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