Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Darwin and Germany
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner
We can analyze Charles Darwin's influence in Germany by examining four connections. These include, first, Darwin's relationship to social Darwinism and, in particular, to Hitler and the Third Reich, as many people still tend to see a strong link between these two movements. While we cannot regard Darwin as connected to the cruelties of the Third Reich, there is a relationship between Ernst Haeckel, the main defender of Darwin's theory of evolution in Germany, and some aspects of Third Reich politics. The second connection is Darwin's influence on two major German zoologists, August Weismann and Ernst Haeckel. Third, we can focus on the influence Darwin has had on the ideas of German philosophers and philosophical anthropologists, including David Friedrich Strauss, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Friedrich Nietzsche, Georg Simmel, Ernst Cassirer, Max Scheler, Nicolai Hartmann, Helmuth Plessner, Arnold Gehlen, and Vittorio Hoesle. Fourth, we can examine how Darwin is seen in ...