“Ribbon.ru” continues a series of publications about the history of psychiatry and how in the years she helped the Church, society and the state to deal with unwanted elements. In a previous article we described how over the centuries evolved methods of punitive psychiatry. The twentieth century was no exception — a century of scientific progress has given the world the worst examples of cynicism and brutality against the mentally ill. More than others succeeded in Nazi Germany. Wanting to improve the nation, the ideologues of the Third Reich were sent to death tens of thousands of patients with psychiatric disorders.
the “Some people, it’s the ballast that creates the trouble”
In the beginning of XX century the scientific environment became especially popular eugenics. Social romantics saw in it the possibility of immediate creation of a “brave new world”, populated entirely happy, highly intelligent and mentally stable citizens.
A practical way to achieve utopia was supposed to be the careful breeding of human material. According to in eugenics, the principles employed in the breeding of new varieties of cereals increased yields and improved breeds of meat and dairy cattle applies in relation to a person: the reproduction of the best representatives of the species should be encouraged, and defective specimens — not to give offspring and culled.
Ideas of social hygiene and their practical implementation were passionate about the largest minds of the time: Carl Gustav Jung, Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Emil Kraepelin… And often the most radical in their implementation.
So, the Creator of the theory of schizophrenia by the Swiss psychiatrist eigen blejleru the disease (Bleuler and schizophrenia — synonyms) proposed mass sterilization of the mentally ill: “Those who are struck by a serious illness, should not have offspring. If we allow physically and mentally handicapped to have children, our race will degenerate quickly”.
A brutal solution to the problem of purification from harmful individuals invited two professors of the University of Freiburg. In 1920, for their authorship of the book “Permission to destroy life unworthy of life.” In it, researchers argued that “idiots have no right to exist, and killing them is righteous and useful act.”
Professor of psychiatry Alfred Hoch claimed that “some people are ballast, which creates only troubles and economic costs on others.” And Professor of law Karl Binding advised the government to immediately establish a special Commission to eliminate them.
American practical Nobel prize in physiology or medicine Alexis Carrel suggested “humanely and economically to remove the mentally ill in small euthanasia by absorption of the delivered gases.”
None of the tips of the eminent scientists of the gift is not ��ropal.
of the Hunt for the “morally feeble-minded”
Widely discussed social ideas were close to the former corporal Adolf Hitler, made by the beginning of 1930-ies a brilliant political career. In January 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, and July 14, the Reich government issued the law on forced sterilization of citizens who for medical reasons should not have children.
At the same time came the law on marriage and engagement, which indicated that apparently healthy brothers, sisters and children of hereditary defective people can join only in such marriages that are childless. In addition, when marriage was desirable, the exchange of evidence about the health of themselves engaged, but information about the genetic characteristics of their families.
The decision about sterilization took special courts of hereditary health. Automatically subjected to sterilization of people suffering from dementia, schizophrenia, manic-depressive psychosis, epilepsy, congenital blindness or deafness, and a number of genetic diseases. Was not entitled to the production of offspring of chronic alcoholics, patients with tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhea.
To justify the sterilization of the hereditary health courts introduced the concept of “moral imbecility” under which it was easy to bring a wide range of people who do not conform to the standards of national socialist Germany.
Morally feeble-minded could be considered someone who “did not recognize social ethics”, “was not able to conduct a profitable business” or “were not aware of the responsibility for the education of children.” In the category of the feeble-minded could to please children as chronically underachieving at school and suffering from nocturnal enuresis.
After the decision, the police brought the convicted to forced sterilization in the hospital. Those, who managed to escape, was declared in the Imperial wanted list.
Surgical intervention is often caused complications. The Nazis did not make exceptions, even for children, the sterilization of which in conditions of still immature genitals were very risky. It is believed that about six thousand sterilization victims died directly on an operational table and as much again — as a result of complications. There were frequent cases of suicide.
Only from 1933 to 1945, forced sterilization has been from 360 to 450 thousand Germans. Oddly enough, but from the point of view of the rights of victims of Nazism, they are still not recognized. Moreover, none of the doctors who worked in the courts of hereditary health, has been punished for his activities after the war.
the “Time without the mentally ill”
However, in the opinion of the Nazis, forced sterilization was only half��measure.
An effective way to make the world perfect and all people happy, were known. According to legend, it was invented in the fifteenth century ruler of Wallachia Vlad Tepes, known as Dracula. Concerned that in his state there are too many beggars, the sick and the maimed, Dracula ordered to collect all in a purpose-built on the occasion of the mansion and bring plenty of food and wine.
And while the poor, the sick and crippled had fun, Dracula asked them: “would anything else do not need and do not be sad more than anything?” They’re expecting great mercy, shouted in unison: “I Want that!” Commanded then Dracula to lock the tower and burn together with all the people, and then said to the nobles: “Let there be no more poor, sick and crippled in the land of my own, though they don’t bother people and do not suffer themselves.”
Approximately so did Hitler, except that the food he saved. But you know — the Germans are a practical people.
In December 1939, Hitler concluded that terminally ill and mentally disabled people should be eliminated not only for the sake of the purity of the Aryan race, but also for economic reasons. To work they are not able to, and their maintenance requires considerable budget.
By this time the SS had already destroyed the inhabitants of the shelters for the mentally retarded in the annexed Polish territories. Now in Germany, doctors were instructed “to provide the opportunity for terminally ill people to die peacefully”. Under the “quiet death” Hitler meant toxic carbon monoxide in the gas chambers, specially installed in the German psychiatric hospitals. The euthanasia program was called T4.
Responsible for the T4 programme, Hitler was appointed chief of his office of SS-obergruppenführer Philip Bowler and personal physician Karl Brandt. At the disposal of the new service gave the house №4 along the street Tiergartenstrasse. Hence the code name.
the Victim of red crosses
The number of German citizens who had to be subjected to “disinfection” (the term found in official papers along with euthanasia), employees T4 calculated by the formula. It turned out 70 thousand. Labored faithfully for the first two years of “disinfecting” is greater than 72 thousand.
The selection of candidates carried out 42 expert from the most respected psychiatrists in the Reich. Personally patients they never examined, trusting specifically designed for this case the questionnaires, which were required to fill out on patients doctors of a German psychiatric hospitals.
Selection criteria were: nespoli��an opportunity to engage in physical labor (e.g., glue bags), hospital stay more than five years, criminal history and non-Aryan origin. The most frequent victims of euthanasia has been patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Three out of four patients who had this diagnosis, was sentenced to death. Even though the definition of the term was vague (and remains so to this day) and understood by the doctors is very subjective. “Schizophrenics” could be, and patients with unclear diagnoses, and violators of hospital treatment.
In the case of a positive decision, the expert put the red cross, negative blue negative. But, as it was responsible and dealt with life, though not quite complete by the standards of national socialism, but a man still, the primary conclusion was transmitted for adoption to the three main experts.
Those, in turn, studied the questionnaire and made their mark in the lower right corner: “Yes”, “no” or “doubtful”. All doubtful cases were transferred to the senior chief expert, who makes a final conclusion. Errors should not be. Nor doomed to the death of patients or their relatives to influence the decision could not, and in many cases even did not know about it.
Didn’t know about the true purpose of the questionnaires and the staff of psychiatric hospitals, which they filled. The order of the German Ministry of health indicated that information is needed for budgeting. Naturally, the hospital staff were interested in the best financing, and therefore readily exaggerated the degree of incapacity of their patients.
the Furnace of the castle on the Elbe
The choice of the most reliable and humane technology killing the mentally ill was the occasion for a serious debate in German academic circles. Offered intravenous administration of toxic drugs, overdose of barbiturates, the introduction into the vessel the air to cause an air embolism, a slow decline in the diet and so on. Consequently, the most effective way of euthanasia was deemed the use of carbon monoxide.
Announced a closed tender for the development of quality and affordable gas chambers and cremation ovens, which could be no extra costs to mount in an ordinary psychiatric hospital. Documents and technical correspondence between the customer (T4) and firms implementing appeared at Nuremberg in the “case of doctors”.
Gas chambers and cremation furnaces of the hospitals served as a prototype for larger complexes, the Nazis employed in death camps. Useful and experience of their application. For the “events” on the T4 program were selected and converted�� seven centres in different regions of Germany, each of which had a network of smaller “clinics”.
The institution has worked more than a hundred people: doctors, nurses, drivers, nurses, office staff and security guards. Patients from psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes were brought to the Sonnenstein on the bus a few times a week. In the emergency room they were seen by a doctor, recorded in the medical history of a diagnosis, which subsequently will be listed as the cause of death.
After examination of the victims gathered groups of 20-30 people and accompanied by nurses were sent to the basement to “take a shower”. The gas chamber was tiled and resembled a shower. The staff closed the steel door, and then the doctor blew into the room and carbon monoxide. Depending on the physique and endurance of the victims, the killing process took 20 to 30 minutes.
The corpses were burned firemen in the two furnaces. The dust of the decomposed urns and were sent to relatives with the death certificate of the patient from a severe somatic disease. Unused fly ash was dumped on the banks of the Elbe river behind the castle.
the “One people, one nation, one leader!”
Simultaneously with the “disinfection” in Germany was conducted a powerful propaganda campaign to justify the necessity of removal of the light of the national socialist future for the people “second class”. In the popular periodicals published articles that explain the essence and benefits of eugenic programs carried out to purify the German race.
Economists explained what a huge taxpayers ‘ money you can save on the treatment of defective and useless members of society and how these funds can be used for the benefit of all people.
Actively involved in a propaganda campaign of mass culture: Newspapers, magazines, radio, cinema, verses, anecdotes… in Huge numbers were produced propaganda cards and posters.
For the curious the townsfolk were arranged cultural excursions in psychiatric institutions, during which they understand the irreversibility of mental illness and danger to inheritance.
Fascinated by the enormity of the task, Nazi psychiatrists enthusiastically summed theoretical basis for the direction task, customized solution for your answer. “One people, one nation, one leader!” (Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!) — this was the motto of the Third Reich. And all who were not with the majority, automatically recognized by the enemy, degenerates, degenerate or insane.
Expanded the scope of diagnosis of mental illness was invented and went into practice new diagnoses: “cloaked feeble-minded”, “an endogenous (innate) unwillingness to work”, “sociopathy”. Sociopath and snascarowner moronic it was possible to declare a bum, an alcoholic, a tramp, a beggar. And you can be a Communist, anarchist, pacifist or homosexual.
Thus, psychiatrists had the opportunity to act unchecked in the sphere of its competence, the medical diagnosis has become a matter of political expediency, and “treatment” was used to eliminate unwanted power elements.
Officially, the T4 program was closed in August 1941. By this time she had ceased to be a secret within the country and abroad provoked considerable public condemnation that in the information war gave the enemies of Germany is a good material for anti-fascist propaganda.
But the formal closure of state centralized program, the T4 was not an end to the physical destruction of the mentally ill, sociopaths and dissidents. The mechanism was launched, and the methodology and monitor its implementation worked out.
Further purification of German society from unwanted and anti-social elements are now engaged on the ground. Managers of medical institutions, which mostly consisted of the national socialist party, down a plan for mortality among patients entrusted to them. Implementation of the plan strictly controlled.
Accurate data on how many people in Germany were subjected to euthanasia from 1941 to 1945, no. In various sources, their number ranges from one hundred thousand to a million people.
with In the woods near Lotoshino
The experience of the T4 program has found application in German-occupied territories. Left without a job and “experts”. The gas chambers and crematoria were quickly installed and put into death camps, where were gathered those who fell under the “final solution”: Jews, Gypsies, poles, Russians…
But the first in the occupied territories uncontested destroyed the inhabitants of the psychiatric hospitals, boarding schools, orphanages and almshouses. Those who could not become even a temporary work force for Nazi Germany. Often patients are destroyed along with the staff.
Approximately 15 kilometers from Lotoshino (Moscow oblast), on the road to Tver, on the right side of the road stands a tiny peeling of the obelisk. The inscription on it reads:
Here 20 XI 1941, a group of partisans lotoshinsky Shashaeva defeated a convoy of vehicles. Was destroyed more than forty of the Nazis.
Will pass on this route will stop for a while. In the winter of 1941 the Nazis drove into the woods a few dozen inhabitants Lotoshinskiy psychiatric hospital. Weakened by hunger, almost naked… Give them some time and then arranged them on a hunt on horseback. The dead dumped in the snow for the wolves. No graves, no obelisk they have.
of the laws of nature
It seemed b��, long-lasting and mass “cleansing” of the human gene pool would lead to the disappearance of mental diseases, or at least significantly reduce their number. However, nothing similar is observed. Percentage of the mentally ill in society remains constant.
From 1933 to 1945, the Nazis destroyed and sterilized more than half a million Germans with a variety of mental disorders. But already in the 1960-ies of the statistics of the spread and severity of mental disorders in Germany was no different from similar data in other countries.
Nature is rational — it can not be accidental, and change its laws of man don’t. At least not yet.