Anthropology and Ethnology During World War II
After reading this voluminous and, contrary to what the title might suggest, engaging study, I have no doubt that it is a great scientific achievement. Firstly, the authors managed to develop an approach to the otherwise sensitive subject of the IDO heritage that enables a cool, albeit not entirely distanced way of looking at the history of a certain institution, as well as at the entanglement of many people in its activity. The fact that the institution was established in dark times, and, in addition, by Hans Frank, should not a priori put it in the context of regular Nazi propaganda and degenerated science. The authors managed to separate what in the IDO output was based on objective research from what could never be defined as scientific. Secondly, the high level of competence of the papers in this tome makes one confident about the applied methods of presentation and interpretation of the available material, which, moreover, is still subject to further verification. This publication is not yet the final outcome of several years of research and queries, but a stop-over, an important one, on the way to further work, which is signaled throughout the book. So it is an example of work in progress.
Prof. dr hab. Wojciech Józef Burszta