T4 and More
“More than 100,000 were euthanized. Men over the age of 70 are to receive no medical treatment. Who is still worthy of life? Only the National Socialist.” (^1,Bishop Ludvig Sebastian, 19 August 1942)
Though it was only roughly covered in class, I took a form of interest in Aktion T4 due to my grandfather having seasonal bipolar at around the same time, just in a different country. As anyone with a shred of morality will agree, Aktion T4 was a horrible movement by the Nazis for the forced euthanasia of the mentally and physically handicapped. One of the main perpetrators was Viktor Brack as well as another coworker of his, Philipp Bouhler, who were held responsible for approximately 15,000 forced deaths (^1). Most of these deaths in Lower Styria at the Hartheim Castle in which there were gas chambers(^2). These were direct orders from Hitler to Brack(^1). However, after the war, Brack as well as other doctors were charged with “crimes against humanity” and “euthanasia” which I believe are fitting titles, but still restrain the point that these men were barbaric in medical practices and I use that term loosely(^1). I personally agree with the holding of the American “Doctors’ Trial” that charges these men with conspiracy to create a “master plan” to wage war on other countries (^1). The way in which this is reasoned is by saying that those who were euthanized would have been wasting resources that the army could be using to carry out successful combat. Personally, I think the meals and care of 100,000 people would not have made the loss much, if any sooner. Something that could have benefited the party and cause could have been not living in such luxury at the upper level, as satirized in “The Great Dictator”.
References: 1-Bryant, Michael. 2009. ““Only the National Socialist”: Postwar US and West German Approaches to Nazi “Euthanasia” Crimes, 1946-1953.” Nationalities Papers 37, no. 6: 861-888. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed October 16, 2015).
2- Freidl, W., et al. “The Fate of Psychiatric Patients During the Nazi Period in Styria/Austria.” International Journal Of Mental Health 35, no. 3 (Fall2006 2006): 41-49. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed October 16, 2015).