Hitler’s First Victims: The Nazi Forced Sterilization Program and the Euthanasia Project


  • General Admission Free

September 13

  • Time 6:30 PM

Beth Griech-Polelle – Hitler’s First Victims: The Nazi Forced Sterilization Program and the Euthanasia Project

When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, eugenicists welcomed his appointment. Many in the eugenics community believed that Hitler would be the one to put their theories into real practice to “cleanse” the population of Germany. They were correct. Moving first against those deemed to be “unhealthy” and “unfit” to be members of the People’s Community, the Nazi regime began forced sterilizations. By 1939, Hitler was ready to move to eliminate the mentally ill and physically disabled in what came to be called the “Euthanasia” Project. Learning about the “Euthanasia” Project is critical to understanding the evolution of Nazi killing methods.

Dr. Griech-Polelle is Kurt Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies, Pacific Lutheran University. She is the author of Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust: Language, Rhetoric and the Traditions of Hatred, Trajectories of Memory: Intergenerational Representations of the Holocaust in History and the Arts, The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and its Policy Consequences Today, Bishop von Galen: German Catholicism and National Socialism.

Union Station Kansas City and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) are proud to present these education programs associated with the exhibition, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. presented by Bank of America.

Arthur Stilwell Room at Union Station
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An International Exhibition of Unprecedented Importance. A Story to Shake the Conscience of the World.

This groundbreaking exhibition brings together more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs from over 20 institutions and museums around the world. Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. is the most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the history of Auschwitz and its role in the Holocaust ever presented in North America, and an unparalleled opportunity to confront the singular face of human evil—one that arose not long ago and not far away.

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