America and Nazi Germany
Worked Together to Implement Eugenics

Jerry Bergman

(Investigator 192, 2020 May)

When growing up, I invested much time visiting libraries. One reason for my life-long habit of library visiting is to learn about history by reading news reports in old magazines. One example of much interest that I came across recently was a September 9, 1935, Time magazine article titled "Praise for Nazis." The article was a favorable reporting about a eugenics conference in Berlin attended by a prominent American physician. Eugenics as a discipline was formally begun by Francis Galton (1822-1911), who got the idea from reading the evolutionary writings of his cousin, Charles Darwin (1809-1882).
Evolution is based on the idea that differences in humans exist which allow survival of the fittest process to select the superior organisms, thus ratcheting up evolution to higher levels. Consequently, the inferior, less-evolved humans are more apt to become extinct, and the superior humans will likely thrive. Eugenics, meaning good genes, was applied by encouraging sterilization of inferior humans and encouraging superior, more-fit, humans to produce more offspring. If all humans were equal in fitness level, and all descendants of Adam and Eve as the Bible teaches, evolution could not take place because evolution would have nothing to select from.
Even many mainline church denominations during WWII accepted the belief that evolution played a major role in propagating eugenics. The Methodist Church later formally apologized for their role in supporting eugenics. Denominations that rejected evolution also rejected eugenics because evolution led to eugenics for the reason that evolution leads to differences in fitness. What Darwin called the favored races in the title of his famous book published in 1859, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, included the white Aryan races, such as Germans and Scandinavians, and excluded the inferior races, which were all non-whites, and included Jews, Blacks, Poles and all Slavic peoples.
Because Galton came from a very wealthy family that, incidentally, made their fortune from the slave trade, he was not required to work for a living as did most everyone else then. Consequently, he spent his life attempting to make a better world by propagating his eugenics theory.  Although most of the Western world both accepted and widely implemented eugenics, only Germany carried it to its extreme in what history today refers to as the Holocaust. They did so because the German government first attempted to export their inferior races, mostly Jews, to other countries, most of which, due to their own eugenic beliefs, rejected them. The U.S. Immigration Act of 1924 established immigration quotas based on race, extending preferential treatment to whites and discriminating against brown and black people who wanted to move to America and become citizens.
The result was the December 11, 1941 Wannsee Conference located in the suburbs of Berlin; the conclusion was, because no other country wanted Jews, Germany’s only choice was to kill all of them. From this conference the camps were developed to effectively achieve just that goal.  Singling them out for the firing squads, as was the policy for years, became too expensive (in terms of ammunition, etc.), too time consuming, and involved the mental anguish of having to shoot people, young and old. The camp gas chamber program was seen as a simple solution designed to deal with all these problems. The new, more efficient method of disposing of the unwanted 11 million European Jews was to gas them in fake "showers" using the common insecticide called Zyklon B delivered through shower heads in the ceiling. In this way, millions would be efficiently killed, and the bodies cremated in ovens. Problem solved, the Nazis thought.
Just as American race and immigration law specifically recognized the inferiority of certain races, notably blacks, so too German law specifically recognized the inferiority of the Jews and Gypsies and all non-Aryans. In both cases, the positive term "race protection," was used to save the white native majority from the contamination posed by interbreeding with evolutionarily inferior races.
The Time magazine article I discovered reported on a eugenic conference in Berlin where it was reported that "Adolf Hitler, ably supported by Dr. William Frick and guided by Germany's anthropologists and social philosophers, has been able to construct a comprehensive racial policy of population development and improvement. This policy promises to be epochal in racial history." The goal was "to prevent marriages between hereditarily tainted persons" comparable to a marriage between an Aryan and a non-Aryan, and  "to influence the choice of life partners from a health as well as a racial viewpoint." These goals sound laudable until one realizes that the logical outcome guided by Germany's anthropologists led to the murder of 12 million persons, a horrible end that, once it became widely known, rapidly ended the entire Eugenic Movement. The Time magazine article continued, adding that Arthur Giitt, the chief of the

German Public Health Department bluntly told the Congress: Our penal code will shortly make compulsory a health examination for all marrying persons. The purpose of this is first to dissuade bodily or mental inferiors from marrying and especially from procreation. Second, to prevent marriages between hereditarily tainted persons, the same as a marriage between an Aryan and a non-Aryan. Third, to influence the choice of life partners from a health as well as a racial viewpoint.

Thus began the eugenic dream of both Darwin and Galton. Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick, observed that during the War, the best, most-fit men from all embattled nations were dying at the front and the inferior men rejected for military were at home reproducing. Thus, Dr. Frick and Nazi eugenists' plans to breed "Germans like prize cattle are especially vital." Time also observed that "while the German Press quoted Dr. Campbell by the yard",
excited Jewish editors tried to dig up something against him, [but] found nothing more remarkable than that his wife was named Helen Fahnestock. Socialite Dr. Campbell's boldest dicta: "The difference between the Jew and the Aryan is as unsurmountable as that between black and white…. Germany has set a pattern which other nations must follow."

Time magazine then opined that

Dr. Campbell, though too polite to wound racial sensibilities by calling [people] names [like inferior race], was unobtrusively teaching that if "Americans," as that term is generally understood, do not speed up their birth rate, the result after a few more generations will be to leave control of their country in the hands of some more pushing race.

The pushy races, I assume, include Jews and possibly Poles. Furthermore, Jewish criticism of Germanys Nazi race policy was blunted by the "warm, approving speech from Dr. Clarence Gordon Campbell, president of the American Eugenics Research Association, delivered before the World Population Congress in Berlin." At the closing Congress banquet Manhattan's Dr. Campbell gave the toast: "To that great leader, Adolf Hitler!" This is only one example of how closely the Nazis and the American eugenic movement worked closely with each other to achieve eugenics. One study concluded that the

Nazi race laws were the precise equivalent of the Democratic Party’s race laws. It isn’t merely that the former provided for the latter; the 2 sets of laws also had the same functional purpose. Just as the segregation and discrimination were intended to supplement, and in some respects replace, the random violence of the KKK, so too the Nuremberg Laws and Nazi discrimination laws were intended to supplement, and in some respects replace, the random violence of the brown-shirts. In this respect, as in so many others, the Nazis and the Democrats draw so close that it becomes increasingly difficult to tell one from the other.

The big question in both America and Germany was "who is a Jew?" The moderates observed it was not easy to identify a person’s ethnicity due to the commonality of mixed marriages in Germany. In contrast, the Nazi radicals observed that "Southern segregation laws were based on the so-called ‘one drop rule.’ In other words, having any discernible black ancestry—theoretically even a single drop of black blood—made one count as black." Eventually, the radicals prevailed, and the infamous 1935 Nuremberg Laws

officially termed the Law for the Protection of German Blood and the Reich Citizenship Law—were in fact modeled on the U.S. anti-miscegenation laws, immigration laws, and Jim Crow laws. The laws prohibited marriage and sexual relations between Jews and "citizens of German or kindred blood." And Jews were denied German citizenship; they were now considered resident aliens, stripped of all rights but certainly of all political rights. Jews were rendered second class citizens, just the way most blacks were in the United States.

In the end, the Nazis rejected the American "one drop rule" as too strict and determined in order to be deemed Jewish required three Jewish grandparents. Those who were one-fourth or one-half Jewish would be counted as Jews only if they actively practiced Judaism culture or were married to a Jew. All other Jews would count as Germans. In the end, "Nazis took the softer line in defining racial identity than their U.S. precedents. Historian George Frederickson writes, "German anti-Semitism was less rigorous in its attitude toward racial purity than was American white supremacy." Furthermore

Democrats institutionalized a comprehensive system of state-sponsored discrimination against blacks throughout the South. They were excluded from virtually all government positions except the most lowly and menial. This state-sponsored discrimination persisted for three-quarters of a century, from the 1880s through the 1960s.

Germany copied the American rule but added an "Aryan Clause"

which effectively banned Jews from government employment. Soon Jews were excluded from Journalism, farming, teaching, and the theater. By 1938 Jews could not practice investment banking or the profession of law and medicine. This combination of segregation and state-sponsored discrimination against Jews mirrors what the Democrats did to African Americans.

In short, there is enough blame to go around when placing blame for the cause of the Holocaust.