University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • Forced sterilization and more... - Page 3

    Forced sterilization and more... - Page 3

    Franz Stangl, no date

    The T4 career of the born Austrian Franz Stangl (who later commanded the concentration camps of Sobibor and Treblinka) began in 1940 in the offices of Castle Hartheim killing institution. Stangl, 32 years old at that time, had worked with the Linz based police service of the Gestapo. Since he was looking for a new job, he appealed to the Central Security Office of the Reich. He accepted an offer to work for T4 at Hartheim. Arrested after World War 11, Stangl escaped from an Austrian prison in 1947 and managed to get to Italy and then into Syria. In 1951, he came to Brazil and began to work with Volkwagon. Simon Wiesenthal succeeded in identifying him in Brazil from where he was extradited to Germany in 1967. In 1970, the Court of assizes at Düsseldorf sentenced him to lifelong detention; he died in prison one year later.

    Letter of the medico-pedagogic institution at Scheuern to the „Zentralverrechnungsstelle Heiland Pflegeanstalten "("Central Clearing Office for Psychiatric Hospitals "),Linz /Donau, concerning the transfer of patients to Hadamar, 30th September 1943

    With the progress of World War II, T4 had to look for more places to escape from the Berlin headquarters more and more exposed to the risk of bomb attacks. In 1943, the ,,Zentralverrechnungsstelle Heilund Pflegeanstalten "("Central Clearing Office for Psychiatric Hospitals ") one of the T4 sub-divisions, moved to Castle Hartheim near Linz. For reasons of secrecy, the name "Hartheim "was not mentioned in the address. The T4 Central Clearing Office was now responsible for the overall German Reich settlement of daily costs billed by T4 for such patients who, for the purpose of getting more places clear, were to be transferred to interim institutions and from there to the "euthanasia "institutions where they were put to death. The patients from Hamburg mentioned here were transferred in 1943 to Scheuern near Nassau and from there to the killing institution Hadamar.

    Letter of the „Gemeinnutzige Stiftung Mir Anstaltspflege" ("Non-profit Foundation for Institutionalised Nursing"), Linz (Hartheim), to the Psychiatric Hospital Hadamar, 21st October 1944

    In 1944, the T4 payroll department worked in "Haus Schoberstein "located in Weißenbach at the Attersee, near the Austrian town Vöcklabruck. For camouflage reasons, the address only consisted of the postal box number in Linz (Upper Austria). In the years before, "Haus Schoberstein "was used as sanatorium for T4 personnel that had worked in the killing institutions and extermination camps. In 1944, the killing institutions still employed members of the T4 personnel such as the five nurses of the Hadamar institution. The personnel was still on the payroll of the T4 organisation which had its costs reimbursed by the new administrative body of the killing institution.

    The "Risiera di San Sabba "in Trieste (Italy), no date

    At the end of 1943, many T4 employees from the camps closed after the "action Reinhard "in occupied Poland were transferred to Trieste (Italy) for a new mission. They remained under the authority of Odilo Globocnik, responsible until that date for the extermination camps in the Lublin district in his function of SS and police officer, and now transferred to Trieste as senior SS and police officer. At the local rice mill ("Risiera") of San Sabba, the T4 members established a concentration camp designed to concentrate Jews from the Adriatic region. From there, they were sent to the Auschwitz extermination camp. In addition, T4 members specified as "Special Task Force Adriatic Coast "also took over police duties in the region and got involved in fights with Yugoslav partisans in neighbouring Istria and Dalmatia.

    Premises of the former concentration camp San Sabba (Trieste), 1966

    san sabbaIn San Sabba, T4 members had established detention installations as well as a central office for the interrogation of prisoners. There are only some vague allusions as to the extent of potential assassinations committed by the T4 command at San Sabba. Some information relates to the execution by firing squads and some even to assassinations by gas. There is a clear evidence, however, that San Sabba had an installation for incinerating dead bodies, built by the T4 mason Erwin Lambert.

    Dietrich Allers, no date

    When the commander of the Tieste section, Christian Wirth, was killed in May 1944 during fights against partisans, he was replaced by the T4 executive Dietrich Allers. Born in 1910, Allers, a solicitor and high-ranking councillor, got in touch with the killing organisation through his contact with the T4 executive Werner Blankenburg. In 1943, he had succeeded in becoming the most influential T4 man. After the war, he managed to work as a lawyer until 1968 when he was sentenced to eight years imprisonment. Allers died in 1975.

    Kurt Franz on his mission in Italy, no date (about 1944)

    After the closure of the extermination camp in Treblinka, Kurt Franz had to leave his post as commander and found a new mission - like many of his T4 colleagues - in the Trieste region. The photo showing Franz on mission in the Adriatic area is part of a photographic album and bears the title (just like the photos from Treblinka) "Happy Times"

    T4 personnel in Trieste: among others, Erwin Lambert (left), Lorenz Hackenholt (4th from right), Werner Dubois (3rd from right), Gerhard Schneider (right), no date (about 1944)

    Some years before, many members of the T4 command structure in the Italian city of Trieste had played an active role in the T4 "euthanasia "institutions of the Third Reich. One of Erwin Lambert 's roles in 1940 was to install the gas chamber and the incinerators of the crematorium in Hadamar. In addition to the bus driver Hackenholt and the cremator Dubois, the Trieste mission also included Gerhard Schneider who had worked as courier between the T4 headquarters and the killing institutions.