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„Nicht nur fort sollst du dich pflanzen, sondern hinauf!“ Nietzsche und die Rassenhygiene

From the book Nietzsche, das ›Barbarische‹ und die ›Rasse‹

  • Katharina Grätz


Nietzsche and racial hygiene. The article shows Nietzsche as a prominent figure in the discourse on eugenics since the 1890s. Nearly all of the leading racial hygienists have not only dealt with Nietzsche’s work, but have explicitly referred to it in their writings, often by quoting it directly. Nietzsche is called upon as a pioneer of the biologistic pseudo-science underlying ideas of racial purity and perfectibility through ‚breeding‘. He is thus also invoked in calls for negative and positive selection as a thinker that supposedly provides the corresponding ethical foundations for its realization. But there is also criticism of his ideas. One point of criticism returns again and again, namely the accusation that Nietzsche ultimately priviledged rather individualistic or aristocratic values. This is perceived as incompatible with racialist hygienics’ striving for the hereditary health of an entire people.

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