Forgotten Crimes: The Holocaust and People with Disabilities
Author: Suzanne E. Evans
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. Suzanne Evans's account draws on the rich historical record as well as on 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, which allowed the forced sterilization of at least a half-million young adults with disabilities. Ms. Evans provides portraits of the killing programs’ perpetrators and accomplices and investigates the curious role of Switzerland's rarely discussed exclusionary immigration and racially eugenic policies.