Policy of Annihilation

Black-and-white photograph of the building
Smoke coming out of the crematorium of the Center for "Euthanasia" at Schloss Hartheim
© Wolfgang Schuhmann

Soon after the outbreak of World War II, the murder of persons regarded as "unproductive" began. Physicians, nurses, and other health professionals participated in the killing of 5,000 disabled or ill children and newborns and the murders of over 70,000 institutionalized psychiatric patients in gas chambers of specially equipped "euthanasia" centers.

After growing public unrest and protests influenced Hitler to halt the gassing program in August 1941, an additional 130,000 people were killed in hospitals and psychiatric wards by means of medical overdoses and starvation.

Scientists used the opportunities to conduct research presented by the "euthanasia" murders and by the imprisonment in concentration camps of Jews, Roma and Sinti, and Polish and Soviet nationals.

Nazi racial hygiene culminated in the near-annihilation of European Jewry, claiming six million lives.

Deadly Medicine
Creating the
Master Race

13 March to 19 July 2009
Jewish Museum Berlin

Logo of the Unites States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.