Tuesday, August 14, 2001
The members of this panel discussed the Nazi persecution of deaf people, including Nazi policies against them, the “racial science” used by the Nazis to justify this persecution, and the experiences of deaf survivors. Each panelist made a 20-minute presentation, followed by interviews with two survivors, conducted by Dr. Simon J. Carmel, Professor of History, Rochester Institute of Technology.
The Scholarly Presentation
Tuesday, August 14, 1–4 p.m.
Paul A. Shapiro, Director, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (audio and transcript)
Eve Rosenhaft, Reader, Department of German, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (audio and transcript)
Patricia Heberer, Historian, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (audio and transcript)
Stan Schuchman, Professor of History (Emeritus), Gallaudet University, Washington, DC (audio and transcript)
Morris Field, deaf Holocaust survivor, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Helga Gross, deaf Holocaust survivor, Palmdale, California.
The Nazi persecution of persons with disabilities in Germany was one component of radical public health policies aimed at excluding hereditarily “unfit” Germans from the national community. These strategies began with forced sterilization and escalated toward mass murder. The most extreme measure, the Euthanasia Program, was in itself a rehearsal for Nazi Germany’s broader genocidal policies. It is estimated that 275,000 adults and children were murdered because of their disabilities. To learn more see this special focus with information collected from the Museum’s online Holocaust Encyclopedia.