Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Nicholas Andreadis

Second Advisor

Scott Friesner

Third Advisor

Peter Krawutschke


During World War II, millions of innocent people were murdered in Nazi Germany. For Hitler and his followers, having a pure race meant having a strong, unified country, and Germany took this idea to extreme and disturbing lengths. Corruption filled the government at all levels. As physicians were the only people authorized to run the gas chambers, traditional healers became death symbols. The Nazis and their physicians used their power to manipulate and murder for the collective goals of the country, as well as the personal gains that came with the high-end job titles. As I reveal the history and genealogy of these ideas, I strive to maintain a neutral tone and perspective. I do not agree and I do not have sympathy for these killers, but throughout this project I sought to understand the origins of this cruelty, and I wanted to give the same options to the reader. Working through the history and the evolution of the ideas led me to a greater understanding of how the pieces fit together for the German government to successfully complete their large-scale exterminations. The perfect amounts of evil, corruption, madness and brilliance seemed to intertwine and come together to build a functional team of killers. If these ideas and conditions can be understood more clearly, then perhaps the human population can try to recognize and avoid any future genocides or boundless murders.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access