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Useless Eaters - Disability as Genocidal Marker in Nazi Germany

Author: Joni Eareckson Tada
Date: 02.06.2012
Category: Disability Concerns

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“We don’t always learn lessons from history – many of the same mistakes are repeated from some of our world’s worst horrors. This slide presentation and interview is deeply moving, adding a ‘face’ to the dangers of euthanasia.  There are even laws in Oregon, Washington, and in the Netherlands that legalize physician-assisted suicide.”

- Joni Eareckson Tada

The methods used for mass extermination in the Nazi death camps originated and were perfected in earlier use against people with physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities. Developed from the article by Dr. Mark Mostert, this website describes the historical context of attitudes toward people with disabilities in Germany and how this context produced mass murder of people with disabilities prior to and during the early years of World War II.

Go to Useless Eaters.

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Interactive Informational Website from Regent University © 2004

Links and Resources 

Joni and Friends is an advocate for the sanctity of human life. To that end, Joni and Friends has established a key department, The Christian Institute on Disability (CID).

To find out more about disability ministry or to get involved, visit the Joni and Friends website.

The Christian Institute on Disability at Joni and Friends aggressively promotes life, human dignity and the value of all individuals – despite their disabling condition–from a biblical perspective through the Beyond Suffering course.

Regent University is one of the nation’s leading academic centers for Christian thought and action, with a multitude of graduate and undergraduate programs available worldwide. Our academic standards are high and our programs rigorous, but what sets Regent apart is our mission to prepare capable men and women to excel both in mind and spirit. Our students, faculty and administrators share a calling, founded on Biblical principles, to make a significant difference in our world.

Keywords: Lausanne, disability ministry, Joni Eareckson Tada, Useless Eaters, death camps, WWII

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Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down marolyn (1)
United States

Ms. Tada, watching the films and feeling sick in my stomach trying to reason why any human being thought taking the life of another would be all right. You wrote of over seventy thousand disabled individuals were put to death in the WWII camps just because they were disabled. Except for Adam there have been persons of challenged mental, physical, emotional and intellectual acuities. I am thankful for the Lausanne movement involving Counseling and Care in mission work. Controlling of people may never end, but to exploit the weak, the helpless, the diaspora is so against God and all His teachings for us. (Leviticus 19:14 RSV)"You shall not curse the deaf nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God, I am the Lord". The world has witnessed several twins pronounced dead upon arrival only to regain life, and other individuals who are born normal but accidents happen and they become disabled for the rest of their lives. Every country has the same people, God’s people and we are taught to love them as we love ourselves. Adjusting to a world outside of one’s own norm has become a recognized urgent field for Counseling for nurturning those in the mission field before, during and after exposure to the unreached people culture.


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