In an article printed on the New York Times website on October 29th the author prints a popular fallacy about Sanger in reference to comments made by the director of Pro-Life Pregnancy Center, Expectant Mother Care.
“Almost as an afterthought, she told me that Margaret Sanger, the hero of the reproductive rights movement, had ties to the Third Reich.”
While the article goes on to provide links to scientific information disproving claims about a link between abortion and breast cancer, as well as claims about the existence of “post-abortive syndrome” it never corrects the characterization of Sanger.
Comments like this, allowed to go uncorrected, are problematic because most people will not take the time to research them on their own – that it was printed in the New York Times, without comment, is enough for them. Furthermore, even the people who do go on to do further research may be lead astray by the many webpages out there that falsify documents and photographs to support this fallacy. There are websites out there, for instance, whose sole purpose is to encourage people to produce writings and artwork that ties Sanger to the KKK and the Nazi Movement; the material published on these websites is copied to other internet sites, often without any attribution of understanding that it is fictional.
This obviously photoshopped image is the perfect example of the material created to confuse people. Sanger and Hitler never actually met, nor did they agree with or like one another.
In the interest of historical accuracy, here are Sanger’s feelings about Hitler in her own words:
“The first thing I want to say in relation to my attitude regarding the present War and World Peace is that before Hitler came into power in Germany I was one of the few Americans who joined the Anti-Nazi Committee and gave money, my name and any influence I had with writers and others, to combat Hitler’s rise to power in Germany.”
“When Hitler got into the saddle and burned all books he considered (not immoral) but dangerous to the State, my three books were destroyed and have not been allowed to circulate in Germany. The publisher and translator were put into concentration camps and I have never heard of them since.”
“I firmly believe that Europe will not have a just Peace until Germany gets rid of Hitler, but also shall Italy, England and France get rid of their own leaders whom History will certainly identify as War Lords.”
Click here to read a more detailed article, from the Papers Project’s 2003 Winter Newsletter, about the Sanger-Hitler Equation.
Just to be clear: Margaret Sanger was firmly against the Nazi Party from the beginning, and Hitler was against Sanger. She had no ties to the Third Reich whatsoever.