, a home for poor people was founded in Brandenburg (near
). From 1820
on, the complex of
buildings was extended and then used as a prison. In 1931
Brandenburg prison was closed because a new one was built in
From 24 August 1933 until 2 February 1934
the Nazis used the buildings as concentration camp and police
barracks. Up to 1,200 prisoners were locked up in the cells. Until
some buildings were converted into a euthanasia killing
center. Its term: Landespflegeanstalt Brandenburg a. H.
the river Havel). The location: In the centre of the city!
A gas chamber (3x5 m) was installed in the former brick barn.
The exact location of the gas chamber is unknown because only the
foundations of the barn still exist. From the adjacent former
storage building only the floor is still to be seen. The cells for
working and sleeping do not exist anymore and only its foundations
were discovered in 1996
The killings took place in the same way as in the other euthanasia
centres: Buses brought the victims to the site where they were
registered, undressed, examined and gassed. In Brandenburg the gas
chamber also looked like a shower bath where carbon monoxide was
used for gassing. The bodies were cremated in two mobile cremation
ovens at night. The crematory could have been situated in the
adjacent building or near the former church. Since July 1940
corpses were cremated outside the town at
. The site was
disguised as Chemisch-Technische Versuchsanstalt
and Technical Research Institute).
The first killing took place in January 1940
when 18 to 20
insane criminals were gassed in this test, which contributed to the decision to
use carbon monoxide gas for killing. Among several doctors from the
T4 staff, the following persons were present: Dr Brandt
's personal doctor), Dr Conti
), Philipp Bouhler
Chief of Hitler
's Chancellery) and Dr
supplier for the gas cylinders). This gassing was carried out by
, who played a prominent role in the mass
extermination program in the Generalgouvernement
(Poland), called Aktion Reinhard
The last killing took place on 29 October 1940
. Children from the
mental home in Brandenburg-Görden
More than 9,000 persons lost their lifes in the Brandenburg
euthanasia centre within nine months. Among the victims were more
than 400 Jews.
After the stopping of the euthanasia program the buildings served
as a prison, accomodation for forced labourers and police barracks.
During the war some buildings were destroyed and demolished after
. More traces of these crimes were lost when new buildings were
constructed on the site.
Finally on 27 April 1997
the Brandenburg memorial was opened, but
further research is needed to uncover the exact history of this former killing site.
A number of Aktion Reinhard
personnel served at
Brandenburg, these include Rudolf Bär, Kurt Bolender, Kurt D.,
Werner Dubois, Irmfried Eberl,
Kurt Franz *,
Erich Fuchs, August Hengst, Willy Mätzig, Josef Oberhauser,
Karl Pötzinger, Friedrich Tauscher, Max Biala and Christian Wirth
* See the Franz Photo Story!