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Lily Offenbacher Shares Her Knowledge of the "Euthanasia" Program with the U.S. Coordinator of Information (September 1941)

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Here are some of the cases: A Jewish mother had refused to immigrate in order to be able to see her son in a lunatic asylum every fortnight during the visitor's hour. Her son was killed.

The wife of a very well-known Jewish man in Munich who had fits of Kleptomania, was for years every time such a fit was recognizable, sent to Eggelfing for a short time. She always came back to her family and lived a normal life until the next attack was due. Her husband had just sent her for a few days to Eggelfing when she was taken away. Some weeks later he received the death certificate.

Another patient to whom I am distantly related was just undergoing an insulin cure and was considered to be nearly cured when she disappeared and her relatives got a death certificate. Another case ended better for the patient. A girl who noticed that something unusual was happening when the bus appeared to take her and her fellow patients away escaped. Her escape was not noticed and she lived quietly with her parents when they received her death certificate and urn with ashes.

The events were the same in all asylums. Nurses who were discharged because of lack of patients compared notes and had all the same facts.

I have never seen death notes in the paper of the kind Schirer reprints, but I think the reason is that the Jews are not allowed to put any advertisements of any kind in the newspapers, and my friends were either Jewish, or very poor.

There was also another kind of "Mercy" killing. Its victims were those heavily wounded soldiers for whom the State would have had to care for all their lives. A doctor told me of such a case when a friend of hers was called by her husband to the hospital where he was a patient. He was very upset saying he had been brought into a ward where every night one of his fellow patients had died. He implored his wife to take him out of the hospital and to take him home as he felt he had not realized up until then that he was dangerously ill. His wife used her influence and money and they allowed her to take him home, but not before she had signed a declaration that neither she nor her husband would claim any support in future from the Reich.

Slightly wounded soldiers were very well treated by the State but were rather neglected by the public. This shows the war weariness of the public. Nobody ever offers a seat in a street car to a wounded soldier or gives other signs of sympathy which were the normal thing during the last war.

Source: Lily Offenbacher Shares Her Knowledge of the Euthanasia Program with the U.S. Coordinator of Information (September 1941), U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD, Record Group 226, Entry 16, Box 3, Documents 514 and 516.

Original document is in English.

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