Full text: papers communicated to the first International Eugenics Congress held at the University of London, July 24th to 30th, 1912

Exhibit C 21—25.7 
“ In places regeneration is evident which invariably is 
inaugurated by marriage with a good woman and the consequent 
abandonment of the abuse of alcohol. As with the degeneration so 
with the regeneration the wife takes the leading part.” 
The question whether modern civilized races are degenerate in 
body and mind is much disputed. In some respects for instance in 
the increase of myopia and caries of the teeth it is generally 
admitted, but in others it is doubtful, though it may be considered 
an established fact that the general average of health among all 
civilized nations is unsatisfactory. We do not know for certain 
whether the general level of all or certain qualities is being lowered 
or not, and still less can we say what part is played by heredity. 
The demand for the systematic collection of data on these points 
is the first which Race Hygiene has to make from Governments. 
The examinations as to fitness for military service in 
Germany might offer an excellent index of the physique of the people, 
but for this purpose the physical condition of the conscripts would 
have to be recorded in a much more thorough manner than at present 
(S. Gruber Concordia, 1910). There appears, however, to be no 
doubt that in general the country and agricultural pursuits produce 
young men of better average health than do towns and other 
occupations. This agrees with the fact that the life of the inhabitants 
in rural districts and of those engaged in agriculture is longer than 
that of town dwellers. 
Table C 22 compares the duration of life of men living in towns q 22 
with those living in rural districts in Prussia. Beyond all doubt 
the peasant population is still constitutionally the most valuable 
part of the people, and the colonisation at home, such as the 
Prussian Government is pursuing to an increasing degree, may 
become of the very highest value for the improvement of the race. 
Dr. Walter Abelsdorff gives the following explanations to Table ^ 23 24 & 
C 23, and figures C 24 and C 25. “They endeavour to show the 25 
number of families brought ‘back to the land’ in North Germany in the 
years 1900-1910.” 
“ The Royal Commission for settlement in West Prussia and 
Posen has achieved notable results since the beginning of its activity 
in 1886. This body has brought about from 1886 to 1910 the settle­ 
ment in the country of 18,507 families, 18,127 in leaseholds and 305 
in labourers’ dwellings. For 1900 to 1910 the total number of 
families settled amount to 14,511.”

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