Thursday, 13 December 2012

Auschwitz-Birkenau: Personal Reflections

In recent months this blog has been tracing the development of the ideology of eugenics. We have now reached the 1930s and the rise of Nazi Germany and the most concerted implementation of eugenic theories yet attempted . Over the next few weeks we will examine the most important elements of the Nazi ‘eugenic state’ in more detail; however before we do so I would like to share some personal reflections on my recent visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The famous entrance gate at Auschwitz I
A concentration camp was established at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1940 to hold Polish political prisoners but it became a central component of the Nazi eugenic programme especially after the Third Reich committed itself to the extermination of the Jews in 1942. It is estimated that at least one million people, mainly Jews, Poles, and Roma and Sinti gypsies, were murdered at the camp between 1940 and 1944. Nazi ideology, basing itself closely on the ‘science’ of eugenics (which I have previously discussed here and here and here), regarded all three groups as ‘untermenschen’ or subhuman.

Auschwitz-Birkenau consists of two main sites. The original camp, Auschwitz I, is now a museum while at Auschwitz II - Birkenau there are no exhibits or information boards and visitors are simply invited to walk around the complex which covers a total area of 140 hectares. The roads lead through rows and rows of barracks and other structures, of which for the most part only the foundations now remain. In two corners of the site are the ruins of the gas chambers in which so many innocent men, women, and children, lost their lives, being, for the most part, guilty only of possessing the wrong genes. After spending the morning at the museum at Auschwitz I we arrived at Auschwitz II at about four o’clock in the afternoon, just as it was beginning to get dark and as the evening mist began to form. There were not many other visitors and so we walked the ‘streets’ of Auschwitz almost alone. Despite these ‘atmospheric’ conditions it was still very difficult to comprehend the horror of what had taken place on the very ground on which we were standing. For myself I was most forcibly struck by the tragedy while waiting for the bus that would take us back to Krakow and thinking of the hundreds of thousands of my fellow human beings who must have longed to make the same journey but who were never able to do so.

'Subhumans' or human beings?
There were many other moments of unease as I explored the museum and site at Auschwitz. I felt unable to share in the common assumption that the 'Holocaust' is an event past and gone, which we can mourn over while comforting ourselves that we will never allow such things to happen again. As I walked through the galleries I became increasingly aware that the arguments used by the Nazis to justify their extermination of 'subhumans' were to a large extent indistinguishable both from the ideology of eugenics that I have been exploring on this blog and the arguments used to justify abortion and euthanasia in the present. The 'Holocaust' was simply one rotten fruit of the eugenics movement and the present mass-slaughter of the unborn is merely a modern manifestation of the same. There is even some degree of institutional continuity; we have already seen how a eugenicist involved in the Nazi sterilisation programme was head of the German affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation until 1984. We will be exploring Nazi eugenics in more detail over the next few weeks. I would like to conclude this post by simply stating a few of the parallels that struck me most closely as I walked through the museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

-         Both the Nazis and the modern abortion industry use dehumanising language and pseudo-science in order to deny the humanity of their victims. Advocates of abortion refer to the unborn child merely as a ‘foetus’ or ‘a clump of cells’ in the same way that the Nazis developed a ‘racial science’ purporting to prove that Jews, Gypsies and Slavs were ‘subhuman.’ In recent years the abortion lobby has even redefined pregnancy, contrary to all established scientific understanding, in order to deny that certain forms of contraceptive drugs have an abortifacient effect.

-         Auschwitz has become notorious for the experiments carried out on prisoners by Dr Joseph Mengele and his team. The justification for such crimes was that they would lead to medical advances and that it was legitimate to experiment on ‘subhumans’ if it brought medical benefits. This is exactly the justification used by those who carry out experiments on human beings at the embryonic stage of development. They relegate these human beings to a ‘subhuman’ status and then argue that it is necessary to experiment on them in order to find cures for medical conditions. In both cases it is human beings who are the subject of the experiments.There is no moral difference between the experiments carried out by Dr Mengele in Auschwitz and those conducted by scientists in modern labs.[1]

-         In the museum at Auschwitz one can see punishment forms filled in by German guards seeking permission to punish prisoners. These forms had to be signed and approved by senior officers. This is just one of the ways in which the horrors of Auschwitz were legitimised by formal procedures. Auschwitz and other extermination camps were extremely well run, with clearly defined goals, and conducted with the full support of the national governent. In the same way the abortion industry also hides behind its fa├žade of legality and state support. By obtaining two signatures the taking of a human life suddenly becomes a legitimate and respectable procedure.

-         Legal formalities cannot however stifle the voice of conscience. There is always a secret fear of crimes being recognised for what they are. This secret guilt is clearly in evidence among the Nazis in their panicked liquidation of prisoners and destruction of the gas chambers as Allied forces approached the camps. It was also common for those involved in the ‘final solution’ to destroy any documents that implicated them. Despite their inward and outward self-justification they knew that they were guilty of an offence against the moral law and that this would be recognised once the full facts were known and freely discussed. The abortion industry receives enormous sums of money from national governments; they are given almost total support in the mainstream media and the abortion ideology reigns unchallenged in most of our institutions. Yet the smallest success by the pro-life movement, the smallest number of people holding peaceful vigil outside a modern day death-chamber, is enough to bring forth extraordinary expressions of fear and anxiety on their part. They live in fear that those actions for which their conscience now condemns them in secret will one day be condemned before the whole world just as the crimes committed secretly at Auschwitz were exposed openly at Nuremberg.
'Subhuman' or human being?

There may be some readers who remain unconvinced by the parallel that I have drawn in this post. I would like to end by reminding such readers that the Nazis also would have had no difficulty in responding to my post with a barrage of 'facts' and arguments that purported to justify their identification of certain races as 'subhuman'. Yet today we can see that this distinction is arbitary and their 'science' worthless. All those who support abortion, or any form of research or 'medical' procedure that leads to the destruction of embryos, are also making arbritary distinctions between human beings reducing certain categories to a subhuman status which leads to their deaths. I would urge you to consider upon what grounds you make these distinctions and whether your division of humanity has any more justification than that of the Nazis. 

Please help us to defeat abortion:

-         Join SPUC today


[1] It is also interesting to note that after Mengele escaped justice and fled to Argentina he practiced medicine for a couple of years, during which time he reputedly ‘had a reputation as a specialist in abortions.’ (http://www.nytimes.com/1992/02/11/world/mengele-an-abortionist-argentine-files-suggest.html)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Life and Crimes of Margaret Sanger Part V: Birth Control and Abortion

Margaret Sanger in her later years
Margaret Sanger’s most concrete legacy is surely the International Planned Parenthood Federation which consists of 150 affiliated organisations working in 172 countries. Together they form the largest organisation in the world dedicated to the promotion of contraception and abortion.

Margaret Sanger’s name is therefore inextricably associated with abortion, yet during her lifetime the practice was illegal in most American states and in almost every country in the world. It will be of interest then to consider Sanger’s views on abortion and ask why the birth control organisations she led were to become the major abortion providers wherever abortion was legalised, and the major advocates for its legalisation in those nations where it was not. 

Sanger was in favour of abortion from an early stage in her career despite her reluctantance to support it publicly. In her 1920 book Women and the New Race she claimed that throughout history societies have feared overpopulation and therefore practiced abortion and infanticide. Accordingly she argued that only the widespread availability of artificial birth control could bring an end to such 'horrors'. Sanger gives examples of women who have been ‘forced’ into abortion because they could not afford any more children. She used the natural abhorrence of abortion to try to overcome the equally natural abhorrence of contraception. If she was sincere in her profession that abortion was something to be regretted she was nonetheless prepared to support it. In her book Family Limitation she stated baldly that ‘no one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable.’ According to Angela Franks there is evidence that her Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau referred at least seventy-five women for abortions.[1] Indeed Sanger’s criticisms of abortion seem to focus on the danger abortion procedures pose to the health of the mother rather than on the rights of the unborn child.
One of the major questions Sanger poses in Women and New Race is ‘Contraceptives or Abortion—which shall it be?’ Sanger’s commitment to radical sexual liberation, which admits no possibility of sexual abstinence or self-restraint, combined with her conviction that overpopulation is the cause of poverty, renders her unable to accept the possibility of any other solutions to the problems that she raises. This refusal to acknowledge that rational human beings can exercise self-control in sexual matters is very prevalent today. Young people are taught to consider themselves as subject to uncontrollable desires which will result either in ‘unwanted pregnancy’ or sexually transmitted diseases unless they allow themselves to be subjected to a variety of contraceptive methods.  Modern sex education therefore strips from young people any sense of self-respect or true understanding of their sexuality.
Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service), has argued that we must either view abortion as a ‘problem’ or we must ‘allow people their moments of intimacy, we allow them to enjoy sex, and we allow them to make use of abortion as a back-up to contraception.’[2] In other words, as no limit can reasonably be placed on the pursuit of sexual pleasure (because the right to such pleasure is so fundamental and the desire for it so overwhelming) it is permissible to destroy the ‘unwanted’ results of such actions, even though they be unique and innocent human beings.

If we have learnt anything in this series of posts about Margaret Sanger it is surely that the origins of abortion lie in an erroneous ideology of sexual liberation which separates sexual pleasure from the procreative and unitive ends of the sexual act. Once this isolation of pleasure has taken place then it becomes ‘necessary’ for birth control to be used to allow for the maximum pursuit of this pleasure. The failure of birth control to prevent all ‘unwanted pregnancy’ then renders abortion equally ‘necessary’.  This is why the birth control movement was brought forth by the movement for ‘sexual liberation’ and why it has seamlessly developed into the abortion industry that we confront today.
Only by working tirelessly to restore a true understanding of human sexuality can the pro-life movement ensure that all human life will once more be loved, protected and welcomed.

You may be interested in reading the other posts in this series:


The Life and Crimes of Margaret Sanger: Part I


The Life and Crimes of Margaret Sanger II: From Marx to Malthus


The Life and Crimes of Margaret Sanger III: Eugenics and Birth Control


The Life and Crimes of Margaret Sanger IV: Eugenics and Race






[1] Angela Franks, Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy: The Control of Female Fertility, p11
[2] Ann Furedi, ‘Why rising abortion rates are not a problem?’, Spiked Online, (31/3/2008)

Marie Stopes employee in the UK turns whistleblower

Below is a hard hitting report by Dennis Rice and Rachel Ellis and published in The Daily Mail 7 years ago 2005. It's rare that a nurse, doctor, or administrator working for an abortion organisation turns whistleblower and reveals the workings of an abortion unit or an abortion organisation.

Powerful examples include Dr. Bernard Nathanson who was an abortionist and founded NARAL (known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, when first founded). Nathanson abandoned the pro-abortion organisation, in large part following the routine use of ultrasound which became a window into the womb and the life of the child before birth, and circles he moved in. He became a pro-life advocate for the unborn and helped produce two well know films "The Silent Scream" and "Eclipse of Reason" which highlighted the humanity of the unborn child and the wickedness of abortion. 


Carol Everett owned a chain of abortion centres in America during the 80s. By her own admission she is responsible for the deaths of 35,000 unborn babies, 1 mother, and the injuring of at least 19 mothers who required serious surgery following an abortion. Carol's descent into the abortion industry began when she had her third child aborted following pressure from her then husband and doctor. We've written about Carol before on the blog, which includes a shocking video interview, where she explains the the plan to sell abortion to teenage girls and young women had and its relevance today.

Dr. Anthony Levantino MD JD is an American obstetrician gynaecologist. From June 1993 until September 2000, he was associate professor of OB-GYN at the Albany Medical College, and has served in private practises all of his career. From 1981 through February 1985, he performed approximately 1200 abortions. Over 100 of them were second-trimester Suction D&E procedures up to 24 weeks gestation, a procedure so terrible in its killing of the child that very few were willing to do it. However, Dr. Levantino is now a pro-life doctor and advocate. This year he gave a powerful testimony about his life and the true nature of abortion procedures.

Abbey Johnson is probably the most well known person to leave the abortion industry and become an effective pro-life voice. Abbey worked for planned parenthood in America, eventually becoming a director of Planned Parenthood in Texas. Her personal involvement in an abortion, and the image on the ultrasound screen, was a turning point. Abby's rejection of abortion was also influenced by 40 Days for Life, which held peaceful prayer vigils outside the centre where Abby worked. She has since given numerous interviews and written several books. People who have worked in the abortion industry, together with mothers who have sadly had abortions, and then become pro-life, can make powerful spokespersons and defenders of the unborn, yet largely ignored by the mainstream media and pro-abortion groups they once inhabited. Other recent examples can be found, just do a simple word search on LifeSite News.

You'll notice all of these come from America. It seems even more difficult to find such examples in the UK, but there are examples of whistleblowers.

One example that people may not know about is from 2005, when an employee of abortionists Marie Stopes in Brixton South London left her job and revealed that staff were being given or withheld pay bonus incentives based on the number of "clients" (mothers) having NHS-paid abortions. The employee, Ms. Georgiou reported that staff were told to hit targets of 50 abortions a day, rather than 20-30. According to the report, Marie Stopes 
"concedes that staff do receive performance-related awards and agrees that employees at the South London clinic were told to increase their 'efficiency and capacity' if they wanted to receive the full amount".

This is truly shocking. So, please read the article below. Turn this into action - order pro-life leaflets from SPUC and put them through letterboxes. Read and put into action the Youth & Student Newsletter, Join the Helpers of God's Precious Infants and the Good Counsel Network vigils, join or start a local SPUC branch in your area, so there will be an effective grass roots pro-life team where you live, for the sake of those in need and the most vulnerable - the children in the womb in danger of being killed. MSI Brixton Whistleblower report
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