An avalanche of recent scholarship During the first three decades of the 20th century, Germany was the leading nation in all fields of science and technology (“the Mecca of science”). German medicine and medical research was the most advanced in the world; and Germany’s medical code of ethics for human experimentation, “Guidelines for Human Experimentation”…

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The founder of German racial science, Alfred Ploetz, said that America was the “bold leader in the realm of eugenics.” The philosophical underpinning for the murderous Nazi policies that culminated in the Holocaust – was a racist crusade masquerading as the science of Eugenics, Rassenhygiene (“racial hygiene”). Eugenicists deemed specific populations as genetically inferior, and…

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“The medical crimes of the Third Reich were the result of a dynamic triad involving the state, the medical profession, and an academic enterprise comprising the universities and the research institutes.” (Seidelman, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 2000) Germany was the birthplace of modern medicine in the early 20th century. The vocabulary of medicine is replete…

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Before the Third Reich, German anatomists relied on unclaimed corpses from hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and prisons; but prisons were a minor source because Germany executed fewer than 20 civilians a year between 1907 and 1932. After the Nazis gained control, the government meted out death sentences for even minor infractions, such as “defeatism” or telling…

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When Hitler came to power in 1933, a central goal was to identify and eliminate Germany’s 600,000 Jews – a goal that was rapidly expanded to target the entire European Jewish population. A question that had eluded historians for decades was how did the Nazis obtain lists of Jews – not only in Germany but…

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Eduard Pernkopf’s Atlas of Topographical and Applied Human Anatomy has been called “a tainted beauty.” The atlas consists of 800 exquisite watercolor paintings of human anatomy, and is considered a “masterpiece,” “a work of lasting scientific importance” that has been used by doctors and researchers around the world. But the Atlas is haunted by the…

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In 1937, an estimated 400 mulatto children of racially mixed African-Aryan marriages — derisively referred to as “Rhineland Bastards” — were forcibly sterilized, some were subjected to medical experiments, others mysteriously “disappeared” (Pencak-Schwartz. Holocaust Forgotten . . . 2012). Prof. Eugen Fischer director of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Heredity and Eugenics, author of a…

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“Eugenic Extermination” “Children’s euthanasia” a murderous program, unique in the history of mankind, that targeted infants, children, and young adults as the means for actualizing a social Darwinist vision of society. By systematically murdering children, scientists sought to eradicate pathological phenotype — “eugenic extermination.” Not until 2000 did historians document 30 killing stations, misleadingly labeled Kinderfachabteilungen…

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The Steinhof hospital in Vienna was a complex of 34 pavilions.  From 1940 to 1945, thirteen of the hospital’s pavilions had been emptied by the T4 “euthanasia” murders. These were used for a reformatory and a children’s psychiatric clinic, “Am Spiegelgrund”  The children included those selected by T4 categories, as well as the children of resistance…

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The adult killing program, coded Aktion T4, (named for the address of the “Reich Charitable Foundation for Curative and Institutional Care” headquarters at 4 Teirgartensstrasse in Berlin) targeted handicapped German adults living in mental institutions and nursing homes. The entire German healthcare system — public health officials, public and private hospitals, mental institutions and nursing…

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