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Mentally ill and addicted offenders and their treatment in Nazi Germany

Mentally ill and addicted offenders are a small, but mostly ignored group of victims. The main program of Nazi mass murder, the so called T4-action captured these patients without exception. 1. This contribution will abstract shortly the organization and structures of the T4-action. 2. Short case histories of mentally ill or addicted offenders will be presented. They originate from the former "Heil-und Pflegeanstalt Wunstorf", and will illustrate commitment and treatment of this group in German mental institutions, and follow their registration and deportation to killing centers in 1939–1941. Data were extracted from patient's records, public record office, Lower Saxonia.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Spengler, A., van der Haar, M. Mentally ill and addicted offenders and their treatment in Nazi Germany. BMC Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S95 (2007).

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  • Public Health
  • Case History
  • Public Record
  • Main Program
  • Record Office