Nothing good could ever be linked to Adolf Hitler. When your last name literally had “hit” in it, then it’s almost a guarantee that you’re bound to cause suffering to people (Okay, maybe not ‘all’ who has “hit” in their last name are evil). Hitler lived up to it, maybe even exceeded. We know he had numerous unspeakable evil experiments in the Auschwitz concentration camp, where over 1.1 million prisoners were killed. Just two years before the holocaust, Hitler’s planners came up with an operation involving disabled children and called it the T4 Program.

Secret Killing Operation

In mid-1939, Hilter and his planners Philipp Bouhler, director of Hitler’s private chancellery; and Karl Brandt, Hitler’s attending physician had a sickening idea: they would euthanize disabled children. The reasoning behind this was that those with illnesses led “burdensome lives” or were “useless eaters” and that funds could be used on those who were not insane or suffering from a terminal illness instead.

And so Hitler approved the creation of the Reich Committee for the Scientific Registering of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses. On August 18, 1939, a decree circulated, requiring all doctors, nurses, and midwives to report newborn infants and children under the age of three who showed signs of severe mental or physical disability or at least suspected. Children with intellectual disability, Down’s syndrome, microcephaly, hydrocephaly, and all sorts of malformation were to be assessed by a panel of three medical experts. The program was called Tiergartenstrasse 4 (T4), named after the street where the program’s coordinating office in Berlin was.

Adolf Hitler’s authorization for the Euthanasia Program. (Marcel (Photographer) Derivative work MagentaGreen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Tricking the Parents

Of course, they couldn’t just straight up tell the parents to give their children so they could kill them, so their idea was to trick them into thinking that their children would be sent to “Special Sections” so they could receive special treatments. In reality, the clinics were children’s killing wards, and the victims would be “confined” for weeks and weeks while the medical staff was murdering the children either with starvation or through lethal shots of the toxic phenol. Later on, these children would be reported to have died of pneumonia. Those who refused to send their children were threatened that they could lose custody of all their children or, worse, that they would be called up for ‘labor duty.’