NS Crimes Against the „Inferior“

Austrian Press Agency (APA) (07/02/2008)

NS Crimes Against the „Inferior“
Exhibition at Steinhof Reopened

Hospital was the center of NS medicine in Vienna aimed at killing

Vienna – The permanent exhibition, “The War Against the Inferior,” in Vienna’s Otto Wagner Hospital on “The History of NS Medicine in Vienna” was inaugurated. It depicts the killing of 7,500 people in the hospital, which was a mental institution and became Vienna’s center for NS medicine aimed at murder. It was there in the hospital ward, “Am Spiegelgrund,” where 800 children and young people were killed.

With displays, photos and exhibits – sealed under two glass display cabinets in which children’s brains were kept decades long for research purposes provides documentation in Pavillon V of how NS medicine took over the excision of “inferior” humans. A provisional exhibit has been in existence since 2002, created during the burial of 600 victims of “child euthanasia,” but was never meant to be permanent.
At the opening of the exhibition, Health Minister Sonja Wehsely spoke of the inhuman role medicine played during the NS era. It is the “biggest wound,” which physician and head of Spiegelgrund Heinrich Gross made a career out of after the war. He died before he would be convicted. Wehsely offered a special welcome to the survivor of the “killing machine,” Friedrich Zawrel, who contributed by assuring that this crime didn’t remain forgotten.

City Counsellor for Culture Andreas Mailalth-Pokorny spoke of the difficulties in dealing with “absolute evil.” The exhibition is not about revenge or reconciliation but rather about “belated remembrance.”

Hannah Lessing of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism emphasized that the “Spiegelgrund children” were not only repressed for years but were really forgotten victims up until the 1990s.

The exhibition reflects the latest stand on research, claimed Brigitte Bailer of the Documentation Archives of Austrian Resistance. Documented is also the role of science, particularly Anthropology. It reveals the killing of 3,200 patients during “AktionT4” in Hartheim and the “euthanasia” that ensued due to neglect and malnutrition of 3,500 people who fell victim to the hospital.

The reopening of the exhibition cost some 50,000 Euros. Currently it is open during the week and consideration is being paid to extending hours to weekends.
See: www.gedenkstaettesteinhof.at