GLOBAL EUGENICS AND THE
"Man is becoming God. Those who see in national socialism nothing more than a political movement know scarcely anything of it. It is more even than a religion. It is the will to create mankind anew". Adolf Hitler
"National Socialism is nothing more than applied biology." Rudolph Hess
"They were all doctors." Auschwitz survivor.
During the industrial revolution the authority of established institutions such as the church and the aristocracy, particularly in Europe and Germany, is called into question. The strides made in the physical sciences and the breakneck advancement of industry cause an upheaval in everyday life. Traditional beliefs and hierarchies are shaken. Religious beliefs, long held without question, are examined from the new "modern" scientific viewpoint. In Germany, traditional culture is perceived as being threatened, partially by the Catholic church, which is seen as favoring slavic interests. Germanspeaking Austria yearns to reunify with Germany. The Lebensreform (Life Reform) movement and other groups promote the return to the soil and to ancient Germanic folklore, meditation and the occult. Various concepts of race and ancient Germanic history/destiny are extant throughout the German speaking lands.
In an effort to delve deeper into the mysteries, various people journey to Tibet, long held to be a center of mystical and occult knowledge. One such person is Madam Helena Petrova Blavatsky. She says that while in Tibet, she saw a secret doctrine that outlined the future of mankind and the secrets of the universe. In this doctrine, she describes various races as having played key roles throughout the history of the world. She describes one race, calling it the Aryan race, that founded Grecian culture and was supposed to have possessed paranormal powers. According to Blavatsky, the Aryans are destined to lead mankind out of the darkness that has befallen him and usher in the next phase of human evolution. The sign of the Aryans is the swastika.
Blavatsky's followers introduce the doctrine of the Aryans to the German people and around 1888, she publishes The Secret Doctrine, which describes all this. She is the founder of an America occult society that publishes the first publication in Germany to carry a swastika on its cover. Later, other mystics promote the myth of the Aryan man, even going so far as to propose an outline for a society that would embody the principles of these occult teachings. These teachings go hand in glove with the new science of eugenics. Key figures in the Nazi hierarchy, such as Himmler, are avid pupils of these occult teachings. Darwinism, eugenics and the occult racial principles that proceeded them will enhance traditional beliefs about the German aristocracy and its inherent superior characteristics being founded in ancient times by teutonic divinities. This will form the cornerstone of the Third Reich and eventually lead to the wholesale slaughter of millions. Two belief systems, psychiatric eugenics and the occult, will merge and become virtually indistinguishable to make Europe a nightmare. They will also be embraced and promoted elsewhere in the "civilized" world.
"In science all that really matters is getting interesting, accurate results as quickly as possible; there is simply no time to talk to patients...the introduction of machines in no way eases the situation, for the more expensive and complicated the machines, the more the investigator distances himself from the person who is being investigated. This attitude reduces the person to a subservient depersonalized object. Such a process formed the bond which held the psychiatrists, anthropologists, and Hitler together."
Benno Muller Hill "Murderous Science."
In modern times, killing people to achieve the ideal of eugenics (racial purification) really took hold in central Europe in the 30's and 40's. This concept had its roots in certain beliefs held by the schools of anthropology, biology and physiology. These ideas were poised for use by the acceptance of earlier mystical concepts concerning race and destiny and given a platform on which to be organized and implemented by the political power structure of the Nazis. The belief systems of eugenics and mystical concepts provided the environment for the legitimization of mass murder. Psychiatry provided the methods.
People are exterminated for being, among other things, Jewish. They are attacked and killed on a genetic basis. As psychiatrists view mental illness as physical and hereditary, the ideas of genetics, the brain and physical/mental illness are inextricably entwined. The holocaust was essentially a medical/psychiatric incident.
After working with key Nazi party officials to subject the SS, other officials of the German Reich and the German public to an effective PR campaign which included using concepts of genetics, physiology and psychology to legitimize existing occult beliefs to view the killing of human beings as a necessary evolutionary step, psychiatrists and other "scientists" expanded the ongoing slaughter of Germans (they had been killing thousands of mental patients since WWI) to include political undesirables and, eventually, "nonAryans.î This resulted in the murder of millions of men, women and children. Much attention is given here to the psychiatric/eugenic holocaust for a number of reasons:
The political regime at the time in Germany gave psychiatrists the license to actually carry out on a broad basis what they had previously been permitted to execute only selectively on individual helpless mental patients. German psychiatrists were not ordered to murder people; they were simply given the right to do so, which they did, with enthusiasm. Through a gradient approach, these "mental hygienists" were able to expand their definition of "undesirable" people until the wholesale slaughter of tens of millions of innocent people could be accepted as necessary to "purify the race."
These ideas were not limited to Central Europe. Throughout the world, long before the holocaust, psychiatrists, psychologists and other "scientists" developed the ideas that led to murder, sterilization and experimentation. Those responsible for developing sterilization legislation in the U.S. disseminated their support to German's burgeoning laws. Later in France, over 40,000 mental patients were starved to death in a covert killing program without any orders from the Nazis.
It provides an excellent example of how far people will go in accepting false data cloaked in "scientific authority" and then stand by and witness the most outrageous acts, simply accepting them as a logical outgrowth legitimized by a progression of ideas. That the acts are contrary to every law of decent behavior and moral/ethical principals is overlooked. Even today, psychiatry is still allowed to shock, drug and otherwise torture psychiatric inmates.
German psychiatrists provided the scientific basis for the ideology of racial superiority and helped develop and forward the pseudosubject of "eugenics." All that was necessary to be a medical doctor in Germany at that time was to have a license that could be obtained by taking an examination. An actual doctorate was not necessary.
The ratio of SS affiliations among doctors was seven times that of teachers.
Mental illness, specifically "schizophrenia" was viewed by German psychiatrists as a physical disease, resulting in inevitable deterioration. German psychiatrists also saw themselves as servants of the state, rather than individual doctors.
"...you are incapable of believing, you don't believe it. And the things that went on in Auschwitz...the gas chambers nobody would have believed that. And then the houses that the crematoria had you know, brick houses, windows, curtains, white picket fences around the front. And people never thought of anything regardless of chimneys smoking. They could not believe it...There was a touch of diabolic genius."
One survivor details the extent of the doctor's involvement in the killing process. (From The Nazi Doctors by Jay Lifton): "He went on to list the series of steps in SS doctors' involvement in the killing: first, the chief doctor's assignments to his subordinates concerning duty schedules and immediate selections policies; second, the individual doctor's service on the ramp, performing selections 'in a very noble (seemingly kind) manner'; third, the doctor riding in the ambulance or Red Cross car to the crematoria; fourth, the doctor ordering 'how many (pellets) of gas should be thrown in...these holes from the ceilings, according to the number of people, and who should do it...There were three or four Desinfektoren'; fifth, 'He observed through the hole how the people are dying'; sixth, 'When the people were dead...he gave the order to ventilate...to open the gas chamber, and he came...with a gas mask into the chamber'; seventh, 'He signed a (form) that the people are dead...and how long it took'; and eighth, 'he... observed...the teeth...extraction (from) the corpses.' This was the survivor who concluded that 'the killing program was led by doctorsfrom the beginning to the end. In fact, doctors in the camps made selections at the moment people arrived at the camps, separating those who were to die to those who were to be allowed to live a while to labor in the camp. "
"...none of them, not a single former Nazi doctor I spoke to arrived at a clear ethical evaluation of what he had done, and what he had been part of." Liftonere was no tendency to defy the overall killing program, as it was viewed as a necessary biological purge.
"The state organism...(is) a whole with its own laws and rights, much like one selfcontained human organism...which, in the interest of the welfare of the whole, alsoas we doctors knowabandons and rejects parts or particles that have become worthless or dangerous."
Alfred Hoche, psychiatrist, Nazi Germany
"The most effective racepreserving measure is that which gives the greatest support to the natural defenses....We may and we must rely on the healthy instincts of the best of our people...for the extermination of elements of the population loaded with dregs. Otherwise, these deleterious mutations will permeate the body of the people like the cells of a cancer." Konrad Lorenz, lecturer in general psychology, University of Konigsberg, 1940, Nazi Germany
"I have employed definitions that are good enough to distinguish cults from genuine religious sects, but rather than undertaking a semantic discussion of it beyond what I've already given you, I prefer to ask myself within the medical model how one distinguishes malignant cells from healthy ones in the human body for the purpose of treatment. A good approach if you were interested in curing a cancer is to find a chemical that kills the malignant cells and spares those that are healthy. What would be the effect of a device or technique which, when applied by society to any organization calling itself religious would have no untoward effect upon bonafide religions, but would be deadly to the fakes?"
Louis Jolyon West, Psychiatrist, 1983, USA
The Director of the health institutions in Zwickau writes to the Minister of the Interior urging passage of a eugenic sterilization law. He says, "In a cultured nation of the first order, in the United States of America, that which we strive toward was introduced and tested long ago." The Minister of the Interior subsequently writes to the German Foreign office, asking for information regarding eugenic legislation in the United States. The Foreign Office contacts its embassy in Washington and requests are sent from there to German consulates throughout the United States. Data is forthcoming from US mental institutions, state governments and prisons. This information is forwarded to Washington and over to Berlin.
Adolf Hitler and General von Lootendorf lead an aborted coup to overthrow the Bavarian government. von Lootendorf says worship of an ancient Norse god is necessary for national salvation and that he is in psychic communion with the Nordic race soul.
Hitler, while in prison, reads a book by Drs. Fischer, Lenz and Baur, The Principals of Human Heredity and Race Hygiene. He explores the principals of eugenics and geopolitics which go hand in glove with his earlier exposure to mystical writings. He incorporates these ideas in his own book, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), in which he writes, ..."anyone who wants to cure this era, which is inwardly sick and rotten, must first of all summon up the courage to make clear the causes of this disease."
Carl Brigham, assistant professor of psychology at Princeton, publishes A Study of American Intelligence, working from a research grant from the Committee on Scientific Problems of Human Migration, part of the Division of Anthropology and Psychology of the National Research Council. He found that IQ of immigrants increased in proportion to the number of years of US residence. He decides this is due to a lower proportion of Nordic blood over the years, rather than an increased familiarization with cultural and educational factors. He goes on to develop the SAT test (still used to screen students for college) and is elected secretary of the American Psychological Association in the late 1920s.
Madison Grant is the principal signatory on a report by the Committee on Selective Immigration of the Eugenics Committee of the United States of America. The report states,..."Had mental tests been in operation (previously)...over 6,000,000 aliens now living in this country ...would never have been admitted..." Also on the committee is Edward L. Thorndike, professor of psychology at Columbia University and the most influential figure in shaping American elementary school education during the first half of the 20th century. Harry Laughlin delivers a lecture as a member of the committee, describing the desirable American traits of love of truth, inventiveness, common sense, artistic sense, love of beauty, responsibility, etc., as being "of a biological order."
Otto Rank develops the idea of "primal anxiety" stemming from separation of the child from the mother. He sees this as the basis for all subsequent "separation anxiety.î He develops "will therapy,î stressing reexperiencing birth. These ideas precede Janov's "primal therapy,î Orr's "rebirthing" and other similar socalled "pop psychology" methods of the late 60s and 70s.
Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf which contains statements such as, "Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unworthy must not perpetuate their suffering in the body of their children." In this book, Hitler praises the American Immigration Restriction Act of 1924.
The Edder Society is founded by Rudolph Goolslaben. He attempts to decipher ancient Islandic texts known as the Edder that are said to contain the secrets of the ancient Aryan godmen.
April, 1925 SS formed.
Dr. Cameron (see 1953-67) tries camphor, carbon dioxide gas, insulin and Metrozol to induce comas and convulsions in patients at a Canadian hospital.
1927-1933 Insulin shock is developed for use on psychiatric inmates.
Oliver Wendell Holmes writes a US Supreme court decision upholding the State of Virginia's decision to sterilize Carrie Buck, an 18 year old woman in an institution, to prevent her from having any more children.
Amphetamine sulphate is synthesized in America. The patent is sold to the Smith, Kline & French drug company.
E.K. Wickman writes Children's Behavior and Teacher's Attitudes, in which he points out that what teachers pass off as normal behavior is regarded by psychiatrists as signs of maladjustment and vice versa.
Hans Berger publishes the discovery of the EEG.
Eugene Gosney and Paul Popenoe write Sterilization for Human Betterment.
International Congress of Eugenics in Rome. Dr. Davenport of the USA, President of the International Foundation of Eugenic Organizations, sends Mussolini a telegram on the vital need for eugenics. He says "Maximum speed is necessary; the danger is enormous." Davenport later asks Fischer of Berlin to become Chairman of the Committee on Racial Crosses of the Foundation. In 1933, he asks him to become his successor. Fischer declines, and Rudin (Berlin) takes over.
1920s30s As a forerunner of the holocaust, mental hospitals in Germany are used as forced labor camps ("work therapy"), causing them to become profit centers (one hospital made 222,505 RM in profits in one year). These institutions are very much like concentration camps. If inmates are uncooperative, a series of shock treatments are prescribed (post 1938). If the patient views these shocks as punishment and not as therapy, this is viewed as evidence of insanity, so more shocks are prescribed. Courses of 60 shock treatments are not uncommon. With the help of the SS, the psychiatrists later simply expand these operations elsewhere to create the larger camps which include Gypsies, Jews, other "nonAryans" and other undesirables.
W. R. Hess devises a procedure to implant fine wires into the brains of cats, enabling him to selectively stimulate portions of the brain.
As a starting point for the lobotomy, Fulton and Jacobsen demonstrate that destruction of the frontal lobes of the brain results in diminishing "neurotic" behavior.
Ernst Rudin, professor of psychiatry at Munich and Director of the Department of Heredity at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, visits the US and is praised by leaders of the Carnegie Foundation. Later, using a U.S. model, he is the architect of Nazi Germany's sterilization law, and is supported in his work by a large grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Raymond Fuller and Mary Johnson conduct a study of New York mental hospitals covering three periods (190911; 191416; 191921. For every 100 patients, 35 were discharged (reported as improved); 7 remained unchanged; 42 died in the hospital; 16 remained in the hospital for the duration of the 16 year study.
Third International Congress of Eugenics is held in New York. The paper "Selective Sterilization for Race Culture" is presented, in which Dr. Theodore Russell Roble of the Essex County Mental Hygiene Clinic calls for the sterilization of at least 14,000,000 Americans who received low intelligence test scores since World War I.
Frankwood Williams seeks to redefine mental hygiene by claiming it should address infantile sexuality and the mental development of infants. He condemns the treatment of mental illness by "lay practitioners" such as psychologists, social workers, etc. (Up until the 1930s, any physician could, on request, be listed in the AMA directory as a specialist in psychiatry. When General Pershing, during WWI, requested something be done about the mental condition of replacement troops, sixweek "crash courses" in psychiatry were organized at several leading universities.)
Professor Fischer tells a member of National Socialist party "Your party has not been in existence nearly as long as our eugenic movement."
Smith, Kline & French introduce the benzedrine inhaler.
Thousands of European "undesirables," fleeing the Nazi eugenic death machine, attempt to find asylum in the United States. They are denied entry and returned to Germany because of US laws based on the same principals in use by the Nazis.
Sakel publishes the results of insulin shock "therapy."
30 Jan., 1933 Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of the Reich. Ernst Rudin, professor of psychiatry, praises Hitler, saying it is thanks to him that "the dream we have cherished for more than thirty years of seeing racial hygiene converted into action has become reality."
The Council on Medical Education calls a meeting between psychiatrists and neurologists to work out their differences. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology is established. They eventually decide that to be certified in both fields, separate examinations must be passed, and a physician must be "Board certified" to work in the field of mental illness in medical schools and large hospitals.
Dr. M. H. Goering, cousin of Marshal Hermann Goering, states that psychotherapists should make a serious scientific study of Hitler's Mein Kampf and recognize it as a basic work. This statement is published in Germany's "Journal of Psychotherapy," of which Carl Jung is the editor.
Madison Grant publishes Conquest of a Continent, a "racial history of the US." He sends copies to Mussolini, Nazi professor Dr. Eugen Fischer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for the Study of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin, Dr. Alfred Rosenberg (Hitler's chief scientific advisor) and Nazi race hygienist Dr. Fritz Lenz at the University of Munich.
Himmler creates Dachau in Germany on 20 March, 1933 as a place to send Communists, Social Democrats, etc.
Dr. Hyde's first psychiatric patient, Theodor Eicke, becomes commandant of Dachau and then overall inspector of concentration camps. Hyde is consulting neuropsychiatric expert for the Gestapo and conducts "psychiatric/neurologic and heredity research" on concentration camp inmates.
Dr. M. H. Goring (relative of Hermann Goring, Nazi leader) founds the New German Society for psychotherapy. Jung assumes the presidency. The society officially adopts the Nazi viewpoint on race, mental hygiene and psychiatry. The journal states, "This Society has the task of unifying all German physicians in the spirit of the National Socialistic government...particularly those physicians who are willing to practice psychiatry according to the 'Weltanschauung' of the National Socialists." Jung writes in the journal, "...The Jew, a cultural nomad, has never and probably will never create his own cultural forms because all his instincts and gifts depend on a more or less civilized host nation. The Aryan unconscious has a higher potential than the Jewish..." On June 21, 1933, Jung states on the Radio Berlin that, "Only the selfdevelopment of the individual, which I consider to be the supreme goal of all psychological endeavor, can produce consciously responsible spokesmen and leaders of the collective movement. As Hitler said recently, the leader must be able to be alone and must have the courage to go his own way."
14 July, 1933 Hitler puts into law the Nazi Act for Averting Descendants Afflicted with Hereditary Disease, which is based on H. H. Laughlin's US Model Eugenical Sterilization Law of 1922. Laughin receives an honorary degree from a German University (major Nazi research center on race purification) for his contribution to eugenics. Some figures of people who were slated to be surgically sterilized:
Congenital feeblemindedness: 200,000
Manic depressive: 20,000
Hereditary blindness: 4,000
Hereditary deafness: 16,000
Grave bodily malformation: 20,000
Hereditary alcoholism: 10,000
Fritz Lenz suggests sterilizing people with only slight symptoms of "mental disease," which at that time included about 20% of the German population (about 20,000,000 people). Martin Borman instructs in a directive that the person's moral and political behavior be taken into account when determining whether sterilization should take place. Estimate of people eventually sterilized under this law: approximately 375,000.
1933-45 According to the Central Association of Sterilized Persons in Germany in 1945, the total number of people sterilized under Hitler between 1933 1945 is 2,000,000. (The Journal of American Medical Association stated, regarding Nazi sterilization methods, that America had a "more gradual evolution of practice and principals" where sterilization was concerned.)
Beginning of metrazol convulsive treatment (25% camphor in olive oil).
Rudolph Hess says "National Socialism is nothing more than applied biology."
Dr. Lenz states "As things are now, it is only a minority of our fellow citizens who are so endowed that their unrestricted procreation is good for the race."
1934-1938 Mental hospitals in Germany are encouraged to neglect patients. Funds are reduced. Courses showing repulsive behavior of some inmates are given first to government officials and then to SS, party leaders, police, prison officials and the press. A PR campaign is run heavily to prepare for the upcoming mass killings. About 20,000 civilian and military personnel see indoctrinatory films and "case demonstrations."
Dr. Fischer gives the first course on eugenics for SS Doctors at Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.
As a prelude to theories about "hyperactive children" with "minimal brain dysfunction," a team of U.S. researchers publish an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, wherein they stress that short attention span, distractibility, etc., can be observed in people with no known brain damage or illness. They call the problem "organic drivenness" and decide it is due to something being wrong with the central nervous system.
A film is released called Tomorrowís Children, dramatizing the plight of a woman about to be involuntarily sterilized before marriage to prevent bad characteristics from being passed on to her children.
American eugenics doctors tour the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden.
California eugenics movement organizes an exhibition of the Nazi's eugenics program in Pasadena, California. Their newsletter describes the exhibition (called "The New Germany") as follows: "It portrays the general eugenics program of the Nazi government, giving special attention to the need for sterilization. Those who have seen this exhibit say it is the finest thing of the kind that has ever been produced. Take the opportunity to see this while in Los Angeles. Tell your friends about it."
Dr. Gerhardt Wagner, head physician of the Reich, discusses euthanasia with Hitler at the Nazi party congress in Nuremberg.
Hitler first tells Gerhard Wagner (chief physician of the Reich) of his plans for the official euthanasia program. Wagner is regarded as the "godfather of the euthanasia program."
Leo Kanner writes the first book in English on child psychiatry, "Child Psychiatry".
Metrozol shock therapy used by Joseph von Meduna, after experimenting with camphor.
Germans adopt a law requiring a medical examination before marriage and forbidding marriage between "Aryans" and Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, etc.
The SS Race and Resettlement Bureau is given the authority to control the marriages of the entire German civilian population. Himmler predicts that in 120 years the entire German population will be pureblooded Aryans.
French American Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel publishes "Man the Unknown" in which he advocates killing the "mentally ill and criminals" in "euthanasia" institutions. He writes, "Those who have murdered, robbed while armed...kidnapped children, despoiled the poor of their savings, misled the public in important matters, should be humanely and economically disposed of in small euthanasia institutions supplied with proper gases. A similar treatment could be advantageously applied to the insane, guilty of criminal acts."
Dr. Egaz Moniz, neurosurgeon, drills two holes in a woman's head (the first of seven) and injects alcohol directly into her brain. On the eighth patient, he uses a cutting device, severing the nerves. After 20 patients, he calls his operation lobotomy or, more formally, psychosurgery.
International Congress for Population Science in Berlin.
The Statistical Manual for the Use of Institutions for the Insane by The American Medico-Psychological Association is incorporated into the American Medical Association's Standard Classified Nomenclature of Disease.
A decree is issued from the German Ministry of the Interior that records be kept containing hereditary information on all patients in mental hospitals/ institutions.
1936-1965 Psychiatrist Franz J. Kallmann, born and educated in Germany, is a researcher at New York State Psychiatric Institute from '36 to '65, having worked for two years under the Nazis before coming to the U.S. in 1936. He is chief of psychiatric research at New York State Psychiatric beginning in 1952, when the CIA did LSD and Mescaline experiments there. Like Mengele, Kallmann is interested in twins and their genetic disposition. He focuses on this area concerning what he calls the "genetics of schizophrenia." Kallmann says in a lecture .î.it is desirable to extend prevention of reproduction to relatives of schizophrenics who stand out because of minor anomalies and, above all, to define each of them as being undesirable from the eugenic point of view at the beginning of their reproductive years."
University of Heidelberg stages a 550 year jubilee and invites delegations from all over the world. Representatives from eight American universities attend. Harry H. Laughlin and Foster Kennedy are among the guests who are sympathetic toward Nazi sterilization methods. Germany is invited to send representatives to Harvard for its 200th anniversary celebration.
In the first German sterilizations strictly on grounds of race, 500 children (the offspring of black soldiers) are sterilized.
Walter Freeman and James Watts introduce the lobotomy in the US.
Dr. Glueck is one of the first to urge the elimination of psychiatry from the courtroom.
Dr. Samuel Torrey Orton, neurologist, writes Reading, Writing and Speech Problems in Children stating that various language development problems in otherwise intelligent children result from the child's failure to develop "unilateral brain superiority" (total dominance of one side of the brain, indicated in part by left or right handedness righthandedness being preferable).
Blood from schizophrenic and melancholic patients is withdrawn and injected into other patient's frontal lobes.
Harry H. Laughlin and Frederick Osborn, American scientists who played leading roles in the American eugenics movement and supported Nazi racial policies, establish the Pioneer Fund, the primary beneficiary of which is textile magnate Wickliffe Draper. The Fund's purposes include encouraging, among other things, increased reproduction on the part of "white persons who settled in the original thirteen colonies" and research on "race betterment." (Today, the Pioneer Fund continues to support research into eugenics, immigration, race and heredity.)
All German "colored" children are ordered sterilized.
Onset of insulin therapy, broadly used in Germany. Suggested as an alternative to "fear therapy," i.e., the "surprise bath" and "swinging bed."
Amphetamines used to treat "hyperactive" children (US). A precursor to Ritalin, Charles Bradley of Rhode Island reports that Benzedrine causes a "spectacular change in behavior."
Dr. Earnest Hooten, Harvard, is quoted in the New York times as saying "compulsory sterilization alone would serve in the case of the insane and mentally deficient, but it is very difficult to enforce such a measure in a democracy, unless it has been preceded by an educational campaign...a biological purge is the essential prerequisite for a social and spiritual salvation."
Madison Grant's Conquest of a Continent ("Racial History of the US") is published in Berlin. It is greeted by Dr. Eugen Fisher with "No one has as much reason to note the work of this man with the keenest of attention as does a German of todayin a time when the racial idea has become one of the chief foundations of the National Socialist State's population policies."
In America, the Eugenics Record Office and the Eugenics Research Association send a filer to 3,000 U.S. high schools, encouraging the screening of an English version of the Nazi propaganda film Erbkrank ("Hereditary Defective"). The film plays 28 times in 1937-38.
Leading government personnel and psychiatrists discuss elimination of the mentally ill (Germany). Leading psychiatrists Max de Crinis (professor and chairman of the department of psychiatry at Berlin University and later supervisor of killing center at Sonnenstein), Mau, Kihn, Pohlisch and Schneider get together with anthropologists and two directors of mental hospitals to draft a formal law concerning euthanasia.
Cerletti and Bini develop ECT and do the first actual ECT on a human in Italy, after learning that pigs in slaughterhouses were not killed but merely stunned by electric current before they are slaughtered.
German born and educated US psychiatrist Franz Kallman calls for the "legal power" to sterilize "tainted children and siblings of schizophrenics" and to prevent marriages involving "schizoid eccentrics and borderline cases."
Hitler asks Carl Brandt, his personal physician, to appoint an advisory board to devise a program for the killing of disabled children. The program is administered out of Hitler's private chancellory.
An interview with Carl Jung is published in Hearst's InternationalCosmopolitan. In it, he calls Mussolini a man of style and good taste who was "warm and human." About Hitler, he says, "There is no question but that Hitler belongs in the category of the truly mystic medicine man. As somebody commented about him at the last Nuremberg party congress, since the time of Mohammed nothing like it has been seen in this world. This markedly mystic characteristic of Hitler's is what makes him do things which seem to us illogical, inexplicable, curious and unreasonable...So you see, Hitler is a medicine man, a form of a spiritual vessel, a demidiety or, even better, a myth."
In July most of the heads of psychiatry departments in German universities and almost all heads of German mental hospitals are formally briefed at the Chancellery in Berlin. They are instructed by the current head of the SS, Viktor Brack, that all insane people in Germany are to be killed by "euthanasia." Those in attendance are asked to participate and agree to do so, except for Professor Ewald of Gottingen. The general response of the psychiatrists present is recorded as: "Nobody mentioned any misgivings." Ten to fifteen doctors, with other SS personnel, organize the "National Group for Study of Sanatoria and Nursing Homes," the "Foundation of the Care of Institutions in the Public Interest," and the "Limited Company for the Transport of Invalids in the Public Interest" to begin execution of the killing program. Hitler's advisors calculate initially that out of 1,000 Germans, 10 are mentally ill. 5 will enter a psychiatric hospital and of these 5, one must die. The number calculated is between 65,000 and 70,000.
In August, Hitler's chancellory issues a statement saying children up to age 3 who are retarded or deformed must be registered by midwives or physicians. A questionnaire is to be filled out describing their disability. 3 physicians decide the life or death of the child without examining them. At over 30 special clinics, selected children are killed by injection and starvation.
September 1st: Hitler begins the second World War and backdates a letter concerning euthanasia to the same date. He writes, "Reichsleiter Bouhler and Dr. Brandt are entrusted with the responsibility of extending the rights of specially designated physicians, such that patients who are judged incurable after the most thorough review of their condition which is possible can be granted mercy killing." A panel of experts is appointed to review the death applications. The panel of at least 20 includes Drs. Heyde, Mauz, Nitsche (editor of the Journal of Mental Hygiene), Panse, Pohlisch, Reisch, Schneider (professor of psychiatry at University of Heidelberg and teacher of killing procedures to younger psychiatrists), Werner Villinger 7 (professor of psychiatry at the University of Breslau) and Zucker all psychiatrists. They are paid a certain amount per application. There are 283,000 initial applications to be processed. At least 75,000 are marked for death.
Spring: Hitler sets up the Reich Committee for Scientific Research of Heredity and Severe Constitutional Diseases for the purpose of selecting and killing children who are "mentally ill," "mentally deficient," and physically deformed. (Later, in 1948, the director of one institution was convicted of killing at least 120 children, some personally. He is sentenced to six years in prison, of which he serves two.) Fredric Wertham writes in his book, A Sign for Cain, "The children slated for death were sent to special 'children's divisions', first Goerden, then Eichberg, Idstein, Steinhof (near Vienna), and Eglfing. They were killed mostly by increasing doses of Luminal or other drugs either spoon-fed as medicine or mixed with their food. Their dying lasted for days, sometimes weeks. In actual practice, the indications for killing actually became wider and wider. Included were children who had 'badly modeled ears', who were bed wetters, or who were perfectly healthy but designated as 'difficult to educate'. The children coming under the Reich Commission were originally mostly infants. The age was then increased from three years to seventeen years..."
Nazi psychiatrist Herman Pfanmuller (a Sturmbannfuehrer (major) in the SS) develops a method of starving infants to death slowly, rather than killing them with medication.
Inmates of mental hospitals are shot to make room for German troops. This practice continues until these hospitals are effectively cleaned out by 1941. Psychiatric extermination facilities are set up in Pomerania. People are killed by gas, shooting, drugs, injections and starvation.
Werner Catel, professor of psychiatry at Leipzig clinic, Hans Heinze, Ernst Wentzler, pediatric psychiatrist and others form a committee to decide which children should be put to death. They emphasize putting newborns to sleep "as soon as possible." This project is referred to as the "Special Psychiatric Youth Department." Included in the category of children to be killed are "juvenile delinquents" and "minor Jewish Aryan halfbreeds." After the war, Dr. Catel works as professor of pediatrics and head of the pediatric clinic at the University of Kiel until the 1960s.
Through the Reich Chancellery and the Ministry of the Interior, Hitler officially extends killing to adult mental patients, choosing prominent psychiatrists to run the program called T4. "T4" is the code name for the project located at 4 Tiergartenstrasse in Berlin. In May, the Committee for the Scientific Treatment of Severe and Genetically Determined Illness is formed at 4 Tiergartenstrasse to study how to set up a euthanasia program. Dr. Herbert Linden, commissioner of all the psychiatric institutions in Germany, represents the Ministry of the Interior. This program eventually involves virtually the entire German psychiatric community. Four categories are specified for killings:
1. Patients suffering from specified diseases...schizophrenia, epilepsy, senile diseases, therapyresistant paralysis...feeblemindedness from any cause...other neurological conditions of a terminal nature.
2. Patients who have been continually institutionalized for at least five years.
3. Patients in custody as criminally insane.
4. Patients who are not German citizens, or are not of German or kindred blood.
Six main killing centers are established, using converted nursing homes or hospitals. Hitler decides to use carbon monoxide on the advice of Dr. Werner Heyde, psychiatrist.
Fourth International Congress for Racial Hygiene and Eugenics in Vienna.
In January, gassing of mental patients begins, using carbon monoxide gas in fake showers in a psychiatric hospital near Berlin. By Sept., 70,723 have died. A nurse involved in these proceedings testifies later that..."Herr Schwenninger was in charge of our convoys and kept lists of the names of patients who were to be transferred.... The patients we transferred were not the worst cases.... but very often in good physical condition....On the arrival of the patients at Grafeneck, they were taken to the huts there and briefly examined by Drs. Schumann and Baumhardt on the lines of the questionnaires. These two doctors gave the final decision whether a patient was to be gassed or not. In certain cases gassing was postponed. But the majority of the patients were killed within twentyfour hours of arriving at Grafeneck. I was there nearly a year and know of only a few cases in which patients were not gassed. As a rule they were given, before gassing, an injection of 2 c.c. of morphine and scopolamine. These injections were given by the doctor. The gassing was undertaken by certain picked men. Some of the corpses were dissected by Dr. Hennecke. Some idiotic children between 6 and 13 years old were also included in the program. After Grafeneck was closed I went to Hadamar and remained there until 1943....About seventyfive patients were killed daily. From Hadamar I was transferred to Irrsee, near Kaufbeuren, where I continued with this work...This program was carried on until the collapse of Germany." Horst Schumann headed the killing center at Grafeneck. He also assisted in extermination and experiments on Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz.
Approximately 30,000 people are killed at Hartheim, Austria, one of the betterknown killing centers. Simon Wiesenthal describes these kind of centers as "regular schools for mass murderers," producing "special cadres of technically skilled and emotionally hardened executioners." Of Hartheim, he writes, "Hartheim was organized like a medical school except that the 'students' were not taught to save human life but to destroy it as efficiently as possible. The deaths of the victims were clinically studied, precisely photographed, scientific-ally perfected. (At later trials in Germany it was proven that at the death camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka special photographers also made pictures of people being killed.) Various mixtures of gasses were tried out to find the most effective one. Doctors with stopwatches would observe the dying patients through the peephole in the cellar door at Castle Hartheim, and the length of the death struggle was clocked to one tenth of a second. Victims' brains were photographed to see exactly when death had occurred.
Himmler receives a report that 6,400 Germans and Polish mental patients have been shot in one extermination program.
In July, Dr. Jaspersen of Bethel tries to get the heads of departments of psychiatry in German universities to make a protest against euthanasia. He receives no support.
In May, 1,558 mental patients are gassed in vans in a two week period in Soldau. SS officers wear white coats and carry stethoscopes (a common practice to medicalize the slaughter.)
1930s-1940s The term "mental hygiene" is gradually replaced by "mental health" because of the public equation of "mental hygiene" with "mental illness." Stress is put on "health" which includes prevention as well as treatment of "illness." This expands psychiatric influence into virtually all areas of society. The fact that there is no agreedupon definition of "mental health" causes conflict within the mental health groups.
Dr. Schaltenbrand, German neurologist, reports the transmission of monkey encephalitis to mental patients.
1940s Hydrotherapy is in use since the 1800s. Dipping in cold water, restraining a person in a canvas covered bathtub for 1 to 12 hours with continuously flowing water; pouring buckets of water over a person's head; submerging the chair-bound person under water repeatedly; directing jets of water at the person; wrapping a person in sheets and blankets for several hours at a time, either cold (60 f or hot 130 145 f); alternating jets of hot and cold water; enemas.
1940s-1950s U.S. "Mental hygiene" groups begin using the media to publicize their viewpoint and advertise the need for increased funding for psychiatry. After the posting of the first full time PR person in 1944, mental health subjects are covered in radio, TV, films and plays.
Bennett introduces the use of curare during ECT to minimize fractures.
Intense strobe lights on sedated subjects are introduced to produce convulsions. Called "photoshock," it involves producing a convulsion from intense flashes of light at 15 times per second.
1940s Electronarcosis used as a treatment for mental illness. Current in convulsive or subconvulsive amounts is applied to the head for about 30 seconds. When natural breathing is resumed, current in reduced amounts prolongs the relatively brief coma that always follows shock treatment to 5 to 20 minutes or longer.
1940s Approximately 40,000 mental patients in France starve to death. The French psychiatrists readily follow the German example of covert euthanasia without being ordered to do so.
Lothrop Stoddard, American eugenicist and author of "The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy", praised by President Herbert Hoover, meets with Himmler and other top Nazi officials. He states that the "Jews problem" is "already settled in principle and soon to be settled in fact by the physical elimination of the Jews themselves from the Third Reich." He says the Nazis are "weeding out the worst strains in the Germanic stock in a scientific and truly humanitarian way."
German psychiatrists train the Nazi SS on mass murder techniques they learned from experimenting on mental patients. The program is extended to Dachau and other camps under the code name of 14f13. Himmler uses experienced psychiatrists to go to camps and eliminate "asocial elements" "excess prisoners." This was officially called Operation 14f13. Physicians push for widespread extermination of inmates, while some concentration camp personnel try to keep people alive to help the war effort. Doctors have the responsibility for killing at the camps, using methods they perfected on mental patients. "Medicalization" legitimizes widespread extermination. Reich Interior Minister orders that all Jews in German mental hospitals be killed. Roving bands of T4 commissions select those too ill to work & Jews and Gypsies in camps and send them to gas chambers at the psychiatric hospitals.
Hadamar (psychiatric killing institution) has a special celebration to commemorate the cremation of "mental patient" number 10,000. The entire staff participates and each receives a bottle of beer.
In Massachusetts, inmates are placed in "mummy bags" which are refrigerated to lower their body temperatures in hypothermia experiments.
Viktor Brack, one of the heads of the euthanasia program, sends a report to Himmler stating how XRays can be used to sterilize people.
I.G. Farben Industries (manufacturer of synthetic oil and rubber) chooses a site near Auschwitz because of the accessibility of slave labor. The overall operation is known as I. G. Auschwitz. Other large firms follow suit. I.G. Farben controls the firm that produces gas used by medical personnel in the camps. This begins the use of gas for mass exterminations outside of psychiatric hospitals. I.G. Farben pays the SS a labor fee of 3 Reichsmarks a day for each inmate; 1 Reichsmarks a day for children. By September, 1942, I.G. Farben is running its own concentration camp. At Auschwitz, gassing is initially tested on 600 Russian prisoners of war and 200 hospital patients. Labor camps are converted to killing centers. Gas chambers are dismantled and reassembled at these camps. T4 personnel accompany them, their salaries paid by Hitler's private chancellory.
90,000 German psychiatric patients are murdered; 71,000 in hospital gas chambers.
Blowing up mental patients with explosives is tried. This method is abandoned as needing too much cleaning up.
Hitler officially orders the general euthanasia program terminated due to an outcry from churches and public, but it in fact increases, with more and older children being killed. Over 5,000 children are killed. Various psychiatric methods are used to "treat" children including beatings and electric shock for bedwetting. In August, the killing of mental patients by gas stops and death by starvation, drugs and failure to treat infectious disease begins (covert euthanasia). Approximately 300,000 mental patients are eventually killed by gassing, injection and starvation under this official program. Many thousands were murdered previously by covert means. Many institutions in Germany (e.g., Berlin, Silesia, Baden, Saxony and Austria) are closed entirely, as all the patients are liquidated. Approximately 100,000 German mental patients starve to death after the "end" of the euthanasia program. No resistance is voiced to the killing program from the psychiatric community. A killing center is dismantled and reassembled in the East. The murder continues but more quietly, up until and even briefly after the German surrender. 10
December 10, Himmler orders the Doctors involved in the euthanasia campaign to "comb out" prisoners in concentration camps for killing. Among those involved are psychiatrists Heyde, Nitsche and others.
U.S. psychiatrist Foster Kennedy writes in the journal of the American Psychiatric Association that retarded and "utterly unfit" children should be killed to save money and emotional trauma for the parents.
Psychiatrist Eberl is appointed as the head of Treblinka concentration camp.
U.S. psychiatrists experiment with hypothermia or "refrigeration therapy" on mental patients, publishing their results in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases. 16 people are placed in cabinets on a mattress covered with sheets for up to 120 hours (5 days), with their body temperature as low as 81.8 F. The authors describe the treatment results as, "...prolonged mental retardation and physical decay bordering on cachexia (general ill health, with emaciation) occurred in the survivors." Two deaths occurred from pneumonia. Another patient died 2 months after the treatment. These experiments predate the German ones cited in the Nuremberg trials.
In December, Psychiatrist Schneider runs a research ward where idiots and epileptics are marked for death and their brains studied.
1940s Electroshock is given to mentally ill and nonmentally ill alike in German camps. Experiments are done on men, women and children, with some prisoner physicians assisting. Mengele performs experiments with twins, sometimes killing the children at the conclusion. Other medical experiments include: (from Nazi Doctors by Lifton) "artificially induced burns with phosphorous incendiary bombs; experiments on the effects of drinking sea water; experiments with various forms of poison, by ingestion as well as in bullets or arrows; widespread experiments on artificially induced typhus, as well as with epidemic hepatitis and with malaria; experiments in cold immersion ('in freezing water') to determine the body's reactions and susceptibilities; experiments with mustard gas in order to study the kinds of wounds it can cause; experiments in the regeneration of bone, muscle, nerve tissue, and on bone transplantation, involving removal of various bones, muscles, and nerves from healthy women."
January 14: a team from the mental patient euthanasia program (2030 people) move into the extermination site at Chelmno and activate a killing program for Polish Jews and Gypsies. Methods used in T4 and 14f13 euthanasia projects are extended to expand the genocide. The killing of the weak and diseased or mentally incompetent in camps is simply expanded to include anyone viewed as undesirable, setting the stage for the "final solution" in an attempt to eliminate all Jews and other "nonAryans." Interestingly, suicide in these camps is forbidden and considered a serious breach of discipline.
Approximately 1,000 prisoners in Germany are subjected to Xray castrations.
In May, the policy of exterminating people unable to work begins with an order from the camp physician of Auschwitz.
First autopsy report of brain damage from ECT.
Bini suggests the repetition of ECT many times a day, naming the method "annihilation therapy."
Greenburg and Spiegal use sodium pentothal on North African pilots and call it "narcosynthesis."
A. Hoffman, a Swiss chemist, develops LSD, lauded by many psychiatrists as being useful in understanding psychosis. (Later, in the 1980s, many psychiatrists will view the drug "ecstasy" in the same light).
Nazi psychiatrist Pfannmuller establishes two starvation houses for adults.
German chemists develop a substitute for morphine, called dolophine (now known as methadone).
Sir Cyril Burt, a British psychometrician, is convinced that intelligence is genetically transmitted. He uses his influence to help establish the English General Education Act which requires a school system whereby children are channeled according to test performance. Large numbers of English school children are denied higher education and thus middle class occupations because of this system, which holds with Burt's theory that intelligence is fixed and innate.
Dr. Gelny, director of the MauerOhling institution in Austria, kills many mental patients with electroshock, including one at a demonstration at a psychiatric congress.
Lancet, a major British medical journal, publishes "Sterilization of the Insane in the USA." The article, based on information from the Journal of the American Medical Association, cites roughly 42,000 cases of sterilization between 1941 1943. California leads all states with 10,000. Among the victims: "Insane" 20,600; "Feeble Minded" 20,453. 1945 To date, at least 400,000 Germans have been sterilized.
May, 8: (quote from Murderous Science by Benno MullerHill) "The war comes to an end. The survivors of the concentration camps are saved. Five to six million European Jews are dead. The number of European Gypsies who have been murdered is unknown. In German mental hospitals, the fifteen per cent of patients who have survived continue to suffer from hunger. The number of murdered psychopaths, asocial individuals, and homosexuals is unknown. The anthropologists and psychiatrists involved will say that they had not known anything about it. Some are sentenced by courts, others commit suicide. The rest go back to work rebuilding their science. The world goes on its way." (At the German surrender, a Dr. Ewald hides some 50 psychiatrists in his hospital who were implicated in the killing program, letting them work there under low profile.)
Psychiatrist G. Brock Chisholm, CoFounder of the World Federation of Mental Health says "The reinterpretation and eventually eradication of the concept of right and wrong...these are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy." "If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil, it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility." "Psychiatry must now decide what is to be the immediate future of the human race. No one else can..."
US National Mental Health Act signed.
1946-55: 100,000 people receive psychosurgery, half of them in the US.
1947 Karl Brandt testifies at Nuremberg that many of the Nazi ideas regarding sterilization were based on writings from the United States, and France (i.e., Alexis Carrel's Man the Unknown) and points out that from 1899 to 1907 176 mentally deficient people were sterilized in a prison in Indiana.
Life magazine article showing general bad conditions in mental hospitals.
Doctor's trial at Nuremburg. Dr. Pfannmuller, psychiatrist and director of the state institution in Germany where many children were starved to death testifies "...euthanasia... had, in my view, nothing to do with National Socialism ....the ideas from which (euthanasia) arose are centuries old."
A child aged 34 months receives a series of 20 electroshocks because of "distressing anxiety" and for being "mute and autistic." He is discharged one month later with "moderate improvement."
Psychiatrist Edwin Katzenellenbogen, a former member of the faculty of Harvard Medical School, is convicted and sentenced to life for war crimes he committed as a doctor at Buchenwald. During the Nuremburg trials, he testifies he "drafted for the governor the law for sterilization of epileptics, criminals and incurably insane for the state of New Jersey, following the state of Indiana which first introduced the law in 1910."
Testimony at Nuremberg includes the following by Dr. Mennecke regarding procedures at Dachau and Buchenwald:
A. "I had to examine the prisoners brought before me to determine whether they were psychotic or psychopathological cases.
Q. So at first it was a matter of people of unsound mind?
A. It was a medical matter.
Q. Then later it became a political and racial matter?
A. Yes. But in addition to the political and racial aspects of the matter I had also, even at this later stage, to take purely medical decisions.
Q. So at that time you had two kinds of cases to deal with, those of persons of unsound mind, who were judged on medical grounds, and those who were to be judged on political and racial grounds?
A. It was not possible to make any distinction, learned Counsel. There was no question of any definite separation between the two.
Q. Do you mean that when you examined a large number of Jews you certified them all as being of unsound mind?
A. I have already expressed my view that they were neither at all sick nor of unsound mind either."
In an affidavit signed by psychiatrist Dr. Muthig, Senior doctor at Dachau, he states, "four psychiatrists occupied four separate tables in two huts and interviewed several hundred prisoners. The incapacity of the prisoners for work and their political activities were checked and they were registered accordingly....The examination consisted merely of checking their papers in their presence. The men registered during these proceedings were of German and other nationalities or else Jews. I can state with absolute certainty that (psychiatrist) Professor Heyde directed the proceedings and was present at them."
The Chairman of the German Medical Committee of American Tribunal I at Nuremberg collects documentary evidence concerning doctors' involvement in medical atrocities in Nazi Germany. A pamphlet is published concerning this called The Cynical Dictatorship, of which 10,000 copies are printed and distributed to the medical/psychiatric profession. The only response to the pamphlet is from the World Health Organization, which found "(the) records showed German doctors as a profession to have been unconnected with the crimes committed by the dictatorship. The Organization therefore readmitted them to its ranks." At these trials, Nazi racial hygienists are not tried for the forced sterilization of over 400,000 Germans. A group of prosecutors attempts to show the mass killings of handicapped people and concentration camp experiments were completely separate from "genuine eugenics" and that the US military tried to recruit some of the German doctors involved for military research
ECT reported used on children as young as 4 years old.
Electrodes are placed at specific locations in the brains of mental patients to produce lesions in an attempt to more precisely localize the destruction of brain tissue in psychosurgery.
Doctors are found guilty of conducting tests on inmates in Nazi Germany (freezing, etc.)