Tuesday, February 08, 2005

NAZI medicine in the Netherlands & ???U.S.

I read an article about how the Netherlands was investigating the doctors who do not want to kill the patients, and implying that by refusing to kill, the medical doctors were not measuring up. It is shocking! The article brought to mind this book review that I read the other day:

Book Review in Townhall,Feb 7,2005:
From Darwin to Hitler
Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany

By Richard Weikart

Review by Johannes L. Jacobse
[quotes only, using fair use doctrine for public teaching]
To most Germans, Hitler never appeared to be an evildoer, and thus subsequent attempts to portray him as a fanatical madman betray a misunderstanding of the epoch in which he ruled, Weikart argues. Instead, Hitler was very much a man of his age. The moral justifications for the evil he unleashed were developed long before he rose to power.

Weikart writes that the moral antecedents of Nazi genocide rest in the Darwinism that swept the German academies nearly a century before the Nazi period

Weikart concludes by reiterating that Darwinism alone does not explain the German descent into Nazi darkness. Political and social factors come into play, as well as the nihilism of Nietzsche and others. Nevertheless, the dependence of the Nazi social vision upon Darwinian ethics is so great that Hitler cannot be properly understood apart from it.
From Darwin to Hitler is a valuable work of intellectual history. It is well written, cogently argued, and thoroughly engaging. Read it to understand how the Nazi darkness penetrated the heart of Europe. But be forewarned: many of the arguments that devalued human life in pre-war Germany are the same that we hear in America today. [end quote]

Johannes L. Jacobse is a Greek Orthodox priest and edits the website www.orthodoxytoday.org.

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