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To hear some tell it, Adolf Hitler was a Christian creationist who rejected Darwinian evolution. Award-winning historian Richard Weikart shows otherwise. According to Weikart, Darwinian evolution crucially influenced Hitler and the Nazis, and the Nazis zealously propagated evolutionary theory during the Third Reich. Inspired by arguments from both Darwin and early Darwinists, the Nazis viewed the “Nordic race” as superior to other races and set about advancing human evolution by ridding the world of “inferior” races and individuals. As Weikart also shows, these ideas circulate today among white nationalists and neo-Nazis, who routinely use Darwinian theory in their propaganda to advance a racist agenda. Darwinian Racism is careful history. It is also a wake-up call.
Richard Weikart is Emeritus Professor of History, California State University, Stanislaus, and author of seven books, including From Darwin to Hitler, Hitler’s Ethic, The Death of Humanity, and Hitler’s Religion. His most recent book is Darwinian Racism: How Darwinism Influenced Hitler, Nazism, and White Nationalism (2022). His PhD dissertation, Socialist Darwinism, earned the biennial prize of the Forum for History of Human Sciences as best dissertation in that field. He has lectured at many universities and other venues in the US and Europe. He also has been interviewed on dozens of radio shows, podcasts, and TV, and appeared in seven documentaries, including Expelled. Some of his lectures and interviews are available on YouTube.
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