Monday, April 26, 2010

Human Trafficking and the Mentally Handicapped

The Nazi's Action T4 was a euthanasia program that started in October of 1939 and killed up to 275,000 people.

This propaganda poster reads: 60,000 Reichsmarks is what this person suffering from a hereditary disease costs the People's community during his lifetime. Comrade this is your money too.

Last week I was in D.C. at the Holocaust museum. One exhibit chronicled the Nazi T4 program. Featured prominently were pictures of mentally handicapped children, naked and terrified, held awkwardly by Nazi physicians for the People's scrutiny. Surely the pure race need not be polluted by these defective's, the doctor's self-satisfied gaze's asked rhetorically.

And so there I was, standing in a crowd of strangers, the white noise of their conversations buzzing behind me, and the hot tears of rage and sorrow streaming down my face.

Evil may don a new mask, may be called by a new name, but in the modern slave trade as during the Nazi regime, evil still systematically exploits the weak and the defenseless. There have been a number of documented cases of the mentally handicapped being prostituted and enslaved in forced labor. No accurate statistics exist for the exact number of mentally disabled people being exploited, but because they are still viewed as unclean or cursed in many societies, they often have no one to speak out on their behalf.

So whether it's 60,000 Reichsmarks for a lifetime of institutional care or 50 dollars for forced sex, human life should never have a price tag. Every human life is sacred and priceless; those viewed as physically and economically viable and even those viewed as not.

Please be the voice of the voiceless. Please cry out for justice on behalf of the 27 million people currently enslaved in the world. When human flesh is allowed to be a currency, one day, and it may be soon, we may find that we are all for sale.


  1. Wow, that makes me mad and breaks my heart on so many levels. Its one of those things that we need to know about because it happened, and it happens, and we have to be aware before we can make a change, but it is so hard to swallow. I think if I saw those pictures they would haunt me for the rest of my life.

  2. It was excruciatingly personal for me. I have spent considerable time with the mentally and physically handicapped and to see those images of innocent children being desecrated by Nazi perversion and knowing that today they are still being brutalized, especially through prostitution, reignites my passion to fight modern slavery like very little else ever could. Thanks Rebecca.