L 7: From Eugenics to Euthanasia
by Prof. H. Marcuse, UCSB, Oct. 14, 2003
What caused Kristallnacht?
(What caused doctors to murder patients?)
- proposals due (more topic ideas: Wave, a-bomb)
- Kristallnacht: motivation vs. cause vs. effect (diplomacy & persecution,
- Eugenics, euthanasia & the role of science
- Admin: comments & return J1+2,Q1 (roll) field trip, grading, grammar;
Causes, Goals, & Motivations
- Why does something happen?
- cause: forces it to happen ("push")
longer term vs. immediate
- precondition: allows it to happen
("necessary but not sufficient")
- motivation (people=agents only):
goal they want to achieve ("pull", in order to)
- Example: Why am I teaching you?
- Cause: my contract says so; events in my career
- Motivation: pleasure of teaching, to earn money
- conditions: existence and role of college educat.
Causes of Kristallnacht?
- Grynszpan assassinated vom Rath in Paris
- H.G. received a letter from his parents
- H.G. wanted to make a public statement
- Poland wouldn't accept G's family
- Poland was antisemitic
- Poland did have jobs for returning emigrants
- Why did G's parents have to go to Poland?
- expelled from Germany
- no other place to go (world didn't respond)
- Why were they expelled from Germany?
- because Hitler (and Goebbels) hated them
- because Germans hated them
- to steal their assets (and fund rearmament)
- to purify German society
- bureaucrats wanted to impress Hitler
- bureaucrats wanted to outdo each other
A model of historical causes: EIEO
- Question: What factors played a role in causing the Holocaust? In allowing
it to happen?
In general, what things play a role in allowing and making historical events
5 broad categories, interconnected:
- Economic factors (Marxism: these underlie all others)
- International factors (diplomacy, intervention)
- Elites (behavior of groups w/ special access to power)
- Ideology/Information/Media: perception of the world
- "Opposition": people, human agents
- "background" of culture and institutions
- Eugenics ('good origin'):
- improvement of offspring
- possible since Darwin, esp. since 1890s
- textbook: popular in U.S.!
- Euthanasia ('good killing'):
- killing the painfully, incurably ill
- Nazi: killing the racially unfit
(for eugenic reasons)
- T4: abbr. for Tiergartenstrasse 4
(address of Reich Health Office in Berlin)
Why did doctors murder? (Questions for film tonight)
- Field trip Sunday, Nov. 2, 8am - 6pm
- how many will drive from here, room for …?
- how many will be in LA?
- how many want to be excused?
- Films tonight (volunteer?):
- "Selling Murder" by historian Michael Burleigh
1993 Discovery Channel, 44 mins.
- "Nazi Designers of Death" by R-J van Pelt
(book Auschwitz, 1270-present), 55 mins.
bureaucrats made it possible
Film Selling Murder
- Town of Hadamar, north of Frankfurt
- "Devereaux"-like institution there
- 6 Nazi propaganda films
- 1935: Was Du Erbst, Erbkrank (What you inherit, Hereditarily ill)
- 1937: Opfer der Vergangenheit (Victims of Past)
special commission, shown in all cinemas
- 1939: Existence without Life (Mentally Ill)
commissioned by T4 staff, start of murders
- 1941: Ich klage an (I Accuse)
feature film with famous actors, 18mio viewers!
Journals and grading
- check + vs. check +(-) vs. check +(+)
3 pts, 2.5pts, 3.5pts.
prepared for web by H. Marcuse, Oct. 18, 2003
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