Darwinism, Eugenics, and Pacifism in Germany, 1860-1918

Progress through Racial Extermination:
Social Darwinism, Eugenics, and Pacifism in
Germany, 1860-1918
Richard Weikart
California State University, Stanislaus
Until the late nineteenth century the idea of bringing progress to the world and
European societies was associated with Christian pastors or missionaries and
liberal or socialist humanitarians, who focused on imbuing the indigenous peoples
in the colonies with European culture and elevating the poverty-ridden masses at
home with the higher values of religion, freedom, or equality. But in the pre-World
War I decades, racial ideologies gained prominence, which argued that the
educational efforts of religious and secular-humanitarian emissaries were in vain.
Instead, scientific racism suggested a different path to progress. In Friedrich
Hellwald’s magisterial four-volume work on ethnology, Rudolf Cronau used social
Darwinist arguments to dismiss the idea that the “lower races” could be elevated:
The current inequality of the races is an indubitable fact. Under equally
favorable climatic and land conditions the higher race always displaces the
lower, i.e., contact with the culture of the higher race is a fatal poison for the
lower race and kills them…. [American Indians] naturally succumb in the
struggle, its race vanishes and civilization strides across their corpses….
Therein lies once again the great doctrine, that the evolution of humanity and
of the individual nations progresses, not through moral principles, but rather by
dint of the right of the stronger.1
Cronau—along with a host of leading scientists, physicians, and social thinkers
who embraced Darwinian social explanations and eugenics in the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries—thus argued that the key to progress was the
annihilation of the “lower races,” who stood in the way of advanced culture and
Some social Darwinist thinkers went further, arguing that racial extermination,
even if carried out by bloody means, would result in moral progress for humanity.
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Brutality would not necessarily triumph in the struggle for existence, since, as
Darwin had argued in Descent of Man, morality conferred a selective advantage.2
Therefore, according to this twisted logic, since Europeans were morally superior
to other peoples, the extermination of other races would rid the world of immorality.
The University of Leipzig geographer, Alfred Kirchhoff, articulated this point in
his posthumously published work, Darwinism Applied to Peoples and States
(1910). He justified racial extermination as part of the human struggle for
existence: “So the righteousness of the struggle for existence, cool to the core, wills
it.” This conferred a kind of sanctity to the harsh realities of
the struggle for existence between the peoples, [which] causes the extermination
of the crude, immoral hordes…. Not the physically strongest, but the [morally]
best ones triumph. If there were not a diversity of peoples, if there were no
international rivalries, where would be the guarantee for the preservation of the
fitness of the peoples, not to mention for the progress of humanity?3
Thus Kirchhoff, who was by no means alone in this matter, not only conferred the
status of scientific inevitability to racial extermination, but also made it seem
righteous and noble.
S ince these views on racial extermination are so unreasonable, it is understandable
that many scholars have distanced such exterminationist racism from modernity.4
They are undoubtedly right that the ideology of racial extermination undermined
cosmopolitan egalitarianism and humanitarianism, which is widely regarded as the
essence of modernity. Yet social Darwinism, on which exterminationist racism
relied, was the epitome of modernity in other respects. First, social Darwinists
consistently appealed to scientific laws and evolutionary progress in order to
eliminate traditional ideas and structures that appeared to stand in the way of
thorough modernization. They also called for radical secularization, which is
commonly considered a concomitant to modernity. The promise of radical
modernization that positivist science —including Darwinism—appeared to offer
for the liberation and progress of humanity strongly appealed to many leftists.5
Even pacifism was often closely linked with eugenics because it offered a complete
departure from the imperfect men of the past.6 However we may define modernity
today, social Darwinists and eugenicists certainly viewed themselves —and their
racial theories —as rational, scientific, progressive, and modern.7
Such links of social Darwinism and eugenics to radical social reform in German
thought have been variously explored in the past, but surprisingly little attention has
been paid to the appeal of one particular kind of racist thought—exterminationist
racism.8 Racism does not always imply extermination, but often functions as a
justification for slavery or economic oppression. Some German colonial
administrators and physicians even argued that German policy should aim at
increasing the indigenous African populations, so they could exploit more labor.9
Richard Weikart 275
My essay will show, however, that scientific racism based on social Darwinism
radicalized racism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by providing a
scientific rationale for exterminating non-European races. George Mosse, who was
one of the few to trace the origins of modern “scientific” racism to a demystified
post-Enlightenment world, which required scientific rationalization to justify
inequality and suppression, erred when he stopped short of linking racial
extermination to these roots and argued that such killing dreams were exclusively
the province of irrationalist and mystical race theorists. He thus exonerated
scientific racism from exterminationist racism, asserting that eugenics “was not
geared either to the elimination of inferior races or even to the necessity of race
Not only was much scientific racism exterminationist,but scientific racism even
made inroads into the pacifist movement, especially via eugenicists with pacifist
sympathies. Thus, rather surprisingly, even some pacifists endorsed some kind of
exterminationist racism. Paul Crook has shown that many Darwinian-inspired
eugenicists espoused pacifism, but he did not go on to explore the limits of their
pacifism, especially in regard to race relations.11 The existence of exterminationist
racism among pacifists problematizes the history of pacifism, since pacifism is —
rightly—viewed as quintessentially modern as well as humanitarian. Yet some
pacifists’ eagerness to create a new, modern human led them to embrace ideas that
clashed with their humanitarian codes of conduct.
Four elements of Darwinian theory provided fuel for exterminationist racism. First,
Darwin propagated Malthus’s idea that the population has a tendency to expand
faster than the food supply, a point that seemed confirmed by the rapidly expanding
European population. Second, Darwinian evolution required variation within
species, and most Darwinists in the nineteenth century considered human races
either subspecies or even separate species. Ernst Haeckel, the most famous
Darwinist in late nineteenth-century Germany, for example, divided humans into
twelve species and even grouped these species into four separate genera!12 Third,
because of the population imbalance, individuals within a species have to compete
for scarce resources in a struggle for existence. Many Darwinists, including Darwin
and Haeckel, argued that this competition-to-the-death occurred not only between
individuals, but also between groups, such as tribes or races. Finally, many
Darwinists argued that Darwinism undermined traditional Judeo-Christian ethics,
including its stress on the sanctity of human life.13 Blended together with their new
conception of the value of human life and the competitive struggle between
organisms, racial extermination seemed (at least to some) natural and inevitable —
indeed, even beneficial and progressive.
Because Haeckel believed in racial inequality and an inevitable struggle for
existence among humans, he concluded that “inferior” races would ultimately be
exterminated in this struggle. One example of the human struggle for existence, he
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stated, was European expansion, which was driving other races, such as the
American Indians and Australian aborigines, to extinction. “Even if these races
were to propagate more abundantly than the white Europeans,” he averred, “yet
sooner or later they would succumb to the latter in the struggle for existence.”14
Haeckel was one of the earliest and certainly the most influential Darwinist to argue
that racial extermination was an unavoidable consequence of the human struggle
for existence.
In the 1860s-1890s a number of prominent Darwinian biologists, ethnologists,
and other social thinkers took up the theme of racial extermination in their writings.
Though some stressed the peaceful nature of this racial competition, some admitted
that the struggle often produced violent warfare. A few even seemed to glory in the
brutality of the racial conflict, while others regretted the inevitable extermination
of the “inferior” races. These Darwinists agreed, however, that the extermination
of the “inferior” races was on the whole a positive development leading to progress.
Probably the first scholar to justify racial extermination on a Darwinian basis
was Oscar Peschel, editor of Das Ausland and later professor of geography at the
University of Leipzig, who began promoting Darwinian theory immediately after
Darwin’s Origin of Species appeared. In an 1860 article on races he argued that the
two highest races are Caucasians, as the most intelligent, and black Africans, as the
best adapted for the tropics. Because of competition from whites and blacks, other
races were dying out. The American Indians and Polynesians “could not be saved,
their time had come, as soon as a white face appeared.” Peschel exonerated
Spaniards for slaughtering Indians, claiming it was not brutality—they were merely
following natural law. He stated, “This is the historical course. If we view it with
the eye of a geologist, and indeed a geologist which accepts the Darwinian theory,
we must say that this extinction [of human races] is a natural process, like the
extinction of secondary animal and plant forms.”15
He thus accepted all the death and misery of racial extermination with equanimity,
appealing to science to legitimate his stance. Later, in his major work on ethnology,
Peschel argued that racial extinction was caused not by European brutality, nor
disease nor alcohol, but because the natives simply lose the desire to live, stop
reproducing, and sometimes even kill their own offspring. Thus they bring about
their own demise.16
Peschel’s position resonated with the social Darwinist Friedrich Hellwald,
Peschel’s successor as editor of Das Ausland. In his 1880 book, The Natural
History of Humans, Hellwald called the decline of the Australian aborigines, which
he and many contemporaries considered the lowest race in the world, “race
suicide,” since allegedly they had simply stopped reproducing. Hellwald showed
no regret about this process, quoting Peschel with approval:
Everything that we acknowledge as the right of the individual will have to yield
to the urgent demands of human society, if it is not in accord with the latter. The
Richard Weikart 277
decline of the Tasmanians therefore should be viewed as a geological or
paleontological fate: the stronger variety supplants the weaker. This extinction
is sad in itself, but sadder still is the knowledge, that in this world the physical
order treads down the moral order with every confrontation.17
Nature thus trumps ethics every time, so there is no point in decrying natural
processes like racial extinction.
In his earlier major work, History of Culture (1875), which he dedicated to
Haeckel, Hellwald was even more callous in his treatment of racial extermination.
He derided all ethical considerations, maintaining that the ends justify the means
and that “in nature only one law rules, which is no law, the law of the stronger, of
violence.”18 He agreed with the social Darwinist writer, Robert Byr, whom he
quoted: “Whoever it may be, he must stride over the corpses of the vanquished; that
is natural law. Whoever shrinks back in hesitation from thi s, deprives himself of the
chance for existence ,”19 Like most Darwinists, Hellwald considered the extermination
of “inferior” races a natural development necessary to bring progress, but unlike
many of his contemporaries, he seemed to revel in the brutality of that struggle.
Even more influential than Peschel or Hellwald was Ludwig Biichner, a
popularizer of Darwinism who believed that people could use reason to influence,
though not totally escape, the struggle for existence. On many occasions he
expressed sympathy with the peace movement.20 However, despite his opposition
to war, Biichner continued to believe that races were locked in a Darwinian struggle
for existence that would ultimately result in the annihilation of “inferior” races. In
the early 1870s he wrote, “The white or Caucasian human species [!] is ordained
to take dominion of the earth, while the lowest human races, like Americans,
Australians, Alfuren, Hottentots, etc., are proceeding toward their destruction with
huge steps.” Biichner was not as explicit as Hellwald, but he implied that racial
extermination is a positive development.21
So how did Biichner square his opposition to war with his view on racial
extermination? We cannot know for sure, for despite often discussing both issues
separately, he never explained the relationship between war and racial competition.
There are two ways that Biichner could have answered this question,however, both
of which were upheld by some of his contemporaries. He could have held that: 1)
“inferior” races would die out through peaceful competition; or 2) warfare was
justified against “inferior” races, but not against other “civilized,” i.e., European,
Opting for the former explanation was Ernst Krause (pseudonym, Carus
Sterne), who behind Haeckel and Biichner was probably the most influential
popularizer of Darwinism in Germany. Krause earned a doctorate in botany in
1866, wrote popular books on science, and edited Kosmos, a leading scientific
journal devoted to Darwinism. Krause took the same view of racial inequality as
Haeckel, admitting that the “inferior” races were dying out as a result of contact
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with the more “civilized” races. However, this was not so much the result of bloody
conflict as peaceful competition, as the example of the Tasmanians proved: “For
the scientist this highly painful drama had great interest, inasmuch as it showed him
how the struggle for existence in some circumstances entirely loses the character
of violence and yet just as infallibly favors the rise of the more capable race.”22
According to Krause, Europeans were only indirectly responsible for the death of
“lower” races.
By the end of the 1870s, racial extermination had already received considerable
treatment by social Darwinist writers, but in the 18 80s two new currents of thought
would emerge to foster social Darwinist racism even more in the German academy.
First, law professor and sociologist Ludwig Gumplowicz developed his Darwinianinspired sociology of group conflict, focussing on Racial Struggle, the title of his
1884 book. Secondly, the prominent geographer Friedrich Ratzel began publishing
his theory of Lebensraum (living space), which, though more subtle in its treatment
of racial struggle than Gumplowicz’ s theory, was nonetheless an important weapon
in the arsenal of imperialists.
Gumplowicz’s ideas were not radically new. As we have seen, many social
Darwinists had already presented racial conflict as part of the Darwinian struggle
for existence. But Gumplowicz systematized many of the ideas we have already
examined, placing racial struggle at the center of his analysis: “The racial struggle
for dominion in all its forms, whether open and violent, or latent and peaceful, is
therefore the actual driving principle, the moving force of history.” Gumplowicz
believed that racial hatred was ingrained in humans, manifesting itself in racial
conflict, including violence and bloodshed; violent enslavement and extermination
of races is simply a part of the natural order.23 Gumplowicz differed from most
social Darwinists of his time, however, by defining race as a sociological, not a
biological, category.24 As a Polish Jew at the German-speaking University of Graz
in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Gumplowicz had firsthand knowledge of ethnic
rivalries. By presenting ethnic hostility as inevitable and “scientific,” Gumplowicz
provided further grist for the mill of racist imperialists. Gumplowicz’s term “racial
struggle” became firmly entrenched in race discourse by the early twentieth
Ratzel’s ideas about Lebensraum were also based on Darwinian thinking.26
Before switching to geography, Ratzel was a zoologist and wrote a popular
exposition of Darwinism, Being and Becoming (1869). Therein Ratzel argued that
the extermination of the primitive peoples by Europeans was a powerful example
of Darwinian natural selection in operation.27 Later, Ratzel’s geographical theory,
which he hoped would become “nothing less than the foundation of a new theory
of humanity,” focused on human migrations and the “struggle for space.”28 Ratzel
claimed the struggle for space (Lebensraum) was the same as the human struggle
for existence, and he believed it resulted in the extermination of less civilized
peoples.29 In one of Ratzel’s later books, Political Geography, he explained the
Richard Weikart 279
significance of his Lebensraum theory for colonization and warfare. The entire
sixth chapter, “Conquest and Colonization,” is, in effect, a plea for Germans to
wage war against native populations, especially in Africa, to wrest land away from
them.30 Though Ratzel was more egalitarian in his racial views than were most
social Darwinists, his geographical theories provided clear support for settler
colonization. Lebensraum ideology was easily appropriated by exterminationist
racist thinkers, since despite Ratzel’s racial egalitarianism, policies based on his
theories would lead to the same result: death to the indigenous peoples.
By the 1890s and early 1900s Darwinism had become well entrenched in the
German academy, and racial theories—many built on social Darwinism—were
spreading. Earlier most discussions of racial struggle and extermination were
tucked away in brief passages in longer articles or books (except for Gumplowicz),
but in the 1890s and especially after 1900 there was a proliferation of books and
articles entirely devoted to race theory. Julius Langbehn, Houston Stewart
Chamberlain, Ludwig Schemann’s Gobineau Society, the Bayreuth Circle, and
many others promoted a view of history and society founded on race. Race had
moved from the periphery to center stage.
Simultaneously, the eugenics movement emerged in Germany, forthrightly
based on Darwinian presuppositions, including its stress on biological inequality.
Since eugenicists’ primary goal was the biological improvement of the human
species, they hoped to rid the world of “inferior” or “degenerate” people. Most
eugenicists concentrated on regenerating their own nation through measures either
encouraging, di scouraging, or even prohibiting reproduction of certain individuals,
depending on their perceived biological value. However, since many eugenicists
also believed that non-European races were inferior to Europeans, another way to
improve the race would be eventually to replace non-Europeans with Europeans.
Even among eugenicists who were not primarily concerned with race, it often
lurked in the background. Biological improvement of Europeans would give them
a greater advantage in the struggle against other races, while biological
degeneration—which many eugenicists feared was occurring—might lead to
disaster for Europeans in the global struggle for existence.
One prominent eugenici st making race a central concern was Ludwig Woltmann,
a physician who founded the journal Politisch-Anthropologische Revue in 1902.
Woltmann’s social theory was a blend of Marx, Darwin, and Gobineau, with the
latter two predominating .3! Woltmann equated the racial struggle for existence with
a “war of extermination.” He believed that the Germanic race, as the only cultureproducing race, would eventually conquer the globe: “The Germanic race is called
to encompass the earth with its dominion, to exploit the treasures of nature and the
labor forces, and to make the passive races serving members of their cultural
development.”32 Woltmann gathered around his journal a circle of like-minded
racial thinkers preaching Germanic supremacy.
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One member of Woltmann’s circle was the freelance anthropologist Otto
Ammon, who published three major books in the 1890s trying to apply Darwinism
to society. He exulted in war and racial competition as a part of the Darwinian
struggle for existence. He even tried to recruit the racial theorist Matthaus Much to
write newspaper articles on racial struggle.33 He also joined the Pan-German
League and organized meetings promoting German navalism (and thus
imperialism),34 In 1900 he wrote an article arguing that because of population
expansion, the white races must gain new space: “The inferior races (blacks,
Indians) would thereby succumb in the struggle.”35
Woltmann’s and Ammon’s racial ideas spread even more widely through the
tireless propaganda efforts of Ludwig Schemann, founder of the Gobineau Society.
In his memoirs Schemann claimed that among his contemporaries Ammon was the
greatest influence on his thinking, though he also acknowledged an intellectual debt
to Woltmann.36 Schemann cultivated close contact with the Pan-German League,
which financially supported the Gobineau Society, seeing its racial theory as a
justification for German imperialism.37
Though Woltmann and his circle were outsiders to academic circles, many
anthropologists in universities in the early twentieth century adopted social
Darwinist racism and considered racial struggle and racial extermination inevitable.
Eugen Fischer, an anthropologist at the University of Freiburg, was heavily
influenced by Woltmann’s circle.38 In 1908 Fischer studied a Southwest African
group, who were half-European and half-African. Fischer considered these “halfbreeds” inferior, and in free competition with Europeans, he maintained, both
blacks and half-blacks would perish. How, then, should Europeans treat these
“inferior” people? Fischer recommended strict segregation. For the time being, it
may be wise to allow them to increase their population, so they can provide labor
for Europeans. But once they are no longer useful, he asserted, they must be done
away with:
Therefore one should guarantee to them only the measure of protection that they
need as a race inferior to us, in order to survive, but no more, and only so long
as they are useful to us—otherwise [allow] free competition, which in my
opinion means [their] demise!39
Thus Fischer claimed the authority of his scientific investigations for a brutal policy
of colonial exploitation and even racial extermination.40 One of his students, Fritz
Lenz, who became the first professor of race hygiene in Germany at the University
of Munich in 1923, likewise exalted the interests of one’ s own race above all ethical
considerations in a 1917 article.41
Even those anthropologists resisting Woltmann’s race theories did not always
escape the lure of social Darwinist ideology. The first professor of anthropology at
the University of Berlin, Felix von Luschan, was liberal enough in his racial views
Richard Weikart 281
that he was invited to address the Universal Race Congress in London in 1911, a
meeting committed to fostering racial reconciliation.42 They were in for a surprise.
Luschan began by admitting that no race is inferior to another, but later warned
against allowing “coarser or less refined elements,” such as blacks, Asians, and
even Eastern Europeans, to immigrate into “civilized” nations. Near the end of his
speech he opposed the very purposes of the congress he was addressing, stating,
The brotherhood of man is a good thing, but the struggle for life is a far better
one. Athens would never have become what it was, without Sparta, and national
jealousies and differences, and even the most cruel wars, have ever been the real
causes of progress and mental freedom. As long as man is not born with wings,
like the angels, he will remain subject to the eternal laws of Nature, and
therefore he will always have to struggle for life and existence Nations will
come and go, but racial and national antagonism will remain.43
So much for racial reconciliation.
Not only was rhetoric about racial extermination becoming increasingly
inflammatory around 1900, but it was also disseminating widely. Prominent
professors, like Max von Gruber, a leading eugenicist, were advocating German
population expansion and imperialism to wrest land away from indigenous peoples ,44
Other figures on the fringe of the eugenics movement, like Willibald Hentschel and
Heinrich Driesmans, were intensely racist and did not hesitate to discuss the
extermination of “inferior” races ,45 Viennese occultist race theorists, led by Guido
von List and Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels, likewise publicized the dangers of other
races and the blessings of their elimination.46 Ideas about social Darwinist racial
extermination even spread to influential military figures, such as the German
general Friedrich von Bernhardi, the Austrian general Conrad von Hotzendorf, and
the Austrian officer-turned-sociologist Gustav Ratzenhofer, whom Gumplowicz
called a genius.47
What seems incongruous, however, is that some pacifists and proponents of peace
eugenics, who often criticized the views of social Darwinist militarists, also
advocated racial extermination. In order to understand this phenomenon, we need
to examine the rationale behind eugenicists’ opposition to war. When we examine
their views closely, it becomes apparent that very few eugenicists opposed war per
se; rather they opposed modern warfare, because they viewed it as contraselective.
Modern warfare was wrong, in their view, not because of the huge death toll, but
because the wrong people died—the strong and “fit”—while the weak and sickly
stayed home and fathered children. Some eugenicists’ opposition to war was paperthin, disappearing completely once World War I broke out.
Perhaps this is not all that surprising, since most German pacifists were not
absolute pacifists, as Roger Chickering has shown. What has not been explored is
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the stance of the German pacifist movement to racism and colonial wars. Chickering
points out that many pacifists considered population expansion a legitimate cause
for colonization, but some, like Otto Umfrid, a leading figure in the German Peace
Society, believed colonization could be a peaceful process—Europeans should
only move to areas of low population density.48 But it is not clear that all German
pacifists were committed to peaceful expansion, especially in areas occupied by
races they deemed inferior. What is striking about much pacifist rhetoric is the
frequent appeal to peace among the “civilized” nations and peoples, implying that
the “uncivilized” may not be included.49
In order to make sense of all this, it is helpful to look again at Haeckel, for
despite our portrayal of his racism above, Haeckel called himself a pacifist in the
early 1900s.50 Despite Haeckel’s belief in the human struggle for existence, his
opposition to militarism was manifest already in 1870, when he warned about the
deleterious effects of modern “military selection” on civilized nations: “The
stronger, healthier, more normal the youth is, the greater is the prospect for him to
be murdered by the needle gun, cannons, and other similar instruments of culture.”
However, the weak and sick evade military service, so they can have more children,
leading the nation into biological decline.51 He continued to embrace this view
throughout his life, and it exerted tremendous influence among eugenicists in the
early twentieth century.
Haeckel’s dim view of military selection led him to join various peace
organizations in the early 1900s. The Monist League, founded by Haeckel in 1906,
likewise promoted pacifism. An editor of the Monist journal wrote to Alfred Fried,
“The idea of world peace naturally belongs to the cultural program of Monism.”
Later this editor successfully recruited Fried to write articles on pacifism for their
journal, stating, “We consider pacifism one of the most important practical tasks
of the German Monist League.”52 However, while promoting peace, Haeckel also
supported German colonialism by joining the Pan-German League in 1890-91 and
by advocating imperialism in his writings.53
Further, despite his overt pacifism, Haeckel’s views on racial inequality and
racial extermination remained unchanged. In an entire chapter of his book,
Wonders of Life (1904), he argued that the biological inequality of human races
means that their lives have different values. He argued that since the Australian
aborigines’ psyche is closer to apes and dogs than to Europeans, their lives do not
have the same value as Europeans.54 In the expanded 1911 edition of Natural
History of Creation Haeckel argued that the “fitter” human species [! ] expand at the
expense of the “lower” ones. Some “lower” races might survive, because they can
adapt better to certain climates, but
the other races … will sooner or later completely succumb to the overwhelmingly
powerful Mediterranean [race] The Americans and Australians are already
Richard Weikart 283
proceeding toward their extermination at a quick pace, and the same is true of
the Veddas and Dravidas, the Papuas and Hottentots.55
Racial extermination did not seem to bother this Darwinian pacifist.
Haeckel’s pacifism could not weather the outbreak of World War I, despite his
claim later that he was still in principle a pacifist. Within two weeks he wrote an
article blaming England for the war, and three months later he argued that this war
was a violent episode in the universal human struggle for existence.56 In his 1917
book, Eternity, he expressed horror that Germany’s enemies were using nonEuropean troops against them, calling this an “underhanded betrayal of the white
race” These members of “wild” races simply did not have the same value as
Europeans, according to Haeckel.57 In 1917-18 Haeckel opposed the Reichstag
Peace Resolution and favored the annexationist Fatherland Party.58
Haeckel’s ambivalence toward pacifism, especially when other races came into
play, was not at all unusual in the eugenics movement, which had been heavily
influenced by his writings. These ambiguities are apparent in the writings of
Wilhelm Schallmayer. Sheila Faith Weiss emphasizes his antimilitarism and
opposition to Aryan racism, but this was only one side of Schallmayer.59 Though
less racist than Woltmann, at times he referred to races as higher and lower,
specifically claiming that black Africans are mentally inferior to Europeans.60 In a
letter to the American biologist David Starr Jordan he stated that blacks and Eastern
Europeans were racially inferior to the average American.61
Schallmayer also admitted that wars are a selective agent in the human struggle
for existence. In the past, he argued, wars were beneficial in elevating the human
race, precisely because they resulted in the annihilation of “lower” peoples. Though
Schallmayer usually relegated race to the background, the “national efficiency” for
which he strove ultimately aimed at making the nation strong to triumph against
competing nations and races ,62 In two 1908 articles he explained that this competition
is not always peaceful. While opposing modern wars between European countries,
because they are contraselective, he argued that wars between races that are
unequal—such as between Europeans and black Africans—are beneficial, especially
if they lead to the extermination of the “lower” races!63 His conclusion about war
was that “on the whole the influence of war on human evolution should still be
considered overwhelmingly favorable ,”64 So much for Schallmayer’s reputation as
a pacifist and opponent of racism.
Alfred Ploetz, the key organizer of the German eugenics movement, took
essentially the same position as Schallmayer on militarism. He saw war as
beneficial in the past, but detrimental in the present, at least among European
nations. If war must come, however, Ploetz suggested drafting all young men,
including the weak, into the army. Then, “during the campaign it would be good to
bring the specially assembled [biologically] bad elements to the place where one
needs primarily cannon fodder.”65 To be fair, Ploetz was probably not entirely
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serious about this proposal, embedded as it was in a discussion of a eugenics Utopia,
but it seems rather provocative nonetheless.
Ploetz was also much more racist than Schallmayer, though he usually kept his
racial views private. In 1907 he founded a secret organization called the Nordic
Ring to promote a more racist form of eugenics. In 1911 Ploetz wrote a tract to
recruit German youth to the Nordic Ring, warning that Germans and their fellow
Nordic types were engaged in a “struggle for existence against the other races.” In
order to win this struggle, he suggested increasing reproduction and then providing
economically for the growing population, if necessary by fighting, since, “Only the
race that consistently has the greatest excess natality will, in the end of the struggles,
have conquered the world.”66 That same year he congratulated Luschan for
stressing the necessity of war among races and nations in his 1911 speech at the
Universal Race Congress.67 In a later speech he opposed birth control, because it
would endanger the “highly endowed Nordic (Teutonic or Germanic) race” in its
struggle against African and Asian races.68 Thus for Ploetz, as for Schallmayer,
eugenics was a means to win the Darwinian racial struggle.
Some eugenicists were even more actively involved in the pacifist movement
than Ploetz and Schallmayer, but even so, most of them continued to believe that
certain races would ultimately perish in the Darwinian struggle for existence.
August Forel, a prominent Swiss psychiatrist who was a decisive influence on
Ploetz, was well known for his participation in the peace movement ,69 However, he
was even more racist than Schallmayer, whom he criticized for not placing enough
emphasis on racial inequality.70 In his memoirs he confessed that during his career
he wrestled with the following questions: “Which races can be of service in the
further evolution of mankind, and which are useless? And if the lowest races are
useless, how can they be gradually extinguished?”71 Though he never provided a
clear answer to the latter question, he did on occasion suggest that “inferior” races
needed to be eliminated. In an 1899 article, “On Ethics,” he argued that ethics needs
to focus on two issues: suppressing races “dangerous to culture” and improving
“our own race” through eugenics .72 To be sure, Forel never advocated slaughtering
those of other races, but he clearly wanted their eventual elimination.
Another advocate of peace eugenics who remained true to pacifist convictions
during World War I was Helene Stocker, the leader of the League for the Protection
of Mothers. Stocker tirelessly promoted her “new ethics,” which drew heavily on
Darwinism, eugenics, and Nietzsche. Because of her world view, she declared, “we
come to condemn war, this mass murder, which is opposed to all eugenics ideals ,”73
During World War I Stocker remained firm in her opposition to war, warning about
its deleterious effects on the health and vitality of society. However, Stacker’s
concern was embedded in larger concerns about racial competition. She believed
Richard Weikart 285
this war of the white races among themselves immensely threatens the domination
of the white race in relation to the yellow and black races. If before the war we
could hear so often about the dangers of the yellow race, since then this danger
has multiplied tremendously.74
In this same article she called the goal of eugenics “the dominion of the most
valuable race,” i .e., the white race. Unity among the white races would facilitate this
goal. Thus Stocker saw pacifism as a means to facilitate European domination of
other races.75
Stocker was not the only eugenics enthusiast concerned about “the yellow
peril.” The philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels, best known today for his early
work on Gestalt theory, devoted much of his career to promoting eugenics,
especially his pet reform, the introduction of polygamy for the “fittest” men.
Ehrenfels was so convinced of the contraselective effects of modern warfare that
he suffered a mental breakdown in the middle of World War I, depressed by the
slaughter of those he deemed biologically most valuable ,76 Despite his antipathy for
war, however, he continually warned about the “Yellow Peril,” since he saw Asians
as the chief threat to Europeans in the racial struggle. His fear of Chinese racial
prowess led him to the conclusion that “if there is no change in current practices,
this will lead to the annihilation of the white race by the yellow race.”77 Eugenics
policies, especially polygamy, were Ehrenfels’ solution to this problem. Though
Ehrenfels was not explicit on this point, presumably the elevation of the Europeans
he desired would lead to the annihilation of the East Asians, as well as other races,
whom Ehrenfels considered far inferior to Europeans.
G. F. Nicolai, a physiologist at the University of Berlin, was so committed to
pacifism that he was imprisoned during World War I for opposing the war in his
lectures. While in prison, he wrote an antiwar book, The Biology of War. In his book
Nicolai was consistent in opposing all wars, including wars against “inferior” races.
However, his reasoning is interesting. There is no need to fight wars against the
“inferior” races, Nicolai argued, since
Practically these peoples will undoubtedly be exterminated gradually by the
white race, but it has been apparent for a long time that it would be highly foolish
to wage war against these peoples. They disappear on their own, when they
come into contact with whites, for the bloodless war is always more effective
than the bloody one.78
He admitted that the struggle against the East Asians was the most dangerous for
Europeans, but instead of fighting them militarily, he suggested using eugenics to
improve the Europeans biologically. This would lead to ultimate victory, while
military conflict is more hazardous.79
286 German Studies Review 26/2 (2003)
Finally, it is instructive to examine the racial views of a leading figure in the
pacifist movement, Alfred Fried, who had sympathy with and close connections to
the eugenics movement. Fried was enthusiastic about the Darwinian revolution,
calling it greater than the French Revolution in its effects.80 He often used
Darwinian rhetoric to advance his cause. He confessed that struggle is indeed
universal, but he denied that struggle means war. The lesson that he drew from
evolution was more Spencerian than Darwinian: the ineluctable advance to ever
higher levels of organization, which would culminate in a world government.81 In
this he was following Bertha von Suttner’s lead, for she was enthusiastic about
Spencer’s philosophy of evolutionary progress.
When it came to race relations, Fried’s pacifism, like that of so many of his
contemporaries, was somewhat ambivalent. He clearly believed in the racial
superiority of Europeans, arguing that they had every right to colonize other parts
of the earth. Before the Hague Peace Conference of 1899 he even suggested that
Europeans should divide China among themselves, in order to avoid friction on this
issue at the conference.82 At times he insisted that colonization should occur
peacefully. A united Europe could, he believed, colonize without bloodshed.83 He
also welcomed the Algeciras Conference in 1906, which would “regulate the
civilizing exploitation of Morocco, of a people needing tutelage.” He called the
“subjugation of lower peoples under the leadership of the higher cultured peoples”
a “task in the service of culture.”84
However, some passages in his books betray less peaceful intentions toward
“lower” races. In 1905 he reacted against the accusation that pacifists are unrealistic
in pressing for peace throughout the whole world. He claimed that, on the contrary,
pacifists recognize that pacifism is only possible among peoples who have reached
a high level of culture. “The peace movement,” he continued,
by no means dreams of a possible ideal condition after centuries, where
Germans and Botokunden, Frenchmen and Persians, Englishmen, Turks, and
Bushmen will in peaceful harmony enjoy a time without wars based on legal
principles. The peace movement supports itself consciously on the experiences
of history, wherein war is a culture-promoting factor in the life of peoples up to
a certain stage of cultural development.85
Fried shut out non-European races from the legal community of nations that he was
advocating, which made their position rather perilous. To be sure, Fried favored
peaceful exploitation, but he clearly asserted the right of Europeans to defend
themselves against “uncivilized peoples standing outside the legal community.”86
It should be clear that many German scientists and intellectuals viewed racial
extermination as an inevitable process that may be lamentable, but is ultimately
beneficial for humanity. Only through racial extermination could humanity improve
Richard Weikart 287
biologically and advance to higher cultural levels, since the “lower” races are not
mentally capable of producing culture. I have demonstrated the prevalence of such
ideas among social Darwinists and eugenicists, including some who called themselves
pacifists. Many Germans still opposed exterminationist racism, to be sure, but it
was growing more salonfahig by the early twentieth century, especially among
intellectuals committed to science, reason, and progress.
Ideas about racial extermination were not necessarily connected to antiSemitism. More often they referred to non-European races, especially American
Indians, Australian aborigines, blacks, and East Asians. Though some of the social
Darwinists and eugenicists I have discussed were anti-Semitic in varying degrees —
some rabidly so—none of them ever referred to the extermination of Jews. Some
even opposed anti-Semitism, and German and Austrian Jews were just as likely to
justify racial struggle and racial extermination as other German thinkers.87 Of
course, there were some anti-Semitic thinkers advocating elimination of the Jews,
and even a few radical anti-Semites advocating extermination, as Goldhagen has
reminded us (while overstating his case). But the notion of racial extermination was
much more widespread in forms not associated with anti-Semitism, especially
among the educated elites.
So what practical effect did these ideas about racial extermination have? First
of all, the most immediate impact was on German imperialism and colonial policy.
Helmuth Stoecker points out that German colonialist propaganda lacked the
religious and humanitarian rhetoric so characteristic of British imperialist
propaganda, relying instead on social Darwinist and biological racist arguments.88
Carl Peters, famous for bringing German dominion to German East Africa (presently
Tanzania), believed that human history was subject to natural laws, including the
Darwinian struggle. He argued that “if Darwin is right, then perhaps a time would
be conceivable, in which they [Germans and British] would be the sole lords of this
earth.”89 Wilhelm IFs Weltpolitik was also based on the rhetoric of racial
extermination. He informed Theodore Roosevelt in 1905,
I foresee in the future a fight for life and death between the “White” and the
“Yellow” for their sheer existence. The sooner therefore the Nations belonging
to the “White Race” understand this and join in common defense against the
coming danger, the better.90
Since quite a few social Darwinist thinkers that I have discussed were already
promoting exterminationist racism before Germans began colonizing Africa,
Hannah Arendt’s thesis that virulent racism arose out of colonial practices after
1884 simply does not fit the evidence. Although Arendt is probably right that
colonial practices helped racism achieve even greater popularity among Germans,
it seems that scientific racism, including its exterminationist form, preceded
288 German Studies Review 26/2 (2003)
colonialism and was important in shaping the attitudes of the colonizers. Thus
Arendt conflates causes with effects.91
The most obvious case demonstrating the influence of biological racism on
German colonial policy was the attempted genocide of the Hereros in Southwest
Africa (presently Namibia), in which over 80 percent of the Hereros were annihilated.
One German missionary lamented that
the average German here looks upon and treats the natives as creatures being
more or less on the same level as baboons (their favorite word to describe the
natives) and deserving to exist only insofar as they are of some benefit to the
white man Such a mentality breeds harshness, deceit, exploitation, injustice,
rape and, not infrequently, murder as well.92
General Trotha, who issued the notorious annihilation decree, overtly defended his
actions by appealing to the Darwinian struggle for existence.93 He believed that the
contest between the Germans and Hereros was a racial struggle that must ultimately
end in the extermination of one party or the other.94
Secondly, the attitudes of peace eugenicists toward military conflict and racial
struggle help make intelligible the fragility of some sectors of the German Peace
Movement. Peace eugenics—especially when fused with an ideology of racial
struggle—was a flimsy basis for pacifism, and many of its proponents became rabid
warmongers and annexationists during World War I. Other factors were probably
more important in explaining the collapse of the German peace movement during
World War I, since many German pacifists who jumped ship during World War I
were not eugenics enthusiasts, but it was one factor among others.95
Finally, ideas of racial extermination captivated the minds not only of Hitler, but
also of many others, who would cooperate with his attempts to create a racial Utopia.
Hitler’s ideas were by no means idiosyncratic, even though they were not dominant
in German thought, either. Hitler appealed to the ideology of race struggle often in
his speeches. In Mein Kampfhe stated,
But this preservation [of culture and culture-producing races] is tied to the iron
law of necessity and the right of victory of the best and the strongest. . . .
Whoever wants to live, must struggle, and whoever will not fight in this world
of eternal struggle, does not deserve to live. Even if this is harsh—it is simply
the way it is!96
The idea of racial extermination bore wicked fruit when applied with such pitiless
Richard Weikart 289
1 Friedrich Hellwald, Kulturgeschichte in Hirer naturlichen Entwickelung, 4th ed., 4 vols.
(Leipzig: Friesenhahn, 1896), IV: 615-16.
2 Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, 2 vols. (London: John Murray, 1871), I: 166.
3 Alfred Kirchhoff, Darwinismus angewandt aufVolker und Staaten (Frankfurt: Heinrich
Keller, 1910), 73, 86-87.
4 Fritz Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair (Berkeley: University of California Press,
1963). Some scholars admit that Nazism had both modern and antimodern elements, but
they often associate racism with its antimodern side—see Norbert Frei, “Wie modern war
der Nationalsozialismus,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 19 (1993): 367-87; Jeffrey Herf,
Reactionary Modernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984); Michael Burleigh
and Wolfgang Wippermann, The Racial State (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press,
1991). Others stress the modern side of Nazism—see Stanley G. Payne, A History of
Fascism, 1914-1945 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), 202-4; Zygmunt
Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989); Michael
Prinz and Rainer Zitelmann, eds., Nationalsozialismus und Modernisierung (Darmstadt:
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1991); Richard Rubenstein, “Modernization and the
Politics of Extermination,” in A Mosaic of Victims, ed. Michael Berenbaum (New York:
New York University Press, 1990), 3-19; and Rainer Zitelmann, Hitler: Selbstverstandnis
eines Revolutionars (Hamburg: Berg, 1987); Detlev Peukert, “The Genesis of the ‘Final
Solution’ from the Spirit of Science,” Reevaluating the Third Reich, ed. Thomas Childers
and Jane Caplan (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1993), 234-52.
5 Alfred Kelly, The Descent of Darwin (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
1981); Richard Weikart, “The Origins of Social Darwinism in Germany, 1859-1895,”
Journal of the History of Ideas 54 (1993): 469-88; Socialist Darwinism: Evolution in
German Socialist Thought from Marx to Bernstein (San Francisco: International Scholars
Publications, 1999).
6 Paul Weindling, Health, Race and German Politics between National Unification and
Nazism, 1870-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Michael Schwartz,
Sozialistische Eugenik: Eugenische Sozialtechnologien in Debatten und Politik der
deutschen Sozialdemokratie, 1890-1933 (Bonn: Dietz Nachf., 1995).
7 On the ambiguities inherent in modernity, see Kevin Repp, Reformers, Critics, and the
Paths of German Modernity, 1890-1914 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000).
8 Benoit Massin, “From Virchow to Fischer: Physical Anthropology and ‘Modern Race
Theories’ in Wilhelmine Germany,” in Volksgeist as Method and Ethic, ed. George W.
Stocking (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996).
9 Pascal Grosse, Kolonialismus, Eugenik und Burgerliche Gesellschaft in Deutschland,
1850-1918 (Frankfurt: Campus, 2000); Wolfgang Eckart, Medizin und
Kolonialimperialismus: Deutschland 1884-1945 (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schoningh, 1997).
10 George L. Mosse, Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism (New York:
Howard Fertig, 1978) 81-82.
11 Paul Crook, Darwinism, War and History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
12 Ylaecke\,Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte, 11th ed. (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1911), 754-
56. On Haeckel’s racism, see Daniel Gasman, Scientific Origins of National Socialism
(London: MacDonald, 1971); Gasman must be used with caution.
290 German Studies Review 26/2 (2003)
13 Richard Weikart, “Darwinism and Death: Devaluing Human Life in Germany, 1859-
1920,” Journal of the History of Ideas 63 (2002): 323-44.
14 Ernst Haeckel, Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte 1st ed. (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1868),
15 Oscar Peschel, “Ursprung und Verschiedenheit der Menschenrassen,” Das Ausland 33
(1860): 393.
16 Oscar Peschel, Volkerkunde, 2nd ed. (Leipzig: Duncker und Humblot,1875), 153-55.
17 Friedrich Hellwald,Naturgeschichte desMenschen,2 vols. (Stuttgart: Spemann, 1880),
1:54-66; quote at 66; originally in Oscar Peschel, “Nekrolog der Tasmanier,” Das Ausland
43 (1870): 189.
18 Friedrich Hellwald, Culturgeschichte in ihrer natiirlichen Entwicklung (Augsburg:
Lampart, 1875), 44-45.
19 Quoted in ibid, 797-98.
20 Ludwig Buchner, “Alternative,” Die Waffen Nieder 4 (1895): 241-43.
21 Ludwig Buchner, Der Mensch und seine Stellung inderNatur,2nded. (Leipzig: Theodor
Thomas, 1872), 53, 137-39, 154, quote at 147.
22 Carus Sterne (pseudonym of Ernst Krause), Werden und Vergehen, ed. Wilhelm Bolsche,
6th ed., 2 vols. (Berlin: Gebriider Borntraeger, 1905), 2: 381.
23 Ludwig Gumplowicz, Rassenkampf (Innsbruck: Wanger’schen Univ.-Buchhandlung,
1883), 65-66,160-94, 234-38; quote at 218; see also Emil Brix, ed., Ludwig Gumplowicz
oder die Gesellschaft als Natur (Vienna: Harmann Bohlaus Nachf., 1986).
24 Ludwig Gumplowicz to Lester F. Ward, 10 June 1907, in Letters of Ludwig Gumplowicz
to Lester F. Ward, ed. Bernhard J. Stern (Leipzig: Hirschfeld, 1933), 24-25.
25 Heinz Gollwitzer,Die gelbe Gefahr (Gottingen: Vandenhoek und Ruprecht, 1962), 169.
26 Woodruff D. Smith, Politics and the Sciences of Culture in Germany, 1840-1920 (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1991); and The Ideological Origins of Nazi Imperialism
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). James M. Hunter wrongly denies Darwinian
influence on Ratzel’ s geographical theories in Perspective on Ratzel ‘s Political Geography
(Lanham, MD : University Press of America, 1983), but more balanced are Gunther
Buttmann, Friedrich Ratzel: Leben und Werk eines deutschen Geographen (Stuttgart:
Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1977); and Mark Bassin, “Imperialism and the
Nation State in Friedrich Ratzel’s Political Geography,” Progress in Human Geography 11
(1987): 473-95.
27 Friedrich Ratzel, Sein und Werden (Leipzig: Fuess, 1869), 469.
28 Friedrich Ratzel to Eisig, 20 May 1885, quoted in Gerhard H. Miiller, Friedrich Ratzel
(Stuttgart: Veriag fur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik, 1996), 74.
29 Friedrich Ratzel, Lebensraum (Tubingen: Laupp, 1901), 1, 51-60.
30 Friedrich Ratzel, Politische Geographic oder die Geographic der Staaten, des Verkehres
und des Krieges, 2nd ed. (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1903), ch. 6.
31 Weikart, Socialist Darwinism,2\0-13; Peter Emi\}$ecker,Sozialdarwinismus,Rassismus,
Antisemitismus und volkischer Gedanke (Stuttgart: Georg Thieme, 1990), ch. 8.
32 Ludwig Woltmann, Politische Anthropologie: Fine Untersuchung iiber den Einfluss der
Deszendenztheorie aufdie Lehre von der politischen Entwicklung der Volker (Jena: Eugen
Diederichs, 1903), passim, esp. 261-67; quote at 267.
33 Otto Ammon to Matthaus Much, 22 January 1897, in Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek,
Aut. 124.941.
Richard Weikart 291
34 Otto Ammon,Die Gesellschaftsordnung und ihre natiirlichen Grundlagen, 3rd ed. (Jena:
Gustav Fischer, 1900), 164; Otto Ammon to Ludwig Schemann, 27 November 1899, in
Ludwig Schemann papers, Universitatsbibliothek Freiburg, IV B 1/2; Becker,
Sozialdarwinismus, ch. 7.
35 Quoted in Gollwitzer, Die gelbe Gefahr, 169-70.
36 Ludwig Schemann,LebensfahrteneinesDeutschen (Leipzig: Erich Matthes, 1925),295-
96; Ludwig Schemann to Otto Ammon, 18 April 1909; Otto Ammon to Ludwig Schemann,
26 December 1909, in Ludwig Schemann papers, Universitatsbibliothek Freiburg, IV B 1 /
37 Gobineau-Vereinigung Mitgleider Verzeichnis, Feb. 1902-Sept. 1903; GobineauVereinigung; “Elfter Bericht iiber die Gobineau-Vereinigung,” 1911; in GobineauVereinigung papers, Universitatsbibliothek Freiburg, DII; Becker, Sozialdarwinismus, ch.
38 Eugen Fischer, Sozialanthropologie und ihre Bedeutungfiirden Staat (Freiburg: Speyer
andKaerner, 1910), 18-19.
39 Eugen Fischer, Die Rehobother Bastards und das Bastardierungsproblem beim Menschen
(Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1913), 296-306; quote at 302.
40 On Fischer, see Niels Lb’sch, Rasse als Konstrukt: Leben und Werk Eugen Fischers
(Frankfurt: Lang, 1997).
41 Fritz Lenz, Die Rasse als Wertprinzip, Zur Erneuerung der Ethik (Munich: J. F.
Lehmann, 1933); originally published in 1917. In the 1933 foreword Lenz bragged that his
essay contained the fundamental tenets of Nazism!
42 “First Universal Races Congress” announcement and program, Hoover Institution
Archives, Stanford University, Deutsche Kongress Zentrale, Box 256.
43 Felix von Luschan, “Anthropological View of Race,” in Papers on Inter-Racial
Problems, Communicated to the First Universal Races Congress, ed. G. Spiller (London:
P. S. King and Son, 1911), 23; see also Luschan, “Die gegenwartigen Aufgaben der
Anthropologie,” Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft deutscher Naturforscher undArzte. 81.
Versammlung (Leipzig: Vogel, 1910), Part 2, 201-8.
44 Max von Gruber, Ursachen und Bekdmpfung des Geburtenriickgangs im Deutschen
Reich, 3rd ed. (Munich: Lehmann, 1914); Krieg, Frieden und Biologic (Berlin: Carl
Heymanns, 1915); “Rassenhygiene, die wichtigste Aufgabe volkischer Innenpolitik,”
Deutschlands Erneuerung 2 (1918): 17-32.
45 Heinrich Driesmans,/Mmo« Auslese: Vom theoretischen zum praktischen Darwinismus
(Berlin: Vita, 1907), xiv, 260-64; WillibaldHentschel^aruna.-DasGesetzdesaufsteigenden
und sinkenden Lebens in der Geschichte (Leipzig: Theodor Fritsch, 1907), 14-15, 33.
46 Jorg Lanz-Liebenfels, “Rasse und Wohlfahrtspflege, ein Anruf zum Streik der wahllosen
Wohltatigkeit,” Ostara Heft 18 (December 1907), 3-5,16; Nicholas Goodrick-Clark, The
Occult Roots of Nazism (New York: New York University Press, 1992), 85 and passim.
47 Friedrich von Bernhardi, Deutschland und der ndchste Krieg, 6th ed. (Stuttgart: Cotta,
1913), 11-21; Conrad von Hotzendorf, Private Aufzeichnungen, ed. Kurt Peball (Vienna:
Amalthea, 1977), 148, 302-7; Lawrence Sondhaus, Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf:
Architect of the Apocalypse (Boston: Humanities Press, 2000), 15-16, 82; Gustav
Ratzenhofer, Wesen und Zweck der Politik, 2 vols. (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1893), II: 251;
Ludwig Gumplowicz to Lester F. Ward, 7 August 1902, in Letters of Ludwig Gumplowicz
to Lester F. Ward, ed. Bernhard J. Stern (Leipzig: Hirschfeld, 1933), 10-11.
292 German Studies Review 26/2 (2003)
48 Roger Chickering, Imperial Germany and a World without War (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1975), 306-7, 320-25.
49 In scanning the leading pacifist journal in Germany, Friedenswarte, edited by Alfred
Fried, I could not find any articles discussing the German colonial wars—the Herero Revolt
and the Maji Maji Revolt—in the first decade of the twentieth century.
50 Gasman, Scientific Origins, 143, n. 20, consigns Haeckel’s pacifism to a single footnote.
51 Haeckel, Natiirliche Schopfungsgeschichte, 2nd ed. (1870), 153-54.
52 “Das Monistische Jahrhundert” (signed by W. Blossfeldt, Redaktion) to Alfred Fried, 18
June 1912 and 3 October 1912, in Suttner-Fried Collection, League of Nations Archives,
United Nations Library, Geneva.
53 Haeckel, Weltrathsel (Bonn: Emil Strauss, 1903), 141; Indische Reisebriefe (Berlin:
Gebriider Paetel, 1883), 354-55.
54 Haeckel, Lebenswunder (Stuttgart: Alfred Kroner, 1904), ch. 17, esp. 449.
55 Haeckel, Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte, (1911), 752-53.
56 Haeckel, “Englands Blutschuld am Weltkriege,” Das monistische Jahrhundert 3 (1914-
15): 538-48; Haeckel, “Weltkrieg und Naturgeschichte,” Nord und Siid 151 (November
1914): 140-47.
57 Haeckel, Ewigkeit (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1917), 35-36, 110-11, 120-23; quotes at 85-
58 Ernst Haeckel to Richard Hertwig, 19 September 1917 and 12 January 1918, in Ernst
Haeckel. Sein Leben, Denken, und Wirken, ed. Victor Franz, 2 vols. (Jena: Wilhelm
Gronau, 1943-44), 1:64,66.
59 Sheila Faith Weiss, Race Hygiene and National Efficiency: The Eugenics of Wilhelm
Schallmayer (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 38, 91-103, 141-42.
60 Wilhelm Schallmayer, “Der Krieg als Ziichter,” Archivfiir Rassen- und GesellschaftsBiologie 5 (1908): 367, 387.
61 Wilhelm Schallmayer to David Starr Jordan, 2 November 1913, in David Starr Jordan
papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University; see also Wilhelm Schallmayer
to Ludwig Schemann, 21 April 1912 and 3 May 1912, in University of Freiburg Library
Archive, Ludwig Schemann papers, IV B 1/2.
62 Schallmayer, Vererbung undAuslese (Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1903), 111-15,177-78,245,
250,296; Schallmayer,”DieErbentwicklungbei Volkern,” Menschheitsziele 1 (1907): 95.
63 Schallmayer, “Die Auslesewirkungen des Krieges,” Menschheitsziele 2 (1908): 381-85.
64 Schallmayer, “Krieg als Ztichter,” 395-96.
65 Alfred Ploetz, Die Tiichtigkeit unsrer Rasse und der Schutz der Schwachen (Berlin: S.
Fischer, 1895), 61-63, quote at 147.
66 Alfred Ploetz, “Unser Weg,” in Alfred Ploetz papers, privately held by Wilfried Ploetz,
Herrsching am Ammersee.
67 Alfred Ploetz to Felix von Luschan, 18 November 1911, in Felix von Luschan papers,
Staatsbibliothek Berlin.
68 Alfred Ploetz, “Neo-Malthusianism and Race Hygiene,” in Problems in Eugenics:
Report of Proceedings of the First International Eugenics Congress (London: Eugenics
Education Society, 1913), 2:189.
69 August Forel, “August Forel,” in Fuhrende Psychiater in Selbstdarstellungen (Leipzig:
Felix Meiner, 1930), 53-87; Hans H. Walser, “Uber Leben und Werk von August Forel,”
in August Forel: Briefe, Correspondance, 1864-1927 (Bern: Hans Huber, 1968), 11-39.
Richard Weikart 293
70 August Forel, Die sexuelle Frage (Munich: Ernst Reinhardt, 1905), 584; see also 519.
71 August Forel, Out of My Life and Work, trans. Bernard Miall (New York: Norton, 1937),
72 August Forel, “Ueber Ethik,” Zukunft 28 (1899): 580-81.
73 Helene Stocker, “Staatlicher Gebarzwang oder Rassenhygiene?” Die neue Generation 10
(1914): 145.
74 Helene Stocker, “Rassenhygiene und Mutterschutz,” Die neue Generation 13 (1917):
75 Ibid, 141.
76 Christian von Ehrenfels to his friends (Rundbrief), November 1920, in Christian von
Ehrenfels papers, Forschungsstelle und Dokumentationszentrum fur Osterreichische
Philosophic, Graz; Christian von Ehrenfels, “Gedanken iiber die Regeneration der
Kulturmenschheit” (privately published, 1901; available at Forschungsstelle und
Dokumentationszentrum fur Osterreichische Philosophic, Graz), 21.
77 Christian von Ehrenfels, “A Program for Breeding Reform,” (23 December 1908) in
Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, ed. Herman Nunberg et al. (New York:
International Universities Press, 1967), II: 94-97, quote at 94; Ehrenfels, “Die gelbe
Gefahr,” Sexualprobleme 4 (1908): 185-205; Ehrenfels, “Weltpolitik und Sexualpolitik,”
Sexualprobleme 4 (1908): 472-89.
78 G. F. Nicolai, Biologie des Krieges (Zurich: Art. Institut Orell Fiissli, 1917), 83.
79 Ibid, 82-85.
80 Alfred Fried, “Unser Jahrhundert,” Die Friedenswarte 2 (1900): 2.
81 Alfred Fried, Die Grundlagen des revolutiondren Pacifismus (Tubingen: Mohr, 1908),
35; Fried, Handbuch der Friedensbewegung. (Vienna: Oesterrichischen
Friedensgesellschaft, 1905), 34-35; Fried, Die moderne Friedensbewegung (Leipzig:
Teubner, 1907), 2-4.
82 Brigitte Hamann, Bertha von Sultrier: Bin Lebenfiir den Frieden (Munich: Piper, 1986),
83 Alfred Fried, “Und wieder ein Krieg!” Die Friedenswarte 2 (1900): 97-99.
84 Alfred Fried, Der kranke Krieg (Leipzig: Alfred Kroner, 1909), 141.
85 Alfred Fried, Handbuch der Friedensbewegung, 23-24.
86 Ibid, 22.
87 John F. Efron, Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-de-Siecle
Europe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994).
88 Helmuth Stoecker, “The German Empire in Africa before 1914,” in German Imperialism
in Africa: From the Beginnings until the Second World War, ed. Helmuth Stoecker, trans.
Bernd Zoller (London: Hurst, 1986), 209-12.
89 Karl [Carl] Peters, Deutsch-national: Kolonialpolitische Aufsatze, 2nd ed. (Berlin:
Walther und Apolant, 1887), 8-9.
90 William II to Theodore Roosevelt, 4 September 1905, quoted in Ute Mehnert, Deutschland,
Amerika und die “gelbe Gefahr” (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1995), 9.
91 Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harvest Books, 1973), xvii,
92 Horst Drechsler, Let Us Die Fighting: The Struggle of the Herero and Nama against
German Imperialism (1884-1915), trans. Bernd Zollner (London: Zed Press, 1980), 67-68,
n. 6; see also Jon Bridgman and Leslie J. Worley, “Genocide of the Hereros,” in Genocide
294 German Studies Review 26/2 (2003)
in the Twentieth Century, ed. Samuel Totten et al, (New York: Garland, 1995), 10;
Bridgman, The Revolt of the Hereros (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), 60-
93 Peter Schmitt-Egner, Kolonialismus und Faschismus (GieBen: Andreas Achenbach,
1975), 125.
94 Bridgman and Worley, “Genocide of the Hereros,” 18; see also Jon Swan, “The Final
Solution in Southwest Africa,” MHQ: The Quarterly Jour nal of Military History ?> (1991):
95 Klaus Schwabe, Wissenschaft undKriegsmoral. Die deutschen Hochschullehrer und die
politischenGmndfragendesErsten Weltkrieges(G6ttmgen: Musterschmidt, 1969); Roland
N. Stromberg, Redemption by War: The Intellectuals and 1914 (Lawrence: University of
Kansas Press, 1982).
96 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 2 vols. in 1 (Munich: NSDAP, 1943), 316-17.

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