Did The Nazis Ban IQ Tests?

Not exactly, but the Nazis did not hold with IQ tests. German Jews scored about ten points higher on average than German non-Jews.

According to Wikipedia: Adolf Hitler banned IQ testing for being “Jewish” as did Joseph Stalin for being “bourgeois”

Post: “Given the hostility of modern-day Leftists towards IQ tests, it is interesting that the Nazis too seem to have been opposed to them. I have been on an email list that discusses the matter — a list including some of the authorities on the history of IQ testing. No-one as yet however has found any documentation of a formal ban by the Nazis. It seems that the tests were frowned on by the Nazis rather than banned outright — which is also broadly true of today’s Left of course. And there was certainly some acceptance of the greater intelligence of Jews in prewar Germany.”

Comment: There appears to have been no law in Nazi Germany prohibiting IQ testing. Reportedly, the few scientific journals in the domain of psychology within Germany published research based on use of IQ tests up until early 1939 or so. Orders for the initial publication of the Raven Standard Progressive Matrices were received from Germany soon after the 1938 initial publication. Some academic psychologists who were putative Nazi Party members did vigorously criticize the Simon-Binet test, for example. But at the apex of the Nazi Party there appears to have been no awareness of IQ testing and, interestingly, no awareness of the successes of the American Army Alpha /Beta tests during World War I. A cumbersome testing/assessment program was initiated in 1935 when the military draft reappeared in Germany. Since Jews were prohibited from serving in the military, the notion that intelligence testing in the Wehrmacht would have been abolished because of high Jewish IQ is just historically irrelevant. Psychology had little presence in Germany universities and where it existed, psychometry had even less presence. An exception may have been the University of Berlin? A Professor Max Simoneit headed the development of military personnel allocation testing under the Wehmacht draft. While the American specialist in military allocation testing, Robert Yerkes, contended that Simoneit’s program contained “hidden in plain sight” element of IQ testing—i.e., subtests that could be extracted to yield rough IQ scores, there is scant indication that any recourse to IQ calibration was ever
attempted. The Simoneit program was so cumbersome and descriptive that it lacked predictive efficacy. About mid 1940, General Keitel ordered it disbanded for want of evidence of efficacy. The “ban” on IQ testing in Germany was just a defacto consequence of several features of history—including that Germany just never produced a Francis Galton, a Karl Pearson, nor a Charles Spearman. With nations, as with individuals—some’s got it; some , ain’t.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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