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WWII Nazi Eugenics and Experiments
Did you know that the US gave the Germans the idea of eugenics? Eugenics is the procedure of trying to get the perfect race. Sterilization was a major part because it made it so people could not reproduce. When we told the Germans about this, they took it very seriously. They labeled the Jews as unfit and started killing them off in order to purge the world of “uncleanliness”. One of the main ways they did it was with experiments. Many people died because of the experiments; only a handful survived. The practice of eugenics has led to many horrifying and gruesome things.
First of all, eugenics is the science of racial cleaning. In other words, not letting the people who are “unfit” to reproduce. The US started practicing eugenics in the early 1900’s to try and make the perfect race. There would be no insane people, no children with hereditary diseases. People would be healthier because only the healthy would reproduce. The eugenicists would sterilize people who were insane, drunk, sick, or had hereditary diseases. For the students who do not know what that is, it is when doctors perform a surgery that makes it impossible for the person to reproduce. The Nazis sterilized over 400,000 people who were “identified as ‘life unworthy of life.’” states en.wikipedia.org. Some examples of the people who were sterilized are people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness, and the people who were gay. Obviously, the Nazis did not want any deformities in their race.
The practice of eugenics in Germany led to the death and discomfort of millions of innocent people. Hitler thought the Jews were an inadequate people; therefore, he forced them to go to concentration camps to work and die. Millions of people perished in those camps. Hundreds of thousands were forced into everlasting discomfort by sterilization. Hitler had thousands of people who did not have certain traits sterilized. He wanted a race with blond hair and blue eyes, even though he didn't have those traits himself. Couples who were going to get married had to be checked for any diseases that they could pass on to their children. en.wikipedia.org states, “Both marriage partners [had] to be tested for hereditary diseases to preserve the perceived racial purity of the Aryan race.” An example of a hereditary disease is scoliosis. It is a back disease that is passed down in many families. The doctors would not allow people with diseases to reproduce.
Hitler thought the Jews were unfit for life, so he forced them into camps. They worked and died there, but that was not the only thing that happened. Because Hitler believed the Jews were unsuitable for life, he used them for experiments. When we hear the word “experiments”, we think of science projects like the classic exploding volcano. Hitler’s were much more gruesome. One of the experiments was bone, muscle, and nerve transplants. The doctors would take bone and muscle and see if they would work when transplanted to another person. They never did. The people who had the tests done on them usually ended up crippled for life. The doctors would also do experiments on twins. They would do measurements of all of the body, put dye in the eyes to see if they would change color, and “literally sew twins together in attempts to make conjoined twins ” (en.wikipedia.org).
Another experiment they would do is seeing how long the human body could stand the cold. They would have the subject stay in freezing water for a certain amount of time, then try out different ways of warming them up again. The subject almost always died. “In another series of experiments, the subjects were kept naked outdoors for many hours at temperatures below freezing. The victims screamed with pain as their bodies froze,” says jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Some methods the doctors used to warm up the people were putting them in a vat of boiling water, slowly warming them up, and putting other humans close to them to transfer body heat.
The doctors would also give malaria to the Jews to find a cure for it. The patients would be tested with different drugs to see which one worked the best. The people who were conducting the experiments also did some with dangerous substances such as mustard gas and sulfonamide. For the mustard gas experiments, they would burn the subjects with it, then see what the most effective way of treating it was. During the sulfonamide tests, the doctors would create wounds and infect them. en.wikipedia.org states, “Infection was aggravated by forcing wood shavings and ground glass into the wounds. The infection was treated with sulfonamide and other drugs to determine their effectiveness.” This proves that the Nazis would do anything to forward their cause; they would also gas mental patients when there was not enough room for the wounded soldiers. (eugenicsarchive.org)
One of the less known tests was the seawater experiment. In an attempt to make seawater drinkable, about 90 people were given nothing to eat or drink but seawater. Others witnessed them licking the freshly mopped floor because they were so dehydrated. Another thing the doctors did was poison prisoners to find out what the side effects were. The poison was given to them secretly through their food. If they did not die, they were killed soon afterward to allow the doctors to do an autopsy. There were also experiments with incendiary bombs, sterilization, and high altitude.
In conclusion, the practice of eugenics leads to many horrible things including, but not limited to, forced sterilization, the sterilization of mentally and physically challenged people, the persecution and death of millions of Jews, and the horrifying experiments the Nazis did in the name of science. Eugenics, the process of racial cleaning, started in the US. Because the United States gave the Germans the idea of a perfect race, thousands were in discomfort because of sterilization; millions were in heaven. The Jews were sent to concentration camps because they were considered “life unworthy of life”. Countless people were tortured and experimented on just because they were Jewish. WWII is a very good example of extreme racism. The people of the United States should make sure it does not happen again.
“Eugenics” wikipedia.org, March 20, 2015. Web. March 17, 2015.
Edwin Black. “The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics.” historynewsnetwork.org/article/1796, September 2003. Web. March 17, 2015.
“German/Nazi Eugenics.” eugenicsarchive.org. Web. March 17, 2015.
“Nazi Medical Experiments: Freezing Experiments.” jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource.Holocaust/freezexp.html. Web. March 19,2015.