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Eugenics - Essay Example

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The foundation of the idea of eugenics is that any species can be manipulated through genetically selecting parents in order to achieve higher levels of attributes in each generation. While this was developed as a science, the concepts took a dark turn when applied to human genetics…
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Download file to see previous pages The foundation of the idea of eugenics is that any species can be manipulated through genetically selecting parents in order to achieve higher levels of attributes in each generation. While this was developed as a science, the concepts took a dark turn when applied to human genetics.Eugenics was used during World War II to support attempts at genocide by Adolph Hitler’s regime. Forced sterilization was a solution that preceded the camp deaths of those fitting into an undesirable framework in keeping the ‘Nordic’ race pure. Through ideas that defined people based on traits of birth or instances of medical problems, eugenics was a false science that allowed for the reasoning behind much of the atrocities of World War II. The foundation of the idea of eugenics is that any species can be manipulated through genetically selecting parents in order to achieve higher levels of attributes in each generation. While this was developed as a science, the concepts took a dark turn when applied to human genetics. In the early 20th century eugenics thrived as a popular belief system to the point that over 30 states had eugenic programs of sterilization in the United States (Joseph 342). More horrific adaptations of eugenics occurred in Hitler’s Germany. In 1923 Fritz Lenz berated his fellow countrymen for not having kept up with the United States in eugenics studies and programs. Marriage was being prohibited in the United States for people who had mental challenges, as well as those who had epilepsy. Lenz was more specific than the United States in that instead of focusing on the idea of preserving the ‘white’ race, Lenz focused on the ‘Nordic’ race, defining superiority through a narrow set of characteristics (Lifton 23). Lenz clarified his position when he wrote in a paper for his professor Alfred Ploetz that “race was the criterion of value” and “the State is not there to see that the individual gets his rights, but to serve the race” (Lifton 24). As Nazi Germany began to evolve, the idea of purification was romanticized; the idea of “a more extensive program of compulsory sterilization than had ever previously been attempted” began a social reform that would lead to the genocide that was the greatest horror of World War II (Lifton 24). Abortion became one of the means through which control of the population of those who had ‘undesirable’ traits was established. German laws were passed in 1933 which allowed abortion and eventually forced it through German health courts who decided the fates of those who were not desired under Hitler’s regime (David, Fleischhacker, and Hohn 110). Bavarian scientists pushed the idea of sterilization and elimination of undesirable traits from the population to the point that compulsory sterilization became the standard. From that step, it was a short leap to massacre. Those who were blessed by the ‘right’ traits were encouraged to marry and have children with the state providing for those families through welfare programs who had “racially valuable children” (Lifton 43). Beyond encouragement, the state engaged in kidnapping children with desirable traits, fostering their growth through programs that also helped to shape their belief systems. Heinrich Himmler developed the program called “Lebensborn” or “Spring of Life” which was intended to breed the SS from a ‘superior’ biological gene pool, through which the kidnapping was accomplished. Himmler is quoted as saying “I really intend to take German blood from wherever it is to be found in the world, to rob it and steal it wherever I can” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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I never thought 750 words essay could be written in such a free manner. I loved the idea of this essay. Will definitely use it for my own work!
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