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Join us in remembering the disabled lives lost during the Holocaust

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Cher_Alumni
Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,740 Disability Gamechanger

CW: Distressing discussion around the genocide and loss of disabled people’s lives. 

Today, 27 January 2023, is Holocaust Memorial Day. A day for remembrance of the millions of lives lost under Nazi persecution during the holocaust. With this year’s theme being ordinary people, we shine a light on the lives of ordinary disabled people, whose lives were unjustly taken too soon. 

Although arguably less publicised, disabled people were amongst the groups indiscriminately targeted and killed under Nazi occupation. Taken from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website

Severely mentally and physically disabled people, as well as those perceived to have disabilities, were targeted because of Nazi beliefs that disabled people were a burden both to society and to the state. From 1939 to 1941 the Nazis carried out a programme of ‘euthanasia’, known as the T4 programme. The name T4 is an abbreviation of Tiergartenstrasse 4, the address from which the programme was coordinated.”

This heartbreaking regime of eugenics and murder led to an estimated 250,000 deaths of disabled people. In this video, we see Anna Lehnkering, just one of those lives, putting a beautiful face to this devastating statistic.  

To learn more about the disabled people murdered during the holocaust, you can: 

If you have any thoughts or reflections on this difficult topic you’d like to share, then please leave a comment below. 

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Comments

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,920 Disability Gamechanger
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    I've said on here before but if anyone hasn't watched Schindler's List I really recommend it. I usually am not one to recommend media to portray reality, as it's usually nothing like reality, but from what I read, they put a lot of thought into making Schindler's List realistic. Also they didn't make any money from the film, I believe the profits all went to a relevant charity.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,150 Disability Gamechanger
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    I also agree that both the book & film about Oskar Schindler are excellent. One book I've never read is William Shirer's 'The Rise and fall of the Third Reich, but as a teenager my Mum read excerpts from it to me as she thought it important that I knew about the atrocities that were commited.
    Hans Asperger, an Austrian Dr after whom the syndrome was named, was thought to be a figure like Schindler protecting children from the Nazi regime. This later changed when medical records came to light years after his death. Although he never joined the Nazi party, he couldn't have risen to the position he had without espousing some of their doctrines. It's now known that he collaborated with the Nazis & was instrumental in sending some children to a clinic in Vienna (Am Spiegelgrund) where 800 chidren died, some through prolonged use of barbiturates, although their deaths were recorded as being from pneumonia.
    For this reason many now no longer wish to have their diagnosis linked to his name (some even received hate mail after Asperger's expose).

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hans Asperger, an Austrian Dr after whom the syndrome was named, was thought to be a figure like Schindler protecting children from the Nazi regime. This later changed when medical records came to light years after his death. Although he never joined the Nazi party, he couldn't have risen to the position he had without espousing some of their doctrines. It's now known that he collaborated with the Nazis & was instrumental in sending some children to a clinic in Vienna (Am Spiegelgrund) where 800 chidren died, some through prolonged use of barbiturates, although their deaths were recorded as being from pneumonia.

    I only recently learnt about this too @chiarieds, thanks for sharing.

    A good alternative to use instead of Asperger's is 'Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)' or even better 'Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)'. 
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  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,088 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2023
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    Schindlers list was actually on TV one night last week, it was a remarkable film telling an heartbreaking story I couldn't believe the film is 30 years old this year, the acting was superb.

    if we have learned a lesson from the Holocaust it is that we must never ever allow anything like it to happen again, and it is a reason we have to send by the Ukraine against the Russian aggressors.

    I do have concerns about the problems between Israel and Palestine but that's a conversation for another day.

    2024 Election won

  • vikingqueen
    vikingqueen Scope Member Posts: 1,493 Disability Gamechanger
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           We need to remember every single one, men women and children who lost their lives during the holocaust, and lets pray it never happens again. 
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
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    I agree with other posters who say Schindlers list was a powerful film, unbelievable atrocities were carried out and we must as others have said never forget what happened, lest it happen again.

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

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