Their [the Nazi Doctor’s] crimes were the inevitable result of the sinister doctrines which they espoused, and these same doctrines sealed the fate of Germany, shattered Europe, and the world in ferment. Where those doctrines may emerge and prevail, the same terrible consequences will follow.
-Opening Statement of the Prosecution By Telford Taylor, at the Nazi Doctors’ trial for war crimes in Nuremberg (1946)
At the heart of the evil events of Nazi Germany was an idea that stands as a contradiction. The Third Reich sought to create Germany as a forward moving country, one with advancements and benefits that abounded beyond what they had known devastated by their loss in the First World War. They wanted to lift up there citizens and lift up the lower classes to wealth and health. And these dreams of the German people were accomplished by the systematic destruction of those that were seen as non-contributors, or leeches that took from the German people. The mentally and physically impaired, racial minorities, and social deviants. These were considered “useless mouths to feed”. They were essentially unwanted and costly. To make room for a modernized life for the German people, destruction of the unwanted was necessary.
Christian Pross puts it this way,
The so-called Neue deutsche Seelenheikunde (new German psychotherapy) for the “superior” members of the Volk complemented the mass sterilizations of the “inferior”. The destruction of the latter created social guarantees for the former, and thus secured the standard of living of the productive community of a conformist petit bourgeoisie and working class at the expense of the excluded minorities.
-Nazi Doctors, German Medicine, and Historical Truth, by Christian Pross
Essentially, to create the utopia of the socialized system the Germans so desperately desired, it was necessary to extricate those who would be costly drains on their welfare systems.
Because many Germans bought into the benefits the Nazi party promised them, they were willing to sacrifice their neighbors, and the poor among them for the opportunity to have the health and wealth they desired. Ultimately the Nazis felt they were more valuable as citizens–as persons. And those they imprisoned, torturously experimented on, and killed en masse, they were of more value as means to an end, they were valuable only as much as any other tool to serve the greater German good. The Nazis didn’t see them as people, they were unwanted, nameless, numbers, and of better use killed and used for experiments for life-saving research for German pilots, for scientific curiosity, or merely for the gold teeth that could be extracted and melted down.
At the basic level of Nazi thought, a person was defined by their German heritage, their adherence to Nazi ideals, and their ability to contribute. Human value was thus defined as something to be earned by merit, not by nature of being human.
This cancerous ethos that led to the torture and extermination of entire people groups is not an uncommon doctrine. What happened in German history, is not unlike the subtle mindset that pervades American culture in regard to many people groups; it manifests as racism, oppression, and most horrendously in the murder of our smallest citizens.
Just as the Nazi regime sought to benefit a certain group of people at the demise of another group of people, the American abortion industry does the same. The promises of wealth or freedom from poverty, of personal freedom, and even an erroneous claim of health, have been touted by organizations like Planned Parenthood to women if they will only sacrifice the insignificant life of their baby.
And just as Joseph Goebbels Ministry of Propaganda sought to dehumanize the Jews, Gypsies, mentally and physically impaired, and social deviants, the Pro-choice representatives have sought to dehumanize our children. Calling them a fetus, or a lump of cells, and their heartbeat merely a fetal murmur. Because if we can convince ourselves that these “others” are actually inferior to ourselves, if we can say they are only “potentially valuable”, then we can do with them whatever we want in order that we might meet whatever ends we desire.
And as these recent videos released have revealed, no amount of attempted dehumanization can ever really remove someone’s personhood, because that little 11.5 week old boy was clearly a person, with a heart that beat, with hands and feet. What is perhaps most horrifying, is that in seeking to dehumanize and exploit these marginalized people among us, these doctors have lost their own humanity. Looking at death as a profitable enterprise. These abortion doctors have become like the Nazi doctors before them, specializing in thanatology–the science of producing death. Before Nazi doctors, we never had the word thanatology, the hope was that we would never have use for it again, but it looks as though Planned Parenthood has continued the horrific work of their predecessors.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Yes women will find themselves in desperate situations, afraid of the life that grows within them and whatever reality that brings for their own life, but we do not have to leave them in their desperation, and we do not have to offer them death as a solution. We can offer them life, we can offer them hope, we can hold their hand so that they do not have to allow their babies’ hands to become part of the war-torn battlefield of a petrie-dish. We can ease the fears of their hearts so that their child’s heart can beat with life, instead of being injected with poison for profit.
No amount of rhetoric will change the sound fact, that personhood and human life are linked as one, and it is our ethical duty as humans to give each human person their right to life, no matter how inconvenient or costly they may be to our system.
If our system requires the execution of our innocent citizens to function, the answer is not to hire killers and legalize murder, but rather to fix that very broken, corrupt system.