Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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“Euthanasia”: Direct Medical Killing 
the "Jewish problem" which developed into the so-called Final Solution (Endlösung).74

Under T4, Jewish inmates of institutions in Germany did not have to meet the ordinary criteria for medical killing (mental deficiency or schizophrenia, length of hospitalization, capacity to work, etc.). For them, “no special consultations or discussions . . . were necessary”: “The total extermination of this group of asylum inmates was the logical consequence of the ‘radical solution’ of the Jewish. problem being embarked upon.”75

Only at this point does direct medical killing provide an exact prefiguring of the Final Solution: Jews were to be killed to the last man, woman, and child — simply because they were Jews. For the Nazis, Jewish mental patients were unique among all Nazi victims in that they could embody both “dangerous genes” in an individual medical sense, and “racial poison” in a collective ethnic sense.

Systematic T4 treatment of German Jews began in April i 940, with a proclamation from the Reich Interior Ministry that, within three weeks, all Jewish patients were to be inventoried. In June, the first gassings of Jews took place, as two hundred men, women, and children died in the Brandenburg facility, having been transported there in six Gekrat buses from the Berlin-Buch mental institution. There were more killings in July. On 30 August, another directive from the Interior Ministry ordered that Jews were to be transferred to various centers, depending on their geographic location. It was explained that employees and relatives of Aryan patients had complained about being treated and housed with Jews.76

The Bavarian collection center was Eglfing-Haar, where Dr. Pfannmüller had once declared proudly: “No Jews are allowed in my institution!”77 Now the Jews transferred in were placed in two special houses (where they were separated by sex rather than degree of illness) and thrust into propaganda-film roles depicting them as “typical Jews” and “the scum of humanity.” This segregation reflected the general policy that, in Schmidt’s ironic words, “‘Aryan’ mental patients could, not be expected to die together with Jewish patients, much less live together.”78

In the fall of 1940, Jewish patients began to be transported to Nazi-occupied Poland as part of the policy of removing all Jews from Germany. In December, it was announced that henceforth Jewish patients would be transferred to a facility for mentally impaired children in Bendorf near Neuwied in the Rhineland. This was a privately owned Jewish institution going back to 1869. Beginning in the spring of 1942, Bendorf patients were sent to Poland, in trains with sixty to seventy patients sealed in each freight car, trains that carried ordinary Jewish citizens as well. The Bendorf hospital was supposed to be used for soldiers, but never was. The director, a “privileged Jew” (married to an Aryan), stayed on to act as caretaker in the empty facility.79

Once the Jewish patients were herded into trains, the pretense of  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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