Myth 19: That Darwin and haeckel were complicit in nazi biology

Abstract

In 1971, Daniel Gasman saw published his Scientific Origins of National Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League, the dissertation he had produced at the University of Chicago two years before. That book argued that Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), the great champion of Darwinism in Germany, had special responsibility for contributing to Nazi extermination biology. Gasman stacked up the evidence: that Haeckel’s Darwinian monism (which held that no metaphysical distinction separated man from animals) was racist; that he was a virulent anti-Semite; and that leading Nazis had adopted his monistic conceptions and racial..

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Robert Richards
University of Chicago

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