Speaker explains Nazi euthanasia, beginnings of eugenics
Caleb Williams - April 30, 2009
The Nazi euthanasia programs, which used starvation, gas chambers and Phenobarbital overdoses to kill its victims, grew out of the pseudoscience of eugenics that did not come from Germany, but largely the United States.
Dr. Susan Benedict, from the University of Botswana, spoke Tuesday about the “steps to the final solution” in the Third Reich, and specifically about the sterilization and euthanasia programs that led to the death or concentration camps usually associated with the Holocaust.
“The handicapped were not only devalued but stigmatized greatly,” Benedict said. “So, more than 350,000 people were sterilized in Germany.”
In addition to sterilization models that were actually narrower in Germany than in the United States, Benedict described Commander of the Nazi Party Adolph Hitler’s plans to begin euthanasia in the event of war.
“He planned for it to coincide with war because people would be distracted by the war effort,” Benedict said, “and people would see the need to divert money away from institutionalized patients to soldiers in the war effort.”
Benedict said in his book “Mein Kampf,” Hitler wrote of eugenics: “People who are physically and mentally unhealthy or unworthy must not perpetuate the suffering on their children.”