Scrapbookpages Blog

January 2, 2013

U.S. Senate voted against UN Convention on the rights of Persons with disabilities — could this lead to another Holocaust?

In an article which you can read in full here, Richard Hermann wrote, regarding the proposed United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

Had such an international compact been in place in the mid-1930s, the U.S. might have had both the moral authority and the gumption to challenge Nazi Germany’s euthanasia program, which resulted in the murder of several hundred thousand disabled individuals and served as the pilot program that matured into the Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor and Chelmno gas chambers of unspeakable horror. There are plenty of countries today that discriminate against their intellectually and physically challenged fellow citizens. Without being a treaty participant, the U.S. will have no international clout with respect to influencing them to do the right thing.

The problem with this is that America had an euthanasia program before Hitler gave permission for euthanasia in Germany. Schloss Hartheim (Hartheim Castle), where the Nazis euthanized “disabled individuals,” has exhibits which show that euthanasia was being done in America.

Schloss Hartheim in the town of Alkoven, Austria where disabled persons were euthanized by the Nazis

Schloss Hartheim in the town of Alkoven, Austria where disabled persons were euthanized by the Nazis

One room, in the exhibit area in the Hartheim Castle, has posters from America, as shown in the two photographs below. These posters promote the idea that heredity is to blame for the mentally and physically handicapped. In Hitler’s Germany, deformed and mentally retarded persons, who had been institutionalized by their families, were sent to Hartheim Castle or the five other euthanasia centers, where they were killed. The Nazis kept track of how much money the government had saved by putting these people to death. After the war these documents were found by General Patton’s army. The total amount saved by killing over 70,000 handicapped people was 885,000,000 Reichsmark or 3 billion dollars in today’s money.

Exhibit at Hartheim Castle

Exhibit at Hartheim Castle

Exhibit at Hartheim Castle

Exhibit at Hartheim Castle

The Nazi euthanasia program began in August 1939 when a five-month-old baby boy, named Gerhard Kretschmar, was “put to sleep” after the boy’s father made a request to Adolf Hitler for a “mercy killing.” Hitler sent his personal physician, Karl Brandt, to conduct a medical examination before giving his permission for the infant to be given a lethal injection.

Karl Brandt was put on trial at Nuremberg in the “Doctor’s Trial.” In his testimony, Brandt said that the baby’s father, Richard Kretchmar, had written to Hitler’s office in early 1939, asking for permission to kill his blind and deformed son. The following quote is from Brandt’s testimony:

“The father of a deformed child wrote to the Fuhrer with a request to be allowed to take the life of this child or this creature. Hitler ordered me to take care of this case. The child had been born blind, seemed to be idiotic, and a leg and parts of the arm were missing.”

An estimated 8,000 deformed children were killed by the Nazis in the same manner, some without the consent of their parents.

The Nazi euthanasia program was code-named T4, named after the address on Tiergartensstrasse in Berlin; this was the street address of the Privatkanzlei des Führers run by Philip Bouhler. By the beginning of 1940, six hospitals were involved in these “mercy killings.” Records discovered in 2003 show that the euthanasia program was eventually extended to 296 medical facilities in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland where mentally and physically disabled children and adults were injected, gassed or starved to death.

The Nazis made a documentary film of some of the adult victims before they were killed. Many of the victims, who were crippled by a birth defect called spina bifida, are shown in the film, walking on all fours. This film is not shown at the Hartheim Castle Memorial Site.

The following quote is from Richard Hermann’s article:

On Dec. 4, the Senate voted against ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which had previously been approved by 155 nations. The treaty was signed by President Obama in 2009 and is strongly supported by every living ex-President.

The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

This is the dire menace that 38 Republicans object to in the treaty, consumed by the far-fetched and utterly absurd and baseless notion that this might be a threat to U.S. sovereignty and — get this — to the right to home-school children! Moreover, the language of the treaty is based wholly on the 22-year old Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed by President George H.W. Bush, which jumped America to the forefront of world leadership with respect to guaranteeing disability rights. The treaty itself takes its direction from the ADA, toward which goal it aims to point the rest of the world’s nations.

The title of the exhibits at Hartheim Castle is “Wert des lebens” which means “the value of life” in English. This was also the theme of the Memorial Site when I visited it in 2003. The Memorial Site promotes the concept that handicapped students should be mainstreamed in the schools. The exhibits put the issue of the handicapped into a positive perspective; they are shown as being “worthy of life” and as people who should be treated with respect.

Before sending each victim into the gas chamber at Hartheim Castle, the Nazis took their photograph. Instead of showing the photographs of the pathetic, institutionalized people who were killed at Hartheim, there are present-day photos of 3 handicapped students and two mentally or physically challenged adults who are leading normal lives.

The Memorial Site at Hartheim Castle promotes the idea that the Holocaust grew out of the German euthanasia program.  The photo below shows an exhibit about Franz Stangl, one of the men who worked at Hartheim Castle and was later involved with two of the “death camps” for Jews.

Exhibit at Hartheim Castle shows Franz Stangl

Exhibit at Hartheim Castle shows photo of Franz Stangl

Franz Stangl was appointed by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler to be the superintendent of the T4 Euthanasia Program at Schloss Hartheim in 1940. He was later transferred to the Sobibor “extermination camp” in Poland in March 1942 where he was the Commandant until September 1942. He was then transferred to the “extermination camp” at Treblinka. Stangl is pictured on the poster above; his photo is on the far right in the left-hand column.

The Nazi euthanasia program was code-named T4, named after the address on Tiergartensstrasse in Berlin; this was the street address of the Privatkanzlei des Führers run by Philip Bouhler. By the beginning of 1940, six hospitals were involved in these “mercy killings.” Records discovered in 2003 show that the euthanasia program was eventually extended to 296 medical facilities in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland where mentally and physically disabled children and adults were injected, gassed or starved to death.

The Hartheim Castle Memorial Site has a ramp through the “gas chamber,” where the handicapped were allegedly killed by carbon monoxide.  The three photos below show the entrance, the gas pipe and the exit from the alleged “gas chamber.”

Entrance into the Hartheim Castle gas chamber

Entrance into the Hartheim Castle gas chamber from the reception area

Pipe for carbon monoxide inside Hartheim Castle gas chamber

Pipe for carbon monoxide inside Hartheim Castle gas chamber

Exit from Hartheim Castle gas chamber

Exit from Hartheim Castle gas chamber

The photo immediately above shows the exit from the Hartheim Castle “gas chamer,” which is a reconstruction.  On the far left is the pipe for carbon monoxide and in the background is a light shining on the spot where the one cremation oven stood.

The official version of the Holocaust is that the genocide of the Jews grew out of the German euthanasia program.

This quote is from Wikipedia gives the official history of the Holocaust:

The Nazi euthanasia program was code-named T4, named after the address on The T4 programme is thought to have developed from the Nazi Party’s policy of “racial hygiene”, the belief that the German people needed to be “cleansed” of “racially unsound” elements, which included people with disabilities. According to this view, the euthanasia programme represents an evolution in policy toward the later holocaust of the Jews of Europe.

Update, 1:12 p.m.

It should be noted that the “gas chamber,” which is shown to tourists who visit Hartheim Castle, is a reconstruction.  In April 1989, Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. visited Hartheim Castle and made a report in which he said that the alleged “gas chamber” in the Castle could not have been a gas chamber. Leuchter had been commissioned to do this report in connection with his testimony as an expert witness for the defense in a criminal case in Canada in which a Holocaust denier, Ernst Zündel, was charged with “spreading false news” when he published a booklet entitled “Did Six Million Really Die?”

The following quote is from Leuchter’s report on the Hartheim “gas chamber”:

It appears by construction that this facility would not lend itself for use as a gas execution installation, the walls being too thick for the installation of gassing equipment. Certainly, because of the construction, any changes would be visible, and not easy to conceal. There is no provision for a gas stack for evacuation of the gas-air mixture and no way to install one. The window would certainly leak, allowing large volumes of deadly gas to escape. No samples were taken at this location because of the extensive remodeling to the facility which decidedly would obscure any test results.

For the record, the alleged gas chamber would have held only some 24 persons, utilizing the nine (9) square foot rule. Without an exhaust system this room would require at least one week to vent (refer to Dachau).

Resultant to an indepth investigation of this installation, this investigator categorically states that in his best engineering opinion this facility was not ever utilized for, and could never have supported gas executions. The actual use of this room is unknown to the investigator. Based on a comparison with its mirror image on the other side of the facility, it could have been a store room.

Update 1:37 p.m.

Why do I write blog posts like this one?  Am I a revisionist, the polite term for a Holocaust denier?  No, I am not a revisionist, nor a denier.  I am just trying to reach students like the group who went on a trip to Hartheim Castle; the trip was reported by this blogger.  This quote is from a blog post about the trip to Hartheim Castle:

Our guide Stephan toured us through the castle, explaining the history and horrific function the castle once held. The students and I shuffled behind, saying little, letting Stephan’s confident and rehearsed commentary help us to comprehend what our eyes could not: the files full of statistics and tallies documenting the dead, and the colorful and meticulous graphs and charts declaring the capital, potatoes and manpower saved by a society no longer having to tend to the needs of the disabled. Our throats closed as we hustled through the narrow room with peeling paint that served as the gas chamber, and our stomachs clenched tight as we passed into the adjoining rooms which had held piles of rigid corpses waiting to be fed into the now-dormant ovens which once burned hot, day and night.