MARK KARLIN, BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
It's something that sounds like a conspiracy theory to learn that there were Ivy League professors who supported Aryan purity, akin to Hitler's eugenics, contemporaneously with his rise to power.
But sure enough it is true according to a revelatory article in the Yale Alumni Magazine from June of this year.
Journalist Richard Conniff (in full disclosure a classmate of mine at Yale), discloses an active eugenics movement in the United States led by Yale economics Professor Irving Fischer, regarded (according to Conniff) as one of the seminal thinkers in US economics.
Fischer was the founding president of the American Eugenics Society, which reached its apogee in the years following World War I, as Hitler was rising to power. Conniff notes that Fischer was concerned about the fall-off in the birth rate of the Caucasian population:
This "race suicide" among "the well-to-do classes means that their places will speedily be taken by the unintelligent, uneducated, and inefficient."
To prevent that, immigration from certain regions needed to be sharply curtailed, and birth control "extended from the white race to the colored" and to other "undesirable" ethnic and economic groups, ideally under the control of a eugenics committee established to "breed out the unfit and breed in the fit." Otherwise, "the Nordic race ... will vanish or lose its dominance."
Fischer was joined by a number of Ivy League racial purists, including Yale Professor Robert Yerkes who specialized in psychobiology. Yerkes, according to Conniff, made his views on eugenics clear to the US government: "Yerkes wrote to key congressmen during the immigration debate to remind them of what Army testing had said about the inferiority of southern and eastern Europeans. Fisher chimed in. 'The facts are known,' he declared. 'It is high time for the American people to put a stop to such degradation of American citizenship, and such a wrecking of the future American race.'"
The eugenics academic movement was not by any means isolated to Yale. Conniff refers to a Harvard professor who denounced "the flooding of this country with alien scum."
If you think the linkage to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust is far fetched, think again:
Nazi Germany would soon become the dark apotheosis of eugenics. When compulsory sterilization began there in 1933, the Nazi physician in charge of training declared he was following "the American pathfinders Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard" (author of The Rising Tide of Color against White World-Supremacy). Eugen Fischer, the leading Nazi eugenicist, would thank Grant and his racial theories for inspiring Germans to work toward "a better future for our Volk."
A pathology instructor at Yale wrote a book called "The Case for Sterilization," which Hitler personally read and praised, writing a letter of thanks to Leon Whitney, the author, according to Conniff.
Conniff refers to another eugenics book with an interesting twist:
Grant's "Passing of the Great Race" would turn up once more after the war, at Nuremberg. Hitler's personal physician Karl Brandt had been charged with brutal medical experiments and murder in the concentration camps. His lawyers introduced Grant's book into evidence in his defense, arguing that the Nazis had merely done what prominent American scholars had advocated. Brandt was found guilty and sentenced to death.
Reading Conniff's article reminds one that there were many upper class, highly educated US elites who were not unsympathetic to the concept of white supremacy - and from the North not just the South.
In fact, one can argue that a large segment of the American population, while not supporting a holocaust, believes strongly that Caucasion governance in the US is being polluted by blacks and latinos and other "non-white" groups today.
Eugencis has different levels of fanaticism, and so it is within this range that Pat Buchanan laments the falling of the white birth rate which he fears will be overtaken by "fertile" minorities.
The eugenics movement to a certain extent is symbolic of the rabid drive for eliminating Mexican-American studies in schools in Arizona, for example. Again that is not to say that every bigot wants a holocaust, but many of them float on the ripples that have characterized the eugenic overtones of the white purity movement.
As Conniff writes,
Fisher's friend, Madison Grant, likewise wrote about "being literally driven off the streets of New York City by the swarms of Polish Jews." Grant became the leading advocate for state laws mandating involuntary sterilization of the "unfit" and banning interracial marriage. He also persuaded Virginia to discard its practice of granting the privileges of a white person to anyone with 15 white great-grandparents; state officials were soon sniffing out and harassing anyone with even "one drop" of non-white blood.
Today, we are still hearing the not so faint echoes of such beliefs, although now the accusations are made with coded messages - and the assertion that the Constitution and founding fathers intended a white Christian America.
At our most prestigious universities of higher learning between the great wars, some of the leading professors held a philosophy of white racial purity perilously close to Hitler's (minus the mass killings for the most part).
That legacy is still a part of current American politics as white entitlement and racial superiority still play a key role in electoral politics for many.