Every human life is worth living

4 Sep

This, like the previous article I wrote, is extremely difficult to write. I find words fail me and that a dry presentation doesn’t do justice to the topic. How, exactly, does one write about the fact that Germany has erected a monument to the disabled and mentally ill killed by the regime?

The New York Times discusses a monument erected in Berlin:

Monument Seeks to End Silence on Killings of the Disabled by the Nazis

BERLIN — The first to be singled out for systematic murder by the Nazis were the mentally ill and intellectually disabled. By the end of World War II, an estimated 300,000 of them had been gassed or starved, their fates hidden by phony death certificates and then largely overlooked among the many atrocities that were to be perpetrated in Nazi Germany in the years to follow.

One can read the full article on the New York Times website. And many other news outlets. I will take one more paragraph from the Times.

“Every human life is worth living: That is the message sent out from this site,” Monika Grütters, the German minister for culture, told a crowd gathered for the opening ceremony. “The ‘T4’ memorial confronts us today with the harrowing Nazi ideology of presuming life can be measured by ‘usefulness.’ ”


By Matt Carey

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3 Responses to “Every human life is worth living”

  1. usethebrainsgodgiveyou September 4, 2014 at 16:27 #

    I had never heard of the T-4 Aktion before going to the Holocaust Museum about 10 years ago. I had to understand more, so, I bought a book…there is a page I have underlined in totality from the book, Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution by Henry Friedlander. Funny….I never noticed the graphic on the front page was a copy of the letter written by Hitler to legalize the “mercy killing” of Baby Knauer in Chapter 3, Killing of Handicapped Children, p.39.

    The text of the letter signing into law the killing of baby Bauer is available online:
    http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=15074 The Holocaust Museum has translated it:

    Copy of an original letter signed by Adolf Hitler authorizing the T4 (Euthanasia) program.

    The text of the letter states that “Reichsleiter [Philipp] Bouhler and Dr. med. [Karl] Brandt are charged with responsibility to broaden the authority of certain doctors to the extent that [persons] suffering from illnesses judged to be incurable may, after a humane, most careful assessment of their condition, be granted a mercy death. [signed] Adolf Hitler.”

    Chilling…how it all began.

  2. Narad September 5, 2014 at 07:08 #

    I normally derogate argument from aphorism, but I’m willing to go with Walden here:

    That time which we really improve, or which is improvable, is neither past, present, nor future.

  3. lilady September 9, 2014 at 20:16 #

    More of the history of the Nazi forced sterilization and extermination program of “undesirables”…from Sigrid Falkenstein’s speech about her aunt Anna Lehnkering, before the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychometrics, November, 2010:

    http://www.dgppn.de/history/psychiatry-under-national-socialism/speech-falkenstein.html

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