"Eugenics" and Nazi "Euthanasia" Crimes

This is a gateway to three distinct websites hosted here.

(1) Eugenics: Compulsory Sterilization in 50 American States  is a site that provides information about compulsory sterilization laws adopted by over 30 states that led to more than 60,000 sterilizations of disabled individuals in the United States of America. For each state for which information is available, it includes the number of victims, the known period during which sterilizations occurred, the temporal pattern of sterilizations and rate of sterilization, the passage of law(s), groups indentified in the law, the prescribed process of the law, precipitating factors and processes that led up a state’s sterilization program, the groups targeted and victimized, other restrictions placed on those identified in the law or with disabilities in general, major proponents of state eugenic sterilization, “feeder institutions” and institutions where sterilizations were performed, and opposition to sterilization. A short bibliography is also provided. Until now there has never been a website providing an easily accessible overview of American eugenics for all American states.

(2) The "Special Children's Wards": The Nazi Murder of Disabled Children deals with the about 30 murder sites at which at least 5,000 children and youths were killed between 1940 and 1945 as part of the Nazi children's "Euthanasia" program. The facilities that were part of this program are listed by nation, states, and location. It includes a brief historical account as well as a history of commemoration, and a brief bibliography.

(3) Exhibits on "Nazi" Euthanasia Crimes presents an overview of more than a dozen exhibitions on such crimes in German-speaking countries. Some of these exhibitions have a detailed information available through the Internet.

A fourth website will turn to commemoration at the "T4" killing centers.

For some thoughts on commemoration of trauma and the collective memory landscape in Germany, see my essay "New Analyses of Trauma, Memory, and Place in Berlin and Beyond."

On exhibits on "euthanasia" crimes in Germany and Austria, see my presentation "Exhibiting the 'Good Death': Sacredness and Trauma in the Public Display of Nazi 'Euthanasia' Crimes in Germany and Austria" (word document and powerpoint presentation).

Comments or questions? Email:  Lutz dot Kaelber at uvm dot edu
Lutz Kaelber, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Vermont