Eugenic Concerns

  • Alexandra Barmpouti


The culmination of the dissemination of eugenics in Greece was the organisation of numerous public conferences by the Hellenic Eugenics Society. Chapter five discusses the most representative ones where renowned physicians, academics, professionals and politicians found fertile ground to express their views. As the chapter shows, the Greek eugenicists were concerned with important social issues of the time, such as overpopulation and feminism but at the same time with more intimate issues of the individual, such as family planning and the control of hereditary diseases. In effect, the essence of post-war Greek eugenics regarding reproduction, family and demography is demonstrated in this chapter. The reader comes in contact with the Greek eugenicists in their own words.


  1. Anon. 1958. A Pill Against Malthus’ Prophecy. Ikones 147: 30–33.Google Scholar
  2. Antonopoulos, Anastasios. 1953. Sex Education of the Youth. Patras.Google Scholar
  3. Avdela, E., and A. Psara. 1985. Feminism in Interwar Greece: An Anthology. Athens: Gnosi.Google Scholar
  4. Banu, G. 1939. L’ hygiène de la race. Paris: Masson et Cie.Google Scholar
  5. Barmpouti, Alexandra. 2015a. Population, Urbanisation and Eugenics in Athens, 1950s–1970s. Revista de Anthropologie Urbana 5: 73–81.Google Scholar
  6. Barmpouti, Alexandra. 2015b. Eugenics and Induced Abortions in Post-War Greece. Acta Historiae Medicinae, Stomatologiae, Pharmacie, Veterinae 34 (1): 38–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barmpouti, Alexandra. 2017. Genetic Counseling for Mediterranean Anemia in Post-War Greece (1950–1980). In History of Human Genetics: Important Discoveries and Global Perspectives, ed. Heike Petermann, Peter Harper, and Susanne Doetz, 462–483. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  8. Bashford, Alison. 2014. Global Population. History, Geopolitics and Life on Earth. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bateson, Gregory. 1972. Double Bind: Steps to Ecology of the Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  10. Blacker, J.G.C. 1954. Unchecked Populations: Some Comparisons of Rapid Growth. The Eugenics Review 47 (4): 235–244.Google Scholar
  11. Burnova, E., and M. Garden. 2014. Naître à Athènes dans la première moitié du xxe siècle. Démographie et institutions. Annales de Démographie Historique 1 (127): 209–234.Google Scholar
  12. Cao, A., and R. Galanello. 2010. Beta-Thalassemia. Genetics in Medicine 12 (2): 61–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Casey, T.J. 1960. Catholics and Family Planning. The American Catholic Sociological Review 21 (2): 125–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Connelly, Matthew. 2008. Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dalakoura, K., and S. Ziogou-Karastergiou. 2015. Women’s Education. Women in Education: Social, Ideological, Educational Transformations and the Female Intervention (18th–20th Centuries). Athens: Hellenic Academic Libraries. Google Scholar
  16. David, H.P. 1992. Abortion in Europe, 1920–91: A Public Health Perspective. Studies in Family Planning 23 (1): 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Drakoulidis, Nikolaos. 1963. Consequences de la surpopulation sur la sante mentale et morale. Acta Psychotherapeutica 11: 464–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. E. M. 1958. Blood Examination Before Marriage Is Necessary. Ethnos, September 15.Google Scholar
  19. Fanaras, V.G. 2002. The Christian Orthodox and Other Churches and Religions View on Reproductive Issues. In Proceedings of the Conference ‘Marriage and Reproduction’. Athens. Accessed 22 July 2017.
  20. Finkle, Jason L., and Barbara B. Crane. 1975. The Politics of Bucharest: Population, Development, and the New International Economic Order. Population and Development Review 1 (1): 87–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Frevert, Ute. 1989. Women in German History: From Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation. Oxford and Washington: Berg.Google Scholar
  22. Galton, Francis. 1889. Natural Inheritance. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Goodhart, C.B. 1955. Natural Regulation of Numbers in Human Populations. The Eugenics Review 47 (3): 173–178.Google Scholar
  24. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1965. Public Discussions. Athens: Parisianos.Google Scholar
  25. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1974. Problems of the Elderly. Iatriki 11: 431–451.Google Scholar
  26. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1975. The Reproduction Problems of the Greek Population. Elliniki Iatriki 44 (3): 187–216.Google Scholar
  27. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1976a. Round Table Discussion: Antenatal Diagnosis. Iatriki 30 (2): 123–187.Google Scholar
  28. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1976b. The Family Today and Tomorrow. Elliniki Iatriki 45: 203–229.Google Scholar
  29. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1977. Public Discussions. Athens: Parisianos.Google Scholar
  30. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1978a. Legal Problems from the Point of View of Medical Sciences. Athens: n.p.Google Scholar
  31. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1978b. Premarital Medical Examination. Materia Medica Greca 6 (4): 299–315.Google Scholar
  32. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1978c. Public Discussions. Athens: Parisianos.Google Scholar
  33. Hellenic Eugenics Society. 1979. Parental Authority or Care. Nomiko Vima 28 (2–3): 395–409.Google Scholar
  34. Hellenic Society of Eugenics and Human Genetics. 1981. Sex Education: Interdisciplinary Symposium: 31 March–1 April 1979, Athens. Athens: Hellenic Society of Eugenics and Human Genetics.Google Scholar
  35. Hellenic Society for Family Planning, Contraception and Reproductive Health. Accessed 2 Feb 2014.
  36. Henig, Ruth, and Simon Henig. 2001. Women and Political Power: Europe Since 1945. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Inglehart, Ronald, and Pippa Norris. 2003. Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change Around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Ioannidi-Kapolou, Elizabeth. 2004. Use of Contraception and Abortion in Greece: A Review. Reproductive Health Matters 12 (24): 174–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kattamis, C.N., et al. 1970. Growth of Children with Thalassaemia: Effect of Different Transfusion Regimens. Archives of Disease in Childhood 45: 502–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Koronaios, G. 1959a. The Agonising Problems Produced By Overpopulation: Is There Enough Space for the Greeks in Greece? A Sensational Discussion Among Seven Top Academics. Acropolis, April 26.Google Scholar
  41. Koronaios, G. 1959b. Does Overpopulation Threaten Greece? If the Civilised People Apply Birth Control, the Coloured will Cover the Earth. Acropolis, April 29.Google Scholar
  42. Koronaios, G. 1959c. Does Overpopulation Threatens Us? Birth Control Is Not the Number One Problem of Our Country, But Provision of Labour to Everybody. Acropolis, May 2.Google Scholar
  43. Kotzamanis, Byron. 2000. The Demographic Developments During the Interwar Period in the Countries of Eastern Europe and Greece. Athens: National Center for Social Research.Google Scholar
  44. Kotzamanis, Byron, and Eleftheria Androulaki. 2009. Elements of Demography. Volos: University of Thessaly.Google Scholar
  45. Lampadarios, E., and V. Valaoras. 1939. La population grecque vieillit-elle? Archives Balkaniques de Médicine, Chirurgie et leurs Spécialités 1: 15–21.Google Scholar
  46. Leon, Sharon M. 2013. An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  47. Lidz, Ruth W., and Theodore Lidz. 1949. The Family Environment of Schizophrenic Patients. American Journal of Psychiatry 106: 332–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Löscher, Monika. 2007. Eugenics and Catholicism in Interwar Austria. In Blood and Homeland, Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe, 1900–1940, ed. M. Turda and P. Weindling, 299–316. Budapest: Central European University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Loukopoulos, D. 2011. Haemoglobinopathies in Greece: Prevention Program Over the Past 35 Years. The Indian Journal of Medical Research 134 (4): 572–576.Google Scholar
  50. Loukopoulos, D., A. Kaltsoya-Tassiopoulou, and P. Fessas. 1983. Prevention of Thalassemia. Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift 113 (40): 1419–1427.Google Scholar
  51. MacKnight, Gerald. 1958. The Great Problem of Overpopulation: An Interview with Bernard Russell. Kathimerini, September 3.Google Scholar
  52. Malamos, B., Ph. Phessas, and G. Stamatoyannopoulos. 1962. Types of Thalassaemia-Trait Carriers as Revealed By a Study of Their Incidence in Greece. British Journal of Haematology 8 (5): 5–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mauldin, W.P., et al. 1974. A Report on Bucharest. The World Population Conference and the Population Tribune, August 1974. Studies in Family Planning 5 (12): 357–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. McCabe, Lina L., and Edward R.B. McCabe. 2011. Down Syndrome: Coercion and Eugenics. Genetics in Medicine 13 (8): 708–710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Mead, Margaret. 1970. Culture and Commitment: A Study of the Generation Gap. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  56. Modell, B., R.H.T. Ward, and D.V.I. Fairweather. 1980. Effect of Introducing Antenatal Diagnosis on Reproductive Behaviour of Families at Risk for Thalassaemia Major. British Medical Journal 280: 1347–1350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Nikolaos Louros Papers and Archive. N. Louros Foundation, Division of History of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete. Google Scholar
  58. Official Government Gazette. 1968. Law 300: About the Premarital Medical Examination Certificate.Google Scholar
  59. Official Government Gazette. 1980. Law 1036: About Family Planning and Other Regulations.Google Scholar
  60. Official Government Gazette. 1982. Law 1250: About the Establishment of Civil Marriage.Google Scholar
  61. Official Government Gazette. 1983. Law 1329: Application of the Constitutional Principle for Sex Equality to the Civil Code, Its Introductory Law, the Commercial Law, the Code of Civil Procedure, and Partial Modernisation of the Civil Code’s Ordinances About Family Law.Google Scholar
  62. Official Government Gazette. 1986. Law 1609: Artificial Termination of Pregnancy and Female Health Protection.Google Scholar
  63. Orwell, George. 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four. London: Secker and Warburg.Google Scholar
  64. Pearson, Karl. 1930. The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Papavassiliou, I.TH. 1954. Intelligence and Family Size. Population Studies 7 (3): 222–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rendall, Jane. 1985. The Origins of Modern Feminism: Women in Britain, France and the United States, 1780–1860. Basingstoke: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rosen, Christine. 2004. Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Singer, M.T., and L.C. Wynne. 1966. Principles for Scoring Communication Defects and Deviances in Parents of Schizophrenics: Rorschach and TAT Scoring Manuals. Psychiatry 29 (3): 260–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Society of Medical Studies. 1963. Conference of the Hellenic Eugenics Society. Iatriki 3 (3): 169–222. Reprint in Nikolaos Louros Papers and Archive.Google Scholar
  70. Spencer, Hamish G., and Diane B. Paul. 1998. The Failure of a Scientific Critique: David Heron, Karl Pearson and Mendelian Eugenics. The British Journal for the History of Science 31 (4): 441–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Stavropoulos, Alexandre M. 1970. Bilan analytique et clinique du centre experimental de consultations premaritales et conjugales de la Société Hellenique d’ Eugenisme a Athènes. Louvain: Université Catholique de Louvain.Google Scholar
  72. Stavropoulos, Alexander M. 1977. The Problem of Reproduction and the Encyclical of the Church of Greece (1937). Athens.Google Scholar
  73. Stavropoulos, Alexander M. 1981. The Demographical Problem, Gamily Planning and Abortion: A Theological Approach. Athens.Google Scholar
  74. Stokes, Shannon C. 1972. Religious Differentials in Reproductive Behaviour: A Replication and Extension. Sociological Analysis 33 (1): 26–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sullivan, Harry Stack. 1968. The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry. New York, London: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  76. The Greek Constitution. 1975. Official Government Gazette, June 9.Google Scholar
  77. Toth, Adel, Tibor Nyari, and Janos Szabo. 2008. Changing Views on the Goal of Reproductive Genetic Counselling in Hungary. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology 137: 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Trubeta, Sevasti. 2013. Physical Anthropology Race and Eugenics in Greece (1880–1970s). Leiden: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Turda, Marius. 2009. To End the Degeneration of a Nation: Debates on Eugenic Sterilisation in Inter-War Romania. Medical History 53 (1): 77–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. United Nations. 1974. Report of the United Nations World Population Conference 1974. Accessed 14 May 2014.
  81. United Nations. 2002. Abortion Policies: A Global Review. New York: United Nation. Google Scholar
  82. Valaoras, Vasilios. 1943. Elements of Biometry and Statistics. A Demographic Research of the Greek Population. Athens: Vafiadakis.Google Scholar
  83. Valaoras, Vasilios. 1950. Refined Rates for Infant and Child Mortality. Population Studies 4 (3): 253–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Valaoras, Vasilios. 1976. Studies, Titles, Activity and Scientific Works: Additional Text, February 1974–December 1976. Athens: n.p.Google Scholar
  85. Valaoras, V.G., A. Polychronopoulou, and D. Trichopoulos. 1965. Control of Family Size in Greece: The Results of a Field Survey. Population Studies 18 (3): 265–278.Google Scholar
  86. Varika, E. 1987. The Revolution of the Ladies: The Birth of Feminist Consciousness in Greece 1833–1907. Athens: Institute of Research and Education of the Commercial Bank of Greece.Google Scholar
  87. Weatherall, D.J. 2010. Thalassaemia: A Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Weatherall, D.J., and J.B. Clegg. 2000. The Thalassemias Syndromes. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.Google Scholar
  89. Wingfield, Nancy M., and Maria Bucur. 2006. Gender and War in Twentieth-Century Eastern Europe. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  90. Ziegler, Mary. 2008. Reinventing Eugenics: Reproductive Choice and Law Reform After the World War II. Cardozo Journal of Law and Gender 14: 319–347.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Barmpouti
    • 1
  1. 1.AthensGreece

Personalised recommendations