Germany, in the years before WWI and the rise of Nazism, had been a nation whose culture was based upon Christian humanistic values – protection of human life, caring for the sick and infirm, etc. In the course of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, however, Germany began to take on the nature of a secular welfare state with an ever increasing percentage of the population to be cared for at the expense the state. In the hard economic times after WWI, that became a tremendous financial burden to the state.
The Nazis, with their Social Darwinist ideology, wanted to rid Germany of those it considered “life unworthy of life” in pursuit of their “super race”. One of the characteristics of a socialist government like the Nazis’ (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) is that everyone essentially belongs to the state and are merely cyphers in the credit or debit columns. The poster at left compares the cost of taking care of one useless “genetic defect” (erbkranker) with the cost of a family of five useful members of society.
The Nazi government set about ridding Germany of the “life unworthy of life” in a semi-secret program of “mercy-deaths”. The program was accompanied by a massive propaganda campaign to convince the German people that killing of the burdensome was “good” and protecting them was “bad”. Several examples of the propaganda are shown in the slider, along with a photograph of smoke rising from one of the “mercy death” facilities. The euthanasia program was the fore-runner of the Jewish Holocaust.
The Social Darwinist ideals of the Nazis were not unique to Germany, nor were they buried in the rubble of the Third Reich. Much of the pdf “book” War Comes To God’s House is concerned with the issues of the euthanasia program and Christian opposition to it, especially the later chapters.