Menschen movie

Down Syndrome History in Films – Eugenics

In the short film “Menschen,” we are reminded of a time in history when Hitler carried out his plan to rid the world of people with disabilities.  Actor Connor Long gives an award winning performance as a young person found by an Austrian soldier at the end of WWII. 

Action T4 - Nazi policy for racial hygiene, enforced the euthanasia of children and adults with disabilities from 1939-1945. Hitler described these individuals as
Photo from “Why the Film Menschen is Not “Just a Movie”” by Mardra Sikora

In a poignant essay on Medium, Mardra Sikora looks at how the horrors of our past have eerie similarities to current events.

“I am sad to report that sometimes, still today, a scientist will publicly announce, without remorse, that people with Down syndrome, flatly cannot “contribute,” and are “not enhanced.” These specific comments followed the statement that giving birth to a child with Down syndrome is “immoral.” In fact, this belief is so prevalent and persistent that it leads to the large scale eugenics that proceeds, practically undaunted, across the world today.”

Writer and director Sarah Lotfi approached the project from the perspective of sibling. We had a chance to speak with her about the movie during this podcast on BlogTalk Radio.

 

“Menschen” brings viewers face-to-face with some difficult feelings and prejudices that we would like to think society has evolved away from.

You can watch it now on:

iTunes  amazon instant video Google Play

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