The Nazi Plan Step 2

This is part 4 of my thoughts from The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton (click here to see it on  Click here to read part 3.

The second step of the Nazi plan that Dr. Lifton identified was the killing of “impaired” children in hospitals. It started innocently enough, midwives and physicians were asked to completed reports at the time of birth. The first reports asked for information where “‘serious hereditary diseases’ were ‘suspected’: idiocy and mongolism (especially when associated with blindness and deafness); microcephaly; hydrocephaly; malformations of all kinds, especially of limbs, head, and spinal columns; and paralysis, including spastic conditions.”(52)

Children who were labelled with a hereditary disease were continually evaluated until they eventually arrived in special wards “whose chiefs and prominent doctors were known to be politically reliable and ‘positive’ toward the goals of the Reich Committee.'”(53) The children were eventually killed in those wards.

Why did parents allow this to happen to their children? How can someone convince a parent that it would be better to kill his child than to let the child live? They used the idea where healing and killing were reversed. Lifton writes (54):

A doctor could tell a parent that “it might be necessary to perform a surgical operation that could possibly have an unfavorable result,” or explain that “the ordinary therapy employed until now could no longer help their child so that extraordinary therapeutic measures have to be taken.” Dr. Heinze, who used such phrases with parents, explained in court testimony that there had been truth to what he said: “A very excitable child . . . completely idiotic . . . could not be kept   quiet with the normal dose of sedatives,” so that “an overdose . . . had to be used in order to . . . avoid endangering itself through its own restlessness.” At the same time, “we physicians know that such an overdose of sedative, for children usually luminal . . . could cause pneumonia . . . and that this is virtually incurable.”

“Horrible,” you think to yourself. “Unconscionable,” you suggest. What if you were told that this happens everyday today in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom? What if you were told that anywhere between 85 to 92 percent of the babies diagnosed with Downs Syndrome in the U.S. were aborted? (Click here, here, or here for more information.) What if you were told that during the in vitro fertilization procedure, preimplantation genetic diagnosis is conducted on the embryo and those with Down Syndrome or some other genetic disease were discarded? (Click here for a recent article.)

Make no mistake, step 2 of the Nazi plan is alive and well as we abort babies or discard embryos just because they have some sort of genetic disease.

And don’t forget about making killing sound like healing. For example, how do pro-aborts talk about abortions and abortion-inducing drugs? They are considered as part of women’s healthcare. Opponents of abortion or mandatory insurance coverage for possible abortion-inducing drugs (e.g. Ella, Plan B, morning after pill) are vilified by the media and by pro-aborts as not caring for women’s health.

And how do the supporters of physician assisted suicide get it legalized? By saying this is a medical treatment that will help end the suffering of the patient. In physician assisted suicide, the person wanting to die gets a prescription that basically is an overdose of painkillers or sedatives. Does that sound familiar?

Yes, the tactics that the Nazis employed are still in use by those who want society to embrace death as a cure.

Update July 19, 2012.

The Nazi Plan

This is part 3 of my thoughts from The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton (click here to see it on  Click here to read part 2.

In order to rid the Volk of this disease, Dr. Lifton identified five distinctive steps in the Nazis process (21):

  1. Coercive sterilization of those deemed less “desirable”
  2. The killing of “impaired” children in hospitals
  3. The killing of “impaired” adults in centers especially equipped with carbon monoxide gas
  4. The killing of “impaired” inmates of concentration and extermination camps
  5. Mass killings in the extermination camps

Most people that I’ve related these five steps outlined here are repulsed by the thought that any government would sanction these actions. But of course, we’re doing it today in the U.S. I’ll make the connections for you in subsequent posts but I’ll start here with Step 1: Coercive sterilization.

Many states in the U.S. had passed forced sterilization laws in the early 1900’s. Some of these states kept enforcing these laws into the 1970’s. Read recent news articles about the eugenic past of the U.S. by clicking here to read about forced sterilization in North Carolina or clicking here to read about forced sterilization in Washington.

The difference between Nazi Germany and the rest of the world was that the Nazis went on to steps 2-5 and the rest of the world didn’t, or did they?

Stayed tuned to see how we kill “impaired” children today. (Click here to read part 4.)

Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, Part 2

This is part 2 of my thoughts from The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton (click here to see it on  Click here to read part 1.

The inculcation of genocide into the medical professional’s psyche was methodical. It began with dehumanizing the perceived “enemy” of the state: the Jews. Lifton wrote: “At the heart of the Nazi enterprise, then, is the destruction of the boundary between healing and killing” (14). He then recounts a discussion between a survivor physician and a Nazi doctor (15ff):

But there is another perspective on medicalized killing that I believe to be insufficiently recognized: killing as a therapeutic imperative. That kind of motivation was revealed in the words of a Nazi doctor quoted by the distinguished survivor physician Dr. Ella Lingens-Reiner. Pointing to the chimneys in the distance, she asked a Nazi doctor, Fritz Klein, “How can you reconcile that with your [Hippocratic] oath as a doctor?” His answer was, “Of course I am a doctor and I want to preserve life. And out of respect for human life, I would remove a gangrenous appendix from a diseased body. The Jew is the gangrenous appendix in the body of mankind.”

Isn’t that exactly what we have today in the abortion industry? In fact, abortion and abortifacients are often sold to the public as “women’s healthcare” because the easiest way to get people to support what you want is to tell them that you’re trying to help them. By calling abortion and abortifacients a part of women’s healthcare a wall is built so that those who are pro-abortion care for women and those who are against abortion do not care for women.

But the reality in Nazi Germany was the leaders, the perpetrators of the ideology, didn’t want to help anyone but themselves and those that were caught up in it (the doctors) didn’t even realize what had happened to their view of reality.

Click here to read about the five identifiable steps to the Nazi plan in part 3.

Updated July 16, 2012.

Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, Part 1

Yes, it’s true…after seven years, I finished reading The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton (click here to see it on  I began reading this book because I had just started working at Lutherans For Life and I wanted to see if I could gain more insight into how doctors, nurses, and others in the medical profession could take part in abortions.

If you’re not familiar with the book, I highly recommend it for two reasons. The first is that although everyone knows that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, most people don’t know that non-Jews were also killed en masse. Most people also don’t know of the breadth of medical experiments that were perpetrated on unwilling subjects. It’s important for each of us to understand how the sinful human self can so easily overtake whatever “goodness” we think is inside us.

The second reason why I recommend this book is that Lifton (a psychiatrist) attempted to unravel the psychology of those who were for the most part, normal, everyday doctors outside of concentration and extermination camps of Nazi Germany. One example is a doctor who had a private practice in his hometown that helped Jews at night prior to his posting at Auschwitz, but after arriving at Auschwitz, he easily took part in the experiments on Jewish prisoners and selections of Jews for death.

There really is too much to cover in a blog, but I wanted to highlight some of the things that struck me, even as I think about today’s medical professionals who take part in abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicides. I saw many parallels in what happened 70 years ago and what is happening in our society today.

Lifton identified that post WW I Germany was a beaten down and depressed state. From that situation arose a new collective desire to restore the people and to rid the people of its problems. Not wanting to identify the German people (the Volk) as the cause of their own misery, the Nazis created a mythical ancestor, the Aryan race, that was pure and strong. But that race had (and continued to have) a disease running through it due to impurities brought in by people of other ethnic backgrounds or those with genetic diseases in their families. To cure the Volk of that disease, the impurities needed to be removed, even if it meant death for the “impurities.” In other words, death became a cure and from that cure, the strength of the Aryan race would re-emerge. From the book (page 472):

Totalistic ideology avoids the sting of death in its claim to invincibility and omnipotence. It puts forward its own claim to immortality and exclusive truth in specific psychological manipulations of the environment…:

  1. Milieu control (of all communication);
  2. Mystical manipulation (continuous efforts at behavior control from above while maintaining the spontaneity from below);
  3. Demand for purity (constant accusations of guilt and shame in the name of an unrealizable ideal of absolute devotion and self-sacrifice);
  4. The cult of confession (ritual self-exposure to the totalistic “owner” of every self);
  5. The sacred science (combining deification of the Word with the claim of equally absolute secular scientific authority);
  6. Loading of the language (into definitive, thought-terminating solutions for the most complex human problems);
  7. Doctrine over person (so that the evidence of individual experience must be subsumed to or negated by the idea system); and
  8. The dispensing of existence (the ultimate and inevitable line drawn between those with a right to exist and those who possess no such right).

The last, the dispensing of existence, is the larger principle that encompasses all of the others, whether expressed in merely metaphorical or, as in the case of the Nazis, in directly murderous ways.

Indeed, the Nazi movement brought a new literalism to the dispensing of existence by making the existence of each individual a matter of either harm or benefit to the biological health of the group.

Although I can see  pro-abortion tactics in each of these steps, the dispensing of existence is the most fearsome. That has already happened in our society since pregnancy (and thus the acknowledgment that human life has been created) is seen as something to be avoided at all costs. In fact, this ideology is so steeped in American society that it is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that keeps track of fertility and pregnancy rates in the US…as if pregnancy was a disease to be controlled and prevented…as if that human life in the womb has been determined to be a “harm or a benefit to the biological health of the group.”

Stay tuned, there’s more to come. (Click here for part 2.)