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Open Access

Mass murder of psychiatric patients 1939–1945 in Lower Saxonia: administration and execution

  • Asmus Finzen1
BMC Psychiatry20077(Suppl 1):S94

Published: 19 December 2007

Like in all parts of the Nazi-Reich thousands of mentally ill and mentally handicapped adults and children from Lower Saxony were killed between 1939 and 1945. This paper focuses on the meticulous administration and the execution of the mass murder: the bureaucratic organization, the registration and selection of the victims, the compliance of the state and hospital administrators and the Reichsbahn-personnel, the organization of the transportation to the institutions where they were murdered by gas. Original hospital documents are used to reconstruct what happened. Special attention is paid to the fate of 180 Jewish patients who were concentrated in a first raid in the Wunstorf Hospital near Hannover in September 1940 and transported to Brandenburg to be murdered.

Authors’ Affiliations



© Finzen; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.