“The National Socialist ‘euthanasia’ and its victims in the territory of the present-day Czech Republic 1939–1945 – an Austrian-German-Czech research project as a contribution to the coming to terms with this shared history”

To date it remains little known that the murders committed within the Nazi euthanasia programme also included the territory of the present-day Czech Republic which was then occupied by Germany. Between October 2007 and September 2008, the Hartheim and Pirna-Sonnenstein Memorials and the Czech Academy of Sciences carried out a joint research project to fill this gap in the scholarship and to record the names and details of the murdered people of this region. On the website below you can see all the information and documents that the researchers managed to find, along with an insight into this chapter of the Nazi occupation that had been long overlooked.

Research project: Niedernhart Mental Institute

For several years there has been ongoing research in the Place for Learning and Remembrance into the Niedernhart Mental Institute (later the Wagner-Jauregg Hospital, today the Neuromed Campus) in Linz. The focus is on the “decentralised” nature of the Nazi euthanasia, on the murder of psychiatric patients by doctors and nurses inside the institute itself. One aspect is the names of the people who died in Niedernhart during the National Socialist years and the location of their remains.

The victims of “Aktion T4” in Bavaria

In 2019 a project was initiated in cooperation with the memorials in Grafeneck and Pirna-Sonnenstein concerning the victims of “Aktion T4” in Bavaria. The objective of this multi-year research project is to shed light on contentious cases in which the actual place of death has not been fully established, and to improve the database entries. A travelling exhibition is also being developed. The project is due for completion in 2022.

“Foreign-race children’s homes” project group

A project group at Hartheim Castle – Place for Learning and Remembrance, consisting of in-house staff plus other researchers, is investigating the history of the “foreign-race children’s homes” within the territory of the “Gau Upper Danube” in the National Socialist period. The “foreign-race children’s homes” were institutions in which children of Eastern European and Soviet forced labourers were housed after being taken from their mothers. They often lived under inhuman conditions. Many of the infants died of malnourishment and neglect.

The aim of the project to promote historical research into as many of the homes as possible (there were around a dozen in the territory of the “Gau Upper Danube”), to create an “atlas” of the homes and publish the findings in an anthology within the history series of Hartheim Castle – Place for Learning and Remembrance. But another objective is to initiate and promote local commemorative work.