The Deaf Holocaust Analysis

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Eleven million. Eleven million innEleven million. Eleven million innocent lives, mercilessly taken away in the blink of an eye. When most people think about the Holocaust, their thoughts are automatically directed to the six million Jews who were murdered. While it is true that Jewish people were the primary victims, several multiple other groups faced persecution based on their race, sexuality, beliefs, and handicaps – five million non-Jewish people were killed (Ridley, 2015). During the Holocaust, Nazis deemed that any groups considered “unfit” or “inferior” were to be eradicated, and this included the disabled. The deaf fell under this category and were therefore targeted for murder in the T4, or otherwise known as the euthanasia program.…show more content…
The narrator of the BBC documentary titled The Deaf Holocaust stands in front of a hospital as he signs, “Parents of children with additional mental and physical disabilities were told that their children could have special treatment at hospitals like this one. Parents believed these promises and willingly handed over their children. Each day at roll call, some of the children would be called out for special treatment, never to be seen again” (Horbury, 2005). The narrator explains what happened to these children: some were killed with drugs, and others were starved to death. It is an estimate that about 1,600 deaf children with additional disabilities were murdered in this way (Horbury, 2005). Chillingly, parents were deceived and entirely blinded to this fact because they were told that their children had died of natural causes. Dominic Stiles states, “Around 17,000 deaf Germans were sterilized between 1933 and 1945 and it is estimated that, in an effort to rid Germany of ‘useless eaters’ nearly 2,000 deaf children were killed by lethal injection or starvation” (Stiles, 2012). Because the Nazis believed that people with mental and physical handicaps made no contribution to society, they were thought of as a financial burden, a waste of space, and undeserving of
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