German genetics society condemns doctors who took part in eugenics programme in Nazi era

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 17 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a876
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    On the 75th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s approval of the “Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases Act,” the German Society of Human Genetics has strongly condemned eugenics, a philosophy advocating improvement of human hereditary traits by intervention.

    The statement, issued in both German and English at the 20th International Congress of Genetics in Berlin, also acknowledges that “German physicians, geneticists, and other scientists were actively involved in preparing the contents of the law, formulating its pseudoscientific basis, and implementing its compulsory measures.” The law was approved on 14 July 1933, months after Adolf Hitler took power.

    In an interview with the BMJ, society chairman André Reis said that issuing the statement in Berlin, where Nazi policies were planned and coordinated, and reading …

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