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Photo: Drawer with historic mug shots for eugenic racial definitions

In the second half of the 19th century, the natural sciences' perspective of the development of mankind and society experienced a highlight. The findings of Darwin's theory of evolution were applied to human society.

 

Poster "The Black Stork"

According to Galton, this would promote the reproduction of mentally and physically 'excellent individuals', whilst hindering that of less valuable individuals. The supporters of this theory also subsequently involved the use of state sanctions in their considerations. Eugenics, or 'study of hereditary health', spread through every industrialised country in Europe and to the USA and became a major line of argumentation in the socio-political dialogue between 1900 and 1945.