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“Among Foreign Peoples”: Racial Studies of POWs during World War I

“Among Foreign Peoples”: Racial Studies of POWs during World War I

Chapter:
(p.131) Four “Among Foreign Peoples”: Racial Studies of POWs during World War I
Source:
Anthropology at War
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226222691.003.0005

This chapter investigates the major anthropological project of the war years: the study of foreign soldiers in German prisoner-of-war (POW) camps. The particular setting of the POW camps combined with the increasingly nationalist directions of the scientists working there to facilitate the racialization of the enemy, particularly the European foes of the Central Powers. As anthropologists in the camps implicitly carved out a specialized racial space for Germans in central Europe, they also blurred the distinctions between the liberal categories of race, nation, and Volk.

Keywords:   foreign soldiers, prisoner of war, German prison camps, racialization, anthropologists, race, nation, Volk

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