Send to

Choose Destination

["No pleasant side can be discovered in this young boy"--aspects of "child euthanasia" in Silesia].

[Article in German]

Author information

Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätklinikum Rostock.


Several thousand children also fell victim to the murder committed on physically or mentally handicapped persons under the term "euthanasia" during Nazi times. While at first they were included in the killings administered under "Action T4", beginning in 1941 the process of selection and murder was relocated to specialized "child departments" developed just for this purpose. Under the auspices of the Reich Committee for the Scientific Registering of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses (Reichsausschuss zur wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb- und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden) a network expanded with the objective of screening children and youth that did not seem fit and supportable for society and future generations. Care and educational institutions increasingly came into the center of attention. The primarily pedagogically motivated intent of removing children and youth from a harmful environment could very easily and quickly turn into organized murder. An example of this is Peter A. from Görlitz, who was ten years of age at the time of his murder. His path from his family to the corrective care that ultimately lead to his commitment into the specialized "child department" in Loben took less than half a year. His right to life was denied by Elisabeth Hecker, the director of the youth psychiatric clinic, as a result of labeling him as disruptive and useless.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center