Wednesday, September 28, 2005

An excellent, short intro to Eugenics

Eugenics' Love of Hitler

Society in Transition: Problems of a Changing Age

Book by Harry Elmer Barnes; Prentice-Hall, 1939

The German law of 1933 has attracted the most attention. While it is officially maintained that the Nazi sterilization operations are designed wholly for eugenic purposes, it has been widely charged that racial and social prejudice have played an important role in the selection of those to be sterilized. It is alleged that there has been a disproportionate number of Jews and radicals among those sterilized. It is further contended that, in dealing with Jews and radicals, brutal castration operations have often been performed instead of the milder and more humane vasectomy. Be this as it may, the German law is a model one on paper. Further, the law was based on many years of research in genetics and psychiatry by Dr. Ernst Reudin and others. Its execution is entrusted to hereditary health courts, made up of lawyers, experts in domestic relations, geneticists, psychiatrists, and physicians. If abuses have crept in, it is because these experts have been bulldozed by Nazi officials. At any rate, there has been unprecedented activity in Nazi Germany in the way of performing sterilization operations. Over 200,000 have been ordered sterilized by the health courts.