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Study rubbishes Hitler's Aryan theory

world Updated: Jun 14, 2008 13:54 IST

Adolf Hitler's Aryan invasion theory is one of the most controversial historical topics for well over a century. But, now a new study has rubbished the Nazis' much cherished concept of a "superior" Nordic race.

Researchers at Copenhagen University have found that bodies from 2000-year-old burial sites in the east of Denmark contained "as much genetic variation in their remains as one would expect to find in individuals of the present day".

Hitler used pseudo-scientific research to back up claims that northern Europeans could form a Master Race which would lead mankind, and even set up a breeding program between Germans and Norwegians to foster it.

The racist theory, which placed the Master Race at the top of mankind's hierarchy and Jews at the bottom, played a central role in the Holocaust.

But according to the new study, the "concept of a single Scandinavian genetic type, a Scandinavian race that wandered to Denmark, settled there, and otherwise lived in complete isolation from the rest of the world, is a fallacy".

In fact, it found that far from being isolated and "genetically pure", Danes mixed with peoples from across the globe.

"It becomes clear that the Danes must have been in contact with other peoples. One of the Danish burial grounds, which dates back to the iron age also contained the remains of a man who appears to have been of Arabian origin," 'The Daily Telegraph' quoted lead researcher Linea Melchior as saying.

The findings of the study have been published in the 'American Journal of Physical Anthropology'.