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Nazi eugenics pertains to Nazi Germany's race based social policies that placed the improvement of the race through eugenics at the center of their concerns and targeted those humans they identified as "life unworthy of life" (German Lebensunwertes Leben), including but not limited to: criminal, degenerate, dissident, feeble-minded, homosexual, idle, insane, religious and weak humans for elimination from the chain of heredity. More than 400,000 persons were sterilized against their will, while 70,000 were killed in the Action T4.
Hitler and eugenics
Hitler had read some racial-hygiene tracts during his period of imprisonment in Landsberg Prison. The future leader considered that Germany could only become strong again if the state applied to German society the basic principles of racial hygiene and eugenics.
Hitler believed the nation had become weak, corrupted by the infusion of degenerate elements into its bloodstream. In his opinion, these had to be removed as quickly as possible. He also believed that the strong and the racially pure had to be encouraged to have more children, and the weak and the racially impure had to be neutralized by one means or another
The Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring, proclaimed on July 14, 1933 required physicians to register every case of hereditary illness known to them, except in women over forty-five years of age. Physicians could be fined for failing to comply. In 1934 the first year of the Law's operation, nearly 4,000 people appealed against the decisions of sterilization authorities. 3,559 of the appeals failed. By the end of the Nazi regime, over 200 Hereditary Health Courts (Erbgesundheitsgerichten) were created, and under their rulings over 400,000 people were sterilized against their will.
Action T4 (German Aktion T4)
Action T4 (German Aktion T4) was the official name of the Nazi Germany eugenics program which forcefully conducted euthanasia on Germans who were institutionalized or suffering from birth defects. In total, an estimated 200,000 people were killed as a result of the program.
The Hadamar Clinic was a mental hospital in the German town of Hadamar, which was used by the Nazis as the site of their T-4 Euthanasia Program.
Kaiser Wilhelm Institute
The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics was founded in 1927. In its early years, and during the Nazi era, it was strongly associated with theories of eugenics and racial hygiene advocated by its leading theorists Fritz Lenz and Eugen Fischer, and by its director Otmar von Verschuer. Under Fischer, the sterilisation of so-called Rhineland Bastards was undertaken.
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