Reich Minister of Health Dr. Leonardo Conti Speaks with Hitler’s Personal Physician, Dr. Karl Brandt (August 1942)
From 1939 on, the Nazi regime pursued the goal of "racial enhancement" through the systematic destruction of individuals who were supposedly "inferior" and "unworthy of life." Children with incurable or hereditary diseases were the regime's first victims. In accordance with Hitler's instructions, his own personal physician, Dr. Karl Brandt (right), organized the so-called children's euthanasia program, in which 5,000 infants, children, and youths were killed. At the Nuremberg Doctors' Trial of 1946-47, Brandt was sentenced to death for his role in the program and for other acts. He was executed on June 2, 1948. Alongside Brandt's "children's euthanasia" program, the Reich Chancellery (under the leadership of Phillip Bouhler) pursued an "adult euthanasia" program. By 1941, more than 70,000 patients with hereditary or incurable ailments had been murdered in this program, which was codenamed "T-4" in reference to the Berlin address of its coordinating office (Tiergartenstrasse 4). Bouhler was arrested after the war and committed suicide. The Reich Minister of Health, Dr. Leonardo Conti (left) was also involved in planning the euthanasia program. He, too, was arrested after the war and hanged himself in his cell in Nuremberg on October 6, 1945.
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Heinrich Hoffmann