The significance of racial hygiene was not obvious to the consciousness of all Germans, until Adolf Hitler showed political activity, and it was only thanks to the Führer that our thirty-year-old dream of racial purity of society came true.
Ernst Rudin, Psychiatrist
Ernst Rudin, Psychiatrist
Destruction of "unsuitable"
Long before Hitler came to power, psychiatrists and psychologists had already expressed the idea of killing the "undesirable." In 1883, British psychologist Francis Galton coined the word “eugenics,” which means “good race,” to help breed a better breed of man and prevent the reproduction of less desirable people. Accepted all over the world, eugenics led to the mass sterilization of all whom psychiatrists or psychologists considered “inferior”, for example, mentally ill, mentally retarded people — these terms had no scientific justification and today have extremely negative meanings — and in the USA they were black , Hispanic and white poor. Sterilization could be carried out for several reasons, namely, according to social, medical "indicators" or according to eugenics, that is, a person could be considered "unfit for his children to live in the future."
German psychiatrist Alfred Ploetz published his theories in 1895. By 1932, his racial purity theories were taught in 26 courses at German universities. Hitler used the work of Pletz and Fritz Lenz "Fundamentals of human genetics and racial hygiene." They formed the basis of his vision of Germany. Hitler's intentions came true in 1939, when his assault troops drove the Jewish population of Polish cities into ghettos for destruction. What happened next in Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France are the most indicative and blood-cooled examples of the use of psychiatric theories in the world. By 1941, everywhere, wherever Hitler’s power extended, the destruction of minorities in gas chambers became widespread.
We will never forget the murders committed by the Nazis, and the fact that [the psychiatrist] started the Holocaust with the mentally ill, and that they even technically developed how to kill so many people. Psychiatrist Uwe Henrik Peters, Chairman of the German Society for Psychiatry and Nervous System Diseases, 4 May 1992
HERBERT SPENSER, 1820-1903
Spencer, a British psychologist, said in 1870 that only "deserved rich people" have the moral right to go to heaven. He recommended creating conditions for natural selection among people: for example, the government should not do anything to save the poor, the sick or the unsuitable, no efforts should be made to improve working conditions in factories and mines. Spencer argued that helping the children of the poor is a serious crime against society, because it "will create obstacles for the offspring of the offspring." He called it "evolutionary psychology."
ALFRED HOHE, 1865-1943
German psychiatrist Alfred Hohe was the co-author of the book The Right to Destroy Lives Unworthy of Life, in which he promoted the sanctioned killing of "useless people." His work led to the emergence of the theory of "interiors" ("subhumans"), which argued that some human beings are less valuable than animals. The need to kill them was justified by economic reasons, while Hohe claimed that compassion was a “delusion”. This book is notorious for influencing Hitler. Hohe argued: "I refuse to accept the point of view according to which the doctor has an unconditional duty to prolong life."
ADOLF HITLER, 1889-1945
During the First World War, Hitler found himself in a military hospital, where he underwent psychiatric treatment, including hypnosis, with Dr. Edmund Forster, head of the Neuroclinic of the University of Berlin. The treatment produced a radical change in the point of view and actions of Hitler. He began to believe that he would play a huge role in the revival of Germany. He almost immediately joined the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany, where he became acquainted with the psychiatric theories of eugenics, which gave his own hatred for the Jews a scientific background. During the Second World War, Hitler's personal physicians, Carl Brandt and Theodore Morrell, both supporters of eugenics, tried the first "merciful" murder on mentally retarded children and helped psychiatrists develop a plan for the Nazi euthanasia of children. All six years of the war, they fed Hitler with potent drugs that affect the mind, and cocaine.
ERNST RYUDIN, 1874-1952
Psychiatrist Ernst Ryudin wrote in 1898 that he would like to go “on and on” in terms of “preventive actions” in the field of mental health, but he is not interested in helping individuals. In 1905, he and his brother Ploetz founded the German Society for Racial Hygiene and called for "mercilessly killing people." Working with 1907 of the year under the guidance of the famous psychiatrist Emile Kraepelin, he became more and more influential. Rudin developed the Crepe system of codification of human behavior and in 1916, he invented “psychiatric genetics”. In 1933, Ryudin helped to draft the German Sterilization Act, which resulted in the sterilization of more than 400 000 people. He praised Hitler and the Nazis for their "decisive steps to make racial hygiene a fact among the German people and to prevent the reproduction of hereditarily sick and weak-minded". In 1944, the Führer introduced Ryudin to the award as "the pioneer of racial hygiene." In 1990, the National Alliance of Schizophrenia and Depression Researchers praised Ryudin as the founder of psychiatric genetics.
ALFRED PLETZ, 1860-1940
It was Pletz who coined the term “racial hygiene”. Writing the work "The fitness of our race and the protection of the weak," he urged psychiatrists to select people whom they considered inferior and kill them in order to "support and develop the race." At 1936, he received the Goethe Medal, Germany’s highest award for science.
HERMAN PFANMULLER, 1886-1961
Pfanmüller was the director of the Elfing-Haar psychiatric clinic, where he starved children to death. In 1943, he expanded the program, founding two hangerhaus (starvation houses) for the elderly. During the Nuremberg trial, he objected to the fact that his methods were called murder, he simply "refrained from care, which allowed nature to take its own way."
The Nazi state was based on the fact that Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, applied applied biology, issuing biological laws, such as, for example, the “Law on the Prevention of the Birth of Children with Diseases Caused by Genetic Causes”. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, said in 1938: “Our starting point is not a person, the goal is a healthy nation.” Despite the fact that many Nazis praised that they were striving to achieve their biological goals, the Committee for the Scientific Treatment of Serious Genetically Predestined Diseases, founded in 1939, and its program of merciless murder were kept in complete secrecy. Her code was “T4”, since she was in house # 4 on the Tiergarten Strasse in Berlin. T4 psychiatrists handed down death sentences in the thousands, receiving a decent fee for deciding who to destroy. Gas chambers were built at clinics even before the beginning of the Holocaust. By August 1941, 70 people were killed in the gas chambers of psychiatric clinics. The THNUMX program has been transformed into death camps, including Bergen-Belsen, Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau, the main centers for the mass destruction of people. By fulfilling their desire to cleanse the country of dirty and unwanted elements, psychiatrists invented equipment for measuring eyes and hair color, face size, to determine whether a person is an Aryan (German) or not.
In 1939, psychiatric institutions began killing children who seemed racially unfit, poisoning their food and giving them lethal injections. The brain of these children was used for psychiatric studies. The gas killing techniques were tested in psychiatric clinics ... Only a handful of criminals from psychiatric institutions were severely punished ... The overwhelming majority could safely continue to do their work in medicine and psychiatry. Andrea Fischer, former German Federal Minister of Health, March 11 2000 in Pirna Sonnenstein (former Nazi psychiatric clinic where patients were killed)
The path from eugenics to mass sterilization and murder
1895: psychiatrist Alfred Ploetz, the founder of racial hygiene, Germany, author of the work “The fitness of our race and the protection of the weak”. His book on racial hygiene inspired thousands of psychiatrists and physicians to destroy the "inferior." 1920: The psychiatrists Alfred Hohe and Karl Binding, head of the Ministry of Justice of the Third Reich, wrote the book The Right to Destroy Lives Unworthy of Life, which stated:
1. The suffering of a terminally ill or injured person can be reduced with a medical drug.
2. Such an acceleration of death is not a murder, but “in essence, only a medical procedure.”
3. A physician should have the right to apply euthanasia (murder) to any person who is unconscious, without fear of any judicial sanctions.
1921: Erwin Bauer, Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz, the founding members of the Pletz Society for Racial Hygiene, wrote in the book Human Genetics and Racial Hygene: “The purpose of the state is not to monitor the rights of the individual, but to serve the race ... For those in Germany who find the very mention of the word “race” unpleasant ... it is necessary to point out that the term “race” is already important in the original definition of the [elucidated 1883 year] Galton eugenics. ” By 1929, this book was already praised internationally as a “standard textbook on human genetics”.
1923: Adolf Hitler, influenced by books on racial hygiene, wrote in the book “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”), repeating the words of German psychiatrists: “He who is unwell physically or mentally has no right to pass on his illness to the body of his children ...”