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When the law came into effect on the first day of 1934, the ‘hereditary health courts’ were swamped with cases.

In their first three years the ‘health courts’ ruled on almost 225,000 patients, ordering compulsory sterilisation for around 90 per cent.

They thought of German society as a sick organism, its bloodstream contaminated by degenerate and undesirable elements.

More than 64,000 Americans with mental illnesses were forcibly sterilised between the 1890s and 1924.

Of the patients sterilised in 1934, 53 per cent were intellectually disabled or ‘feeble-minded’, 25 per cent schizophrenics and 14 per cent epileptics.

In total, the Nazi ‘health courts’ approved the forced sterilisation of more than 300,000 people between 19.

Nazi social policies were strongly influenced by the eugenics movement.

Eugenics was a social theory popular with many scientists, philosophers, academics and writers in the early 20th century.

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