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Holocaust Sept 22 - 9/22 Topics Race is a central concept...

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9/22 Topics: Race is a central concept to the Nazi ideology and regime. Where does the idea of race come from in the European culture context? How did they make race a central idea in their policies towards different groups of people? What are their policies towards the gypsies? Homosexuals? The disabled? In the19th century, people used “race” a lot and meant different things by it. - “Race” & “culture” were often interchangeable, but if you get down to it, culture isn’t biological. - race makes distinctions between groups of people. - got people thinking about what race meant - Count Gobineau wrote the book The Inequality of Races , was one of the first people to talk about race systematically - in book, has a vast historical perspective; comes up with idea that over the years, there has been an Aryan ruling race, and there has been lower classes of races. He said there was a hierarchy between those who had the right to rule and those who didn’t. - asked, “How does a ruling race preserve those characteristics that allowed it to rule?” Came up with the fact that race of people determines their culture; all aspects of culture are determined by your race. - says that a superior race produces a superior culture, and an inferior race produces an inferior culture. - what disturbed many people in 19 th century Europe was the possibility that a superior race might intermingle with an inferior race, because then the culture of the superior race will become diluted by the inferior race, and will degrade them. - ^ this idea had some traction because around this time, people started thinking a lot about ideas of Charles Darwin - Darwin was in favor of abolishing slavery but wrote a lot about race and natural selection. He said that species evolve, and this process of evolution worked with natural selection (those species who have traits that make it more adaptable to its environment are allowed to flourish; those species without those traits will die out, like survival of the fittest). Darwin started out talking about animals but then realized it applied to human evolution.
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- We know that species are in conflict with each other for survival, and so are cultures. - Social Darwinism- ideas of Darwin, which he applied to the development of species, applied to social questions; touched on a lot of questions that people worried about.
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