Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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arrangements with 14f13 leaders and colleagues connected the two elements of self, as in a postcard sent from the famous popular scenic area, the Starnberger See, near Munich (“Since we first begin working tomorrow, we have taken a beautiful outing” [September 1941]) and signed by not only Mennecke himself but also Dr. Gerhard Wischer, head of the Waldheim institution in Saxony; Dr. Nitsche; Dr. Victor Ratka; Dr. Rudolf Lonauer, director at Hartheim; Erich Bauer, chauffeur; and, added separately, Dr. Theodor Steinmeyer. There is also a group photograph of these relaxed excursionists.25*

Also contributing to balancing his two selves was pride at being classified as “essential” to (and therefore not liable to military draft), and honored by the regime. Mennecke was sentenced to death by a German court but died in prison in 1947 of tuberculosis contracted during his “euthanasia” work.26 
The Evolving Genocidal Mentality 
Of the number of people killed in the T4 and the 14f1 projects the following statistics are usually given: adult mental patients from institutions, 80,000 to 100,000; children in institutions 5,000; special action against Jews in institutions, 1,000; concentration-camp inmates transported to killing centers (14f13) 20,000 (Klee estimated that at the end of 1941, some 93,521 “beds” had been emptied for other uses [70,000 patients gassed, plus over 20,000 dead through starvation and medication] — in other words approximately one-third of the places for the mentally ill.)27 But these figures may well be too low; twice these numbers of people may have perished. The fact is that we do not know and shall probably never know. Elements of deception, imposed chaos, and the destruction of many records make anything like an accurate estimate impossible.

The same is true concerning the total number of people murdered at specific killing centers. Hartheim victims of both ordinary “euthanasia” and 14f13 are variously estimated from 20,000 (by Dr. Georg Renno, Lonauer’s successor as director), to 400,000 (by Franz Ziereis, the former, commandant of Mauthausen, on his deathbed); 30,000 is believed to be the best estimate.28 While these figures may seem unimpressive when placed next to the millions killed in the Final Solution, they represent the murder of shockingly large numbers of people — all in places characterized as hospitals.

Mennecke described to his wife, on 12 January 1942, an obscure but
* Mennecke revealed similar patterns in thanking the director of an institution he had visited in order to press “euthanasia” selections: “We will think back with joy on the days we spent with you ... and have the nicest remembrances of the individual wards.”   
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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