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'Action T4'

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Under the pretence of the 'need for a plan economy-relevant record of the mental health and care facilities', registration forms were sent to every mental health and care facility with questions about the institution and its residents. They had to be filled out by the local physicians or even the administrative staff. Using these registration forms, a record was kept of the 'clinical descriptions' of the patients' conditions as well as information about their 'type of occupation' and 'work performance value' (measured against the average performance of healthy workers, if possible). These registration forms were returned to the headquarters in Berlin, where special T4 experts used the details provided in the registration forms to determine who should and should not 'be added to the action'. The registration forms of those persons who were to 'be added to the action' were marked with a '+' and forwarded to the transport department, where it was organised for the victims to be picked up and transported to a euthanasia centre. Upon their arrival, they were immediately murdered by being asphyxiated with carbon monoxide in specially adapted rooms.


In August 1941, the 'action' came to a halt: Resistance from relatives and the Church, information relayed to the general public by the German-language programme of the BBC and flyers distributed by the Allies contributed to the 'action' being discontinued. Of special interest in this connection are the sermons by Clemens August, Count of Galen, Bishop of Münster, in which he spoke out against the practice of euthanasia. The sermons were copied and made their way into the population, also in the form of illegal flyers.

 

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