The past few WW2 videos have gotten me to thinking. During the invasion and following years of occupation, the Germans attempted to remove anyone with a disability from the population. Learning disabilities, genetic disorders, etc. It’s horrific what they did to the Polish population.
I have a question though regarding a very cold and unpopular theory. Although what the Germans did was reprehensible and should never have been done, has anyone ever seen any research on how it changed Poland’s future population? The sad truth is that the Germans did remove a fairly substantial percentage of the population with disabilities from Poland, many of which had traits that are passed down genetically through the generations. Has this had any effect on the Polish population in the area of general heath and well-being or education? Are there any observable differences due to the purge of individuals with disabilities?
I’m no expert, but I’d like to give my input.
I think most people with disabilities that Hitler killed had disabilities that happened through mutation or accidents, not primarily hereditary diseases. This means that even if they had been spared, they A. wouldn’t have had offspring due to being “undesirable” (to put it bluntly) or B. their offspring wouldn’t have the same disabilities as them. Because of this, the impact on the Polish population of today didn’t (according to my very debunkable theory) change drastically if you’re talking about people with disabilities.
The impact on the Polish population after WW2 was significant - but not due to anything that happened to sick and disabled people - as you will see in this week’s episode the SS and Wehrmacht eliminated more than 90% of the Polish intellectuals and professionals that couldn’t flee, to not mention almost all of the Polish Jews. These were people that were taken out of the economy outside of the usual loss of life that effected the whole world. Due to the negative effects on the Polish economy of Soviet domination after the war it is impossible to aggregate 100% causal data on this, but one would have to be a fool to believe that eliminating the whole upper class and an entire ethnicity from a population will not have extremely adverse effects on the economy and social stability.
As for the disability argument., I say only Stephen Hawkins, possibly hereditary ALS, Albert Einstein, possibly somewhere on the autism scale also possibly hereditary (debatable and controversial, but still) - so at some point they had ancestors that gave them these genes… would we prefer that it wasn’t so?
To follow what @Spartacus said, the loss of intelectual class By German elimination , Soviets (Officers massacre, “local elite” being relocated to Kazachstan) and final loss of anything resembling intellectual elite still being in country in Warsaw Uprising was major shaping factor.
Whoever of pre-war elite survived, ended up either the west, in the MPB prisons if they dared to go back, or loudly supporting new regime (else one-way-trip to the east and they’ve been there).
Another shaping factor was forced relocation of inhabitants of eastern provinces, now USSR, to parts of pre-war Germany.
Add to that loss of Polish Jews both to war and emigration (encouraged after 1968).
Never seen any serious study about mental diseases. Seem to be pretty normal.
Speaking with grandparents about those times, they note great “peasantification” of the country. No surprise given factors above, and later encouragement of “peasant culture” by the new regime, and dissolvent of any kind of local bonds, heritage, inherited value, in most of the country
(though you can see which parts suffered forced relocation and full brunt of war , and which sat it out, on the political map to this day)
I agree completely with the idea that having a disability does not mean you will be burden to society. I hope I didn’t give that impression, I’ve two siblings that would have been hard pressed if they’d been alive in 1930s Poland.
The annihilation of the upper middle class and intellectuals in general would be devastating. I live a short flight from Phnom Penh in Cambodia where the Khmer Rouge similarly killed off anyone with an education and even today the country hasn’t recovered.