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Lex Zwickau (1924) and Responses to It (January 1932)

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C) Correspondence between Friedrich von Bodelschwingh and Medizinalrat [Senior Health Official] [Carl] Schneider

Pastor F. v. Bodelschwingh, Bethel, near Bielefeld, January 28, 1932

Dr. Schneider

My dear Herr Medizinalrat!

Enclosed I am sending, with the request for its return, a letter from old Ulbrich. (Perhaps you heard last year about the unsuccessful attempt to institutionalize him in Morija. After going into retirement, he had a nervous breakdown, though he seems to have more or less recovered.)

As for the Lex Zwickau – this is merely the draft that has already been known for some time. Since then, have you heard anything in or from Saxony about the actual success of Dr. Boeters’ efforts?

Sincerely yours,

Dr. S/H, Bethel, January 29, 1932

Pastor F. von Bodelschwingh

My dear Pastor!

I know Pastor Ulbrich (from Morija). Should one not advise him against publishing the article? The draft is the one that has been known for some time already, and it has been rejected by all sides – even by defenders of the cause – as going too far. Sterilization is being carried out in Saxony, but as far as I can see, it is on a modest scale and is being done with tolerable prudence and careful restriction to special individual cases. Of course, everything is wrong about Boeters’ draft. But there is hardly any need to prove that today; above all, Pastor Ulbrich would need to become familiar with the difference between sterilization and castration before he speaks out. If a paragraph makes it into the new penal law, it will surely not be in line with Boeters’ guidelines.

With best regards

Faithfully yours

signed Schneider

Source: “Lex Zwickau” (1924) and Responses to It (January 1932), in Anneliese Hochmuth, Spurensuche: Eugenik, Sterilisation, Patientenmorde und die v. Bodelschwinghschen Anstalten Bethel 1929-1945, edited by Matthias Benad in conjunction with Wolf Kätzner and Eberhad Warns. Bielefeld: Bethel-Verlag, 1997, pp. 212-14.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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