They say a picture paints a thousand words.But ever since I have been doing blogs about the holocaust I have seen many pictures that have left me speechless, and none more so then the suffering of children.
On August 18 1939, Wilhelm Frick ordered all physicians, nurses and midwives to report children under the age of three who showed signs of severe mental or physical disability. This was the first phase in the Nazi Germany’s child euthanasia program. The so called T4 program.
The key document was a circular from the Reich Minister of the Interior of 18 August 1939, Ref: IVb 3088/39 – 1079 Mi, which was marked “Strictly Confidential” and specified the groups to be included and how they were to be assembled. After that, doctors and midwives together with maternity hospitals, obstetric departments and children’s hospitals, except where a senior doctor was not present or did not get the instruction, were required to report in writing to the appropriate health authorities:
if the newborn child is suspected of being afflicted with the following congenital disorders:
1) Idiocy and mongolism (especially cases combined with blindness and deafness),
3) Hydrocephalus, to a severe or advanced degree
4) Malformations of all kinds, particularly the absence of limbs, severe midline defects of the head and spine, etc.
5) Paralysis, including cerebral palsy
A template of a reporting form was enclosed with the circular, which had to be sent by public health authorities as required to their higher administrative authority. Uniquely, a reward of 2 RM for each report was given to the midwives and nurses affected “for professional services rendered”.
At the start only children under the age of 3 were to be reported. The prescribed registration form gave the illusion that registration was only being sought with the aim of providing special medical care, in fact they were designed to determine if a child would be killed or not, the technical term was if they were eligible for euthanasia, as if that was a good thing.
Three experts were appointed from the National Committee who had been heavily involved in the preparatory committee, Werner Catel, Hans Heinze and Ernst Wentzler. Hefelmann who remarked later,that Professor Heinze and Dr. Wentzler supported euthanasia with great enthusiasm and Professor Catel with conviction, and so they agreed without any pressure to so act as expert assessors.
But it wasn’t only Physicians who killed children,some nurses killed children, saying that they were under orders.
Below is a picture of Richard Jenne- the last known child murdered in the T4 program.
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