Systematic Euthanasia: Background information when reading Motherland

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by Maria Hummel

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  • First Published:
    Jan 2014, 400 pages
    Jan 2015, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
Systematic Euthanasia

In Motherland, one of the brothers, Ani, is a patient at a hospital in Hadamar, which was notorious for implementing the Nazis' systematic euthanasia program.

Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection had the unintended consequence of giving birth to Social Darwinism – determining the course of human evolution through selective breeding, otherwise known as eugenics. The idea was very popular in Europe and particularly the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Several countries (including the USA) developed policies whereby those with hereditary mental or physical defects could be sterilized to prevent them from "contaminating" the general population.

In Germany, the National Socialists (Nazis) put "racial hygiene" policies in place as soon as they gained control of the country with the goal of cleansing Germany of undesirable elements and thereby eventually producing a race of superior beings. July 1933 saw the enactment of the "Law for the ...

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