University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • Total Registration

    Total Registration

    Total Registration

    Card index of a hereditary file with the city of Frankfurt, 1934/35

    Since 1933, the authorities introduced a systematic registration of the population under genetic aspects in order to implement Nazi racial policy. Welfare authorities of any kind provided personal data concerning their foster. children and clients to both the municipal and state authorities. The data that was filed could be used freely against those concerned for purposes of sterilization, marriage licenses, adoption, public service careers or nationalization.

    In 1935/36 the Frankfurt genetic register contained 100,000 entries and approximately 170,000 files for a population of 555-857 inhabitants. In 1937/38 the genetic register contained 230.000 entries, the hereditary archives consisted of 250.000 files. Thus, half of the population of Frankfurt was already registered.

    Request of the Lauterbach district office, department for hereditary health and racial hygiene, to also indicate the addresses of mentally sick etc., 19th October 1934

    The groups of the population designed to become the first victims of the Nazi racial
    policy underwent systematic registration: mentally sick, mentally deficient, deaf and
    dumb, blind, children brought up under the social welfare stem and ,,alcoholics".
    The head of Giessen department for hereditary health and racial hygiene of the
    Hessian Chamber of Physicians, Dr. med, Heinrich Wilhelm Kranz, who later became
    a lecturer with the universities of Giessen and Frankfurt a.M., was one of the leading
    representatives of racial hygiene during the 'Third Reich".

    The new institute for Hereditary and Racial Research in Giessen, 1937

    In 1938, the institute under the head of Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Kranz, inaugurated in January 1936, was formally affiliated to the university of Giessen. The tasks of the institute holding three medical assistants and at least three further medical and nine non-medical posts, was not confined to research and science. The "Landesstelle für die erbbiologische Bestandsaufnahme" (regional authority for the genetic registration) and the "Eheberatungsstelle des staatlichen Gesundheitsamtes" (marital counselling bureau of the stateoperated sanitary board), responsible for the district of Upper-Hesse, were also part of the institute. In 1939, the archives included data from more than 450.000 individuals. In the marital counseling bureau, approximately 1,800 persons were registered per year.

    The registration of hereditarily diseased clans by the mental hospitals, by Dr. Wilhelm Stemmler, 1936

    Dr.Wilhelm Stemmler was head of the newly established Wiesbaden based "department for hereditary and racial hygiene" of the province of Hesse-Nassau. In his function and with the support of local commissioners, he organized the genetic registration in all institutions of the province. Emphasizing the importance of his duty he explained: "It someone says that funds should be used for equally necessary tasks like e.g. the support of the youth hostels and similar projects, we may also ask what youth hostels are good for if nobody doesn't take immediate measures within the scope of hereditary and racial hygiene, in older to ensure that only hereditarily healthy individuals come into such youth hostels and not those young people that are mentally or physically crippled." (Speech 1936)