The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution

The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution

by Henry Friedlander

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Tracing the rise of racist and eugenic ideologies, Henry Friedlander explores in chilling detail how the Nazi program of secretly exterminating the handicapped and disabled evolved into the systematic destruction of Jews and Gypsies. He describes how the so-called euthanasia of the handicapped provided a practical model for the later mass murder, thereby initiating the Holocaust.

The Nazi regime pursued the extermination of Jews, Gypsies, and the handicapped based on a belief in the biological, and thus absolute, inferiority of those groups. To document the connection between the assault on the handicapped and the Final Solution, Friedlander shows how the legal restrictions and exclusionary policies of the 1930s, including mass sterilization, led to mass murder during the war. He also makes clear that the killing centers where the handicapped were gassed and cremated served as the models for the extermination camps.

Based on extensive archival research, the book also analyzes the involvement of the German bureaucracy and judiciary, the participation of physicians and scientists, and the nature of popular opposition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807861608
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/09/2000
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Henry Friedlander was professor of history in the department of Judaic studies at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and coeditor of the 26-volume Archives of the Holocaust Series.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Prophets Without Honor: The Travails of the Southern Clergy, 1954-1960
Chapter 2. Going South: Northern Clergy and Direct-Action Protests, 1960-1962
Chapter 3. The Call to Battle: The Churches and Synagogues Enter the Civil Rights Struggle,1963
Chapter 4. Bringing Good News to the Oppressed: Clerical Organization in the North and South, 1964
Chapter 5. Flood Tide: Bearing Witness in Alabama, 1965
Chapter 6. Going Against the Grain: Clergy and the Antiwar Movement, 1963-1965
Chapter 7. A Voice for Moderation: Clergy and the Antiwar Movement, 1966-1967
Chapter 8. The Escalation of Dissent: The Antiwar Movement, 1967-1968
Chapter 9. The Costly Peace: The Antiwar Movement, 1968-1973


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A major and significant work.—Dimensions

Is it possible to present novel views and materials on the origins of the German mass murder of the Jews? Henry Friedlander, a historian . . . and a survivor of Auschwitz . . . succeeds in doing so. . . . The book should be read by . . . medical students and doctors. It is a must for psychiatrists.—Benno MAller-Hill, Journal of the American Medical Association

Admirably researched. . . . One of the distinguishing features of this study is the meticulous description of the administration of the euthanasia program.—Gordon A. Craig, New York Review of Books

A most valuable contribution to the history of Nazism and of the Holocaust.—Kirkus Reviews

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