News / Europe

Victims of Nazi 'Euthanasia' Killings Commemorated in Berlin

A woman lays flowers at the new monument for the victims of euthanasia in Berlin, Sept. 2, 2014.
A woman lays flowers at the new monument for the victims of euthanasia in Berlin, Sept. 2, 2014.
Reuters

Some 300,000 people with physical or mental disabilities who were killed under Nazi Germany's “euthanasia” program because their lives were deemed unworthy were commemorated on Tuesday with the opening of a memorial in Berlin.

Relatives of the victims joined Mayor Klaus Wowereit and members of the public to lay wreaths and white roses in front of the 30-meter-(100-foot)-long, blue glass wall of the open-air memorial and permanent exhibition.

“The Nazi murders of disabled people are among the most inhumane acts of history,” said Wowereit. “It is high time that these victims of Nazi inhumanity finally receive their own memorial.”

The Nazis killed an estimated 300,000 people with disabilities and psychological ailments, mostly by gas and lethal injection. The scheme was coordinated from offices next to Berlin's Tiergarten, where information about the forced sterilizations and murders is now presented on plaques.

In the euthanasia program's headquarters, doctors and administrators listed physically and mentally disabled patients to be killed, decided how it should be done, and devised ways to keep the murders secret.

“We must denounce the inhumane distinction between a worthy and an unworthy life,” said Monika Gruetters, Germany's state minister for culture and media. “Every human life is valuable - that's the message of this memorial.”

Hartmut Traub read from the biography of his uncle, Benjamin Traub, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and gassed on March 13, 1941 at the Hadamar extermination site, where Traub said 10,113 patients were asphyxiated with carbon monoxide.

Just over 60 patients were gassed daily in Hadamar, Traub said. They would be examined, told to undress, and sent to a chamber in the cellar, supposedly to shower.

“They wouldn't have had much time to react,” Hartmut Traub said. “Soon Benjamin and his 63 fellow sufferers were choking on gas.”

The memorial is located near other commemorative sites honoring groups targeted by the Nazi Holocaust - the 6 million murdered Jews, the persecuted homosexuals, and the Roma gypsy victims of Hitler's regime.

It is specifically designed to be accessible for disabled people and those with learning difficulties. 

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid