Archive/File: places/germany/euthanasia/hitler-and-roots-of-euthansia Last-Modified: 1998/01/29 "If we stop looking for new facts and focus on the significance within the total picture of what we already know, we will come upon sources of information in our study of Hitler that have thus far not been properly evaluated and therefore are not readily or widely accessible. As far as I know, for example, little attention has been paid to the important fact that Klara Hitler's hunchbacked and schizophrenic sister, Adolf's Aunt Johanna, lived with the family throughout his childhood. At least in the biographies that I have read, I have never found a connection made between this fact and the Third Reich's euthanasia law. To find any significance in this connection, a person must be able and willing to comprehend the feelings that arise in a child who is exposed daily to an extremely absurd and frightening form of behavior and yet at the same time is forbidden to articulate his fear and rage or his questions. Even the presence of a schizophrenic aunt can be positively dealt with by a child, but only if he can communicate freely with his parents on the emotional level and can talk with them about his fears. "Franziska Hoerl, a servant in the Hitler household when Adolf was born, told Jetzinger in an interview that she had not been able to put up with this aunt any longer and left the family on her account, stating simply that she refused to be around `that crazy hunchback' any longer. "The child of the family is not allowed to say such a thing. Unable to leave, he must put up with everything; not until he has grown up can he take any action. When Hitler was grown and came to power, he was finally able to avenge himself a thousandfold on this unfortunate aunt for his own misfortune. He had all the mentally ill in Germany put to death, because he felt they were `useless' for a `healthy' society (i.e., for him as a child). As an adult, Hitler no longer had to put up with anything; he was even able to `liberate' all of Germany from the `plague' of the mentally ill and retarded and was not at a loss to find ideological embellishments for this thoroughly personal act of revenge." (Miller, 195-6) Work Cited Miller, Alice. For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence. Translated by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum. New York: Noonday Press - Farrar - Straus - Giroux, 1990. Originally published in German under the title `Am Anfang war Erziehung.'
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