Stuttgart (Städtische Kinderkrankenhäuser und Kinderheime Stuttgart)
Current historical scholarship (see Topp 2004, 2005; also Benzenhöfer 2000)
establishes the existence of a Kinderfachabteilung in Stuttgart beginning
January 1943 at the latest (in early 1943: Marquart 2014b) until at least
July 1944, if not the end of WWII. The Städtische Kinderheime und
Kinderkrankenhäuser in Stuttgart consisted of a complex of several
associated children's hospitals and homes and had their administrative
headquarters in the Birkenwaldstr. 10. The special children's ward was not
physically separated from other wards but rather spread out over several
facilities. Dr. Karl Lempp was the clinic's director (he was also the
city's deputy director of the municipal public health department), and Dr.
Magdalene Schütte was responsible for the special children's ward.
Even though after WWII the American military government in Stuttgart in 1946 suspected Dr. Lempp
"of having been involved in eliminating people
with hereditary disorders
in collaboration with Dr. Stähle [as assistant secretary responsible for medical affairs
in the Ministry of the Interior in Wurttemberg],“ his proceedings before a German denazification tribunal (Spruchkammerverfahren) resulted in his classification of a
follower), the second-lowest category on a five-item scale of culpability.
The committee saw it as "proven that he had not been involved in the
extermination of unworthy life." In 1948 both Dr. Lempp and Dr. Schütte
provided testimony in the investigation of the state prosecutor leading up
to the Grafeneck trial at the Landgericht Tübingen in 1949 against Dr. Stähle and Dr. Mauthe (the former's highest medical
deputy in the Ministry of the Interior), in which the court held that after
preliminary communications in November 1942 between the two and Dr. Hans
Hefelmann and Richard von Hegener of the Reichsausschuss about establishing
a special children's ward in Wurttemberg, the involved parties "ultimately
refrained from doing so," although the court established that 93 children
were transferred to special children's wards outside of Wurttemberg (Bauer,
p. 94). Thereafter Dr. Lempp remained deputy director of the municipal
public health department until 1949 and was director of the municipal
children's clinic until 1950, at year when he retired. He died in 1960. Dr.
Schütte worked as a pediatrician in private practice in Aalen until 1946 and
was also the head physician of the children's department of the regional
hospital in Aalen between 1947 and 1966, when she became the head physician
at the new children's hospital before retiring in 1967. In 1963 the state
attorney's office in Stuttgart conducted investigations against Dr. Schütte,
which were terminated in the same year. She died in 1980.
While Ernst Klee, Udo Benzenhöfer, Sascha Topp, and Karl-Horst Marquart in
their research have argued for the existence of a special children's ward,
Rolf Königstein (2004) has strongly denied it. He documents the above
investigations and events and finds them to be exculpatory, even in regard
to the fact that at the time of the investigations against Dr. Schütte in
1963, it had become known that she had signed on 30 June 1944 a request for
Luminal from Dr. Widmann at the KTI (Topp 2005, p. 55. n. 272; with
reference to BAB, R58/1059, Bl. 64). He finds Dr. Schütte's assertion
credible that such requests were made to deceive the Reichsausschuss, and he
notes that neither Dr. Lempp nor other clinic personnel received Sonderzuwendungen
(special allocations for their involvement in the killing; Königstein, p.
473). He does not mention, however, that such a deception is not known to
have been asserted as a defense of the charge of collaboration with the
Reichsausschuss in this matter in any other similar circumstance, nor has it
been found credible by other scholars, and he does not seem to be aware of
the fact that not all of the directors of clinics with special children's
wards and their head physicians received such special allocations.
Moreover, Peter Sandner (p. 536) reports that Dr. Schütte requested, after
consultation with Richard von Hegener [of the Reichsausschuss], in early
1943 to visit Eichberg "in order to get to learn its methods of treatment."
not only was the location of a Kinderfachabteilung but also doubled up as
training facility where new "euthanasia" physicians could learn their trade.
Furthermore, a document collected by the State Attorney's office in Gera in
its investigations against physician Rosemarie Albrecht in the context of
"euthanasia" in Stadtroda
(in Platz/Schneider, p. 81) shows a correspondence from the Reichsausschuss
to the public health department of a city in Baden about a child to be
admitted to the Städtisches Kinderkrankenhaus und Kinderheim in Stuttgart,
Birkenwaldstr. 10. This is done on the standard letter form; no incidence is
known in which a special children's ward was noted on such a form that did
not actually exist. The document also alludes to the possibility that when
the state attorney's office explored the involvement of public health
departments in Wurttemberg in children's euthanasia in 1948-49, it may not
have taken account of the possibility that children from territories
adjacent to Wurttemberg were admitted to the Kinderfachabteilung Stuttgart.
In this context it should be noted that for another clinic with a similar
arrangement, i.e., a formally open hospital with a decentralized killing
ward whose children blended in easily with the general hospital population,
Dortmund-Aplerbeck, post-war investigations
erroneously concluded that no children's ward had existed when in fact, as
was discovered in the late 1980s, such a ward did exist and the death of 162
children remains unexplained.
Source: Platz/Schneider, p. 81.
The most convincing evidence for the existence of a Kinderfachabteilung in
Stuttgart has been marshaled by the physician Dr. Marquart (2008, 2009,
2011a-d). Based on his analysis of 506
death certificates of children who died in the children's hospital between
January 1943 and the end of April 1945, he finds 52 suspicious deaths of
children diagnosed with severe innate disorders (he arrives at a more
conservative figure, 46 children, in a more recent publication [Marquart
2014b] - but for which no causal relation to their death can be
established. One third of the children died of pneumonia, a typical result
of poisoning with Luminal. The death certificate was sometimes
signed with a fake name.
Dr. Marquart (2014a) has also analyzed the fate of disabled children of
forced laborers who died under highly suspicious circumstances (such as a
death certificate signed with a fake name) in the locale of the
"Kinderfachabteilung," some of whom on the basis of a diagnosed severe
hereditary ailment, without having been "eligible" for the
For a long time, apart from a recent stumbling block in Stuttgart-Vaihingen
for Gerhard Durner, a child victim of "children's euthanasia" who died at
facility, there was no commemoration of children's euthanasia in Stuttgart -
a city that harbored so many Nazi luminaries and profiteers. A grandson of
Dr. Lempp even threatened legal action against Dr. Marquart and the
publisher of the book Stuttgarter
In 2013 a stumbling block was placed for the child victim Gerda
Metzger, who had spastic diplegia (known as Little's disease), in front of
the building that housed the special children's ward. A youtube video is
available: http://youtu.be/HoioDFctXbM?. More information about the victim -
who, as a highly usual case, is reported to have been abducted by a
physician and taken to the Kinderfachabteilung, where she died on the next
day - can be found here and here.
A series of commemorative events took place in November 2013 (see here), which included the DGKJ
exhibit "In memory of the children."
In her book on Esslingen during National Socialism, G.
Siberzahn-Jandt (2015) addresses the fate of children sent from Esslingen to
the Stuttgart "special children's ward" (pp. 223-24). Based on records of
the Grafeneck trial, she refers to Margot Mauz (p. 279).
Late in 2015, the office of Stuttgart major's office responsible for
administration and hospital continued to refused to allow the placement of a
commemorative marker at the site of the main hospital. A coalition of groups
has protested this decision, which is under review. See here.
A new book by Dr. Marquart on the subject matter of the killings is
scheduled to be published in 2016.
Bauer, Fritz et al., eds. 1968-1981. Justiz
und NS-Verbrechen: Sammlung deutscher Strafurteile wegen
nationalsozialistischer Tötungsverbrechen, 1945-1966. Amsterdam:
University Press Amsterdam. Vol. 5, p. 87ff.
Benzenhöfer, Udo. 2003. "Genese und Struktur der
'NS-Kinder- und Jugendlicheneuthanasie.'" Monatsschrift
für Kinderheilkunde 151: 1012-1019.
Ellerbrock, Dagmar. 2004. "Healing
Democracy" - Demokratie als Heilmittel: Gesundheit, Krankheit und
Politik in der amerikanischen Besatzungszone 1945-1949. Bonn:
Dietz. Available here: https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=2435135&fileOId=2479204
"Karl Lempp." In Wikipedia.de. At http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Lempp.
Königstein, Rolf. 2004. "Nationalsozialistischer „Euthanasie“-Mord in Baden
und Württemberg." Zeitschrift für Württembergische Landesgeschichte
Marquart, Karl-Horst. 2008. "Gab es in Stuttgart eine
'Kinderfachabteilung'?" Paper presented at the Frühjahrstagung des
Arbeitskreises zur Erforschung der nationalsozialistischen 'Euthanasie'
und Zwangssterilisation, Grafeneck, June 2008.
———. 2009. "Karl Lemp: Verantwortlich für
Zwangssterilisierungen und 'Kindereuthanasie.'" Pp. 100-7 in Stuttgarter
NS-Täter: Vom Mitläufer bis zum Massenmörder, edited by Hermann
G. Abmayr. Stuttgart: Schmetterling Verlag. Available here.
———. 2011a. "Die Stuttgarter Opfer der
NS-'Kindereuthanasie.'"Pp. 110-18 in Verlegt:
Krankenmorde 1940-1941 am Beispiel der Region Stuttgart, edited
by Elke Martin. Stuttgart: Verlag Peter Grohmann.
———. 2011b. "Obermedizinalrat Karl Lempp, verantwortlich für
Zwangssterilisierungen und die 'Euthanasie' von Kindern." Pp. 124-32 in Verlegt: Krankenmorde 1940-1941 am Beispiel
der Region Stuttgart, edited by Elke Martin. Stuttgart: Verlag
———. 2011c. "Untersuchung über Stuttgarter Opfer der
NS-'Kindereuthanasie.'" Pp. 165-174 in Den
Opfern einen Namen geben: NS-"Euthanasie"-Verbrechen,
historisch-politische Verantwortung und Erinnerungskultur.
Munster: Klemm und Oelschläger.
———. 2011d. "'Kindereuthanasie' in Stuttgart:
Verdrängen statt Gedenken?" Pp. 145-168 in Kindermord
und "Kinderfachabteilungen" im Nationalsozialismus: Gedenken und
Forschung, edited by Lutz Kaelber and Raimond Reiter. Hamburg:
———. 2014a. "Kinder von Zwangsarbeiterinnen unter den
'Kindereuthanasie'-Opfern in Stuttgart." Pp. 74-80 in Die
"Euthanasie"-Opfer zwischen Stigmatisierung und Anerkennung: Forschungs-
und Ausstellungsprojekte zu den Verbrechen an psychisch Kranken und die
Frage der Namensnennung der Münchner "Euthanasie"-Opfer, edited
by Gerrit Hohendorf, Stefan Raueiser, Michael von Cranach, and Sibylle von
Tiedemann. Munster: Kontur.
———. 2014b. "Bereit zur 'Vernichtung erbkranker
Kinder': Dr. Magdalene Schütte." Pp. 200-8 in Täter,
Helfer, Trittbrettfahrer: NS-Belastete aus dem östlichen Württemberg.
Reutlingen: Der Freiheitsbaum.
NS-Medizinverbrechen an Kindern und Jugendlichen in Stuttgart. Stuttgart:
Platz, Werner E., and Volkmar Schneider, eds. 2008. Dokumente einer Tötungsanstalt: "In den
Anstalten gestorben.” Vol. 2. Berlin: Hentrich und Hentrich.
Sandner, Peter. 2003. Verwaltung
des Krankenmordes. Der Bezirksverband Nassau im Nationalsozialismus.
Silberzahn-Jandt, Gudrun. 2015. Esslingen am Neckar im System von
Zwangssterilisation und "Euthanasie" während des Nationalsozialismus:
Strukturen - Orte - Biographien. Ostfildern: Jan
Topp, Sascha. 2004. “Der ‘Reichsausschuss zur
wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb- und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden’:
Zur Organisation der Ermordung minderjähriger Kranker im
Nationalsozialismus 1939-1945.” Pp. 17-54 in Kinder
in der NS-Psychiatrie, edited by Thomas Beddies and Kristina
Hübener. Berlin-Brandenburg: Be.bra Wissenschaft.
———. 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
Last updated on
20 Dec. 2015