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Nazi Biology and Schools

Translated by Neil Beckhaus

Änne Bäumer-Schleinkofer

Biology gained enormous prestige in the Third Reich because it was used to give the Nazi world view a pseudoscientific veneer by providing «incontrovertible proof» of Nazi propaganda and plans. The concept of race studies, originally developed by the medical profession, became the central topic in biology teaching. Another aim of biological education was to inculcate the pupils with a love of their own home region and of nature, and to train them to take a holistic view of the natural world. The two dogmas basic to all curricula and directives on the teaching of Biology were: «national socialist thought must be biological thought» and «national socialism is politically applied biology». The Nazis were determined to teach Biology in a way that convinced young people emotionally of Nazi policies and laws. Teaching methods were altered to match these aims, indeed the Nazis' pedagogical skill proved equal to their skill as demagogues.
Contents: Part I: Biology and National Socialist School Policy - Part II: The National Socialist Reform of Biology Teaching: National Socialist Themes in Biology Teaching, Curricula and Decrees for Biology Teaching, Proposals for Structuring Biology Teaching in National Socialist Journals for Teachers, Theoretic Models for Biology Teaching Methods, Teaching Aids - Part III: New Versions of Schoolbooks in the Third Reich: Supplements on Genetics and Race Studies, Biology Text Books for Higher Schools, School Texts for Nature Studies in Intermediate Schools - Part IV: Comparison with other Natural Science Subjects.