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110 SHOFAR Summer 1995 Vol. 13, No.4 ble for two daughters of a Russian general abandoning comfort and status for the lives of revolutionaries? There is an abundant literature on women in Tsarist Russia and women in the revolutionary movement. Desind would have done well to consult it. This failing notwithstanding, the book should be of interest to the general reader desirous of learning about Jewish and Russian revolutionaries in the twilight period of Imperial Russia. Stephen M. Berk Department of History Union College Schenectady, New York The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, Am.erican Racism, and German National Socialism, by Stefan Kuhl. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. 166 pp. $22.00. Almost a half century ago, Richard M. Weaver wrote an insightful and perceptive book, Ideas Have Consequences (1948), which lends its title to the theme of this review. Stefan Kuhl's fine book, The Nazi Connection, was published a few months in advance of the controversy over the publication of the piece of political propaganda known as The Bell Curve (1994) and written by the conservative ideologues, Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein. Murray and Herrnstein have regenerated a controversy of some twenty-five years earlier, when William Shockley and ArthurJensen sought to prove the inferiority of blacks, based on intelligence. Ideas do, indeed, have consequences, and dressing racism and bigotry up in the garb of science is particularly disturbing among contemporary writers who should know something of the historical legacy of racism for American blacks and for European Jews. It is the latter which The Nazi Connection described. Stefan Kuhl begins his book with a description of the contemporary justification of "scientific" racism by such writers as anthropoJogist Roger Pearson (Race, Intelligence, and Bias in Academe, 1991) and psychologists Robert Gordon, J. Philippe Rushton, Hans Eysenck, and others. Some of these "scientists" have been supported by the Pioneer Fund, founded in 1937 by Harry H. Laughlin and Frederick Osborn, two American eugenicists and advocates of Adolf Hitler's racial policies. In fact, Kuhl claims that the list of beneficiaries of the Pioneer Fund "reads like a 'Who's Who' of . scientific racism in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland." Kuhl is not only interested in documenting the bigotry of contemporary Book Reviews 111 scientific racists, he also clearly shows the connection between their ideas, the activities of the Pioneer Fund, and the racism of the Nazis which resulted in the Holocaust. To illustrate this relationship, Kuhl traces the history of the American eugenics movement and the ways that the ideas and activities of some of its members aided and supported the Nazis. The 1912 International Congress for Eugenics was held in London and brought together eugenicists from Europe and the United States to discuss a variety of issues, the most important of which were preventing the procreation of the "unfit" and employing eugenics to encourage the breeding of the "fit." As early· as this Congress, American eugenicists enjoyed considerable prestige with their European counterparts, who praised the Americans for their commitment to research and for their efforts at restricting immigration through legislation. A steady stream of information written by American eugenicists and by German scholars in America kept the European and, particularly, the German eugenics community well informed of the activities ofAmerican scholars and of the progress of American legal enactments relating to eugenics. The head of the Commission of the American Genetic Association, Harry H. Laughlin, later to become a co-founder of the Pioneer Fund, made clear his support of legislation to sterilize the lowest or most "inferior" ten percent of the population of the United States. While World War I temporarily interrupted contact between the European and the American scientific racists, the end of the War resulted in a resumption of significant U.S. leadership in the eugenics movement, as New York City hosted the Second International Congress for Eugenics in September 1921. By 1925 cordial relations between U.S. and German eugenicists had been fully restored, and the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as the Jewish philanthropist, James Loeb, began sponsoring eugenics activities and facilities in Germany. In spite of the Great Depression, the Third International Congress was held in New York City...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 110-113
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
N
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