America’s ruling class provided Adolf Hitler validation for his ideas to purify the Aryan race which led Germany to sterilize 350,000 people. And of course to the Holocaust.

The validation came in the form of the 1922 publication of Harry Laughlin’s “Eugenical Sterilization in the United States,” especially Chapter 15 in the book, “Model Eugenical Sterilization Law.” The model he developed was carefully contrived to make such laws easier for states to pass and difficult for the courts to overturn.

In 1933 Hitler came to power in Germany and, in the same year, the Nazi Reichstag passed the “Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring,” closely based on Laughlin's model.

In 1936 the University of Heidelberg awarded Laughlin an honorary degree for his work behalf of the "science of racial cleansing."

What a guy! that Harry Laughlin.

Wanted a nation devoid of diversity. Found cousins in descendants of Anglo-Saxon American immigrants who, like Hitler and his Nazi followers, despised whole classes of people. Actually, he looks a little like my father.

Wanted a nation devoid of diversity.
Found cousins in descendants of Anglo-Saxon American immigrants who, like Hitler and his Nazi followers, despised whole classes of people.
Actually, he looks a little like my father.

Tagging Today
Monday, October 22, 2018
My 195th consecutive posting.
Time is 12.01am.
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 54* under partly sunny skies. A nice day since wind will not be the issue it was yesterday.

Dinner is a simple broiled/seared steak and salad.

Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference, 1921, depicting eugenics as a tree which unites a variety of different fields.

Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference, 1921, depicting eugenics as a tree which unites a variety of different fields.

Quiz Question of the Day:
What is Eugenics?


Harry Hamilton Laughlin (March 11, 1880 – January 26, 1943) was an American educator, eugenicist, and sociologist.
He served as the Superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office from its inception in 1910 to its closing in 1939, and was among the most active individuals in influencing American eugenics policy, especially compulsory sterilization legislation.
His ideas bore a striking similarity to some of the most heinous utterances of the German Nazi Party.

Second from left:
Margaret Higgins Sanger (born Margaret Louise Higgins, September 14, 1879 – September 6, 1966, also known as Margaret Sanger Slee) was an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. Sanger popularized the term "birth control", opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
A supporter of Harry Laughlin’s ideas.
Have no evidence at all that she supported Hitler’s ideas.

Second from right:
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (March 8, 1841 – March 6, 1935) was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932, and as Acting Chief Justice of the United States in January–February 1930.
Holmes wrote the Court opinion in Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), in which the Court ruled that a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, including the intellectually disabled, "for the protection and health of the state" did not violate the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court has never expressly overturned Buck v. Bell.

Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich (7 March 1904 – 4 June 1942) was a high-ranking German Nazi official during World War II, and a main architect of the Holocaust.
He was an SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei (Senior Group Leader and General of Police) as well as chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo, Kripo, and SD).
He was also Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy/Acting Reich-Protector) of Bohemia and Moravia.

Heydrich served as president of the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC; later known as Interpol) and chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference, which formalized plans for the Final Solution to the Jewish Question—the deportation and genocide of all Jews in German-occupied Europe.

Many historians regard him as the darkest figure within the Nazi elite; Adolf Hitler described him as "the man with the iron heart".
He was the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service; SD), an intelligence organization charged with seeking out and neutralising resistance to the Nazi Party via arrests, deportations, and murders.

He helped organize Kristallnacht, a series of co-ordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938.
The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians, presaged the Holocaust.
Upon his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance.
He was directly responsible for the Einsatzgruppen, the special task forces which travelled in the wake of the German armies and murdered over two million people, including 1.3 million Jews, by mass shooting and gassing
Answer to What is Eugenics?
Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of a human population.
The exact definition of eugenics has been a matter of debate since the term was coined by Francis Galton in 1883.
Plato suggested applying the principles of selective breeding to humans around 400 BCE.

Frederick Osborn's 1937 journal article "Development of a Eugenic Philosophy" framed it as a social philosophy—that is, a philosophy with implications for social order.
That definition is not universally accepted.
Osborn advocated for higher rates of sexual reproduction among people with desired traits (positive eugenics), or reduced rates of sexual reproduction and sterilization of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics).

Alternatively, gene selection rather than "people selection" has recently been made possible through advances in genome editing, leading to what is sometimes called new eugenics, also known as neo-eugenics, consumer eugenics, or liberal eugenics.

While eugenic principles have been practiced as far back in world history as ancient Greece, the modern history of eugenics began in the early 20th century when a popular eugenics movement emerged in the United Kingdom and spread to many countries including the United States, Canada and most European countries.

In this period, eugenic ideas were espoused across the political spectrum.
Consequently, many countries adopted eugenic policies with the intent to improve the quality of their populations' genetic stock.

Such programs included both "positive" measures, such as encouraging individuals deemed particularly "fit" to reproduce, and "negative" measures such as marriage prohibitions and forced sterilization of people deemed unfit for reproduction.
People deemed unfit to reproduce often included people with mental or physical disabilities, people who scored in the low ranges of different IQ tests, criminals and deviants, and members of disfavored minority groups.

The eugenics movement became negatively associated with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust when many of the defendants at the Nuremberg trials attempted to justify their human rights abuses by claiming there was little difference between the Nazi eugenics programs and the U.S. eugenics programs.
In the decades following World War II, with the institution of human rights, many countries gradually began to abandon eugenics policies, although some Western countries, among them the United States and Sweden, continued to carry out forced sterilizations.

Since the 1980s and 1990s, when new assisted reproductive technology procedures became available such as gestational surrogacy (available since 1985), preimplantation genetic diagnosis (available since 1989), and cytoplasmic transfer (first performed in 1996), fear has emerged about a possible revival of eugenics.

A major criticism of eugenics policies is that, regardless of whether "negative" or "positive" policies are used, they are susceptible to abuse because the criteria of selection are determined by whichever group is in political power at the time. Furthermore, negative eugenics in particular is considered by many to be a violation of basic human rights, which include the right to reproduction. Another criticism is that eugenic policies eventually lead to a loss of genetic diversity, resulting in inbreeding depression due to lower genetic variation.

I’ve written a couple of times about “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” a biographical novel on Michelangelo.
But what a great illustration of Michelangelo’s art. He has finally been given the commission to produce a marble sculpture of “David,” and instead of plunging into drawings, he spends weeks reading the Scriptures on David and Goliath, traveled far to look at David’s already produced by world-famous artists. And he thought. Because he had to get the moment right for himself.
Is it after the throw? Many artists portrayed David with his foot on Goliath’s head. That didn’t work for Michelangelo since that David could be no one but the biblical David, a special individual.
And Michelangelo had decided his David was going to be universal man, every man who ever had to face a decision to strike for freedom.
Once David struck, he was frozen into a soldier; a leader of men; a joiner with few opportunities to go about as he pleased.
It’s that last moment when David is still a man free to come and go as he pleased; that moment at the “exultant height of resolution, still reflecting the emotions of fear, hesitation, repugnance, doubt,” that dawned on Michelangelo as the moment he wanted to capture.
Michelangelo reached for a wad of clay and began to work out his thoughts.
So exciting.

And so, Good Morning.
We’ve talked about  American influence on the Nazi quest for racial purity, eugenics, and Michelangelo.

Time for me to close it down.

See you soon, my friends.