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Nazi Euthanasia

Discussion in 'Massacres and Atrocities of the Second World War' started by Jim, May 13, 2007.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    In October of 1939 amid the turmoil of the outbreak of war Hitler ordered widespread "mercy killing" of the sick and disabled.

    Code named "Aktion T 4," the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate "life unworthy of life" at first focused on newborns and very young children. Midwives and doctors were required to register children up to age three who showed symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms included on a questionnaire from the Reich Health Ministry.

    A decision on whether to allow the child to live was then made by three medical experts solely on the basis of the questionnaire, without any examination and without reading any medical records.

    Each expert placed a + mark in red pencil or - mark in blue pencil under the term "treatment" on a special form. A red plus mark meant a decision to kill the child. A blue minus sign meant meant a decision against killing. Three plus symbols resulted in a euthanasia warrant being issued and the transfer of the child to a 'Children's Specialty Department' for death by injection or gradual starvation.

    The decision had to be unanimous. In cases where the decision was not unanimous the child was kept under observation and another attempt would be made to get a unanimous decision.

    The Nazi euthanasia program quickly expanded to include older disabled children and adults. Hitler's decree of October, 1939, typed on his personal stationery and back dated to Sept. 1, enlarged "the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death."

    Questionnaires were then distributed to mental institutions, hospitals and other institutions caring for the chronically ill.

    Patients had to be reported if they suffered from schizophrenia, epilepsy, senile disorders, therapy resistant paralysis and syphilitic diseases, retardation, encephalitis, Huntington's chorea and other neurological conditions, also those who had been continuously in institutions for at least 5 years, or were criminally insane, or did not posses German citizenship or were not of German or related blood, including Jews, Negroes, and Gypsies.

    A total of six killing centers were established including the well known psychiatric clinic at Hadamar. The euthanasia program was eventually headed by an SS man named Christian Wirth, a notorious brute with the nickname 'the savage Christian.'

    At Brandenburg, a former prison was converted into a killing center where the first Nazi experimental gassings took place. The gas chambers were disguised as shower rooms, but were actually hermetically sealed chambers connected by pipes to cylinders of carbon monoxide. Patients were generally drugged before being led naked into the gas chamber. Each killing center included a crematorium where the bodies were taken for disposal. Families were then falsely told the cause of death was medical such as heart failure or pneumonia.

    But the huge increase in the death rate for the disabled combined with the very obvious plumes of odorous smoke over the killing centers aroused suspicion and fear. At Hadamar, for example, local children even taunted arriving busloads of patients by saying "here comes some more to be gassed."

    On August 3, 1941, a Catholic Bishop, Clemens von Galen, delivered a sermon in M√ľnster Cathedral attacking the Nazi euthanasia program calling it "plain murder." The sermon sent a shockwave through the Nazi leadership by publicly condemning the program and urged German Catholics to "withdraw ourselves and our faithful from their (Nazi) influence so that we may not be contaminated by their thinking and their ungodly behavior."

    The Smoking Chimney of the Hadamar Killing Center

    [​IMG]

    As a result, on August 23, Hitler suspended Aktion T4, which had accounted for nearly a hundred thousand deaths by this time.

    The Nazis retaliated against the Bishop by beheading three parish priests who had distributed his sermon, but left the Bishop unharmed to avoid making him into a martyr.

    However, the Nazi euthanasia program quietly continued, but without the widespread gassings. Drugs and starvation were used instead and doctors were encouraged to decide in favor of death whenever euthanasia was being considered.

    The use of gas chambers at the euthanasia killing centers ultimately served as training centers for the SS. They used the technical knowledge and experience gained during the euthanasia program to construct huge killing centers at Auschwitz, Treblinka and other concentration camps in an attempt to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe. SS personnel from the euthanasia killing centers, notably Wirth, Franz Reichleitner and Franz Stangl later commanded extermination camps.

    historyplace.com
     
  2. Forgive Darkness

    Forgive Darkness New Member

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    His reason for this from what I have heard, was to get rid of the old people that was still alive from the World War One era. They knew the horrors of war and was strongly against the war so Hitler took care of them...
     
  3. Shadow War44

    Shadow War44 New Member

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    It's not surprising that Hitler retaliated against this Bishop. Look at what happened to Dietrich Boenhoeffer. He was hanged for speaking against Hitler, and the war.
     
  4. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    Josef Mengles

    Dont forget Mengles our very own "Angel of Death". That man was a perversion and abomintion of everything pure and true, corrupting science and decency in the name of a so called "perfection". Out of all the Nazis and their wickedness, he chills me the most, to my very core.
     
  5. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Good point re the evil doctor, and well made !
     
  6. Kelly War44

    Kelly War44 New Member

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    A very Evil man indeed and reminds me of the museum in the Episode of Waking the Dead 'Yahrzeit'. Unspeakable Horrors performed out of Evil Curiosity. Well said Buford:thumb:
     
  7. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    i just found out today that the NASA space program created its space suits with data compiled from Auswtichz. Pretty ghastly
     
  8. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    Buford, i had no idea. That is quite uncomfortable reading, the idea of the Nazi legacy living on, in any shape or form.
     
  9. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    Did any of the experiments so carried out, have any real benefit at all? DId they save pilots, find new medicines?
     
  10. RustySword

    RustySword New Member

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    That is a good question, to which I'd like to know the answer.

    Interesting picture of the smoke, Jim.
     
  11. Rainyday

    Rainyday New Member

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    When I read of the children taunting the victims, I wondered what had happened to their locale, neighborhood, families that they would think this something to taunt others about? That seems to go beyond what most kids (in my experience) would do. Picking on other kids is one thing, goading them as they are going to their deaths? Yikes, thats hideous.
     
  12. tater03

    tater03 New Member

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    You have to wonder if those children when they grew up and looked back on this what they thought about their participation in taunting these children going to their deaths? It just makes me sick that there are people that would even come up with something such as this. It is so hard for me to wrap my mind around it.
     
  13. SamIam

    SamIam New Member

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    I know I read somewhere a few things that our DR.s took from Hitlers studies but I think its hush hush I will look to see if I can find anything. I am racking my brain because I know I read it somewhere.


    Kids are a product of their parents. they only know what they are taught. I cant see many in that time teaching their children to love the same people that their leader hated. Those kids probably didnt know any better back then but it would be interesting to see how they felt know.
     
  14. eireann

    eireann New Member

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    Well, Hitler had his own "blacklist" for anyone spoke out against him. The ones in his own country were chased after and killed, but thankfully he couldn't do much about the ones in the U.S., although he blacklisted them as well. What's interesting is that if a Hollywood actor or an actress was on his list, he banned all the films starring that screen personality even though it had nothing to do with him.
     
  15. krrish

    krrish New Member

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    Hitler's policy to kill the disabled ones had create a lot of controversy at that time.But nobody dared to go against him.Killing people with poisonous gas is very pity. A beautiful movie-Schindler's List, has made those old scenes alive.
     

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