Friday, February 3, 2017

Nazi euthanasia victims honoured in German Bundestag

This article was published by BioEdge on January 28, 2017.

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German Bundestag
y Michael Cook

On January 27, 2017, the German Bundestag [Parliament] commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp. This year the focus was placed on the 300,000 disabled victims of the notorious Aktion T-4 euthanasia program.

Under Aktion T-4, beginning in 1939, people were gassed or given a lethal injection and cremated in six killing facilities in Germany and Austria. This helped the Nazi regime to refine its system for processing millions, rather than “just” thousands, of victims.

During the ceremony, a few relatives of victims related their stories. A philosopher, Hartmut Traub, narrated the story of his 27-year-old uncle Benjamin, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, which had virtually became a death sentence in Nazi Germany.

In 1941 he was taken on an “outing” with 60 other inmates of a mental institution to Hadamar where they were executed with carbon monoxide. Gold teeth and the brains of more interesting “specimens” were removed.

“For six months, the dark clouds from the crematorium hung over the city, plainly visible for all to see,” said Hartmut Traub.


After the war many families tried to repress the stories of their murdered relatives.
German T-4 Euthanasia Memorial
“For a long time, the euthanasia victims were the forgotten victims,” Maike Rotzoll, Deputy Director of the Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine in Halle, told Deutsche Welle. 
“That’s why it’s enormously important for us that this ceremony took place in the Bundestag. I think it’s also enormously important for the relatives, who experienced the topic being taboo for so many years, to be allowed to speak and for this group of victims to be honored in this way.”

4 comments:

Ak Rhodes said...

The scary part about this story in the 21st Century is that the euthanasia enthusiasts don't want any part of this history. They downplay or dismiss it altogether. They try to weasel out of the historical responsibility they now have when they advocate for death for all; death for all is their end-game.

I have had someone tell me to my face "that never happened." This is why this story needs to be told far and wide. Welcome to Ontario in the 1930s.

Roseanne Sheridan said...

Thank you for this article. In remembering the six million Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis, people have failed to realise that the "weak" people were exterminated first. The elderly, the sick, the mentally ill, the intellectually disabled, the physically disabled, gays, those deemed unworthy of life. They don't realise Hitler did abortions, had Mengele to horrible experiments on people.All god's beautiful creations.

drager hans said...

I have commented this article on Bioedge, see: https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/nazi-euthanasia-victims-honoured-in-bundestag/12162#disqus_thread

drager hans said...

See my comment to this article on Bioedge

Hans Drager

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