Many people do not know that the first victims of the Nazi Holocaust were not the Jews (which started primarily in 1942) but the mentally and physically handicapped. It started with the decision to kill physically deformed newborns and small children in 1939. A group of “experts” were formed, operating under the name of “Reich Committee for the Scientific Registration of Major Genetic and Congenital Suffering” to put together a child “euthanasia program. It only took a few months for the child “euthanasia” program to be expanded into a comprehensive program for murdering audit patients at medical institutions. A bureaucratic apparatus was built up known as the “Reich Working Association of Hospitals and Care Facilities” to disguise the true nature of the program. Patients were transferred to killing centers by the “Charitable Patient Transport PLC.” From the start of the operation until August 1941, 70,000 sick and disabled people were murdered in gas chambers disguised as showering facilities.
Over the course of the spring and summer of 1941, within the midst of World War II, rumors about the mass murder of hospital patients had continued to spread and created significant unease within the German public. On August 3, in a sermon, Bishop of Munster, Count Clemens August von Galen, publicly condemned the killings of thousands of innocent people in these programs. He stated that, if accepted, it would give the government the right to kill any “unproductive” fellow human beings including the incurably sick, invalids, and all who become old, weak or unproductive. The sermon created a stir among the German people as the text of it was illegally disseminated both inside and outside of Germany. Three weeks later Hitler ordered a halt to the systematic “euthanasia” operations, although the Nazis continued to murder medically handicapped persons with medicine in secret with the total number of deaths reaching around 200,000.
Sadly, von Galen refused to speak out against the persecution of the Jews he saw around him due to their rejection of Christianity and supported the Nazis in general due to his long-time nationalist sympathies. Even so, he was put under house arrest by the Nazis until the end of the war with plans by the Nazis to kill him after successful completion of the war (they felt he was too popular with the people to do it beforehand).
Despite his moral failings, his denunciation of the “euthanasia” program, shining light on the murder of innocents, caused the German people to object to this policy sufficient for the Nazi’s to pull back on the program. This reminds us of our responsibility to speak out against the murder of innocent babies in the womb right up to and beyond the date of death. Oh for more Christians in America to get up in the pulpit and elsewhere and loudly and clearly present these abortions as the wickedness they are – especially the late term abortions. It may well be more tolerable in the Day of Judgement for the German people living during the Nazi time than it is for the American people living during this time if we do not advocate strongly for elimination of wickednesses in our country such as abortion.