Building the Racial State
Racial Policies, 1933-39: towards racially pure Germany
- Hitler always claimed Germans were superior; however, when he came to power
the Germans found out that not all of them were “racially pure”
- Eugenics: not a Nazi invention, it originated in England.
- Galton proposed the science of the improvement of genetic makeup. He
described measures to improve genetic make-up.
- He was concerned that lower class had more children. This is a problem because
they believed that social delienquencies were hereditary. The children would
also be alcholics and prostitutes.
- They became concerned of the genetic health of their nation because it
translated into the quality of their soldiers.
- Eugenics came to a conclusion that positive eugenics would promote high birth
rate in high class, and negative eugenics would discourage unworthy individuals
from having children.
- They believed that their fertility and lives should be controlled this way.
- Once you were identified as a certain class it determined how you were to live.
- Germany- united by the ties of blood.
- When the Nazi’s came to power, they used propaganda to propagate this idea.
- Frick argued that they were going to fulfill nature’s wishes- only the strongest
and healthy can procreate. Humans go around this with welfare and medicine
which goes against nature.
- He wanted artificial breeding of German race- cultivate desireable qualities.
- The Nazi’s used genocide once they were firm in power.
- 1 in 5 Germans were subject to sterilization- so they required support to identify
those that were racially invaluable.
- This was a radical idea- went back to liberalism and human freedom.
- Using propaganda they were going to change the mind of the public (educate
- Started in 1934 with the Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased
- This category of physically handicapped would have included many more if it
wasn’t for Goebbels who had 7 normal children. People with ortheopedic
disabilities were exempted as long as they could be treated.
- Other individuals were sterilized from 1934-1939. 2
- Largest category comprised of people with schizophrenia and hereditary
- This was a vaguely defined.
- Emma, schizophrenia victim, wrote and appeal: In her case, everything was
complicated by the fact that she was unmarried and didn’t have children. Didn’t
fit socially prescribed role.
- Eugenics was also used as a tool of social discipline
- Married women were not immune to sterilization.
- Medical community and preists could be complacent in this relm. They readily
provided information about people who didn’t fit normal social roles.
- Hitler should have been subjected to sterilization because he had cases of
mental illness in his extended family.
Persecutions of Gays and Lesbians
- Sexual deviants
- The German Penal Code (1871) declared homosexuality as a criminal offense.
- In Britain, they implemented 2 year imprisonment for Gays.
- In 1930, there were 500 cases of imprisonment.
- In 1936, the Nazi’s changed the definition of homosexual relations.
- Nazi’s were more lenient to lesbians- it was seen to be cureable because women
- Nazi’s believed that gays sabotaged the idea the Nazi’s had of propagating a
better race- they refused to help move forward.
- Lesbian curable but Gay was not.
- Castration was also applied to criminals, but in this case it was intended to
homosexuals because of their different sexual orientation.
- Himmler was worried about the sexual orientation of the SS, they were
emotionally close so he thought that this could develop into intimate sexual
relationships. He made an order to make SS members to have more children (in
our out of marriage).
- Towards African and mixed-race Germans: reffered to as Rhineland Bastards.
- Those children were “children of rape”- from French soldiers. This was untrue
and yet all of them were sterilized because they were so easily identified by the
colour of their skin.
- Forcibly sterilized
- By sterilizing the Nazi’s destroyed a big part of their humanity.
Euthanasia program begins 3
- 5000 children were classified as useless eaters and were put to death. Many of
the childrens were already in asylums.
- They sent parents letters saying that they died of natural causes; however, in
reality they were gased.
- This caused a public outrage when people found out so Hitler paused it.
- Once the war began people were too busy to concern themselves with