” In an interview with Elle, Ginsburg said, “It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people.” That wasn’t 1927 — it was 2014. A co-counsel for the winning side of Roe v. Wade, Ron Weddington, advised President Bill Clinton that an expanded national birth-control policy incorporating ready access to pharmaceutical abortifacients promised immediate benefits: “You can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy, and poor segment of our country. It’s what we all know is true, but we only whisper it.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a reliable supporter of abortion rights, has described Roe v. Wade as being a decision about population control, ‘particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.’

But it is not true that we only whisper it. In Freakonomics, one of the most popular economics books of recent years, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner argued that abortion has measureable eugenic effects through reduction in crime rates. Of course that debate has an inescapable racial aspect: “Fertility declines for black women are three times greater than for whites (12 percent compared with 4 percent). Given that homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions,” Levitt and a different co-author had written in a paper that the book drew from. Whatever the merits of this argument, it is very much in line with the classical progressive case for birth control, which was developed as a national breed-improvement project rather than one of individual women’s choices. Linda Gordon notes: “A content analysis of the Birth Control Review showed that by the late 1920s only 4.9 percent of its articles in that decade had any concern with women’s self-determination.”

The American Birth Control League was founded by Margaret Sanger in 1921, working out of office space provided by the American Eugenics Society.
Sanger would depart seven years later as part of a factional dispute, with various elements of her organization eventually reunited in 1939 as the Birth Control Federation of America. But the words “birth control” at that time were considered public-relations poison, and so in 1942 the organization was renamed the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Sanger herself often wrote critically about abortion, which, especially early in her career, she classified alongside infanticide, offering contraception as the obvious rational alternative to such savagery. Her arguments will sound at least partly familiar to modern ears: “Do we want the millions of abortions performed annually to be multiplied? Do we want the precious, tender qualities of womanhood, so much needed for our racial development, to perish in these sordid, abnormal experiences?” But that line of thinking was not destined to endure, and by the 1950s Planned Parenthood was working for the liberalization of abortion laws. Sanger’s successor, obstetrician Alan Frank Guttmacher, also served as vice president of the American Eugenics Society and was a signer of the second “Humanist Manifesto,” which called for the worldwide recognition of the right to birth control and abortion and, harkening back to the 1920s progressives, the extension of “economic assistance, including birth control techniques, to the developing portions of the globe.” The repeated identification of birth control with national economic planning rather than women’s individual autonomy is worth noting.

Continuing Sanger’s strategy of courting elite opinion as a more effective form of lobbying, Planned Parenthood’s medical director, Mary Calderone, convened a conference of her fellow physicians in 1955 to begin pressing for the legalization of abortion for medical purposes. By 1969, the demand for therapeutic abortions had grown to a demand for the legalization of abortion in all circumstances, which remains Planned Parenthood’s position today and, thanks in no small part to its very effective litigation efforts, is the law of the land.

As in Sanger’s time, Planned Parenthood keeps an eye on the money and has a corporate gift for insinuation: It lobbied the Nixon administration successfully for an amendment to public-health laws, as a result of which the organization today pulls in more than half a billion dollars in federal-government funds alone, largely through Medicaid. In 1989, it founded an advocacy arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, that today encompasses a political-action committee and super PAC that ranks No. 23 out of 206 outside-spending groups followed by, putting a little over $12 million into almost exclusively Democratic pockets during the 2016 election cycle.

In Planned Parenthood’s hometown of New York City, a black woman is more likely to have an abortion than to give birth: 29,007 abortions to 24,108 births in 2013.

Is it working? Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy, might be gratified to note that, in Planned Parenthood’s hometown of New York City, a black woman is more likely to have an abortion than to give birth: 29,007 abortions to 24,108 births in 2013. African Americans represent about 12 percent of the population and about 36 percent of the abortions; Catholics, disproportionately Hispanic and immigrant, represent 24 percent. In total, one in five U.S. pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) ends in abortion, and most women who have abortions already have at least one child. The overwhelming majority of them (75 percent, as Guttmacher reckons it) are poor. The public record includes no data about the “feebleminded” or otherwise “unfit,” but the racial and income figures suggest that Planned Parenthood is today very much functioning as its Progressive-era founders intended.

If Planned Parenthood’s operating model remains familiar after 100 years, so does the rhetoric of the abortion movement. Sanger herself relayed the experience of the Scottish ethnologist John Ferguson McLennan: “When a traveller reproached the women of one of the South American Indian tribes for the practice of infanticide, McLennan says he was met by the retort, ‘Men have no business to meddle with women’s affairs.’”

— Kevin D. Williamson is National Review’s roving correspondent. This article first appeared in the June 12, 2017, print issue of National Review.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:55 am

A Plan for Peace
by Margaret Sanger
Birth Control Review
April 1932, pp. 107-108

Fact Check: Was Planned Parenthood Started To 'Control' The Black Population?
by Amita Kelly
August 14, 201512:59 PM ET...

On Fox News Wednesday, Carson was asked about Democrats' criticism that Republicans who want to defund Planned Parenthood are waging a "war on women." He responded:

"Maybe I am not objective when it comes to Planned Parenthood, but, you know, I know who Margaret Sanger is, and I know that she believed in eugenics, and that she was not particularly enamored with black people.

"And one of the reasons you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods is so that you can find a way to control that population. I think people should go back and read about Margaret Sanger who founded this place — a woman Hillary Clinton by the way says that she admires. Look and see what many people in Nazi Germany thought about her."

In response, Planned Parenthood said Carson was not only "wrong on the facts, he's flat-out insulting."...

Did Margaret Sanger believe in eugenics?

Yes, but not in the way Carson implied.

Eugenics was a discipline, championed by prominent scientists but now widely debunked, that promoted "good" breeding and aimed to prevent "poor" breeding. The idea was that the human race could be bettered through encouraging people with traits like intelligence, hard work, cleanliness (thought to be genetic) to reproduce. Eugenics was taken to its horrifying extreme during the Holocaust, through forced sterilizations and breeding experiments.

In the United States, eugenics intersected with the birth control movement in the 1920s, and Sanger reportedly spoke at eugenics conferences. She also talked about birth control being used to facilitate "the process of weeding out the unfit [and] of preventing the birth of defectives."

"I was merely thinking of the poor mothers of congested districts of the East Side who had so poignantly begged me for relief, in order that the children they had already brought into the world might have a chance to grow into strong and stalwart Americans . . . Birth Control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization."

-- Apostle of Birth Control Sees Cause Gaining Here; Hearing in Albany on Bill to Legalize Practice a Milestone in Long Fight of Margaret Sanger -- Even China Awakening to Need of Selective Methods, She Says, by New York Times, April, 1923

Historians seem to disagree on just how involved in the eugenics movement she was. Some contend her involvement was for political reasons — to win support for birth control.

In reading her papers, it is clear Sanger had bought into the movement. She once wrote that "consequences of breeding from stock lacking human vitality always will give us social problems and perpetuate institutions of charity and crime."

"That Sanger was enamored and supported some eugenicists' ideas is certainly true," said Susan Reverby, a health care historian and professor at Wellesley College. But, Reverby added, Sanger's main argument was not eugenics — it was that "Sanger thought people should have the children they wanted."

It was a radical idea for the time.

Sanger wrote about this mission herself in 1921: "The almost universal demand for practical education in Birth Control is one of the most hopeful signs that the masses themselves today possess the divine spark of regeneration."...

Her attitude toward African-Americans can certainly be viewed as paternalistic, but there is no evidence she subscribed to the more racist ideas of the time or that she coerced black women into using birth control.

While Sanger can be considered racist and classist to the extent that many people were during the twentieth century, it is erroneous to overextend that allegation and claim the activist was a proponent of race control.

-- The “Feeble-Minded” and the “Fit”: What Sanger Meant When She Talked about Dysgenics, by Taylor Sullivan,

In fact, for her time, as the Washington Post noted, "she would likely be considered to have advanced views on race relations."....

First, put into action President Wilson's fourteen points, upon which terms Germany and Austria surrendered to the Allies in 1918. Second, have Congress set up a special department for the study of population problems and appoint a Parliament of Population, the directors representing the various branches of science: this body to direct and control the population through birth rates and immigration, and to direct its distribution over the country according to national needs consistent with taste, fitness and interest of individuals.

The main objects of the Population Congress would be:

a) to raise the level and increase the general intelligence of population.

b) to increase the population slowly by keeping the birth rate at its present level of fifteen per thousand, decreasing the death rate below its present mark of 11 per thousand.

c) to keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.

d) to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

e) to insure the country against future burdens of maintenance for numerous offspring as may be born of feebleminded parents, by pensioning all persons with transmissible disease who voluntarily consent to sterilization.

f) to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization.

g) to apportion farm lands and homesteads for these segregated persons where they would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.

The first step would thus be to control the intake and output of morons, mental defectives, epileptics.

The second step would be to take an inventory of the secondary group such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection, and segregate them on farms and open spaces as long as necessary for the strengthening and development of moral conduct.

Having corralled this enormous part of our population and placed it on a basis of health instead of punishment, it is safe to say that fifteen or twenty millions of our population would then be organized into soldiers of defense--- defending the unborn against their own disabilities.

The third step would be to give special attention to the mothers' health, to see that women who are suffering from tuberculosis, heart or kidney disease, toxic goitre, gonorrhea, or any disease where the condition of pregnancy disturbs their health are placed under public health nurses to instruct them in practical, scientific methods of contraception in order to safeguard their lives---thus reducing maternal mortality.

The above steps may seem to place emphasis on a health program instead of on tariffs, moratoriums and debts, but I believe that national health is the first essential factor in any program for universal peace.

With the future citizen safeguarded from hereditary taints, with five million mental and moral degenerates segregated, with ten million women and ten million children receiving adequate care, we could then turn our attention to the basic needs for international peace.

There would then be a definite effort to make population increase slowly and at a specified rate, in order to accommodate and adjust increasing numbers to the best social and economic system.

In the meantime we should organize and join an International League of Low Birth Rate Nations to secure and maintain World Peace.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:00 am

The Birth Control Review
Accessed: 4/4/20

The Birth Control Review was a birth control advocacy publication published in the US in the early 20th century by the American Birth Control League (and late in its run, by its successor, the Birth Control Federation of America).

Publication History

The Birth Control Review was begun in 1917 by Margaret Sanger, who edited the Review until 1929. A new series began in 1933. No issue or contribution copyright renewals were found for this serial. It ceased publication in 1940.

Persistent Archives of Complete Issues

1917-1925: HathiTrust has volumes 1-9.
1917-1940: Life Dynamics has most issues of this serial linked from its "Archives of the American Holocaust" page.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:33 am

Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need
by Professor Dr. Ernst Rudin
Birth Control Review [Margaret Sanger / Planned Parenthood]
April, 1933

Ernst Rüdin: Hitler's Racial Hygiene Mastermind.
by Jay Joseph and Norbert A. Wetzel
Journal of the History of Biology
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 1-30.

Ernst Rüdin (1874-1952) was the founder of psychiatric genetics and was also a founder of the German racial hygiene movement. Throughout his long career he played a major role in promoting eugenic ideas and policies in Germany, including helping formulate the 1933 Nazi eugenic sterilization law and other governmental policies directed against the alleged carriers of genetic defects. In the 1940s Rüdin supported the killing of children and mental patients under a Nazi program euphemistically called "Euthanasia." The authors document these crimes and discuss their implications, and also present translations of two publications Rüdin co-authored in 1938 showing his strong support for Hitler and his policies. The authors also document what they see as revisionist historical accounts by leading psychiatric genetic authors. They outline three categories of contemporary psychiatric genetic accounts of Rüdin and his work: (A) those who write about German psychiatric genetics in the Nazi period, but either fail to mention Rüdin at all, or cast him in a favorable light; (B) those who acknowledge that Rüdin helped promote eugenic sterilization and/or may have worked with the Nazis, but generally paint a positive picture of Rüdin's research and fail to mention his participation in the "euthanasia" killing program; and (C) those who have written that Rüdin committed and supported unspeakable atrocities. The authors conclude by calling on the leaders of psychiatric genetics to produce a detailed and complete account of their field's history, including all of the documented crimes committed by Rüdin and his associates.

Excerpt from a pamphlet "Psychiatric Indication for Sterilization," Issued by the Committee for Legalizing Sterilization, Eugenics Society, London, originally published in Das Kommende Geschlecht, Germany, Band V, Heft 3

THE following essay is concerned only with sterilization as a voluntary practice, that is, when undertaken with the consent of the patient himself or his statutory guardians. The reasons warranting the operation (in medical parlance, indications) may be classified as therapeutic indications, which are concerned with the health of the individual, and eugenic indications, aimed at the protection of the race.

Probably our greatest eugenic anxiety is caused by the vast army of psychopaths, i.e., of patients so maladjusted by reason of their psychological and temperamental make-up that, though they cannot be called psychotic, nevertheless cause unhappiness both to themselves and their relations. Occupational inefficiency, distaste for life, suicidal tendencies, cruelty, sex perversions and grave criminal tendencies all come within this category and contribute in incalculable measure to human suffering. The inextricable tangle of environmental and hereditary factors exhibited by these types has so far prevented any attempt to work out a genetic prognosis for this group. I refrain from giving you any of the numerous family histories which we have collected in this series, as we still lack statistically valid prognosis.

As concerns mental defectives, there is, of course, no necessity for accessory methods of preventing procreation in those low grades which require permanent segregation. The public however is insufficiently aware of the results of allowing feeble-minded males the liberty to procreate. The danger to the community of the unsegregated feeble-minded woman is more evident. Most dangerous are the middle and high grades living at large who, despite the fact that their defect is not easily recognizable, should nevertheless be prevented from procreation. Here, of course, action should only be taken after careful personal examination and a survey of the family pedigree.

Here, we may interpolate some more general considerations. Quite apart from exigencies of heredity, sterilization might well be advocated in the case of psychotics, psychopaths and the feeble-minded, for, at best these persons make most unsuitable parents. Their families may too easily become foci of suffering in the present generation and, by reason of the traditionally low standards in which their children are brought up, in generations to come. I will not, however, enlarge on this point, on which I am not prepared to express an opinion. I need only mention that in regard to their genetics and fertility, these groups require further investigation before we can arrive at a more clear-cut and definite policy in regard to sterilization.

So far, we have been considering the voluntary sterilization of the individual patient, whether mentally diseased or mentally subnormal.

Consideration should now be given to the case of the individual who, though not himself a sufferer, may be a carrier or potential transmitter of mental disease. The figures given above show that the relatives of mental patients, while not themselves insane in the strict sense of the word, are frequently psychologically ill-endowed. If they have children there is an obvious likelihood of their children being abnormal. Every day we recognize more clearly that many of these cases, though superficially regarded as normal, show some minor deviation from normality by which the type may be recognized.
The chief task of scientific geneticists cooperating with clinicians in the near future is the discovery of these symptomatic deviations with the object of facilitating the detection of the carrier.

This still leaves a considerable group of persons who show no abnormality suggestive of their being carriers, but who, as relatives of insane patients, are, nevertheless, suspect in regard to the normality of their offspring. At the moment no clear-cut solution is available. In these cases, each would be judged on the prognosis of transmission for the particular disease and grade of relationship. We can only look to greatly extended research in the future, in the hope of eventually ascertaining their genetic constitution.

My experience has led me to the conclusion that systematic and careful propaganda should be undertaken where sterilization is advisable. Such propaganda should, of course, be gradual and should be directed in the first instance at the medical directors in institutions and schools, medical officers of health, and finally at private practitioners. The instruction of the individual patient is even more important than propaganda amongst the medical profession, and I cannot lay too much stress on the necessity for very close personal contact between the medical adviser and the patient and his nearest relatives. It is necessary to go into the details of each individual case with friendliness and patience. The medical man should explain the situation to those concerned and emphasize to them the harmlessness of sterilization as well as its great advantages for the race -- assurances which may be given with perfect sincerity. He can further stress the fact that this operation would lessen the burden on the individual. I conceive that the converse propaganda will be much more difficult, namely, the attempt to persuade the well-endowed to have a sufficiently large family. The standard of living which prevails in civilized communities today makes it a very considerable sacrifice for responsible people to undertake the upbringing of children.

There would appear to be no good reason to prohibit marriage to the sterilized party (provided a partner fully acquainted with the situation be found) as it is only procreation which should be avoided. Eugenists would deplore that a normal spouse should be prevented from procreation by mating with a sterilized patient, but it is a contingency unlikely to arise, as those familiar with such cases are well aware. In our experience, normal and subnormal rarely mate. This is, however, a point on which further research is being undertaken.

Individual objections to sterilization need really not be feared where careful explanations and advice are given. Consent would, however, be obtained more generally if the operation were offered free of cost to those in poor circumstances. In fact, it would be a very wise provision on the part of public authorities to offer facilities for this operation as freely as facilities for therapeutic operations are now offered. The policy would effect considerable economies in expenditure on health services. Certain legal safeguards will, of course, be necessary. Thus, it should be made obligatory to obtain the consent of the partner to a marriage so as to prevent disappointment in cases where children are desired.

Something should be said about the possibility of abuses. From this point of view, birth control is far more to be feared than sterilization. Indeed, I regard this fear of abuses as a bugbear. Where sterilization would become operative amongst the most degenerate group in the community, it could, in some degree, compensate for the widespread use of birth control in the well-endowed and middleclass groups.

There is absolutely no question of using compulsion. Whether in the far future something of the sort might be required cannot be predicted now. I do not foresee any such necessity, despite the suggestion of some people that anti-social qualities such as the carelessness or ill-will of some part of the community might call for such measures.

On biological grounds it is quite clear that many more defects and miseries are due to heredity than those of which the transmission has so far been clearly ascertained, and we should be well advised not to limit ourselves to advocating sterilization in the worst cases, which, after all, show a certain tendency to eliminate themselves. There is no need to sterilize cases which are already psychological wrecks and for most part destitute of any initiative. The public watch unmoved the falling birthrate amongst the well-endowed, which amounts to a veritable hecatomb and yet raises an outcry at the attempt to eliminate any single clear-cut cause of hereditary misery. We have ample evidence of the suffering entailed both for themselves and the community by the "social problem" group, the desirability of reducing which, to an enlightened public opinion, should amply justify sterilization.

And here I may refer to the frequent correlation of physical and psychological defects, both of which are transmissible, in the same stock. Sometimes neither of these alone would be regarded as a justification for preventing procreation, but the two combined clearly call for action.
On the other hand, cases arise where the hereditary taint coexists with some outstanding valuable character, and the two tendencies must be carefully balanced one against the other. In short, genetic prognosis will become more and more urgently necessary, and I repeat that birth control is wholly inadequate as a means of preventing procreation in the group where prevention is most necessary.

In my view we should act without delay. Not only is it our task to prevent the multiplication of bad stocks, it is also to preserve the well-endowed stocks and to increase the birth-rate of the sound average population.
The oft-encountered objection that genius or talent is frequently associated with insanity has no solid foundation. It is a purely fortuitous correlation. We are now investigating the question whether these cases do or do not lie within the general expectation of insanity. But even supposing that the above proposition could stand, we have to consider how the highest type of intellect can be preserved, without at the same time paying for it by mental abnormality.

Careful and authoritative pronouncements in regard to the laws of transmission are imperatively required. We need a wider appreciation of the eugenic indications for sterilization. Vague general statements as to suitable cases I hold to be of very little use. It is to individual, kindly medical teaching and advice that we must look for results.

Finally, research in hereditary prognosis must be actively stimulated. Appropriate legislative measures will readily follow the acquisition of definite and reliable knowledge.
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Part 1 of 2

Ernst Rüdin: Hitler’s Racial Hygiene Mastermind
by Jay Joseph and Norbert A.Wetzel
Article in Journal of the History of Biology
November 2012

P.O. Box 5653, Berkeley, CA 94705-5653, USA

The Center for Family, Community, and Social Justice, Inc.,
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Abstract. Ernst Rudin (1874–1952) was the founder of psychiatric genetics and was also a founder of the German racial hygiene movement. Throughout his long career he played a major role in promoting eugenic ideas and policies in Germany, including helping formulate the 1933 Nazi eugenic sterilization law and other governmental policies directed against the alleged carriers of genetic defects. In the 1940s Rudin supported the killing of children and mental patients under a Nazi program euphemistically called ‘‘Euthanasia.’’ The authors document these crimes and discuss their implications, and also present translations of two publications Rudin co-authored in 1938 showing his strong support for Hitler and his policies. The authors also document what they see as revisionist historical accounts by leading psychiatric genetic authors. They outline three categories of contemporary psychiatric genetic accounts of Rudin and his work: (A) those who write about German psychiatric genetics in the Nazi period, but either fail to mention Rudin at all, or cast him in a favorable light; (B) those who acknowledge that Rudin helped promote eugenic sterilization and/or may have worked with the Nazis, but generally paint a positive picture of Rudin’s research and fail to mention his participation in the ‘‘euthanasia’’ killing program; and (C) those who have written that Rudin committed and supported unspeakable atrocities. The authors conclude by calling on the leaders of psychiatric genetics to produce a detailed and complete account of their field’s history, including all of the documented crimes committed by Rudin and his associates.

The purpose of this article is to examine the career of the Swiss-German racial hygienist and psychiatric genetics founder Ernst Rudin (1874–1952), and to document the crimes he both supported and committed in Germany during the Nazi period (1933–1945). We then assess the manner in which contemporary psychiatric genetic researchers have written about -– or have failed to write about –- the crimes committed by Rudin and his associates. Following this discussion, we present translations of two documents co-authored by Rudin and racial hygienics founder Alfred Ploetz (1860–1940) in a 1938 edition of Archiv fur Rassen-und Gesellschaftsbiologie (Archive for Racial and Social Biology; Ploetz and Rudin, 1938a, b). To the best of our knowledge these documents have not been translated in any previous English language publication.

Psychiatric Genetics and Racial Hygiene

Ploetz and Rudin were among the founders of the German Society for Racial Hygiene (Gesellschaft fur Rassenhygiene) in 1905. The aims of the German racial hygiene movement were similar to the eugenics movements in other countries, including the United States, although the term ‘‘race’’ (Rasse) implied a stronger racial or volkisch aspect of eugenics. German racial hygienists and other eugenicists believed that humans can be ‘‘improved’’ by selective breeding to eradicate ‘‘undesirable’’ traits in the population. They argued that psychiatric disorders, and traits such as criminality, alcoholism, and hereditary ‘‘feeble-mindedness’’ (angeborener Schwachsinn) are caused mainly by hereditary factors, and can be bred out of the population for the benefit of future generations. The Archiv first appeared in Germany in 1904 and became the official journal of the Society for Racial Hygiene. After the Nazi seizure of power in the first part of 1933, it became an official organ of the Nazi’s Reich Committee for Public Health (Weindling, 1989, p. 500), with Rudin continuing as the co-Editor.

Rudin developed the psychiatric genetics field in the early twentieth century. During that period he was working with the founder of modern psychiatry Emil Kraepelin, first in Heidelberg, and then following Kraepelin to Munich in 1907 (Weber, 1996). Rudin and his racial hygienicist colleagues were tireless advocates of programs aimed against the carriers of a presumed ‘‘hereditary taint’’ (erbliche Belastung) well before the Nazi seizure of power in 1933. Lacking any family or twin studies, Rudin called for the eugenic sterilization of chronic alcoholics as early as 1903, which ‘‘marked the beginning of a life-long crusade for sterilization of the degenerate’’ (Weindling, 1989, p. 186).

The Nazi takeover provided new support for Rudin’s ‘‘crusade,’’ and he played a major role in creating and implementing the 1933 Nazi ‘‘Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring’’ (Gesetz zur Verhutung erbkranken Nachwuchses). This law provided for the compulsory eugenic surgical sterilization of people diagnosed with ‘‘genetic’’ conditions such as feeble-mindedness, schizophrenia, manic-depressive insanity, genetic epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, genetic blindness or deafness, or severe alcoholism. Rudin was a co-author of the official commentary summarizing the alleged scientific justification for the law (Gutt et al., 1934).1

The law created a massive program of compulsory eugenic sterilization and led to the establishment of roughly 1,700 hereditary health courts (Erbgesundheitsgerichte) throughout Germany (Proctor, 1988). Approximately 400,000 Germans were forcibly sterilized under the law between 1934 and 1939, primarily on the basis of being labeled ‘‘feeble-minded’’ or ‘‘schizophrenic.’’ The sterilization mortality rate was around 0.5%, meaning that perhaps 2,000 people died from the operation (Proctor, 1988).

Rudin and his close psychiatric geneticist associates at the Genealogic-Demographic Department of the German Research Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, such as Hans Luxenburger and Bruno Schulz, played a major role in establishing, popularizing, and performing research in support of the sterilization law (Joseph, 2004, 2006; Lewis, 1934; Luxenburger, 1934; Rudin, 1934; Schulz, 1934, 1939). In 1934, the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institute produced a list of 15 ‘‘eminent eugenicists in Germany,’’ with Rudin and Luxenburger appearing on this list (Thomalia, 1934, pp. 141–142). Rudin received numerous awards for his work in the Nazi era, including the prestigious Goethe Medal of Arts and Sciences in 1939 from the Reich Ministry of the Interior. In 1944, Rudin received the Adlerschild des Deutschen Reiches medal (Eagle Shield of the German Reich) bearing the Nazi eagle from Hitler, and was praised as being a ‘‘pathfinder in the field of hereditary hygiene’’ (Weinreich, 1946, p. 33).

Like Rudin, Luxenburger was a strong supporter of eugenic measures well before the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 (see Burleigh, 1994; Joseph, 2004, pp. 34–39; Luxenburger, 1931a, b). As Weiss observed in her detailed examination of Rudin’s Institute, ‘‘all of its members were strong supporters of eugenics during the Weimar years’’ (1919–1933; Weiss, 2010, p. 133). In 1931, Luxenburger wrote that sterilization would ‘‘considerably contain’’ but not ‘‘fully prevent the transmission of recessive hereditary properties.’’ Nevertheless, he supported sterilization because ‘‘it is impossible to see why one should sit back and do nothing only because a radical eradication of degenerate hereditary properties is still impossible today’’ (quoted in Burleigh, 1994, p. 41). After the Nazi takeover, Luxenburger’s definition of ‘‘feeble-minded’’ children deserving to fall under the sterilizer’s knife included those having great difficulty in elementary school and those ‘‘who fail in life’’ (Weiss, 2010, p. 144). When asked whether the sterilization law would reduce the number of people available to perform important menial tasks, Luxenburger replied, ‘‘even after sterilization there will be enough hereditary feeble-minded individuals to serve as coolies’’ (quoted in Weiss, 2010, p. 144).

After the Nazi seizure of power, researchers and students from other European countries came to Munich to study under Rudin and his associates at the Genealogical-Demographic Department. According to David Rosenthal, a leading American supporter of psychiatric genetics and an admirer of Rudin’s scientific work, ‘‘From this institute emerged all of the pioneering psychiatric geneticists’’ (Rosenthal, 1971, p. 7).

Rudin and ‘‘Euthanasia’’

In the late 1930s the Nazi regime moved beyond compulsory eugenic sterilization and instituted a secret plan to kill mental patients and other ‘‘defectives,’’ ‘‘useless eaters,’’ and ‘‘incurables.’’ This program, code named ‘‘T4’’ and euphemistically referred to by the authorities as ‘‘euthanasia,’’ led to the murder of 70,000 people by gas, lethal injection, starvation, and other methods in the first phase between 1939 and 1941 under the direction of the government and leading doctors and psychiatrists (Lifton, 1986; Proctor, 1988). Many more were killed between 1939 and 1945 in further actions both in Germany and the occupied territories. Some have estimated that 200,000 people were killed in the program (Weiss, 2010), while other estimates run as high as 300,000 (Peters, 2001). Proposals to institute a eugenic killing program in the United States were openly debated in a 1942 edition of the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association, The American Journal of Psychiatry (Joseph, 2005; Kennedy, 1942).

Although there is no evidence that Rudin played a major role in initiating the ‘‘euthanasia’’ program, it is beyond question that he helped implement and justify this program of killing (Roelcke, 2000, 2012;Weiss, 2010). According to Rudin’s biographer Matthias Weber, in internal memorandums Rudin discussed ‘‘euthanasia’’ as a type of ‘‘therapeutic reform’’ (Weber, 1996, p. 329). The German historian of medicine Volker Roelcke has played an important role in documenting Rudin’s involvement in the euthanasia program, and has criticized what he saw as Weber’s (1993) incomplete reporting (including poorly documented claims) of Rudin’s role in the killing program (Roelcke, 2006, 2012). In 1942 Rudin wrote about the eugenic importance of ‘‘distinguishing which children could, already as children, be clearly categorized as so valueless and worthy of elimination that…they could be recommended for euthanasia in their own interest and that of the German people’’ (quoted in Weiss, 2010, p. 179).

Roelcke has documented Rudin’s support for the killing of children at the Psychiatric Department of the University of Heidelberg in 1943–1945 (Roelcke, 2000, 2006, 2012; Roelcke et al., 1998). He has shown that Carl Schneider and Rudin’s associate Julius Deussen ‘‘played a leading role in the research on children in the context of the euthanasia program’’ (Roelcke, 2006, p. 86). This research included the killing of children in order to ‘‘systematically correlate clinical with post-mortem and histopathological data.’’ Roelcke has documented that Rudin ‘‘supported the research efforts of Schneider and Deussen in various ways, among other things with funds from the budget of his own institute in Munich’’ (Roelcke, 2006, p.87). The research carried out by Deussen and Schneider attempted to find clinical, genealogical, and/or laboratory criteria to differentiate between hereditary and acquired conditions. At least 21 of the 52 children studied under the program initiated and supported by Rudin were killed so that their brains could be examined (Roelcke, 2000, 2012).

The brains of other murdered ‘‘euthanasia’’ victims were sent to Rudin’s Munich institute for evaluation and research (Weiss, 2010, p. 183). According to Weber, ‘‘Rudin considered the broadening of the criteria for killing handicapped newborns to be a scientific issue of importance to the war effort’’ (Weber, 2000, p. 255). In 1944, Rudin considered publishing an article in the Archiv legitimizing euthanasia based on ‘‘thoroughly investigated children’’ (quoted in Weiss, 2010, p. 179). Clearly, at this point Rudin still believed that Germany would win the war and that open support for euthanasia in scientific journals would become acceptable after the German victory.

Rudin and his collaborators drafted a memorandum on the Nazi T4 ‘‘euthanasia’’ killing program, discussing ways that doctors and others could justify the killing. According to the memorandum:

Even the euthanasia measures will meet with general understanding and approval, as it becomes established and more generally known that, in each and every case of mental disease, all possible measures were taken either to cure the patients or to improve their state sufficiently to enable them to return to work which is economically worthwhile, either in their original professions or in some other occupation. (quoted in Muller-Hill, 1998, p. 46)

And in a 1942 letter to the Reich Research Council discussing psychiatric genetics and the conditions of war, Rudin wrote,

We have no interest in preserving the lives of incurable and ruinous victims of heredity, nor do we have any interest in the propagation of individuals who are carriers of the genetic dispositions necessary for the development of severe hereditary diseases. We do however have an interest in the case of the latter individuals to save what can be saved, at least on a case-by-case basis, by means of timely interventions in pathogenesis and during the course of the disease, in order to at least preserve their utility to society. (quoted in Ritter and Roelcke, 2005, p. 268)

Similar to the selection process at the Nazi’s Auschwitz concentration camp, Rudin condemned to death the ‘‘incurable and ruinous victims of heredity’’ unless they were able-bodied enough to contribute to the war effort or to work in slave labor camps. In the words of a pair of contemporary schizophrenia researchers, ‘‘The sterilization and murder of hundreds of thousands of patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders in Nazi Germany between 1934 and 1945 was the greatest criminal act in the history of psychiatry’’ (Torrey and Yolken, 2010, p. 31).

Indeed, as the contemporary German psychiatric genetic researcher Peter Propping concluded, the leaders of Rudin’s Munich school were responsible for moving along the ‘‘slippery slope’’ from sterilization to killing2:

When the National Socialists came to power in Germany in 1933, the protagonists of the Munich school helped guide psychiatric genetics along the slippery slope from the sterilization of psychiatric patients to their deaths in an organized euthanasia program. Ernst Rudin was a prominent protagonist of the German racial hygiene movement, his research program as well as his political activities being guided by the idea of a ‘‘healthy race.’’ (Propping, 2005, p. 3)

According to Roelcke,

The aim of re-structuring society according to the laws of biology was the guiding principle motivating all of Rudin’s research and political activities. He and most of his staff were in one way or another involved in Nazi mental health policy, including active support of the systematic patient killings (‘‘euthanasia’’), and in research aimed at finding scientifically valid criteria for distinguishing between those worthy for procreation, or indeed worthy to live, and those supposedly unworthy. (Roelcke, 2004, p. 477)

Historians have pointed out that in addition to the eugenic and ‘‘racial purification’’ aspects of the euthanasia program, other motives included economic factors and the need to clear out hospitals and asylums in the interest of the war effort (Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939). However, although the euthanasia program was carried out under the conditions of war, from another perspective one could argue that, much like the Holocaust itself, it was carried out under the cover of war.

Rudin’s anti-Semitism was also in line with the Nazi leaders he so willingly collaborated with and even inspired. As seen in two 1938 articles he co-authored with Ploetz (which we have translated below) and elsewhere, Rudin supported every policy and crime directed against the Jewish people, which is confirmed in a 1942 edition of the Archiv. Referring to the ‘‘fight against parasitic alien races such as the Jews and Gypsies’’ well after Kristallnacht and at a time when the Holocaust was well underway, Rudin wrote,

The results of our science had earlier attracted much attention (both support and opposition) in national and international circles. Nevertheless, it will always remain the undying, historic achievement of Adolf Hitler and his followers that they dared to take the first trail-blazing and decisive steps toward such brilliant race-hygienic achievement in and for the German people. In so doing, they went beyond the boundaries of purely scientific knowledge. He and his followers were concerned with putting into practice the theories and advances of Nordic race-conceptions… the fight against parasitic alien races such as the Jews and Gypsies… and preventing the breeding of those with hereditary diseases and those of inferior stock. (quoted in Muller-Hill, 1998, p. 67)

In the same article, Rudin wrote favorably about Nazi racial laws, which led to a ‘‘by now progressed elimination of Jewish influence and especially to the prevention of further intrusions of Jewish blood into the German gene pool.’’ Like Hitler, he saw the war as being caused by ‘‘Jewish-plutocratic and Bolshevik directed powers’’ (Rudin, 1942, pp. 321–322; see also Joseph, 2004).

Questionable Premises: Then and Now

German psychiatric geneticists sought to provide alleged scientific evidence in support of social and political policies aimed at curbing the reproduction of people they targeted as harboring ‘‘hereditary taint,’’ which they believed posed a grave danger to society and could lead to societal and racial degeneration (Peters, 2001; Roelcke, 2006; Schulze et al., 2004). However, although contemporary psychiatric genetic researchers usually reject eugenic ideas and programs (while promoting genetic counseling), they may be just as mistaken as Rudin and his colleagues in their belief that hereditary factors play an important etiological role in the major psychiatric disorders (Joseph, 2004, 2006, 2012).

The reason is that contemporary researchers -– in the context of the forty-year failure to discover the genes that they believe cause the major psychiatric disorders (Collins et al., 2012; Gershon et al., 2011; Joseph, 2011, 2012; Joseph and Ratner, in press; Plomin, 2012) -– rely on the same two environmentally confounded research methods used by Rudin and his colleagues: psychiatric family studies and twin studies. Then as now, critics have argued that both family studies and twin studies are unable to disentangle the potential influences of genes and environment, and therefore prove nothing about genetic influences on psychiatric disorders and psychological traits (Charney, 2008a, b, 2012, Joseph, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012; Lewontin et al., 1984). In addition, critics have argued that psychiatric adoption studies, which have been performed since the 1960s, contain their own set of invalidating methodological problems and environmental confounds (Boyle, 2002; Cassou et al., 1980; Joseph, 2004, 2006, 2010; Pam, 1995; Lewontin et al., 1984; Lidz, 1976; Lidz and Blatt, 1983; Lidz et al., 1981).

The main product of Munich school research was the ‘‘empirical genetic prognosis’’ (empirische Erbprognose), which involved calculating the probability that (presumably hereditary) psychiatric disorders would eventually appear in the biological relatives and descendants of people diagnosed with these disorders. These calculations, which were based mainly on family studies, produced age-corrected ‘‘morbidity risk’’ (MR) percentage figures for various groups of relatives biologically related to the diagnosed ‘‘Proband.’’ Rudin had developed this method for his schizophrenia family study, published in 1916 (Rudin, 1916). Much of the work of Rudin, Luxenburger, Schulz and their colleagues in the Nazi era involved calculating such probabilities in the service of the sterilization law and other racial hygienic measures. For example, the researchers found that the age-corrected schizophrenia morbidity risks among the parents and offspring of schizophrenia patients were higher than the rate expected in the general population, and concluded that these elevated rates were caused by genetic factors. In these studies the researchers did not diagnose relatives blindly, did not use control groups, and used vague and differing definitions of schizophrenia and other disorders (Gottesman et al., 1987).

However, like their fellow eugenicists in the United States who based many of their theories and policy recommendations on allegedly ‘‘tainted family lines’’ such as the ‘‘Jukes’’ and the ‘‘Kallikaks,’’ on a purely scientific level Rudin and his Munich colleagues made the crucial error of assuming that hereditary factors explain the finding that psychiatric disorders tend to ‘‘run in the family.’’ As most contemporary psychiatric genetic and behavioral genetic researchers now understand, traits and disorders can aggregate in families for environmental (nongenetic) reasons because family members share a common environment as well as common genes. As one example, a leading group of psychiatric genetic researchers recognized in 1994 that the familial resemblance or aggregation of a trait or disorder ‘‘can occur because of shared genes, shared environment or a combination of the two’’
(McGuffin et al., 1994, p. 30; other researchers recognizing that family studies cannot disentangle potential genetic and environmental influences include Barondes, 1998; Bouchard and McGue, 2003; Faraone et al., 1999; Kendler, 1988; Kety et al., 1968; Plomin et al., 2008; Rosenthal, 1970).

Empirical predictions based on family studies, therefore, do not prove anything about genetics, and the belated recognition of this fact by the field of psychiatric genetics suggests that the most generous conclusion one can reach about Munich school research is that it was based on questionable science, if it was science at all, and was performed and promoted in the service of eugenics and right-wing political programs, the desire of institute leaders to maintain funding and the support of the Nazi regime, and their pre-existing beliefs about the importance of heredity.

Rudin’s daughter Edith Zerbin-Rudin became a psychiatric genetic researcher in Germany in the decades following World War II, first continuing her father’s work on a greatly reduced scale alongside Schulz at the renamed Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, and then heading the department after Schulz’s death in 1958 (Zerbin-Rudin and Kendler, 1996). In a 1972 article on the genetics of schizophrenia, Zerbin-Rudin observed that although up to the end of the war most researchers accepted empirical genetic prognoses based on family study data as ‘‘unequivocal proof’’ that schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders and traits were caused by heredity, ‘‘the interpretation has undergone change’’:

Until about 30 years ago [roughly the mid-1940s], the clear increase in morbidity risk with the proximity of blood kinship to a schizophrenic was considered unequivocal proof of a hereditary factor. Later, however, it was reasoned that family members become ill more frequently only because their environment is more alike than that of nonconsanguineous persons. (Zerbin-Rudin, 1972, p. 47)

Although Zerbin-Rudin consistently defended her father’s work and reputation (see Zerbin-Rudin and Kendler, 1996; Muller-Hill, 1998, pp. 130–133), and although she believed that the schizophrenia adoption studies published in the 1960s suggested that the familial aggregation of schizophrenia is ‘‘at least partly attributable to genetic factors’’ (p. 47), her assessment confirms that the conclusions of Rudin and his Munich colleagues were wrong insofar as they interpreted the results of family studies as constituting proof that hereditary factors cause (or are the main cause of) psychiatric disorders, ‘‘feeble-mindedness,’’ and so on. The ‘‘unequivocal proof’’ they produced, which contributed to the sterilization and killing of (estimating conservatively) hundreds of thousands of people, was in fact no proof at all. Indeed, although the great majority of people labeled ‘‘schizophrenic’’ in Nazi Germany were either sterilized or killed, postwar studies show a high incidence rate of new schizophrenia cases in Germany (Torrey and Yolken, 2010).

Some might object that our brief assessment of Rudin’s scientific work rests on the flawed method of reading research results from later decades back into the past. The main point, however, is that we condemn Rudin and his associates not for the conclusions they reached on the basis of their results, but rather for what they did to their fellow human beings on the basis of their conclusions. We do criticize the science, but the present analysis would not have been necessary had Rudin and his colleagues done nothing more than publish scientific articles concluding that genes play a major role. Rudin was an internationally known scientist who used his authority to support severely repressive political programs masquerading as ‘‘science,’’ and was a doctor who personally played a role in killing adults and children (‘‘patients’’).

Contemporary Revisionist Histories of Rudin and German Psychiatric Genetics

Teo and Ball (2009) discussed the ‘‘revisionist’’ historical accounts written by some twin researchers, who usually fail to mention that their discipline has its origins in eugenics and German racial hygiene (Joseph, 2004). Twin research was an area of focus at Rudin’s Munich institute as well being the specialty of Otmar von Verschuer of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm Institute Human Genetics Division, and later the Frankfurt Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene. Verschuer was one of the world’s leading twin researchers in the 1930s (Joseph, 2004; Newman et al., 1937), and also played a major role in providing scientific justification and support for the Holocaust and was an accomplice to the murder of twins at Auschwitz for ‘‘scientific’’ purposes (Ehrenreich, 2007; Lifton, 1986; Muller-Hill, 1998). After the war, Verschuer resumed his career as a university professor in Germany and continued to publish research papers and attend international conferences (von Verschuer, 1957), and was honored as a ‘‘teacher and example’’ in a special 1956 edition of Acta Geneticae Medicae et Gemellologiae (Journal of Medical Genetics and Twin Research) commemorating his 60th birthday (Gedda, 1956).

Continuing the theme of ‘‘insider’’ histories by members of a group writing about their field’s history (Danziger, 1994), Teo and Ball observed that a hallmark of revisionist history put forward by human genetic researchers reluctant to acknowledge (or possibly being unaware of) the eugenic and Nazi past of their discipline is ‘‘revisionism by omission.’’ As an example, they noted that twin researchers usually fail to discuss the history of twin research in its political and eugenic context, and omit the fact that the discoverer of the twin method, Hermann W. Siemens, was a major figure in the German racial hygiene movement by the early 1920s and later supported the Nazis and their racial policies (for example, see Siemens, 1937). In fact, some leading contemporary behavioral genetic researchers have omitted Siemens from the history of twin research (Teo and Ball, 2009, pp. 11–14; see also Joseph, 2004, pp. 17–21). In many of the psychiatric genetic ‘‘insider’’ accounts mentioned below, we find a similar ‘‘revisionism by omission’’ in discussions of the history of the psychiatric genetics field.

Three Categories of Contemporary Psychiatric Genetic Evaluations of Rudin

Contemporary psychiatric genetic evaluations of the founder of the field Ernst Rudin are varied, but usually fall into the revisionist Categories A and B discussed below. Major works covering many of the crimes of Rudin and his associates have been available in English since the 1980s (Lifton, 1986; Muller-Hill, 1998 [the first English translation appeared in 1988]; Proctor, 1988; Roelcke, 2006; Weindling, 1989), although English language documentation of Rudin’s support for the Nazi regime and the sterilization law dates back to the immediate post-war era (Weinreich, 1946) and earlier.

Category A

Category A includes leaders of the psychiatric genetics field and their supporters who have written about German psychiatric genetics in the Nazi period and who either fail to mention Rudin at all, or cast him in a favorable light. While Category A authors sometimes discuss Nazi policies and document atrocities (at times pointing to the complicity of German scientists outside of psychiatric genetics), they omit mention of Rudin’s and other German psychiatric geneticists’ role in supporting Nazism, racial hygiene, forced sterilization, the killing of mental patients (‘‘euthanasia’’), and Hitler’s persecution of Jews, Sinti and Roma (gypsies), and other targeted groups (examples of Category A authors include Faraone et al., 1999; Flint et al., 2010; Gottesman, 1991; Gottesman and Shields, 1982; Hoge and Appelbaum, 2008; McGuffin et al., 1994; Nurnberger and Berrettini, 1998; Rosenthal, 1970, 1971; Slater, 1971; Slater and Cowie, 1971; Stone, 1997; Stro¨ mgren, 1985; Torrey et al., 1994). Category A authors such as Erik Stromgren and Eliot Slater studied under Rudin in Munich in the mid-1930s and therefore had first-hand knowledge of his public and other activities. Edith Zerbin-Rudin (born in 1921) also falls into this category.

Here we provide a few examples from the Category A accounts listed above. In his award-winning book Schizophrenia Genesis, schizophrenia researcher Irving Gottesman (1991), who was mentored by Slater, wrote positively of the work of Rudin, Luxenburger, Schulz and other leaders of the ‘‘now-famous Munich school of psychiatric genetics’’ (p. 14), referring to ‘‘thoroughly the scientist’’ Rudin (p. 13), and to Schulz as a ‘‘star member of Rudin’s Munich school’’ (p. 96). In a book describing their own psychiatric twin research, biological psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, Gottesman and their colleagues (Torrey et al., 1994) made reference to the Nazi sterilization law, twin research under the Nazis, and the roles of Verschuer and Josef Mengele in the murder of twins at Auschwitz for alleged scientific purposes. At the same time, they discussed the work of Luxenburger in a positive way, made no mention of the role of German psychiatric genetics in supporting Nazi policies, and did not mention Rudin at all.

Faraone, Tsuang, and Tsuang, in their book Genetics of Mental Disorders (Faraone et al., 1999) failed to document the involvement of Rudin and his colleagues in German eugenic policies, and implied that their findings were merely misused by the Nazis: ‘‘Adolph Hitler and his Nazi regime began a systematic program first to sterilize and then to kill ‘genetically defective’ people…. Contemporary researchers in psychiatric genetics are especially disturbed to learn that the Nazis used [German psychiatric genetic] research to justify their eugenics policies regarding the mentally ill…’’ (pp. 223–224). They wrote only of what they saw as ‘‘Nazi abuses of psychiatric genetics’’ (p. 224).

Hoge and Appelbaum (2008), in their chapter in Psychiatric Genetics: Applications in Clinical Practice, wrote that ‘‘Eugenics reached its zenith (or nadir) in Nazi Germany’’ (p. 257). They recognized that ‘‘Psychiatrists were directly implicated in the application of eugenic programs under the Nazi regime’’ (p. 257), and discussed the eugenic sterilization law, the T4 euthanasia program, and that ‘‘5,000 children between the ages of 3 and 17’’ suspected of carrying presumed hereditary disorders ‘‘were put to death’’ (p. 257). However, they did not name any of the psychiatrists involved in these programs, and failed to mention the involvement of German psychiatric geneticists such as Rudin. This also occurred in the 1998 book Psychiatric Genetics. Here, psychiatric genetic researchers Nurnberger and Berrettini wrote that the ‘‘low point’’ of the history of eugenics ‘‘was during the Nazi era, when eugenic theories were used to justify the mass murder of people with schizophrenia and mental retardation as well as ethnic ‘inferiors’’’
(Nurnberger and Berrettini, 1998, p. 129).

In the process of attempting to validate psychiatric twin research in their 2010 book How Genes Influence Behavior, Category A psychiatric genetic researchers Flint, Greenspan, and Kendler ignored the numerous critics of psychiatric twin research and instead focused on Kamin’s (1974) critical analysis of IQ genetic studies, including studies of twins. For Flint and colleagues, Kamin’s ‘‘diatribe’’ was another example of the danger of ‘‘the mixing of politics with science that always seems to accompany these studies’’ (Flint et al., 2010, pp. 26–27). They cited the rise of the eugenics movement as another example of the supposed hazard of mixing science and politics, regrettably (in our view) linking the ‘‘politics’’ of this steadfast opponent of eugenics (Kamin) to the politics of the eugenics movement and Nazism. ‘‘The ultimate embodiment of eugenics,’’ wrote Flint et al., ‘‘came under the National Socialist (Nazi) program in Germany, starting with the compulsory sterilization of mental patients (modeled after US statutes) and ending with the Final Solution’’ (p. 27).

Like other Category A ‘‘insider’’ historians, Flint and colleagues failed to mention the fact that German psychiatric genetic researchers –- such as the founder of their discipline Ernst Rudin –- were instrumental in creating the conditions for and providing a scientific stamp of approval to the atrocities of the Third Reich. In fact, Rudin personified the ‘‘ultimate embodiment of eugenics’’ in Hitler’s Germany.

Category B

The Category B position acknowledges that Rudin helped promote eugenic sterilization and/or may have worked with the Nazis, but generally paints a positive picture of Rudin’s research and denies or fails to mention that he supported the euthanasia program or that he supported anti-Semitism and the fight against the ‘‘parasitic alien races such as the Jews and Gypsies’’ (Category B authors include Cardno and McGuffin, 1999; Farmer, 2003; Farmer and McGuffin, 1999; Gottesman, 2008; Gottesman and Bertelsen, 1996; Kendler and Prescott, 2006; Shorter, 1997; Stromgren, 1994; Zerbin-Rudin and Kendler, 1996). Gottesman and Bertelsen ended their publication with a quotation from Rudin’s former Munich co-worker and racial hygienist Franz J. Kallmann, who wrote a letter in support of Rudin for the latter’s denazification hearing, claiming that Rudin ‘‘is no criminal, of course.’’ Gottesman and Bertelsen concluded, ‘‘We are content to let Kallmann have the last word for now’’ (Gottesman and Bertelsen, 1996, p. 321).

This contrasts sharply with the Swiss government’s ‘‘last word’’ on Rudin only 5 days after the German government’s capitulation in May, 1945. According to the Swiss authorities, they decided to revoke Rudin’s citizenship for both his scientific activities and his ‘‘pronounced political role’’:

Rudin belongs definitely to the intellectual leadership circle of the National Socialist regime. He was the expert who prepared the German racial-political legislation which brought immense suffering and ruin for millions of innocent people. Besides his scientific activity he, therefore, played a pronounced political role. Rudin’s life work contradicts the laws of humanity… (quoted in Weingart et al., 1988, p. 569, our translation)

In a Category B account by Zerbin-Rudin and Kendler (1996), the authors attempted to legitimize Rudin and his schizophrenia family research conducted before the Nazi seizure of power, as well as other psychiatric genetic research conducted during the Nazi era. This article caused considerable controversy, and led to some of the Category C responses we will see below. Zerbin-Rudin and Kendler wrote that ‘‘Rudin and his institute became involved in the eugenic policies of the Nazis,’’ though they saw this only as an example of the ‘‘possible political abuse of scientific findings in general and those from the field of psychiatric genetics in particular’’ (p. 332). Although the authors believed that the ‘‘relationship between Rudin and his institute and the racial and eugenic policies of the Nazi party after it came to power in Germany is an historically important subject’’ (p. 335), they declined to discuss Rudin’s activities during this period (while referring their readers to Weber’s 1993 biography of Rudin). According to Zerbin-Rudin and Kendler, many research psychiatrists were uninformed about ‘‘the extensive continental tradition of psychiatric genetics’’ for two main reasons: (1) ‘‘a language barrier,’’ and (2) ‘‘a rather virulent form of ‘presentism,’ (the tendency to value only recent endeavors and neglect the work of previous eras)’’ (p. 332).

In a book he co-authored 10 years later, Kendler mentioned the work of Luxenburger and Siemens without mentioning their strong support for racial hygienic policies both before and after the Nazi seizure of power, and discussed German psychiatric genetics and Rudin as follows:

In its infancy, psychiatric genetics -– under the leadership of Ernst Rudin (whose critical contributions to the birth of this field were colored by his dealings, later in life, with the Nazi party in Germany) –- was at the forefront of the methodological developments of the emerging field of human genetics. (Kendler and Prescott, 2006, p. 13)

We have seen that Category A and B authors sometimes allow that psychiatric genetic research was used by the Nazis, falsely implying that Rudin, Luxenburger, Schulz and others did not support the racial hygienic policies of the regime, and that their research was merely misused by others (for examples of this argument, see Faraone and Biederman, 2000; Faraone et al., 1999). Cardno and McGuffin (1999) went further and wrote, erroneously, that Schulz and Luxenburger opposed Nazi eugenic policies ‘‘on both moral and scientific grounds’’ (p. 344). A variation on this theme is the implication that Nazi-era psychiatric genetic researchers were judged to have committed no crimes, but ‘‘suffered from a sort of guilt by association’’ with the regime (Farmer, 2003, p. 428; Farmer and McGuffin, 1999, p. 483). Category A and B authors at times mention that Rudin was convicted only as a ‘‘fellow traveler’’ of the Nazi regime at his denazification hearing after the war (he received only a small fine), implying that he already had his day in court and that he committed no major crimes (e.g., Farmer and McGuffin, 1999). Gottesman and Bertelsen suggested that contemporary re-evaluations of Rudin based on new evidence amounted to a form of ‘‘double jeopardy’’ (being tried twice for the same crime; Gottesman and Bertelsen, 1996, p. 317). But in fact, Rudin was one of numerous Nazi scientists with blood on their hands who were allowed to escape justice after the war and continue their academic careers (Proctor, 1988).

While Category A and B authors fail to mention Rudin’s support of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, some (including researchers who trained, or whose mentors were trained, at Rudin’s Munich institute) implied that Rudin was not anti-Semitic and at times even helped protect Jews (e.g., Gottesman and Bertelsen, 1996; Stromgren, 1994). In an interview he conducted with Edith Zerbin-Rudin, Murderous Science author Benno Muller-Hill asked Zerbin-Rudin if her father was an anti- Semite. She responded, ‘‘No, not at all’’ (Muller-Hill, 1998, p. 132). A 1994 publication by Munich-trained Danish psychiatric geneticist Erik Stromgren provides additional evidence that the historical accounts by Rudin’s former students and collaborators are unreliable. Stromgren’s account finds Rudin and others attending the 1935 funeral of noted Munich researcher Walther Spielmeyer, despite the ‘‘nasty’’ weather that day. Stromgren then wrote, ‘‘I mention this incident in particular because it was quite remarkable that although Spielmeyer was a Jew, everybody wanted to pay him the last tribute’’ (Stromgren, 1994, p. 406). In fact, Spielmeyer was not a Jew, although he faced harassment because his wife and child had Jewish relatives (Weiss, 2010).
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Category C

The less frequent Category C type of psychiatric genetic writer sees Rudin, in the words of Lerer and Segman, as ‘‘a man who was not only a willing accomplice to the most abhorrent crimes against humanity but an enthusiastic theorist who provided the intellectual basis for many of these crimes’’ (Lerer and Segman, 1997, p. 459). These researchers concluded,

There can be only one justification for the name of Ernst Rudin appearing in a contemporary scientific journal and that is to enable a generation of researchers who may not be fully aware of his tainted legacy, to learn more about it and to appreciate how easily science can be perverted in the service of evil. (p. 460)

Other psychiatric genetic researchers have written about Rudin as an architect and accomplice of unspeakable crimes against humanity (e.g., Baron, 1998; Gejman, 1997; Gershon, 1997; Propping, 2005; Schulze et al., 2004). Authors such as Baron, Gejman, Gershon, and Lerer and Segman did not set out to write a history of their field, but were mainly reacting to what they saw as the ‘‘whitewash’’ (Gershon, 1997, p. 457) perpetrated by colleagues such as Zerbin-Rudin and Kendler (1996) and Gottesman and Bertelsen (1996). In his comment on Zerbin-Rudin and Kendler’s claim that Rudin’s work was not well known due mainly to language barriers and persistent ‘‘presentism,’’ Gershon wrote, ‘‘By putting it this way, this article ignores the disrepute into which this discipline fell all over the world for many years, in no small part because of the misuses of science by prominent scientists in the field, such as Ernst Rudin’’ (Gershon, 1997, p. 457).

According to Gejman, ‘‘in all probability chronically ill patients from the families that Rudin used in his epidemiological research were murdered in the T4 euthanasia program’’ (Gejman, 1997, p. 456). The same holds true for subjects in other studies conducted by Munich school researchers such as Luxenburger and Schulz. Baron also weighed in on this point:

Given the scope of this hideous program and its focus on the genetically unfit, it is highly likely that Rudin’s own research subjects -– thousands of patients and family members were enrolled in his programs –- were among those who fell prey to the evil he helped inculcate. The information he collected could readily be put to malevolent use. … he compiled a vast data bank (on the order of tens of thousands of families) in order to calculate Mendelian ratios, based on information obtained from hospitals, asylums and other institutions. (Baron, 1998, p. 97)

Because Rudin participated in and supported the T4 ‘‘euthanasia’’ program while possessing detailed records of the families of people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other conditions, it is indeed likely that he provided this information to help identify and kill the people he and his colleagues had studied. As the German psychiatrist Uwe Peters described it, ‘‘Like a spider in the center of its net, all strings of information and power came together in [Rudin’s] hands’’ (Peters, 2001, p. 300).

But even Category C authors are not immune to revisionist accounts. In his book on the evolution of psychiatric genetic thought, Mellon wrote, ‘‘The role of the founders of modern psychiatric genetics in the sequence of events leading to mass murder is most troubling. Ernst Rudin was an early and vocal proponent of eugenic applications to mental problems. …his contribution to the series of events that helped lead to the exterminations is unmistakable’’ (Mellon, 1996, p. 112). At the same time, based on Slater’s 1971 account, Mellon mistakenly claimed that ‘‘in contrast to Rudin,’’ Luxenburger and Schulz ‘‘managed to stay out of the mainstream eugenic movement’’ (p. 113). The fact remains that Luxenburger supported and helped implement the eugenic policies of the Nazi regime (Joseph, 2004), and according to a 1934 report by the Danish eugenicist Tage Kemp, Schulz was ‘‘doing a great deal of statistical work concerning mental diseases of practical value for the sterilization law and the eugenical legislation in Germany’’ (quoted in Black, 2003, p. 419). In the late 1930s Rudin and his institute formed an alliance with Heinrich Himmler’s dreaded SS (Schutzstaffel; Weindling, 1989; Weiss, 2010), and in a memo Rudin assured a leader of the SS Ahnenerbe that although Schulz was not ‘‘a flaming National Socialist,’’ his usefulness to the SS could be assured without reservation (Weiss, 2010, p. 164).

In Baron’s (1998) otherwise important review of Rudin’s crimes, where he wrote that ‘‘Rudin played a central role in inspiring, condoning and promoting forcible sterilization and castration of schizophrenics’’ (p. 96), he implied that Rudin’s former associate Franz Kallmann discarded his hard-line eugenic beliefs after he had been forced to leave Germany in 1936 because of his partial Jewish ancestry. In 1935, while still active in Germany, Kallmann had called for the forcible sterilization of the healthy (yet presumed ‘‘schizophrenia taint carrier’’) family members of ‘‘schizophrenics’’ – a proposal rejected as too radical even by Kallmann’s racial-hygienicist colleagues who strongly supported the sterilization law (Muller-Hill, 1998). Although Baron discussed Kallmann’s 1935 support for the compulsory sterilization of family members, he wrote, ‘‘while in the USA, Kallmann recanted his early position on this matter and proceeded with perseverance and dedication to develop one of the finest academic programs in modern psychiatric genetics’’ (Baron, 1998, p. 99). However, Kallmann’s eugenic views, though adapted to a new country and post-war revelations of Nazi crimes committed in the name of eugenics and racial hygiene, remained largely unchanged until his death in 1965 (Joseph, 2004).

After being forced to leave Germany in 1936, Kallmann established the field of psychiatric genetics in the United States at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University, based largely on the racial hygienic methods and theories he had learned in Rudin’s Munich school. At the same time, Kallmann remained a strong supporter of eugenics and compulsory sterilization (Kallmann, 1938a, b). Upon his arrival in the United States, Kallmann wrote, ‘‘The recommendation of negative eugenic measures against the carriers of any mental disease is genetically justifiable’’ after meeting certain criteria. Kallmann then wrote that ‘‘the schizophrenic disease process’’ meets these criteria (Kallmann, 1938b, p. 105). Clearly, in addition to people labeled schizophrenic, the ‘‘healthy’’ biologically-related ‘‘carriers of mental disease’’ were targeted by Kallmann for the application of ‘‘negative eugenic measures’’ such as sterilization. He called for ‘‘systematic preventative measures among the tainted children and siblings of schizophrenics’’ (Kallmann, 1938b, p. 113), because ‘‘we cannot expect sufficient success from the prevention of reproduction in the symptom-carriers alone’’ (Kallmann, 1938a, p. 4). This suggests that his 1935 position in favor of eugenic interventions directed at the family members of people diagnosed with schizophrenia remained largely in place, although by now he would not support the compulsory sterilization of these relatives, despite ‘‘the menace involved in the propagation of heterozygotic taint-carriers’’ (see Kallmann, 1938a, pp. 68–69).

Moreover, Kallmann published an annual review in the American Journal of Psychiatry from 1944 until his death in 1965, entitled ‘‘Heredity and Eugenics.’’ Themes of Kallmann’s annual updates included positive references to eugenic theories and policies, the alleged benefits of the compulsory eugenic sterilization laws then existing in many U.S. states (e.g., Kallmann, 1947, p. 515; 1951, p. 505), and discussions of Nazi genetic researchers Rudin and Verschuer in a positive light (e.g., Kallmann, 1952, 1953).

Two Articles by Ploetz and Rudin in Praise of Adolf Hitler and his Policies

We present below translations of two articles co-authored by Ploetz and Rudin in the same 1938 edition of Archiv fur Rassen-und Gesellschaftsbiologie (all emphasis in these documents was provided by Ploetz and Rudin). Both Ploetz and Rudin had become members of the Nazi party a year earlier (Proctor, 1988). The articles appeared 5 years after the Nazi seizure of power, and shortly after German troops had entered Austria with little resistance and had incorporated that country into the German Reich (the Anschluss). After the German takeover of Austria, the Nazi rulers held a national referendum in that country on April 10th, 1938 under conditions of terror, intimidation, and the persecution and imprisonment of Jews, Social Democrats, trade unionists, and leftists, on whether Germany and Austria should be united (Shirer, 1960). The Nazi government claimed that 99.75% of the Austrian people voted ‘‘Yes’’ to the unification of Austria and the German Reich.

The First Article

The article translated below (Ploetz and Rudin, 1938b) is entitled ‘‘On the Development of the German Reich since our Fuhrer’s Takeover of Power on January 30, 1933’’ (Zur Entwicklung des Deutschen Reichs seit der Machtubernahme unseres Fuhrers am 30. Januar 1933). The article was ‘‘addressed mainly to our foreign readers,’’ which suggests that Ploetz and Rudin toned down the rhetoric and attempted to convince potentially skeptical foreign readers of what they viewed as the achievements of psychiatric genetics, racial hygiene, and the Nazi regime.

We should emphasize that Ploetz and Rudin, though discussing Nazi government policies which they wholeheartedly supported, described what they viewed as the achievements of ‘‘our field of racial and social biology as well as racial and social hygiene.’’ They portrayed compulsory eugenic sterilization, the Nuremberg laws, and the vicious repression of ‘‘the Jewish part of the population’’ as scientific policies which they proudly played a role in helping implement.

The paragraph on the ‘‘racially upward movement’’ promoted by German foreign policy, in addition to the final devoted praise of Hitler, should forever lay to rest what remains of the myth that Rudin and his associates were apolitical scientists (see Roelcke, 2006). Ploetz and Rudin ended by writing that Hitler, one ‘‘of our greatest leaders since ancient times,’’ was ‘‘loved so passionately by his entire people.’’

On the Development of the German Reich Since Our Fuhrer’s Takeover of Power on January 30, 1933

In this short review, addressed mainly to our foreign readers, it is only possible to point to the most important advances that have occurred directly or indirectly in our field of racial and social biology as well as racial and social hygiene, a field that was designated by Adolf Hitler as the most important foundation of our life as a people and a state.

The reforms began with the passing of the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring (July 14, 1933). According to this law, anybody who is hereditarily diseased can be sterilized with a surgical intervention or by other means, if according to the experiences of medical science it can be expected with a high degree of probability that his offspring will suffer from severe physical or mental hereditary defects.

The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor followed the above-mentioned law (September 15, 1935). With this law, marriages or extramarital sexual intercourse between Jews and citizens with German or related blood were banned.

This was followed by the Law for the Protection of the Genetic Health of the German People (the matrimonial health law) of October 18, 1935. According to this law, a marriage cannot be entered into if one of the partners suffers from an infectious disease that raises the fear of significant damage to the health of the other partner or the offspring; if one of the partners is legally declared incapable of managing his own affairs or is put under temporary guardianship; if one of the partners, without being declared incapable, suffers from a mental disorder that makes the marriage appear undesirable for the national community, and if one of the partners suffers from a hereditary illness according to the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring. People who are engaged to be married must provide a certificate from the department of health before the wedding to prove that there is no impediment to the marriage according to the law.

The careful execution of all these laws has been made easier and possible by supplements, decrees, and commentaries. Out of the application of these laws among the people have emerged streams of beneficial effects, effects that will only unfold in their full power in the near and especially in the distant future.

Further racial-hygienic measures were the numerous low interest bank loans for newly married couples and child benefits for families, particularly those with many children. These measures have led to a significant increase in the number of German births, which had been in considerable decline.

The education of the German youth in mental, spiritual, and physical respects continued and continues to be implemented under the leadership of the state, more and more independently of religious or racially alien management. In this way, the growth and preservation of the National Socialist spirit, already deeply influenced by state and party organization, is permanently guaranteed.

The Jewish part of the population that once had such strong influence, and even dominated our cultural and political life, has been strongly forced back, for example in the military, in the economy, among professional judges, among teachers of all kinds and levels, in the media, in theater, in film.

Unemployment, that was such a heavy burden on our people, has been reduced to a relatively insignificant number, and the condition of the working classes in general was lifted significantly in health, economic, and social respects.

The security of our people in its racially upward movement was further promoted by the resignation from the League of Nations, the bold declaration of the Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain as null and void, steps which enabled powerful measures of protection for the German Reich, such as the creation of a large modern military, the decisive occupation of the Rhineland through the entry of German troops, the German–Japanese–Italian Alliance against Communism and the creation of the German Reich–Italy ‘‘Axis’’ and, finally, the miraculous reunification of Austria with the German Reich, which not only meant a considerable increase of military, economic, and cultural opportunities, but above all realized the ancient longing of Germans in the Reich and in Austria to melt together forever and for all times into one Greater Germany.

These are some of the main parts of the giant work of our Fuhrer and his loyal supporters!

Hitler moves through his deeds into the rank of our greatest leaders since ancient times!

Our nation has understood this and is devoted to him with grateful hearts. No German prince, no German king or emperor has ever been loved so passionately by his entire people as Adolf Hitler.

Adolf Ploetz.
Ernst Rudin.


The second article (Ploetz and Rudin, 1938a) consists of a brief message of congratulations to Hitler on the occasion of his 49th birthday and of his successful annexation of Austria and the formation of ‘‘Greater Germany.’’

On the Occasion of Adolf Hitler’s Birthday

On April 20th our Fuhrer will be 49 years old, 10 days after a plebiscite in the old Reich and Austria, which brought him the unheard-of total of over 99% yes votes of the votes cast.

Everyone who witnessed the enthusiasm of our nation or who heard the reports of his friends in the former Reich and Austria about the vote knows that the spiteful and suspecting voices about the honesty of the vote belong in the realm of grey fantasy. If ever our nation (other than an extremely small portion) was perfectly united, it was the case this time.

We wish Adolf Hitler from the bottom of our heart that it may be granted to him by fate to continue to lead Greater Germany to the bright heights of peaceful development!

Alfred Ploetz.
Ernst Rudin.


The 1938 publications by Ploetz and Rudin that we have translated for this article provide additional evidence that Rudin (as well as Ploetz) was a strong supporter of Hitler and his criminal policies. And as others have documented, Rudin and others worked hand-in-hand with the National Socialist regime to implement and promote these policies, including the killing of mental patients and children for the purpose of eliminating the perceived genetic threat to the German Volkskorper (people’s body). Whether Rudin reluctantly aided and helped implement the ‘‘euthanasia’’ killing program, or whether he saw it as the crowning achievement of his decades of psychiatric genetic research based on racial hygienic (eugenic) principles, is an issue that may be decided in the future when more documents become available.

Regardless of his motivation, Rudin chillingly wrote in 1942 that the anticipated German victory in the war ‘‘will only inspire us…to multiply our racial hygienic efforts’’ (Rudin, 1942, p. 322). The launching of Rudin’s Munich institute in 1928, in the words of the President of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute, was ‘‘the starting point of a new epoch in healing’’ patients (quoted in Weiss, 2010, p. 124). It ended as an institute that played a role in the killing of mental patients and children.

A historian of Nazi-era medicine, William E. Seidelman, wrote in 1996 that ‘‘Rudin’s work on the genetics of schizophrenia, which established a theoretical basis for his eugenics work, continues to be cited in psychiatric genetics without reference to his eugenics career’’ (Seidelman, 1996, p. 1465). Although we have noted the contributions of the Category C authors, the leaders of psychiatric genetics have failed to produce a detailed (albeit ‘‘insider’’) complete account of their field’s history. We look forward to the publication of such a work.


We would like to thank Volker Roelcke, Claudia Chaufan, and Thomas Teo for providing helpful feedback on earlier drafts of this paper. All opinions and conclusions expressed in the present article are those of the authors only, and we take full responsibility for any errors in the text.



1 We refer to a compulsory eugenic sterilization program as a crime regardless of whether it was sanctioned by law (as it was in Germany, the United States, Scandinavia, and elsewhere). Many other crimes of the Third Reich, such as the Nuremberg Laws, were also carried out according to the law. In addition to the dangers inherent in the surgical process, the procedure involved depriving people of the right to procreate children and undoubtedly caused many victims to experience a lifetime of emotional suffering. In the words of psychiatric genetic researcher Myron Baron, ‘‘What greater harm is there than maiming (sterilization or castration) or murder?’’ (Baron, 1998, p. 97). When we consider that the alleged scientific justification for the procedure was in most cases based on very weak evidence (see below, and see Joseph, 2004, 2006), the magnitude of the crime becomes much greater.

2 Although a solid case can be made in support of Propping’s ‘‘slippery slope’’ from  sterilization to killing characterization, others might argue that whereas eugenic sterilization was legal in Germany, no law was established sanctioning the euthanasia killing program, and that the programs followed a different logic. A prophetic opponent of sterilization who did see a logical progression from sterilization to killing was Swedish Socialist Party member of Parliament Carl Lindhagen, who objected to a 1922 proposal to enact a eugenic sterilization law in Sweden. Lindhagen stated, ‘‘Why shall we only deprive these persons, of no use to society or even for themselves, the ability of reproduction? Is it not even kinder to take their lives? This kind of dubious reasoning will be the outcome of the methods proposed today’’ (quoted in Broberg and Tyde´n,  2005, p. 104).

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—— 1931b. ‘‘Psychiatrische Erbprognose und Eugenik [Psychiatric Genetic Prognosis and Eugenics].’’ Eugenik 1: 117–124.

—— 1934. ‘‘Rassenhygienisch Wichtige Probleme und Ergebnisse der Zwillingspathologie [Racial Hygienic Important Problems and Results of Twin Pathology].’’ E. Rudin (ed.), Erblehre und Rassenhygiene im Volkischen Staat [Genetics and Racial Hygiene in the Volkish State]. Munich: J. F. Lehmanns, pp. 303–316.

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—— 1938b. ‘‘Zur Entwicklung des Deutschen Reichs seit der Machtubernahme unseres Fuhrers am 30. Januar 1933 [On the Development of the German Reich Since Our Fuhrer’s Seizure of Power on January 30th, 1933].’’ Archiv fur Rassen- und Gesellschaftsbiologie 32: 185–186.

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—— 2004. ‘‘Psychotherapy Between Medicine, Psychoanalysis, and Politics: Concepts, Practices, and Institutions in Germany, c. 1945–1992.’’ Medical History 48: 473–492.

—— 2006. ‘‘Funding the Scientific Foundations of Race Policies: Ernst Rudin and the Impact of Career Resources on Psychiatric Genetics, ca 1910–1945.’’ W. Eckart (ed.), Man, Medicine, and the State: The Human Body as an Object of Government Sponsored Medical Research in the 20th Century. Stuttgart: Steiner, pp. 73–87.

—— 2012. ‘‘Ernst Rudin – Renommierter Wissenschaftler, Radikaler Rassenhygieniker [Ernst Rudin: Distinguished Scientist, Radical Racial Hygienist].’’ Der Nervenarzt 83: 303–310.

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—— 1939. ‘‘Uber die Beteutung der Empirischen Erbvorhersageforschung [On the Meaning of Genetic Empirical Prognostic Research].’’ Der Erbarzt 6 (4): 43–44.

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Introduction, from Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law
by James Q. Whitman


This jurisprudence would suit us perfectly, with a single exception. Over there they have in mind, practically speaking, only coloreds and half-coloreds, which includes mestizos and mulattoes; but the Jews, who are also of interest to us, are not reckoned among the coloreds.

-- Roland Freisler, June 5, 1934

On June 5, 1934, about a year and a half after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of the Reich, the leading lawyers of Nazi Germany gathered at a meeting to plan what would become the Nuremberg Laws, the notorious anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi race regime. The meeting was chaired by Franz Gurtner, the Reich Minister of Justice, and attended by officials who in the coming years would play central roles in the persecution of Germany's Jews. Among those present was Bernhard Losener, one of the principal draftsmen of the Nuremberg Laws; and the terrifying Roland Freisler, later President of the Nazi People's Court and a man whose name has endured as a byword for twentieth-century judicial savagery.

The meeting was an important one, and a stenographer was present to record a verbatim transcript, to be preserved by the ever-diligent Nazi bureaucracy as a record of a crucial moment in the creation of the new race regime. That transcript reveals the startling fact that is my point of departure in this study: the meeting involved detailed and lengthy discussions of the law of the United States. In the opening minutes, Justice Minister Gurtner presented a memo on American race law, which had been carefully prepared by the officials of the ministry for purposes of the gathering; and the participants returned repeatedly to the American models of racist legislation in the course of their discussions. It is particularly startling to discover that the most radical Nazis present were the most ardent champions of the lessons that American approaches held for Germany.
Nor, as we shall see, is this transcript the only record of Nazi engagement with American race law. In the late 1920s and early 1930s many Nazis, including not least Hitler himself, took a serious interest in the racist legislation of the United States. Indeed in Mein Kampf Hitler praised America as nothing less than "the one state" that had made progress toward the creation of a healthy racist order of the kind the Nuremberg Laws were intended to establish.

My purpose is to chronicle this neglected history of Nazi efforts to mine American race law for inspiration during the making of the Nuremberg Laws, and to ask what it tells us about Nazi Germany, about the modern history of racism, and especially about America.


The Nazi persecution of the Jews and others, culminating in the Holocaust, counts for all of us as the supremely horrible crime of the twentieth century, and the notion that Nazi policy makers might have been in some way inspired by American models may seem a bit too awful to contemplate. It may also seem implausible: we all think of America, whatever its undeniable faults, as the home of liberty and democracy -- as a country that put all of its might into the battle against fascism and Nazism that was finally won in 1945. Of course we also all know that America was home to its own racism in the era of the Nazi ascent to power, particularly in the Jim Crow South. In the 1930s Nazi Germany and the American South had the look, in the words of two southern historians, of a "mirror image":1 these were two unapologetically racist regimes, unmatched in their pitilessness. In the early 1930s the Jews of Germany were hounded, beaten, and sometimes murdered, by mobs and by the state alike. In the same years the blacks of the American South were hounded, beaten, and sometimes murdered as well.2

Nevertheless the idea that American law might have exerted any sort of direct influence on the Nazi program of racial persecution and oppression is hard to digest. Whatever similarities there may have been among the racist regimes of the 1930s, however foul the history of American racism may be, we are accustomed to thinking of Nazism as an ultimately unparalleled horror. The crimes of the Nazis are the nefandum, the unspeakable descent into what we often call "radical evil." No one wants to imagine that America provided any measure of inspiration for Hitler. In any case, it may seem inherently improbable that Nazis would have felt the need to look to any other country for lessons in racism -- perhaps least of all to the United States, which is, after all, whatever its failings, the home of a great constitutional tradition founded in liberty.

And virtually no one has suggested otherwise, with the notable exception of a shrewd paragraph in Mark Mazower's 2008 book Hitler's Empire.3 Other scholars have insisted on what most of us must think of as the obvious truth: There was of course no direct American influence on Nazi race law, or at least no meaningful influence. Whatever similarities there may have been, the Nazis were the authors of their own monstrous work; certainly America had nothing to teach Hitler. The person who has given the question the most sustained attention is a German lawyer named Andreas Rethmeier, who wrote a 1995 dissertation on the Nuremberg Laws that included an examination of some of the many Nazi references to American law.4 After reviewing his data Rethmeier arrived at a disconcerting verdict: America was, for the Nazis, the "classic example" of a country with racist legislation.5 Nevertheless, he insisted forcefully that the idea of American influence on the Nuremberg Laws was "not just off-base, but plain wrong." After all, he argued, the Americans classified Jews as "Caucasian; a gross error from the Nazi point of view."6

Others have come to similar conclusions. "[T]he few and fleeting references by Nazi polemicists and 'jurists' to Jim Crow laws," writes the American legal historian Richard Bernstein, for example, "were, as far as I can tell, simply attempts to cite vaguely relevant precedents for home-grown statutes and policies to deflect criticism, not actual sources of intellectual influence."7 "[T]he segregation law of the states," declares similarly Marcus Hanke of the University of Salzburg, "has not been of any important influence."8 Most recently, Jens-Uwe Guettel has written, in a 2012 book, of what he calls the "astonishing insignificance of American segregation laws" for Nazi policies. The Nazis, Guettel insists, regarded America as hopelessly mired in an outdated liberal outlook.9 There was nothing that deserves the name of influence. All of these scholars are perfectly aware that the Nazis had things to say about American law. But their reassuring consensus is that the Nazis said them merely in order to claim a specious parallel to their racist programs in the face of international condemnation.
10 The Nazis were interested in taunting America, not learning from it.

The sources, read soberly, paint a different picture. Awful it may be to contemplate, but the reality is that the Nazis took a sustained, significant, and sometimes even eager interest in the American example in race law. They most certainly were interested in learning from America. In fact, as we shall see, it was the most radical Nazis who pushed most energetically for the exploitation of American models. Nazi references to American law were neither few nor fleeting, and Nazi discussions took place in policy-making contexts that had nothing to do with producing international propaganda on behalf of the regime. Nor, importantly, was it only, or even primarily, the Jim Crow South that attracted Nazi lawyers. In the early 1930s the Nazis drew on a range of American examples, both federal and state. Their America was not just the South; it was a racist America writ much larger. Moreover, the ironic truth is that when Nazis rejected the American example, it was sometimes because they thought that American practices were overly harsh: for Nazis of the early 1930s, even radical ones, American race law sometimes looked too racist.

Be it emphasized immediately that there was certainly never anything remotely like unmixed admiration for America among the Nazis, who aggressively rejected the liberal and democratic commitments of American government. The Nazis were never interested in simply replicating the United States in Central Europe. Nevertheless Nazi lawyers regarded America, not without reason, as the innovative world leader in the creation of racist law; and while they saw much to deplore, they also saw much to emulate. It is even possible, indeed likely, that the Nuremberg Laws themselves reflect direct American influence.


The proposition that the Nazis drew inspiration from American race law in creating their own program of racist persecution is sure to seem distressing; no one wants the taint of an association with the crimes of Nazism. But in the end it should really come as no great surprise to attentive readers of Nazi history. In recent years historians have published considerable evidence of Nazi interest in, and even admiration for, a range of American practices, programs, and achievements. Especially in the early years of the regime, the Nazis did not by any means regard the United States as a clear ideological enemy.

In part, the Nazis looked to America for the same more or less innocent reasons others did all around the globe. The United States is powerful, wealthy, and creative, and even its most visceral enemies have found things to admire about it.
During the century or so since 1918 the glamour of America has proven particularly hard to resist. As interwar German racists observed, the United States had emerged after World War I as "the premier power in the world";11 it is hardly a surprise that the Nazis, like others, looked for what lessons the global powerhouse might have to teach, even as they also derided the liberal and democratic commitments of American society. Like others, the Nazis were impressed by the vigor of American industrial innovativeness and the vibrancy of Hollywood culture (though their taste for American culture was heavily qualified by their disgust for the "Negro music" of Jazz).12 Hitler in particular voiced his admiration, in Mein Kampf, for the "wealth of inventions" generated by the United States.13 None of this was peculiar to Nazi Germany.14

But historians have shown that there were also things about America that appealed to more distinctively Nazi views and goals. Some of this involved the American politics of the early 1930s. We have long known the strange fact that the Nazis frequently praised Franklin Roosevelt and New Deal government in the early 1930s. FDR received distinctly favorable treatment in the Nazi press until at least 1936 or 1937, lauded as a man who had seized "dictatorial powers" and embarked upon "bold experiments" in the spirit of the Fuhrer.15 Similar things were said more broadly about what was sometimes labeled in the 1930s "the fascist New Deal."16 The glossy Berlin Illustrated Magazine, seized from its Jewish publisher and converted into a kind of Nazi Life magazine, ran heroic photo spreads on Roosevelt,17 while Nazi rags like Will and Power, the newsletter of the Hitler Youth, described him as a "revolutionary" who might fail only because he lacked "a disciplined Party army like our Fuhrer."18 Meanwhile Roosevelt, for his part, though he was certainly troubled by the persecution of the German Jews and had harsh words for "dictators," cautiously refrained from singling out Hitler until 1937 or even 1939.19 There were certainly not deep ties of friendship between the two governments in the early 1930s, but the pall of unconditional hostility had not yet clearly fallen over US-German relations either. In this connection it is worth emphasizing, as the political scientist Ira Katznelson has recently done, that the New Deal depended heavily on the political support of the segregationist South.20 The relationship between the northern and southern Democrats was particularly cozy during the early 1930s, a period when, as we shall see, Nazi observers were particularly hopeful that they could "reach out the hand of friendship" to the United States on the basis of a shared commitment to white supremacy.21

To be sure, there are ways of minimizing the significance of the favorable press given to New Deal America in Nazi Germany. Nobody would suggest that Hitler was inspired by the example of FDR to become a dictator; and in any case the reality is that the American president was a committed democrat, who preserved American constitutional government at a time when it was under ominous stress.22 If the United States and Germany, both confronting the immense challenges of the Great Depression, found themselves resorting to similar "bold experiments," that does not make them intimate bedfellows.23 And whatever the Nazis may have thought about southern racism, southern whites themselves did not generally become supporters of Hitler.24 If the Nazis regarded New Deal America as a potential comrade in arms, that does not necessarily tell us much about what kind of a country America really was.

But -- and here recent scholarship on German-American relations becomes more troubling -- historians have also tracked down American influence on some of the most unambiguously criminal Nazi programs -- in particular on Nazi eugenics and the murderous Nazi conquests in Eastern Europe.

Begin with eugenics. A ruthless program of eugenics, designed to build a "healthy" society, free of hereditary defects, was central to Nazi ambitions in the 1930s. Soon after taking power, the regime passed a Law to Prevent the Birth of the Offspring with Hereditary Defects, and by the end of the decade a program of systematic euthanasia that prefigured the Holocaust, including the use of gassing, was under way.25 We now know that in the background of this horror lay a sustained engagement with America's eugenics movement. In his 1994 book The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism, historian Stefan Kuhl created a sensation by demonstrating that there was an active back-and-forth traffic between American and Nazi eugenicists until the late 1930s, indeed that Nazis even looked to the United States as a "model."26 During the interwar period the United States was not just a global leader in assembly-line manufacturing and Hollywood popular culture. It was also a global leader in "scientific" eugenics, led by figures like the historian Lothrop Stoddard and the lawyer Madison Grant, author of the 1916 racist best-seller The Passing of the Great Race; or, The Racial Basis of European History. These were men who promoted the sterilization of the mentally defective and the exclusion of immigrants who were supposedly genetically inferior. Their teachings filtered into immigration law not only in the United States but also in other Anglophone countries: Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand all began to screen immigrants for their hereditary fitness.27 Kuhl demonstrated that the impact of American eugenics was also strongly felt in Nazi Germany, where the works of Grant, Stoddard, and other American eugenicists were standard citations.

To be sure, there are, here again, ways we may try to minimize the significance of the eugenics story. American eugenicists, repellant though they were, did not advocate mass euthanasia, and the period when the Nazis moved in their most radically murderous direction, at the very end of the 1930s, was also the period when their direct links with American eugenics frayed. In any case, eugenics, which was widely regarded as quite respectable at the time, was an international movement, whose reach extended beyond the borders of both the United States and Nazi Germany. The global history of eugenics cannot be told as an exclusively German-American tale. But the story of Nazi interest in the American example does not end with the eugenics of the early 1930s; historians have carried it into the nightmare years of the Holocaust in the early 1940s as well.

It is here that some of the most unsettling evidence has been assembled, as historians have shown that Nazi expansion eastward was accompanied by invocations of the American conquest of the West, with its accompanying wars on Native Americans. This tale, by contrast with the tale of eugenics, is a much more exclusively German-American one. The Nazis were consumed by the felt imperative to acquire Lebensraum, "living space," for an expanding Germany that would engulf the territories to its east, and "[f]or generations of German imperialists, and for Hitler himself, the exemplary land empire was the United States of America."28 In Nazi eyes, the United States ranked alongside the British, "to be respected as racial kindred and builders of a great empire":29 both were "Nordic" polities that had undertaken epic programs of conquest.

Indeed as early as 1928 Hitler was speechifying admiringly about the way Americans had "gunned down the millions of Redskins to a few hundred thousand, and now keep the modest remnant under observation in a cage";30 and during the years of genocide in the early 1940s Nazi leaders made repeated reference to the American conquest of the West when speaking of their own murderous conquests to their east.31
Historians have compiled many quotes, from Hitler and others, comparing Germany's conquests, and its program of extermination, with America's winning of the West. They are quotes that make for chilling reading, and there are historians who try to deny their significance.32 But the majority of scholars find the evidence too weighty to reject: "The United States policy of westward expansion," as Norman Rich forcefully concludes, for example, "in the course of which the white men ruthlessly thrust aside the 'inferior' indigenous populations, served as the model for Hitler's entire conception of Lebensraum."33

All of this adds up to a tale of considerable Nazi interest in what the example of the United States had to offer. It is a tale that has to be told cautiously. It is surely too much to call the United States "the" model for Nazi Germany without careful qualification; Nazi attitudes toward America were too ambivalent, and Nazi programs had too many indigenous sources. America, for its part, as we shall see, embodied too much of what the Nazis hated most, at least in its better moments. If the Nazis found precedents and parallels and inspirations in America, they nevertheless struck out on their own path. Still, what all this research unmistakably reveals is that the Nazis did find precedents and parallels and inspirations in the United States.


It is against that background that I ask the reader to ponder the evidence that this book has to present. In the early 1930s, as the Nazis were crafting the program of racial persecution enshrined in the Nuremberg Laws, they took a great interest not only in the way Henry Ford built cars for the masses, not only in the way Hollywood built its own mass market, not only in FDR's style of government, not only in American eugenics, and not only in American westward expansion, but also in the lessons to be garnered from the techniques of American racist legislation and jurisprudence.

Scholars have failed to write this history for two reasons: they have been looking in the wrong place and have been employing the wrong interpretive tools. First and foremost, they have been looking in the wrong place. Scholars like Guettel and Hanke have addressed their question in unmistakably American terms. What Americans ask is whether "Jim Crow" had any influence on the Nazis; and by "Jim Crow" they mean segregation as it was practiced in the American South and fought over in the American civil rights era from the early 1950s into the mid-1960s -- segregation in education, public transportation, housing, and the like. Looking for an influence of American segregation law on the Nazis, Guettel and Hanke conclude that there was little or none. Now, as we shall see, that conclusion is too hasty. The Nazis did know, and did care, about American segregation; and it is clear that some of them were intrigued by the possibility of bringing Jim Crow to Germany. As we shall see, important programmatic Nazi texts made a point of invoking the example of Jim Crow segregation, and there were leading Nazi lawyers who made serious proposals that something similar ought to be introduced into Germany.34 But the principal difficulty with the conclusions of Guettel and Hanke is that they are answering the wrong question. Segregation is not what counts most.

Yes it is true that segregation in the style of the American South did not matter all that much to the Nazi regime -- but that is for the simple reason that segregation was not all that central to the Nazi program. The Nuremberg Laws said nothing about segregation. Their concern, and the overwhelming concern of the Nazi regime of the early 1930s, lay in two other domains: first, citizenship, and second, sex and reproduction. The Nazis were committed to the proposition that "every state has the right to maintain its population pure and unmixed;"35 safe from racial pollution. To that end they were determined to establish a citizenship regime that would be firmly founded on racial categories. They were further determined to prevent mixed marriages between Jews and "Aryans" and to criminalize extramarital sex between members of the two communities.36

In both respects they found, and welcomed, precedent and authority in American law, and by no means just in the law of the South. In the 1930s the United States, as the Nazis frequently noted, stood at the forefront of race-based lawmaking. American immigration and naturalization law, in the shape of a series of laws culminating in the Immigration Act of 1924, conditioned entry into the United States on race-based tables of "national origins." It was America's race-based immigration law that Hitler praised in Mein Kampf, in a passage that has been oddly neglected by American legal scholars
; and leading Nazi legal thinkers did the same after him, repeatedly and volubly. The United States also stood at the forefront in the creation of forms of de jure and de facto second-class citizenship for blacks, Filipinos, Chinese, and others; this too was of great interest to the Nazis, engaged as they were in creating their own forms of second-class citizenship for Germany's Jews. As for race mixing between the sexes, the United States stood at the forefront there as well. America was a beacon of anti-miscegenation law, with thirty different state regimes -- many of them outside the South, and all of them (as we shall see) carefully studied, catalogued, and debated by Nazi lawyers. There were no other models for miscegenation legislation that the Nazis could find in the world, a fact that Justice Minister Gurtner highlighted at the June 5, 1934, meeting with which I began. When it came to immigration, second-class citizenship, and miscegenation, America was indeed "the classic example" of a country with highly developed, and harsh, race law in the early 1930s, and Nazi lawyers made repeated reference to American models and precedents in the drafting process that led up to the Nuremberg Laws and continued in their subsequent interpretation and application. The tale is by no means one of "astonishing insignificance."

The scholars who dismiss the possibility of American influence on Nazi lawmaking have also used the wrong interpretive tools in making their case. Our literature has taken a crass interpretive tack: it has assumed that we can speak of "influence" only where we find direct and unmodified, even verbatim, imitation. That is the assumption behind Rethmeier's confident assertion that American race law could not have influenced the Nazis, since American law did not specifically target Jews. We find the same assumption in Hanke: Nazi law was different, Hanke declares, because the German laws of the early 1930s were "but one step on the stair to the gas chambers."37 Unlike American segregation laws, which simply applied the principle of "separate but equal," German laws were part of a program of extermination. Now part of the problem with this argument, which Hanke is by no means alone in offering,38 is that its historical premise is false: It is simply not the case that the drafters of the Nuremberg laws were already aiming at the annihilation of the Jews in 1935. The concern of early Nazi policy was to drive the Jewish population into exile, or at the very least to marginalize it within the borders of the Reich, and there were serious conflicts among Nazi policy makers about how to achieve even that goal.

But in any case, it is a major interpretive fallacy on the part of all these scholars to suppose that we cannot speak of "influence" unless Nazi laws were perfectly congruent with American ones. As we shall see, Nazi lawyers had no difficulty exploiting American law on race, even if it had nothing to say about Jews as such. In any case, influence in comparative law is rarely just about literal imitation. Influence is a complex business of translation, creative adaptation, selective borrowing, and invocation of authority. All borrowers engage in tinkering and retrofitting; that is as true of the Nazis as it is of any other regime. All borrowers start from foreign models and then reshape them to meet their own circumstances; that is true of vicious racist borrowers just as it is true of everyone else.

Influence does not come just through verbatim borrowing. It comes through inspiration and example, and the United States had much inspiration and example to offer Nazi lawyers in the early 1930s, the era of the making of the Nuremberg Laws.


None of this is entirely easy to talk about. There is more than one reason why it is hard to look coolly on the question of whether the racist program of the Nazis was influenced by, or even paralleled by, what went on in other Western regimes -- just as it is hard to admit the continuities between Nazism and the postwar European orders that replaced it. No one wants to be perceived as relativizing Nazi crimes. Germans in particular are generally understandably reluctant to engage in discussions that might smack of apologetics. Contemporary Germany rests on the moral foundation not only of the repudiation of Nazism, but also of the refusal to deny German responsibility for what happened under Hitler. Alluding to foreign influences remains largely out of bounds in Germany for that reason. Conversely no non-Germans want their country to be accused of any part in the genesis of Nazism. It is hard to overcome our sense that if we influenced Nazism we have polluted ourselves in ways that can never be cleansed. On the deepest level it is perhaps the case that we feel, throughout the Western world, a need to identify a true nefandum, an abyss of unexampled modern horror against which we can define ourselves, a wholly sui generis "radical evil" -- a sort of dark star to steer by lest we lose our moral bearings.

But of course history does not make it that easy. Nazism was not simply a nightmarish parenthesis in history that bore no relationship to what came before and after; nor was it a completely unexampled racist horror. The Nazis were not simply demons who erupted out of some dark underworld to shatter what was good and just within the Western tradition, until they were put down by force of arms and the authentic humane and progressive values of Europe were restored. There were traditions of Western government within which they worked. There were continuities between Nazism and what came before and after. There were examples and inspirations on which the Nazis drew, and American race law was prominent among them.

None of this is to suggest that America was a Nazi country in the 1930s. Of course it was not, appalling as the law of the early and mid-twentieth century sometimes was. Of course the racist strains in American law coexisted and competed with some glorious humane and egalitarian strains. Of course thoughtful Americans reviled Nazism -- though there were certainly some who fell for Hitler. The most famous of the lawyers among them was none other than Roscoe Pound, dean of the Harvard Law School, icon of advanced American legal thought, and a man who made little secret of his liking for Hitler in the 1930s.39 Nazi lawyers for their part saw plenty of things to despise about America.

FIGURE 2.8. Dr. Hans Luther (right), Nazi Germany's ambassador to the United States, presents Roscoe Pound, dean of Harvard Law School, with an honorary degree from the University of Berlin, September 1934. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Print Department.

-- The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses, by Stephen H. Norwood

The point is not that the American and Nazi race regimes were the same, but that the Nazis found examples and precedents in the American legal race order that they valued highly, while simultaneously deploring, and puzzling over, the strength of the liberal countercurrent in a country with so much openly and unapologetically sanctioned racism. We can, and should, reject the sort of simpleminded anti-Americanism that blames the United States for all the evils of the world, or reduces America to nothing but its history of racism.40 But there is no excuse for refusing to confront hard questions about our history, and about the history of American influence abroad. The American impact on the rest of the world is not limited to what makes Americans proudest about their country. It has also included aspects of the American past that we might prefer to forget.


The root formula of an epoch is always an unwritten law, just as the law that is the first of all laws, that which protects life from the murderer, is written nowhere in the Statute Book. Nevertheless there is all the difference between having and not having a notion of this basic assumption in an epoch. For instance, the Middle Ages...Or again, the seventeenth century....Or yet again: the eighteenth century...But we shall understand them all better if we once catch sight of the idea of tidying up which ran through the whole period, the quietest people being prouder of their tidiness, civilisation, and sound taste than of any of their virtues; and the wildest people having (and this is the most important point) no love of wildness for its own sake, like Nietzsche or the anarchic poets, but only a readiness to employ it to get rid of unreason or disorder. With these epochs it is not altogether impossible to say that some such form of words is a key. The epoch for which it is almost impossible to find a form of words is our own.

Nevertheless, I think that with us the keyword is "inevitability," or, as I should be inclined to call it, "impenitence." We are subconsciously dominated in all departments by the notion that there is no turning back, and it is rooted in materialism and the denial of free-will. Take any handful of modern facts and compare them with the corresponding facts a few hundred years ago. Compare the modern Party System with the political factions of the seventeenth century. The difference is that in the older time the party leaders not only really cut off each other's heads, but (what is much more alarming) really repealed each other's laws. With us it has become traditional for one party to inherit and leave untouched the acts of the other when made, however bitterly they were attacked in the making. James II. and his nephew William were neither of them very gay specimens; but they would both have laughed at the idea of "a continuous foreign policy." ...

And then consider this: that we have comparatively lately known a universal orgy of the thing called Imperialism, the unity of the Empire the only topic, colonies counted like crown jewels, and the Union Jack waved across the world. And yet no one so much as dreamed, I will not say of recovering, the American colonies for the Imperial unity (which would have been too dangerous a task for modern empire-builders), but even of re-telling the story from an Imperial standpoint....It was not said, much less acted upon, by the modern Imperialists; because of this basic modern sense, that as the future is inevitable, so is the past irrevocable. Any fact so complete as the American exodus from the Empire must be considered as final for æons, though it hardly happened more than a hundred years ago. Merely because it has managed to occur it must be called first, a necessary evil, and then an indispensable good. I need not add that I do not want to reconquer America; but then I am not an Imperialist.

Then there is another way of testing it: ask yourself how many people you have met who grumbled at a thing as incurable, and how many who attacked it as curable? How many people we have heard abuse the British elementary schools, as they would abuse the British climate? How few have we met who realised that British education can be altered, but British weather cannot? How few there were that knew that the clouds were more immortal and more solid than the schools? For a thousand that regret compulsory education, where is the hundred, or the ten, or the one, who would repeal compulsory education? Indeed, the very word proves my case by its unpromising and unfamiliar sound. At the beginning of our epoch men talked with equal ease about Reform and Repeal. Now everybody talks about reform; but nobody talks about repeal. Our fathers did not talk of Free Trade, but of the Repeal of the Corn Laws. They did not talk of Home Rule, but of the Repeal of the Union. In those days people talked of a "Repealer" as the most practical of all politicians, the kind of politician that carries a club. Now the Repealer is flung far into the province of an impossible idealism: and the leader of one of our great parties, having said, in a heat of temporary sincerity, that he would repeal an Act, actually had to write to all the papers to assure them that he would only amend it. I need not multiply instances, though they might be multiplied almost to a million. The note of the age is to suggest that the past may just as well be praised, since it cannot be mended. Men actually in that past have toiled like ants and died like locusts to undo some previous settlement that seemed secure; but we cannot do so much as repeal an Act of Parliament. We entertain the weak-minded notion that what is done can't be undone....

Now this modern refusal to undo what has been done is not only an intellectual fault; it is a moral fault also. It is not merely our mental inability to understand the mistake we have made. It is also our spiritual refusal to admit that we have made a mistake. It was mere vanity in Mr. Brummell when he sent away trays full of imperfectly knotted neck-cloths, lightly remarking, "These are our failures." It is a good instance of the nearness of vanity to humility, for at least he had to admit that they were failures. But it would have been spiritual pride in Mr. Brummell if he had tied on all the cravats, one on top of the other, lest his valet should discover that he had ever tied one badly. For in spiritual pride there is always an element of secrecy and solitude. Mr. Brummell would be satanic; also (which I fear would affect him more) he would be badly dressed. But he would be a perfect presentation of the modern publicist, who cannot do anything right, because he must not admit that he ever did anything wrong.

This strange, weak obstinacy, this persistence in the wrong path of progress, grows weaker and worse, as do all such weak things. And by the time in which I write its moral attitude has taken on something of the sinister and even the horrible. Our mistakes have become our secrets. Editors and journalists tear up with a guilty air all that reminds them of the party promises unfulfilled, or the party ideals reproaching them. It is true of our statesmen (much more than of our bishops, of whom Mr. Wells said it), that socially in evidence they are intellectually in hiding. The society is heavy with unconfessed sins; its mind is sore and silent with painful subjects; it has a constipation of conscience. There are many things it has done and allowed to be done which it does not really dare to think about; it calls them by other names and tries to talk itself into faith in a false past, as men make up the things they would have said in a quarrel. Of these sins one lies buried deepest but most noisome, and though it is stifled, stinks: the true story of the relations of the rich man and the poor in England. The half-starved English proletarian is not only nearly a skeleton but he is a skeleton in a cupboard....

I said the true story. Untrue stories there are in plenty, on all sides of the discussion. There is the interesting story of the Class Conscious Proletarian of All Lands, the chap who has "solidarity," and is always just going to abolish war. The Marxian Socialists will tell you all about him; only he isn't there....There is the story of the Two Workmen, which is a very nice and exciting story, about how one passed all the public houses in Cheapside and was made Lord Mayor on arriving at the Guildhall, while the other went into all the public houses and emerged quite ineligible for such a dignity. Alas! for this also is vanity. A thief might become Lord Mayor, but an honest workman certainly couldn't. Then there is the story of "The Relentless Doom," by which rich men were, by economic laws, forced to go on taking away money from poor men, although they simply longed to leave off: this is an unendurable thought to a free and Christian man, and the reader will be relieved to hear that it never happened. The rich could have left off stealing whenever they wanted to leave off, only this never happened either. Then there is the story of the cunning Fabian who sat on six committees at once and so coaxed the rich man to become quite poor. By simply repeating, in a whisper, that there are "wheels within wheels," this talented man managed to take away the millionaire's motor car, one wheel at a time, till the millionaire had quite forgotten that he ever had one. It was very clever of him to do this, only he has not done it. There is not a screw loose in the millionaire's motor, which is capable of running over the Fabian and leaving him a flat corpse in the road at a moment's notice. All these stories are very fascinating stories to be told by the Individualist and Socialist in turn to the great Sultan of Capitalism, because if they left off amusing him for an instant he would cut off their heads. But if they once began to tell the true story of the Sultan to the Sultan, he would boil them in oil; and this they wish to avoid.

The true story of the sin of the Sultan he is always trying, by listening to these stories, to forget. As we have said before in this chapter, he would prefer not to remember, because he has made up his mind not to repent....In all ages the tyrant is hard because he is soft. If his car crashes over bleeding and accusing crowds, it is because he has chosen the path of least resistance. It is because it is much easier to ride down a human race than ride up a moderately steep hill. The fight of the oppressor is always a pillow-fight; commonly a war with cushions—always a war for cushions. Saladin, the great Sultan, if I remember rightly, accounted it the greatest feat of swordsmanship to cut a cushion. And so indeed it is, as all of us can attest who have been for years past trying to cut into the swollen and windy corpulence of the modern compromise, that is at once cosy and cruel. For there is really in our world to-day the colour and silence of the cushioned divan; and that sense of palace within palace and garden within garden which makes the rich irresponsibility of the East. Have we not already the wordless dance, the wineless banquet, and all that strange unchristian conception of luxury without laughter? Are we not already in an evil Arabian Nights, and walking the nightmare cities of an invisible despot? Does not our hangman strangle secretly, the bearer of the bow string? Are we not already eugenists—that is, eunuch-makers? Do we not see the bright eyes, the motionless faces, and all that presence of something that is dead and yet sleepless? It is the presence of the sin that is sealed with pride and impenitence; the story of how the Sultan got his throne. But it is not the story he is listening to just now, but another story which has been invented to cover it—the story called "Eugenius: or the Adventures of One Not Born," a most varied and entrancing tale, which never fails to send him to sleep.

-- Eugenics and Other Evils, by G.K. Chesterton

We will not understand the history of National Socialist Germany, and more importantly the place of America in the larger history of world racism, unless we reckon with these facts. In the early 1930s, Nazi lawyers were engaged in creating a race law founded on anti-miscegenation law and race-based immigration, naturalization, and second-class citizenship law. They went looking for foreign models, and found them -- in the United States of America.
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Reginald John Campbell
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R J Campbell in 1903

Reginald John Campbell (29 August 1867 – 1 March 1956) was a British Congregationalist and Anglican divine who became a popular preacher while the minister at the City Temple and a leading exponent of 'The New Theology' movement of 1907. His last years were spent as a senior cleric in the Church of England.

Early years

Born at Bermondsey in London, the second of four sons and one daughter of John Campbell (born 1841), a United Free Methodist minister of Scottish descent, and his wife, Mary Johnston, he was registered at birth as John Wesley Campbell, which name also appears on his first marriage certificate in 1889. A brother was the writer James Johnston Campbell. At a few months old Campbell went to live with his maternal grandparents, John Johnston and his wife, near Belfast in Northern Ireland because of his delicate health.[1] Here, later, he was home tutored.

After the death of his grandfather in 1880, aged 13 he rejoined his parents in England, where he was educated at grammar schools in Bolton and Nottingham, where his father successively removed. After studying at University College in Nottingham, he taught in the high school at Ashton, Cheshire from 1888, where the Headmaster was the Rev. F. H. Mentha, MA. His influence over Campbell made him receptive to the Oxford Philosophy proclaimed by Dean Paget. This resulted in his confirmation in the Church of England and in his preparation for the priesthood. A boy at the school wrote of Campbell to his predecessor:

"We have got a curlywigged old fellow in your place, called Campbell, and I think he must be a B.A., or M.A., or something because he wears a hat and gown, and I don't know whether his hair is his own. He is going to try and teach us Chemistry soon, but he seems to know only what he gets out of the textbook..."[2]

On 8 June 1889, he married Mary Elizabeth Campbell (née Slack) (1861–1924), a member of his father's congregation at the United Free Methodist Church in Nottingham.[3] Their infant son, Charles Edgar Campbell, died in 1891. In 1892 Campbell went to Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in 1895 in Honours in the School of Modern History and Political Science. He matriculated at Oxford as Reginald John Campbell, the names by which he was then commonly known. He graduated MA in 1902. During his time at Christ Church Campbell preached in the villages around Oxford.[4] He was a non-smoker and a teetotaller.

He had gone up to Oxford with the intention of becoming a clergyman in the Church of England, but in spite of the influence of Bishop Gore, then head of the Pusey House, and of Dean Paget (afterwards Bishop of Oxford), his Scottish and Irish Nonconformist blood was too strong, and at that time he abandoned the idea in order to take up work in the Congregational ministry, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, the Rev. James Campbell.[5] He joined the Congregational Church which met in George Street, Oxford under the Rev A. R. Ezard.

The City Temple

On leaving Oxford he accepted a call to the small Congregational church in Union Street, Brighton, commencing his ministry there in the summer of 1895. Within a year Campbell filled the church, and to accommodate the crowds who came to hear him preach the Union Street church merged with another larger church in Queens' Square in Brighton. Marie Corelli always attended the Union Street services during Campbell's time there.[6]

He quickly became famous at Brighton as a preacher, so much so that in the Summer of 1902 Joseph Parker, whose health was declining, invited Campbell to assist him by preaching at the City Temple's Thursday mid-day services. Following Parker's death in November 1902 Campbell was chosen as his successor and was inaugurated as minister of the City Temple—London's "cathedral of nonconformity"—on 21 May 1903.[7] While his predecessor was theologically conservative, Campbell was emphatically not. A Socialist politically,[8] his theology proved as radical as his politics.

Seven thousand people attended the services on his first Sunday.
He was expected to preach twice on Sundays and at the popular Thursday lunchtime services. His sermons, which addressed both issues of the day and doctrinal questions, were instantly published and attracted much attention both in Britain and in the United States. Picture postcards of Campbell were soon on sale alongside those of actresses and other celebrities of the day, and the R. J. Campbell Birthday Book containing his ‘favourite poetical quotations, portrait and autograph’ could also be purchased.[9] The publicity which attended his arrival in London rarely left him for the next dozen years.[10] At the City Temple he notably enhanced his popularity as a preacher, and became one of the recognized leaders of Nonconformist opinion.

As his fame spread he was invited on a preaching tour of America and Canada.
He left Southampton on 13 June 1903, arriving in New York on 20 June. He preached or spoke at venues in New York, Boston, and Chicago. At Ocean Grove he spoke to a crowd of 10,000. He also preached in Toronto and Montreal, visiting Niagara Falls on the way.[11]


"Fearless but Intemperate": Campbell as caricatured by 'Spy' in Vanity Fair, November 1904

Campbell was criticised for an article published in the National Review in October 1904 in which he described British working men as " ... often lazy, unthrifty, and improvident, while they are sometimes immoral, foul-mouthed, and untruthful". Crowds of angry and threatening working men gathered outside the City Temple on the Sunday following where they waited for Campbell. In an attempt to explain his meaning he appeared at a meeting of the Paddington and Kensington Trades and Labour Councils on 21 October 1904 during which he disavowed any intention of making an indiscriminate attack on the workers.

Although he was severely heckled by his audience during the delivery of his speech, Campbell's courage in facing the unions and acknowledging the truth of the reports as to his previous comments was recognised and he was loudly cheered at the conclusion of his address.[12]

In the November 1904 edition of The Young Man Campbell explained himself further in an article called 'The Truth about the Working Man Controversy':

"...Two-thirds of the national drinking bill is incurred by the working man. His keenest struggles are for shorter hours and better wages, but not that he may employ them for higher ends. He is often lazy and untruthful. Unlike the American worker, he has comparatively little aspiration or ambition...."

"Let it be understood that, as here stated, they (his statements) are not intended to apply to working men as a whole, but to large classes among them, which classes, it is to be feared, constitute a majority. I say it is to be feared they do. But 51 per cent constitutes a majority, and there are plenty of my correspondents who think the percentage of working men of whose habits my words are a fair description numbers considerably more than 51 per cent... The working man is moved and flattered by politicians, platform agitators, and preachers. He is accustomed to rail at the clerical calling and sins of the churches. He will cheer loudly when parsons, plutocrats and the aristocracy are being vilified, but let no one presume to hint at any shortcomings in himself. Bear in mind I am still speaking of those whose habits are described in my article, and not of the quiet, respectable, hard-working sons of toil, for whom the public house and the betting corners have no attraction"[13]

Campbell with `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1911

Questions also soon began to be raised about the way that Campbell introduced Biblical criticism into his preaching,[14] questioning the traditional ascription of books, and the origins of the text. As his sermons were published, this brought them to the notice of readers throughout the nation, and beyond.[15] The theology held by Campbell and a number of his friends came to be known as 'The New Theology'.[16] Unwisely, Campbell decided to answer his critics by issuing a volume entitled simply The New Theology, a restatement of Christian beliefs to harmonize with modern critical views and beliefs.[17] Looking back on it later, he felt that he had gone too far. "It was much too hastily written, was crude and uncompromising in statement, polemical in spirit, and gave a totally wrong impression of the sermons delivered week by week in the City Temple Pulpit".[18]

Support for the Independent Labour Party and further controversy

In the ensuing decade, Campbell continued to read and reflect on the literature regarding the historical Jesus. His study persuaded him that the historical Jesus was nothing like the Jesus of liberal Protestantism but was rather much more nearly the way he is portrayed in Catholic tradition. In July 1907 he declared his conviction that Socialism was the practical form of Christianity; subsequently, he was invited to stand as a Labour Party candidate for Cardiff in the forthcoming elections.[19] He was elected to the executive of the Fabian Society in 1908, but was apparently too busy to ever attend a single committee meeting. He shared a platform with Keir Hardie on several occasions, most notably at a great meeting in Liverpool in March 1907.[20]

His association with the Independent Labour Party, precursor of the Labour Party was particularly significant in South Wales, where his appearance at a meeting at Ystalyfera was influential in the political development of the future Labour politician James Griffiths. There were also groups who regarded themselves as 'Campbellites' in many South Wales communities and this caused divisions in some nonconformist chapels, for example at Bethel, Gadlys near Aberdare.[21]

In February 1911 he again caused a stir when he announced at a meeting of the Theosophical Society in London that he believed in reincarnation, and that he believed that when Jesus returned for the Second Coming he would be reincarnated.[22]

On 5 September 1911 Campbell met `Abdu'l-Bahá, the eldest son and successor of Bahá'u'lláh,[23] the founder of the Bahá'í Faith,[24] and invited him to give a public address in the City Temple a few days later.
[25] In October 1911, accompanied by his wife and daughter, Hilda May (1891–1935), he embarked on a three-month preaching tour of the United States.[26]

Return to Anglicanism

R.J. Campbell in 1914

In the summer of 1915, after a tour of the trenches during World War I, Campbell underwent a deep personal crisis, seeing a need for greater Christian unity, and for himself a return to the Church of England. This crisis, which led him to turn from being a liberal Protestant to being a liberal Catholic, came largely from his earlier researches into Biblical Criticism and the historical Jesus, his conclusions leading him to the opinion that the Jesus of liberal Protestantism did not exist, and that the historical Jesus was much closer to that taught in Catholic doctrine.[27] He wrote:

"It was the Christ of the Catholic Church that stood forth from the newer criticism of the gospel sources, not the Christ of liberal Protestantism. This was thrust forcibly upon my attention. The alternatives were obvious : Either Jesus was what the Catholic Church said He was or He did not exist; either He was the Man from heaven, a complete break with the natural order of things, the representative of a transcendental order, supernatural, super-rational super-everything, or He was nothing. This was scarcely the Christ of Protestantism at all, whether liberal or conservative."[28]

He considered rewriting his book, The New Theology, keeping to the same sequence of subjects, but correcting all the points in which it was at variance with Catholic doctrine. Eventually, he felt that the book's title made such a move impossible, so instead, in March 1915, he decided to withdraw the book and purchased the publishing rights to prevent its possible re-issue.[29]

In October 1915 Campbell preached his last sermon at the City Temple and resigned from the Congregational church; a few days later he was received back into the Church of England by Bishop Gore at Cuddesdon.[10]

In October 1916 he was ordained as an Anglican priest,[30] and became attached to the staff of St Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham before appointment as Vicar of Christ Church, Westminster from 1917 to 1921, and then at Holy Trinity in Brighton from 1924 to 1930. On rejoining the Church of England, and at the request of some old Congregational friends, with whom he remained on good terms, he wrote an account of the development of his thought in A Spiritual Pilgrimage (1916). In 1919 he was granted the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Oxford.[31] His biography of David Livingstone was published in 1929.

Later years

He became Residentiary Canon and Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral in 1930, and was Chaplain and theological lecturer of Bishop Otter College in Chichester from 1933 to 1936.[32] Following the death of his first wife in 1927, aged 60 he married Ethel Gertrude Smith (1885–1943), his adopted daughter who was also his secretary.[33] He resigned as Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral in 1946 aged 80, and was appointed Canon Emeritus.[30]

Largely forgotten at the time of his death, in his latter decades he had deliberately kept out of the limelight, seeking to avoid the fame that had pursued him during his early career, and which, perhaps, he had sought, and to live quietly and in relative obscurity.

R.J. Campbell died in 1956 at his home, "Heatherdene", in Fairwarp in East Sussex aged 89.[30] The funeral service was led by George Bell, the Bishop of Chichester. He was buried with his first wife and daughter in a grave which also contained the ashes of his second wife in the churchyard of St Peter's Church at West Blatchington, near Hove in East Sussex.

Selected publications

• The Restored Innocence Hodder & Stoughton, London (1898)
• A Faith for To-day: Suggestions Towards a System of Christian Belief J. Clarke & Co., London (1900)
• City Temple Sermons Hodder & Stoughton (1903)
• The Keys of the Kingdom, and Other Sermons A. H. Stockwell: London (1903)
• Sermons to Young Men S. C. Brown, Langham & Co., London (1904)
• The Song of Ages, and Other Sermons H. Marshall & Son, London (1905)
• Christianity and the Social Order Chapman & Hall (1907)
• The New Theology Chapman & Hall, London (1907)
• New Theology Sermons Williams & Norgate, London (1907)
• Thursday Mornings at the City Temple T. Fisher Unwin: London, Leipsic (1908)
• Women's Suffrage and the Social Evil: Speech delivered at the Queen's Hall, etc Women's Freedom League, London (1909)
• With our Troops in France Chapman & Hall, London (1916)
• The War and the Soul Chapman & Hall, London (1916)
• A Spiritual Pilgrimage Williams & Norgate (1916)
• The Life of Christ Cassell & Co., London (1921)
• A Notable Centenary- Holy Trinity, Brighton 1826–1926, The Southern Publishing Co. Ltd, Brighton (1926)
• Thomas Arnold Macmillan & Co., London (1927)
• Livingstone Ernest Benn, London (1929)
• The Story of Christmas Collins: London & Glasgow (1935)
• The Peace of God Nisbet & Co., London (1936)
• The Life of the World to Come Longmans, Green & Co., London (1948)


• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Campbell, Reginald John". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
1. R.J. Campbell: 'A Spiritual Pilgrimage', (1916) P. 1
2. Wilkerson, Albert H., The Rev. R J. Campbell – The Man And His MessageFrancis Griffiths, London (1907) pg 7
3. Bateman, Charles T., R. J. Campbell, M.A. – Pastor of the City Temple, London S.W. Partridge & Co, London (1903) pg 17
4. Wilkerson, pg 7
5. Bateman, pg 25
6. Wilkerson, pg 12
7. Clare, Albert 'The City Temple 1640–1940: The Tercentenary Commemoration Volume' Independent Press, Ltd., London (1940) pg 139
8. Campbell: 'A Spiritual Pilgrimage', P. 131
9. Willis, Mary A. The R J Campbell Birthday Book: Selections from the Sermons and Prayers of the Reverend R J Campbell, MA, with His Favourite Poetical Quotations Christian Commonwealth Co., London (1904)
10. Robbins, Keith 'The Spiritual Pilgrimage of the Rev. R. J. Campbell' – The Journal of Ecclesiastical HistoryApril 1979 30 : pp 261–276
11. Bateman, pg 130
12. 'The Rev R J Campbell – The Workers Criticised' The Advertiser 24 October 1904
13. 'Rev. R J Campbell and Working Men'The Sydney Morning Herald 9 December 1904
14. Campbell: 'A Spiritual Pilgrimage', P. 167
15. Campbell: 'A Spiritual Pilgrimage', P. 172
16. Campbell, 'The New Theology' (London, Chapman and Hall, 1907), P. v
17. Campbell, 'The New Theology' (London, Chapman and Hall, 1907). Though he later withdrew the book, copies remain in circulation
18. Campbell: 'A Spiritual Pilgrimage', P. 188
19. 'Preacher Turns Socialist: The Rev. R.J. Campbell is invited to stand for Parliament' – The New York Times 1 August 1907
20. Robbins, P. 272
21. "Theological Friction. Trouble at Bethel, Gadlys". Aberdare Leader. 21 November 1908. Retrieved 13 March2015.
22. 'Campbell expects to be Reincarnated; Pastor of London City Temple Believes This Will Occur on Christ's Second Coming' The New York Times 5 February 1911
23. Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 2
24. True, Corinne (27 September 1911). Windust, Albert R; Buikema, Gertrude (eds.). "Towards Spiritual Unity". Star of the West. Chicago, USA: Bahá'í News Service. 02 (11): 2, 4–7. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
25. 'Reginald John Campbell' on the 'Bahá’í Tributes' website
26. "Campbell Defines His New Theology" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 October 1911.
27. Campbell, 'A Spiritual Journey', P. 247
28. Campbell, 'A Spiritual Pilgrimage', P. 250
29. Campbell, 'A Spiritual Pilgrimage', P. 277
30. Jump up to:a b c 'Death of Dr Reginald J. Campbell' – The Glasgow Herald – 2 March 1956
31. 'Rev. R.J. Campbell D.D.' in British Preachers 1925: the Men and their Message Fleming H. Revell Company, London & Edinburgh (1925) p.12
32. Letters of Rev. Reginald John Campbell (1867–1956) – Edinburgh University Library Collection
33. The New York Times 18 January 1927

External links

• Works by Reginald John Campbell at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Reginald John Campbell at Internet Archive
• Ebook of Campbell's A Spiritual Pilgrimage (1916)
• Project Gutenberg edition of The New Theology (1907) by R. J. Campbell
• Ebook of Christianity and the Social Order by R. J. Campbell (1907)
• Ebook of The Life of Christ by R. J. Campbell (1921)
• 'Rev. R. J. Campbell' – 1907 article
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:13 am

Caleb Saleeby
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/6/20

Caleb Williams Saleeby
Saleeby circa 1918
Born: 1878, Sussex, England
Died: 9 December 1940 (aged 62), Apple Tree, Aldbury, Hertfordshire, England
Education: Edinburgh University
Years active: 1904–1940
Known for: Eugenics
Medical career: Profession Doctor, writer, journalist
Institutions: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Sub-specialties: Obstetrics

Dr Caleb Williams Saleeby FRSE (1878 – 9 December 1940) was an English physician, writer, and journalist known for his support of eugenics. During World War I, he was an adviser to the Minister of Food and advocated the establishment of a Ministry of Health.


Caleb Saleeby (1878-1940), English physician, eugenicist and journalist

Saleeby was born in Sussex, the son of Elias G. Saleeby.[1] His father died whilst he was young and his mother moved to 3 Malta Terrace in Stockbridge, Edinburgh.[2] He was educated at the Royal High School in Edinburgh.[3]

At Edinburgh University, he took First Class Honours and was an Ettles Scholar and Scott Scholar in Obstetrics. In 1904, he received his Doctor of Medicine degree. He was a resident at the Maternity Hospital and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and briefly at the York City Dispensary.

In 1906 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir Alexander Russell Simpson, Sir Thomas Clouston, Sir William Turner and Daniel John Cunningham.[4]

He became a prolific freelance writer and journalist, with strong views on many subjects.[5] He became known in particular as an advocate of eugenics: in 1907 he was influential in launching the Eugenics Education Society [Galton Institute], and in 1909 he published (in New York) Parenthood and Race Culture.

He was a contributor to the first edition of Arthur Mee's The Children's Encyclopædia.[6] Like Mee, he was a keen temperance reformer. Saleeby's contributions to the Encyclopedia were explicitly racialist: he saw mankind as the pinnacle of evolution, and white men as superior to other men, based on "craniometry".[5]

He predicted the use of atomic power, "perhaps not for hundreds of years". He favoured the education of women, but primarily so they should become better mothers.[7] In Woman and Womanhood (1912), he wrote: "Women, being constructed by Nature, as individuals, for her racial ends, are happier and more beautiful, live longer and more beautiful lives, when they follow, as mothers or foster-mothers the role of motherhood". Yet, at this time when the suffragette movement was at its peak, he also wrote that he could see no good reason against the vote for women: "I believe in the vote; I believe it will be eugenic".

During World War I, he was an adviser to the Minister of Food and argued in favour of the establishment of a Ministry of Health. Later, he moved away from eugenics, and did not publish any further writings on this subject after 1921—though he continued to write on health matters in particular. He also campaigned for clean air and the benefits of sunlight, founding The Sunlight League in 1924.[5] Although the Sunlight League did not overtly promote nudism Saleeby did confide to friends that the idea behind it was to stimulate the nudist movement.[8] Saleeby founded a nudist club in Britain in the 1920s exhorting the nudist lifestyle in his book Sunlight and Health.[9][10]

The Sunlight League was founded in England in 1924 by C. W. Saleeby. Its aim was: "to point to the light of day, to advocate its use for the cure of disease—"helio-therapy"; and, immeasurably better, for preventive medicine and constructive health, the building of whole and happy bodies from the cradle and before it, which we may call helio-hygiene".

The League was closely associated with The Men's Dress Reform Party. It was also an early campaigner against air pollution from coal smoke.Although the Sunlight League did not overtly promote nudism Saleeby did confide to friends that the idea behind it was to stimulate the nudist movement.

The League was dissolved in 1940, following the death of Saleeby.

-- The Sunlight League, by Wikipedia

He died on 9 December 1940 from heart failure at Apple Tree, Aldbury, near Tring.[1]


He married Monica Meynell, daughter of Alice Meynell and Wilfrid Meynell, in June 1903. They had two daughters, Mary and Cordelia.

In 1910, his marriage fell apart after his wife had a nervous breakdown. During this time, their daughter Mary, was sent to live with Viola Meynell. D.H. Lawrence was living at her family's cottage in Sussex. He became Mary's tutor.

In 1930 he married Muriel Gordon Billings.

Selected works

• Cycle of life according to modern science (1904)
• Worry the Disease of the Age (1907)
• Health, strength and happiness (1908)
Parenthood and Race Culture (1909)
• The methods of race-regeneration (1911)
• Woman and Womanhood (1911)
• The Progress of Eugenics (1914)
• Sunlight and Health (1st ed 1923. 5th ed 1929)

See also

• Lizzy Lind af Hageby


1. "Dr. C. W. Saleeby: A Pioneer in Eugenics". The Times. London. 1940. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1895
3. Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
4. Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
5. Tracy, Michael (1998). The World of the Edwardian Child: as seen in Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopaedia, 1908–1910. York: Hermitage. pp. 73–75. ISBN 978-2-9600047-5-5. OCLC 634653542.
6. "The Children's Encyclopedia (Ten Volume Set)". Goodreads. Goodreads. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
7. Tracy, The World of the Edwardian Child, p. 232.
8. Carr-Gomm, Philip (2012). A Brief History of Nakedness. Reaktion Books. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-1-86189-729-9.
9. Pliley, Jessica R.; Kramm, Robert; Fischer-Tiné, Harald (2016). Global Anti-Vice Activism, 1890-1950: Fighting Drinks, Drugs, and 'Immorality'. Cambridge University Press. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-1-107-10266-8.
10. Saleeby, Caleb Williams (1923). Sunlight and Health. London: Nisbet & Company, Limited. p. 68.

Further reading

• Mee, Arthur, ed. (1910). The Children's Encyclopedia. London: The Educational Book Company. OCLC 62484154.
• Matthew, H. C. G.; Harrison, Brian (eds.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-861411-1.

External links

• Works by Caleb Saleeby at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Caleb Saleeby at Internet Archive
• List of books published by C.W. Saleeby
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:33 am

The Sunlight League
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/6/20

The Sunlight League was founded in England in 1924 by C. W. Saleeby. Its aim was: "to point to the light of day, to advocate its use for the cure of disease—"helio-therapy"; and, immeasurably better, for preventive medicine and constructive health, the building of whole and happy bodies from the cradle and before it, which we may call helio-hygiene".[1]

The League was closely associated with The Men's Dress Reform Party.

The Men's Dress Reform Party (MDRP) was a reform movement in interwar Britain. While the party's main concerns were the impact of clothes on men's health and hygiene, their mission also aimed to increase the variety and choice in men's clothing.

-- Men's Dress Reform Party, by Wikipedia

It was also an early campaigner against air pollution from coal smoke.[2] Although the Sunlight League did not overtly promote nudism Saleeby did confide to friends that the idea behind it was to stimulate the nudist movement.[3][/b]

The League was dissolved in 1940, following the death of Saleeby. In modern times, there is concern about the risk of skin cancer from excessive exposure to sunlight. However, The Sunlight League was recalled in a 1996 article in The Independent newspaper, which argued that fear of sunlight may have gone too far.[4]

New Zealand

Cora Wilding founded a Sunlight League in New Zealand in 1930. It is not known whether this was connected with the League in England.

Cora Hilda Blanche Wilding MBE (15 November 1888 – 8 October 1982) was a New Zealand physiotherapist and artist, best remembered for her advocacy of outdoor activities and children’s health camps in the 1930s. She was instrumental in the founding of The Sunlight League in 1930, for which she held fundraising garden parties at "Fownhope", the Wilding family home in St Martins, Christchurch, and also the Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand in 1932. She had trained as a physiotherapist in Dunedin during World War I, and been introduced to youth hostels during her extensive European travels in the 1920s when she painted and studied outdoor activities.

Wilding was born in Christchurch, the son of Frederick and Julia Wilding, and a sister of tennis player Tony Wilding.[1] Her indulgent father was a lawyer, and an athlete and cricket and tennis player. She was educated at Nelson College for Girls, where she was captain of the hockey team and school tennis champion.

She retired as a physiotherapist in 1948, and moved from Christchurch to Kaikoura, where she painted for many years. She was made a patron of the Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand in 1938 and a life member in 1968. In the 1952 New Year Honours, she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the community.[2] The first Christchurch youth hostel (1965–1997), formerly Avebury House the Flesher home, was called the "Cora Wilding Youth Hostel" in her honour. [3]

-- Cora Wilding, by Wikipedia


1. "THE SUNLIGHT LEAGUE. » 16 May 1924 » The Spectator Archive". 16 May 1924. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
2. "THE SUNLIGHT LEAGUE. » 13 Jun 1924 » The Spectator Archive". 13 June 1924. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
3. Carr-Gomm, Philip (2012). A Brief History of Nakedness. Reaktion Books. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-1-86189-729-9.
4. Wendy Wallace (3 June 1996). "Is the sun so harmful? | Health News | Lifestyle". The Independent. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
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