Baltic Eugenics

Bio-Politics, Race and Nation in Interwar Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 1918-1940


Volume Editors: and
The history of eugenics in the Baltic States is largely unknown. The book compares for the first time the eugenic projects of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the related disciplines of racial anthropology and psychiatry, and situates them within the wider European context. Strong ethno-nationalism defined the nation as a biological group, which was fostered by authoritarian regimes established in Lithuania in 1926, and in Estonia and Latvia in 1934. The eugenics projects were designed to establish a nation in biological terms. Their aims were to render the nation ethnically, genetically and racially homogeneous. The main agenda was a non-democratic state that defined its population in biological terms. Eugenic policies were to regenerate the nation and to reconstruct it as a “pure” and “original” race, Such schemes for national regeneration contained strong elements of secular religion.

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“[a] path-breaking collection … The historical research presented in the essays in Baltic Eugenics is a sound first step both in terms of their findings and their laying out the need for future work. “
Slavic Review, Vol. 73, No. 4

”an excellent source on the role of eugenics in the formation of science, medicine, and public policy in the three countries.” in: The Russian Review, Vol. 73, No. 2, April 2014
Björn M. Felder: Introduction: Eugenics, Sterilisation and the Racial State: The Baltic States and Russia and the Global Eugenics Movement

Paul J. Weindling: Race, Eugenics and National Identity in the Eastern Baltic: From Racial Surveys to Racial States
Ken Kalling: The Application of Eugenics in Estonia 1918-1940
Ken Kalling and Leiu Heapost: Racial Identity and Physical Anthropology in Estonia 1800-1945
Björn M. Felder: “God forgives - but Nature never will” – Racial Identity, Racial Anthropology, and Eugenics in Latvia 1918-1940
Vladimirs Kuznecovs: Latvian Psychiatry and Medical Legislation of the 1930s and the German Sterilisation Law
Ineta Lipša: “Over-Latvianization in Heaven” - Attitude towards Contraception and Abortion in Latvia 1918-1940
Björn M. Felder and Arūnas Germanivičius: Eugenics against State and Church: Juozas Blažys (1890-1939), Eugenics, Abortion and Psychiatry in Interwar Lithuania 1918-1940
Eugenics in the Baltic Sea Region
Maciej Górny: World War One and National Characterology in East-Central Europe
Vsevolod Bashkuev: Soviet Eugenics for National Minorities: Eradication of Syphilis in Buriat-Mongolia as an Element of Social Modernisation of a Frontier Region 1923-1928
Maija Runcis: Sterilisations in the Swedish Welfare State: A Gender Issue?
Volker Roelcke: Eugenic Concerns, Scientific Practices: International Relations and National Adaptations in the Establishment of Psychiatric Genetics in Germany, Britain, the USA, and Scandinavia 1910-1960
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