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Sterilisation and Euthanasia
Volksgemeinschaft Peoples community.
This concept was that of a people's community who were ultimately loyal towards
the community/Fuhrer. Hitler pictured a vibrant, healthy Aryan race who worked
together for the good of the Nation. Individualism would never be valued above
the progress and wellbeing of the nation.
However, there were those living in Germany who threatened the Nazi ideal and
way of life. Hitler sought to limit this threat to his ideal nation and to deal with
those outsiders who, deliberately or otherwise would seek to undermine it.
Outsiders/Enemies of the State
Ideological: These were people who did not conform to Nazi policies and who
might threaten the political unity of the Third Reich e.g. Communists, Social
Social: Those people who engaged in perceived of actual antisocial activities.
Biological: Those whose genes threatened the pure Aryan Race such as the
Jews and those who perceived inferior to the Aryan Race. Those who had a
hereditary illness which they could pass on to future generations. An example of
the Nazis putting this into action: Law of the Protection of German Blood and
8. Juvenile delinquents.
10. Jehovah's Witnesses.
11. Mentally or Physically Ill.
It was believed that unhealthy genes weakened the race. Such people were
considered "unworthy of life" and "burdens on the community".
June 1933: Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring was
passed allowing compulsory sterilisation of anyone deemed to suffer from
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This became known as the Hitler cut. In the twelve years that followed, 350,000
people were sterilised.
· Eventually this process of sterilisation led to murder. The Nazis talked of how the
disabled had no quality of life, "life without life" and promoted the idea of
Euthanasia as merciful and kind. Their propaganda also highlighted how
expensive it was to treat mentally or physically disabled people.
· Aktion T4 was the code name for the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate "life
unworthy of life".…read more