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“Eugenics is the self-regulation of human evolution ”: Logo of the second International Eugenics Conference, 1921

Eugenics (from ancient Greek εὖ EU 'good', and γένος génos , sex ') or eugenics German also, eugenics , in the era of National Socialism (as well Erbpflege called) and in Germany usually tantamount to eugenics (see. Racial hygiene ) , refers to the application of theoretical concepts or the knowledge of human genetics to population and health policy or the gene pool of a population with the aim of increasing the proportion of positively assessed genetic makeup (positive eugenics) and reducing the proportion of negatively assessed genetic makeup (negative eugenics) ). The British anthropologist Francis Galton (1822-1911) coined the term in 1869 and 1883 for the improvement of the human race or "the science that deals with all influences that improve the innate characteristics of a race". Around 1900, the counter-term dysgenics , which means "doctrine of the accumulation and spread of defective genes and properties in a population , race or species " means.

Eugenic considerations were widespread and debated in the first half of the 20th century. In Great Britain, the Boer War in particular , in which serious problems came together due to the lack of qualified recruits, fears of loss of importance in foreign policy and notions of domestic degeneration in the context of the first English war under the conditions of mass democracy, led to the formation of an active eugenics movement. Well-known representatives include Ronald Aylmer Fisher , Margaret Sanger , Julian Huxley , DH Lawrence , George Bernard Shaw , HG Wells . A distinction was made between active and passive eugenics. In the popular socio-political discussion, biologistic interpretations of the theory of inheritance, both according to Mendel and behavior-oriented imprinting in the tradition of Lamarckism, play an important role. Corresponding positions were reflected in the legislation of a number of industrialized countries on immigration , school policy and dealing with minorities . After a long period of liberalism, the British eugenics movement stood for an active role for the state in these political fields and also addressed classic social democratic representatives, for example in the Fabian Society .

In traditional immigrant countries such as Canada and Australia, the way in which immigrants and ethnic minorities were dealt with was examined from a eugenic point of view. Many of the measures that were considered progressive at the time are now felt to be racially motivated and regretted. In Japan and Germany, both former agricultural states with few immigrants at the time, who experienced a rapid growth phase, the term was subsumed under the catchphrase racial hygiene and blood purity (Junketsu 純 血 pure or Konketsu 混血 unclean blood) and broadly included.

The Nazi eugenics was used to justify the medical murders in the era of National Socialism under the " destruction of life life ," as in the " Action T4 " and " children's euthanasia ", and human experiments in concentration camps . With regard to the implementation of "racial hygiene reforms", the National Socialist racial hygienist Fritz Lenz had spoken out in favor of using the word "racial hygiene" instead of "eugenics". In the post-war period, laypeople and experts alike associated the term eugenics with these and other crimes under National Socialism, as well as with war crimes committed by the Japanese armed forces in World War II , especially by units of the Imperial Japanese Army . In Germany in particular, “racial hygiene”, like the term eugenics, was avoided from then on.

At the end of the 20th century, due to advances in both genetics and reproductive medicine, the ethical and moral significance of eugenic issues was again discussed more broadly in the German-speaking world. The term is occasionally also used as a battle term. The almost unbroken tradition in the English-speaking world did not understand this development until later. The important British Eugenics Society was renamed the Galton Institute in 1989 .



Galton saw eugenics as a science serving a healthier human race. Even its first representatives saw efforts towards social equilibrium, civilizing social crises and equalizing life chances as detrimental to public health and "higher biological development". In order to reduce or prevent the offspring of sick people who are also rated as inferior and to open up better future prospects for healthy and thus supposedly higher-quality people, they called for political intervention. Their main representatives not only provided the theoretical foundation and dissemination, but also, to a limited extent, the political implementation of their demands through appropriate health, social and population policy.

Ideas gained from animal breeding were transferred to humans: by promoting the reproduction of healthy people - for example by rewarding high numbers of children -, preventing the reproduction of sick people - e.g. B. through contraception , birth control and forced sterilization - the genetic makeup of the population should be improved in the long term and hereditary diseases reduced. Such ideas were strongly motivated by the degeneration of society or of the " races " predicted by various social Darwinist movements , which they expected due to an assumed elimination of natural selection by civilizational influences.

Application of eugenics

Eugenic goals were methodically pursued in three ways,

  • On the one hand, as an authoritarian and legally enforced requirement of the state, such as the forced sterilization of individual people or entire groups of people and by means of eugenically justified or cloaked restrictions on immigration, education and freedom of movement,
  • Furthermore, as a regulation recommended by state or private institutions, e.g. for preliminary examinations of pregnant women,
  • finally as a personal decision by the couple, for example when they become acquainted with or become aware of hereditary diseases in connection with a human genetic counseling .

The French philosopher Michel Foucault emphasized the character of eugenics, racial hygiene and population policy as a new power technique , which he called biopolitics . Foucault saw the beginnings of this new power technique as early as the second half of the 18th century with the emergence of the bourgeoisie and their intensive preoccupation with sexuality, which is increasingly subject to state regulations.

"Structural elements of the racial hygiene paradigm"

According to Hans-Walter Schmuhl , four structural elements characterize the "racial hygiene paradigm ":

  1. “Racial hygiene was based on the monistic axiom , which is fundamental to the formation of theories of social Darwinism , according to which social events are based on natural laws - namely on the developmental laws identified for the Darwinist theory of evolution and selection. Starting from this premise, social Darwinism constituted itself as the natural doctrine of society.
  2. Racial hygiene presupposed the primacy of the selection principle characteristic of the selectionist phase of social Darwinism, which was connected with a relativization of the teleological dimension of the evolutionary theorem typical of the evolutionist phase of social Darwinism .
  3. Racial hygiene received dynamic impulses from the dichotomy , the incompatibility of degeneration theories and breeding utopias.
  4. Racial hygiene developed a decided anti-individualism on the basis of a bioorganismic metaphor , which relativized the value of human life to society, which is understood as a higher level of being. "

A central component of the racial hygiene paradigm is the concept of degeneration , since “the carriers of 'inferior genetic material' reproduced faster than the carriers of 'high quality genetic material', so that from generation to generation there is a progressive erosion of the genetic substance - in relation to the population as a whole should ”, which explains the“ apocalyptic population discourses ”in the first half of the 20th century.


Thought leader

Modern eugenics has its origins in the 19th century. Ideas, measures and justifications of state and social interventions and influences on reproduction have been known since ancient times . They can already be found in Plato's Politeia , which are limited here to the state selection and upbringing of so-called “guards” and are not aimed at evaluating their genetic makeup.

In the Renaissance , corresponding ideas found in the social-utopian writings Utopia of Thomas More , New Atlantis by Francis Bacon and La città del Sole by Tommaso Campanella .


The French writer Arthur de Gobineau published a four-volume Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines ( experiment on the inequality of human races ) from 1852 to 1854 , in which he introduced the concept of racial mixture and the term Aryan, which is used in linguistics, in the field of Racial theories took over. He postulated a Nordic-Aryan origin race and propagated its preservation or restoration through human breeding and selection. He considered the mixing of races to be harmful, which was plausible at the time, since according to a widespread hypothesis ( blending inheritance), inheritance was thought to be linked to the blood, and if it were further mixed, valuable traits would be lost through dilution. Gregor Mendel's discovery that the genetic material does not behave like a liquid, but rather consists of mutually independent hereditary dispositions, was not noticed in the professional world until 1900 and then established itself as the dominant doctrine over the course of a few decades.

Gobineaus theses met in the German translation of Karl Ludwig Schemann on a broad resonance, gained additional popularity in the foundations of the nineteenth century by Houston Stewart Chamberlain and spread over Cecil Rhodes , the Pan-German League and the program, which was founded in 1914 German Nationalist party up to National Socialism.

Social Darwinist Society Theories

Charles Darwin published his book The emergence of species through natural selection in 1859 (so the German translation). In it he described his theory of the natural selection of the best adapted animal and plant species, which is constantly renewed from generation to generation. This is the main driving force behind the evolution of new species. In 1871 he published his work The Descent of Man and Sexual Selection . Darwin thus shared the view, widespread since Malthus , that welfare state measures and natural selection are incompatible.

Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) took over Darwin's term struggle for life (German often translated as "struggle for existence") and coined the controversial term Survival of the Fittest (not "Survival of the fittest" , which was often erroneously attributed to Darwin). , but rather "one that is best adapted to changing environmental conditions").

Albert Schäffle (1821–1903) designed in his work Construction and Life of the Social Body (1875–78) the image of a social order that is similar in all areas and manifestations to the anatomy of the human body. From this he concluded, among other things, the hopelessness of social democracy (book title 1885), which is based on an illusory principle of equality and an image of man.

The basic idea of ​​social Darwinian social theories was that the natural selection of those most fit for survival would be hindered by indiscriminate life support medicine and welfare. Proponents of this assumption claimed that a social policy that interfered with “natural selection” would lead to “counter-selection” and thus to a gradual weakening of public health . One of the masterminds of eugenics is the zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919). He was of the opinion that "the history of peoples [...] can largely be explained by natural breeding, but that there is also artificial breeding". As an example, he cites the Spartans who killed infirm, sick or malformed newborns: “Certainly the people of Sparta owe to this artificial selection or breeding in large part their rare degree of masculine strength and rough heroic virtues.” This comparison was later made by the racial hygienists and can also be taken up by Hitler.

The philosopher Heinrich Rickert (1863-1936) coined in 1899 coined the term of biologism , which he described as politicized ideology critically on the biology demarcated (cultural studies and science in 1899; Biologism and biology as a natural science 1911).

Eugenics in the labor movement

Eugenic tendencies also found their way into the labor movement. According to Reinhard Mocek , the early labor movement tried to assure itself of its goals in a socio-philosophical and at the same time in a biological way. In that sense there was a “proletarian biologism” or a “proletarian liberation biology”. Early approaches based on phrenomesmerism, Franz Anton Mesmer and Franz Joseph Gall , were replaced by Neolamarckism in August Bebel's time . With Karl Kautsky , a “Copernican turn” in the discussion in the labor movement would have emerged. Bourgeois thinking has become increasingly influential; Instead of the restoration of the natural rights of human beings, there has now been a reorganization of human existence. The fact that Kautsky dared to tackle issues such as degeneracy and overpopulation contributed to the development of a reformist social policy.

A number of members of the British Fabian Society were also eugenicists. The so-called "Minority Report" (on poor policy) by Beatrice Webb and Sidney Webb, 1st Baron Passfield, was among other things the basis of the Labor Party's first program and was eugenically shaped. This also applied to important personalities who shaped the British and Swedish welfare states such as Richard Titmuss and Gunnar Myrdal .

Main representative

Francis Galton

Francis Galton

The British scholar Francis Galton invented the term eugenics in 1883 and published Inquiries into human faculty and its development, a fundamental work on the subject. With his books Hereditary Talent and Character (1865) and Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences (1869), he founded eugenics as a science.

Galton was a cousin and a follower of Darwin, he was able to settle down as a private scholar after medical and mathematical studies on the basis of an inheritance. Galton was looking for traits to compare and distinguish human races and tried to trace human character traits back to genetic causes. He rejected Darwin's pangenesis theory , which traces the essential hereditary characteristics back to the immutable germ cells. His statistical and biometric methodology and his experimental psychological approach were groundbreaking at the time.

Galton took the term race broadly in the sense of subgenus. He raised hereditary health to the decisive criterion for the value of such a breed, with his (biologically incorrect) inheritance model, racial mixture led to a reduction in the genetic make-up. According to Galton, it made sense to consciously encourage the previously accidental inheritance of positive traits, while avoiding the inheritance of negative traits, in order to achieve an overall improvement in the breed.

As a problem Galton and with him many of his spiritual successors up to the present day saw the smaller and later increase in social higher-ranking people, who for Galton also represented the spiritual elite. Socially weaker off and less gifted, on the other hand, multiplied faster and earlier. This disproportion should be combated with political measures in order to give priority to promoting the proportion of gifted students nationally and internationally.

To achieve his goals, Galton founded a professorship, an institute, a laboratory and the international "Eugenics Education Society" (1908) from his own resources. In doing so, he himself took care of the organized further development of his research program beyond Great Britain.

Alexander Graham Bell

The first commercial operator of telephony, Alexander Graham Bell , had dealt with phonetics and speech transmission as well as deafness throughout his life . His wife was even since early childhood deaf and dumb , his mother was deaf and dumb and his father Alexander Melville Bell was a famous British Phoneticians. Bell was closely connected to the eugenic movement and considered deafness to be an avoidable defect if there were prohibitions on marriage among the deaf and mute. A marriage between a deaf and mute and a non-deaf mute is unproblematic. The influential entrepreneur was introduced by biologist David Starr Jordan to the Committee on Eugenics , which met under the auspices of the American Ranchers Association.

Bell and his colleagues applied real or alleged results of ranching to humans without limitation, and generalized questionable private research by Bell on increased incidence of deafness on Martha's Vineyard to all of humanity. From 1912 to 1918 Bell served on the scientific advisory board of the Eugenics Record Office at the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and in 1921 chaired the second International Eugenics Conference at the American Museum of Natural History . With his significant influence and reputation as an inventor and entrepreneur, Bell helped ensure that a significant number of American states had made pigeon sterilization mandatory by the late 1930s. Internationally known and partly copied in Europe, the strict Californian specifications in particular. As a result, numerous deaf people have been sterilized without their knowledge and without their consent . Bell was probably aware of the methodological weaknesses of his investigations.

Alfred Ploetz

In his book The Efficiency of Our Race and the Protection of the Weak (1895), the doctor Alfred Ploetz (1860–1940) introduced the term “racial hygiene” instead of eugenics. He explained it as "the doctrine of the conditions for optimal preservation and perfection of the human race (the vital race in contrast to the system race)". By “vital race” he understood the healthiest specimens of each “system race” in the sense of Gobineau, differentiated according to skin color and other body characteristics. So he did not want to breed a certain "higher" race, but rather promote the proportion of healthy genetic material in all peoples and races.

Accordingly, he sketched the picture of a society in which moral and intellectual abilities decide on the possibility of marriage, the permission or prohibition of procreation and the number of children allowed. Unauthorized children should be aborted, the sick and weak, twins and children judged to be too old or too young should be "weeded out":

"If it turns out [...] that the newborn is a weak or misshapen child, the medical college, which decides on the Society's citizenship letter, will give it a gentle death, say, with a small dose of morphine. The parents, brought up with strict respect for the well-being of the breed, do not indulge in rebellious feelings for a long time, but try it a second time, fresh and cheerful, if they are allowed to do so according to their fertility certificate. "

According to Ploetz 'view, wars and revolutions predominantly favor racially inferior individuals, while high-quality individuals would be "eradicated" in the process. He wanted to prevent this “contraselection” in the future. To this end, however, the general “struggle for existence”, ie the conditions for the self-assertion of strong and healthy individuals against weak and sick individuals, should be maintained.

From 1904 Ploetz published the journal Archive for Race and Society Biology , which brought his ideas into a scientific discourse and thus strongly influenced the younger generation of doctors after the turn of the century. Only in later works did Ploetz move away from the ideas of socially supported “selection and weeding”.

Wilhelm Schallmayer

Wilhelm Schallmayer

The doctor and private scholar Wilhelm Schallmayer (1857-1919) wrote the essay Inheritance and selection in the life course of peoples, a political study based on the new biology , in 1900 under the influence of the then just rediscovered laws of inheritance according to Gregor Mendel . For this he won a competition endowed with 30,000 Reichsmarks by Friedrich Krupp on the subject: What do we learn from the principles of the theory of descent in relation to the domestic political development and legislation of states? In 1903, the programmatic, repeatedly revised publication On the threatening physical degeneration of human culture followed. This made Schallmayer the leading representative of German racial hygiene alongside Alfred Ploetz.

Unlike Galton, he did not want to multiply people with higher valued hereditary characteristics (positive eugenics), but rather limit the offspring of people with below average, negative hereditary characteristics and thus prevent an alleged degeneration of humanity (negative eugenics). Like the social Darwinists before him, he made civilizational achievements, especially socio-political and medical interventions in natural developments, responsible for this degeneration. Unlike the racial theorists, however, he did not see a specifically racial, but every individual and national organic genetic material as the “highest good” that had to be protected and increased.

Schallmayer coined the term social eugenics:

“The counterpart to degeneration is the average increase in the efficiency of a population. Such an increase, or at least the prevention of the opposite, is the goal of social eugenics. The word eugenics, borrowed from the Greek language, contains the concept of being born happy, i. H. born with favorable genetic makeup. So social eugenics is the doctrine of the conditions under which a population maintains favorable genetic makeup and increases it. Of course, this teaching does not want to remain just teaching, but also wants to have eugenic practice in its wake. "

To this end, he called for an “education in the morality of racial service”. Because the “traditional concepts of justice and free will” prevented the “recognition of the great differences in value caused by genetic makeup” between people. The necessary priority of promoting genetic material can therefore only be achieved by influencing young people emotionally and ideologically at an early stage.

In doing so, Schallmayer compared the hereditary property of a people with its existing material assets: like a national economy, a “national biology” is also necessary in order to manage the national hereditary property sensibly and to be aware of the selection as positively assessed and at the same time reduction as negatively assessed characteristics of parents and children to steer. It must strive for both quantitative population growth and qualitative selection for reproduction.

As a population policy measure, he suggested:

  • State parental and offspring protection,
  • an inheritance law and tax reform in favor of families with several children,
  • civil servants' salaries graded according to the number of children,
  • state health certificates as a marriage permit,
  • Hereditary biographical files in order to be able to classify future generations as fertile and legitimate,
  • possibly marriage bans, forced asylation and sterilization.

Ludwig Woltmann

In 1900 the social anthropologist Ludwig Woltmann (1871–1907) won the Krupp competition for his work Political Anthropology, a study of the influence of the theory of descent on the theory of the political development of peoples, alongside Schallmayer. However, he declined the honor and published the book himself. From 1902 he also published the Political-Anthropological Review for the dissemination of “political-anthropological truths”.

Following Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Woltmann explained social development, including its social stratification and party formation, as a result of racial differences. The “Aryan man” is the real bearer of culture. “Thoroughbred Germans” would have initiated all significant scientific and cultural advances. This leadership role is endangered by racial mixture. Because "lower races" like Mongols, "Indians" and "Negroes" could not "make a genetic contribution to the improvement of the white race". Therefore one has to protect their genetic material through racial hygiene.

Woltmann thought on the one hand of general hygienic and sanitary measures, on the other hand of allowing epidemics and child mortality, since combating them prevents the natural selection of the strong in favor of the weak. In addition, he justified the subjugation and colonization of peoples of other races, since they are not "culturally capable" and cannot be civilized.

In contrast to Ploetz and Schallmayer, Woltmann took the view that mixtures of genes from different races are in any case harmful to cultural progress and should therefore be combated politically.

Alfred Methner

The physician Alfred Methner (1857–1933), director of the Bethanien Diakonissenkrankenhaus zu Breslau, wrote the book Organisms and States, an investigation into the biological foundations of social and cultural life in 1906 . The book appeared in the collection of prize publications Nature and State. Contributions to the science of society at the Gustav Fischer publishing house in Jena.

Methner states: The changes that man suffers within the cultural world are expressed in the origin and development of the human races and The efforts of man to get to know the natural course and the connection of things, we have in the form of religion and Science before us, and the goal of both is to create a worldview .

Alfred Erich Hoche and Karl Binding

The Freiburg psychiatrist Alfred Hoche (1865–1943) and the criminal lawyer Karl Binding (1841–1920) published in 1920 the joint publication The release of the destruction of life unworthy of life. This founded the so-called euthanasia and brought this term (literally "beautiful death", then in the sense of "painless killing") in connection with the "destruction of life unworthy of life".

The starting point was Binding's question as to whether people should not only kill themselves, but also other people, and if so, under what conditions. He thus followed up on Adolf Jost , who had already granted a “legal claim” to death as early as 1895 in his then hardly noticed work The Right to the Death of the Terminally Ill and Mentally Ill, without expressly affirming their killing. Binding suggested commissions made up of two doctors and a lawyer who should classify people with disabilities of various kinds and degrees of severity as "mentally dead", " ballast existences " or "defective people". For the first two categories he affirmed the loss of the right to life.

Hoche also argued that “incurable nonsense” established a right to kill. Following Ignaz Kaup , who tried to calculate the social costs of "inherited inferiority" in 1914, he tried to create a cost-benefit analysis and did not justify the killing of potentially curable sick people, but the future legal killing of incurable patients mentally disabled with the state costs of their care:

"... we will perhaps one day mature into the view that the elimination of the spiritually dead is not a crime, no immoral act, no emotional rawness, but a permissible useful act."

Although the central lines of argument in Binding and Hoche were not genetic and eugenic, but economic, their idea was welcomed and taken up by racial hygienists. In the tense economic situation after the war, her work received a strong public response beyond medical circles. It became the impetus for legal measures under National Socialism, which allowed and demanded the killing of allegedly unworthy of life. Hoche in particular was valued by the National Socialists as a deserved champion of this euthanasia.

Fritz Lenz

Fritz Lenz (1887–1976) was the first to hold a chair for racial hygiene in 1933 and openly advocated negative eugenics in the form of abortion and sterilization. Together with Erwin Baur and Eugen Fischer , he wrote the two-volume work Outline of Human Heredity and Racial Hygiene from 1921 onwards, and in later editions, Human Hereditary and Racial Hygiene. The last edition of the first and second volume appeared in 1931 and 1936 respectively. After 1945 Fritz Lenz was Professor of Human Genetics in Göttingen.

Alfred Grotjahn

Alfred Grotjahn, 1929

Alfred Grotjahn (1869–1931) is considered to be the founder of social hygiene in Germany and combined this with eugenics to form a "socialist eugenics" which, according to historian Michael Schwartz , should not be indifferently equated with extreme or even National Socialist forms of racial hygiene. Grotjahn, who was more oriented towards social science, sharply rejected ideas of racial anthropology such as Alfred Ploetz's . Grotjahn had been a member of the SPD since the November Revolution and belonged to the right wing there. He gained importance for the eugenics movement because of the academic quality which he gave to his ideas on eugenics compared to previous similar syntheses between eugenic and socialist ideas. As one of the first German university lecturers, he also had eugenic content continuously in his teaching program since 1914.

Due to his view that taking into account minor "minor physical defects" such as weak eyes and curvature of the bones, one third of the population would have to be declared inferior, Grotjahn is now occasionally mentioned as a particularly radical eugenicist. However, the historian Michael Schwartz describes this as a blatant misinterpretation, caused by ignorance of its overall concept, since Grotjahn did not, as some claimed, want to exclude this third from reproduction by sterilization. Rather, the environmental body defects, the vast majority, should be remedied by purely social hygienic means; For the remaining cases, Grotjahn provided for the most part eugenically motivated use of contraceptives as well as institutional accommodation for more severe cases. For Grotjahn, eugenically motivated abortion and sterilization were only possible as a last resort.

Political application until 1945

Great Britain

John Maynard Keynes was a proponent of eugenics and director of the British Eugenics Society from 1937 to 1944. In 1946 Keynes declared eugenics to be the most important and honest branch of sociology.

Other British intellectuals, such as George Bernard Shaw , Harold Laski and Beatrice Webb , were also supporters of eugenics.

Winston Churchill was also a proponent of eugenics; he saw in the "mentally weak" and "madmen" a threat to the prosperity, vitality and strength of British society. As a politician, he advocated segregation and sterilization so that the "curse dies with these people and is not passed on to future generations".

United States

In 1896 the US state of Connecticut issued a legal ban on marriage for " epileptics , the feeble-minded and the mentally weak ." It was later linked to forced sterilizations . As a result, an estimated 100,000 people are said to have been sterilized under this program, often without information about the consequences of the procedure.

In 1903 the American Breeders Association set up a "Eugenics Committee". According to this, at least 10 million US citizens should be prevented from reproducing.

For the first time, forced sterilization for eugenic reasons was permitted by law in Indiana in 1907 . Another 32 US states passed similar laws. As a result, around 60,000 US citizens were sterilized, especially many in California .

In 1921, the second international eugenics congress took place in New York under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History . The organizers and Honorary President Alexander Graham Bell sought legislation to prevent the expansion of "defective breeds".

The Eugenikerbund Eugenics Record Office (ERO) had numerous members, some of whom were well known and respected in Germany: among them the leader Harry Laughlin , Charles Davenport and Lothrop Stoddard . The latter got to know Adolf Hitler personally and supported his racial ideology .

Supporters of eugenics also included Theodore Roosevelt , the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Research Council .


In Canada, eugenic forced sterilization was popular in the early 20th century, particularly in Alberta . The Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta , which came into force in 1928 , focused on the sterilization of the mentally disabled. A well-known supporter of this policy was Emily Murphy , a representative of the women's movement .

Intelligence tests were used to determine the individuals to be sterilized . Conducting the tests in English meant that immigrants often scored lower, which is why there were many immigrants among the sterilized.


On the basis of American models, eugenic sterilization policies were also developed in Europe. The first eugenically or “racially hygienic” justified forced sterilizations and forced castrations in Europe took place in Switzerland , the very first to patients of the Burghölzli psychiatric clinic in Zurich under its director Auguste Forel around 1890 and under his successors Eugen Bleuler , Hans Wolfgang Maier and Manfred Bleuler . In other Swiss psychiatric clinics such as Wil in the canton of St. Gallen, and later also in many hospitals in various cantons, thousands of allegedly "hereditary inferior" people, mostly women, were forcibly sterilized in Switzerland in the 20th century and into the 1980s. A smaller number of women and men were forcibly castrated. Since 1920, high dose sterilizations and castrations have also been carried out in Switzerland using X-ray irradiation. In Switzerland, the canton of Vaud passed the first law on compulsory eugenic sterilization in Europe in 1929; it was repealed in 1985.

In Switzerland, in addition to the psychiatrist Auguste Forel (1848–1931), his successors Eugen Bleuler, Hans Wolfgang Maier and Manfred Bleuler at the head of the Burghölzli Psychiatric University Clinic in Zurich were important propagandists and - together with various surgeons and gynecologists and other Swiss psychiatrists - driving force of eugenics in Switzerland. The so-called “relief organization” of Pro Juventute, founded in Zurich in 1912 for the “ Children of the Landstrasse ”, which was a program to destroy the traveling way of life of the Yeniche and was operated from 1926 to 1973, should also be seen in this context . The theoretical basis for this was laid by the Graubünden psychiatrist Josef Jörger with his “psychiatric family stories” of Yenian fellow citizens, in which he presented them as hereditary inferior.


Denmark followed - also in 1929 - with a corresponding law, Sweden , Norway , Finland in 1934/35 , then Iceland and Latvia in 1937/38 . Almost all of these states were then governed democratically - often social democratically.

One of the most comprehensive eugenics programs was carried out in Sweden. A Swedish Society for Racial Hygiene ( Svenska sällskapet för rashygien ) was founded as early as 1909 for the purpose of eugenic research. A network of people from different parties worked for the establishment of a state institute for racial biology and campaigned for a law for " eugenic sterilization ", including Herman Nilsson-Ehle , Nils Wohlin , Nils von Hofsten , Herman Lundborg , Alfred Petrén and Elis Essen- Möller . Two legislative proposals for the establishment of such an institute were introduced into both chambers of the Swedish Parliament from 1921 onwards . These applications were signed by Alfred Petrén, Nils Wohlin, Hjalmar Branting and Arvid Lindman, among others . The applicants could refer to the statements and studies of biologists and racial theorists in particular from the universities of Uppsala and Lund such as Carl Magnus Fürst , Torsten Thunberg , Herman Lundborg, Nils von Hofsten and Nils Heribert-Nilsson .

On the basis of the legislative proposals, the Swedish Diet decided in 1921 to establish the State Institute for Racial Biology at Uppsala University. In 1922 the Social Democrats introduced a bill to sterilize the mentally handicapped. The dissemination of eugenic ideas in the Swedish social democracy was promoted by close contact with German social democrats, which was also maintained by the mutual exchange of guest scientists at the Berlin Society for Racial Hygiene and the University of Uppsala.

In 1934, Alva Myrdal and Gunnar Myrdal called in their book A Crisis in the Population Question, sterilization programs for "highly unfit individuals". In the same year the Swedish Reichstag passed the first sterilization law, which came into force in 1935 and provided for the voluntary sterilization of "mentally retarded" people in the event of "genetic damage" to be expected and sterilization without the consent of the affected person if approved by two doctors. Sterilization measures were not only supported by all major parties, but also by the Swedish Lutheran State Church . This program was expanded in 1941 with a second law that allowed sterilization based on eugenic or social indication. The eugenic indication concerned the so-called mentally ill, weak, and disturbed, mentally ill and people with deformities. Due to the social indication, behavior that was viewed as anti-social, such as alcoholism , could now lead to sterilization. So could z. B. Visits to dance halls of an underage girl that are viewed as anti-social lead to forced sterilization. In total, the Swedish sterilization program lasted until 1976 and led to 62,888 sterilizations, including between 6,000 and 15,000 against the will of the people concerned, according to a Swedish commission of inquiry from 1999.

Soviet Union

Even before the October Revolution, Russian eugenicists had largely unanimously criticized and rejected the racial and class elements of German racial hygiene and British-American eugenics, and especially after the revolution they emphasized the importance of the social environment, education and upbringing. They condemned measures of negative eugenics such as the isolation and sterilization of the "unfit", which were so popular in Germany, Scandinavia and the USA. As an alternative, they suggested improving social conditions, reforms and preventive medicine. This trend continued after the October Revolution of 1917.

On the other hand, the geneticist Alexander Serebrowski suggested in 1929 in an article “Anthropogenetics and Eugenics in Socialist Society” the use of the latest techniques of artificial insemination for the breeding of Soviet superhumans. These currents later completely disappeared when Mendelian genetics and eugenics were identified with fascism in the Soviet Union and Lysenkoism became the state doctrine. A practical implementation of eugenics did not take place in the Soviet Union.



Eugenics and racial hygiene have been publicly discussed in Germany and established as a science since about when Schallmayer was awarded in Krupp's competition in 1900. In 1905 the editors of the Archive for Racial and Social Biology founded the Society for Racial Hygiene . According to their statutes, their members all had to belong to the "Nordic white race" and should preferably have German as their mother tongue. Supporting members, on the other hand, did not need to be examined and registered in terms of genetic biology.

She also formed a German national group of the British Eugenics Education Society founded in 1908 , German under the name International Society for Racial Hygiene. In addition to Ploetz and Schallmayer, they included Max von Gruber , Willibald Hentschel , the Swiss psychiatrist August Forel and the British statistician Karl Pearson , a student of Galton. With this line-up, the German eugenics section took on a leading role in promoting its topic internationally. In 1912, the Society's national groups from Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and the USA organized their first international congress.

The justifications of the early nudist movement for the naked coexistence of the sexes also had racial hygienic connotations, because this made it easier and earlier to identify sexual partners unwanted by illness, but also by race.

Through further competitions, public lectures and the appearance at the International Hygiene Exhibition Dresden in 1911 , the idea of ​​eugenics gained public interest and influence on other areas of science such as medicine and criminology. In 1913 the "German Society for Racial Hygiene" was included in the main medical group of the "Society of German Natural Scientists and Doctors", so that its scientific reputation grew and it was now able to spread its ideas, especially among the medical profession. By 1914 their membership grew to 350 people. “The German Society for Racial Hygiene had become a registered association in 1915/1916 at the request of the Berlin local group” and “was converted into a federation of local groups”. The main aim was to “intensify propaganda methods” by means of “publishing a popular journal” and to professionalize organizational structures.

Many German racial hygienists saw the First World War as an opportunity to propagate their topic. On the one hand, they expected a war-related selection of the strongest, on the other hand they feared heavy losses and an overweight of “inferior genetic material” as the result of the war. The Society for Racial Hygiene published an appeal that said:

"Every German man and woman who has recognized the seriousness and size of the task should therefore support the work of the Society for Racial Hygiene."

The population policy measures discussed were to improve the housing situation of large families, to issue health certificates, to combat alcohol abuse and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and to have “inferior” sterilized in order to protect the national and racial genetic makeup.

In 1916 it was renamed the German Society for Racial Hygiene . Until 1918 it was dominated by "ethnic racial hygienists" like Alfred Ploetz, after 1922 moderate scientists like Hermann Muckermann took over the leadership, before in 1933 race hygienists close to the Nazi regime like Ernst Rüdin took the floor.

Willibald Hentschel in particular, the mastermind of the Artamanen movement, wanted to found settlements for breeding “high quality” offspring. This idea failed due to the small number of participants. The eugenics lobbyists preferred to prevent allegedly “inferior” offspring, which they defined less scientifically than with their racist and social Darwinist prejudices.

Weimar Republic

In the Weimar Republic , a “völkisch racial hygiene” was organized, which merged with the NSDAP before 1933 , but remained in the minority until the Nazi “ conformity ” of German eugenics. The Free State of Prussia took on an important political pioneering role with regard to eugenics , where the social democratic Prussian interior minister Wolfgang Heine , who was a member of a eugenic-utopian circle around Alfred Ploetz during his student days, set the course for one with a suggestion for advice on the problem of marital health certificates at the Reich Health Office future eugenics-friendly policies within the Ministry of Interior. After the relevant medical department was spun off from the Prussian Ministry of the Interior in 1919 and taken over by the newly founded Prussian Ministry for People's Welfare , which was headed by the Catholic center politicians Adam Stegerwald and Heinrich Hirtsiefer until 1932 , a Catholic eugenics policy was followed there and the Ministry for People's Welfare was developed especially at the end of the 1920s it became an important center of eugenics throughout Germany, whose medical department head Heinrich Schopohl announced on the radio in July 1932 that eugenics was "in the service of the people's welfare".

Young Rhinelander who was classified as a bastard and hereditary disease (see picture description)

Political acceptance of eugenics remained very limited in Germany until 1933: in 1920 the German National Assembly decided to introduce a eugenics leaflet with warnings of possible hereditary offspring by registrars prior to each marriage , but strictly rejected possible marriage bans against allegedly "inferior" people. Sterilization laws were discussed again and again by various parties - most consistently by the SPD - but the draft law on voluntary eugenically based sterilization by the Prussian State Health Council (1932) never came into force. In Germany, however, since 1937 u. a. Thousands of " Rhineland bastards " fell victim to compulsory sterilization, even then not covered by the law. However, in addition to implicit dysgenic considerations, the motivation for this crime was also accompanied by the desire to remove the “shame” of the mixed race children.

As a result of the interest in population policy that was awakened during the First World War , eugenics found its way into state institutions. In the economic decline of the early twenties and with a steep rise in social spending, public health was also discussed publicly in a society that was at least less religiously influenced by the state. However, a majority of contemporary doctors opposed Bindings and Hoche's demand for the release of “life unworthy of life”, since it was only a matter of time before the state would finally kill all “useless eaters” by the “medical hangman”.

In 1923, when Fritz Lenz was appointed to the University of Munich , a chair for racial hygiene was filled for the first time. More and more racial hygienists got involved in politics in an advisory capacity, for example in 1929 a "Reich Committee for Population Issues" was founded.

The members of the "German Society for Racial Hygiene" Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz published the basic work from 1921: Outline of human heredity and racial hygiene , in later editions Human Hereditary and Racial Hygiene.

In 1925, the "German Society for Racial Hygiene" got competition, the "German Association for Popular Attitude and Heritage" appeared. His aim was to "cultivate and distribute eugenics in a very popular form that everyone can understand". Increasingly, the ideas of a “Nordic superman” came into play in the societies and the “Berlin society” was accused of being infiltrated by Jews . Although the moderate line prevailed in the elections to the board of the "Society for Racial Hygiene" in 1929, it united with the "Bund für Volksaufartung" and wanted to eliminate the racist component by renaming it to "German Society for Racial Hygiene (Eugenics)" , but after the so-called " seizure of power " by the National Socialists, the leadership was exchanged and the priorities redefined. From 1926 there was also the " German Society for Physical Anthropology " under Eugen Fischer, which was renamed the German Society for Racial Research in 1937.

From 1930, the Munich Medical Weekly ( J. F. Lehmanns Verlag ), founded in 1853 , a journal for general practitioners and specialists, contained the permanent rubric of heredity, racial hygiene and population policy .

time of the nationalsocialism

An "information poster" from the exhibition Miracles of Life 1935 in Berlin

In the Third Reich, the birth rate of “Aryan” families was to be increased through socio-political measures and “life unworthy of life” was to be prevented, segregated and destroyed. After Hitler came to power, a eugenic sterilization law was introduced as an important part of the National Socialist ideology in July 1933 (" Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Offspring "): In contrast to earlier drafts, it also stipulated forced sterilization , attributed hereditary inferiority to comparatively large population groups and - by international standards without precedent - in fact, for in the few years to 1939 sterilization of about 300,000 people who rose up in 1945 by a further 60,000. Some of those affected also died as a result of the sterilization operation. For comparison: in the USA between 1907 and 1939 a number of 31,000 people were sterilized, in Sweden between 1934 and 1948 around 12,000. Claims for damages have been rejected in the Federal Republic of Germany for many years. It was not until the late 1970s that people who were forcibly sterilized were given a disability pension.

The law enabled targeted sterilization of various diseases that were suspected of having genetic causes, namely " congenital idiocy , schizophrenia, circular (manic-depressive) insanity, hereditary epilepsy, hereditary St. Vitusian chorea, hereditary blindness, hereditary deafness, severe hereditary physical deformity, […] severe alcoholism. ”(Gütt / Rüdin / Ruttke (1934) For the prevention of hereditary offspring. Law and explanations, Munich: JFLehmanns Verlag, p. 56). The sterilization had to be decided by “ hereditary health courts ” at the request of the person concerned, his guardian or civil servant doctors or by the head of the institution and, according to such a decision, had to be carried out “even against the will of the person to be sterilized ” (Gütt et al. 1934: p. 58).

Unlike in other European countries, this radical variant of eugenics in Nazi Germany ultimately resulted in the systematic “ destruction of life unworthy of life ”, which was at least facilitated by eugenic devaluation of “inferior ” people. As early as 1929, Hitler declared at the Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg :

"[...] if Germany had a million children a year and 700,000 to 800,000 of the weakest were eliminated, then in the end the result might even be an increase in strength."

The T4 again from 1939 to 1941 formed a bridge to the Holocaust of European Jews. The exact relationship between eugenics and Nazi "euthanasia" is scientifically controversial. Certain neighborhoods can be found next to Germany - but only on the discourse level, not as an act - between eugenics and “euthanasia” supporters in the USA in the 1930s and 1940s.

Japanese Empire

The eugenics movement in Japan was influenced by the translations of Mendel's works and by writings from the United States. The efforts of foreign eugenicists such as Charles Davenport in the United States to ban Japanese immigration in the 1920s did not detract from the popularity of eugenics in Japan. In addition, very few Japanese eugenicists had direct personal contact with foreign eugenicists and acquired much of their knowledge through reading: After centuries of Japan's isolation , the eugenic ideal of ethnic purity was quite attractive to Japanese society. When faced with the challenge of defending national independence in a time of global imperialism, many Japanese saw eugenics as the probable means.

Eugenics after 1945

In the post-war period, eugenics became increasingly unpopular among academics. Many scientific organizations and journals began to distance themselves from eugenics, for example in 1969 the Eugenics Quarterly was renamed Social Biology .

Under the influence of National Socialist racial hygiene, many politicians and scientists gave up the ideas of eugenics. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed by the United Nations in 1948 and contains the sentence: "Men and women of full age have the right to marry and to have a family without any restriction based on race, nationality or religion." 1978 declared the UNESCO , the fundamental equality of all people to the ideal.

In response to the radicalization under the Nazis, almost all countries turned away from their previously practiced eugenist policies, although the idea did not go away. Julian Huxley , the first director general of UNESCO and co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund , also a president of the British Eugenics Society and a supporter of eugenics, said in 1947:

“[E] ven though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable. "

“While it is certainly true that any radical eugenics policy will be politically and psychologically impossible for many years, it will be important for UNESCO to recognize that the eugenics problem is being studied with the utmost care and public awareness about it Facts are informed so far that the unthinkable is at least conceivable. "

- Julian Huxley

Textbooks from the 1920s to 1940s often had chapters on the contribution of eugenic practices to scientific progress. Many early scientific journals on genetics contained articles on eugenics. Many of these references were removed in the post-war period. Scientific journals even changed their names. For example, in 1969 Eugenics Quarterly was renamed Social Biology . However, some prominent academics continued to support eugenics. In 1963 the Ciba Foundation convened a conference on the future of humans, at which three renowned biologists and Nobel Prize winners ( Hermann Muller , Joshua Lederberg and Francis Crick ) spoke out in favor of eugenics. In the church, too, there were still positive voices about eugenics; so declared Pope Pius XII. still in 1953 in a note to the "First International Symposium for Genetic Medicine" the basic approach of eugenics and genetics as morally impeccable. On this basis, the church only advocates measures such as education, medical reproductive advice and the demonstration of individual responsibility for one's own family planning. The Catholic Church has always categorically rejected any kind of forced interventions, sterilization, abortion or the restriction of individual reproductive planning.

In few parts of the world, large-scale eugenics programs persisted longer. So led Sweden and the Canadian province of Alberta by the mentally handicapped to the 1970s forced sterilization.


In the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and in the planned constitution of the European Union , forced sterilization, eugenic measures, etc. are prohibited. Nevertheless, the European Parliament approved a motion in which rare diseases should also be avoided by selecting healthy embryos before implantation .


After the liberation from National Socialism in 1945, the eugenic practice in Germany was significantly restricted, in particular the law for the prevention of genetically ill offspring was initially suspended by the Office of Military Government and ultimately judged as unconstitutional in 1986 by the Kiel District Court. Nevertheless, in both German states there were and still are legal regulations and state-tolerated practices that obey eugenic principles. Numerous advocates of eugenics under National Socialism still held chairs at medical faculties or became deans there in the 1960s.

According to estimates by the Federal Ministry of Justice , up to 1992 around 1,000 mentally handicapped women were sterilized annually - mostly before they reached adulthood - without or against their own will . Until November 2003, disabled women could still be sterilized if they were found to be unable to give their consent, even without their consent and without medical reasons.

In both the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany, termination of pregnancy was or is preferentially allowed or tolerated if the embryo was diagnosed with a serious illness or developmental disorder or a predisposition to a serious illness. Such terminations of pregnancy with an “embryopathic indication” were allowed in the GDR between 1950 and 1972 and also partially allowed after 1972; in the FRG they were officially allowed between 1976 and 1995 and regularly remain unpunished after 1995 until today.

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the incest ban between siblings is justified eugenically: sibling incest is u. a. therefore prohibited because a child conceived by siblings has a demonstrably high risk of being born with hereditary defects. However, various authors doubt that it is the state's task to prevent potentially hereditary offspring in the population.

There was a eugenics debate in 1999 when the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk made a controversial speech about the establishment of rules for the human park. After discussions with Thomas Nagel and Ronald Dworkin in 2002, the philosopher Jürgen Habermas stated that, from the point of view of Anglo-Saxon liberalism shaped by John Locke , it is “almost a matter of course that decisions about the composition of children's genetic makeup are not subject to government regulation, but rather to parents to leave. "

The theses on the integration of immigrants as well as on the development of the population and the overall German intelligence average , which the former Berlin Senator for Finance and then Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin presented in public appearances from September 2009 and 2010 in his book Germany Abolishes, were seen as a connection to the traditions of Eugenics and to that extent described as breaking a taboo in the Federal Republic. The sociologist Peter Weingart assessed with a view to the content of Germany abolishes himself that Sarrazin is a "reborn eugenicist", "by still today referring to the eugenicists of the last and penultimate centuries". In addition, Sarrazin latches onto the "masked eugenic discussion" of intelligence researchers and behavioral geneticists.


In Switzerland, the eugenically shaped compulsory sterilization law of the Canton of Vaud was repealed in 1985. Forced sterilization continued into the 1980s. A parliamentary initiative to compensate victims of forced sterilization and castration , which was widely announced in the press , was rejected in December 2004, but a new law was made out of it, which allows the sterilization of those unable to consent under certain conditions.


Similarly, the Scandinavian sterilization laws, which essentially stemmed from a “socialist eugenics” tradition, were not abolished until the 1960s and 1970s, although after 1950 there was significantly less sterilization for eugenic reasons than before.

In Sweden the Sterilization Act was in place from 1941 without changes until 1975. Approximately 63,000 people were sterilized. Only recently has there been a compensation debate.

Denmark, under the leadership of the Social Democratic Justice and Social Affairs Minister Karl Kristian Steincke (1880–1963), had legally introduced forced sterilization as a “racial hygiene measure” as early as 1929, four years before the German Reich. A number of other laws followed by 1938. People with disabilities were sterilized before they were released from a home. In Denmark around 10,000 people were sterilized for eugenic reasons, of which 5,000 to 7,000 were forcibly. In 1967 this practice was ended by law.

In Finland, around 11,000 women and girls and some men were forcibly sterilized between 1935 and 1979, when the forced sterilizations were terminated.


Cyprus is a country with a high prevalence of β-thalassemia major , an inherited blood disease. Every seventh inhabitant of the country carries the defective genetic information without being sick themselves. If both parents have the genetic defect, the risk for a child to develop thalassemia is 25 percent. Treatment of the disease is only possible with great effort through lifelong weekly blood transfusions and additional medication. The survival time of the sick was extended by new treatment methods to such an extent that the number of sick people in the Cypriot population would have doubled every eight to ten years without further measures. This would have overwhelmed the resources of the health care system in Cyprus in the foreseeable future. As early as the 1970s, almost every healthy resident in the country came to donate blood twice a year, as around 500 blood transfusions were performed each week for thalassemia treatment. Of around 11,000 newborns per year at that time, around 70 were infected. A fifth of the country's health budget was spent on procuring the necessary drug Desferal , which, like blood transfusions, is given to the affected patients free of charge.

Since 1976 there has been a voluntary eugenics program in Cyprus to prevent the further spread of thalassemia. Almost every adult resident of marriageable age knows their own thalassemia status based on a genetic test, so they know whether they are the carrier of the genetic defect. Couples who want to have children and both partners are carriers are advised to have a voluntary prenatal diagnosis in a consultation . There are around 200 such prenatal examinations and around 50 subsequent abortions per year in Cyprus. A screening certificate has been a prerequisite for a church wedding since 1983, confirming participation in genetic screening and appropriate human genetic counseling for a couple willing to marry. The carrier status of the partners or any recommended or performed prenatal diagnostics are not noted on the certificate. Such a certificate is not required for a non-church marriage. The number of couples who decide not to marry after genetic testing and counseling is less than three percent.

Since almost every family in Cyprus is affected by thalassemia, there is no significant resistance among the population to this voluntary eugenics. The genetic tests, prenatal diagnostics and any abortion are free. For some years now, pre-implantation diagnostics have been available as an alternative in Cyprus instead of prenatal diagnostics with subsequent abortion. Expenditures for Desferal have halved and the number of sick newborns is two per year. Since about the same number of thalassemia patients die each year, the number of patients has been constant at around 630 for some time.

North America

United States

Communication scholar Mark Largent has tracked the presence of eugenics in American biology textbooks and found that the number of textbooks in which eugenics was featured has steadily increased since the 1920s. From the 1970s onwards, eugenics was mentioned less often in textbooks. Towards the end of the 1970s there were the first critical discussions about eugenic practices.

A well-known and controversial representative of eugenics was Margaret Sanger , a pioneer of birth control, who was also in favor of a targeted improvement in human genes by preventing the reproduction of genetically “degenerate” people. In the USA, compulsory sterilizations were carried out from 1907, the last in 2002. If the program was initially aimed primarily or allegedly against the sick and the disabled , later criminals and ultimately African-Americans were increasingly affected. In 2002, the governors of the US states of Virginia and Oregon apologized to the victims. That same year, 7,600 people in North Carolina were sterilized, most of them against their will.

The ban on marriage between blacks and whites, which had been in force in many US states since 1924, was abolished in 1967 by the Supreme Court . A 1924 law to prevent the immigration of "dysgenic Italians" and Eastern European Jews was abolished in 1965.

In 1994 the book The Bell Curve appeared in the USA with theses on the inheritance of intelligence and its unequal distribution in the comparison of different "races". In the following debate, the book authors Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein were accused of eugenic and racial motivations, including by journalists Jeffrey Rosen and Charles Lane. Among the 17 source authors quoted in the book, quite a few would also publish in the eugenic journal " Mankind Quarterly ". This journal, which u. a. was co-founded by the Münster-based eugenicist Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer (doctoral supervisor Josef Mengeles ) in 1961, came under criticism because of right-wing texts and because of the funding by the controversial Pioneer Fund .

Examples of modern, eugenically motivated programs are the CRACK program founded by Barbara Harris , which finances contraceptives for drug addicts, and Family Cap . In the latter case, mothers or families who live on social assistance are denied further financial aid for the birth of another child. This is practiced in some US states and in Asian countries such as South Korea and Singapore.


In Canada, compulsory sterilization continued into the 1970s. In 1972, forced sterilization was banned. One of the victims of this practice was Leilani Muir , a student at a boarding school for the mentally handicapped, who was sterilized at the age of 14. In 1996, Muir took $ 740,000 in damages in court. A film was later made about the life of Muir.


People's Republic of China

A law was passed in the People's Republic of China in 1995, according to which persons wishing to marry must undergo genetic tests. Carriers of certain hereditary diseases were only allowed to marry if they allowed themselves to be sterilized or if they chose another form of long-term contraception.

A sperm bank called Notables' Sperm Bank was opened in the Chinese province of Sichuan in 1999 , which only accepts professors as donors. The sperm bank was supported by the family planning authority in the provincial capital Chengdu .


In 1986, Singapore passed an eugenics law under the People's Action Party. The aim of the law was to make the population smarter. Various measures have been taken. Academics received state-guaranteed wage increases if they decided to have a (further) child. Attempts were also made to reduce the rate of unmarried academics through appropriate partner agencies. In addition, material rewards were given to lower-class people if they chose to be sterilized after having their first or second child.

Modern forms of eugenics

Critics of the current legal regulations on abortion argue that an abortion with embryopathic indication is a form of prenatal eugenics. Termination of pregnancy is permitted until birth if the child is diagnosed with a disability or illness and the pregnant woman has a doctor confirm the potential harm to her physical and / or mental health from carrying the child to term. Similarly, pre- implantation diagnostics are being rejected by critics as a form of prenatal eugenics.

Transhumanism and Posthumanism

In the ethics of transhumanism and posthumanism , eugenics also plays a large role. Here, however, the hope is not to prevent birth through sterilization, but to ensure the birth of a healthy child through genetic manipulation. In the future, human evolution should be controlled by human-chosen goals. This control should not be in the hands of the state, but should be left to the individual parents.

Literature and film

Between 1890 and 1930 several hundred "science fiction" dealing with questions of eugenics were published and translated in German-speaking countries. Most of them were written by specialists such as doctors, biologists and economists and translate the respective points of view into socio-political utopias. A key role model was Edward Bellamy's successful book Looking Backward . Common to the very different ideas is the belief that eugenics will make medicine almost superfluous and lead to an ideal world. Eugenics was interpreted as a secular promise of salvation that was able to solve a number of depressing social problems.

In contrast, Hedwig Conrad-Martius emphasized in her book Utopien der Menschenzüchtung 1955 how the two world wars, but on the contrary, how the National Socialist practice finally tore open a nihilistic abyss .

After the Second World War and especially after the discovery of DNA , the eugenic social utopia was increasingly replaced by genetic engineering utopias. In the film Gattaca , for example , the availability of genetic engineering methods also becomes a means of planning in advance and shaping possible offspring. The social problem is tied to the sole availability of such technologies for privileged layers rather than to state enforcement.


See also


  • Alison Bashford, Philippa Levine (Eds.): The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics. Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-19-537314-1 .

Historical studies

  • MB Adams (Ed.): The Wellborn Science: Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil, and Russia. Oxford University Press, New York 1990.
  • Edwin R. Black: War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. Four Walls Eight Windows, New York 2003, ISBN 1-56858-321-4 .
  • Norbert Frei (Hrsg.): Medicine and health policy in the Nazi era. R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1991 (= writings of the quarterly books for contemporary history. Special issue), ISBN 3-486-64534-X , passim.
  • Daniel Kevles In the name of Eugenics: genetics and the use of human heredity . Harvard University Press 1985, 2nd edition. 1995.
  • B. Garver: Eugenics: Past, Present, and the Future. In: American Journal of Human Genetics. 49: 1109-1118 (1991).
  • Thomas Huonker : diagnosis 'morally defective'. Castration, sterilization and racial hygiene in the service of Swiss social policy and psychiatry 1890–1970. Orell Füssli publishing house, Zurich 2003, ISBN 3-280-06003-6 .
  • Maren Lorenz : Human discipline. Early Ideas and Strategies 1500–1870. Wallstein, Göttingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-8353-3349-9 .
  • J. Marks: Historiography of Eugenics. In: American Journal of Human Genetics. 52 (1992), pp. 650 f.
  • Ulrike Manz: Civil women's movement and eugenics in the Weimar Republic. Königstein im Taunus 2007.
  • D. Obermann-Jeschke: Eugenics in transition. Continuities, breaks and transformations. An analysis of the history of discourse. Edition DISS, Volume 19, Münster 2008, ISBN 978-3-89771-748-0 .
  • Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, H. James Birx, Nikolaus Knoepffler (Ed.): Eugenics and the future. Alber, Freiburg im Breisgau 2006, ISBN 3-495-48144-3 .
  • Ernst Klee : German Medicine in the Third Reich. Careers before and after 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-10-039310-4 , passim.
  • Stefan Kühl : The Nazi Connection. Eugenics, American Racism and German National Socialism. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press
  • Stefan Kühl: The International of Racists. The rise and fall of the international eugenics and racial hygiene movement in the 20th century. Frankfurt / New York 1997, ISBN 3-593-35755-0 .
  • Georg Lilienthal : Racial hygiene in the Third Reich. Crisis and turning point. In: Medical History Journal. Volume 14, 1979, pp. 114-134.
  • Reinhard Mocek : Biology and Social Liberation. On the history of biologism and racial hygiene in the labor movement. Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-631-38830-6 .
  • Jürgen Peter : The breach of racial hygiene in medicine. Effects of racial hygiene on thought collectives and medical fields from 1918 to 1934. Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-935964-33-1 .
  • Hans-Walter Schmuhl: sterilization, “euthanasia”, “final solution”. Hereditary health policy under the conditions of charismatic rule. In: Norbert Frei (Hrsg.): Medicine and health policy in the Nazi era. R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1991 (= writings of the quarterly books for contemporary history. Special issue), ISBN 3-486-64534-X , pp. 295–308.
  • Richard Weikart: From Darwin to Hitler: evolutionary ethics, eugenics, and racism in Germany. XI, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, et al. a. 2004, ISBN 1-4039-6502-1 .
  • Paul Weindling: Health, Race and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism, 1870-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1989.
  • Peter Weingart , Jürgen Kroll, Kurt Bayertz: Race, Blood and Genes. History of eugenics and racial hygiene in Germany. Frankfurt am Main 1992; 3rd edition ibid 2001, ISBN 3-518-28622-6 .
  • Regina Wecker et al. (Ed.): How National Socialist is Eugenics? International Debates on the History of Eugenics in the 20th Century, Böhlau, Vienna 2009
  • Carlo Wolfisberg: Curative Education and Eugenics. On the history of curative education in German-speaking Switzerland (1800–1950). Zurich 2002, ISBN 3-0340-0568-7 .
  • Stefanie Westermann, Richard Kühl, Dominik Groß (eds.): Medicine in the service of "hereditary health". Contributions to the history of eugenics and "racial hygiene" (= medicine and national socialism, 1), Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-643-10478-6 .

Literature on current eugenics

  • Achim Bühl (Ed.): On the way to an bio-powerful society? Chances and risks of genetic engineering. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2009.
  • J. Glover: Eugenics and Human Rights. In: J. Burley (Ed.): The Genetic Revolution and Human Rights. Oxford University Press 1999, pp. 101-124.
  • Jürgen Habermas : The future of human nature. On the way to a liberal eugenics? Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-518-58315-8 .
  • Michael Haller , Martin Niggeschmidt (ed.): The myth of the decline of intelligence. From Galton to Sarrazin: The thought patterns and thinking errors of eugenics, Wiesbaden 2012: Springer-VS-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-531-18447-0 .
  • Hans Jonas : The principle of responsibility: Attempting ethics for technological civilization. Frankfurt / M. 1979. New edition as Suhrkamp Taschenbuch, 1984 [below], ISBN 3-518-39992-6 .
  • P. Kitcher: The Lives to Come. Penguin, 1996, chapters 8-12
  • Thomas Lemke: The government of risks. From eugenics to genetic governmentality. In: Ulrich Bröckling, Susanne Krasmann, Thomas Lemke (eds.): Governmentality of the present. Studies on the economization of the social. Frankfurt am Main 2000.
  • D. Neri: Eugenics. In: Ruth Chadwick, Dan Callahan, Peter Singer (Eds.): Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics. Academic Press, 1997, ISBN 0-12-227065-7 , Volume 1, pp. 877-889.
  • DB Paul: Is human genetics disguised eugenics? In: David Hull, Michael Ruse (Eds.): The Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 536-551.
  • Robert N. Proctor : Genomics and eugenics: how fair is the comparison? In: G. Annas, E. Elias (Eds.): Gene Mapping: Using Law and Ethics as Guides. Oxford University Press, 1992, pp. 57-93.
  • A. Ryan: Eugenics and Genetic Manipulation. In: J. Burley (Ed.): The Genetic Revolution and Human Rights. Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 125-132.
  • S. Wilkinson: "Designed Babies", Instrumentalization and the Child's Right to an Open Future. In: N. Athanassoulies (Ed.): Philosophical Reflections on Medical Ethics. 2005, pp. 44-69.

Web links

Wiktionary: Eugenics  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Susan Currell, Christina Cogdell: Popular Eugenics: National Efficiency and American Mass Culture in The 1930s. Ohio University Press, Athens 2006, p. 203.
  2. ^ Ernst Klee : German Medicine in the Third Reich. Careers before and after 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-10-039310-4 , p. 21 (“The terms eugenics and racial hygiene are always used synonymously in Germany. There is, however, one subtle difference: eugenics has always something to do with hereditary health. ")
  3. Hans-Peter Körner: Eugenics. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 380 f .; cited here: p. 380.
  4. ^ F. Galton: Eugenics, its Definition, Scope, and Aim. In: Sociological Papers. Volume 1, 1905, pp. 45-50.
  5. a b Regina Wecker: How National Socialist is Eugenics? International debates on the history of eugenics in the 20th century. Böhlau, Vienna 2009.
  6. Jennifer Robertson: Blood talks: eugenic modernity and the creation of new Japanese Archived from the original on December 9, 2012. (PDF) In: Hist Anthropol Chur . 13, No. 3, 2002, pp. 191-216. doi : 10.1080 / 0275720022000025547 . PMID 19499628 . Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  7. ^ Fritz Lenz: Human selection and racial hygiene (eugenics). 4th edition. Munich 1932 (= Human Heredity and Racial Hygiene. Volume 2), p. 254 ("As things are, the word racial hygiene is currently more advertising in folk circles, the word eugenics, on the other hand, in Jewish, social democratic and Catholic circles").
  8. Ute Felbor: Racial Biology and Hereditary Science in the Medical Faculty of the University of Würzburg 1937–1945. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1995, ISBN 3-88479-932-0 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Supplement 3.) - At the same time: Dissertation Würzburg 1995), p. 156.
  9. American eugenics: Race, queer anatomy, and the science of nationalism Nancy Ordove University Minnesota Press
  10. M. Ruse: The Evolution-Creation Struggle. Harvard University Press, 2005, pp. 177 ff.
  11. Make life and let die. The birth of racism . In: Sebastian Reinfeldt , Richard Schwarz, Michel Foucault: Bio-Macht. Edition DISS, 1992, pp. 27-50.
  12. ^ Hans-Walter Schmuhl: Racial hygiene, National Socialism, euthanasia. Göttingen 1987, p. 49.
  13. Schmuhl, p. 62.
  14. Thomas Etzemüller: An everlasting downfall. The apocalyptic population discourse in the 20th century. transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2007.
  15. ^ David J. Galton: Greek theories on eugenics. In: Journal of Medical Ethics. 24 (4) / 1998, pp. 263-267, PMC 1377679 (free full text); Allen G. Roper gave a historical overview: Ancient Eugenics. The Arnold Prize Essay for 1913, BH Blackwell, Broad Street, Oxford 1913.
  16. Christian Lenk: Therapy and Enhancement: Aims and Limits of Modern Medicine. LIT Verlag, 2002, ISBN 3-8258-5837-5 , p. 89.
  17. ^ Christian Geulen: History of Racism, CH Beck, Munich 2007, pp. 71–73; George L. Mosse : History of Racism in Europe, Frankfurt a. M. 2006, p. 67 f.
  18. Ilse Jahn , Rolf Löther, Konrad Senglaub (eds.): History of Biology, Jena 1985, p. 554 f.
  19. ^ Paul Weindling: Fascism and Population in Comparative European Perspective. Population and Development Review, Vol. 14, Supplement: Population and Resources in Western Intellectual Traditions. 1988, p. 109.
  20. ^ Johannes Heinle: Survival of the Fittest .
  21. ^ Reinhard Mocek: Biology and social liberation. On the history of biologism and racial hygiene in the labor movement (= philosophy and history of science, studies and sources, volume 51), Verlag Peter Lang, Frankfurt a. M. 2002.
  22. ^ Sören Niemann-Findeisen: Weeding the Garden. The eugenics reception of the early Fabian Society, Westfälisches Dampfboot (paperback - June 2004).
  23. Dennis Sewell: How eugenics poisoned the welfare state ( Memento of September 5, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), in: The Spectator of November 25, 2009.
  24. ^ Inquiries into human faculty and its development by Francis Galton
  25. ^ NW Gillham: Sir Francis Galton on the Birth of Eugenics. In: Annu. Rev. Genet. 35 (2001), pp. 83-101
  26. ^ F. Louca: Emancipation Through Interaction - How Eugenics and Statistics Converged and Diverged. In: Journal of the History of Biology. doi: 10.1007 / s10739-008-9167-7 (2008)
  27. The inheritance of deafness . In: Globus: illustrated magazine for regional and ethnology . tape 59 . Vieweg and Son , 1891, p. 362 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  28. quoted from Gunter Mann: New Science in the Reception Area of ​​Darwinism. In: Reports on the history of science . 1.1978, p. 108.
  29. Wilhelm Schallmayer: Selection as factors for efficiency and degeneration of peoples. Brackwede 1907, p. 10 ff., Quoted here from Andreas Lüddecke: The "Saller case" and racial hygiene. Tectum, 1995, p. 43.
  30. according to Kurt Nowak: "Euthanasia" and sterilization in the "3rd Rich". Göttingen 1978.
  31. after Patrik von zur Mühlen: Racial ideologies, history and backgrounds. JHW Dietz Successor, Bonn 1977, ISBN 3-8012-1102-9 , pp. 54, 108.
  32. Weingart, Kroll and Bayertz 1992, p. 524.
  33. In 1939, racial hygiene became a compulsory subject for physicians and by 1945 there were independent institutes for the subject at every second medical faculty. Cf. Ute Felbor: Racial Biology and Hereditary Science in the Medical Faculty of the University of Würzburg 1937–1945. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1995 (= Würzburg medical historical research. Supplement 3; also dissertation Würzburg 1995), ISBN 3-88479-932-0 , p. 9.
  34. ^ Michael Schwartz: Socialist eugenics: eugenic social technologies in debates and politics of the German social democracy 1890-1933. Verlag JHW Dietz Successor, 1995, ISBN 3-8012-4066-5 , p. 70 ff.
  35. ^ Alfred Grotjahn: Decline in the birth rate and birth control in the light of individual and social hygiene. Berlin 1914, p. 144 f.
  36. ^ For example Gisela Bock : Racial Policy, Medicine and Mass Murder under National Socialism. In: AFS. 30, 1990, p. 437.
  37. ^ Michael Schwartz: Socialist eugenics: eugenic social technologies in debates and politics of the German social democracy 1890-1933. Verlag JHW Dietz Successor, 1995, ISBN 3-8012-4066-5 , pp. 74-75.
  38. ^ Keynes, John Maynard: Opening remarks: The Galton Lecture . In: Eugenics Review . 38, No. 1, 1946, pp. 39-40.
  39. Beatrice Webb. Guardian, Feb. 19, 2009.
  40. ^ Richard S. Levy: Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution, Volume 1, p. 212.
  41. ^ Martin Gilbert : Churchil and Eugenics, 2009.
  42. a b Spiegel Online , January 5, 2012.
  43. Sterlization Act has Much backing. In: Edmonton Journal 7, March 9, 1928.
  44. ^ The Sterilization of Leilani Muir. (Movie). Produced by the North West Center, National Film Board of Canada , 1996.
  45. Christoph Keller . The skull surveyor. Otto Schlaginhaufen - anthropologist and racial hygienist. A biographical report. Limmat, Zurich 1995 ISBN 3-85791-234-0 .
  46. Thomas Huonker . Diagnosis: "morally defective". Castration, sterilization and racial hygiene in the service of Swiss social policy and psychiatry 1890–1970. Orell Füssli, Zurich 2003 ISBN 3-280-06003-6 .
  47. Chantal Marazia. Philosophical whitewashing. Ludwig Binswanger (1881-1966) and the sterilization of manic-depressive patients. In: Medical History Journal. 46 (2011) 134-154.
  48. Forum för levande historia : Rasbiologist i Sverige ( Memento of January 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 221 kB)
  49. Stockholm University : Benny Jacobsson: Nytt ljus över rasbiologin ( Memento of 27 May 2009 at the Internet Archive )
  50. ^ Karl N Alvar Nilsson: KRIS I FOLKHEMMET. Svensk politisk historia 1900 - 2011 ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.5 MB)
  51. a b c d Achim Bühl: From eugenics to the Gattaca society. In: Achim Bühl (Ed.): On the way to an bio-powerful society? Chances and risks of genetic engineering. VS-Verlag, 2009, pp. 38-40.
  52. Lena Lennerhed: Sterilization on Eugenic Grounds in Europe in the 1930 s: News in 1997 but Why? In: Reproductive Health Matters. Vol. 5, No. 10, The International Women's Health Movement. (Nov. 1997), p. 156.
  53. Church of Sweden press release on forced sterilization. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 11, 2001 ; Retrieved November 28, 2014 .
  54. A. Spektorowski: The Eugenic Temptation in Socialism: Sweden, Germany, and the Soviet Union. In: Comparative Studies in Society and History. 46 (2004), pp. 84-106.
  55. Steve James: Social Democrats implemented measures to forcibly sterilize 62,000 people. World Socialist Web Site
  56. Maija Runcis: Steriliseringar i folkhemmet. Stockholm 1998.
  57. ^ Adolf Ratzka : Eradication of “deviants”: the dark side of the Swedish model. Independent Living Institute, Sweden 1997.
  58. Steriliseringsfragan i Sverige 1935–1975 Ekonomisk ersättning (The Sterilization Question in Sweden 1935–1975. Economic Compensation). Delbetänkande av 1997 ars steriliseringvutredning, Stockholm 1999.
  59. Н. Кременцов: От “звериной философии” к медицинской генетике. Евгеника в России и Советском Союзе. In: Историко-биологические исследования 6.2 (2014). Pp. 24-56.
  60. Torsten Rüting: Pavlov and the new man: Discourses on disciplining in Soviet Russia. Oldenbourg, 2002, ISBN 3-486-56679-2 , p. 180.
  61. Thomas Junker: What is eugenics? ( Memento from October 20, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  62. Susanne Heim: Autarky and Eastern Expansion. Plant breeding and agricultural research during National Socialism. Wallstein Verlag, 2002, ISBN 3-89244-496-X , p. 10.
  63. Michael Schwartz: Eugenics and 'Euthanasia': the international debate and practice until 1933/45. In: Klaus-Dietmar Henke (Hrsg.): Deadly medicine in National Socialism: from racial hygiene to mass murder. 2008, ISBN 978-3-412-23206-1 .
  64. Gunther Mann: New Science in the Reception Area of ​​Darwinism. In: Reports on the history of science . 1.1978, p. 82.
  65. Arnd Krüger : Between sex and selection. Nudism and naturism in Germany and America, in: N. Finzsch & H. Wellenreuther (eds.): Liberalitas: A Festschrift for Erich Angermann . Steiner, Stuttgart, 1992, pp. 343-3365.
  66. Jürgen Peter: The intrusion of racial hygiene in medicine. Effects of racial hygiene on thought collectives and medical fields from 1918 to 1934. Frankfurt 2004, p. 125 f.
  67. Jürgen Peter: The intrusion of racial hygiene in medicine. Effects of racial hygiene on thought collectives and medical fields from 1918 to 1934. Frankfurt 2004, p. 126 ff.
  68. Ibid.
  69. quoted from Peter Weingart, Jürgen Kroll, Kurt Bayertz: Rasse, Blut und Gene. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1988, p. 229.
  70. ^ Michael Schwartz: Socialist eugenics: eugenic social technologies in debates and politics of the German social democracy 1890-1933. Verlag JHW Dietz Successor, 1995, p. 176 ff.
  71. ^ Heinrich Schopohl: Eugenics in the service of the people's welfare. In: Volkswohlfahrt 13, 1932, pp. 789–792.
  72. ^ Alfons Labisch and Florian Tennstedt : Public Health Office or Public Health Office? On the development of the public health service since 1933. In: Medicine and health policy in the Nazi era. Edited by Norbert Frei , R. Oldenbourg, Munich 1991 (= series of the quarterly books for contemporary history, special issue), ISBN 3-486-64534-X , pp. 35–66; cited here: p. 42.
  73. ^ Burleigh: Death and Deliverance. Cambridge 1995; Quotes Wauschkuhn in: Psychiatrisch-Neurologische Wochenschrift. 1922, p. 217.
  74. Heiner Fangerau: The standard work on human heredity and racial hygiene by Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz in the mirror of contemporary review literature 1921–1941. (PDF; 938 kB) Inaugural dissertation, accessed on February 14, 2008.
  75. S. Otsubo, JR Bartholomew: Eugenics in Japan: some ironies of modernity, 1883-1945. In: Science in context. Volume 11, Numbers 3-4, 1998 Autumn-Winter, pp. 545-565, PMID 15168677 .
  76. ^ Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice. November 27, 1978 ( memento of September 23, 2004 in the Internet Archive ).
  77. UNESCO: Its Purpose and its Philosophy. Washington DC 1947 In: Liagin: Excessive Force: Power Politics and Population Control. Washington DC, p. 85; Information Project for Africa 1996.
  78. ^ John Glad: Future Human Evolution: Eugenics in the Twenty-First Century, Hermitage Publishers.
  79. ^ PIUS XII: Moral Aspects of Genetics. Address to the First International Symposium of Genetic Medicine September 7, 1953. In: AAS. 44: 605 (1953); see also Kevin D. O'Rourke, Philip Boyle: Medical ethics: sources of Catholic teachings. Georgetown University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-87840-722-7 , pp. 170 f.
  80. Celia Deane-Drummond: Brave New World? Theology, Ethics and the Human Genome. T. & T. Clark Publishers, 2003, ISBN 0-567-08936-3 .
  81. after Karl Hörmann, Lexikon der Christian Moral, LChM 1976, Sp. 427-429.
  82. Emily Jackson, Regulating Reproduction. Hart, Oxford 2000.
  83. European Parliament: Plenary session of 23 April 2009 in Strasbourg Combating rare diseases. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 29, 2011 ; Retrieved November 28, 2014 .
  84. After 1945 there were four active eugenicists of the Nazi era at the Münster University Clinic: Karl Wilhelm Jötten , Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer , Friedrich Mauz and Heinrich Reploh . Deans of the Medical Faculty Münster ( Memento from August 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  85. Brigitte Faber: Eugenics, sterilization, research for other people. (No longer available online.) In: Einmischen Mitmischen. Information brochure for disabled girls and women. Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth , archived from the original on December 13, 2009 ; Retrieved November 28, 2014 .
  86. Ulrike Berg: The problem of the “eugenic indication” as a justification i. S. v. Section 218 a II StGB new version , Dissertation, 2005, urn : nbn: de: hebis: 26-opus-27535
  87. BVerfG, 2 BvR 392/07 of February 26, 2008 , paragraph no. 49
  88. ^ Christian Marchlewitz: Sibling love. Is it punishable behavior or an unjustly sanctioned taboo? In: Forum Recht, 1 12012, p. 17.
  89. J. Habermas: The future of human nature. On the way to a liberal eugenics. Frankfurt am Main 2002, p. 129.
  90. Cf. Alexander Pinwinkler : Continuation of the eugenics discussion with other means? Population discourses in the 20th and early 21st centuries, in: Angela Schwarz (ed.), Streitfall Evolution. A cultural history, Cologne-Weimar-Vienna: Böhlau Verl. 2017, 526-541.
  91. ^ Christian Staas: Sarrazin Interview: Chic wasteland big city. In: Zeit Online , October 28, 2009.
  92. Sigmar Gabriel : What a hopeless image of man! Why the SPD cannot tolerate a Thilo Sarrazin in its ranks. In: Zeit Online , September 15, 2010.
  93. Peter Weingart: Is Sarrazin a eugenicist? In: Michael Haller, Martin Niggeschmidt (eds.): The myth of the decline of intelligence. From Galton to Sarrazin: Patterns and Errors of Thinking in Eugenics , Wiesbaden 2012, pp. 24–25. ISBN 978-3-531-18447-0 .
  94. On the current state of research: People with disabilities in Swedish historiography: Eugenics and racial hygiene. ( Memento of May 25, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved on December 11, 2007.
  95. ^ A b Ernstwalter Clees: Forced sterilizations in Scandinavia: Widespread ideology of eugenics. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt. 1997, 94 (40): A-2551 / B-2176 / C-1931.
  96. Michael Angastiniotis: The Prevention of Thalassemia in Cyprus. at the Congress Good and Bad Genes.
  97. ^ Mark A. Largent: Breeding contempt: The history of coerced sterilization in the United States. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick / New Jersey 2008, ISBN 978-0-8135-4182-2 , p. 128 .
  98. ^ Broberg, Nil-Hansen: Eugenics And the Welfare State .; Alexandra Stern: Eugenic nation: faults and frontiers of better breeding in modern America. University of California Press, Berkeley 2005.
  99. a b ARD Documentation History in the First: Beautiful New Man, min 34 ( Memento from July 11, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  100. Essay 7: Marriage Laws
  101. Essay 9: Immigration Restriction
  102. Jeffrey Rosen, Charles Lane: The Sources of the Bell Curve. In: Steven Fraser: The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future of America. Basic Books, 1995, p. 58.
  103. ^ Clare Murphy, Selling Sterilization to Addicts. ( Memento of September 4, 2003 on the Internet Archive ) on: BBC News Online. September 2, 2003.
  104. Daniel Costello: Is CRACK wack? on: , April 8, 2003.
  105. Anna Marie Smith: Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation. Cambridge University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-521-82095-0 , p. 80 ( excerpt in Google book search).
  106. ^ Alberta Online Encyclopedia: Eugenics in Alberta.
  107. A Guide to Women in Canadian History. Films & Videos.
  108. M. Bobrow: Redrafted Chinese law remains eugenic. In: Journal of medical genetics. Volume 32, Number 6, June 1995, p. 409, PMID 7666390 , PMC 1050477 (free full text).
  109. Xin Mao: Chinese eugenic legislation. In: The Lancet . Volume 349, Issue 9045, p. 139, January 11, 1997.
  110. Xinhua News Agency : China's 1st Notables' Sperm Bank Opens. June 24, 1999.
  111. ^ Jürgen Reyer: Eugenics and pedagogy: educational science in a eugenized society. Juventa 2003, ISBN 3-7799-1713-0 , p. 181 ( excerpt from Google book search)
  112. ^ Johann S. Ach: The "Eugenics Argument" in the bioethical discussion. In: Georg Pfleiderer (ed.): Zeithorizonte des Ethischen: on the importance of temporality in fundamental and bioethics. W. Kohlhammer, 2006, ISBN 3-17-019112-8 , pp. 217-234. ( Excerpt in the Google book search)
  113. Nick Bostrom : A history of transhumanist thought . In: Journal of Evolution and Technology . 14, No. 1, April 2005. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  114. ^ World Transhumanist Association: Do transhumanists advocate eugenics? Archived from the original on September 9, 2006. In: World Transhumanist Association . 2002-2005. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  115. Nick Bostrom in an interview (2007).
  116. ^ The earthly paradise, Breeding fantasies in science fiction of the early 20th century , December 10, 2005, 02:04, NZZ Online
  117. ^ David A. Kirby, The New Eugenics in Cinema: Genetic Determinism and Gene Therapy in GATTACA. In: Science Fiction Studies. No. 81, Volume 27, Part 2, July 2000.
  118. Die Unwertigen - a documentary film. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on October 5, 2009 ; Retrieved November 28, 2014 .
  119. Frozen Angels | Home. Retrieved November 22, 2018 .