Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring Goes Into Effect in Nazi Germany

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Although it was enacted the previous July, Germany's sterilization law (Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring, German: Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses) goes into effect on this date.

Nazi Germany's sterilization law authorizes the government to forcibly sterilize anyone deemed to have one of a number of genetic disorders. Responsibility for such decisions rests with a "Genetic Health Court" (Erbgesundheitsgericht).

Conditions for which forced sterilization can be applied were: Congenital Mental Deficiency, Schizophrenia, Manic-Depressive Insanity, Hereditary Epilepsy, Hereditary Chorea, Hereditary Blindness, Hereditary Deafness, Any severe hereditary deformity, and even severe alcoholism.

In 1935 amendments to this law will strip citizens' right to appeal the decision of a Genetic Health Court and will impose fines on doctors who fail to report people suffering from any of these conditions. During this first year, 62,400 Germans will be forcibly sterilized.

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