The Nazis wanted to have a pure Aryan race. A race without any defects or deformities. They introduced several laws to ensure this would happen. Before they started with mass exterminations they first tried with the sterilization of certain ‘risk’ groups.
On July 14 1933 the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases,” was introduced, it was made active in January 1934.
I won’t go into too much details of this law but I will give an overview of it.
The the 1933 law stated that:
(1) Any person suffering from a hereditary disease may be rendered incapable of procreation by means of a surgical operation (sterilization), if the experience of medical science shows that it is highly probable that his descendants would suffer from some serious physical or mental hereditary defect.
(2) For the purposes of this law, any person will be considered as hereditarily diseased who is suffering from any one of the following diseases: –
(1) Congenital Mental Deficiency,
(3) Manic-Depressive Insanity,
(4) Hereditary Epilepsy,
(5) Hereditary Chorea (Huntington’s),
(6) Hereditary Blindness,
(7) Hereditary Deafness,
(8) Any severe hereditary deformity.
(3) Any person suffering from severe alcoholism may be also rendered incapable of procreation.
But as so many times before the Nazi leadership cherry picked those who would be sterilize, and in here lies the irony. If they would have enacted on the law 5 of the 6 Goebbels children would not have been born, for they were all born after the law became active.
Joseph Goebbels suffered from ill health and was born with a deformed right foot that turned inwards, due to a congenital deformity. A condition that could have been transferred to his children.
Himmler also had health issues ever
since he was a child and it is believed Hitler had Huntington’s disease among other ailments.
To get a wide endorsement for this law , the German government referred to the success of sterilization laws elsewhere, especially the work in California documented by the American eugenicists E. S. Gosney and Paul Popenoe.
Popenoe even wrote that “the German law is well drawn and, in form, may be considered better than the sterilization laws of most American states”, and had complete trust in the German government’s “conservative, sympathetic, and intelligent administration” of the law, praising the “scientific leadership” of the Nazis..
Just think about that for a minute ‘conservative, sympathetic, and intelligent’ basically this was giving the Nazis a carte-blanche to what ever they felt like doing, a big thumbs up from the international scientific fraternity.
The aforementioned Joseph Goebbels did his utmost to convince the German popuation that this was the right thing to do. Via propaganda in the media they came up with posters and slogans saying “Sterilization-Not a punishment but liberation. What parent would wish their children such an awful fate, Who would want to be guilty of this?”
If it wasn’t a punishment why did he not get himself sterilized?
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