Estimates of “Euthanasia” Victims

T4 – The camouflage organization created for the medical killing of adults was known as the Reich Work Group of Sanatoriums and Nursing Homes (Reichsarbeitsgemeinschaft Heil- und Pflegeanstalten, or RAG). It operated from the Berlin Chancellery, at Tiergarten 4, hence the “T4” code name.

“Of the number of people killed in the T4 and the 14f13 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.) 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. 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.”

Klee, “Euthanasie” pp. 340-41; Lothar Gruchmann, “Euthanasie und Justiz im Dritten Reich,” Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeshichte 20 (1972):244

Florian Zehethofer, “Das Euthanasieproblem im Dritten Reich am Beispel Schloss Harthein (1938-1945),” Oberoesterreichische Heimatsblaetter 32 (1978):58-60

Extracted from THE NAZI DOCTORS: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. Lifton, Robert Jay, London: Papermac, 1986 (Reprinted 1990) p. 142

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