Wednesday, December 11, 2019

"Liquidation Institutes" for the "Extermination of Unworthy Life" - Nazi Euthanasia in German Documents


Der Generalstaatsanwalt
bei dem Oberlandesgericht    Jena, den 17. Juli 1941

4 AR 68/41 g


den Herrn Reichsminister der Justiz
z.H. des Herrn Oberregierungsrat Stadermann
- oder Vertreter im Amt -                                                        

in Berlin                                                              [Geheim]

Betr. Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens.

Die Staatsanwaltschaften klagen darüber, daß sie von den Liquidationsanstalten keine Nachricht erhalten, wenn ein Untergebrachter verstorben ist. Es macht viel unnötige Arbeit, wenn die Staatsanwaltschaft als Vollstreckungsbehörde nach Ablauf der Frist des § 42 f Abs. III StGB, sich über die Heil- und Pflegeanstalt, die Gemeinnützige Kranken-Transport G.m.b.H zur Liquidationsanstalt durchfragen muß, um dann zu erfahren, daß der Untergebrachte schon längst verstorben ist. Es wäre angebracht, eine Mitteilungspflicht der Liquidationsanstalt an die Strafvollstreckungsbehörde einzuführen.

The Attorney General
at the Higher Regional Court            Jena, 17 July 1941

4 AR 68/41 g

the Reich Minister of Justice
personally to the Oberregierungsrat Stadermann
- or representative in office -                                                      
in Berlin

Subject: Extermination of unworthy life.                         [Secret]

The public prosecutor's offices complain that they are not informed by the liquidation institutes if an inmate has died. It does a lot of unnecessary work when the public prosecutor's office as enforcement authority after the expiration of the period of § 42 f Abs. III StGB, must go through the mental hospital, the Gemeinnützige Kranken-Transport GmbH the liquidation institutes to learn then that the accommodated long ago died. It would be appropriate to introduce a notification obligation of the liquidation institute to the executing authority.

(BArch R 3001/25021, p. 135; my transcription and translation)

The background of the request of the Attorney General in Jena to get notifications from the "liquidation institutes":

The case of persons sentenced to stay in mental hospitals had to be checked after some period. If such persons were killed in course of the Nazi Euthanasia, the law enforcement authorities were not informed about the death. In such instance, they had to search for their fate starting at the mental hospital going through the cover-up organization transporting the victims, to the Euthanasia killing sites just to learn about their death.

This and other legal issues (e.g. a sentence to a mental hospital implied a death sentence without legal proceeding) with the Nazi Euthanasia, which was disguised and seen as secret state affair, had been previously pointed out by the State Secretary in the German Reich Ministry of Justice, Franz Schlegelberger, towards Hitler's Chancellery:
"Proceedings were initiated and executed even though the accused no longer lived because the prosecution had not made this known. Indictment and retrial could not be concluded because the perpetrators or witnesses had died in the meantime. Repeatedly, it has been found that convicts who were accommodated in a mental hospital were deprived of further supervision by the prosecution by being removed from the institutions without their hearing and were later eliminated. This has proved particularly awkward as soon as the court had to decide on the further duration of the stay of the perpetrators in accordance with § 42 f StGB.

The foundations of the criminal proceedings have been shaken in that expert doctors have stated that they can no longer agree with their conscience to determine in borderline cases the diminished legal capacity of defendants and thereby to lay the groundwork for their accommodation in a mental facility because, as a result, such accommodation implies the execution of a death sentence without prior legal proceedings."
 (Aly, Aussonderung und Tod, p. 43, citing BArch R 22/4209)

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