Archive for Third Reich

Eugenics influenced both abortion and Nazi holocaust

Posted in American Eugenics Society, Black Eugenics Victim, Black Genocide, Eugen Fischer, Eugenics, Eugenics Review, Guttmacher, Henry Fairchild, Hitler, holocaust, John D Rockefeller, Maafa21, Madison Grant, Margaret Sanger, Margaret Sanger and AES, Margaret Sanger and Nazis, Margaret Sanger on Segregation and sterilization, Nazi, Planned Parenthood and Eugenics, Rockefeller with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2019 by saynsumthn

Planned Parenthood remembers Holocaust, ignores founder’s own eugenic views

Holocaust, remember, Planned Parenthood

This weekend as we remembered the horrific human cost suffered under the Nazi Holocaust, the hashtags #NeverAgain and #HolocaustMemorialDay were trending on Twitter. It is estimated that at least six million Jews (and millions of others) were slaughtered during the Holocaust. One post from Planned Parenthood drew some interesting comments, including this one, pictured below:

Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

Hitler’s ‘bible’ and Margaret Sanger’s connection

Planned Parenthood may claim to remember the Holocaust and mourn bigotry, but the organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was a member of the American Eugenics Society (AES) — headed by Madison Grant, whose book, The Passing of the Great Race, was revered by Adolf Hitler himself. According to the eugenics archive, Grant’s book “argued for the preservation of America as a ‘civilization preserve’ for the Nordic race, advocating for immigration only from the founding stock of Anglo-Saxons and other Nordics from north-western Europe…. After becoming Führer, Hitler wrote to Grant; thanking him for his momentous work, stating that the book was ‘his Bible.’” (emphasis added)

The AES was founded in 1926 by Harry Crampton, Harry H. Laughlin, Madison Grant, and Henry Fairfield Osborn “with the express purpose of spearheading the eugenical movement,” according to the American Philosophical Society. The Nazi means of procuring the “perfect race” included eugenic sterilization, which many believe were inspired by American eugenicists. Historian Stefan Kuhl details in his book, The Nazi Connection, that “Hitler’s personal correspondence with American eugenicists reveals both the influence that American eugenicists had on the highest figures of the Nazi regime and the crucial importance that National Socialists placed on garnering support for their policies on foreign scientists.”

The documentary film Maafa21 even notes the possibility that Hitler got the idea for concentration camps while studying the American eugenics movement:

In 1919, the state of Indiana had allocated $300,000 to create a work colony in the city of Butlerville where those who were labeled feebleminded would be incarcerated. Then, in 1932, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger called for the U.S. government to set aside farms and “open spaces” where certain groups of people would be segregated from the rest of society.

Image: Margaret Sanger advocates shipping people to farms and open spaces (Image: Maafa21)

Margaret Sanger advocates shipping people to farms and open spaces (Image: Maafa21)

Margaret Sanger associated with men who praised (and inspired) Hitler

Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger herself spoke to members of the Ku Klux Klan and promoted eugenics and forced sterilizations. Although there is no indication that Sanger directly supported Hitler, she did not discriminate against those who did.

Leon Whitney – published by Sanger, praised by Hitler for his book on sterilization

Sanger published writings by Leon F. Whitney, former executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society, in her Birth Control Review. In 1934, Adolf Hitler sent a letter to Whitney complimenting him for a book he authored on sterilization — and Whitney praised Hitler as “one of the greatest statesmen and social planners in the world.”

Eugen Fischer – worked with Sanger at World Population Conference

And in 1927, Nazi sympathizer Eugen Fischer worked with Sanger on her World Population Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. According to a library of eugenics records at Cold Spring Harbor, Hitler read Eugen Fischer’s textbook Principles of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene, and used “eugenical notions to support the ideal of a pure Aryan society in his manifesto, Mein Kampf.” Fischer served on committees that planned the sterilization of Afro-German Blacks and was in charge of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute where racist Nazi programs were developed. In an August 28,1935 New York Times article, Fischer praised Hitler, asking the World Population Congress at that time to “Hail Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler.”

Image: Eugen Fischer (Image Credit: Archive zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem)

Eugen Fischer (Image Credit: Archive zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem)

According to the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor, the Rockefeller Foundation, which has long been funding eugenics and abortion organizations including the Population Council, provided funds to construct the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. Author Edwin Black noted, “The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.”

Harry Laughlin – published in Sanger’s Birth Control Review

AES founder Harry Laughlin was published by Sanger’s Birth Control Review and signed the Citizen’s Committee on Planned Parenthood. In 1936, according to researcher Paul A. Lombardo, “Laughlin received an honorary degree from the Nazi-controlled University of Heidelberg as “a pioneer in the science of race cleansing.”

Lothrop Stoddard – sat on Sanger’s Birth Control League Board of Directors

Another Sanger cohortLothrop Stoddard, traveled to Germany to observe a Nazi eugenics court. Stoddard, a journalist and author, served on Sanger’s National Council, her ABCL Board of Directors, and the conference committee of the First American Birth Control Conference. Stoddard described this meeting in his book: Into the Darkness: A Sympathetic Report from Hitler’s Wartime Reich.

Image: Image: American Eugenics Society document

Image: American Eugenics Society document

Ernst Rudin – called for racial purity in Sanger’s Birth Control Review, wrote Germany’s eugenic laws

In 1933, Sanger associate Ernst Rudin of Germany published a call for racial purity in Sanger’s Birth Control Review. Later, according to the documentary film, Maafa21, “Rudin would be chosen by Hitler to write Germany’s eugenics laws and, at one point, he personally helped the Gestapo round-up and sterilize several hundred Blacks who they referred to as ‘Rhineland bastards.’ After the war, Rudin would be identified as one of the architects of the barbaric medical experiments that the Nazis carried out in their concentration camps.”

It is documented that Planned Parenthood’s ties to eugenics ran deep and extended into the late 1960’s. Sanger’s American Birth Control League, and later Planned Parenthood, stacked their boards and events with eugenics leaders. Planned Parenthood’s first physician president, Alan F. Guttmacher, was vice president of the American Eugenics Society. Guttmacher, credited with leading Planned Parenthood to commit abortions, went on to found Planned Parenthood’s former “special affiliate,” the well-known Guttmacher Institute.

Tragically, eugenics philosophy paved the way for genocide under Nazi control of Germany. Today, that same philosophy has led to millions of preborn humans being massacred in the womb through abortion. As we remember what took place in Germany, the words of Rabbi Benjamin Blech ring true today: “We had no idea what was happening needs to be clearly identified as the great lie of the years of Nazi power. The harsh truth is that almost everyone had to know. The numbers negate the possibility for collective ignorance. And still the killings did not stop, the torture did not cease, the concentration camps were not closed, the crematoria continued their barbaric task. The decent people were somehow able to rationalize their silence.”

  • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

The Nazi Doctors and Nuremberg: Some Moral Lessons Revisited

Posted in Health Care, Hitler, Nazi with tags , , , , , on October 12, 2009 by saynsumthn

BY Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD

15 August 1997 | Volume 127 Issue 4 | Pages 307-308

Exactly 50 years ago, the world learned of the moral depravity of the 20 Nazi physicians who were tried and convicted in Nuremberg for the part they played in the brutal human experiments at Auschwitz [1-4]. Ethicists have since expounded on the moral lessons to be learned from the Nuremberg Trials. So obvious these moral lessons seem now, and so gross the malfeasance, that it seems redundant to revisit them. Certainly we do not need to study such gross moral pathology that could never happen again.

That is a dangerous conclusion. Moral lessons are quickly forgotten. Medical ethics is more fragile than we think. Moral reasoning based on defective premises tends to recur in new settings. Not all of the Nazi physicians were mentally deranged-they believed they were doing the right thing. If we are to avoid even attenuated errors of the same kind, we are obliged to examine a few of their errors even now.

In light of the enormity of the crimes of the Nazi doctors, it seems easy to acquiesce to the 10 basic principles promulgated by the Tribunal to keep human experimentation within moral, legal, and ethical boundaries [5]. But acquiescence does not equate with comprehension. The first principle of the Nuremberg Code is this: “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.” However, this principle was compromised almost immediately after the Nuremberg trials. The Helsinki Declaration, which superseded the Nuremberg Trials, weakened the provision by placing too much emphasis on the advancement of science and not enough on the integrity of the subject. Katz faults the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rules and Regulations for lack of a similar failure fully to protect human research subjects [6].

Even more distressing are the instances of unethical research behavior that have occurred since the revelations of the Nuremberg Trials and wide acceptance of the 10 principles they promulgated. Only a few such instances need to be listed here: the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the Willowbrook Hepatitis Study, U.S. radiation experiments, the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital Study and the lysergic acid study supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, and others that have not been brought to light [7-10].

Clearly, the major lesson of the Nuremberg Trials has not been learned. Ethicists have the painful responsibility of reaffirming that lesson even in the United States. Failure to respect the absoluteness of the requirement for truly informed consent is a major factor behind current moves to strengthen regulatory mechanisms regarding research involving humans.

The integrity of medical ethics is important not because it protects the physicians’ prerogatives but because it is a bulwark against the use of medical knowledge for purposes other than for the good of the sick. The German physicians indicted at Nuremberg had been taught by some of the world’s best historians of medicine and ethics [11]. They could not plead ignorance of ethics and, in fact, made constant allusions to medical ethics and the Hippocratic tradition in their testimony [12]. They even convinced themselves that their heinous acts were consistent with those principles.

What the Nazi doctors illustrate is that ethical teaching has to be sustained by the ethical values of the larger community. In Germany, this support system was weakened well before the Holocaust and the experiments at Auschwitz. German academics, especially psychiatrists, were leaders in theories of racial superiority, social Darwinism, and the genetic transmissibility of mental illness before Hitler came to power [13]. They even urged the Hitler regime to adopt these nefarious ideals.

Clearly, protection of the integrity of medical ethics is important for all of society. If medicine becomes, as Nazi medicine did, the handmaiden of economics, politics, or any force other than one that promotes the good of the patient, it loses its soul and becomes an instrument that justifies oppression and the violation of human rights.

Subversion becomes a greater danger whenever medicine comes too close to the power of the state [14]. The German medical profession eagerly supported Hitler’s Third Reich and made itself the Reich’s willing agent. Hitler, like his counterparts in Stalinist Russia and Imperial Japan, recruited medicine at the very beginning of his regime. Physicians should have refused. Even Hitler would probably not have prevailed against a united profession exerting its collective moral power. But the caduceus joined the swastika in a lethal symbiosis that cost millions of lives and forever branded German medicine as a traitor to every tradition that ever made medicine a beneficent rather than a maleficent enterprise.

This lesson becomes even more important as medicine becomes increasingly bureaucratized, institutionalized, and dependent on government and politics for its support. Medical power is too great to be left unregulated, but it is also too great to be enslaved by government, however benign the government’s intentions might be.

The Nazi doctors were rational beings. To be sure, they acted within psychological and sociohistorical contexts [15-17]. Ultimately, they justified their actions by what they considered to be moral reasons that have received insufficient attention [18]. During the testimony, the defendants and their lawyers repeatedly advanced a few moral premises with a familiar ring: They were not killing by their own authority but obeying the laws of the state, which can determine the method of death [12]. To resist would have been treasonous; ethics must be subordinate to the demands of war. Consent from those condemned to death was unnecessary. The death of a few prisoners would save many German lives; medical ethics could be set aside by law.

We see here the initial premises that law takes precedence over ethics, that the good of the many is more important than the good of the few, that national emergencies supersede ethics, and that some persons (prisoners in this case) can lose their claim to humanity. The lesson here is that moral premises must be valid if morally valid conclusions are to be drawn. A morally repulsive conclusion stems from a morally inadmissible premise.

Perhaps, above all, we must learn that some things should never be done. We will know when to say “no” if we extrapolate our moral premises to their logical conclusions. This the Nazi doctors did not do.

Clearly, there are moral lessons still to be learned from the Nuremberg Trials and there always will be. These lessons must be repeatedly relearned. They are pertinent to other contexts and other issues in today’s intensive bioethics debates. The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust are metaphors for absolute moral evil, the lessons of which are as old as ethics itself [19]. This we must never forget if we wish to be certain that the moral disasters revealed at Nuremberg never occur again.

Current Author Address: Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD, Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center, 400 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007.

1. Alexander L. Medical science under dictatorship. N Engl J Med. 1949; 241:39-47.

2. Lerner BH, Rothman DJ. Medicine and the holocaus:: learning more of the lessons. Ann Intern Med 1995; 122:793-4.

3. Caplan AL, ed. When Medicine Went Mad. Totowa, NJ: Humana Pr; 1992.

4. Barondess JA. Medicine against society. Lessons from the Third Reich. JAMA. 1966; 276:1657-61.

5. Judgement and aftermath. In: Annas GJ, Grodin MA, eds. The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation. New York: Oxford Univ Pr; 1992:102-3.

6. Katz J. The consent principle of the Nuremberg Code: its significance row and then. In: Annas GJ, Grodin MA, eds. The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code. Human Rights in Human Experimentaticn. New York: Oxford Univ pr; 1992:231-3.

7. Moreno JD, Lederer SE. Revising the history of Cold War research ethics Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 1996; 6:223-38.

8. Beecher HK. Ethics and clinical research. N Engl J Med. 1966; 274:1354-60.

9. Jones JH. Bad blood: the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. New York: Free pr; 1981.

10. Annas GJ. The Nuremberg Code in U.S. courts: ethics versus expediency. In Annas GJ, Grodin MA, eds. The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code Human Rights in Human Experimentation. New York: Oxford Univ Pr; 1992:212-6.

11. Hanauske-Abel HM. Not a slippery slope or sudden subversion: German medicine and national socialism in 1993. Br Med J. 1996; 3:1453-63.

12. Trials of War Crim nals before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law no. 10. October 1946-April 1949. Washington, DC: US Gov Pr; Office; 1949.

13. Burleigh M. Death and Deliverance: “Euthanasia” in Germany c. 1900-1945. New York: Cambridge Univ Pr; 1994.

14. Pellegrino ED. Guarding the integrity of medical ethics. Some lessons from Soviet Russia. JAMA. 1995; 273:1622-3.

15. Lifton RJ. The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. New York: Basic Books: 1986:435.

16. Gibson JT, Haritos-Fatouros M. The education of a torturer. Psychology Today. 1986; 20:50-8.

17. Naumann B. Auschwitz. London: Pall Mall Pr; 1966.

18. Caplan AL. The doctors’ trial and analogies to the Holocaust in contemporary debates. In: Annas GJ, Grodin MA, eds. The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation New York: Oxford Univ Pr; 1992:259-75.

19. Fasching DJ. The Ethical Challenge of Auschwitz and Hiroshima: Apocalypse or Utopia? New York: State University of New York Pr; 1993.