An American lawyer, anthropologist, writer, and zoologist known primarily for his work as a eugenicist and conservationist, an advocate of scientific racism, and as one of the leading thinkers and activists of the Progressive Era.
Grant’s work was embraced by proponents of the National Socialist movement in Germany and was the first non-German book ordered to be reprinted by the Nazis when they took power. Adolf Hitler wrote to Grant, “The book is my Bible.” At the postwar Nuremberg Trials, three pages of excerpts from Grant’s Passing of the Great Race were introduced into evidence by the defense of Karl Brandt, Hitler’s personal physician and head of the Nazi euthanasia program, in order to justify the population policies of the Third Reich, or at least indicate that they were not ideologically unique to Nazi Germany
This man may be the key to the whole puzzle of the magnitude of the Holocaust. Born in 1893, a renowned psychiatrist and a major advocate of the idea that the German race was becoming “polluted”
At a conference on alcoholism in 1903, he argued for the sterilization of ‘incurable alcoholics’, but his proposal was roundly defeated. In 1904, he was appointed co-editor in chief of the newly founded Archive for Racial Hygiene and Social Biology, and in 1905 was among the co-founders of the German Society for Racial Hygiene (which soon became international). He published an article of his own in Archives in 1910, in which he argued that medical care for the mentally ill, alcoholics, epileptics and others was a distortion of natural laws of natural selection, and medicine should help to clean the genetic pool.
Perhaps his personality and views are best summarized by the following quote:
In 1942, speaking about ‘euthanasia’, Rüdin emphasized “the value of eliminating young children of clearly inferior quality”.
This was a psychiatrist and a racist and a strong advocate of euthanasia of “inferiors”. He joined the Nazi party in 1937, and for Rüdin and Hitler, it was love at first sight.
Rüdin gave Hitler something he craved, a scientific basis for his beliefs. Hitler gave Rüdin what he needed, funding to implement his ideas. This was the perfect storm. Shortly thereafter “euthanasia centers” (see section 4 below) began to appear throughout Germany.
One could easily nominate Rüdin as “The Father of the Holocaust”.
Alfred Ploetz (22 August 1860 – 20 March 1940) was a German physician, biologist, Social Darwinist, and eugenicist known for coining the term racial hygiene (Rassenhygiene), a form of eugenics, and for promoting the concept in Germany.
Ploetz wrote in April 1933 that year that he believed that Hitler would bring racial hygiene from its previous marginality into the mainstream.