Designing objects, buildings, machines requires appropriate adaptation of their concepts to the anatomical and psychophysical capabilities of a human being. The essence of ergonomics is the humanization of working conditions, so that the work can be performed at the lowest biological cost of the individual and with their maximum comfort.
The establishment of the Nazi extermination camps was preceded by a series of research and design works, the primary goal of which was to construct an efficient system of human annihilation. Designers, architects and engineers of various industries teamed to create the most “ergonomic” machine of death that could exterminate thousands of people daily. Designing barracks, gas chambers or crematoria would not have been possible without advanced studies and consultations. The factor of “effectiveness” of the subsequent ways of killing people was crucial for the Nazi extermination machine. The Holocaust was a crime planned in every detail, in which concentration camps functioned as well-organized factories, people were systematically eliminated, and the logistics of transporting prisoners from all over Europe was devised with the greatest care.
Is the Fordization of death possible in the modern civilization? Are the ethical norms we have created sufficient to protect us from annihilation? What conditions must be met for it to happen again? In a broader context, the above questions also concern the moral difference between killing human beings and killing other creatures on an industrial scale.