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Nazi Euthanasia Program: Action T4  

Our aim is to create a LibGuide directing researchers of all levels and interests to reliable, useful resources regarding Action T4 and the Nazi persecution of the handicapped.
Last Updated: May 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Dr. Karl Brandt, Hitler's personal physician and organizer of Action T4

Dr. Karl Brandt, Hitler's personal physician and organiser of Action T4

Schönbrunn Psychiatric Hospital, 1934. Photo by SS photographer Friedrich Franz Bauer

Hartheim Euthanasia Centre, where over 18,000 people were killed.

A plaque set in the pavement at No 4 Tiergartenstraße commemorates the victims of the Nazi euthanasia program


Background Information

A substantial amount of research and literature exists on the Third Reich,  the Holocaust, and Adolf Hitler.  The world knows of the atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust when millions of individuals fell victim to systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder.  While many people are aware that the Nazi regime oppressed Jews, homosexuals, and communists, many more remain uninformed that people with mental and physical disabilities were some of the first to be victimized.   


Hitler's policy of "racial hygenie" called for the extermination of people with disabilites.  Beginning in 1939, Hitler gave direct orders to implement a euthanisia program called Tiergartenstraße 4, or more commonly, Action T4.  The program was implemented by a number of psychiatric institutions and led to the deaths of approximately 200,000 patients.  The program notably established methods, such as gas chambers, that Nazis used to carry out the mass genocide throughout the war.  Action T4 was the beginning of the tragic period we now know as the Holocaust.  


The aim of this LibGuide is direct scholarly researchers to reliable, useful resources regarding Action T4 and the Nazi persecution of the handicapped.  We refer users to primary and secondary resources in books, webpages, archives, and databases to create a comprehensive array of sources on the topic.  In doing so, we hope that the memory of the victims and the atrocities that occured continue to be a part of our cultural heritage.  

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