Eugenics in the Modern Socialist State

Nazi Eugenics Poster

Nazi Eugenics Poster

With the rise of the modern socialist state, states now found themselves responsible for the well-being of their citizens. Because of the physical and mental capabilities of some citizens, many countries in Europe during the inter-war period began to advocate and implement eugenics programs in order to decrease the strain and burden on the bureaucratic system.

States such as France and Germany began to give benefits to its working class; the right to vote, improved health care, education, etc to name a few. All of these rights have costs and benefits to the state, costs that are worth every penny IF the citizen is a healthy and productive member of society. However, in the case of unproductive members (mentally challenged, “undesirables”, crippled, etc) they can act as a burden on the state. Thus, in order to provide for productive members in times of an economic crisis, citizens began to advocate and help implement eugenics into European society.

As demonstrated above, eugenics were not promoted by showing the end result of the people in question; rather, eugenics was promoted through propaganda using imagery designed to show the dead weight that the “unproductive” citizens were sharing with those who were productive. The ubermensch German is shown to carry the sick and deformed as part of their duty to the state while the freeloaders ride on his shoulders. This sort of imagery in the times of a recession agreed with citizens view points on making sure that they survived the crisis. Because of this agreement, citizens began to implement such programs as eugenics, leading to the Holocaust.


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