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Race mixing, eugenics, and Fascism: What inspired differences of opinion between German, Spanish, Italian Fascists?

Race mixing, eugenics, and Fascism: What inspired differences of opinion between German, Spanish, Italian Fascists?

I have been reading about Fascism from various expert sources, presently Professor Roger Griffin's Oxford Readers book Fascism. From this, and other sources (Robert Paxton, Stanley Payne, etc) we can identify commonality in belief and practices between Italian, German, and Spanish Fascists. This is not the same as saying merely a member of the regime, which is not the subject of this question.

We are explicitly discussing Fascists, as defined by world experts and not laypersons.

We are also discussing the history of eugenics, and what ideas inspired those differences in terms of the history of science (which contains many ideas, few of which turned out to be scientific.)

I discovered that Falangism, at least, the explicitly Fascist elements instead of the merely Francoist members, were racist but believed in creating a "Hispanic supercaste" via race mixing that is "ethically improved, morally robust, spiritually vigorous".

In comparison, one BBC documentary The Nazis: A Warning From History (episode 4 The Wild East), mentions one argument between senior Nazis over the question of racial purity.

Albert Forster, who was responsible for Danzig West Prussia, though a committed Nazi did not believe in Nazi racial ideas. He decided that the fastest way to "Germanise" his part of Poland was to grant German citizenship to as many Poles as he could, without checking their ancestry. This infuriated his neighbouring governor: Arthur Greiser, a fanatical racist. Greiser wrote a letter of complaint to Heinrich Himmler, who then sent an irate letter to Forster:

"You as a National Socialist know that just one drop of false blood that comes into an individual's veins can never be removed."

Forster however ignored the letter, joking that someone who looked like Himmler shouldn't talk about race so much. And Hitler, having a hands-off approach to government, never intervened: allowing governors to handle their domains as they liked.

As far as I understand it, the Nazi establishment practised negative eugenics (removing undesirable traits). This contrasts sharply with what I understand of Falangist eugenics, which was mostly positive (promoting desirable traits).

Most Spanish Fascists regarded race mixing as part of a civilising mission, to spread good genes, while most German Fascists regarded race mixing as a threat, which would damage good genes.

Why were German Fascist so obsessed with keeping the master race pure? While their Spanish peers were confident that the Spanish race could produce superior hybrids? And where did Italian Fascists stand on the issue?

It seems like German Fascists adopted a theory of race inspired by the Scientific Racism of Francis Galton, which appears to have been focused on negative eugenics. But I don't understand where the Spanish Fascists were getting ideas which led to the opposite conclusions about race mixing.

In a word, Catholicism. From the article "Authoritarianism and punitive eugenics: racial hygiene and national Catholicism during Francoism, 1936-1945""

Despite similarities between Francoism and Italian and German fascism and the interest aroused by eugenics, the regime's strong Catholic identity prevented it from defending the eugenic politics adopted by Nazi Germany (Álvarez Peláez, 1998; Huertas, 1998; Campos, Huertas, 2012). However, Francoism developed its own unique eugenic discourse with a decidedly catholic tint, which pursued racial hygiene by other means. In this sense, Francoism grounded its raison d'etre on a radical discourse about otherness that equated the political enemy with a pathogen that had to be destroyed without mercy, since it endangered the essence of the “Spanish race,” which, as will be seen below, conceived itself as a spiritual community rather than a biological reality (Álvarez Peláez, 1998; Huertas, 1998). This eugenic discourse developed in parallel with harsh and cruel repression instigated against the individuals and groups defeated in the Civil War, who were considered enemies of Spain. This discourse was impregnated with Catholic doctrine, which was against sterilization and euthanasia, thus distancing itself from Nazism and the so-called negative eugenics. Nevertheless, it continued to be coercive and punitive, since it very much justified the repression, segregation and elimination of the regime's political enemies (Cayuela Sánchez, 2014, p.91-127), contributing ideologically to the conversion of the country into a huge prison and the proliferation of concentration camps that detained over 400,000 people (Gómez Bravo, 2012, p.232-235).

Watch the video: Τζήμερος προς ΚΚΕ: Είστε θιασώτες της δικτατορίας. Είστε φασίστες. Τέλος. (January 2022).