In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler has a detailed explanation of the Nazi Rassentheorie and how the mixing of the Aryan race with inferior races was resulting in the decline of civilization.:
"Die Blutsvermischung und die dadurch bedingte Senkung des Rassenniveaus ist die alleinige Ursache des Absterbens alter Kulturen; denn die Menschen gehen nicht an verlorenen Kriegen zugrunde, sondern am Verlust jener Widerstandskraft, die nur dem reinen Blute zu eigen ist." (Hitlers "Mein Kampf", S. 324).
Was this something he just dreamed up on his own, or overheard in a Munich beer hall? No, Hitler was basing his treatise on the most advanced "scientific research" coming out of the United States. The field of "eugenics" originated in Great Britain, but it was the Americans who latched on to the theory and began to develop social and medical (forced sterilization) programs based on the junk science. American eugenics grew out of the Social Darwinist ("survival of the fittest") misinterpretation of evolution popular in the late 19th century and a crude interpretation of genetics which began to emerge early 20th century America. Much of the eugenics "research" and policy recommendations came out of America's great universities, and at the forefront was the country's oldest and most prestigious institution: Harvard University. This is personally painful for one who owes much to Harvard, but - to the university's credit - it has completely acknowledged this shameful chapter in Harvard's illustrious history:
"As eugenics grew in popularity, it took hold at the highest levels of Harvard. A. Lawrence Lowell, who served as president from 1909 to 1933, was an active supporter. Lowell, who worked to impose a quota on Jewish students and to keep black students from living in the Yard, was particularly concerned about immigration—and he joined the eugenicists in calling for sharp limits. “The need for homogeneity in a democracy,” he insisted, justified laws “resisting the influx of great numbers of a greatly different race.” Lowell also supported eugenics research. When the Eugenics Record Office, the nation’s leading eugenics research and propaganda organization, asked for access to Harvard records to study the physical and intellectual attributes of alumni fathers and sons, he readily agreed. Lowell had a strong personal interest in eugenics research, his secretary noted in response to the request."
Keeping inferior human genes out of the United States became an obsession with Harvard geneticists. One prominent member of the Harvard science faculty, Professor Edward M. East, sounded the alarm about uncontrolled immigration in a best-selling book:
In his 1923 book, Mankind at the Crossroads, East’s pleas became more emphatic. The nation, he said, was being overrun by the feebleminded, who were reproducing more rapidly than the general population. “And we expect to restore the balance by expecting the latter to compete with them in the size of their families?” East wrote. “No! Eugenics is sorely needed; social progress without it is unthinkable….”
Hitler began writing Mein Kampf shortly after the publication of East's book.
It would have been bad enough if the Harvard professors had kept their junk science confined to Harvard Yard, but they were intent on infecting government institutions and the public at large with the eugenics gospel of genetic superiority:
"In 1894, a group of alumni met in Boston to found an organization that took a eugenic approach to what they considered the greatest threat to the nation: immigration. Prescott Farnsworth Hall, Charles Warren, and Robert DeCourcy Ward were young scions of old New England families, all from the class of 1889. They called their organization the Immigration Restriction League, but genetic thinking was so central to their mission that Hall proposed calling it the Eugenic Immigration League. Joseph Lee, A.B. 1883, A.M.-J.D. ’87, LL.D. ’26, scion of a wealthy Boston banking family and twice elected a Harvard Overseer, was a major funder, and William DeWitt Hyde A. B. 1879, S.T.D. ’86, another future Overseer and the president of Bowdoin College, served as a vice president. The membership rolls quickly filled with hundreds of people united in xenophobia, many of them Boston Brahmins and Harvard graduates.Their goal was to keep out groups they regarded as biologically undesirable. Immigration was “a race question, pure and simple,” Ward said. “It is fundamentally a question as to…what races shall dominate in the country.” League members made no secret of whom they meant: Jews, Italians, Asians, and anyone else who did not share their northern European lineage."
America's attempts to keep "inferior genes" from its shores through restrictions on immigration found a great admirer in Adolf Hitler, who advocated similar controls for Germany.
"Mein Kampf also displayed a familiarity with the recently passed US National Origins Act, which called for eugenic quotas. "There is today one state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but [the US], in which an effort is made to consult reason at least partially. By refusing immigrants on principle to elements in poor health, by simply excluding certain races from naturalisation, it professes in slow beginnings a view that is peculiar to the People's State."Hitler proudly told his comrades how closely he followed American eugenic legislation. "Now that we know the laws of heredity," he told a fellow Nazi, "it is possible to a large extent to prevent unhealthy and severely handicapped beings from coming into the world. I have studied with interest the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock."
Harvard's infatuation with the "science" of eugenics was eventually played out by the 1930's and the university - and America - reversed course and rejected the junk science. But the damage was done. And even today we see the remnants of eugenics in the rhetoric of Donald Trump, who calls immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere "rapists, murderers, drug dealers and gang members." Or in Thilo Sarrazin's book Deutschland schafft sich ab, - an anti-immigrant screed that draws heavily on the work of Charles Murray (Harvard University, Class of 1965).