Eugenics

By: Brooke Rivard

Overview:

Eugenics first began after World War one when there was a shortage of suitable, pure, Aryan men to assist in reproduction. There was no room for anyone with "hereditary illness" or any physical or mental deformity. This included but was not limited to people with mental illness, gypsies, homosexuals, Jews, severe alcoholism, blindness, deafness, or any major physical deformities. Being deemed unfit to reproduce these people were sterilized. This idea being first inspired by Laughlin's model Eugenics law and other influences from America in 1932. "Racial hygiene" as sterilization training was referred to by doctors in the Weimar Republic was seen as a reasonable way to make those that were not pure less burdensome allowing them to be independent after sterilization. This would not last for long though, in 1933 when the Nazi's began to take power, these people were said to be unworthy to live in the late 1930's. Before the late 1930's however, when Hitler's sterilization program was at its height 400,000 were sterilized. Having any of the "hereditary illnesses" mentioned above was a death sentence in the late 1930's. People with these illnesses were used for experiments in preparation for mass extermination in the concentration camps. Much propaganda, such as movies and books went around convincing the public that these burdens should be exterminated. They were too much of a cost to society to keep them institutionalized or sterilized. With this mindset Hitler passed the Atkinson T-4 law allowing for euthanasia deaths. 5000 children who were considered to deformed congenitally were killed either by starvation or lethal injection in asylums. Parents were given false death certificates claiming sudden deaths or other falsified information. Protest by churches stopped the program until about 1941 but then continued again. When the holocaust came around, Jews were the living dead and considered to be there for experimentation. The homicide was treated as a healing and for the better of those were racially fit. Cruel experiments were done, such as gasoline injections, electrical shocks, and different starvation methods. Freezing experiments to cure hypothermia were also done as well as high altitude experiments in a low-pressure chamber, and several serological experiments to test contagious disease immunizations and effects on different races. The gruesome happenings were said to be for the better of all, when in reality many suffered inhumanely often for factors they could not control
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This photo is Nazi propaganda from the late 1930's warning the German people of letting the "ill" have children. The chart shows that if the "ill" were to have 4 or more children each year unlike good German couples who only have two children a year the entire societal dynamic will change. That change would be much more costly to society and should be avoided at all costs.
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The Nazi's could take no risk of having even one impurity. No couple could be married unless they went before a government appointed physician and were proven to mentally and physically fit. Marriage was not about love, it was about ideal reproduction. If one partner was seen as unfit they were sterilized or taken care of in another way secretly.

Video Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaH0Ws8RtSc
(video would not imbed correctly)

The video I chose reflects on the eugenic theories in America. Although America would deny it now they did start a war on the weak and those seen unfit in any way. Americas theories influences the Nazi's ideas and views. As much as we would call what happened horrendous we had involvement. We were the spark to the many medical atrocities.

Works Cited:

"Chapter 5 The Nazi Eugenics Programs." Chapter 5 The Nazi Eugenics Programs. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

"Nazi Eugenics - Google Search." Nazi Eugenics - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014. (both pictures found on this site)