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2 Family Policy According to National Socialism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter intends to sketch an historical and 'ideological' framework with regard to the question whether family law was influenced by National Socialism. In order to answer this question one has to establish what National Socialism entails. Firstly, several theories, established well before National Socialism as such appeared and from which National Socialism drew inspiration, are examined, such as 'völkish nationalism', racism and anti- Semitism, Social Darwinism, racial hygiene and eugenics. Secondly, a historical framework is sketched, by explaining the position of Jews in Germany through the ages and German population and family policy in the decades before the National Socialists came to power. Thirdly, the chapter deals with the Nazi era, explaining the National Socialist theory of the Volksgemeinschaft, and giving some examples of National Socialist population and family policy.

Keywords: anti-Semitism; family policy; Germany; historical framework; National Socialism; Nazi era; racism; Social Darwinism



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