The theory of eugenics, which attracted many adherents in the first half of the 20th century, called for the eradication of deformed and sick people and the improvement of a human race by means of the multiplication of healthy individuals. According to the theory of eugenics, humanity can be improved in the same way that breeds of animals can—by mating strong, healthy animals together.
The people who first proposed the theory of eugenics were Darwinists. Charles Darwin’s nephew, Francis Galton, and his son Leonard Darwin led the eugenics movement in Britain. From that point of view, the concept of eugenics emerged as a natural consequence of Darwinism. That fact was specially emphasized in publications supporting eugenics – “Eugenics is mankind directing its own evolution,” they stated.
. . . modern eugenics thought arose only in the nineteenth century. The emergence of interest in eugenics during that century had multiple roots. The most important was the theory of evolution, for Francis Galton’s ideas on eugenics—and it was he who created the term “eugenics”—were a direct logical outgrowth of the scientific doctrine elaborated by his cousin, Charles Darwin. 150
Following the development of Darwinism and the idea of eugenics, racist scientists in Germany began openly advocating the killing of unwanted individuals. One of these scientists, Adolf Jost, called for unwanted people to be medically put down in his 1895 book Das Recht auf den Todt (“The Right to Die”). Jost claimed that “the state needs to assume the responsibility for killing individuals for the health of the social organism.”
Jost was the intellectual inspiration behind Adolf Hitler, who would emerge onto the world stage 30 years later. Along the same lines, Hitler said, “The state must ensure that only healthy children exist. The visibly sick and those carrying infectious diseases must be declared to be unfit.”151
Mental and physical education occupy an important place for the state, but human selection is just as important. The state has a responsibility to declare that the genetically sick or individuals with infectious diseases are unfit to breed . . . . And that responsibility must be ruthlessly enforced, showing no compassion and without expecting others to understand. . . . To stop the crippled or physically sick from reproducing over a period of 600 years. . . will lead to improvement in human health that cannot be obtained today. If the healthiest members of the race breed in a planned manner. . . then a race will emerge that bears no mentally or physically defective seeds of the kind we still carry today. 152
As a requirement of this policy of Hitler’s, the mentally ill, crippled, those born blind and the genetically sick in German society were regarded as parasites who damaged the purity and universal progress of the German race. These people were rounded up and sterilized. Not long after, these people who had been removed from society began being killed, following a secret directive issued by Hitler.
Under a law passed in 1933; 350,000 mental patients, 30,000 gypsies and hundreds of black children were sterilized by such methods as x-rays, injection or electric shocks to the genitals. One Nazi officer said, “National Socialism is nothing more than applied biology.”153
Hitler sought to accelerate the supposed evolution of the German race with these killings and ruthless measures aimed at innocent people, and also brought in eugenics. Blond, blue-eyed young men and women whom he regarded as representatives of the German race were encouraged to have children together. In 1935, special breeding farms were established for this purpose. Young girls who met racial criteria were sent to these farms, which, were constantly visited by SS units. The illegitimate children born on these farms were to be raised as the citizens of the 1000-year Reich.
150 K. Ludmerer, Eugenics, In: Encyclopedia of Bioethics, edited by Mark Lappe, New York: The Free Press, 1978, p. 457.
151 http://www.trufax.org/avoid/nazi.php; Theodore D. Hall, Ph. D., Scientific Background of Nazi ‘Race Purification’ Program, Leading Edge International Research Group.
152 A. E. Wilder Smith, Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny, A Critical Survey of the Principles of Evolution and Christianity, The Word For Today Publishing 1993, pp.163, 16.
153 Henry Morris, The Long War Against God, p. 78; Francis Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live?, Old Tappan, NJ: Revell Books, , 1976, p. 151.