The Nazis believed that the Aryan German was strong and racially pure. There was no place for those who were disabled in Nazi Germany. This included both physical disabilities and mental disabilities. Initially legislation was used in an attempt to remove the disabled from the German population.
There were two major developments in the treatment of the disabled in Nazi Germany. The first came in 1933 with the passing of the ‘Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring’. The idea was to stop the birth of children who would inherit diseases or conditions from their parents. As such, the Nazis forced people to be sterilised. People who fitted under this bracket included those who had psychological problems, deformities, were deaf or blind, or were epileptic.
The second development was in 1939 when the Nazis started the T4 Programme. This programme was the killing of disabled babies through the use of overdoses. This programme was extended to include children up to the age of 17.
During the Holocaust there were 270,000 disabled people killed.
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