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From social improvement to scientific racism the effects of World War I on the definition of racial hygiene in Germany /

by Hendrick, Robyn Lee.

Abstract (Summary)
During the First World War, there was a decisive change in the focus of the racial hygiene movement in Germany. Prior to the war, the terms " racial hygiene " and " eugenics " were synonymous. In contrast, during and after World War I while eugenics continued to be recognized as a " science " in Germany, as well as in other Western European countries and the United States, the racial hygiene movement was becoming increasingly racist. Although, as the term implies, racial hygiene included racial components, the radically racist overtones did not become prevalent until the Nazis' rise to power. Racial hygienists separated themselves from eugenicists by using the perceived economic, social, and moral crises in Germany during the war to lobby for radical social reforms. As this paper will show, the racial hygiene movement and eugenic thought shifted from having a class-based plan for improving society (in the late nineteenth-century) to " scientific racism " (under the Nazis), with World War I as an important milestone. This paper fills a gap in the historio graphy of racial hygiene by examining why the racial hygiene movement changed during the war years. iv
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School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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