Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Eugenics, American Progressivism, and the ‘German Idea of the State’

Professor Tiffany Jones Miller reports:
In 1923, Fritz Lenz, a German physician and geneticist advocate of forced sterilization–a man who became one of the leading advocates of the Nazi’s “racial hygiene” program–criticized his countrymen for lagging behind the United States in the enactment of sterilization laws. In June, 1933, several months after Hitler became Chancellor of the Third Reich, the Nazis began to catch up in earnest. In consultation with Lenz and other German eugenicists, Dr. Arthur Gutt, a leading official in the Ministry of the Interior, drafted a statute entitled “The Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring.” This proposal, which became Nazi Germany’s first sterilization law, mandated sterilization for all persons believed to be afflicted with congenital feeblemindedness, schizophrenia, manic depression, hereditary epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, hereditary blindness, hereditary deafness, serious physical deformity or chronic alcoholism. The purpose of this law, as Gutt explained, was “‘to prevent …poisoning the entire bloodstream of the race.’”
An article well worth your time.