In 1925, Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, “Everything we admire ~ above this planet today—science and art, modern technology and inventions—is just the an innovative product of a few peoples and originally possibly one race . Top top them depends the presence of this whole culture. If they perish, the beauty of this earth will sink into the grave with them.” indigenous the start, the Nazis were identified to certain the strength and also purity that the “Aryan” race. Castle believed, follow to chronicler Richard Evans, that “the strong and the racially pure had actually to be encouraged to have an ext children, the weak and the racially impure had actually to it is in neutralized by one way or another."1

One means the Nazis motivated “strong and also pure” Aryans come have an ext children was with the “marriage loan” program. Beginning in June 1933, the federal government made interest-free loans of as much as 1,000 marks obtainable to young couples that intended to gain married, provided that lock met details criteria. One default was the both the man and also woman can prove your “Aryan” heritage. Another criterion was the the bride had actually to have been employed for 6 months in the 2 years preceding the marriage, and she had to promise to leaving her job and also stay residence until the loan to be paid off. This need was intended to encourage working ladies to leave the task market and make much more jobs available to men. Finally, because that each kid born come the couple, a quarter of the loan amount to be forgiven. Therefore, if the pair had 4 children, they would certainly not need to repay any of the original loan amount. In this way, the program motivated healthy “Aryan” couples come have an ext children and reinforced what the Nazis thought was the proper function of females in society.2


This poster indigenous a eugenics exhibition in the 1930s reads, “Sterilization is Liberation, not a Punishment.” 3 handicapped youngsters are additionally pictured v the caption, “Who would want to it is in responsible for this?”

The Nazis concerned the reproduction of a remarkable race, encouraged by policies such as the marriage loan program, together “positive eugenics” (see reading, reproduction Society’s "Fittest" in chapter 2). They likewise practiced “negative eugenics” by avoiding people they taken into consideration genetically inferior from reproducing. A brand-new law announced in July 1933 was the very first step in the process. It permitted the government to sterilize anyone who endured from so-called “hereditary” illnesses such together “feeble-mindedness,” schizophrenia, manic-depressive illness, genetic epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, hereditary blindness, deafness, and also some creates of alcoholism.

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The idea was no a new one. Sterilization laws existed in number of other countries at the time, consisting of the united States. Between 1907 and 1930, 29 US says passed compulsory sterilization laws, and around 11,000 ladies were sterilized. Numerous states likewise had laws that banned marriages in between white people and also people that color—including african Americans, native Americans, and also Asians. Both set of regulations were triggered by a desire to get rid of “strains that room a load to the country or come themselves, and also to raise the conventional of mankind by the suppression that the progeny that the defective classes.”3 (see reading, perspectives Toward Life and also Death in chapter 4). The Nazis took that goal much more than Americans ever did.

Gregor Ziemer, an American educator, observed the outcomes of the regulation when the toured a German hospital whereby sterilizations took place. A overview informed him the the patients were “the mentally sick, women v low resistance, females who had proven through various other births the their offspring were no strong. They to be women suffering from defects . . . Some were sterilized due to the fact that they were political opponents of the State.” He to be told, “We are even eradicating color-blindness in the 3rd Reich. . . .” when Ziemer asked that made the decisions, the overview boasted, “We have actually courts. It is all done very legally, remainder assured. We have actually law and also order.”4

To enforce the law, the Nazis produced health office departments for “gene and also race care” and collection up “genetic health and wellness courts.” There, doctors and lawyers operated together to decide who would it is in sterilized. The individual had no say in the decision. In the first four years after the legislation was passed, the Germans sterilized over 50,000 people. By the end of the Nazi routine in 1945, they had actually sterilized virtually 360,000.5


1 : Richard J. Evans, The 3rd Reich in Power (New York: Penguin, 2005), 506. 2 : Richard J. Evans, The third Reich in Power (New York: Penguin, 2005), 330–331. 3 : Franz Boas, “Eugenics,” Scientific Monthly 3, no. 5 (1916): 476–77. 4 : Gregor Ziemer, Education because that Death: The do of the Nazi (Oxford, UK: Oxford college Press, 1941), 19. 5 : Richard J. Evans, The 3rd Reich in Power (New York: Penguin, 2005), 508.

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just how do friend think old prejudices about the disabled and also “less worthy races” affected the method people comment to the new sterilization law? how do friend think the reality that the regulation was the job-related of doctors and professors influenced the way people responded to it? How might the language provided to define such laws have influenced the method people comment to them?What was the objective of the sterilization law? What is the danger in giving the government the strength to control who have the right to have children?


1 : Irving louis Horowitz, Taking Lives: Genocide and State Power, third ed. (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1980), 302.