Here are 23 life stories that have been reconstructed based on medical histories. They are typical of the experiences of the more than 70,000 mentally ill and mentally handicapped women, men, and children who between 1941 and 1942 were condemned to death by medical authorities and were put to death in six specially constructed gas facilities.
Little is known about this type of victim of the Nazi regime, of which there has been almost no public perception. Long considered lost, nearly half of the files of those killed by what was called euthanasia were discovered in the 1990s after the archives of the East German Secret Police were made public. This unique source makes it possible now to give faces and names, and individuality, to the victims of these murders committed in the name of National Socialism.
Through the introductory chapters, the life stories are placed in their historical contexts of German clinical psychiatry and the Nazi-sponsored euthanasia programs. The origins and the specific illnesses and conditions of the victims are described, and the criteria for selection are investigated.
born in 1968 in Schwerin, was trained as a locksmith and nurse before studying German and medicine. After attending the Berlin School of Journalism he lived as an independent author in Berlin. His first book of stories, »I Was Born Here«, was published in 2002.