chapter  8
Anti-fascist race biology
Gunnar Dahlberg and the long farewell to the Nordic ‘master race’
WithMartin Ericsson
Pages 17

In Swedish historiography, as well as in popular historical consciousness, race biology as a scientific discipline is often associated with outright racism and racial discrimination against ethnic minorities, as well as having links to the racial ideology of Nazi Germany. Swedish race biology, a scientific discipline dealing with eugenics as well as physical anthropology, gained significant influence in the first decades of the 20th century, institutionalised in Sweden when the State Institute for Race Biology opened in 1922. All non-fascist Stockholm newspapers depicted Swedish Nazis as undisciplined and unlawful, resorting to brute force instead of intellectual arguments. Socialist and Communist papers saw the attack as the latest of many Nazi acts of terror against labour movement activities, a perspective that was entirely absent in Conservative and Liberal press. G. Dahlberg described his anti-fascist position as ‘unpolitical’ and not based on a moral standpoint, but as a ‘rational’ conclusion drawn from what he saw as certain scientific facts.