Before the Nazis came to power, the state government of pressure had drawn up a draft law to allow the sterilisation of those with hereditary defects. The Nazis took this further by introducing compulsory sterilisation for certain categories of inferiors. The hereditary diseases listed in the law committed sterilisation of children over 10 years and the use of force to carry out after 14 years with no right to legal representation. The law was also amended to permit abortions in cases where those deemed suitable for sterilisation were already pregnant. During the third Reich 400,000 people were sterilised.
The NAZI desire to create their master race did not stop the sterilisation and Banning sexual relationships between Aryans and Jews. By October 1939, the regime had authorised euthanasia for the mentally and physically disabled, as they are regarded by the Nazis’ as an unproductive burden on Germany’s Resources and as a threat to racial hygiene and the biological strength of the Volk. The whole euthanasia programme was started by a cast list of one specific case of a badly disabled child in early 1939. The child’s father wrote to Hitler to ask for his child or the creature as he called him to be put to sleep. Medical staff in hospitals and asylums had to report on children suffering from mental and physical illnesses and on the basis of these reports children were sent to special hospitals to be starved to death or given lethal injections. Parents were assured that their child had died in spite of receiving the very best treatment. The programme is rapidly expanded and moved to larger headquarters in Berlin: Tiergarten 4. It became known as the T4 programme.
End of T4
By 1941 rumours about policy of euthanasia were spreading widely and aroused opposition. Although proceedings of complaints and accusations of murder got nowhere, they worries the regime. From July 1940 the church’s got involved in protesting and although the leaders of these protests were arrested by the Gestapo, there were still official statements released from Rome about how these killings were against the will of god. The NAZI regime was alarmed by the hostile public reactions and on the 24th of August, 1941 Hitler halted the programme. This did not mean the end of the drive to implement NAZI racial ideology, it was just a tactical pause.
Policies Towards Asocials
The term asocial as used by the Nazis, covered a wide range of people who were deemed to be social outcasts. These included criminals, the work shy, tramps and beggars, alcoholics, prostitutes, homosexuals and juvenile delinquents. Nazi policy introduced tough measures against these groups and gave the police power to enforce them. The approach towards asocials hardened and became more systematic as time went on. Many were sent to concentration camps, cleared from the streets of the city and in one place they created in a social colony with the aim of re-educating a social so they could be integrated into society.
Policies Towards Homosexuals
Like other European countries, homosexuality was outlawed in Germany before 1933. Homosexuality did flourish in Berlin and other large cities during the liberal climate of the Weimar Republic, but the Nazis viewed homosexuals as degenerates and a threat to the racial health of the German people. In 1933 the Nazis began a purge of homosexual organisations and literature. Clubs were shut, organisations for gay people were banned, gay publications were outlawed and students were attacked. Men were arrested and imprisoned for being homosexual, over 22,000 men were locked up between 1936 and 38. Lesbians did not suffer the same degree of persecution as they were considered to be asocial rather than degenerate.
Policies Towards Religious Sects
There were a number of Christian sects that had become established in Germany by the time the Nazis came to power including Jehovah’s witnesses, Christian scientists, more Mendes, seventh day Adventist and members of the new apostolic church. All of these had international links which made the NAZI suspicions about their loyalties, and most were banned by the regime in 1933. Although many groups had their bans lifted, when they showed loyalty to the state, the Jehovah’s witnesses were the only religious group to show uncompromising hostility to the NAZI State. They refuse to take a loyalty oath by Hitler and refused to give the Hitler salute, and regarded persecution against them as a test of their faith. When imprisoned they refused to Obey orders and did manage to make some converts in the camps through their persistent resistance.
Roma and Sinti
Jews were not the only victims of the intensification of NAZI race policies after 1935. There was also growing persecution of Germany’s 30,000 gypsies or Roma and Sinti people. Gypsies have been subjected to legal discrimination well before 1933 but the Nazis made the persecution much more systematic. The Nazis’ warned that the Nuremberg laws apply to gypsies too, and set up a new Reich central office for the fight against the gypsy nuisance.
- Why was the T4 program stopped?
- Your answer should include: Opposition / Germany / World / Churches
Explanation: Because of the opposition it was getting widely in Germany and across the world, particularly from churches.
- Who was counted as asocial?
- Your answer should include: Criminals / Work Shy / Tramps / Beggars / Alcoholics / Prostitutes / Homosexuals / Juvenile Delinquents
- Which religious sects caused problems and why?
- Your answer should include: Jehovah’s Witnesses / Obey / Nazi Orders / Converts
Explanation: The Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to obey Nazi orders, kept resisting, once arrested refused to obey orders and even made some converts in the camps.