In response to an initiative from Berlin citizens, the German Parliament decided on November 2011 that there should be an information point at the historic location where »Aktion T4« was planned and organised, explaining how the Nazis murdered mental patients, forced people to be sterilised and committed numerous other crimes against the helpless.
The Institute for Medical History and Ethics at the Technische Universität Munich, supported by the German Research Society (DFG), has embarked on its goal of collecting the historical information for the planned Memorial and Information Point as well as preparing it for display at the historic location on information boards and multimedia stations. Led by Dr. Gerrit Hohendorf (Technishce Universität Munich) and Dr. Maike Rotzoll (Heidelberg University), the project »Remembrance means commemorating and informing: The Nazi ›Euthanasia‹ Killings and the Historic Site of Berlin’s Tiergartenstraße 4 – A Public Awareness Project« will include a text to accompany the exhibition which will be in German, simplified German and English as well as a website with more in-depth information. The unimpeded accessibility of the information for people with disabilities is an important consideration in the project. Dr. Annette Hinz-Wessels and Dr. Christof Beyer are working as collaborators on the project and Dr. Petra Fuchs (Charité – Medical School Berlin) as a consultant.
The murder of an estimated 300.000 people with mental illnesses, learning difficulties, or socially ‘undesirable’ characteristics was for a long time excluded from the public remembrance of the Nazi’s violent crimes against their victims. Nowadays, however, a much broader involvement with this neglected aspect of the Holocaust has begun to emerge.
The collaborative partner of the project is the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe which is responsible for overseeing the planning of the » Memorial and Information Point to the Victims of the National Socialist ›Euthanasia‹ Killings.« The project is being carried out in close collaboration with the design collective which was awarded first prize (http://blog.gedenkort-t4.eu/2012/11/23/t4-denkmal-der-siegerentwurf/) by the state of Berlin in the design competition. This group is made up of the architect Ursula Wilms, the artist Nikolaus Koliusis and the landscape designer Heinz W. Hallmann.
The Government Department for Culture and Media has made 500.000 € available for the implementation of the chosen design.
PD Dr. Gerrit Hohendorf
Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin
Technische Universität München
Ismaninger Straße 22, 81675 München
Email: hohendorf [at] gesch.med.tum.de