Euthanasia Program and Aktion T4


"On December 9, 1946, an American military tribunal opened criminal proceedings against 23 leading German physicians and administrators for their willing participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity.


In Nazi Germany, German physicians planned and enacted the Euthanasia Program (https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005200), the systematic killing of those they deemed "unworthy of life."


The victims included people with severe psychiatric, neurological, or physical disabilities. Further, during World War II, German physicians conducted pseudoscientific medical experiments (https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005168) utilizing thousands of concentration camp prisoners without their consent.


Most died or were permanently injured as a result. Most of the victims were Jews, Poles, Russians, and also Roma (Gypsies).


After almost 140 days of proceedings, including the testimony of 85 witnesses and the submission of almost 1,500 documents, the American judges pronounced their verdict on August 20, 1947. Sixteen of the doctors were found guilty. Seven were sentenced to death. They were executed on June 2, 1948.

In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Doctors Trial, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presented excerpts from the official trial record, with accompanying photographs:

• Opening Statement (excerpts (https://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-

exhibitions/special-focus/doctors-trial/opening-statement))

• Indictment (https://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/special-focus/doctors-trial/indictment)

• Testimony (excerpts): Father Leo Miechalowski (https://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/special-focus/doctors-trial/testimony-father-miechalowski)

• Testimony (excerpt): Vladislava Karolewska (https://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/special-focus/doctors-trial/testimony-vladislava-karolewska)

• Sentences (https://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/special-focus/doctors-trial/sentences)

• Nuremberg Code (https://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/special-focus/doctors-trial/nuremberg-code)

Sources

• Documents: The transcriptions of documents come from the official trial record: Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10. Nuremberg, October 1946 - April 1949. Washington D.C.: U.S. G.P.O, 1949-1953. Testimony excerpts come from National Archives Record Group 238, M887.

• The excerpts presented here retain the variant spellings and minor typographical errors of the original transcriptions and are unaltered in any way except for minor reformatting for readability on screen. All page numbers and appendices referenced within the transcriptions refer to pages and appendices in the above-cited official trial record."

encyclopedia.ushmm.org (https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005200)

Euthanasia Program and Aktion T4