Action T4

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Action T4 is the term used after WWII for a program in National Socialist Germany of claimed "euthanasia" (intentionally ending human life in order to relieve pain and suffering) which was "enforced as of the beginning of the war – the killing of so-called ‘life not worthy of life’, in other words, mentally and/or physically severely disabled people."[1]

The term Action T4 was not used by the National Socialists and T4 is an abbreviation for Tiergartenstrasse 4, a street address in Berlin for a Chancellery department which recruited and paid personnel associated with Action T4.

Action T4 and Holocaust revisionism

The Holocaust revisionist Germar Rudolf has stated that "To the best of my knowledge there have been no doubts advanced by the revisionist side regarding the factuality of those killings effected within the scope of euthanasia; these killings number some 100,000.[89] The moral assessment of such an elimination of totally incapacitated persons is a different matter. In the western democracies in particular, this topic was the subject of much controversial discussion and in some cases was even practiced right until the end of the war,[90] and only recently the question whether passively and actively assisted suicide should be expanded, in severe cases, to include euthanasia as well, has once again taken center stage.[91] Far be it from me, a non-specialist, to advance an opinion of my own on this explosive topic. Like Nolte,[92] however, I cannot help but remark in amazement that people today are morally outraged by the killing of 100,000 generally severely disabled persons for perhaps dubious reasons of ‘genetic public welfare’ during the 12 years of National Socialist dictatorship, whereas those same people are not shocked in the slightest by the willful murder of unborn, but healthy persons numbering some four million in the last 12 years in Germany alone – murders in most cases motivated solely by materialistic and egoistical considerations. Clearly the moral categories by which we judge today are completely different than those between 1933 and 1945 in Germany. I doubt that they are better."[1]

The Holocaust revisionist Carlo Mattogno, Thomas Kues, and Jürgen Graf, while not doubting the existence of the Action T4 killings, have criticized certain aspects of the official version and various claimed associations and similarities with the Holocaust. For example, they have argued that there is no reliable material or documentary evidence for the existence of claimed Action T4 homicidal gas chambers. They have also discussed issues such as some Action T4 personnel being transferred to some of the Holocaust camps and have argued that the evidence supports that Action T4 was extended to include Jews who were physically and/or mentally severely handicapped but directly contradicts Action T4 being a model for genocidal killings.[2][3][4]

Germar Rudolf has also commented on the overlap of some personnel: "However, it seems to me a very dubious practice to attempt to construe this continuity as evidence for the mass murder, since it may very well mean only that the leadership had wished to retain staff which had previously proven loyal in one socially extremely controversial operation, for a subsequent, no less controversial purpose."[1]

Recently available documents are argued to show that wartime British propaganda operations in order to cause dissension and demoralization planted false rumors of homicidal gas chambers being used for "euthanasia". This also regarding groups such as wounded soldiers.[5]

The absence of an order by Adolf Hitler ordering the Holocaust has sometimes been claimed to be due to the public criticisms against Action T4. "The empirical evidence undermines this rationalization. As far back as 1978 David Irving noted the weakness of this species of argument, as Hitler did in fact sign orders to kill people: “But why should Hitler have become so circumspect in [regard to issuing a written order for the extermination of European Jewry], since in contrast he had shown no compunction about personally signing a blanket order for the liquidation of tens of thousands of fellow Germans (the Euthanasia Programme); and his comparable orders for the liquidation of enemy prisoners (the Commando Order), of Allied airmen (the Lynch Order) and Russian functionaries (the Commissar Order) are documented all the way from Fuhrer’s headquarters right down the line to the executioners?"[6] See also Holocaust documentary evidence and in particular the section "The missing Holocaust documents".

See also the article on Viktor Brack.

Action T4 and eugenics

The argued motivation for the program was not eugenics since this only required sterilization and a sterilization program had already been implemented.

People with severe disabilities often needed extensive institutional care and many other limited resources. During World War II, when the T4 program was implemented, this was seen as especially problematic due to wartime shortages and in particular since it was seen as taking away care and aid from wounded soldiers.

The eugenics proponent Marian Van Court has written that "In the years before World War II, Germany had an unusually large institutionalized population, mostly psychotic or severely debilitated by illness. Hitler instituted a program of euthanasia to give them a “merciful death.” The historical record shows that he did this in order to free up medical supplies and personnel which he knew he would need for future military campaigns. Whether this program was wise or unwise is irrelevant to the issue at hand, because euthanasia has nothing whatsoever to do with eugenics. People who are institutionalized do not procreate, so euthanasia would serve no eugenic purpose. Yet somehow, euthanasia has become entangled conceptually with eugenics. It’s difficult to know to what extent this was an accident, and to what extent eugenics may have been deliberately confounded with euthanasia, as the Davidowicz quote might suggest. The unfortunate result of this confusion is that many educated people today still believe eugenics is a program of forcible mass murder of the weak and infirm."[7]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Controversy about the Extermination of the Jews – An Introduction.
  2. Carlo Mattogno. Inside the Gas Chambers—The Extermination of Mainstream Holocaust Historiography.
  3. Sobibór: Holocaust Propaganda and Reality
  4. An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers
  5. Britain’s Rumor Factory, Origins of the Gas Chamber Story
  6. In Defense of Holocaust Revisionism: A Response to Shermer and Grobman's Denying History
  7. Against Good Breeding: Understanding Jewish Opposition to Eugenics.