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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Crying Hands
Eugenics and Deaf People in Nazi Germany

Horst Biesold
Introduction by Henry Friedlander

Now in Paperback!

View the table of contents.
Read an excerpt.
Read reviews: ForeWord Magazine, Choice, Donald Moores (Former Editor, American Annals of the Deaf; Coeditor, Educational and Developmental Aspects of Deafness).
  $34.95s print edition
$34.95 e-book

From ForeWord Magazine

Despicable Deeds: In 1934, 32,268 people were sterilized against their will under the Reich Ministry of Interior’s new law: Law for the Prevention of Offspring with hereditary Diseases. This law was in conjunction with eugenics, the science of the betterment of the human race through improved breeding. Eventually this law led to 375,000 German nationals being sterilized. Part of this number was the deaf.

       In Crying Hands: Eugenics and Deaf People in Nazi Germany author Horst Biesold, a former teacher of deaf students, describes the heartache of these deaf victims. He interviewed through sign language 1,215 people. Their hands tell a painful story of mutilation and lifetime suffering.

       Feelings from one pair of crying hands: “It was an extremely painful torture, the doctor bored around in the sensitive part...the pain from the operation scars kills all pleasure for me.” Another pair: “About three months after the operation, my fianceé said to me that we had to break up; he couldn’t be expected to keep a wife with a ‘Hitler cut’ for the rest of his life.”

Horst Biesold was a professor and teacher of deaf students in Bremen, Germany.

Print Edition: ISBN 978-1-56368-255-1, 6 x 9 paperback, 252 pages, 10 tables, 25 figures, 20 photographs


E-Book: ISBN 978-1-56368-196-7


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