The Project

Background of the project

Hartheim Castle (2003)

Since the 1990s, staff at the 'euthanasia' memorial sites in Hartheim (Upper Austria) and Pirna-Sonnenstein (Saxonia) have systematically been collecting the names of the 'Aktion T4'-victims. Both memorial sites work have been working on a 'Book of Victims'. This book should name as many of the killed as possible in order to give them back their names and identities; but also to provide those left behind the opportunity to mourn and commemorate.

Victims' names were worked out by researching files at the Federal Archive Berlin, at so-called transition institutions and many other archives. In that way, about 11,500 victims of Sonnenstein and 16,000 victims of Hartheim could be identified. However, the researchers had reached the limits: the sources in Germany and Austria did not provide any more names.

Non-identified victims very often came from former German or formerly German populated areas which today belong to the Czech Republic. The sources indicate this very clearly. For instance, many planning documents of the T4 headquarters refer to a number of Sudeten German institutions. Victims who had lived in these institutions were killed in either Pirna-Sonnenstein or Hartheim.

These facts led to the common project of the Hartheim Castle Society, the Institute for Contemporary History at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Prague) and the Saxon Memorial Foundation (Dresden). Financial support by the EU was applied for and given.

This website and the therein named publications present the current state of research. All those working on the project aim at providing any new or further insights as quickly as possible in order to keep the website up to date.