‘Silent Liquidation’ at Bernburg

  Some 14,000 people judged as threats to German genetic superiority were secretly murdered at the Bernburg Euthanasia Center in eastern Germany. (Photo: Robert M. Peacock) An update from Christie Pearson '11, faculty-led program specialist for SMU Abroad: The Bernburg Euthanasia Centre – one of six psychiatric hospitals used to covertly kill 70,273 people during the Holocaust – operated from Nov. 21, 1940 through July 30, 1943 in support of the Third Reich's T4 euthanasia program. The Nazis' 1933 Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring mandated the compulsory sterilization of anyone of child-bearing age whose mental or physical conditions – from depression to deafness, alcoholism to "congenital imbecility" – might potentially weaken the German gene pool. The killings at Bernburg, via gas [...]