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Graves of missing Nazi eugenics and handicapped victims found

Posted in Disability, Eugenics, Euthanasia, Euthanesia, Hitler, Nazi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2011 by saynsumthn

AUSTRIA:

The Scotsman Published Date: 05 January 2011
By Ethan McNern

GRAVES of victims of the Nazi euthanasia programme that was a precursor to the Holocaust have been found in Austria.

Some 220 victims deemed “unworthy of life” by the Nazis were found buried in the grounds of a hospital in the town of Hall, near Innsbruck.

Hitler’s Doctors Karl Brandt- sentencing to death: International Military Tribunal

The remains were discovered when a yard belonging to the hospital in Hall in Tyrol province was excavated to make way for new buildings.

All construction work has been halted as forensic specialists move in to try to determine who the victims were and how they died.

Children are among the dead, according to media reports in Austria.

Tens of thousands of people with physical or mental disabilities were killed by the Nazis in a eugenics programme that trained the killers who would go on to command the extermination camps for the Jews and others in occupied Poland.

The programme was codenamed T4, an abbreviation of “Tiergartenstra├če 4“, the address of the villa in Berlin which was the headquarters of the Charitable Foundation for Cure and Institutional Care.

This body operated under the direction of Philipp Bouhler, the head of Hitler‘s private Chancellery, and Dr Karl Brandt, Hitler’s personal physician.

In a note to Bouhler, found in the archives of the Ministry of Justice after 1945, the Fuhrer wrote: “Reichsleiter Bouhler and Dr Brandt are charged with the responsibility for expanding the authority of physicians who are to be designated by name, to the end that patients who are considered incurable in the best available human judgment after critical evaluation of their condition can be granted mercy-killing.”

They oversaw the euthanasia programme which began in October 1939 and lasted, officially, until August 1941, during which physicians killed 70,273 people.

The Nuremberg Trials found evidence that German physicians continued the extermination of patients after October 1941 and evidence that a total of some 275,000 people were killed under the T4 euthanasia project.

Midwives and doctors across the Reich were informed it was compulsory to report on all newborns born with severe disabilities or hereditary diseases such as “idiocy and Down’s syndrome, microcephaly, hydrocephaly, malformations of all kinds, especially of limbs, head, and spinal column; and paralysis”.

Forms sent out to institutes across Germany and Austria were simply returned by bureaucrats who put minus and plus signs next to the names of inmates – death or life.

After the killing, relatives received condolence letters, falsified death certificates, and urns containing the victim’s ashes.

Tilak, the company responsible for the Hall hospital, said the graves contained the remains of people buried between 1942 and 1945.

There were, it added, “suspicions that the dead were at least partially victims of the Nazis’ euthanasia programme”.