THE IDEOLOGY OF HATE - continued
1933: The German psychiatric community's ideology of racial purity found fertile ground in the new Nazified Germany. Adolf Hitler's accession to power was a major gain. Psychiatrist Ernst Rüdin's Sterilization Law was passed.
1934: The first step in psychiatry's eugenics master plan was sterilization and castration for those deemed biologically unsound. This included the mentally ill, intellectually handicapped, homosexuals and "colored" people. To "cleanse the nation of impure and undesirable elements," it is estimated that between 1934 and 1945, up to 350,000 people were sterilized.
1935: In 1935, with the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws, Jews were relegated to sub-citizens by reason of race.
1940: The first "gassing test" was conducted at Brandenburg institution; 18-20 people were exterminated while psychiatrists and staff watched. The "T4" euthanasia program was launched by German psychiatrists to further the objective of a pure German nation, and the first gas chambers were installed in mental institutions. Between 1940 and 1944, 300,000 "mental" patients were murdered by gassing, starvation or drug overdose.
Others were put to more practical use. In one documented case, a single shipment of brains of 33 murdered children between the ages of seven and eighteen, were received at a brain research facility "in the interest of scientific development."
1941: As the final solution to the Jewish "problem" was implemented, the successful psychiatric euthanasia procedures were exported wholesale into the concentration camps and extermination camps run by the Nazi SS — with eminent German psychiatrists acting as consultants. "The killing in the concentration camps went along the same lines and with the same registration forms as in the insane asylums," noted one proud German psychiatrist.
1946: Nuremberg Trials: Only four out of dozens of Nazi psychiatrists were prosecuted, most escaped justice, and many returned to psychiatric practice after the war.
Next: THE BOSNIA & KOSOVO CONFLICTS