The influence of Swedish racebiology


‘My ancestor is still in the archives’


In the first half of the twentieth century, Sweden tried to find the key to the perfect Scandinavian race. The National Institute for Racebiology researched differences between races, and was to secure the hygiene of the Swedish race. Thirty years before National Socialism dawned in Germany, Swedish racebiologists were considered to be leaders in their field. Sweden’s National Institute for Racebiology remained open until 1958. The influence this period had, can still be felt among the Sami community.

My name is Michiel Brouwer, I have been working on my project Lapponensis for 3 years now. During this period I have made a journey of four winter months through Northern Europe, searching for Sami people who felt the influence of the Institue of Racebiolgy.

There are few images that tell this part of history. It is documented and remembered by numbers, data and documents but not by images. It remains unknown to many, both in Sweden and abroad.



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