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In Search of “Aryan Blood”
Serology in Interwar and National Socialist Germany

Rachel E. Boaz

Rachel E. Boaz is adjunct professor in the Department of History at Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio

Explores the course of development of German seroanthropology from its origins in World War I until the end of the Third Reich. Gives an all encompassing interpretation of how the discovery of blood groups in around 1900 galvanised not only old mythologies of blood and origin but also new developments in anthropology and eugenics in the 1920s and 1930s. Boaz portrays how the personal motivations of blood scientists influenced their professional research, ultimately demonstrating how conceptually indeterminate and politically volatile the science of race was under the Nazi regime.

Contrary to sustained efforts, the search for the “Aryan” blood did not materialize into the racial utopia that the Nazi officials had dreamed. Moreover, the monograph convincingly demonstrates how ambiguous the relationship between eugenics, seroanthropology and anti-Semitism was in Germany, not least because proeminent German eugenicists and race scientists were Jewish or of Jewish origin.


Contents: LIST OF FIGURES - IINTRODUCTION - II THE EMERGENCE OF BLOOD SCIENCE - “Contagious Blood” in German Fiction and Early Blood Science - Origins of Serology - The Völkisch Notion of “Blood Defilement” - Seroanthropology - Jewish Physicians and Blood Science - Postwar Blood Science - III SEROANTHROPOLOGY IN EARLY WEIMAR: BLOOD, RACE AND EUGENICS - Verzár and Weszeczky : Seroanthropological Research in Hungary - Surveying “Native Germans” - Blood Type and Genetic Inferiority - Völkisch Research - IV ORGANIZING SEROANTHROPOLOGY: THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GERMAN INSTITUTE FOR BLOOD GROUP RESEARCH - Otto Reche and Racial Anthropology - The German Institute for Blood Group Research - V SEROANTHROPOLOGY AT ITS HEIGHT: DISTINGUISHING THOSE WITH “PURE BLOOD” - Studies of “Native Germans” - Biased Research - VI THE JEW AS EXAMINER AND EXAMINED - Manoiloff’s “Serochemistry” and Jewish Blood - Seroanthropologic Analysis of Jews - Völkisch Propaganda - Jews and Seroanthropology - VII BLOOD AS METAPHOR AND SCIENCE IN THE NUREMBERG RACE LAWS - Seroanthropology in 1933 - Proponets of Seroanthropology - Racial “Reform” under Nazism - “Blood Defilement” - Diverse Means of “Blood Defilement” - Seroanthropologic Research in the Third Reich - The German Institute for Blood Group Research - VIII THE PEDAGOGY AND PRACTICE OF SEROANTHROPOLOGY DURING WORLD WAR II - Seroanthropology and National Socialist Medicine - Seroanthropologic Research - Seroanthropology and Nazi Racial Ideology - Clinical Serology - IX CONCLUSION - WORKS CITED

256 pages, 2012
ISSN 2079-1119 This is fourth volume in the CEU Press Studies in the History of Medicine
$50.00 / €38.00 / £32.00

"Rachel Boaz has identified a new and rewarding angle on this theme. What, she asks, did the Nazis and their predecessors say not about blood in a metaphorical sense but about real blood? In her engaging study, Boaz presents her findings through a focus on serology, namely the study of blood types (A, B, O, etc.).
Boaz deftly charts the fine line between value-free science and politically charged inquiry. In Germany the quest to find a dominant Nordic or Aryan blood type landed some scholars squarely in the political camp of the volkisch right. Others who had little taste for racial polemics were still wedded to a hierarchy with whites at the top and darker peoples successively lower.
In Search of "Aryan "Blood achieves much by guiding us down fascinating and heretofore under-researched avenues. As we continue to encounter racially charged assertions about the links between genetics, intelligence, and ethnicity, it remains to be seen where these roads will ultimately lead us." - Canadian Journal of History