January 29, 2011


Lothar Kreyssig and Life (Charles Colson, 1/28/11, Catholic Exchange)

You have probably never heard of Lothar Kreyssig—I hadn’t until recently. Yet, after hearing his story, I realized Kreyssig was a hero for our times: a man whom, at almost unbelievable risk, stood up for the sanctity of human life.

In October, 1939, the Third Reich created what came to be known as the “Action T4” program. In furtherance of what the Nazis called “racial hygiene,” Reich bureaucrats, working with doctors, were authorized to identify and kill those deemed to be “unworthy of life,” that is, institutionalized patients with “severe disabilities.”

Of course, expressions like “unworthy” and even “severe” are subjective. In reality, they were a license for mass murder. Hitler called for at least 70,000 people to be killed under this program, so doctors and officials set about meeting the Fuhrer’s quotas.

Fearing domestic and international reaction, the Nazis tried to hide what was going on: they lied to patients’ families and, fore-shadowing Auschwitz, they disguised the gas chambers as showers.

When I think of what happened to those people, especially the children—some like my autistic grandson, Max—it breaks my heart—horrifies me.

The Nazis also took pains to provide a patina of legality to the murders: Hitler personally ordered German judges not to prosecute doctors for killing their patients. And that’s where Kreyssig comes in: He was a highly regarded judge in his native Saxony.

...Applied Biology

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Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2011 5:32 AM
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