Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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[direc…] tor, Dr. Hermann Pfannmüller, developed a policy of starving the designated children to death rather than wasting medication on them: 
I remember the gist of the following general remarks by Pfannmüller: These creatures (he meant the children) naturally represent for me as a National Socialist only a burden for the healthy body of our. Volk. We do not kill (he could have here used a euphemistic expression for this word kill) with poison, injections, etc.; then the foreign press and certain gentlemen in Switzerland would only have new inflammatory material.. No, our method is much simpler and more natural, as you see. With these words, he pulled, with the help of a ... nurse, a child from its little bed. While he then exhibited the child like a dead rabbit, he asserted with a knowing expression and a cynical grin: For this one it will take two to three more days. The picture of this fat, grinning man, in his fleshy hand the whimpering skeleton, surrounded by other starving children, is still vivid in my mind. The murderer explained further then, that sudden withdrawal of food was not employed, rather gradual decrease of the rations. A lady who was also part of the tour asked — her outrage suppressed with difficulty — whether a quicker death with injections, etc., would not at least be more merciful. Pfannmüller then praised his methods again as more practical in view of the foreign press. The openness with which Pfannmüller announced the above-mentioned method of treatment is explicable to me only as a result of cynicism or clumsiness [Tölpelhaftigkeit]. Pfannmüller also did not hide the fact that among the children to be murdered ... were also children who were not mentally ill, namely children of Jewish parents.33  
The Killing of Adults 
Extending the project from children to adults meant rendering medical killing an official overall policy — a policy Hitler enunciated in his “Führer decree” of October 1939. A few months earlier, he had called in Leonardo Conti, secretary for health in the Interior Ministry, as well as the head of the Reich Chancellery, Hans Lammers, and told them (as recalled by the latter) that “he considered it to be proper that the ‘life unworthy of life’ of severely mentally ill persons be eliminated by actions [Eingriffe] that bring about death.” Hitler went on to cite “as examples . . . cases in which the mentally ill could only be bedded on sand or sawdust because they continually befouled themselves,” and in which “patients put their own excrement into their mouths, eating it and so on.” Hitler pointed out that in this way “a certain saving in hospitals, doctors, and nursing personnel could be brought about.” 34 The caricatured mentally ill would come to symbolize all that threatened the purity of the Volk.
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

Robert J. Lifton
ISBN 0-465-09094
© 1986
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