Gottlieb Hering-Pure Evil

I could nearly do a whole blog on how inappropriate this evil man’s name is, Gottlieb translates to God Love. I doubt that very much.

Gottlieb Hering had been involved in the T4 program, and later on was the 2nd and also the last commandant of the Belzec extermination camp.

After Action T4, Hering was posted briefly to the Sicherheitsdienst in Prague in June 1942, and was then transferred to Operation Reinhard in Lublin, Poland. He replaced Christian Wirth as commandant of Bełżec extermination camp at the end of August 1942. He served as the camp’s commandant until its closure in June 1943. The Nazis commenced construction of Belzec in November 1941, as a result of Aktion Reinhard – the Nazi plan to exterminate two million Jews in the Generalgouvernement. In total, 600,000 people, mostly Jews and a few hundred Gypsies, were murdered at Belzec.

Both commandants ,Wirth and Hering. were described as ruthless and fanatical National Socialists, from who it could be seriously feared they would react violently in the event the unconditional obedience they demanded were to be refused.

Rudolf Reder, one of the few survivors of Belzec, wrote about Hering:

“We knew that in the most beautiful house close to the station of Belzec lived the commander of the camp. He was an Obersturmführer. He seldom was present in the camp and came only in connection with some event. He was a tall bully, broad shouldered, age around forty, with an expressionless face. He seemed to me as if he were a born bandit. Once the gassing engine stopped working: When he was informed, he arrived astride a horse, ordered the engine to be repaired and did not allow the people in the gas chambers to be removed. He let them strangle and die slowly for a few hours more. He yelled and shook with rage. In spite of the fact that he came only on rare occasions, the SS men feared him greatly. He lived alone with his Ukrainian orderly, who served him. The Ukrainian submitted to him the daily reports.”

Tadeusz Misiewicz, a Pole who lived in the village of Bełżec and worked at the train station, testified about Hering

“Once the major, the commander of Belzec death camp, invented a new type of entertainment: he tied a Jew with a rope to his car; the Jew was forced to run behind the car and behind them ran the major’s dog and bit the Jew. The major rode from the camp to the water pump, which was in Belzec on Tomaszowska Street, and back. What happened to this Jew I do not know. This event was witnessed by the people of Belzec”

As you can see from the picture at the start of the post, he clearly enjoyed his job.

After the termination of Operation Reinhard and the closure of Belzec in June 1943, Hering remained the commander of the Poniatowa concentration camp reassigned as subcamp of Majdanek from the forced labor camp supporting the German war effort. On 3–4 November 1943, German police killed the remaining Jews at Poniatowa during Aktion Erntefest (German: Operation Harvest Festival). Hering then joined fellow SS men from the Operation Reinhard staff in Trieste, Italy. On 9 October 1945, Hering died of mysterious complications in the waiting room of St. Catherine’s Hospital in Stetten im Remstal.

sources

https://www.holocausthistoricalsociety.org.uk/contents/aktionreinhardt/gottliebhering.html

https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1682&context=ilr

https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/124310/Commandants-House-Belzec.htm

Donation

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Nurses who killed.

SS officers and German nurses gather during the dedication ceremony of the new SS hospital in Auschwitz.
Among those pictured are Karl Hoecker, Josef Kramer and SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Heinrich Schwarz. Among the nurses probably are Martha Mzyk and Lotte Nitschke.

Anyone who ever had to go through a medical procedure will know how important the job of a nurse is. When you arrive at the medical facility it is usually a Nurse who sees you first, A nurse will care for you set you mind at ease, often they get to do the mots horrible tasks after or during a surgery. I remember well how some nurses went beyond their duty when I was in hospital.

It is therefore so surprising that so many nurses in the third reich, were willing participants in the mass murder of the disables and also others.

Christian nurses’ associations dominated German nursing when the Nazis rose to power in 1933. At the time, nursing was widely considered to be more of a spiritual calling or a public service than a professional career. The Nazi regime reorganized Germany’s professional nursing associations. It barred Jewish nurses and restricted membership to politically reliable “Aryans.” Nazi propaganda promoted the idea that nursing was a patriotic service to the state. Nazi nurses’ associations encouraged values of militaristic duty and obedience. Nursing schools began indoctrinating students with Nazi ideology through classes on race and eugenics.

Many nurses who did not necessarily support the Nazi regime still implemented its discriminatory and murderous policies through the course of their regular, daily work. Engaging with patients more frequently and directly than doctors, nurses were often the ones who actually applied the regime’s medical policies. Nurses played a central role in the regime’s so-called “euthanasia” program. Under the program, roughly 250,000 children and adults with mental and physical disabilities were murdered. They were killed by starvation, lethal injection, or gassing.

Although some of these nurses reported that they struggled with a guilty conscience, others did not see anything wrong with their actions, and they believed that they were releasing these patients from their suffering.

Staff at the T4 “killing centres”, where the euthanasia programme was carried out, swore an oath of silence and nurses accompanied patients on special buses with windows blacked out to the gas chambers. at one such “killing centre” at Hadamar near Frankfurt in Germany in 1941, nurses and staff drank beer to celebrate the killing of their 10,000th patient in a special ceremony right outside the door of the gas chamber.

Factors influencing the nurses’ willingness to kill are described and include the socialization of the German people toward euthanasia as well as ideological commitment, economic factors, and putative duress.

Although the Nazis actually carried out the mass murder of the disabled, There were sentiments globally towards euthanasia, for example: A 1937 Gallup poll showed that 45% of the American population was in favor of euthanasia for “defective” infants.

Nurses in Nazi Germany were under the illusion that they were remaining true to their professional ethics, unaffected by the social change around them. Nurses weren’t only working in the T4 centres but also in the concentration camps like Auschwitz and Ravensbrück.

During the Ravensbrück Trials several nurses were sentenced to death.

The first Ravensbrück trial was held from December 5, 1946 until February 3, 1947, against sixteen Ravensbrück concentration camp staff and officials. All of them were found guilty. Twelve were sentenced to death. One died during trial and two committed suicide. The death sentences ,except for one, were carried out on May 2—3, 1947, in Hamelin prison.

Elisabeth Marschall was the Head Nurse at the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Her duties included selecting prisoners for execution, overseeing medical experiments, and selecting which prisoners would be shipped to Auschwitz. At the Hamburg Ravensbrück Trials, she was found guilty and sentenced to death. On 3 May 1947 she was hanged by British executioner Albert Pierrepoint on the gallows in Hameln prison. Aged 60, she was the oldest female Nazi to be executed.

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-role-of-doctors-and-nurses

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7227577/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1455849/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12735075/

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/nazi-nurses-toasted-10-000th-victim-with-beer-conference-told-1.1144955

https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Elisabeth_Marschall

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/01939459922043749

Letter from a Bishop to the Reichsminister.

No one can deny that the Roman Catholic church, and especially the Vatican. has a lot to answer for when it comes to their part in the Holocaust.

However there were Catholic clergy men who did speak out to the Nazi regime and many of them paid the ultimate price for that.

Antonius Hilfrich was a German priest and Roman Catholic Bishop of Limburg, Germany.Amid 1941 Catholic protests over Nazi euthanasia led by Bishop Clemens August von Galen of Münster, Hilfrich wrote to Franz Gürtner, the German Minister for Justice, to denounce the murders, calling them an “injustice that cries out to heaven”

Below is the translated version of that letter.

The Bishop of Limburg

“Limburg/fiahm, 13August 1941

To the Reich Minister of Justice
Berlin

Regarding the report submitted on July 16 (sub. ZV,pp.6-7) by the Chairman of the Fulda Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Dr. Bertram, I consider it my duty to present the following as a concrete illustration of destruction of so-called “useless life”.

About 8 kilometers from Limburg in the little town of Hadamar, on a hill overlooking the town, there is an institution which had formerly served various purposes and of late had been used as a nursing home. This institution was renovated and furnished as a place in which, by consensus of opinion, the above-mentioned euthanasia has been systematically practiced for months — approximately since February 1941. The fact is, of course, known beyond the administrative district of Wiesbaden because death certificates from the Hadamar-Moenchberg Registry are sent to the home communities. (Moenchberg is the name of this institution because it was a *Franciscan monastery prior to its secularization in 1803.)

Several times a week busses arrive in Hadamar with a considerable number of such victims. School children of the vicinity know this vehicle and say: “There comes the murder-box again.” After the arrival of the vehicle, the citizens of Hadamar watch the smoke rise out of the chimney and are tortured with the ever-present thought of depending on the direction of the wind.

The effect of the principles at work here are that children call each other names and say, “You’re crazy; you’ll be sent to the baking oven in Hadamar.” Those who do not want to marry, or find no opportunity, say, “Marry, never! Bring children into the world so they can be put into the bottling machine!” You hear old folks say, “Don’t send me to a state hospital! When the feeble-minded have been finished off, the next useless eaters whose turn will come are the old people.”

All God-fearing men consider this destruction of helpless beings a crass injustice. And if anybody says that Germany cannot win the war, if there is yet a just God, these expressions are not the result of a lack of love for the Fatherland but of a deep concern for our people. The population cannot grasp the fact that systematic actions are carried out which in accordance with paragraph 211 of the German Penal Code are punishable with death. High authority as a moral concept has suffered a severe shock as a result of these happenings. The official notice that N. N. died of a contagious disease and, therefore, his body had to be burned, no longer finds credence, and official notices of this kind which are no longer believed have further undermined the ethical value of the concept of authority.

Officials of the Secret State Police, it is said, are trying to suppress discussion of the Hadamar occurrences by means of severe threats. In the interest of public peace, this may be well intended. But the knowledge, and the conviction, and the indignation of the population, cannot be changed by it; the conviction will be increased with the bitter realization that discussion is prohibited by threats, but that the actions themselves are not prosecuted under penal law.

I beg you most humbly, Herr Reich Minister, in the sense of the report of the Episcopate of 16 July of this year, to prevent further transgressions of the Fifth Commandment of God.

[Signed]
DR.HTLFBICH£

11 days later on August 24,1941 Hitler ordered the cessation of Nazi Germany’s systematic T4 euthanasia program of the mentally ill and the disabled due to protests, although killings continue for the remainder of the war.

source.

Women Victims of the Holocaust

Female prisoners of Ravensbruck dig under a guard’s watchful eye

I don’t know why I decided to do a blog specifically about the women victims of the Holocaust, but I just felt compelled to do one. I am married to a beautiful wife, and we have a beautiful daughter. I have two older sisters, and of course, like everyone else I also have a mother, who sadly passed away in 1996. All of these women have played an important part in my life, if not the most important part in my life. It is because of them I am the man I am today.

I could not imagine living without them. During the Holocaust, the treatment of women was harsh, more so than men. At least some men, if they were young enough and reasonably healthy, would have a slightly better chance of surviving.

It was normalized for women to sent to the gas chambers immediately after selection on arrival at the death camps, especially when they had young children. The women not selected for immediate death, were subjected to experiments, forced sterilizations, rape, and punishments.

Following are just a few of the women victims of the Holocaust.

Only known as Gerda D

On July 14, 1933, the Nazi dictatorship enacted the Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases. Individuals who were subject to the law were those men and women who “suffered” from any of nine conditions listed in the law: hereditary feeblemindedness, schizophrenia, manic-depressive disorder, hereditary epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea (a rare and fatal degenerative disease), hereditary blindness, hereditary deafness, severe physical deformity, and chronic alcoholism.

Gerda D., a shop worker, was one of an estimated 400,000 Germans the forcibly sterilized. After a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia, they sterilized her. Later, Nazi authorities forbade Gerda to marry because of the sterilization.

Women laborers forced to dig trenches in Ravensbruck for no other apparent reason than to dig trenches for the sake of it.

only known as Emmi G

Emmi G., a 16-year-old housemaid, was diagnosed as schizophrenic. She was sterilized and sent to the Meseritz-Obrawalde Euthanasia Center. There she was murdered with an overdose of tranquilizers on December 7, 1942. Place and date uncertain.

13-year-old Vera Berger caught typhus and tuberculosis in Bergen-Belsen and suffered starvation, but the young Czechoslovakian survived the liberation. Ravensbruck Camp Hospital, 1945.

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/gallery/women-during-the-holocaust-photographs

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/ravensbrueck

Industrial Murder

One of the most disturbing aspects of the Holocaust is the ‘wholesale murder’ approach the Nazis took, the industrialization of death.

The gassing already started in 1939 as part of the T4 program, the murder of the disabled, what really is sickening is the fact that the first of such killings was on request by parents of a severely disabled child.

But the T4 murders were relatively small scale, for lack of a better word, compared to the gassings that took place in Auschwitz, Chelmno, Sobibor and the other extermination camps.

The gassing was kind of suggested to be a humane way of killing. But there was nothing humane about it. It was only humane for the perpetrators. After the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union and Einsatzgruppe mass shootings of civilians, the Nazis experimented with gas vans for mass killing. Gas vans were hermetically sealed trucks with engine exhaust diverted to the interior compartment. Use of gas vans began after Einsatzgruppe members complained of battle fatigue and mental anguish caused by shooting large numbers of women and children. Gassing also proved to be more effective and cheaper.

On October 24, 1980, Lesław Dyrcz, a student from the Brynek Forestry Vocational School, found a leather briefcase buried at about 40 centimeters deep in the ground while clearing the area around Birkenau crematorium III of stub and roots. Inside the briefcase was a thermos liner which had belonged to Marcel Nadjari. a Jewish Greek

In November 1944, two months before the liberation of the camp, Nadjari had buried a twelve-page manuscript written in Greek on November 3 on pages taken from a notebook, in which he described his observations of Auschwitz

In his manuscript, he writes: I want to live, to revenge the deaths of Dad and Mum, and that of my beloved little sister Nelly.

Below are some notes of his manuscript.

“Our work was first to welcome them. Most didn’t know their fate. The laughed or cried. They were told they were going to take a shower and they went clueless to [their] death. To date, my dear ones, I don’t tell them they they are going for a shower, although I can lie to them, I only told them that I didn’t understand the language they spoke, and to the comrades, men and women, that I realised were doomed I told the truth.”

“Almost every time they kill, I wonder if there is a God and yet I have always believed in Him and still believe that God wants it, let His will be.”

“Often I thought of going in with the others, to put an end to this. But always revenge prevented me doing so. I wanted and want to live, to avenge the death of Dad, Mum and my dear little sister,”

“The crematorium is a big building with a wide chimney and 15 ovens. Under a garden there are two enormous cellars. One is where people undress and the other is the death chamber. People enter it naked and once about 3,000 are inside it is locked and they are gassed. After six or seven minutes of suffering they die,”

“The gas canisters were always delivered in a German Red Cross vehicle with two SS men. They then dropped the gas through openings – and half an hour later our work began. We dragged the bodies of those innocent women and children to the lift, which took them to the ovens.”

Nadjari did survive.

After the war he got married and in 1951 moved to New York. He already had a one-year-old son, and in 1957 his wife Rosa gave birth to a girl, whom they named Nelli – after Marcel’s beloved murdered sister.

Sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/at-the-killing-centers

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42144186

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/gassing-operations

https://www.history.com/news/the-jewish-men-forced-to-help-run-auschwitz

Donation

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The evil of Georg Bessau

I watched ‘Charité at War’ on Netflix the last few nights. Although I felt that one or two portrayals gave a bit too much credit to some characters, overall I believe it was a good reflection of the situation in the hospital during the last years of the war.

The show takes place in 1943 at the hospital under the Nazi regime during World War II and shows how the war affected the doctors, nurses and students at Berlin’s renowned learning hospital. The series includes the using of archival film from the time to set the tone. It has a mix of fictional and real characters.

There are a few subtle nuances which I found quite powerful, but may not have been picked up by everyone watching the show. For example there is reference made how the mother of one of the Doctors could not visit Berlin because a shortage of trains.

One character in the show, although not a main character. was Dr. Georg Bressau. he was a German pediatrician and university professor. There are a lot of aspects to Dr Bressau’s career. for example in 1939 he introduced the preventive treatment of rickets with vitamin D in infants.

But there is a much more evil side to him too.

In Berlin he was continuing following his well-known research into a dead vaccine against tuberculosis. After the Lübeck vaccination accident in 1931, the use of live vaccines was banned.

The incident was a disaster caused by use of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) for tuberculosis vaccination, which struck the German city of Lübeck. During 1929 and 1930, 72 babies died from tuberculosis out of 252 vaccinated. Many other infants were made ill as a result of vaccination. The vaccine used was later found to have been contaminated with a human tuberculosis strain being studied in same lab where the vaccine was produced.

Initially Bressau conducted animal experiments and there were promising signs for the experimental vaccine. However he then continued doing experiments on humans .For the experiment Bessau used physically and mentally disabled children from several children wards and hospitals . These were institutions that continued to covertly pursue the killing of disabled children after the end of the “T4 action”. In Berlin it was the children psychiatric clinic “Im Wiesengrund” in the Reinickendorf district.

Between 1942 and 1945, 175 children were tortured here. And 81 were murdered. These children were seen as rejects by the state and therefore no consent was needed from the parents to experiment on these kids.

The picture at the start of the blog is of the clinic.

Bressau wasn’t the only Doctor carrying out these experiments, but he was one of the most senior ones.

In his honor, the intensive care unit of the children’s clinic at the University of Giessen (now the University Clinic Giessen and Marburg ) was named “Ward Bessau” until a few years ago.

Dr Bressau wasn’t the only Doctor portrayed in the show. Dr Ferdinand Sauerbruch, is a prominent figure in the show. Although they do make some sort of reference to him signing some approvals, they don’t mention that he allegedly personally approved the funds which financed August Hirt’s experiments with mustard gas on prisoners at Natzweiler concentration camp from 1941 until 1944.

I do recommend the show though.

sources

https://research.uni-leipzig.de/catalogus-professorum-lipsiensium/leipzig/Bessau_15/

https://gedenkort.charite.de/en/locations/pediatric_clinic/

http://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/children/berlinwittenau/berlinwittenau.html

stc3a4dtische_nervenklinik_fc3bcr_kinder_und_jugendliche_wiesengrund

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/tuberculosis-l%C3%BCbeck-disaster

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4721647/

Donation

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9/11 1941

The picture above is an arrest card of Meijer Barmhartigheid. He was one of the 389 young Jewish man who were arrested during raid in Amsterdam on February 22 and 23 ,1941.

Of those 389 only 2 survived the Holocaust. 100 of them were murdered in the Hartheim clinic, which was also the clinic used for the T4 program.

Meijer Barmhartigheid was gassed on August 14,1941 at the Hartheim clinic. But the Nazis couldn’t even be honest about that. They had registered his death on September 11,1941 in Mauthausen, 80 years ago today.

Barmhartigheid is the Dutch word for merciful. Meijer did not get a merciful death.

I can only assume that they changed the date and the location of the murder due to the fact that the T4 program officially ended in August 1941, although unofficially the program kept going to nearly the las day of the war.

Hitler’s cousin Aloisia Velt was also one of the T4 victims.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/204397/meijer-barmhartigheid#intro

https://www.amsterdam.nl/stadsarchief/themasites/razzia/meijer-barmhartigheid/

T4

September 1,1939 is well known for the German invasion of Poland, triggering World War 2. However it is less known as the date that the official killing of disabled people was made law, albeit it under the guise of euthanasia.

It was only 5 lines which determined the fate of hundreds of thousands.

“Reichsleiter Bouhler and Dr. med. Brandt are hereby instructed and authorized to broaden the powers of designated physicians to the extent that persons who are suffering from diseases which may be deemed incurable according to standards of human judgment based on a careful examination of their condition shall be guaranteed a mercy death.”

— Adolf Hitler, Memorandum Authorizing Involuntary Euthanasia, Berlin, 1 September 1939.”

It is of course easy to put all the blame on the Nazi regime, however something which is often overlooked is that the 1st victim was on request by the parents of the child. He was actually killed prior to the law being enacted.

Gerhard Kretschmar was born in Pomssen, a village south-east of Leipzig. His parents were Richard Kretschmar, a farm labourer, and his wife Lina Kretschmar. Schmidt describes them as “ardent Nazis.” Gerhard was born blind, with either no legs or one leg, and with one arm. (The original medical records are lost, and second-hand accounts vary.) He was also subject to convulsions. Brandt later testified that the child was also “an idiot”, although how this was determined is not stated.

Richard Kretschmar took the newborn Gerhard to Dr Werner Catel, a pediatrician at the University Children’s Clinic in Leipzig, and asked that his son be “put to sleep.” Catel told him that this would be illegal. Kretschmar then wrote directly to Hitler, asking that he investigate the case and overrule the law that prevented “This Monster” (as he described his child) from being killed. As was usual with such petitions, it was referred to Hitler’s private secretariat (the Kanzlei des Führers), headed by Philipp Bouhler. There it was seen by Hans Hefelman, head of Department IIb, which dealt with petitions. Hefelman and Bouhler showed the petition to Hitler, aware of his frequently expressed support for the “mercy killing” of people with severe disabilities.

Hitler summoned Karl Brandt, one of his personal physicians, and sent him to Leipzig to investigate the Kretschmar case. Hitler told Brandt that if Gerhard Kretschmar’s condition was indeed as described in Richard Kretschmar’s petition, then he, Hitler, authorised Brandt to have Gerhard killed, in consultation with the local doctors, and if any legal action were taken, it would be thrown out of court. In Leipzig, Brandt examined the child and consulted with Catel and another physician, Dr. Helmut Kohl.He also went to Pomssen and saw the Kretschmars. When Brandt informed the Leipzig doctors of Hitler’s instructions, they agreed that Gerhard Kretschmar should be killed, although they knew this was illegal.

The Pomssen church register says that Gerhard Kretschmar died at Pomssen of “heart weakness” on 25 July. He was buried in the Lutheran churchyard three days later. Although no medical records exist, and although the testimony of Brandt and Catel after the war was contradictory and evasive, Schmidt believes that Gerhard was killed in the Leipzig clinic with an injection of a common drug such as luminal, and that the church register was falsified to conceal this fact.

In Dr. Ewald Melzer’s 1923 survey of the parents of the disabled children in his care, they were asked: “Would you agree definitely to a painless shortcut of your child’s life, after it is determined by experts that it is incurably stupid?” The results, which surprised Melzer, were published in 1925: 73 percent responded they were willing to have their children killed if they weren’t told about it.

Of course the T4 program allowed the Nazis to get rid of anyone they deemed unfit for life. In reality that could be anyone, Political opponents, Jews, Roma even people with the slightest disability. I would probably have been a victim, being half blind and having Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The scary part though is that we have not learned from the mistakes of the past. In several countries eugenic laws, not unlike-although not as extreme- are currently quite common.

sources

https://www.jstor.org/stable/41345169

https://eugenicsarchive.ca/discover/tree/517305eaeed5c60000000029

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Kretschmar

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/12/the-last-children-of-down-syndrome/616928/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/down-syndrome-iceland/

https://apnews.com/article/e1731db26be41810f79e7e148d087a04

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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The survival of Robert Wagemann

A little known fact is that the Jehovah Witnesses were also persecuted by the Nazi regime.

It is estimated that 1,000 German Jehovah’s Witnesses died or were murdered in concentration camps and prisons between 1933 and 1945, as did 400 Witnesses from other countries, of which were about 90 Austrians and 120 Dutch Jehovah Witnesses . In addition, at least 273 Jehovah’s Witnesses were sentenced to death by military courts for refusing military service and were executed.

The imprisoned Jehovah’s Witnesses were given the document below. By putting a signature on that declaration they would be renouncing their faith and would be released. Of all the Jehovah Witnesses imprisoned, only fa handful of approximately two-thousand signed the declaration and were released.(The translation of the document is below too)

Lotte Wagemann was a practicing Jehovah Witness . In 1937 she was pregnant with Robert Wagemann. Despite being pregnant she was arrested and briefly imprisoned for her activities as a Jehovah’s Witness. She gave birth shortly after her release. Due to the stress of imprisonment and insufficient medical care, Robert’s hip was injured during delivery, resulting in a permanent disability.(His right leg is six inches shorter then the left)

Under the T4 Program, he was classified as “handicapped” , and two times he had been selected for ‘euthanasia’ but really it was for extermination. The first time they escaped to Berlin, and lived with relatives.

In 1943 amidst the growing chaos in Mannheim caused bu allied bombing Robert’s mother was ordered to go with Robert to Schlierbach near Heidelberg to a hospital where he would be examined. The Nazi Doctors confirmed the status of his disability . During the examination, Lotte overheard a conversation where one of the Doctors said that Robert was to be given a lethal injection after lunch..

Lotte waited for the doctors to break for lunch, took Robert and picked up his his clothes, and escaped while the nurses weren’t looking . Because of the increased bombings of the allies I presume the escape by Lotte and Robert didn’t get the same priority as it would have done earlier durig the war or even before the war. Their house was bombed in Mannheim So they spent the remainder of the war hiding with Robert’s grandparents in Iggelheim.

Despite having escaped the clutches of the T4 physicians ,Robert did not stay out of trouble. On his 1st school day he refused to to do the Nazi salute nor did he sing the national anthem.

This drew the attention of the authorities and Robert and his family were forced to move once again. This time to to a town called Haardt by Neustadt and lived with Robert’s maternal grandparents (. There in a little cabin in the woods they spent the remainder of the war.

The family survived the war, Robert emigrated to the United States in 1963 where he married . Robert and his wife have three sons and five grandchildren.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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sources

http://webapps.raritanval.edu/memorial/page1.htm

http://webapps.raritanval.edu/memorial/page2.htm

https://www.alst.org/pages-us/education/classroom-questions/Robert-Wagemann-classroom-questions.html

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/nazi-persecution-of-jehovahs-witnesses

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Dirk de Klein- T 4 Victim

t4

Dirk de Klein, born April 10 1888.

Died November 25,1939.

Place of residence: Heinsberg- Germany

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

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Dirk de Klein was diagnosed with an incurable disease in 1936. He was also an ardent opponent of the Nazi regime. He had criticized Hitler and Himmler, publicly  on several occasions. He did not like the direction his beloved Germany was going.

He had moved  to Heinsberg from the nearby Dutch town of Geleen in 1930.

In late November 1939 during a check up in the Hospital he was transported by Gemeinnützige Krankentransport GmbH(Charitable Ambulance)

—-a National Socialist subdivision of the Action T4 organization. The euphemistically named company transported sick and disabled people to the Nazi killing centers to be murdered under the Nazi eugenics program and was known for the gray buses it used.—

ambulance

Dirk de Klein was transported to the nearest T 4 facility and was gassed there.

His family was told that he was transferred from his nearby Hospital to a specialist Hospital to treat his condition. But unfortunately he died of pneumonia caused by complications in his medical treatment.

Now you all probably know by now that this Dirk de Klein is in fact me. But this blog is meant to illustrate that anyone could have been a victim of the Nazi regime. I was just lucky I was born in 1968 rather then 1888.

But it easily could have been me, Even the geography could have been a possibility. A lot of people moved to German from the Netherlands and vice versa, especially in the south Eastern part of the Netherlands. My hometown and the town I mentioned Heinsberg are only a few miles from each other, A walking distance even.

Let us never ever forget what happened to millions of innocent lives, and let us remember that this could easily happen again but this time you might be the victim.

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