The Archipelago of German minorities in Central and Eastern Europe are often seen as pawns on the wider geo-political and eugenic stages of interwar Europe, and especially so with regards to Nazi Germany’s designs for these Volksdeutsche. But while the ongoing study of eugenic and racial policies pursued the Third Reich, and the international contexts they operated in, have substantially added to our understanding of eugenic paradigms’ broader appeal, we still know very little about how ethnic minorities themselves interacted with eugenic themes and strategies.
This conference sets out to investigate and compare how, when, and why German ethnic minorities engaged with, and related to, wider international discourses on eugenics, and the extent to which these ideas were internalized and adapted to suit their local needs. That is, to what extent did German ethnic minorities became active agents in the promotion of eugenics and its promise of a healthier, homogenized, and hereditarily reinvigorated nation?
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