The Nazi Euthanasia Programme Based on Racial Purity Theories

Powerful Essays
The Nazi Euthanasia Programme Based on Racial Purity Theories

While the actual program of 'euthanasia' was initiated by Hitler in

1939 the whole idea of racial purity, Social Darwinism and eugenics

had been on the rise In Europe and more importantly Germany for quite

some years. The issue that called for the commencement of the program

was in fact written at the end of October but was predated 1st of

September to coincide with the start of the war, as it was

interestingly enough seen as a paralleled war by the Nazis.

The idea that Hitler and the Nazis were striving for of a perfect

'Aryan race' throughout their rule is a strongly supported one,

illustrated in Mein Kampf, the euthanasia programme was the next

logical step in the purification process before the extermination of

the Jews which both rid Germany of the socially and genetically

inferior. However there are undoubtedly other factors that played a

useful part in the decision making process of the initiation of the

euthanasia programme, such as economics i.e. how important the

financial gain was to the state and the German people. In the 1920's

particularly, books were published such as the 'Permission for the

destruction of worthless life' written by Karl Binding and Alfred

Hoche that emphasised the financial gain that would come (especially

important during war time) from the extermination of the so called

'inferior' especially those that were institutionalised.

The origins of the mentality behind these exterminations of the weak

are important to look at in regard to why the euthanasia programme

ever started up.

Charles Darwin's 'The origin of species' in 1859 was o...

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The War Against the Jews-Lucy S.Dawidowicz (St. Ives 1975)

Nazism 1919-1945 Vol.3 - J. Noakes and J. Pridlam (Exeter 1988)


From 'Mercy Death to Genocide' by Julian Reed-Purvis

The Nazi Doctors-Robert Jay Lifton (USA 2000)


1 Article, History Review, March 2003, Julian Reed-Purvis

2 Nazism 1919-1945 vol.3, Pridlam and Noakes, Page 403.

3 Nazism 1919-1945 vol.3, Pridlam and Noakes, Page 394.

4 Extract from Hoche and Binding book, 'Permission for the destruction

of worthless life' from Pridlam and Noakes, Nazism 1919-194 vol.3,

Page 392.