Erbkrank (English: The Hereditary Defective) is a 1936 Nazi propaganda film.
Directed by Herbert Gerdes, it was one of six propagandistic movies produced by the "NSDAP, Reichsleitung, Rassenpolitisches Amt" or the Office of Racial Policy, from 1935 to 1937 to demonize people in Germany diagnosed with mental illness and mental retardation.
The goal was to gain public support for the T-4 Euthanasia Program then in the works. This film, as the others, was made with actual footage of patients in German psychiatric hospitals.
Adolf Hitler reportedly liked the film so much that he encouraged the production of the full-length film Opfer der Vergangenheit: Die Sünde wider Blut und Rasse (English: Victims of the Past: The Sin against Blood and Race). In 1937, Erbkrank was reportedly showing in nearly all Berlin film theaters.
Prior to World War II, the film was distributed in America through the Pioneer Fund.
Notes and references
- ↑ Proctor, Robert. Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988, p. 358