Of Vikings and Nazis: Norwegian contributions to the rise and the fall of the idea of a superior Aryan race

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 54:84-88 (2015)
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Abstract

Nazi ideology was premised on a belief in the superiority of the Germanic race. However, the idea of a superior Germanic race was not invented by the Nazis. By the beginning of the 20th century this idea had already gained not only popular but also mainstream scientific support in England, Germany, the U.S., Scandinavia, and other parts of the world in which people claimed Germanic origins (p. xiii). Yet how could this idea, which is now recognised as ideology of the most dangerous kind, be given the appearance of scientific legitimacy by some of the leading physical anthropologists of the day?

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Adam Hochman
Macquarie University

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