Austria to exhume possible Nazi-era mass grave at psych hospital
January 5th, 2011
01:13 PM ET

Austria to exhume possible Nazi-era mass grave at psych hospital

Austrian officials plan to exhume a mass grave near a psychiatric hospital that could contain victims of the Nazis' so-called euthanasia program.

Officials in the western Austrian city of Hall told UPI that they will begin digging in March, when the ground thaws. The process could take two years.

The Irish Times reported that construction workers at the hospital, about 6 miles east of Innsbruck, found 220 decomposed bodies while they were excavating the site for a new building.

Though Christian Haring, a director at the hospital, which is still in operation, told the Times it was unclear whether all the bodies were of euthanasia victims, historian Oliver Seifert told UPI that the bodies were buried between 1942 and 1945.

Seifert further told the Guardian in London that the death rate of patients at the hospital spiked toward the end of World War II, even though the hospital was not officially included in the Third Reich’s euthanasia program.

“We know that murder was actively carried out at other psychiatric institutions, by overdosing patients, neglect or undernourishment,” Seifert told the newspaper.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum says Adolf Hitler’s attending physicians “began to organize a secret killing operation targeting disabled children” in 1939. It was broadened to include disabled adults later that year, the center says.

The program was officially discontinued after an outcry from the public and church officials, but the Times reported that the practice continued unofficially until the war ended.

Experts told the Times that as many as 200,000 people – many of them physically or mentally disabled – are estimated to have been killed.

Hartheim Castle near Linz was occupied Austria’s most notorious euthanasia facility, the site of an estimated 30,000 killings, the newspaper reported.

Scientists exhuming the bodies in Hall will try to determine the identity and cause of death for each victim, and the hospital is asking anyone who believes their relatives are among the victims to come forward.

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Filed under: Austria • Crime • Germany • Human rights • War
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. christine

    Why r we all talkg about racist this & hate this & jewish ppl this&americans that & germans this we should all learned frm the 2nd wrld war & dnt let it ever happen again & honor those that died in this holocaust where children were slaughterd like pigs. so stand up & pray that this will never happen again & be happy u atleast didnt live 2 c it & u live today in a better place may god bless us all

    January 6, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      Nice comment. Please tell me where I can buy a six pack of shut up because I know plenty of people who need some.

      Thanks.

      January 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ed Bailey

    Closer to home. A sad secret hatred of the same kind goes on in utah.they use mercury instead of some quicker methods!

    January 6, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. shtuppy

    Its funny how Hitler stated that the "superior race" was people with blonde hair and blue eyes...the Aryan race. And the man promoting this theory, Adolf Hitler, was himself short, dark hair and dark eyes. That should tell you right there the intelligence level of not only him, but of the german people in general. The germans loved hitler, and they were all just jealous of the more intelligent, more successful Jews. The smartest german ever in history was Jewish; Albert Einstein.
    So the holocaust was out of jealosy, and in addition, the germans robbed all the 6 million Jews of everything they owned, including the gold in their teeth. I will never forget and never forgive german people for committing the worst atrocity in the history of the world.

    January 6, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • joe

      Hitler was a zionist jew. He was the son of Rothschild. Himmler was also a jew and so was Eichmann. The jews who wanted no part of zionism were murdered by the vatican/zionist satanists and we can include Rockefeller,the cousin of Rothschild and his minion Bush in that group. Check out the Bush skull and bones. It is the same as the Nazi SS order of the totenkopf. The totenkopf was the skull and bones worn by the SS.

      Your statement that the jews are smarter than others and that the fake einstein (a jew racist and friend of Hitler) is evidence of your jew zionist racism,which puts you on the same page as Hitler. Just read the talmud to see the blatant racism. You are not the chosen people just as Hitler Germany was not the Master Race. The jews call themselves a master race in the talmud and advocate killing and enslaving all other people,just like Hitler.

      January 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bill

    This article does not have anything to do with jews, so why are jews coming out of the woodwork in protest of non-jews? Go post somewhere else you morons. Not everyone killed in the holocaust was jewish. Stop trying to monopolize the genocide of WWII. The holocaust was a horrible crime against humanity, not a crime against Judaism.

    January 6, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Bill

    This article does not have anything to do with jews, so why are jews coming out of the woodwork in protest of non-jews? Go post somewhere else you morons. Not everyone killed in the holocaust was jewish. Stop trying to monopolize the genocide of WWII. The holocaust was a horrible crime against humanity, not a crime against Judaism....

    January 6, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jack

    the holocaust wasnt ordered by Hitler....he told his leaders to handle it how they seemed fit....hitler was praised for pulling the Germans out of a serious economic downfall...the people were ecstatic....but then they saw these atrocities and couldnt understand how there great leader was behind it, they didnt believe it...Concentration camps were originally to just concentrate the Jews..not to kill them all....they made products to sell through the fence so they could eat...yes it wasnt a good thing but it was the Rulers of the local territory were responsible for the mass killings...and many were not Jews...but really...Jews are not nice people...as history has shown...are greedy and think theyre smarter than everyone else.....maybe a higher force has sentenced them then...and now...keep pushing people like the Palastinians and they will be punished again...im not Palastinian...i am not German...and i dont condone killing people...but i do believe God has a reason for everything that happens..then and in the future

    January 6, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sally

      How can you stereotype an entire group of people? What you have said about Jewish people is untrue and racist. You are right about somethings, like how Hitler helped Germany out of their economic depression. Hitler was able to turn around the economy in Germany and this is when he started to brainwash the people. But, there were two types of camps, death camps and work camps. Many people were immediately taken to the death camps but the stronger people were taken to the work camps where they made supplied for Hitler's army. The people at the work camps were also killed, either by starvation or being murdered. Hitler was behind these camps, even though he had people working for him at a local level. Many of the camps were staffed by Jewish people, who were forced to work there by Hitler and his army.
      It is unbelievable that Hitler conducted the Holocaust when he himself was Jewish. Hitler's maternal grandmother was Jewish and in Judaism, the maternal blood line is what determines religion. Hitler denied his religion and went on to kill millions.

      January 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Acacia

    As a recently converted Jew with a severe mental illness on disability because I am unable to contribute to society in the way I would, were I not disabled by symptoms caused by genes & stress from a violent upbringing, this article is of great importance to the approximately 2,000,000 Americans with this disorder, including myself. I would ask all of you to consider the improper application of psychiatric terms to people such as Hitler with symptoms such as those of us living with symptoms like psychosis (Hitler was a psychopath, not a person with psychosis–most with psychosis are not violent, let alone organized enough in their thinking to help establish such ideas as ethnic cleansing, or rather the outright slaughter of whole peoples based upon factors of birth to this or that irrational excuse for abominable behavior) to educate yourselves on the subject, since for the grace of God you were not one of the 1 in 11 born with the brain disorder of schizophrenia, or the 1 in 4 born with a depressive disorder of one sort or other of the brain such as my manic-depression in the light of this known but little discussed Nazi atrocity. In light of such legal decisions in the United States as Strunk vs. Strunk & the overpowerful authority of unethical psychiatrists in the United States to abuse thier positions in the past and on occasion in today's society which affect the people like those in this article due to their helplessness to defend their humanity, please consider that it was the writings of Jews which taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves, before the mouth of Jesus spoke them in the New Testament writings. "Am I my brother's keeper?" should have an obvious answer of Yes, without a second thought to any of you on this thread. Even in my disability & poverty I give back to Society whenever & wherever I can. The blood of the Nations who once thrived in this land is evidence enough that such atrocities as Hitlers are only a few generations away from us today, and all of us need to beware our potential inhumanity toward one another & other species as well. As Harlaan Ellison once said, we "...have a right to an informed opinion..." only.

    January 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jay

    Cry baby...

    January 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jason

    This was a stupid comment. The whole Navy thing going on right now is a bunch of BS. Being PC is way too accepted right now. People need to have fun. Being a vulgar or using some slurs against gays is to be expected in the military. In fact, I think it should be required.

    January 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Dave

    Ha ha....that would be funny!

    January 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ruby

    LOL? Are you mentally ill? You appear to be so these bodies were in fact your pears – what's so funny?

    January 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bill Johnson

    Looks like you are to, try to learn to spell before calling someone out.

    January 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Spunkey

    pears? ....a fruit tree of genus Pyrus?
    Perhaps you mean pairs? as in he has none
    Peers is the likely meaning. You have no peer in your spelling ability.

    January 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Carol Stock

    Give it a rest.

    January 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Serious.

    Your --ing stupid.. That is all that needs to be said..

    January 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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