Between 1939 and 1945 the Nazi regime systematically murdered hundreds of thousands of children and adults with disabilities as part of its "euthanasia" programs. These programs were designed to eliminate all persons with disabilities who, according to Nazi ideology, threatened the health and purity of the German race. Forgotten Crimes explores the development and workings of this nightmarish process, a relatively neglected aspect of the Holocaust. Suzanne Evans's account draws on the rich historical record as well as scores of exclusive interviews with disabled Holocaust survivors. It begins with a description of the Nazis' Children's Killing Program, in which tens of thousands of children with mental and physical disabilities were murdered by their physicians, usually by starvation or lethal injection. The book goes on to recount the T4 euthanasia program, in which adults with disabilities were disposed of in six official centers, and the development of the Sterilization Law that allowed the forced sterilization of at least a half-million young adults with disabilities. Ms.
Evans provides portraits of the perpetrators and accomplices of the killing programs, and investigates the curious role of Switzerland's rarely discussed exclusionary immigration and racial eugenics policies. Finally, Forgotten Crimes notes the inescapable implications of these Nazi medical practices for our present-day controversies over eugenics, euthanasia, genetic engineering, medical experimentation, and rationed health care.
This book is essential reading for everyone interested in the underlying dynamics of the disability rights movement... Without knowing our own history, we cannot fully comprehend the depths of prejudices that continue to define disability today. -- Laurence Paradis, Executive Director, Disabilities Rights Advocates Forgotten Crimes is an essential, unique and careful study of the Nazi euthanasia program...The author...reminds us of the dangers of all discrimination against the disabled. -- John Weiss One of the least known aspects of the bestiality of the Nazi regime: tens of thousands of German handicapped were exterminated and many others sterilized. An important book about the destruction of the medical ethics by a totalitarian regime. -- Radu Ioanid Evans...concludes that...the suffering of the disability community...must never be forgotten. If you read this book, you'll remember. Quest A pioneering, long overdue record of Nazi Germany's campaign against the physically and mentally disabled. Virginian-Pilot Scholarly assessment and reflection. Bookwatch Provides a quick and interesting introduction to the situation of people with disabilities during the Holocaust. -- Sara Vogt H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online Forgotten Crimes recounts in brutal detail the history of the Nazi campaign of extermination against Europeans with disabilities. -- Fred Pelka Review of Disability Studies An absolutely compelling piece. -- Lisa Ossian Disability Studies Quarterly