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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Friday, February 3


This passage from The Racial State: Germany 1933-1945 (pp. 142-144) serves as a stark reminder that, in the fascist Weltanschauung, sentimentality and brutality are often indissolubly joined. For our larger purposes here, hold that thought.

The "euthanasia" programme was finally precipitated by the Knauer case in the winter of 1938-9. A man called Knauer petitioned Hitler asking that his deformed child, who was in a clinic at the university of Leipzig, be killed. Hitler sent Brandt, the physician to his retinue, to investigate, with powers to authorise the child's death if the circumstances warranted it. Brandt, and the Head of the Chancellery of the Führer, Philipp Bouhler, who wished to enlarge the scope of his agency beyond answering letters to Hitler, were then authorised to deal with further requests in a similar way.

Brandt and Bouhler formed an ad hoc group called the Reich Committee for the Scientific Registration of Serious Hereditarily- and Congenitally-based Illnesses consisting of officials from the Chancellery of the Führer, representatives of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, and carefully selected physicians. This committee constituted the clearing house for reports on deformed births sent in my physicians and midwives throughout the Reich. The reports, ostensibly designed to "clarify scientific questions in the field of congenital deformities,", were then forwarded to three paediatricians (Professors Heinze, Werner Catel and Dr Ernst Wentzler), who marked the forms with a "+" or "-" according to whether the child was to die or survive. The children concerned were subsequently transferred to special "pediatric clinics" where they were either starved o death or given lethal injections. Their deaths provided research "material" for a number of university-based psychiatrists and neurologists because, as one professor put it, "thanks to the programme [i.e. "euthanasia"], a rapid anatomical and histological clarification can be achieved". In the course of this initial "children's euthanasia" programme, at least 5,200 infants, children, and adolescents were killed.

The children were transferred to special clinics where they were either starved to death or given lethal injections.