The situation of persons with Down syndrome has changed dramatically in the last years. On the one hand, their lifespan and quality of life have risen considerably; on the other hand, the chance of their very survival has fallen because of modern methods of prenatally diagsing their disability. How did the modern defect-oriented view of things come to assume the place it has in medical affairs? The author seeks out the historical roots of this particular medical vantage point - the phemen of mongolism is well kwn since the 19th century - and also points out how far the race-biolological evaluation of Down syndrome has survived even to the present day and influenced t only the medical vantage point. The volume thus represents an important contribution to medical ethics and grants the other side, namely, the position of the persons involved, a special venue. This text is in German.