From racism to genocide : anthropology in the Third Reich /
Gretchen E. Schafft.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2004.
xiv, 297 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0252029305 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2004.
0252029305 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [271]-283) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-09-01:
Schafft's morally indignant book traces her archival discoveries, providing testimony to the complicity of German and Austrian anthropologists in Hitler's project of racial classification and, ultimately, genocide. For scholars, a major point of interest is her use of records of the Institute for German Work in the East (IDO), which are now lodged at the Smithsonian. Schafft (American Univ.) also places the Nazi project in context, including brief accounts of German anthropology's prior development, the eugenics movement in Europe, and, in chapter eight's intriguing excursus, echoes of racist scientism in US discussions of postwar resettlement of displaced Europeans. In Schafft's stark judgment, Nazi anthropologists abandoned self-evident principles of humanity for careerism and pseudoscience. More provocatively, she accuses postwar anthropologists of moral failure amounting to complicity in failing to bring this dark period in the profession's history to light. The cause certainly deserves discussion, as do issues of the sociology of knowledge that a nuanced, archivally grounded analysis of relationships, personalities, and beliefs could raise. The book, however, is weakened by poor organization, a chronology that jumps around, the intrusion of sections of grand historical narrative on the core theme, and an overreliance on outrage. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Faculty. K. Brown Brown University
Review Quotes
"An informative textbook with a clear message about scientific responsibility and morality. . . . The author should be praised."-- Patterns of Prejudice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2005
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Bowker Data Service Summary
The concept of a master race & the racism that tagged along in its wake were not baseless constructs. Gretchen Schafft explores the role of anthropologists in framing the policies of aryan supremacy & the final solution, & demonstrates how scientific mistakes ignited the Holocaust.
Main Description
From Racism to Genocide is an explosive, richly detailed account of how Nazi anthropologists justified racism, developed practical applications of racist theory, and eventually participated in every phase of the Holocaust. Using original sources, correspondence between anthropologists of the time, and previously unpublished documentation, Gretchen Schafft shows the total range of anti-human activity from within the confines of a particular discipline. Based on seven years of archival research in this country and abroad, the work includes many original photos and documents, most of which have never before been published. It uses primary data and original texts whenever possible, including correspondence written by perpetrators. A discussion of Hitler's "final solution," Nazi slave labor, and the rape of occupied Poland reveal the full horror of the Third Reich. Embedded concepts of "scientism," "denial," "academic responsibility," and "race" contribute to understanding some of today's most pressing social science issues. The book also reveals that the United States was not merely a bystander in this research, but instead contributed scientific and financial support to early racial research that continued through the first five years of Hitler's reign.
Table of Contents
The Jews of the Tarnow ghetto
Anthropology in Germany before the Second World War: The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute
The rise of Hitler his embrace of anthropology
The discovery in the Smithsonian
Population selection and relocation in the midst of war
Anthropology and medicine in the Third Reich
The end of the war and the aftermath
Race and racism
Professional denial, civic denial and a responsible anthropology
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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