Thursday, June 18, 2009
Nazi Germany carried out a program from 1933 to 1945 to create a master race while simultaneously eliminating "genetically diseased" persons based on the ideals of eugenics - which almost eliminated European Jews from the face of the earth.
See this traveling exhibit (from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.) at the Oklahoma Science Museum at 2100 NE 52nd, OKC. See now through July 5, 2009. Exhibit is open daily: 9-5 Monday-Friday, 9-6 Saturday, and 11-6 Sunday and is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater OKC.
Click on the blue title above to access exhibit information on Science Museum website.
In 1933 the Nazi state made a racial philosophy the guiding principle of its health and population policy. In the period up to 1945, 400,000 people were forcibly sterilized, and in Germany and Austria alone, more than 210,000 disabled and mentally ill people were murdered. Furthermore, large numbers of psychiatric patients died as the result of medical experiments. The purpose of these measures and killings was to create a genetically healthy "Aryan" race in Germany, free of Ballastexistenzen (burdensome existences).
This policy had its roots in Social Darwinist ideas that had found their way into the modern scientific fields of eugenics and "racial hygiene" before the First World War. With the start of the Second World War, economic motives also played a role, expediting the decision to launch a "euthanasia" program. Its radical measures included a centrally coordinated campaign of murder targeting the mentally ill and mentally handicapped. Labeled Operation T4, it was carried out between January 1940 and August 1941 in six killing centers within the territory of the Reich. The campaign became the model for the murder of millions of European Jews, which began shortly afterward.