Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hitler Tamed?

In the The New York Times on this day in 1924, that august paper said Hitler was "tamed by prison" and was now a "much wiser man."

In fact he was as crazy as a bedbug and would, soon enough, be corresponding with eugenicist and veterinarian Leon F. Whitney whose proposal for mass sterilization he thought a grand idea.  

And the idea for the gas chambers?  That too came from the world of dogs.

In 1935 Alexis Carrell, the French scientist who had won the 1912 Nobel Prize for medicine, published a best-selling book entitled L'Homme, Cet Inconnu (Man, The Unknown) which took Whitney's ideas one step further, advocating a forced eugenics system to be controlled by the state, and facilitated by gas chambers.

"A euthanasia establishment, equipped with a suitable gas, would allow the humanitarian and economic disposal of those who have killed, committed armed robbery, kidnapped children, robbed the poor or seriously betrayed public confidence.... Would the same system not be appropriate for lunatics who have committed criminal acts?"

In the 1936 edition of the same book, Carrel praised the Third Reich's eugenics policies, and noted that more could be achieved if they used gas chambers. Later, when questioned by a magazine interviewer about his theories, Carrel explained in a rather matter-of-fact way:
"Perhaps it would be effective to kill off the worst and keep the best, as we do in the breeding of dogs."

Of course, the Kennel Clubs still salute this line of thinking. They are obsessed with breed "purity" and looks, rather than function, brains, or health, and they think the way forward is through sterilization and euthanasia. None of that is an accident.

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