The connection between American eugenics and Nazi Germany, James Watson
Interviewee: James Watson.
DNAi Location:<br>Chronicle>In the third reich>taking the torch<br><br>
Beginning eugenic sterilization
James Watson discusses the founding of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics, the German equivalent of the Eugenics Record Office.
Here he talks about when Hitler came to power in 1933, German eugenicists got the large-scale sterilization program they wanted.
Well this was the bigger version of the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor. The building was built with money from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1927, when eugenics was generally thought to be a good thing. And the German geneticists thought it was a good thing and had a proposed program of sterilization for a large number of genetic conditions. And, but it wasn't voted in, they couldn't get it through the German democracy at the time. But the moment Hitler came into power a eugenics law was passed within a month, which prescribed sterilization for a large number of conditions including for say, being schizophrenic and in a mental hospital. So very soon afterwards they started a program of sterilization which went on until the war started, with about 600,000 people sterilized, it was a very thorough program and they had records on all these people.
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The equilibrium model of G.N. Hardy and Wilhelm Weinberg showed that sterilization of affected individuals themselves would never appreciably reduce the incidence of mental disorders, which were thought to be inherited in a recessive manner.