Useless Eaters: Disability as Genocidal Marker in Nazi Germany
Disability as Genocidal Marker in Nazi Germany
The methods used for mass extermination in the Nazi death camps originated and were perfected earlier use against people with physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities. This article describes the historical context of attitudes towards people with disabilities in Germany and how this context produced mass murder of people with disabilities prior to and during the early years of World War II. Several key marker variabiles, the manipulation os which allowed a highly sophisticated Western society to officially sanction the murder of people with disabilities, are examined. Important implications must continually be drawn from these sad events as we work with people with disabilties at the dawn of a new century.