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Die "Euthanasie"-Akten im Bundesarchiv. Zur Geschichte eines lange verschollenen Bestandes

Peter Sandner
Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte
47. Jahrg., 3. H. (Jul., 1999), pp. 385-400
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30195534
Page Count: 16
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Die "Euthanasie"-Akten im Bundesarchiv. Zur Geschichte eines lange verschollenen Bestandes
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Abstract

Based on archival sources during and after the time of National Socialism, this essay recounts how the present day Bundesarchiv File R 179 was acquired. This material mainly contains the health records of more than a third of the murdered patients who died in 1940/1941 in the gas chambers of murder organisation "T 4" within the framework of National Socialist euthanasia crimes. For a long time these files were not available to historians and were discovered in the DDR in the files of the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit only after German reunification. The ordering of the files raised some questions which now in large part can be answered. The essay clarifies how the murder organisation "T 4" dealt with health records, why only a part of the files are available today, why files from another provenance are found among the material and why the DDR was in possession of the surviving files. The records were useful to the "T 4" for a time for technical administrative purposes. After the closing of several annihilation camps and multiple transfers of files, the "T 4", in the fall of 1944, destroyed a large part of the material in Hartheim (Austria), one of the gas chamber sites. Probably in early 1945 the remaining files found their way to Thuringia where the "T 4" had its last hideout.

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