Nazi Health-Care Thinking: A Clear Example of Applying 'Effectiveness Research'
May 11, 2009 • 11:31AM

Examples of the Nazi thinking that lies behind the "effectiveness research" and just plain cost-cutting being proposed in the Obama administration and its financier constituency, can be found aplenty in the history of Nazi Germany. Change the term "mental patient," with "old or terminally ill person" in the following example, and you get the idea.

Beginning in 1934, children's textbooks in Germany contained problems with cost-accounting comparisons, like the following:

"Problem 97: A mental patient cost 4 RM [Reichsmarks] each day. A crippled person costs 3.50 RM per day. In many cases, a civil servant earns only 4 RM a day, an office worker barely 3.50 RM, an illiterate worker less than 2 RM per family head.

"a) Analyze these figures on the basis of the fact that in Germany there are 300,000 mental patients in the institutions.

"b) On the basis of 4 RM each per day, what is their total cost each year?

"c) How many marriage loans of 1000 RM each could be obtained each year with this money?"

Another example of the same thinking was put forward at the National Socialist Party Congress in 1934. Dr. Wagner declared: "The economic burden represented by people suffering from hereditary diseases is a danger for the State and for society. In all, it is necessary to spend 301 million RM per year for treatment, without counting the expenditures for 200,000 drunkards and about 400,000 psychopaths."

Abundant evidence of mass murder carried out on the basis of such thinking, was presented at the Nuremberg Tribunal. For example, evidence against Nazi Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick included an official report, dated 1941, entitled "Detailed Statement on the Murdering of Ill and Aged People in Germany." It read:

"1) The murdering can be traced back to a secret law which was released some time in the summer of 1940. ...

"3) As I have already stated, there were—after careful calculation—at least 200,000 mainly mentally deficient, imbeciles, besides neurological cases and medically unfit people—these were not incurable cases—and at least 75,000 aged people."

The following interchange at the Nuremberg Tribunal makes the case:

July 31, 1946:

The President: Under which part of Article 6 of the Charter does this come?

Lt. Col. Griffith-Jones: It would come under Crimes against Humanity with respect to...

The President: Are they connected with war?

Lt. Col. Griffith-Jones: In some respect, yes, because the purpose of this extermination of old people was to rid the Reich of unproductive elements."