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Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/hartheim/hartheim.001

From: (John Morris)
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Hartheim (was Re: The Dachau Gas Chamber)
Date: Sun, 03 Sep 1995 22:03:54 GMT
Organization: University of Alberta
Lines: 115
Message-ID: <42d8q4$>

Henry Ayre  wrote:

>"Hartheim" does not appear in the Rand McNalley Universal World Atlas, 
>nor in the Britannica Atlas, nor in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Has Mr. 
>McVay again created something out of nothing?  H. Ayre.


Hartheim Castle near Linz (now in Austria) was the T4 euthansia
facility known as Facility C. Hartheim was opened by May 1940.
Hartheim was known as the "Dachau sanatorium" and was greatly feared
by Dachau inmates: anyone who fell ill and was sent to recover there
simply never returned. Based upon the convoy lists from Gusen and
Mathausen, and the list of named Spanish prisoners who died from
"unnatural causes" at Hartheim, it is estimated that in excess of 1200
prisoners were "euthanized" by poison gas at Hartheim in 1941 and
1942. In the context of Rascher's request below to begin poison gas
experiments on "invalids" sent to Dachau, it seems reasonable to
suppose that the "same equipment" he mentions included facilities for
homicidal gas chambers such as were used in the euthanasia program at

The Nazi euthansia program was based upon neo-Darwinian theories of
eugenics which held that society was weakened by the presence of
"inferior elements." It was believed that a society could protect
itself from "degeneration" only by practicing "racial hygiene." The
practice of racial hygiene quite simply meant the euthanizing of
"inferior elements."

A partial definition of "inferior elements" may be seen in the
registration forms that the Reich Interior Ministry sent in October
1939 to every hospice and asylum in Germany. Group 1 included "all
patients suffering from schizophrenia, epilepsy, senile diseases.
therapy resistant paralysis and other syphilitic sequelae,
feeble-mindedness from any cause, encephalitis, Huntington's disease
and other neurological conditions of a terminal nature." Group 2
included "all patients who have been continuously institutionalized
for at least five years." Group 3 included "all patients who are in
custody as criminally insane, foreigners, and all those falling under
National Socialist race legislation." I would draw particular
attention to Group 3 because it contains patients whose conditions
might not be terminal or incurable but who were defined as "defective"
strictly because of their race, in general, because they were Jews.

The Nazis went to considerable lengths to conceal the euthansia
program. The supposed sanitoriums were kept under tight security and
were inaccessible to the families of "patients." A variety of form
letters, including diseases with *specific* complications, were set up
for notifying families that "patients" had died. In some facilities,
officials kept records of the numbers euthanized. If too many from one
original location were killed, officials were careful to alter the
dates of death and the dates of notification so that the deaths would
not be connected by the folks back home. Lastly, I should note that
Hitler's written order establishing the euthanasia program has been

A variety of methods for killing "patients" were tried including
injections of phenol directly into their hearts. The most effective
method by far was poisoning with carbon monoxide gas.

In addition, "patients" were used as lab animals for a variety of
cruel medical experiments. Some pictures of the results of similar
experiments carried out at Dachau and elsewhere may be viewed at Franz
Schmitz' web site in Belgium at

Portions of the voluminous correspondence between the experimenters
and Himmler's office are collated with photographs of the experiments
mentioned in the doctors' letters at Robert Bennet's excellent
L'Chaim: A Holocaust Web Project web site at'chaim.html

In connection with Hartheim, Dr. Sigmund Rascher at Dachau requested
permission from Himmler to begin poison gas experiments on "invalids"
who would otherwise be sent to Hartheim:

  Wie Sie wissen, wird im KL Dachau dieselbe Einricht[ung] wie
  in Linz gebaut. Nachdem die "Invalidentransporte" sowieso in
  bestimmten Kammern enden, frage ich, ob nicht in diesen Kammern
  an der sowieso dazu bestimmten Personen die Wirkung unserer
  verschiedenen Kampfgase erprobt werden kann? Bis jetzt liegen nur
  Tierversuche bezw. Berichte ueber Unfaelle bei Herrstellung dieser
  Gase vor. Wegen dieses Absatzes schicke ich den Brief als

  [As you know, the very same equipment is in the concentration
  camp at Dachau as was used at Linz [Hartheim]. Whereas the
  "invalid transports" end up in certain chambers [at Linz]
  anyway, I ask whether we cannot test some of our various
  combat gases on specific persons who are involved in the 
  action. Up till now there have only been animal tests
  or accounts of accidental deaths in the manufacture of these
  gases. Because of this paragraph, I have sent this letter
  marked  "Secret"].

     --from Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Reichsfuehrer Himmler,
       9 August 1942. Courtesy of the Bundesarchiv, Koblenz.

My translation of this portion of the letter was made from a photocopy
of the original provided to me by Danny Keren.

Aside from the Rascher's letter, see Eugen Kogon, et al., _Nazi Mass
Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas_ (New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1993).

 John Morris                               
 at University of Alberta     
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