The Hartheim Castle Society was established in 1995. The initiative came from the Upper Austrian State Charitable Association (today: GSI – Gesellschaft für soziale Initiativen [Society for Social Initiatives], the owner of Hartheim Castle) and the Hartheim Institute. The aim was to create a worthy memorial for the victims of Nazi euthanasia in Hartheim Castle and to make the whole castle into a place of reflection and learning. The society also announced its intention to take part in the contemporary social debate about bioethical and medical issues. It was successful in finding public figures from the fields of art, culture and scholarship to support the society and its project.
In 1997 there was a decisive breakthrough: the then state governor, Dr. Josef Pühringer, agreed to fund an exhibition project in Hartheim Castle. The focus was to be on coming to terms with the National Socialist euthanasia crimes on this site. At the same time, the castle and its domestic wing were to be renovated from the ground up. The Upper Austrian state government provided around ten million euros for this project.
The concept for the contents of the exhibition and Memorial were largely developed by scholars whose work is also embedded within the Hartheim Castle Society. After the end of the special exhibition “Value of life”, which was organised by the State of Upper Austria, in November 2003, the management of the Hartheim project – its memorial, exhibition and educational work – was permanently transferred to the Hartheim Castle Society as of 2004. After having achieved its founding objective, in that Hartheim Castle has become a place of learning and remembrance, the society sees its further mission as the management and development of this project.
You can download the PDF with the statues of the society here: Satzung des Vereins Schloss Hartheim. (only in German)