Few people know over 13,000 Deaf people — and not just the Jewish Deaf — were killed by the Nazis in the late 1930’s.
Not only were the Deaf the first to find the executioner’s hand under Fascism, they were also viewed as inferior “useless eaters” by the ruling party.
Since the Deaf were unable to communicate in the Germanic mother tongue they were not heard or understood by the majority and fell prey to early graves.
The BBC has a wonderful companion website to help us always remember the Deaf who died. Here are three incredible blocks of quotes from the amazing show:
EducationErna Young who was sterilised as a young girl — estimated that some 17,000 deaf people were sterilised between 1933 and 1945 – the youngest was only 9 years old. Given that there was no national register of deaf or disabled people in Germany, many were given over to the authorities by teachers of the deaf – the very people trusted with their care and support. Some Nazi educationalists even began to question the right of deaf children to be educated at all, believing the education of the ‘inferior’ to be wasteful.