‘Evil consequences may well follow’: eugenics and the British medical establishment
After the Second World War, the British Advisory Committee for Medical War Crimes was set up to investigate experiments carried out on prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. The committee’s records are held by the RCP archives. One of the categories into which the Committee divided the war crimes was eugenics, the bigoted ideology of ‘perfecting’ society through state-planned breeding. However, eugenics was not an ideology confined to Nazi Germany. Two members of the war crimes committee, Carlos Paton Blacker (1895-1975) and Aubrey Lewis (1900-1975), were also members of the RCP’s euphemistically named Voluntary Sterilisation Committee. Assistant Archivist, Felix Lancashire, examines eugenic theory and practice among British physicians in the 1930s-50s.
Please be aware that this blog contains distressing content from the outset.