Circumcision (from Latin circumcidere, "to cut around") is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis. In the most common procedure, the foreskin is opened, adhesions are removed, and the foreskin is separated from the glans. After that, a circumcision device may be placed, and then the foreskin is cut off. Topical or locally injected anesthesia is used to reduce pain and physiologic stress. The procedure is most often an elective surgery performed on babies and children for religious or cultural reasons. Debate continues about the benefits versus risks of circumcision, and the ethical dilemmas of performing the procedure on infants.

An estimated one-third of males worldwide are circumcised. Circumcision is most common among Muslims and Jews (among whom it is near-universal for religious reasons), and in the United States, parts of Southeast Asia, and Africa. It is relatively rare for non-religious reasons in Europe, Latin America, and the remaining parts of Africa and Asia. The oldest documented evidence of circumcision comes from Egypt. In traditionalist Judaism, the brit milah (Hebrew: בְּרִית מִילָה‎, "covenant of circumcision"); is performed by a mohel ("circumciser") on the eighth day after the infant's birth, and followed by a celebratory meal (seudat mitzvah).

Circumcision in Darkness[]

Circumcision was an Algarvian custom, done to males upon reaching puberty. It was practiced by very few other people in Derlavai. The Kaunians, for example, regarded the custom as abhorrent.

Circumcision in In the Presence of Mine Enemies[]

Circumcision was one of many religious tenets which the Jews of 21st-century Germany had to forgo, in order to pass themselves off to the world as Aryans, and give themselves a chance of survival.

Circumcision in "Shtetl Days"[]

Circumcision was all but unknown in the Greater German Reich in the 21st century. Virtually the only men who got such an operation were actors who played Jews and other extinct Untermenschen in living history parks. The Actor's Guild, which strove for realism, paid actors who underwent the procedure a substantial bonus. Veit Harlan was a "Jewish" actor who took this, although this was because he was far more interested in immersing himself in his new Jewish identity than simply making a profit.

While recuperating from his surgery, Harlan watched a curious television program which gave him a new perspective on his life.

Circumcision in The War That Came Early[]

Adalbert Stoss, member of a Wehrmacht Panzer crew on World War II's Eastern Front, was the only circumcised man in his unit. Sgt. Heinz Naumann gave Stoss some grief over this, but was killed in action before any serious problem could erupt. The surviving teammates, who would not quit each other and respected Stoss' value as a team player, decided to accept his story that it was due to a medical emergency. They agreed never to tell any Nazi authorities of a suspicion that Stoss was a secret Jew.