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 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
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 assitsant 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 Aalen and was head physician of the
children's department of the regional hospital in Aalen between 1947 and
1956. In 1963 the state attorney's office in Stuttgart conducted
investigations against Dr. Schütte, which were terminated in the same year.
While Ernst Klee, Udo Benzenhöfer, and Sascha Topp 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 - 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.
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 is planned for November 2013 (see here).
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.
"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:
Platz, Werner E., and Volkmar Schneider, eds. 2008. Dokumente einer Tötungsanstalt: "In den
Anstalten gestorben." Vol. 2. Hentrich und Hentrich.
Sandner, Peter. 2003. Verwaltung
des Krankenmordes. Der Bezirksverband Nassau im Nationalsozialismus.
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 10 October 2013