Racial Biology of The Jews

Racial Biology of The Jews

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WAS TAKEN FROM VOLUME III (1938) of the very important series, Forschungen zur Judenfrage (Studies on the Jewish Problem), the first six volumes of which were published by the Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt in Hamburg during 1937 to 1941. The nearly fifty articles in these six volumes represent the thinking on the Jewish question by some of the best German minds of that time. The authors of the articles were specialists, in some cases internationally known specialists, in a variety of fields, including anthropology, demography, genealogy, genetics, history, law, literary scholarship, musicolo­gy, philosophy and theology. The earlier articles in the series were given as lectures before meetings of the Reichsinstitut fur die Geschichte des neuen Deutschlands, Forschungsabteilung Judenfrage (National Institute for the History of the New Germany, Research Division for the Jewish Problem). It is not at all difficult to imagine that the research efforts which went into these articles cost the erstwhile German government hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Reichsmark.

Although the research was subsidized by the National Socialist government, the tone of the articles is by no means generally and uniformly hostile to Jews. Baron von Verschuer’s article, for example, is nearly free of value judgments and it concedes in a number of passages that Jews have special strengths characteristic of their race.

By 1936 a number of circumstances had converged which made possible the publishing of this large body of research by non‑Jews on the Jewish question. Such a constellation is highly unlikely ever to appear in the sky again, certainly not in our lifetime, and that is a fact which in itself gives these volumes a unique position and value in the serious study of the Jewish question.

One circumstance was the importance which the German government attached at that time to the Jewish question and its willingness to allocate considerable economic resources to the study of the question in an attempt to find a constructive solution to it. This circumstance was combined with the willingness and ability of German scientists and scholars to come to grips with the Jewish problem as far as their areas of expertise were concerned.