This question is crude, but after watching a documentary on the history eugenics (“Homo Sapiens 1900”) I’m left wondering what the end result was. For example, does modern Germany have a lower rate of birth defects as the result of the Nazis killing/ sterilizing people with heritable disorders?
Any effect would be swamped by sheer numbers.
This site says that “Between 360,000 and 375,000 people” were sterilized by the Nazis. But total deaths during WWII are estimated at between 5,500,000 to 6,900,000. Even assuming that the targets of the German program were only those with heritable disorders and that every child they had would have exhibited these - a dubious proposition - it would be remarkable if an equal if not larger number were hidden in a population 20 times as large. This would be even more true for the smaller sterilization programs in other countries.
It gets worse if you assume that their contemporary knowledge of heredity was completely faulty, that new external sources of defects has appeared in the near century since, and that the survival rate for impacted babies has changed utterly. In addition, Hitler prevented marriages from those with suspected hereditary diseases and later implemented a euthanasia program for those with mental illnesses, handicaps, and terminal illnesses to avoid needing to spare food for them.
Even if you had good numbers for the prevalence of every type of disease for the first part of the 20th century - which don’t exist in the first place and would be swamped by the effects of the first World War in the second place - you couldn’t separate the effects from the multitude of causes. I’d be very suspicious of any attempts to make these claims.
Does family planning count? Lots of developed countries wherein average female fertility has dropped from more than 2% at the start of the 20th to less than 1% at present.
i imagine the Final Solution had some effect on the distribution of Jews around the world.
You’re off by an order of magnitude. Most numbers of total WWII deaths I’ve seen are 40-50 million. The number you quote there are the estimate of the Jews slaughtered, which is only half of the total who died in the various camps.
In other words, a lot of those “genetic defectives” weren’t defective at all. Many birth defects once considered genetic are now known to be the result of environmental insults and/or developmental problems. They are not the result of genes and will not be passed on to subsequent offspring. Meanwhile, if you sterilize such people you loose any good genes they might have to pass on to the next generation.
Sorry for being unclear. I was referring to total German deaths in WWII, with those the numbers given at Wikipedia. Just historic irony that the figure for Jews happens to be similar.
Only a small fraction of German deaths were of Jews, however. The vast majority of Jewish deaths in the Holocaust were residents of other countries.
Just to add, by May 1945, the number of men of conscription age (18-45) living in Berlin was around 45,000 according to the Cornelius Ryan book. And most of these were either wounded or exempt from service. compare this with an estimated 6 million women living in the city at the time the Russians showed up.