Aktion T4

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Post by Manstein » 24 Aug 2004 07:24

David, here are some biographical updates to your list of euthanasia criminals:

Hermann Pfannmüller was born in 1886 and died in 1961. He was sentenced to 6 years' imprisonment by a de-Nazification court in 1949.

Josef Oberhauser died in 1979.

Herta Oberheuser was born in 1911 and died in 1978.

Paul Nitsche was born in 1876.

Walter Eugen Schmidt was born in 1911 and died in 1970. His sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment and he was released in 1953.

Carl Schneider was born in 1891 and committed suicide in December 1946.

Friedrich Tillmann was born in 1903.

Adolf Wahlmann was born in 1876 and died in 1956. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he was released in 1953.

Werner Catel was born in 1894 and died in 1981.

Hans Hefelmann was born in 1906 and died on April 12, 1986. He was released due to ill health in 1964 and was never re-tried.

Dietrich Allers was born in 1910 and died in 1975.

Werner Blankenburg was born in 1905 and apparently went through a de-Nazification proceeding.

Gerhard Bohne was born in 1902, and after his extradition he was released for reasons of health.

Max de Crinis was born in 1889 and committed suicide in 1945.
Last edited by Manstein on 24 Aug 2004 19:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by David Thompson » 24 Aug 2004 16:12

Thanks, Manstein. I appreciate the help.

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Post by harmel » 29 Jun 2006 23:42

Hi Tonia,it has been 3yrs but hope it helps
Dr med Ernst Illing,was Physician at Am Spiegel
Childrens Euthenasia ward,assisted Prof Dr Hans Heize
at childrens Euthenasia Inst.,Brandenburg Goerden
Senteced to death of 240 mentally defective children
and hanged
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dresdner prozess

Post by danyb » 24 Apr 2007 15:01

hello !

h.u.p.a trial:
place: dresde
dates: 16.6.1947 - 7.7.1947

1) paul nitsche: the death sentence (executed on the 25.3.1948)
2) hermann felfe: the death sentence (suicide on the 15.10.1947)
3) karl gabler: the death sentence (executed ??)
4) ernst leonhardt: the death sentence (excuted ??)
5) wilhelm rapke: life imprisonment
6) eduard herzer: 20 years imprisonment
7) gunther langer: 15 years imprisonment
8) elsa sachse: 15 years imprisonment
9) hildegard ackermann: 8 years imprisonment
10) luise wedel: 8 years imprisonment
11) lina friedrich: 3 years imprisonment
12) johanna puschmann: 3 years imprisonment
13) martha friedrich: acquittal
14) walter schulze: acquittal
15) esther walther: acquittal


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Post by Researcher » 25 Apr 2007 18:17

Hi danyb,

Check out the names in this artical from pirna.de. about the Sonnenstein trial. Several of the christian names are different. Probably there is a second christian name eg Erhard Karl Gäbler. Which is correct?

Vom 16. Juni bis zum 7. Juli 1947 fand im Dresdner Schwurgericht der Prozeß gegen Ärzte und Pfleger statt, die an der Euthanasie-Aktion T 4 teilgenommen hatten. Am 7. Juli wurde das Urteil verkündet. Verurteilt wurden u.a. Professor Dr. Paul Nitsche, die Sonnensteiner Pfleger Erhard Gäbler und Hermann Felfe zum Tode und der Pfleger Paul Räpke zu lebenslanger Zuchthausstrafe.

Verurteilt wurden ferner „Dr. Herzer zu 20 Jahren Zuchthaus, Medizinalrat Dr. Langer und Oberschwester Sachse zu je 15 Jahren Zuchthaus, die Oberschwester Wedel und die Schwester Ackermann zu je 8 Jahren Zuchthaus und die Krankenschwestern Puschmann und Klara Friedrich zu je 3 Jahren Zuchthaus, alle Angeklagten zu entsprechendem Ehrenrechtsverlust.

Die Angeklagten Frau Dr. Walther und Dr. Herbert Schulze sowie die Krankenschwester Martha Friedrich wurden freigesprochen.


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Post by Michael Miller » 27 Jul 2007 20:11

Just found this photo of Prof. Carl Schneider at http://www.autonomes-zentrum.org/ai/texte/prinzhorn.htm .

~ Mike
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Post by Valkryrie » 04 Nov 2007 02:49

I'm doing an essay on Euthanasia, however i can only use Primary documents. I was wondering if the info provided David Thompson can be verified as a Primary Document. Also anything else would be helpful, ASAP. Thanks.

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Re: Luftwaffe pilots

Post by Myron » 08 Dec 2007 20:58

moliveira wrote:Hi all, this is my first post here.

Do you guys know if there were Luftwaffe pilots (or even Wehrmacht soldiers) who got mentally disturbed and who were killed in Aktion T4 Euthanasia?


Marcelo Oliveira
This is a question I have been thinking of for years. It is mentioned in Peter Cohen's excellent Swedish documentary "Undergångens arkitektur"/"Architecture of Doom" (1989) that the civilian population were worried if mentally disturbed Wehrmacht soldiers were included in the T4-program. Any clarification if soldiers were murdered will be appreciated.

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Post by Michael Miller » 29 Dec 2007 00:54

Photo of Prof. Dr. Paul Nitsche, from http://www.slaek.de/50aebl/2005/04/pdf/0405_142.pdf

Brief bio from same site:
Prof. Dr. Hermann Paul Nitsche (1876 bis 1947):
Das Dresdener Schwurgericht verurteilte ihn
zusammen mit dem Arnsdorfer Anstaltsarzt Ernst
Leonhard und 2 Sonnensteiner Pflegern am
7. Juli 1947 zum Tode. In Dresden hingerichtet.
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Re: Aktion T4

Post by Michael Miller » 11 Dec 2008 01:31

Some nice information on Dr. Julius Hallervorden (Source:

Julius Hallervorden
German neuropathologist, born October 21, 1882; died May 29, 1965.

Julius Hallervorden was born in East Prussia. He studied medicine in Königsberg and from 1910 worked in a private nerve clinic in Berlin. From 1913 he was first an official assistant physician (Medizinalrat) and later physician-in-chief at the state psychiatric institution – Psychiatrischer Landesanstalt in Landsberg an der Warthe. He subsequently also worked in a military hospital and as a district, also gaining experience in post mortem work.

In 1921 – and again in 1925/1926 – he was on a sabbatical leave with a scholarship to work with Walther Spielmeyer (1879-1935) in the department of neurohistology at the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Psychiatrie (now Max-Planck-Gesellschaft) in Munich, headed by Emil Kraepelin. He brought with him the brain of a girl who had suffered from the syndrome. He met Spatz there and together they described the syndrome. Hallervorden worked with Spatz from then on.

From 1928 he was freed of his clinical duties as head of clinical medicine at the Landesanstalt Landsberg with the task of establishing a central prosecturate for the Brandenburg institutions.

From January 1, 1938, Hallervorden was professor and head of the neuropathological department of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Hirnforschung in Berlin-Buch, succeeding Max Bielschowsky who had been dismissed as early as in 1933 because of his Jewish faith. After the war this institute was re-established as the Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung in Gießen, respectively Frankfurt am Main. Following the war he was a neuropathologist at the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt.

Like his friend, Hugo Spatz, Hallervorden became a notorious Nazi war criminal. When Adolf Hitler's infamous words on the morning of September 1, 1939, "Seit fünf Uhr fünfundvierzig wird jetzt zurückgeschossen", marked the attack on Poland, Hallervorden was the Prosector (Pathologist) at the Brandenburg State Hospital. That year a euthanasia centre had been established at the Brandenburg-Görden centre, where there was a sudden surge in institutional deaths. It is now assumed that a majority of the some 700 brains he investigated during the Nazi period were victims of euthanasia, and that he was present at the killing of more than 60 children and adolescents in the Anstalt Brandenburg on October 28, 1940.

"I accepted the brains, of course. Where they came from and how they came to me was really none of my business".

This saying may be described as something like "the truth according to Joseph Goebbels" (1897-1945). The term euthanasia is a euphemism that was first used in this context by the Nazis themselves, and is not the correct term here. What really happened, as is well known, was the mass murder of vast numbers of mentally ill children and adults. This crime is sometimes forgotten, in view of the numerically much larger mass murder of millions of Jews and others on racial and political grounds.

Hallervorden and Spatz were not merely "aware of" the mass murder program from which they "benefited"; it is quite clear that they helped plan it and were active participants.

Post-war concerns regarding the origins of much of Hallervorden personal pathological collection caused the removal of the collection from continued scientific use at the Edinger Institute. There is currently a laudable movement to rename Hallervorden-Spatz disease, so that the memory of these murderers will no longer be perpetuated.

It has been said that Adolf Hitler loved his dog. Hallervorden loved symphonic works. But murderers they were.

More information on Hallervorden is in the article on Hugo Spatz, German neuropathologist, 1888-1969.

We thank:

Dr. Ethan Taub for submitting important information about the war crimes of Hallervorden and Spatz. Dr. Traub is a neurosurgeon in Zürich, Switzerland.

Dr. Günter Krämer, Zürich, Switzerland, for biographical information.


J. Hallervorden:
Ueber eine Kohlenoxydvergiftung im Fetalleben mit Entwicklungsstörung der Hirnrinde. Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und ihre Grenzgebiete, Berlin, 1949, 124: 289-298.

Biographical etc.

G. Ule:
Julius Hallervorden. 1882-1965.
Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, Berlin 1965, 207: 165–167

B. Ostertag:
Julius Hallervorden. Sein Wirken und seine Bedeutung für die moderne Neuropathologie.
Die medizinische Welt, Stuttgart, 1967, Neue Folge 18: 234–236.

M. I. Shevell:
Racial hygiene, active euthanasia, and Julius Hallervorden.
Neurology 1992, 42: 2214–2219.

J. Peiffer:
Hirnforschung im Zwielicht: Beispiele verführbarer Wissenschaft aus der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus. Julius Hallervoren – H.-J.Scherer – Berthold Ostertag.
Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Medizin und der Naturwissenschaften, Heft 79; hrsg. von Winau G, Müller-Dietz H). Husum, Matthiesen Verlag Ingewert Paulsen Jr. 1997.

M. L. Shevell, J. Peiffer:
Julius Hallervorden's wartime activities: Implications for science under dictatorship.
Pediatric Neurology, New York, 2001, 25: 162–165.

Hans-Walter Schmuhl:
Hirnforschung und Krankenmord. Das Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Hirnforschung 1937-1945.
Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 2002, 50: 559-609.
Präsidentkommission der Max-Planck Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V.
And from http://www.berlin.de/imperia/md/content ... s_zeit.pdf, his ID card.

Best wishes,
~ Mike
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Re: Aktion T4

Post by Max Williams » 11 Dec 2008 11:44

The staff of T4 were able to take R&R at a small lakeside villa in Austria. During the war, the administration of T4 was moved to this building, effectively making it the HQ of the T4 operation. This summer, I visited the area and found the original building which is used as a convention centre today. It is set in a beautiful location and it's hard to equate it today with its former use.
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Re: Aktion T4

Post by Grisu » 22 Dec 2008 21:43

David Thompson wrote:Part 2:

Euthanasia Personnel and Trials


Baumert, Dr. _____
I might have an addition on this person:

Willi Baumert (born 1909, died ?), Dr. med., 1932 NSDAP member (party no. 930.392), 1933 SS member, reached rank of Obersturmbannführer (Waffen-SS), medical dissertation on Ablagerungen und Ausscheidungen im Bereich epithelialer Buchten der Halsgegend der Harnblase (Concretions and expulsions in the area of epithelial bays in the onset [?] of the urine bladder) (Göttingen 1935/1936), described as "good national socialist" and "politically reliable" (see quote below) by leading party members, 1937 Hilfsarzt (subordinate doctor), 1941-1945 chief surgeon/director of Kinderfachabteilung (department of paediatrics) in Lüneburg up until 1945, the Lüneburg department was responsible for the killing of approx. 300 children, pre-1945 one of central figures in the systematic killing of children in Lüneburg, post-1945 unskilled worker and company physician, 1947 acknowledged as Facharzt (medical specialist) for mental illnesses and neuropathy, 1948/1949 investigation of Baumert's past by public prosecution without a negative outcome for Baumert, 1958 chief surgeon/director in the state hospital of Lower Saxony in Königslutter, in the same year promotion to Medizinaldirektor (honorary title), chairman of the Verband der niedersächsischen Anstaltsärzte und Psychiater (Union of clinicians and psychiatrists of Lower Saxony).

From Reiter, Euthanasie, p. 282f (quoting a source from 1936).
Seit dem 1. Februar 1932 ist Baumert Parteigenosse, Mitgliedsbuch-Nr. 930 392. Er gehört ferner der Schutzstaffel an. Dienstleistung und allgemeines Verhalten kennzeichnen den Parteigenossen Baumert als einen guten Nationalsozialisten. Die politische Zuverlässigkeit wird unbedenklich bejaht. Dr. Baumert ist seinen Mitarbeitern ein guter Kamerad. Er ist beruflich befähigt und untadelig in seiner Lebensführung.
From Reiter, Psychiatry, p. 19 (the original includes a picture of Baumert):
Dr. Willi Baumert
responsible doctor and director of the “Kinderfachabteilung” (paediatric department) Lüneburg up until 1945. Dr. Baumert was a convinced representative of “euthanasia“ killings. During the Second World War he was one of those mainly responsible for mass murder on the lines of the childrens action so far as these were carried out in the “Kinderfachabteilung” (paediatric department) Lüneburg. After the war Dr. Baumert enjoyed a successful career as a psychiatrist, becoming director of the Königslutter Institute. A distasteful rise in hindsight when one considers that in 1962 Dr. Baumert had to admit to the public prosecutor that before 1945 he had given orders in many cases for the killing of helpless children in need of care.
(Source: Federal Archives Berlin; Stand SS-Race and Colony Chief Office)

Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychisch-gerichtliche Medizin, vol. 106 (1937).
Baumert, Willi, Ablagerungen und Ausscheidungen im Bereich epithelialer Buchten der Halsgegend der Harnblase, Göttingen 1935/1936.

Klee, Ernst, Was sie taten - was sie wurden: Ärzte, Juristen und andere Beteiligte am Kranken- oder Judenmord, Frankfurt/Main 1992.
Reiter, Raimond, "'Euthanasie'-Tötungen im 'Dritten Reich' in Niedersachsen: Helfer, Täter und Protest", in Hans Otte / Thomas Scharf-Wrede (eds.), Caritas und Diakonie in der NS-Zeit. Beispiele aus Niedersachsen, Hildersheim et al. 2001, pp. 279-290.
Reiter, Raimond, Psychiatry in the "Third Reich" in Lower Saxony, Hanover and Dresden 2007 (available online: here)

Miscellaneous online resources:
Bildungs- und Gedenkstätte "Opfer der NS-Psychiatrie" in Lüneburg, table with numbers of killed children, URL.
Zug der Erinnerung, article on Lüneburg hospital, URL.

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Re: Aktion T4

Post by David Thompson » 01 Feb 2009 15:06

Thanks, Grisu and danyb. I apologise for having taken so long to express my appreciation, but I haven't re-visited this thread for several years and didn't see the new information.

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Re: Aktion T4

Post by J. Duncan » 01 Feb 2009 18:51

Who was the euthanasia doctor who slowly starved the children under his care to death? It was a method he was particularly fond of (he felt it was humane). I'm thinking it was Professor Pfanensteil but i can't remember.

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Re: Aktion T4

Post by Michael Miller » 03 Feb 2009 19:58

J. Duncan wrote:
Who was the euthanasia doctor who slowly starved the children under his care to death? It was a method he was particularly fond of (he felt it was humane). I'm thinking it was Professor Pfanensteil but i can't remember.

That was Obermedizinalrat Dr. Hermann Pfannmüller (1886-1961), director of the childrens' euthanasia center Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Eglfing-Haar bei München.

A photo and some biographical information on him appear here http://books.google.com/books?id=ShU7AA ... t#PPA46,M1 (photo, in SA uniform, on p. 46)

Brief notes on this murderer (from http://www.oralchelation.net/data/Psych ... ata18n.htm ):
Dr. Pfannmüller joined the Nazi party in May, 1933. He believed strongly in the concept of "life devoid of value," which demanded the eliminated of what he called "the pitiful patient" who showed "the semblance of being of a human existence."

Pfannmüller was the director of the institution, Eglfing-Haar, for children. He developed a special starvation diet as a method of killing "useless eaters," especially children. In 1939, Pfannmüller explained to visiting psychology students the euthanasia or mercy killing that was being conducted--some 25 children, aged between one and five were being starved to death. Pfannmuller lifted up one emaciated child who was near death and told the students that food was withdrawn gradually, not all
at once. The motto was: "We give them no fat, then they go on their own."

In 1943, he established two more "starvation houses," this time for an adult population. Some 444 patients died directly or indirectly (contracting pneumonia while malnutritioned) from his diet.

In a report on an interview with him for the Nuremberg Trials, Pfannmüller was described as "a brutal fellow who actually enjoyed to dispatch patients to their death...[was] mostly directly responsible" for the killings at the Eglfing-Haar asylum.

Pfannmuller testified at the Nuremberg trials, "...euthanasia and the work of the National Board had, in my view, nothing to do with National Socialism. They were just as legal as the regulations for prevention of transmission of hereditary diseases and infection in marriage. These laws were passed during the National Socialist Regime. But the ideas from which they arose are centuries old."

Found Mentally Unfit to Stand Trial:

In 1948, he was declared unfit to stand trial. The next year he was sentenced to six years jail.

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