£150.00

Anthropologische und ethnographische Studien am Rehebother Bastardvolk in Deutsch-Südwest Afrika ausgeführt mit Unterstützung der Kgl. preuß. Akademie der Wissenschaften

Jena: Verlag von Gustave Fischer. 1913.

First edition. 8vo. 255x175mm. pp. viii, 327. 19 plates each with four black and white photographs. 22 family trees (lacking number 11) inserted into a flap at the rear of the book. Original blue cloth lettered in navy blue on upper cover and spine. Lower cover has bookbinder's stamp of Julius Hager, Leipzig. Rubbing and some wear to edges and corners of covers, with bumping to head and foot of spine. Hinge with lower cover is cracked. The contents are in very good condition. Attractive art nouveau endpapers. Title page has a non-authorial inscription dated October 1913 and the label of Thomas Prahl Andresen.

This controversial (to put it mildly) book was the fruit of Fischer’s field research in German South West Africa (now Namibia) in the early 20th century. It is a study of the Basters, offspring of German or Boer men who had fathered children by the native women (Hottentots) in that area. His study concluded with a call to prevent a "mixed race" by the prohibition of "mixed marriage" such as those he had studied. It included unethical medical practices on the Herero and Namaqua people. He argued that while the existing Mischling descendants of the mixed marriages might be useful for Germany, he recommended that they should not continue to reproduce. His recommendations were followed and by 1912 interracial marriage was prohibited throughout the German colonies. Despite his success in distancing himself from the racial policies of the National Socialist regime, Fischer was an enormous influence on Hitler, lending scientific respectability to legislation such as the Nuremberg laws.