Pages tagged "eugenics"
70 years on and the dark echoes continue to reverberate
Jan 30, 2015
This week marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp by the Russian Allied Forces on the 27th of January 1945.While the world rightly remembers in commemorating this day the horrors of the mass extermination of Jews and others we must remind ourselves always, always continue to ask the question: How did this happen? Why that question? Because to answer that question we ultimately must confront the reality that an entire nation of people, not so different in reality from you and I, slowly and inexorably fell under the spell of a regime that perpetrated this great evil upon millions of innocent people. Not to ask that question risks consigning this dark period in world history to a hermetically sealed box of memories that has no possible lasting consequence or risk of repetition in the modern world.Yet echoes of the beginnings of the holocaust are really never far from us. The tract by German academics, Binding and Hoche that developed the concept of 'life not worthy of life' in 1920 that is recognised as the genesis of the holocaust is being repeated in different form time and time again in this the twenty-first century. Not so direct, perhaps, but nonetheless arguing for or at least tolerating the unthinkable: that some lives are indeed not worthy of life.Craig Wallace, disability activist and convenor of Lives Worth Living put it succinctly on his facebook page:"â�¦ the Nazis targeted many other groups: for their race, beliefs or what they did. Historians estimate the total number of deaths to be 11 million, with the victims encompassing gay people, priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical disabilities, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah's Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic peoples, and resistance fighters."Those with mental and physical illnesses were regarded by the Nazis as "unworthy of life", leading to a clandestine programme of mass murder, under the cover of 'mercy killings'."Institutions were turned into mass killing centres, with SS officers wearing lab coats to keep up the appearance of a medical programme. Families were told their relatives had died from illness and given faked death certificates, when in reality up to 300,000 people in German and Austria were systematically murdered, usually in gas chambers disguised as showers. Their organs were used for experiments."The T4 'euthanasia' programme pre-dated what is usually referred to as the Holocaust by two years, but continued informally during it, and disabled people were later sent to concentration camps with other groups. Let us also remember them." Continue reading
Memorial to the T4 euthanasia program victims opens in Berlin.
Sep 02, 2014
By Alex Schadenberg Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention CoalitionA memorial to the victims of the Nazi T-4 euthanasia program will open on Tuesday September 2 in Berlin near the central Tiergarten park. Continue reading
Functionalism - the last discrimination
Aug 25, 2014
On death, Dawkins, Down Syndrome and dementia. I get most of my news these days from twitter. I imagine that someone will (if they haven't already) conduct a survey one day on the attraction and functionality of transmitting the maximum information in only 140 characters.I love it. It delivers me what I need and want to know in a highly efficient manner - without all the shallow 'click bait' window dressing which seems to be the stock in trade of the general online media services. Continue reading
Eugenics and the modern euthanasia movement: an essay
Jun 08, 2014
The Wall Street Journal recently published the results of a worldwide survey on people's attitudes towards Judaism, Jewish people and a comparison with attitudes to the other world religions. Most revealing was this statement:Younger people were significantly less aware of the Holocaust than older people. While 61% of those over 50 years old knew about the tragedy, only 48% of people under 35 were aware of it. That trend is expected to continue with the fading of the generation that lived through the Holocaust, which ended nearly 70 years ago. Continue reading