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"Eugenical Sterilization in Germany," Eugenical News (vol. 18:5), commentary and full translation of the German sterilization statute of 1933 (1)

"Eugenical Sterilization in Germany," Eugenical News (vol. 18:5), commentary and full translation of the German sterilization statute of 1933 (1)
"Eugenical Sterilization in Germany," Eugenical News (vol. 18:5), commentary and full translation of the German sterilization statute of 1933 (1)
1902. 90 Eugenical News of the nation in reference to inborn physical and mental quality. The new eugenical sterilization law was promulgated on July 14, 1933, and it goes into effect January 1, 1934. In the meantime it was announced that the Reich will secure data on prospective sterilization cases, that it will, in fact, in accordance with "the American model sterilization law," work out a census of its socially inadequate human stocks. The new law is clean-cut, direct and "model." Its standards are social and genetical. Its application is entrusted to specialized courts and procedure. From a legal point of view nothing more could be desired. But like all laws its use will depend upon its enforcement. To one acquainted with English and American law, it is difficult to see how the new German Sterilization Law could, as some have suggested, be deflected from its purely eugenical purpose, and be made an "instrument of tyranny" for the sterilization of non-Nordic races. Of the more than 16,000 cases of legal sterilization, under the recent American state sterilization statutes, no one has ever suggested that in any single case had the state made an eugenical mistake by sterilizing good stock, nor that any racial, religious or political prejudice had ever prompted any single operation under these laws. In the long series of test-cases in which the legality and constitutionality of the American statutes were finally worked through the state and federal courts, ultimately to be approved by the Supreme Court of the United States, the American states learned how to draft statutes which, in the opinion of the American courts were absolutely devoid of any punitive element, were well adapted to their one purpose of preventing hereditary degeneracy regardless of sex, race, religion, political or social position or any other "legally unnatural" classes of the population. Also the court held that the sterilization statute of the type now current is practically proof against tyrannical misuse for political, religious or racial persecution of one section of the population by another. As a general governmental policy, approval or disapproval, however violent in either case, of the Nazi Government does not enter into the evaluation of the present German sterilization statute. One may condemn the Nazi policy generally, but specifically it remained for Germany in 1933 to lead the great nations of the world in the recognition of the biological foundations of national character. It is probable that the sterilization statutes of the several American states and nationalal sterilization statute of Germany will, in legal history, constitute a mile stone which marks the control by the most advanced nations of the world of a major aspect of controlling human reproduction, comparable in importance only with the states[sic] legal control of marriage. Experience has shown that a nation or community can establish its own racial and family-stock standards, and can work toward them just as effectively as husbandsmen can establish and achieve certain definite standards in plant and animal breeding. While the biological essence is the same in human eugenics and in applied genetics, their "social techniques" are, of course, entirely different. Just as nations have codified their sanitary laws, one of the legal and scientific tasks for each of the nations in the near future is to codify its own eugenical statutes -- particularly those relating to immigration, deportation, marriage and sterilization. [end]
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