By Horst Biesold
Now on hand in paperback; ISBN 1-56368-255-9
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Extra info for Crying hands: eugenics and deaf people in Nazi Germany
K. Günther, who occupied the chair in racial anthropology at Jena University and later at Freiburg; and Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, later director of the Frankfurt Institute for Hereditary Biology and Race Hygiene and thereafter Fischer's successor in Berlin. The opposition to the Nordic faction was centered in the Berlin chapter of the eugenic movement, led by the Social Democrat Alfred Grotjahn, who occupied the chair for social hygiene at the University of Berlin. The first battle involved the name of the movement.
1. I informed the director of a northern German school for hearing-impaired students of my research project and requested access to the registry books of what was earlier the Institution for the Deaf. Permission to review materials was granted without comment. Administrative records for the period 1933 to 1945 were analyzed from the perspective of my project. Eight days later, I asked the director for access to the files of students who attended the institution between 1933 and 1945. With an expression of deepest regret, the director of the school explained that a few days earlier he had instructed government workers at the school to destroy all the old student records.
The mutilation and suffering of children, adolescents, and parents, whose only crime was deafness, appears repeatedly in the documents and survivor testimony Biesold collected. Accounts of educators' complicity in atrocities against their own deaf students, moreover, is a second source of particular anguish for us in the Gallaudet University community. We hope that this translated and edited text will contribute to public understanding and debate about the troubling issues it raises. Page xi Preface to the German Edition This work could have been written only because there were more than twelve hundred deaf people who experienced and survived the most horrifying experiences and were willing to communicate them to a hearing person, despite the public silence that had been dictated.