German Nazi Euthanasia Program

Jaylen Davis 1st


The Holocaust was a horrible time in the world. Many innocent people lost their lives for no reason. However, the murdering of innocent people started two years before the Holocaust. There was a program called Aktion T4 that was aimed to cleanse Germany of the" life unworthy of life." Aktion T4 aided Nazi Germany in developing large concentration camps like, Auschwitz.

Early Stages of Aktion T4

Euthanasia means "good death" but in Nazi context it means a murder program. The Aktion T4 idea came to be two years before the Holocaust in 1938. The program started when Hitler received a petition from a couple for him to euthanize their handicapped child. Hitler then authorized his personal physician Karl Brandt, the chief of Fuhrers Chancellery, Philip Bouhler, and his associate Victor Brack to develop a killing process for young children and newborns.

The Program's Targets

In October of 1939, public health authorities began to persuade parents of children with disabilities to submit their children into special pediatric clinics, which really were killing centers. At first the program was aimed at the young disabled and those not of German blood or descent, but the killing quickly escalated to youth up to 17 years old. The program however had to be backdated to September 1, 1939, because the Nazi's needed the cover of war to hide their plan.

Aktion T4 Killing Process

A total of six "hospitals" or killing center were developed including Hartheim, Sonnestein, Grafeneck, Bernberg, Breandenburg, and Hadamar. The decision to kill was made by three medical professionals without any examination of medical records. The child would either be marked with a red plus sign which meant to euthanize the child or blue minus sign which meant to let the child live. The Nazi's started off killing by injections and starvation and then spread to large gassings. In fact, Brandenburg was a converted prison where the first carbon monoxide gassings took place. Each center had a crematorium where the dead bodies where disposed of. The families where then lied to and told the cause of death was medical related.

End Of Aktion T4

After a Catholic priest, Clemens Von Galen, spoke out against the Nazi's actions they retaliated by beheading 3 parish priests who distributed his sermon. However, the Nazi's continued killing but without the widespread gassings. The killing finally stopped in the summer of 1941 when the Nazi's moved onto larger scale murder at Auschwitz and Treblinka. At the end of the program the Nazi's had murdered at least 70,273 people


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Euthanasia Today Facts

1.Euthanasia is aimed at the elderly and disabled.

2. Assisted suicide is currently legal in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana, and New Mexico.

3. Oregon's death with dignity has been in place since 1997.

4.In cases where assisted suicide or euthanasia has been approved by the patient, psychiatric evaluation is not required. This leads to many people who have died that would have liked to live if they had been cured.

5. The Voluntary Euthanasia Society New Zealand promotes a lethal pill to people who are 70 years old who don't feel like living anymore.


Orr, Kenn. "If You’re Over 70 and Done With Life, Euthanasia Campaigners Want You to Kill Yourself." International, 21 Dec. 2015. Web. 04 Feb. 2016. <>.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned For Life. "Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide." Minnesota Citizens Concerned For Life. Web. 4 Feb. 2016. <>.

Nordqvist, Christian. "Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 30 Oct. 2015. Web.
4 Feb. 2016. <>

Nazi Euthanasia Program


The Aktion T4 was a horrible time period where many people lost their lives. However, this program was only the beginning of the Holocaust where many more lives would be lost. The era of Aktion T4 was just a glimpse of the horror that was to come to the Jewish people.

Links to Further Information

<>: This database is a well put together, organized, and easy website to navigate. They have lots of valuable accurate information. The museum has leadership training programs, sponsors traveling exhibitions, Holocaust commemorations and conducts field studies. The museum has been dedicated to the Holocaust since 1993 and has more than 38 million visitors. On top of all that they are the worlds leading online authority on the Holocaust and are available in over 15 languages. This website is a very detailed and easy to cite source. They have received tons of educational awards since 1996, the year they were established. They have been around for along time and are a trusted source. Another benefit is that they have many photos taken at the time of the Holocaust. The website was also created by a well respected author of many books, Philip Gavin.