Nazi Eugenics

Precursors, Policy, Aftermath

Melvyn Conroy. Foreword by Tudor Georgescu

ibidem Press

Nazi Eugenics

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Pub Date: November 2017

ISBN: 9783838210957

540 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $110.00

Pub Date: November 2017

ISBN: 9783838270555

540 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $76.99

Nazi Eugenics

Precursors, Policy, Aftermath

Melvyn Conroy. Foreword by Tudor Georgescu

ibidem Press

Conceived as the answer to all of mankind's seemingly insoluble health and social problems, and promoted as a substitute for orthodox religious beliefs, the pseudoscience of eugenics recruited disciples in many countries during the latter years of the nineteenth and early years of the twentieth centuries. Nowhere was this doctrine more enthusiastically endorsed than in Germany, where the application of eugenic theory received its most fervent support. A program born of what were often contradictory opinions began, under Nazi rule, with the compulsory sterilization of thousands of Germany's citizens before morphing into the mass murder of the most vulnerable of the state's own population under the guise of so-called "euthanasia,, before ultimately escalating into a continent-wide policy of extermination of those who did not fit the Nazi eugenic template.

The progress of this inexorable descent into barbarity was marked by successive stages of development. From the practical application of euthanasia through the organization dedicated to it—later on called Aktion T4—and the killing centers that this institution spawned, to the centrality of Aktion T4 to Aktion Reinhardt and the Holocaust, important elements of the historical record can be seen to emerge. How did it happen? What impact has it had on contemporary society? And what of the character and fate of the individuals involved in the gestation and implementation of this murderously inhumane quasi-religion? These deceptively simple questions require complex and often disturbing answers, as shown by Melvyn Conroy in this important work.
Among the most extended treatments of this subject to date, Melvyn Conroy's accessible study of eugenics and the so-called Euthanasia Program deserves a wide readership. Less than Human charts the mainstreaming of a dangerous and illusory utopia—the secular religion of eugenic praxis in Europe and the United States—before moving onto its murderous culmination in the Third Reich under the code name T4. An important precursor and parallel to Nazism's wartime Final Solution to the Jewish Question, tens of thousands of disabled victims were killed and plundered by many of the same functionaries staffing Aktion Reinhardt death camps like Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibor. This genocidal historical development is rendered intelligible here by an independent scholar of welcome readability and admirable scope, with the latter exemplified by the detailed biographies of perpetrators and accomplices presented in the appendix. Matthew Feldman, Teesside University

About the Author

Melvyn Conroy has been a student of the Holocaust for more than sixty years. He has lectured on numerous occasions on the subject and contributed to publications both in print and online.