From Mon Sep 9 10:30:13 2002
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 11:20:51 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: The American Origins of the Nazi Holocaust
Article: 144738
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

The American Origins of the Nazi Holocaust

Anonymous, 8 September 2002

A superb chapter on the history of the eugenics movement can be found in the current book, Mad in America, whose author, journalist Robert Whitaker, will be the keynote speaker at the NARPA annual conference in Portland this November.

To summarize Whitaker’s story, the Eugenics movement began with a cousin of Darwin who professed that behavioral characteristics followed the same Mendelian laws of heredity as red hair or freckles. The philosophy caught fire in the U.S. with endorsements from the industrial leaders of the day such as Carnegie, Rockefeller, Harriman, Kellogg, and Eastman. It was also supported by the New York Times, and Harvard President Charles Eliot. 22 states passed eugenic sterilization laws, which were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1927, with a majority opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes stating that the laws were, to prevent our country from being swamped with incompetence. By 1945, 45,127 eugenic sterilizations had been performed in the United States.

Only after the United States set the pace in eugenics did Germany enter the arena. In 1925 the Rockefeller Foundation gave $2.5 million to the Psychiatric Institute of Munich, Germany for the study of Eugenics (around the time that Prescott Bush (George’s grandfather) got involved in financing the german war industrial machine via his investment bank, Brown Brothers Harriman). Germany later performed 375,000 forced sterilizations between 1933-39.

According to Whitaker (Mad in America), the idea of killing psychiatric inmates had origins in this country, even hinted at in the New York Times as merciful extinction. In 1916, Madison Grant, a New York lawyer wrote a best seller that was translated in several languages including German. In his book, The Passing of the Great Race, Grant said, The Laws of Nature require the obliteration of the unfit. Hitler read the book and wrote Grant a letter.

Beginning in 1940 Germany started killing mental patients.... 70,000 in 18 months. The final solution of the Jewish problem, utilizing psychiatric mass extermination technology, was simply a logical extension of this psychiatric therapy.