The policy of forced sterilization which deprives sick people of the right to offspring was at that time, unfortunately, accepted not only in Germany but also in many other countries.
On July 14, 1933, the German Nazi authorities introduced a law requiring people suffering from hereditary diseases to be sterilized so that their descendants would not inherit these defects. Such a policy is called eugenics and at that time it was unfortunately accepted not only in Germany but also in many other countries.
German law had the full name Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses (Law on the Prevention of Genetically Ill Progeny) and was aimed at preventing eight inherited diseases: mental retardation, schizophrenia, manic-depressive disorder, hereditary epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, heredity hereditary deafness and any more severe hereditary deformities.
Even heavy alcoholics could be declared unfit to have offspring and sterilized. Already in the first year of application of this law, 84,600 people were brought before the Genetic Health Courts, which had to decide whether they must be sterilized or not. As many as 62,400 of them were forced to sterilize. The following year, even more were ordered, as many as 71,700 sterilizations, and by the end of the Nazi regime, it was estimated that more than 400,000 people had been forcibly sterilized. To date, scientists have not actually proven the existence of a mental illness that would be unconditionally hereditary.