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Nazis’ ‘life unworthy to be lived’ philosophy alive and well: Vatican paper

May 07, 2012

In 1920, jurist Karl Binding and psychiatrist Alfred Hoche published Die Freigabe der Vernichtung Lebensunwertem Lebens [Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy to be Lived], a work that helped pave the way for the Nazis’ program of euthanasia for the handicapped.

Writing in L‘Osservatore Romano on the occasion of the work’s translation into Italian, Lucetta Scaraffia says that “contempt for imperfect human life [and] overestimation of the abilities of science are two attitudes that are still firmly present in our time, to show that eugenics is still alive and has not been wiped out together with the Nazi past.”


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