Whilst history widely records in tragic detail the Final Solution and also the mass sterilisation programme, which heavily involved SS – Brigadeführer Carl Clauberg, less evidence is available on the Third Reich’s other key population control policy, namely its aim to increase the birth-rate/fecundity of those individuals deemed worthy of reproduction.
In the meantime, I would refer readers to an interesting paper by Heidrun Kaupen-Haas, who published a paper in Reproductive and Genetic Engineering, Vol. 1, No 2, pp 127-132, 1988. This paper provides a stimulating insight and an example of Himmler and Clauberg’s impact into ‘the way in which population control in Nazi Germany – to promote those “worthy of reproduction” and to eliminate those “unworthy of reproduction” – influenced the international research in genetic and reproductive technology.’
Block 10 at Auschwitz was used by Clauberg and others to conduct their experiments. The sterilisation experiments were led by Clauberg.
Many readers will be well aware that September 1, 1939 marked the day when Germany invaded Poland in a brief alliance with the Soviet Union. One fact, not so many readers may realise was that on this day, Hitler secretly authorised the extension of the euthanasia programme to adults, one which had been successfully run and had been disposing of disabled children since the mid 1930s. The actual law was referred to in the story as portrayed in the memo dictated by and signed by Hitler. To assist in the disposal of the adults and mentally impaired individuals, the Aktion T4 Board, led by Hitler’s personal physician did actually assess those deemed fit to die by gassing; the six facilities as listed in the exchange of memos in the story were actually built and used.
Whilst history widely records in tragic detail the Final Solution and also the mass sterilisation programme, which heavily involved SS – Brigadeführer Carl Clauberg, less evidence is available on the Third Reich’s other key population control policy, namely its aim to increase the birth-rate/fecundity of those individuals deemed worthy of reproduction. The Lebensborn Strategy mentioned in Hitler’s memo formed a public facing major part of this approach. Mengele’s widely reported experimentation on twins also aimed to crack the code on how to increase Aryan stock.
Artificial insemination was pursued as an approach by the Nazis. There was, as mentioned in the memos within the story from Clauberg, a Reich Working Group that was set up to address support for childless marriages and sterility. The Working Group’s brief did include the task of examining the efficacy of artificial insemination. It is true that Himmler did not view favourably artificial insemination as a practice for human beings, but for a variety of reasons grudgingly supported further work into its capability.
Surprisingly, there appears to be little information on what was undertaken in Nazi Germany in terms of artificial insemination programmes and research. Given the fact artificial insemination, or impregnation as it was generally known in those days, was widely practiced throughout Europe and the United States of America, it seems strange that no apparent records of Nazi activity appears to be available. That said, I have not sought to translate the vast array of Nazi research papers which recorded their medical experiments and have relied upon translation available in English and which is publicly available on the internet. If readers have more information on the activities of the Nazis in the use of artificial insemination, I would be very happy to hear from them.
Copyright 2017 Philip A Oldfield - Author of cross genre psychological thrillers and romantic comedies, all with strong female protagonists
Exeter, Devon, England. All rights reserved.