Dienstag, November 28, 2006
The term "euthanasia" (literally, "good death") usually refers to the inducement of a painless death for a chronically or terminally ill individual. In Nazi usage, however, "euthanasia" was a euphemistic term for a clandestine program that targeted for systematic killing institutionalized mentally and physically disabled patients or those who supposedly have ill genetic heritage, without the knowledge or consent of themselves or their families. Children with disabilities or diagnosed as idiots (some of them even healthy but bedraggled), brought to Vienna’s “Otto Wagner Hospital” am Spiegelgrung, a specially designated paediatric clinic, were murdered by lethal overdoses of medication or by starvation. Some 800 infants, toddlers, and juveniles are estimated to have been killed between 1940 and 1945. The deaths of hundreds of Spiegelgrund children were accelerated through lack of food and neglect. The drugs they received sometimes helped to bring on fatal pneumonia - which could then be registered as "death from natural causes". Today I attended the annual commemoration ceremony where letters of parents were read, who wanted to get their children out of the hospital again; of children that wrote to their parents and clinical records of the victims. After the children were killed, body parts such as their limps, but mainly their brains were kept for scientific purposes; their remains were only buried in 2002.
It is really hard to put my speechlessness into words.
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