"If one imagines . . . a battlefield covered with thousands of dead youths . . . and then our institutions for idiots and their care . . . , one is most appalled by . . . the sacrifice of the best of humanity while the best care is lavished on life of negative worth."
— Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche, Authorization of the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life, Leipzig, 1920
"The national state . . . must set race in the center of all life. It must take care to keep it pure. It must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. It must see to it that only the healthy beget children. . . . The state must act as the guardian of a millennial future in the face of which the wishes and the selfishness of the individual must appear as nothing. . . . It must put the most modern medical means in the service of this knowledge."
— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1925)
"I, for one, am alarmed at the conceit and sureness of the advocates of this new dream. I shudder at their ruthlessness in meddling with life. I resent their egoistic and stern righteousness. I shrink from their judgment of their fellows."
— Clarence Darrow, “The Eugenics Cult,” The American Mercury, 1926
"We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices. . . . The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough."
— US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Buck v. Bell, 1927
"The term ‘eugenics’ means establishing a connection between the results of human genetics research and practical population policy measures."
— Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, Annual Report 1931
"It was only through the political work of Hitler that the meaning of racial hygiene has become publicly manifest in Germany, and it is only due to him that our thirty-year-old dream to put racial hygiene into practice has become a reality."
— Ernst Rüdin, 1934
"Our starting point is not the individual, and we do not subscribe to the view that one should feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, or clothe the naked. . . . Our objectives are entirely different: We must have a healthy people in order to prevail in the world."
— Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, Nazi Party rally, 1938
"I do not characterize every Jew as inferior, as Negroes certainly are, and I do not underestimate the greatest enemy with whom we have to fight. But I reject Jewry with every means in my power, and without reserve, in order to preserve the hereditary endowment of my people."
— Eugen Fischer, lecture, June 20, 1939
"We do not know what measures are planned for the resettlement of the Jewish population in the next few months. It is possible that if we wait too long, we could lose this valuable material."
— Anton Pluegel, Institute for German Work in the East, Cracow, Letter of October 22, 1941
"The time is not far distant when I shall be able to say that one doctor, with, perhaps, ten assistants, can probably effect several hundred if not one thousand sterilizations in a single day."
— Physician Carl Clauberg to SS chief Heinrich Himmler, June 7, 1943
"There were in the memory of mankind Genghis Khans and Eugen Fischers but never before had a Genghis Khan joined hands with an Eugen Fischer."
— Max Weinreich, Hitler’s Professors: The Part of Scholarship in Germany’s Crimes against the Jewish People (1946)
"The Führer was of the opinion that [killing the incurably ill] would be easier and smoother to carry out in wartime, since the public resistance . . . from the churches would not play such a prominent role amidst the events of wartime as it otherwise would."
— Karl Brandt, Hitler’s attending physician, postwar testimony