December 25th, 2009

Ann Vole

Eugenics, Hitler, Jehovah's Witnesses, gophers

The quest to understand how humanity can sink to the lows seen in Hitler's Germany, I watched the documentary "Nazi Medicine, In the Shadow of the Reich". It was basically about the progession of the Eugenics movement, first in the USA and later in Hitler's Germany. I found it interesting that their list of types of people that needed to be sterilized and later to be killed included Jehovah's Witnesses. The key reason for the change from sterilizing these percieved threats to the genetic health of Germany to killing them instead was the concept that all humans were no longer valuable as individuals but rather only the group has value. This means that human individuals now only represent breeding stock. You can see the other side of this lowering of the value of humans in Hitler's efforts to raise babies who looked like "the master race" with the privaleged Nazi leaders rather then with their genetic parents... which also freed financial resources for the genetic parents to quickly make more babies. Even to their desired race, the value of the individual was deminished to breeding stock. This makes those deemed to be gemetically unfit for breeding to be more then worthless... they were a burden to society. Doctors in Hitler's Germany were forced to agree with doing the task of "healing" Germany's genetics and as such, were sterilizing and killing social deviants starting with handicapped but quickly including homosexuals, genetic disease sufferers and their families, gypsies, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Jews actually were targeted later once Hitler was securely in power and ordered their inclusion (although Hitler's earlier books would have been read which made it clear what Hitler thought of the Jews). I wonder if the Jehovah's Witnesses got singled out due to door-to-door campaining.

I bear no prejudism among human races but I find myself guilty of thinking of some of my animals as worth only as much as their breeding value. I do have a very high value on their lives being happy and healthy though as I see that as my responsibility as soon as I choose a male and female to mate. This worth gets eliminated though when I am dealing with pest animals that are being exterminated with or without my involvement. "Gophers" (as we call them here) or Richardson Ground Squirrels are routinely poisoned or shot for entertainment with seemingly no reduction in their numbers next year. With those nasty ways to die being the norm for them, I feel that starting an extermination business specializimg in that species would be an improvement if I captured them live and then selected breeding stock to make pets of them and finally humanely exterminating the unchosen (and their bodies given to zoos for carnivour food) would be better for the gophers. This sounds too similar to how Hitler's doctors justified their nasty experiments on would-be death camp victims. Just because they are set to be killed without my involvement does not really justify killing the unwanted... but like Hitler's Germany, economics of "worthless eaters" (as they called them in Hitler's Germany) still makes me feel justified to do my plan for the gophers.