Details

The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics, 1927-1945


The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics, 1927-1945

Crossing Boundaries
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, Band 259

von: Hans-Walter Schmuhl

181,89 €

Verlag: Springer
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 14.01.2008
ISBN/EAN: 9781402066009
Sprache: englisch
Anzahl Seiten: 468

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Beschreibungen

<p>When the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics opened its doors in 1927, it could rely on wide political approval. In 1933 the institute and its founding director Eugen Fischer came under pressure to adjust, which they were able to ward off through Selbstgleichschaltung (auto-coordination). </p>
<p>The Third Reich brought about a mutual beneficial servicing of science and politics. With their research into hereditary health and racial policies the institute’s employees provided the Brownshirt rulers with legitimating grounds. </p>
<p>This volume traces the history of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics between democracy and dictatorship. Attention is turned to the haunting transformation of the research program, the institute’s integration into the national and international science panorama, and its relationship to the ruling power. The volume also confronts the institute’s interconnection to the political crimes of Nazi Germany terminating in bestial medical crimes.</p>
From its founding in 1927 until its dissolution in 1945, the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics (KWI-A) in Berlin-Dahlem transgressed many a boundary; indeed, the transgression of boundaries was in a sense its raison d’être from the outset. Initially this applied to the boundaries within the disciplinary canon of the human sciences. Even from its basic conception, the institute, centered around the person of its founding director Eugen Fischer (1874– 1967), was to unify anthropology, genetics, and eugenics under one roof. In ke- ing with the understanding predominant in Germany between the wars, anthropology went beyond the scope of the framework of the ascendant “race theory” to cover not only physical anthropology, including paleoanthropology, but also elements of what we today would call cultural and social anthropology. Thus, this anthropology extended far into the fields of archeology, paleontology, prehistory and early h- tory, history and sociology, and especially into ethnology and folklore. Human genetics, in turn, was more than the attempt to apply to humans the genetics dev- oped by Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866–1945) and his school in the USA on the model of drosophila. In Germany, Morgan’s genetics, which concentrated on investigating the dissemination of genetic traits on the chromosomes and their morphological structure, was received with skepticism for two reasons.
Acknowledgements. List of Abbreviations. Introduction. 1. A 'Purely Theoretical Institute for the study if the nature of man' The Founding of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics and Eugenics, 1920-1927 2. The Human of the Future Under the Scrutiny of Research 3. The 'Faustian Bargain' 4. In the Realm of Opportunity 5. Boundary Transgression 6. Index of Persons 7. Sources and Literature
<p>The first book to examine German biomedical science and its social applications in the country’s most renowned institute for the human sciences in the inter-War years</p>
<p>Confronts the daunting question of how the life sciences under National Socialism could terminate in bestial medical crimes on “valueless” human beings</p>
<p>This case study offers a sophisticated analysis of the complex interface of science, politics and ethics –one that transcends the scope of this particular work</p>

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