Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses

It’s interesting how a step like sterilization on the basis of disability can have so many more repercussions socially. If you start medically interfering with the most vulnerable in society, it opens all kinds of doors. I’m not going to write much myself in this post, but I did want to post some excerpts from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“The forced sterilizations began in January 1934, and altogether an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 people were sterilized under the law. A diagnosis of “feeblemindedness” provided the grounds in the majority of cases, followed by schizophrenia and epilepsy. The usual method of sterilization was vasectomy and ligation of ovarian tubes of women. Irradiation (x-rays or radium) was used in a small number of cases. Several thousand people died as a result of the operations, women disproportionately because of the greater risks of tubal ligation.

“Forced sterilization in Germany was the forerunner of the systematic killing of the mentally ill and the handicapped. In October 1939, Hitler himself initiated a decree which empowered physicians to grant a “mercy death” to “patients considered incurable according to the best available human judgment of their state of health.” The intent of the so called “euthanasia” program, however, was not to relieve the suffering of the chronically ill. The Nazi regime used the term as a euphemism: its aim was to exterminate the mentally ill and the handicapped, thus “cleansing” the “Aryan” race of persons considered genetically defective and a financial burden to society.

“Fearful of public reaction, the Nazi regime never proposed a formal “euthanasia” law. Unlike the forced sterilizations, the killing of patients in mental asylums and other institutions was carried out in secrecy. The code name was “Operation T4,” a reference to Tiergartenstrasse 4, the address of the Berlin Chancellery offices where the program was headquartered.

“Hitler ordered a halt to Operation T-4 on August 24, 1941. Gas chambers from some of the “euthanasia” killing centers were dismantled and shipped to extermination camps in occupied Poland. In late 1941 and 1942, they were rebuilt and used for the “final solution to the Jewish question.” Similarly redeployed from T-4 were future extermination camp commandants Christian Wirth, Franz Stangl, Franz Reichleitner, the doctor Irmfried Eberl, as well as about 100 others – doctors, male nurses, and clerks, who applied their skills in Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor.

“In all, between 200,000 and 250,000 mentally and physically handicapped persons were murdered from 1939 to 1945 under the T-4 and other “euthanasia” programs. The magnitude of these crimes and the extent to which they prefigured the “Final Solution” continue to be studied. Further, in an age of genetic engineering and renewed controversy over mercy killings of the incurably ill, ethical and moral issues of concern to physicians, scientists, and lay persons alike remain vital.”

For further reading check out The Origins Of Nazi Genocide by Henry Friedlander. Here’s the blurb from USSHMM’s site.

“In chilling detail, The Origins of Nazi Genocide traces the mass exterminations of Jews and other victim groups back to the first secretive murder of a handicapped child in a state-run euthanasia clinic. With little popular opposition, the killing of the handicapped evolved into the Final Solution, the methods of euthanasia foreshadowing the extermination of millions. “

***Additional***
I am tired of making newer and newer posts, so I’ll just add this on. At dinner we were talking about the long term ramifications of the “Ashley Treatment” on Ashley X herself. Having investigated the possibility of hormone treatment related to my own trans issues, I know that a large dose of hormones over a period of time has a risk of causing cancer. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly that’s for sure. Not only that, but removing breast tissue is not a guarantee against breast cancer. In fact, not having breast tissue means tumors can grow in places that are very difficult to remove. As much as I think about this, I can not say that any part of this treatment benefits Ashley.

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