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many, and of Madison Grant and others in America. Hitler—him-
self anything but Nordic—is completely obsessed by this fantastic
theory. Among the absurdities connected with the development of
the theory it is perhaps sufficient to mention that Jesus Christ and
Dante have been turned into "good Teutons" by German writers.
The "Nordic theory" has had a very great effect, not only in serving
as a basis for the "Aryan" and anti-Jewish doctrines upon which
the Nazi regime is now being conducted, but also as the inspir-
ing influence in a great deal of political agitation which claimed
superiority for the "Nordic" in the discussion of legislation deter-
mining the recent revision of the immigration laws in the United
The facts of the case are as follows. The "Nordic race," like other
human races, has no present existence. Its former existence, like that
of all "pure races," is hypothetical. There does, however, exist a
" Nordic type." This occurs with only a moderate degree of mixture in
certain limited areas of Scandinavia, and is also to be found, though
very much mixed with other types (so that all intermediates and re-
combinations occur), in Northern Europe from Britain to Russia, with
pockets here and there in other countries. On various grounds we
can be reasonably sure that this distribution is the result of the in-
vasion of Europe by a group largely composed of men of this type—
perhaps in the degree of purity in which the type is now found in
limited areas of Scandinavia. This group in its original form was
probably the nearest approach to a "Nordic race." It is not certain
where it originated or when its important migration took place.
Several authorities believe that it came originally from the steppes of
southern Russia.
The contentions which ascribe to the "Nordic race" most of the
great advances of mankind during recorded history appear to be based
on nothing more serious than self-interest and wish-fulfilment. In the
first place, it is quite certain that the great steps in civilization, when
man learned to plough, to write, to build stone houses, to transport
his goods in wheeled vehicles, were first taken in the Near East, by
peoples who by no stretch of imagination could be called Nordic, but
who seem in point of fact to have consisted largely of men of the dark,
"Mediterranean" type. Secondly, it is true that great advances in
civilization have sometimes been observed in history when invaders
of a relatively light-skinned type have irrupted into countries popu-
lated by other groups—notably in Greece, though here round-headed
as well as long-headed elements were included in the invaders. But,
in such cases, both types appear to have made their contribution, and