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Child Murder in Nazi Germany: The Memory of Nazi Medical Crimes and Commemoration of “Children’s Euthanasia” Victims at Two Facilities (Eichberg, Kalmenhof)

Author

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  • Lutz Kaelber

    () (Department of Sociology, University of Vermont, 31 S. Prospect St, Burlington, VT 05405, USA)

Abstract

Nazi Germany’s “children’s euthanasia” was a unique program in the history of mankind, seeking to realize a social Darwinist vision of a society by means of the systematic murder of disabled children and youths. Perpetrators extinguished “unworthy life” during childhood and adolescence by establishing killing stations, misleadingly labeled Kinderfachabteilungen (“special children’s wards”), in existing medical or other care facilities. Part of a research project on Nazi “euthanasia” crimes and their victims, this paper uses a comparative historical perspective to trace memories of the crimes and the memorialization of their victims at the sites of two of these wards (Eichberg and Kalmenhof in Hesse, Germany). It also discusses the implications of the findings for theorizing mnemonic practices and analyzing ways in which memorials and other sites of memory deal with past trauma and atrocity.

Suggested Citation

  • Lutz Kaelber, 2012. "Child Murder in Nazi Germany: The Memory of Nazi Medical Crimes and Commemoration of “Children’s Euthanasia” Victims at Two Facilities (Eichberg, Kalmenhof)," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-38, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:2:y:2012:i:3:p:157-194:d:20040
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jayne Raisborough & Matt Adams, 2008. "Mockery and Morality in Popular Cultural Representations of the White Working Class," Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, vol. 13(6), pages 1-2.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    National Socialism; medical crimes; euthanasia; children; memory; commemoration; Germany; trauma; atrocity;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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