Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

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Nazi extermination of thousands of disabled children featured in new Berlin museum exhibit

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
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BERLIN, January 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Berlin’s “Topography of Terror,” museum, which features exhibits on the murderous crimes of German police forces during the Nazi era, has begun a temporary display on the thousands of children euthanized during the same period as “life unworthy of life.”

The exhibition, entitled “In memory of the children. Pediatricians and crimes against children in the Nazi period,” displays photos and documents related to various Nazi projects concerning the murder and torture of children, such as Action T4 and Lebensborn.

While Action T4 focused on exterminating children who were physically or mentally handicapped, Lebensborn was a eugenic breeding program using unwed mothers, in which children with features not regarded as sufficiently “Aryan” were disposed of like so much waste.

“Through 1945, over 10,000 [children] fell victim to the various programs which were designed to exterminate ‘life unworthy of living,’” the museum states. “More than 5,000 children and teenagers were tortured and murdered in the Nazi ‘children’s departments’ alone, institutions which were specially created for the purpose of extermination.”

Although many children were simply gassed or starved to death, some were spared an immediate exit from life - to serve as subjects of medical experiments, which included the removal of their organs.

“Children also fell victim to the ‘T4’ gas chamber program and to the ‘starvation diet’ which they received in the homes and institutions; they were abused for the purpose of experimentation and their organs where used after their death for research purposes,” according to the museum.

In addition to Action T4 project, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 10,000 children and teenagers, the Lebensborn project killed an estimated 5,000 more.

“This exposition speaks of the most defenseless of that society,” Berlin’s Charité medical school’s historian told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “Visitors must be prepared to confront very difficult facts.”

Stephanie Gray of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform and the Genocide Awareness Project noted the troubling parallels between the Nazi euthanasia program for children and the ongoing murder of millions of children today in the wombs of their mothers – often for eugenic reasons similar to those that motivated the Nazi holocaust.

“The notion of ‘life unworthy of life’ is eerily familiar to today’s slogan, ‘quality of life,’” Stephanie Gray told LifeSiteNews. “The philosophy which guided the Nazis is a philosophy which guides many today - that the value of one’s life is to be determined by one’s features or abilities.  It is this frightening mentality which leads to human rights violations.”

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Currently in the West, a large percentage of children diagnosed in the womb with a disability will ultimately be killed through abortion. Even children diagnosed with Down syndrome, a condition with which a person can live happily for many years, are killed at an astonishing rate of over 90% when the condition is diagnosed in utero. Such eugenic abortions often occur later in pregnancy, when the baby is fully formed, and according to many experts can already experience pain.

In at least one country – the Netherlands – eugenics has already extended beyond abortion, with the legalization of infant euthanasia under the so-called Groningen Protocol.  Under the protocol babies can be killed after birth if they suffer, or are likely to suffer, from “progressive paralysis, complete lifelong dependency, and permanent inability to communicate in any way.”

In one article in the prestigious Hastings Report in 2008, two Dutch bioethicists argued that in such cases, “the baby is judged to be better off dead than forced to endure the only kind of life it can ever have.”

“The Nazis treated children as objects to be used and disposed of,” Gray said. “How is that different from today’s society which treats pre-born children as objects to be used (such as for stem cells) and disposed of (through abortion)?”

Gray also observed that, while a museum display on the Nazi atrocities against children does not elicit protest, photos of the unborn victims of abortion often do.

“Isn’t it interesting that people will pay money to go to a museum to see disturbing images of the mistreatment of children, yet many criticize the display of abortion images.  Perhaps it’s because it’s easier to face historic injustices which we didn’t commit; it’s much more difficult to face present-day injustices which we do permit,” she said.

The Genocide Awareness Project sets up displays of large images of unborn children killed by abortion, juxtaposed with images victims of the Nazi holocaust and racially-motivated lynchings, to raise awareness about the true nature of abortion.


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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