Aktion T4

Action T4T-4 Euthanasia ProgrameuthanasiaNazi euthanasia programNazi euthanasia programmeT4euthanasia programNazi euthanasiaNazi euthanasia programsT4 euthanasia program
Aktion T4 (German, ) was a postwar name for mass murder through involuntary euthanasia in Nazi Germany.wikipedia
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Philipp Bouhler

Phillip BouhlerBouhlerBOUHLER, Phillip
In October 1939, Adolf Hitler signed a "euthanasia note", backdated to 1 September 1939, which authorised his physician Karl Brandt and Reichsleiter Philipp Bouhler to implement the programme.
He was also the SS official responsible for the Aktion T4 euthanasia program that killed more than 250,000 disabled adults and children in Nazi Germany, as well as co-initiator of Aktion 14f13, also called "Sonderbehandlung" ("special treatment"), that killed 15,000–20,000 concentration camp prisoners.

Karl Brandt

Karl Brandt (Nazi physician)Aktion BrandtBrandt
In October 1939, Adolf Hitler signed a "euthanasia note", backdated to 1 September 1939, which authorised his physician Karl Brandt and Reichsleiter Philipp Bouhler to implement the programme.
A member of Hitler's inner circle at the Berghof, he was selected by Philipp Bouhler, the head of Hitler's Chancellery, to administer the Aktion T4 euthanasia program.

Operation Reinhard

Aktion ReinhardAktion ReinhardtOperation Reinhardt
Technology developed under Aktion T4 was taken over by the medical division of the Reich Interior Ministry, particularly the use of lethal gas to kill large numbers of people, along with the personnel of Aktion T4, who participated in Operation Reinhard.
The organizational apparatus behind the new extermination plan had been put to the test already during the euthanasia Aktion T4 programme ending in August 1941, which resulted in the murders of more than 70,000 Polish and German disabled men, women, and children.

Tiergarten, Berlin

TiergartenBerlin-Tiergarten Tiergarten
The name T4 is an abbreviation of Tiergartenstraße 4, a street address of the Chancellery department set up in the spring of 1940, in the Berlin borough of Tiergarten, which recruited and paid personnel associated with T4.
A site next to the Tiergarten park is the former location of a villa at Tiergartenstrasse 4 where more than 60 Nazi bureaucrats and doctors worked in secret under the "T4" program to organize the mass murder of sanatorium and psychiatric hospital patients deemed unworthy to live.

Hartheim Euthanasia Centre

HartheimSchloss HartheimHartheim Killing facility (sometimes translated in English as the "Hartheim Euthanasia Centre")
Extermination centres were established at six existing psychiatric hospitals: Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein.
The Hartheim Euthanasia Centre (NS-Tötungsanstalt Hartheim) was a killing centre involved in the Nazi euthanasia programme, also referred to as Action T4.

Viktor Brack

Victor Brack
In mid-1939, Hitler authorised the creation of the Reich Committee for the Scientific Registering of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses (Reichsausschuss zur wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb- und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden) led by his physician, Dr. Karl Brandt, administered by Herbert Linden of the Interior Ministry, leader of German Red Cross Reichsarzt SS und Polizei Ernst-Robert Grawitz and SS-Oberführer Viktor Brack.
Viktor Hermann Brack (9 November 1904 – 2 June 1948) was a German Nazi war criminal, an organiser of the euthanasia programme Action T4, where the Nazi state systematically murdered over 70,000 disabled German and Austrian people.

Nazi Germany

Third ReichGermanGermany
Aktion T4 (German, ) was a postwar name for mass murder through involuntary euthanasia in Nazi Germany.
Other civilian deaths include 300,000 Germans (including Jews) who were victims of Nazi political, racial, and religious persecution and 200,000 who were murdered in the Nazi euthanasia program.

Bernburg Euthanasia Centre

Bernburg
Extermination centres were established at six existing psychiatric hospitals: Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein.
It was one of several euthanasia centres run by the Nazis under their official "Euthanasia Programme", later referred to after the war as Action T4.

Werner Blankenburg

Brandt and Bouhler were authorised to approve applications to kill children in relevant circumstances, though Bouhler left the details to subordinates such as Brack and SA-Oberführer Werner Blankenburg.
Werner Blankenburg (19 June 1905 – 28 November 1957) was head of the Section IIa in Hitler's Chancellery (Kanzlei des Führers) in Nazi Germany, and thus one of the main responsible persons for the National Socialist "Euthanasia"-program Action T4, the annihilation of the Polish Jews in the "Aktion Reinhard", and the experiments with castration by X-Rays in KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre

BrandenburgBrandenburg Euthanasia CenterBrandenburg an der Havel
Extermination centres were established at six existing psychiatric hospitals: Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein.
The Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre (NS-Tötungsanstalt Brandenburg), officially known as the Brandenburg an der Havel State Welfare Institute (Landes-Pflegeanstalt Brandenburg a. H.) was established in 1939 and acted during the Nazi era as a killing centre as part of the Nazi Euthanasia Programme, subsequently referred to after the war as Action T4.

Karl Binding

As early as 1920, Alfred Hoche and Karl Binding advocated killing people whose lives were "unworthy of life" (lebensunwertes Leben).
His influential book, Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens ("Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Living"), written together with the psychiatrist Alfred Hoche, was used by the Nazis to justify their T-4 Euthanasia Program.

Compulsory sterilization

forced sterilizationsterilizationcompulsory sterilisation
Canada, Denmark, Switzerland and the US had passed laws enabling coerced sterilisation.
The Nazis had many other eugenics-inspired racial policies, including their "euthanasia" programme in which around 70,000 people institutionalised or suffering from birth defects were killed.

Eugenics

eugenicisteugeniceugenicists
Several reasons have been suggested for the killings, including eugenics, compassion, reducing suffering, racial hygiene and saving money.
The Nazi practice of euthanasia was carried out on hospital patients in the Aktion T4 centers such as Hartheim Castle.

Life unworthy of life

unworthy of lifeLebensunwertes LebenLife Unworthy of Living
Hitler was in favour of killing those whom he judged to be lebensunwertes Leben (Life unworthy of life).
It grew in extent and scope from Aktion T4 ending officially in 1941 when public protests stopped the program, through the Action 14f13 against concentration camp inmates.

Sonnenstein Euthanasia Centre

SonnensteinSonnenstein Clinica converted mental hospital at Sonnenstein
Extermination centres were established at six existing psychiatric hospitals: Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein.
The institute was set up after the beginning of the Second World War as part of a Reich-wide, centrally coordinated and largely secret programme called Action T4 for the "Elimination of life unworthy of life" (Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens) or the killing of what the Nazis called "dead weight existences" (Ballastexistenzen).

Werner Heyde

In July 1939 they held a meeting attended by Conti and Professor Werner Heyde, head of the SS medical department.
He was one of the main organizers of Nazi Germany's T-4 Euthanasia Program.

Leonardo Conti

A few months before the "euthanasia" decree, in a 1939 conference with Leonardo Conti, Reich Health Leader and State Secretary for Health in the Interior Ministry and Hans Lammers, Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Hitler gave as examples the mentally ill who he said could only be "bedded on sawdust or sand" because they "perpetually dirtied themselves" and "put their own excrement into their mouths".
Accordingly, he was co-responsible for the forced sterilization program, the racially motivated forced pregnancy interruptions, and ultimately the Action T4 program.

Clemens August Graf von Galen

Clemens August von GalenClemens von GalenGalen
In the summer of 1941, protests were led in Germany by the Bishop of Münster, Clemens von Galen, whose intervention led to "the strongest, most explicit and most widespread protest movement against any policy since the beginning of the Third Reich", according to Richard J. Evans.
While the Nazi extermination of Jewish people took place primarily on Polish territory, the murder of people with disabilities (viewed by the nazi regime as "invalid" individuals) became public knowledge because it took place on German soil and interfered directly in Catholic and Protestant welfare institutions.

Gerhard Kretschmar

The child, born near Leipzig and eventually identified as Gerhard Kretschmar, was killed in July 1939.
This marked the beginning of the program in Nazi Germany known as a "euthanasia program" – Aktion T4 – which ultimately resulted in the deliberate killing of about 200,000 people with mental and/or physical disabilities.

Racial hygiene

racial purityRassenhygienerace hygiene
Several reasons have been suggested for the killings, including eugenics, compassion, reducing suffering, racial hygiene and saving money.
In the Aktion T4 program, Hitler ordered the execution of mentally-ill patients by euthanasia under the cover of deaths from strokes and illnesses.

Albert Widmann

The first experiments with the gassing of patients were conducted in October 1939 at Fort VII in Posen (occupied Poznań), where hundreds of prisoners were killed by means of carbon monoxide poisoning, in an improvised gas chamber developed by Dr Albert Widmann, chief chemist of the German Criminal Police (Kripo).
Albert Widmann (8 June 1912 – 24 December 1986) was an SS officer and German chemist who worked for the Action T4 euthanasia program during the regime of Nazi Germany.

Robert Jay Lifton

Robert LiftonRobert J. LiftonEight Criteria for Thought Reform
Robert Lifton wrote, "The argument went that the best young men died in war, causing a loss to the Volk of the best genes. The genes of those who did not fight (the worst genes) then proliferated freely, accelerating biological and cultural degeneration".
The Nazi Doctors was the first in-depth study of how medical professionals rationalized their participation in the Holocaust, from the early stages of the T-4 Euthanasia Program to the extermination camps.

Victims of the Past

Opfer der VergangenheitOpfer der Vergangenheit: Die Sünde wider Blut und RasseVictims of the Past: The Sin against Blood and Race
These films included The Inheritance (Das Erbe, 1935), The Victim of the Past (Opfer der Vergangenheit, 1937), which was given a major première in Berlin and was shown in all German cinemas, and I Accuse (Ich klage an, 1941) which was based on a novel by Hellmuth Unger, a consultant for "child euthanasia".
This movie was a sequel to Erbkrank (Hereditarily Ill), which showed horrific images of lunatics in German asylums in order to bolster public support for the planned T-4 Euthanasia Program for the mentally ill.

Carbon monoxide

COcarbon monoxide (CO)carbon monoxide poisoning
The first experiments with the gassing of patients were conducted in October 1939 at Fort VII in Posen (occupied Poznań), where hundreds of prisoners were killed by means of carbon monoxide poisoning, in an improvised gas chamber developed by Dr Albert Widmann, chief chemist of the German Criminal Police (Kripo).
Carbon monoxide was also used on a large scale during the Holocaust at some Nazi German extermination camps, the most notable by gas vans in Chełmno, and in the Action T4 "euthanasia" program.

August Becker

The officials in charge included Dr Herbert Linden, who had been involved in the child killing programme; Dr Ernst-Robert Grawitz, chief physician of the SS; and August Becker, an SS chemist.
He helped design the vans with a gas chamber built into the back compartment used in early Nazi mass murder of disabled people, political dissidents, Jews, and other "racial enemies," including Action T4 as well as the Einsatzgruppen (mobile Nazi death squads) in the Nazi-occupied portions of the Soviet Union.