The teacher in one of my graduate-school English classes, a Maine Yankee self-exiled to the Midwest, once declared, with a twinkle in his eye, that there was no irony in Iowa. In hindsight, I think Professor Huntress made this statement largely because he liked the alliterative aspect of it. Even so, I had lived in Iowa long enough at that point to appreciate that he probably had a point. Many Iowans are of German descent and Germans are not, according to lore anyway, known for their appreciation of, much less participation in, things ironic.
One German in particular stands out in this regard.
Back in the early twentieth century, Adolf Hitler somehow got it into his head that Germans (and select other Europeans) were Aryans by race, and that Aryans were inherently superior to all other races on Earth. Unfortunately, Herr Hitler also got it into his head that the purity of the Aryan race was under threat from certain unsavory (dark complexioned) elements, namely Jews and Gypsies. He thereafter took it upon himself, as Aryan Über Alles (not to mention Führer Über Alles) to save the Aryans (a.k.a. the Master Race) from an insidious corruption.
Given what appeared to be an incurious nature, it is unlikely that Hitler had, at this time, ever heard of natural or artificial selection. If he had, he very likely would have decided against participating in what was to become one of history’s greatest ironies.
When Hitler began his campaign to cleanse Germany (and subsequently the rest of Europe) of unsavory elements, many Jews were able, by exercise of their wits, to escape not only to live another day but to procreate another day, just as many of their forebears had been able to do in the face of past pogroms. Many if not most of those Jews who survived Hitler’s genocide immigrated to the U.S., where today they make up only about five percent of the general population but are hugely over-represented in almost every profession one can name, including literature, the arts, academe, journalism, the sciences, law, medicine, business, research, and finance.
As for the Aryans, there hasn’t been a sighting in several years now, but rumor has it they are holed up somewhere in Iowa waiting for the Second Coming of the Der Führer.