Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Leipzig-Dösen)
The Kinderfachabteilung in Leipzig-Dösen was established in
1940 as the forth one overall and the first in what today is the state
of Saxony. It continued to operate until Dec. 1943, when its
operations were transferred to Grossschweidnitz. The reason for the
transfer appears to have been the bombing of the city, including the
university children's clinic (see Kinderfachabteilung Leipzig), which
necessitated the transfer of patients from there to Leipzig-Dösen and
likely did not leave enough space for the continued operation of the
clinic's deputy medical director
was Dr. Emil Eichler (he retired at the age of 68 in 1943). The
physician responsible for
the "special children's ward" was Dr. Arthur Mittag, who subsequently
became responsible for the ward at Grossschweidnitz and who
committed suicide in
1946 while in detention awaiting trial. Dr. Eichler had charges brought
against him in the Dresden doctors' trial in 1947, but the court found
him unfit to stand trial on the first day.
It was believed that 505 children died in the special
children's ward in Leipzig-Dösen, of whom about 300 were
identified by the clinic's former economic director. According to Dr.
Seyde, the latest figure for the number of children who were admitted to the clinic is 827, of whom 551 died (see here) - one of the largest numbers of victims in
the special children's wards.
site of the clinic became the Parkkrankenhaus and is largely abandoned
today (it is in the suburb of Meusdorf), with the occasional use of films that are short there for its historical ambience.
Source: author; Psychiatriemuseum Sachsen
In 1993, an internal pamphlet published on a small museum exhibit on
site still did not refer to "euthanasia crimes" (see Seyde, in Lahm et.
al, p. 120 n. 6), but by 1995, as noted by Christiane Roick in her
dissertation (p. 2), the exhibit contained references to "euthanasia."
It was Dr. Seyde who had initiated the changes. Subsequently, parts of
exhibit on Dösen were incorporated into an exhibit housed at the
Museum of Psychiatry (here-
see "Ab nach Dösen").
Source: Lahm et al., p. 113; Israelitische Religionsgemeinde zu Leipzig
After Dr. Seyde produced a first list
of children who had died at Leipzig in the late 1990s, based on the so-called "Römer list," in 2001 a grave
memorial was created for a Jewish victim of children's euthanasia at
Israelitischer Friedhof in Leipzig. A girl, Ruth Kirschbaum, was
murdered at Leipzig-Dösen at age 7 in 1941. (Her name has
been identified to the public on websites of the City of Leipzig; see here.) A second Jewish victim, named Elfriede Thieberg, also has a grave memorial dedicated to her in the same cemetery.
the further history of commemoration of victims in Leipzig, see
For the 2007 exhibit, which also covers this special children's ward, see exhibits.
A city memorial book for citizens in Leipzig who fell victim to the
Nazi rule (Gedenk- und Totenbuch der Leipziger Opfer der
nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft von 1933 bis 1945) was made
available online on 27 January 2010 (here).
It contains the names of child victims at Leipzig-Dösen but not of the
Leipziger university children's clinic, as no records of the latter are
Research has shown that the facility Leipzig-Dösen collaborated with
the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research in Berlin-Buch. Dr.
Georg Friedrich, at the military special section of the KWI since
August 1939 and head of pathology at Leipzig-Dösen since 1936, examined
the brains of the children and worked together with the KWI's Julius
Benzenhöfer, Udo. 2003a. "Genese
und Struktur der
'NS-Kinder- und Jugendlicheneuthanasie.'" Monatsschrift für Kinderheilkunde
———. 2003b. "Hans Heinze: Kinder und Jugendpsychiatrie und
'Euthanasie.'" Pp. 9-52 in Beiträge
zur NS-"Euthanasie"-Forschung 2002,
edited by the Arbeitskreis zur Erforschung der
nationalsozialistischen "Euthanasie" und Zwangssterilisation. Münster:
Klemm und Oehlschläger.
Buhl, Christoph. 2001. "Von der Eugenik zur Euthanasie: Eine
Spurensuche in Leipzig." Master's Thesis, Fachbereich Sozialwesen der
Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig. Here.
meene muh - und raus bist du: Kindereuthanasie in Leibzig: Eine
Erinnerung: Schüler auf der Suche nach verblassten Spuren." Available
Kaelber, Lutz. 2010. "Virtual Traumascapes: The Commemoration of Nazi ‘Children’s Euthanasia’ Online and On Site." Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian, and Central European New Media 4: 13-44. Available at http://www.digitalicons.org/issue04/files/2010/11/Kaelber-4.2.pdf.
Lahm, Berit, Thomas Seyde, and Eberhard Ulm, eds. 2008. 505: Kindereuthanasieverbrechen
in Leipzig. Leipzig: Plöttner Verlag.
Nitsche, Jürgen. 2010. "'Unter einem doppelten Fluch': Jüdische Opfer
der nationalsozialistischen Krankenmordaktion in Sachsen." Sonnenstein Hefte 8: 47-78.
Christiane. 1997. "Heilen, Verwahren, Vernichten: Die Geschichte der
Sächsischen Landesanstalt Leipzig-Dösen im Dritten Reich." M.D. Diss.,
Medical College University of Leipzig.
Schmuhl, Hans-Werner. 2000. "Hirnforschung und Krankenmord: Das Kaiser
Wilhelm Institut für Hirnforschung, 1937-1945." Available at http://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/KWG/Ergebnisse/Ergebnisse1.pdf
Stadt Leipzig, Dezernat
für Schule, Jugend, Soziales und Gesundheit. 2007.
"Euthanasieverbrechen in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus in Leipzig."
Available at http://www.leipzig.de/imperia/md/content/53_gesundheitsamt/ozialpsychiatrischerdienst/euthanasieverbrechen_schulinfo-neu.pdf.
Topp, Sascha. 2004. “Der
wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb- und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden’:
Organisation der Ermordung minderjähriger Kranker im
Pp. 17-54 in Kinder in der NS-Psychiatrie,
edited by Thomas Beddies and Kristina Hübener. Berlin-Brandenburg:
———. 2005. "Der 'Reichsausschuß zur
wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb-
und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden': Die Ermordung minderjähriger
Kranker im Nationalsozialismus 1939-1945." Master's Thesis in History,
University of Berlin.