National Socialist Racial Science: Color Palettes for Eye-Color Classification (1937)
Rudolf Heß declared that National Socialism involved "applied racial science." In the Third Reich, the alleged quality of an individual's racial and hereditary properties was supposed to determine his or her position within the state and society. The Nazi regime relied on a range of pseudo-scientific disciplines such as phrenology, craniometry, and physiognomy to identify individuals of superior or inferior heredity. In the nineteenth century, practitioners of these disciplines had already attempted to draw conclusions about racial and hereditary predisposition by measuring and classifying individual physical characteristics. The Nazi regime made racial hygiene the cornerstone of its state population policy and supported a multitude of research projects and institutions in the hopes of producing scientifically indisputable knowledge regarding race. Photo by Fritz Carl.