But it would be years before I understood the connections between the killing of the disabled and the killing of Jews and other “undesirables,” all of whom were, in one way or another, deemed “unfit.”
.. approximately 300,000 disabled people were killed in T4 and its aftermath, he doesn’t know about the direct connection between T4 and the Holocaust. He doesn’t know that it was at Brandenburg, the first T4 site, where methods of mass killing were tested, that the first victims of Nazi mass killings were the disabled, and that its personnel went on to establish and run the extermination camps at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.
.. But I soon realized I had to go back even farther. In the 1920s, the disabled were mistreated, sterilized, experimented on and killed in some German psychiatric institutions. In 1920, the psychiatrist Alfred Hoche and the jurist Karl Binding published their treatise, “Permitting the Destruction of Unworthy Life,” which became the blueprint for the exterminations of the disabled carried out by the Third Reich.
.. Many Americans still do not know about the so-called “ugly laws,” which in many states, beginning in the late 1860s, deemed it illegal for persons who were “unsightly or unseemly” to appear in public. The last of these laws was not repealed until 1974.
.. As recently as 2015, Singer, talking with the radio host Aaron Klein on his show, said, “I don’t want my health insurance premiums to be higher so that infants who can experience zero quality of life can have expensive treatments.”
.. Experts point out the recent Republican health care proposals would strip Medicaid funding that helps the elderly, the poor and the disabled live healthier and more dignified lives. A recent New York Times article quoted the Rev. Susan Flanders, a retired Episcopal priest, as saying: “What we’re paying for is something that many people wouldn’t want if they had a choice. It’s hundreds of dollars each day that could go towards their grandchildren’s education or care for the people who could get well.”
.. Third Reich school textbooks included arithmetic problems on how much it would cost to care for a person with a disability for a lifetime.
.. Too often, the lives of those of us who live with disabilities are not valued, and feared. At the root of this fear is misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and a lack of knowledge of disability history and, thus, disabled lives.