Eugenics and the Welfare State: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and by Gunnar Broberg, Nils Roll-Hansen

By Gunnar Broberg, Nils Roll-Hansen

In 1997 Eugenics and the Welfare State prompted an uproar with foreign repercussions. This variation includes a new advent by way of Broberg and Roll-Hansen, addressing occasions that happened following the unique e-book. The 4 essays during this e-book stand as a chilling indictment of mass sterilization practices, not just in Scandinavia yet in different eu nations and the United States--eugenics practices that remained mostly hidden from the general public view until eventually lately. Eugenics and the Welfare State additionally presents an in-depth, serious exam of the background, politics, technological know-how, and economics that ended in mass sterilization courses in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland; courses installed position for the "betterment of society" and dependent mostly at the "junk technology" of eugenics that was once well known sooner than the increase of Nazism in Germany. whilst the result of Broberg's and Roll-Hansen's e-book have been broadly publicized in August 1997, the London Observer said, "Yesterday Margot Wallstrom, the Swedish Minister for Social coverage, issued a belated response to the revelations. She acknowledged: 'What went on is barbaric and a countrywide disgrace.' She pledged to create a legislation making sure that involuntary sterilisation could by no means back be utilized in Sweden, and promised repayment to victims." finally, the Swedish executive not just apologized to the numerous millions who were sterilized with no their wisdom or opposed to their will, but additionally installed position a application for the check of reparations to those unlucky victims.

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54 This was w hat he called positive eugenics. He was m ore inclined to accept negative eugenics, where th e procreation o f individuals w ith strongly flawed genotypes was inhibited. But he emphasized th at it would be very difficult and com plicated to carry this o u t in a responsible fashion. He certainly did not approve o f “th e h ap h azard surgical ste riliz a tio n m e th o d s” applied in the United States: There can be no doubt that negative eugenics has a future. T hat will come when first the medical profession accepts the responsibility and tries to cover all the dif­ ferent aspects.

He was w orried about a neurasthenic strain running in his own family; but W immer, sensibly enough, advised him to go on w ith the marriage. The sound peasant stock of his fiancee would m ore than com pensate for his own nervous frailties. 64 The m o st im p o rta n t foreign source for S teincke’s book was G eza von Hoffman’s Die Rassenhygiene in den Vereignigten Staaten von Nordamerika, a glowing recom m endation o f American eugenic practices. 65 But Steincke was also strongly influenced by W ilhelm Johannsen.

In 1910 a young fem ale p hysician w orking at Bregninge, B odil H jo rt, obtained a grant that allowed her to visit several o f the more famous American institutions for the mentally retarded. Elwyn was am ong them, b u t probably her m ost im p o rta n t visit was to V ineland, M assachusetts, w here H enry H. G oddard resided. Several articles by an d a b o u t G o d d a rd su b seq u e n tly a p p e a re d in N yt Tidsskrift fo r Abnormvcesenet. T he subject o f eugenics was n o t m en tio n ed directly, but heredity was em phasized as the m ost im portant factor in the etiol­ ogy o f mental retardation.

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