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Registering the Handicapped in Nazi Germany: A Case Study

Henry Friedlander
Jewish History
Vol. 11, No. 2 (Fall, 1997), pp. 89-98
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20101303
Page Count: 10
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Registering the Handicapped in Nazi Germany: A Case Study
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Abstract

The mass murder of entire population groups by the German state in the Nazi era was accompained by an enormous amount of paperwork. The registration of the victims was the first step in the bureaucratic process of destruction. Paperwork accompanied the victims from the point of registration to the instant of death. The Nazi German state perfected a system of registration that made repression easy. This applied to all groups scheduled for exclusion from the national community, especially Jews, Gypsies, and the handicapped. In this paper, the process applied to the handicapped serves as an example to show the repressive efficacy provided by bureaucratic paperwork in the modern state. It shows how agencies of state and party collected, evaluated, and processed the data necessary to exclude and finally kill a proscribed population. /// [Abstract in Hebrew].

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