Monday, February 6, 2012

Deadly Eugenics

In "The Legacy of Nazi Medicine" by Naomi Schaefer Riley she provides an interesting informative review of the "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race" exhibit put on by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Reading about the exhibit and also being a recent visitor to the exhibit, I found it eye-opening how quickly eugenics became a deadly study.  Eugenics was a way for the Nazis to "cleanse" their society and make themselves racially "pure", but in the process they committed horrifying acts.  It is particularly scary to me that doctors got involved in eugenics during the Nazi era, and instead of saving lives, they were taking them.  I feel that this exhibit is teaching important information because it is crucial that in the present we learn from the mistakes of the past in order to never commit them again.

1 comment:

  1. You made a very valid statement, that we must learn about this aspect (as well as others in history) so that we may learn from our mistakes and work to progress away from them. One interesting portion of the exhibit was one that delved into a part of eugenics that was apparent in American history. Although this was an exhibition about Nazi medicine, Riley did not fail to mention that the same ideals on which Nazism was built upon was also displayed in other cultures. One particular interesting paragraph I read talked about how in 1907, health officials at Ellis Island, New York examined immigrants entering America. It was feared that genes of immigrants with bad heredity would tarnish genes of native, white Protestants. There was an act, the Immigration Act of 1924 that restricted immigrants from eastern and southern Europe and Asia.
    This in America's history alone is not often mentioned or taught, and I feel that it should be. Just as you said, it is important to learn about our past.