Support from the Wealthy
In 1930 John D. Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller Jr. were members of the American Eugenics Society. Furthermore, in the Twenties Raymond Fosdick, an important official of the Rockefeller Foundation, was a member of the American Eugenics Society Advisory council. In this period the Rockefeller Foundation gave money to build quarters for Ernst Rudin, the man who later wrote Hitler's 1933 Sterilisation Law.(1) As co-founder with Alfred Ploetz of the German Eugenics Society, Rudin claimed credit as the inspiration for all Hitler's racial laws, including the Nuremberg laws which made Jews second class citizens in Germany.(2)
In the early part of the century Mrs. E.H. Harriman, who inherited the fortune based on the Union Pacific railroad, created the Eugenics Record Office. Her endowment helped fund the work of Harry Laughlin, the director of the Eugenics Record Office. Laughlin wrote the Model Sterilisation Law which Nazi eugenicists used as a model for their 1933 Sterilisation Law. He accepted an award from Heidelberg University honouring him for his part in developing this law.(3) He was also an important witness at the Congressional hearings on the Johnson Act, the immigration Act which began the policy of national immigration quotas.
Such initiatives became a terrible trap for the Jews in the late Thirties. The Johnson< Act ultimately resulted in the exclusion from America of the Jews attempting to flee Nazi Germany and its racial laws - laws inspired by Laughlin, Rudin and other eugenicists. The exclusion of the Jews was no accident. The Johnson Act, the American law, was, like the Nazi laws, intended to keep a nation Nordic:
"The unique Immigration Quota Acts of 1921-24 .. By their enactment a first class power wrote into law the concept of the desirability of racial homogeneity ... The Nordic stream ... had become a trickle ... Followed these Quota Acts which said to the world: America, still overwhelmingly Nordic, proposes so to remain! These acts began a gigantic eugenic experiment in population control."(4)
After this came the genocide.
That which we now call genocide was then called eugenics.(5)
Auschwitz showed the world the true face of eugenics. Yet some among the wealthy continued to support it.(6)
For example, we find the names Rockefeller and Harriman, supporting the introduction of abortion and contraception, the means of eugenics. John D. Rockefeller III gave Margaret Sanger money with which to develop a contraceptive. Mrs. E.H Harriman's son was Averill Harriman, Governor of New York in the Fifties. Harriman allowed Robert Moses to follow a policy of letting Harlem deteriorate. (See Robert Moses and the Fall of New York., Robert Caro) It was then possible for the next governor, Nelson Rockefeller, to speak of the dreadful conditions in Harlem and the need for contraception and abortion as a solution for the problems of the people trapped there. Hence, in the Sixties, abortion, a eugenic goal, came to be seen as "progressive" in New York State. In the early Seventies, Nelson Rockefeller signed one of the first state law allowing widespread abortion, and the Rockefeller family gave money for the first legal abortion facility in New York State. In the Eighties, Pamela Harriman, Governor Harriman's English widow, used his money to fund the Democratic Leadership PAC, which helped make support for abortion a requirement for advancement in the Democratic Party.(7) (Ironically, the Harriman money, which was obtained as a consequence of the extinguishing of Indian land titles, was dissipated in Pamela Harman's project to extinguish American rights. This left the surviving Harriman blood relatives, in 1994, at the age of eighty, owners of a trust fund as empty as a treaty promise. Litigation is beginning on a legal situation more tangled than that in Bleak House.(8)
(1) Rockefeller Foundation Annual Reports 1927-36; The Nazi Connection, Stefan Kuhl, Oxford, 1994 pp. 20-21
(2) "The importance of racial hygiene has only become known in Germany to all intelligent Germans through the political work of Adolph Hitler, and it was only through him that our more than thirty year old dream has become a reality and racial hygiene principles have been translated into action", E. Rudin quoted in The Men Behind Hitler- A German Warning to the World, B. Schreiber
(3)The Nazi Connection, Stefan Kuhl, Oxford, 1994, p. 39, p. 87
(4) from "Patriotism and Racial Standards", C.M. Goethe, (AES, E)Presidential address to Eugenics Research Association 1936, Eugenical News, v. 21, #4, p. 65, 1936
(5)Some have claimed that the Nazi programme was not a eugenical program but a crude misunderstanding of eugenics implemented by non scientists. This claim is made in the Encyclopaedia Britannica section on eugenics - a section written by Frederick Osborn. This claim is refuted by the fact that both before and after the Nazi era, Nazi supporters were accepted members of eugenics societies. For example, Von Verschuer, who planned Josef Mengele's twin experiments at Auschwitz was a post war member of the American Eugenics Society. Furthermore, prominent American eugenicists praised the Nazi programme. For example in 1935, C.M. Goethe wrote the following to E.S. Gosney (AES, ES):
"You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought, and particularly by the work of the Human Betterment Foundation. I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60,000,000 people." (from the Human Betterment Foundation Annual Report 1935)
(6) Fredrick Osborn (Phelps Dodge), Fairfield Osborn (Phelps Dodge); C.E. Dodge (Phelps Dodge), and Wycliffe Draper (textiles) were members of the American Eugenics Society in 1956. Others, such as John D. Rockefeller III, did not join the Society, as had his father and grandfather, but instead supported eugenics through foundation grants to society members, society fronts such as the IPPF and the Population Council, or society projects such as population control.
(7) For example, in 1984 Senator Al Gore voted for an amendment to the Civil Rights Act to define a 'person' to include `an unborn child from the moment of conception'. But in 1995 Vice President Gore called pro-lifers "extremists" (from "A New Offensive on Behalf of Foster" Philadelphia Inquirer, 2114/95). Richard Gephart and Jesse Jackson have made similar flip flops.
(8) "Harriman Suit: Misconduct, or just bad luck investing ?" "It was when the trust fund checks stopped coming last fall to the elderly daughters of Gov. W. Averill Harriman, the railroad heir and financier that the family began to sweat ... The family discovered that funds that had once held $25 million had dwindled to scarcely $3 million ... the fortune had been overseen by Pamela Harriman ... and Clark Clifford... a law suit ... Landed in Federal Court in Manhattan this month ... months and probably years of Harriman family litigation [will result]", (from New York Times, 10/25/94)
Germany: Rise of Hitler
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