Sunday, June 14, 2020

Euthanizing Germans with Disabilities

From The Times of Israel:
Hartheim Castle was not far from Austria’s Linz, where Adolf Hitler grew up. With Renaissance roots, the sprawling castle’s colonnaded courtyard was used by the Nazis for one of Hartheim’s two crematoria. The plan for so-called “useless eaters” to be killed came from Nazi theories of eugenics, “racial hygiene,” and social Darwinism. By the end of the war, an estimated 230,000 people with physical or mental disabilities were murdered in “T4” and its successor program, sometimes called “wild euthanasia.”After “T4” was supposedly halted in 1941, dozens of the Hartheim staff made their way to occupied Poland. At Chelmno, Sobibor, and Treblinka, they applied their know-how from the euthanasia centers to set up the first death camps for Jews. 
“The death camps that followed took the technology to a new level,” said historian Michael Berenbaum. “The extermination camps could kill thousands at one time and burn their bodies within hours.” (Read more.)

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