In the United States, World War II was hailed as the “war to end all wars.” The war itself was considered a classic confrontation between the forces of liberal democracy and those of German fascism. Inherent in the ideology of nazism was Adolf Hitler’s “final solution,” the specter of rule by a nation committed to genocide. The Third Reich was dedicated to the proposition of “Aryan superiority.” The Allied Forces, dedicated to the principles of democracy and freedom (though there were inconsistencies between principle and practice), vigorously opposed the geopolitical intentions of Hitler’s regime and its pronounced policy of racial nationalism. Germany, of course, was not the only country that practiced racial politics. During the 1920s the United States itself was riding the crest of a wave of nativism based upon racial and ethnic prejudice. Although it did not approach the degree of German fascism, prejudice in the United States has made its contribution to the phenomenon of scientific racism.


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