Meagan Lise Breault
Candidate, M.A. History
|Degrees:||B.A. Hons. (University of Saskatchewan)|
Current Program: MA History (2018)
Twentieth Century Germany; National Socialism; Disability Studies; Second World War; Eugenics; Holocaust; History of Emotions.
Select Publications and Current Projects:
Breault, Meagan. “Keeping More than Home Fires Burning: Prairie Women during the Second World War.” University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal 4, no.2 (2018).
Select Conference Contributions:
Breault, Meagan. “A Threat to the Nation: Children’s Euthanasia Under National Socialism.” Michael Swan Honours Colloquium, Saskatoon, Canada, 2018.
Breault, Meagan. “Friend or Foe? The Question of the Native American in Mid-to-Late Nineteenth-Century United States.” Crossing Borders Conference, Niagara, United States, 2017.
World History (S. Lipsett-Rivera), Carleton University, Fall 2018, TA.
Description of Research:
The subjugation of disabled populations in Germany reveals a complicated history of eugenics, racial ideology, and at times societal acceptance to Nazi policy. As many as 200,000 people with disabilities died under National Socialism because the Nazis deemed them “life unworthy of life” (Burleigh, 1994). By studying the experiences of families with disabled relatives, my research will explain how family members participated in or resisted this persecution between 1933 and 1945. It will also identify the particular factors that motivated parents, guardians, and relatives of disabled individuals to allow their family members to be placed in government facilities or undergo eugenic procedures.
For this project, I will use a cultural history approach to analyze the role of the family in the Nazi state. Using the history of emotions as a form of analysis will allow me to search for the meaning behind decisions that relatives had to make about their disabled family members. I will examine how and why a family may (or may not) have subscribed to racial ideology, what reactions family members had to eugenic policies and institutions, and how they may have reacted to the death of a disabled family member or discovery of the killing programs.