Last Updated 02 Apr 2020

Eugenics in Nazi Germany

Category Germany, Nazi Germany
Essay type Research
Words 544 (2 pages)
Views 272

The use of eugenics, or “racial hygiene” by the Nazi regime. Hitler’s intention as a political leader was to expand his empire and create a world government. Using the war as a preface to the mass genocide inflicted upon not only several racial and religious groups. He failed at expanding his empire and cleansing the population of all “genetic disorders” and what was considered defects in the general population. Though he did allow several hundred thousand mentally ill, physically handicapped, individuals deemed “unworthy” of life. Nazi Physicians were able to disguise their plans to annihilate what they regard as useless eaters.

After public protest, Hitler orders a halt to the killing programs, but they are inevitably continued in secrecy. Under the disguise of war, Hitler sought to hide the mass extermination of those that Germany believed were “unworthy” of life. Individuals who were mentally retarded, physically handicapped or mentally ill were targeted for murder in a disguised euthanasia killing operation codenamed by the Nazis as “Operation T-4”. Nazi Germany used Hereditary Health Courts to register every known case of hereditary illness, diagnosed victims were able to use Appeal courts but few decisions were ever reversed.

Germany was dominated by National Socialists for twelve years in which political, civil, and medical authorities targeted any individuals who suffered from hereditary diseases, persons with disabilities, and those individuals suffering from mental illness for procedures that would lead to death. In the beginning, Individuals marked for death would be bused to a psychiatric institution where Nazi officials used methods like lethal injection and disguised carbon monoxide gas chambers to eliminate any individuals they marked as “genetic parasites”.

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In labor camps the SS dispatched, in addition, 2,960 prisoners from Mauthausen and 1,881 from Gusen, a total of 4. 841 prisoners, to the Hartheim sanatorium and “euthanasia” killing center to be killed. Using procedures that were to be later instituted in the death camps, workers removed the corpses from gas chambers, extracted any gold teeth, and brought the bodies to the crematoria to be burned together and eventually placed in urns and prepared for the family in the event that the family requested the remains. After public protest against the euthanasia killings, Adolf Hitler ordered a halt to the Euthanasia Program.

According to internal calculations and data gathered during the T-4 program, 70,273 institutionalized mentally and physically disabled people were killed at six gassing facilities between January 1940 and August 1941. Despite Hitler’s public “halt” to the Euthanasia program, the Child “euthanasia” program continued as before. One year after Hitler’s public halt to all euthanasia killing on August 1942, German medical professionals and healthcare workers resumed the killings in a more concealed manner than previous programs. Historians estimate that the "Euthanasia" Program, in all its phases, claimed the lives of 200,000 individuals.

Nazi ideals for society include a population that is cleansed of all “genetic diseases” or any individual considered a useless eater. This belief was backed by scientists in Germany because they were influenced by a desire to use eugenics to perform “racial hygiene”, many supporters were medical professionals such as, physicians or psychiatrists. These medical professionals observed the population and made decisions about which individuals would be included in the euthanasia program. Individuals included were mostly mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or the mentally ill.

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Eugenics in Nazi Germany. (2018, Jul 16). Retrieved from

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