Download Crying hands: eugenics and deaf people in Nazi Germany by Horst Biesold PDF

By Horst Biesold

Now to be had in paperback; ISBN 1-56368-255-9

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Additional info for Crying hands: eugenics and deaf people in Nazi Germany

Sample text

They had argued that "if one thinks of a battlefield covered with thousands of dead youth . . " 14 The killings started with the murder of infants and young children born with mental or physical disabilities. For this purpose, Brack created his first T4 front organization, equipping it with the impressive-sounding name of Reich Committee for the Scientific Registration of Severe Hereditary Ailments. Physicians, midwives, and hospitals reported disabled infants and young children to the public health service, which transmitted the reporting forms to the Reich Committee.

26 In the concluding part of his essay, Schumann returned to his approving assessment that "direct genetic transmission . . " 28 Schumann's conclusions thus were ambiguous. It was not clear whether he rejected laws permitting forced sterilization, or whether he believed all legally deaf people were to be classified as hereditarily diseased according to the law. Schumann gave no opinion of his own about evaluating whether deafness was hereditary in individual cases, but deferred to the racial hygienists, since "the science of genetics .

Official statistics collected by the Reich Ministry of Interior show that during 1934, the first year the law was in force, 32,268 men and women were sterilized against their will. This figure was still relatively low, because the capability to perform sterilizations was limited; the number increased during the following years. 9 percent. 4 percent, consisted of persons diagnosed as schizophrenic, followed by 4,520, or 14 percent, of persons suffering from epilepsy. 10 But these categories could all be expanded.

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