About this Event
725 23rd Street NW, Washington DC 20052
Join us for an info session about the Spring 2024 Short-Term Abroad Program (STAP) on German history (ENGL 3912) with Prof. David Mitchell.
This Short-Term Abroad Program led by Prof. David Mitchell focuses on the history of Nazi Germany's impact on disabled people. The 1980s, nearly four decades after the formal end of World War II, a group of German and American historians began connecting the genocide of 6 million Jewish (as well as Romany, Russian, and gay) people in the Holocaust to the mass killings of 300,000 disabled people in psychiatric hospitals, clinics, and institutions. The “euthanasia murders” began in October 1939 nearly a year and a half before the advent of the “final solution” in Nazi death camps. The research caused a great deal of debate amongst Holocaust scholars due to the fact that medical killings were treated separately from those prosecuted for Nazi war crimes during the Nuremburg trials. Many believe that physician supervised killings in medical institutions counted as treatment for those classified as “lives unworthy of life” (i.e. those diagnosed with physical, cognitive, and sensory disorders and, in the terms of the time, incapable of productive labor). This past September, following decades of disability activism, the first state supported memorial to those killed in the T4 program opened in Berlin. The class will grapple with questions of the relationship of medical murders to Holocaust genocide, the struggle to publicly memorialize the T4 killings in Germany, as well as consider how this history affects the lives of German disabled people today.