In late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germanophone Europe, racial theory was as much an aesthetic as a scientific doctrine. Race-"scientists" associated the perceived aesthetic qualities of various Central European landscapes with different aspects of racial mythology. In this process the Alps played a particularly important role as an aesthetic embodiment of Germanic racial destiny, which provided an "eternal" bridge from a presumed racial past to an imagined racial future.
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http://www.jstor.org/stable/20787994...n_tab_contents