Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

History

Date of Award

5-2010

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stephen G Fritz

Committee Members

Brian J. Maxson, Emmett M. Essin III, Melvin E. Page

Abstract

This thesis is a historiographical study of the eugenics and euthanasia programs of Nazi Germany. It traces there development from the end of World War One to the fall of Hitler's Third Reich. There are three stages in this study. First, I examine eugenics after World War One and the effect the era had on society. Then I study the Nazi transition from eugenics measures to "euthanasia", and last I analyze the transferring of the killing methods from the "euthanasia" centers to the concentration camps. The questions of how did the idea for eugenics develop in Germany society, what role did World War One play in its development, why did the Nazis move from eugenics to "euthanasia", was the children's euthanasia program and Aktion T-4 the same or different programs, did doctors willingly participate in the programs, was there a resistance to "euthanasia", and what role did the T-4 program play in the "Final Solution" are examined.

This study uses a wide range of secondary sources. It examines the authors of those sources arguments and if their work plays a role in out better understanding of the event. Many of these authors are the leading scholars in their field. This study concludes that these sources have lead to our better understand the Holocaust, and the argument as to wither or not the mass murder of European Jewry was a well planned event or a trial and error process that lead to mass murder.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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