Sunday, March 20, 2005
Let’s have some more lovely excerpts about that splendid Empire of Efficiency known as the Third Reich: just the thing to brighten your Sunday afternoon. (We live to serve.)
The euthanasia killings—that is, the “systematic and secret execution” of the handicapped—were Nazi Germany’s first organized mass murder, in which the killers developed their killing techniques…The euthanasia killings proved to be the opening act of Nazi genocide. The mass murder of the handicapped preceded that of Jews and Gypsies; the final solution followed euthanasia. In euthanasia, the perpetrators recognized their limitations and, to avoid popular disapproval, transferred the killings from the Reich to the East. No substantive difference existed, however, between the killing operations directed against the handicapped, Jews, and Gypsies. The killing technique that had been developed and tested in euthanasia was used again and again. The killers who learned their trade in the euthanasia killing centers of Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hartheim, Sonnenstein, Bernburg, and Hadamar also staffed the killing centers at Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. The instigators had learned that individuals selected at random would carry out terrible crimes “without scruples.”Niiiice!
Although most Reich Committee children were obviously not suffering painful or terminal diseases, the killers defended their actions on the ground that their conditions were debilitating and incurable. The disabilities that had to be reported were indeed serious physical ailments. They included neurological disorders and physical deformities considered incurable and hereditary by the standards of medical knowledge at that time…The Reich Committee children were killed because they did not fit into the projected future German society. Well, they weren't any use, were they?
And my favorite - a nice tidbit to shed a little light onto the “separation of powers” technicality arguments that are making the rounds in the media today:
At times, approving relatives threw the (euthanasia) bureaucracy into consternation. Marie Kehr of Nuremberg wrote to the Sonnenstein killing center about the death of her two sisters. She suspected that their simultaneous deaths at Sonnenstein were not a coincidence and wanted to know whether the killing of her sisters was legal: “I can only find peace if I could be certain that a law of the Reich enables the release of human beings from their incurable ailments.” The Sonnenstein director, Horst Schumann, was not certain how to respond and wrote for advice to Werner Heyde, who then consulted with others. One month later, Herbert Linden of the RMdI wrote to the Nuremberg Nazi party regional office about this case, asking that they verbally answer Marie Kehr’s question, but only “if K. is politically unobjectionable and has no church ties.” Ten days later, the Nuremberg office wrote Linden that Kehr and her brother-in-law had been informed.”
Well, then! If it’s legal, what’s all the fuss about?