Remembering The Holocaust, Sad for Jews as well as for All Who Were Disabled

The Holocaust is known for its ruthless murder of six million Jews and should be taught as one of the most disgusting acts of genocide ever. What often goes unreported in the big bold type is that Hitler went after more than just Jews. He targeted anyone who was physically, mentally or cognitively disabled. There’s probably no record of how many blind and partially sighted people lost their lives to Hitler’s atrocities, but we who are so contoured do well to study the Holocaust with as much fervor and sobriety as any Jew.

After all, in many ways, some countries such as Iceland still target their mentally and physically impaired as intentional targets for abortion just because they were conceived with a disability. Doctors in the Netherlands are encouraged to make the option for assisted suicide more palatable and even attractive to those who have various medical risks that put a financial strain on their economy. The myth that said people are burdens to their society is very much propagated through slight of hand rhetoric.

In the face of said discouragement of and hostility toward people who are disabled in any way, we in the blindness community welcome the opportunities to be bold in our advocacy, efforts to be independent, and contributing members of our society. After all, while we do have legal protections here in the United States such as the Americans With Disabilities Act (1990), ableism is still alive and endemic in many corners of society. That’s why, among other grassroots efforts and larger consumer organizations, we at Boldly Blind strive to raise awareness of the capabilities of those who are blind and the adaptations we make when navigating life’s contours.

Resources:

This link will take you to the Holocaust Museum’s discussion of the Nazi genocide against people who were disabled or, as they put it, had hereditary diseases that would also make their progeny incompatible with the plan for the intended master race. https://www.ushmm.org/collections/bibliography/people-with-disabilities

This book documents not only the Nazi atrocities perpetrated against people who were disabled in 1939-1945 but it also shows implications for today. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781566635653/Forgotten-Crimes-The-Holocaust-and-People-with-Disabilities

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