University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • "Euthanasia" crime in Hadamar - Page 4

    "Euthanasia" crime in Hadamar - Page 4

    Günther Hennecke, (1937)

    Only in 1939 Dr. Günther Hennecke (1912-1943) obtained his license for a doctor. In 1940 he was already a T-4-doctor in the killing institution Grafeneck. ln January he was transferred to Hadamar.

    T-4-personnel on an excursion

    T4 PersonnelWhen the assassination by gas ended in August 1941, most of the personnel working for the T-4-headquarters were sent to Poland, where they played an important role in building and operating the extermination camps Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. There too, gas chambers were masked as shower rooms and the guards were said to be medical personnel. One contingent of the T-4-personnel (92 people) was assigned "to assassinate the Jews crowded in the ghettos of the Polish territory under German rule, masked as Operation Reinhard".

    Correspondence between the Merxhausen mental hospital and the mother of a woman killed in Hadamar, August/September 1941

    The daughter was one of the women who were transferred on 30th May 1941 from Merxhausen to Herborn. The stereotype answer "transferred from here by order of the inspector of the War Cabinet "shows how the war situation was made use of for the transfer operation.

    Death certificate for Catharina Sofie Charlotte B., 5th February 1941

    From January until August 1941, the T-4 organisation had its own registry office called "Hadamar-Mönchberg". Almost all data shown on the death certificates was false: day, hour, cause of death, name of the registrar, and often even the place of death.

    Statistics concerning disinfected persons in the so-called Hartheim-Dokument (1942)

    page of statistics

    The statistics found in a safe of the Hartheim killing institution after the end of the war, was produced by the "general inspector for public health" (Karl Brandt).

    According to this document, a total number of 70.273 persons were killed; from these persons, 10.072 were killed in the institution "E ", that is in Hadamar. The total number of approximately 70.000 victims related to a plan: This plan provided for one case of "euthanasia "for each thousand inhabitants of the German Reich.

    In addition to the statistical data, the document contains an exact calculation of the money saved on food as a consequence of the assassinations.

    Information of the Haina mental hospital of the district agency Hessen concerning the continuing use of the registration forms, 81" November 1941

    Despite the end of the assassinations by gas in August 1941, the "euthanasia" programme of the Reich Chancery of the Führer - here camouflaged as "statist measures" - went on. Until 1945, patients continued to be killed by means of medical poisoning or malnutrition, executed in a more decentralised way. The number of killing institutions increased (in Hessen these centres included, in addition to Hadamar, the Eichberg mental hospital and the Kalmenhof educational curing institution) and the group of victims increased. Those affected were old people, soldiers, children brought up under the social welfare system and forced labour prisoners suffering from tuberculosis. Now, the doctors and nurses decided themselves which life was worth and unworthy of life. "An attempt to escape or larceny, obstinacy or insubordination, restlessness, enuresis, masturbation or homosexuality could mean the sentence of death for an inmate of the institution." (Schmuhl)

    The personnel of the Hadamar mental hospital (1942)

    In addition to the more than 10.000 victims killed by gas, the Hadamar institution continued to kill another 4000 people and more until the end of the war.The director of the institution's administrative department was Mons Klein (1909-1946) - here in the middle of the photo - an extremely scrupulous and brutal representative of the Nazi policy of extermination. Protected by the chief of the Nassau institutions, the trained dairy-farm assistant was even senior to - the head physician. During the years 1943/44, healthy children with one parent being a Jew were also killed in Hadamar under Klein's direction.
    Klein was sentenced to death in 1945 and executed in 1946.

    Adolf Wahlmann together with male nurse, 1945

    Dr. Adolf Wahlmann (1876-1956), since 1933 a member of the NSDAP, was head physician of the Hadamar mental hospital from 1942 to 1945.Together with the nurses, he selected the foster-children to be killed. The following night, those to be killed upon his orders were given fatal quantities of Luminal, Veronal (diethylbarbituric acid) or Trional. On occasion of the death of 43 female patients coming from the Rhineland area and killed in Hadamar, Wahlmann wrote in 1942: "With reference to my nationalsocialist conviction, I cannot agree to apply any medical measures, whether by medicine or any other kind, aiming at the prolongation of the life of those individuals that are completely unfit for our society, especially in these days of struggle for surviving, where every bed is needed for those of grater value for our people."

    Dr. Wahlmann was sentenced to lifelong imprisonment in 1947, but was pardoned in 1953.

    Ward 1 B in Hadamar (1945)

    In 1943/44 44 female forced labourers were killed in this ward. They were reported to have suffered from tuberculosis. Often, sick persons only stayed one night in Hadamar

    The cemetery of the institution of Hadamar (1947)

    The persons killed in Hadamar in the years 1942-1945 were buried in common graves
    on a newly constructed cemetery of the institution. Each grave identified by a number represents a common grave.