From Kirkus Reviews
A chilling documentation of what happened in Germany when the Nazis seized power and put their ideas on eugenics and euthanasia into action. Burleigh (International History/London School of Economics; coauthor, The Racial State, not reviewed) points out that the Nazi program began with a humanitarian rationalization: Mentally and physically disabled children were subject to ``mercy killing'' as a form of deliverance. Soon, however, ``mercy killing'' evolved into the elimination of ``life unworthy of life'' as the Nazi killing machine expanded to include more and more victims, and as political, legal, moral, and religious opposition was quashed by the fear of reprisals and totalitarian power. Burleigh demonstrates how Nazi eugenics perverted German medicine and science: Scientists approved the sterilization of some 400,000 people between 1934 and 1945 to eradicate ``degenerative heredity'' in order to ``improve the race.'' Doctors, particularly psychiatrists, were encouraged to falsify medical records, give lethal injections, starve patients, and use other creative means of murder while ignoring the age-old dictum of the physician, ``Do no harm.'' Burleigh also details how asylum populations were decimated as managers, bureaucrats, lawyers, doctors, nurses, and other professionals, corrupted by monetary awards and promotions, played their parts in the Nazi murder industry. Daily killings became routine as Nazi propagandists extolled social Darwinism. Burleigh describes how victims were targeted, including Jews, foreigners, enemies of the Reich, gypsies, and those who lacked ``labor values.'' Occasional accounts of humanity brighten the grim story, as medical Schindlers saved patients from death by listing them as valuable workers who were badly needed. After the war, some of the Nazi eugenicists, tried at Nuremberg and in German courts, were executed, while others received light sentences. Most melted into the general population under new identities. A notable contribution to the history of Nazi Germany--and a sobering reminder of what can happen when the claims of science, bureaucracy, and expertise go unchallenged. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'Indictment is brilliantly combined with memorial ... he restores personality to individuals deemed unworthy of life. History writing is rarely this moving, or so admirably, effectively moralistic.' David Cesarani, The Guardian
'Everyone ought to read it ... It is difficult to believe that this account could be improved upon ... '. Anthony Storr, The Times
'Death and Deliverance is humane, tough-minded, thoroughly researched, and breaks new ground in some neglected areas ... the book is refreshinlgy free of intellectual jargon and cant without over-simplifying the isues involved.' Jeremy Noakes, University of Exeter
'Starkly written and impressively researched, it focuses on the lives of the victims, the administrators and medical personnel, and on public repsonses. This is a distinguished historical contribution.' Paul Weindling, University of Oxford
'This is the most illuminating discussion of the Nazi 'euthanasia' programme yet published. The thorough documentation and chilling quotations bring out the extent of the complicity of the medical profession, and the extent to which the programme was ideologically driven. It is also a powerful study of the way propaganda can make the unthinkable seem normal. The 'euthanasia' programme is too little known, and the lessons to be learnt from this book are important.' Jonathan Glover, University of Oxford