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Last Update 30 August 2006


At Hadamar (near Koblenz), a Korrigenden-Anstalt (Correctional Institution for Released Prisoners) was founded in 1883. At the beginning of the 20th century the number of mentally disturbed persons in Germany increased, and more mental homes were needed. Therefore in 1906 the Korrigenden-Anstalt in Hadamar was instituted as a mental home.

By 1930 this mental home accomodated 320 patients. As defined by the Nazi laws, the nursing costs were reduced from 1934 onward. By 1936 the mental homes had become overcrowded and conditions worsened because of poorer quality and reduced food rations. The buildings were constructed to accomodate only 250 persons, but by 1939 about 600 inmates were crowded in cramped quarters.
During late August 1939 patients were distributed to surrounding mental homes because Hadamar was now needed to serve as a military hospital. From November 1940 until January 1941 sickrooms were converted into quarters for personnel and administration staff of the new Hadamar euthanasia killing centre of T4.
A gas chamber and crematorium with two ovens were installed in the cellar.

In Hadamar the extermination procedure was nearly the same as in other euthanasia killing centres:
-undressing and handing over of the valuables (rings, watches etc.) to the personnel,

-a superficial inspection of the victims, to see which plausible cause of death the Hadamar administration could pass on to  the relatives,
-taking photos of the persons,
-taking the doomed persons to the gas chamber and gassing,
-cremation of the corpses in the institute's ovens,
-filling the urns with ash, (it was unimportant to the staff from which particular corpse the ash came)
-dispatching urn and death certificate to the relatives.

Bus Garage
Bus Garage
Large grey buses, carrying victims from nearby mental homes (the Zwischenanstalten / intermediate mental homes Herborn, Weilmünster, Kiedrich, Idstein, Nassau, Langenfeld, Andernach, Wiesloch, Weinsberg) to Hadamar, arrived daily.
From the bus garage the victims had to go through the so called "sluice" (a narrow fenced-in path) to the extermination building. The Hadamar "sluice" became model for the "sluices" or "tubes", later used in the extermination camps of Aktion Reinhard. Approximately 100 victims were killed every day, lasting until August 1941.

By 24 August 1941 the killing at Hadamar was stopped on Hitler's orders. The installations in the cellar were dismantled and other rooms converted back to sickrooms. The surplus staff were ordered to the East to use their "knowledge" at the newly established extermination camps.
During the second phase of the euthanasia program, the killing at Hadamar started again. Now the victims were killed by lethal injections. Until late August 1942, bodies were buried at the town's cemetery. By September mass graves were used, disguised as single graves located behind the building. During October 1944 more than 700 inmates were crowded together at Hadamar.
On 26 March 1945 US Forces captured the town of Hadamar. In the institute's pharmacy 10 kilograms of "Veronal" and "Luminal" (sleeping pills), used to kill the victims, were found.
Members of Hadamar's personnel were put on trial in 1945 in Wiesbaden, and in 1947 in Frankfurt/Main. They were found to be responsible for killing approximately 10,000 persons. During the 1950's all prisoners were pardoned.

A number of Aktion Reinhard personnel served at Hadamar, these include Kurt Arndt, Kurt Bolender, Max Bree, Kurt D., Werner Dubois, Karl Frenzel, Hubert Gomerski, Karl Gringers, Willy Grossmann, Gottlieb Hering, Josef Hirtreiter, Robert Jührs, Erwin Kainer, Johann Klier, Fritz Kraschewski (probably), Erwin Lambert, Werner Mauersberger, Willi Mentz *, August Miete, Philipp Post, Wenzel Rehwald, Karl Schluch, Erich Schulz, Hans-Heinz Schütt, Erwin Stengelin, Franz Suchomel, Heinrich Unverhau, Christian Wirth, Franz Wolf and Ernst Zierke.

In 1983 the Hadamar Memorial was installed at the infamous building, which to this day is still used as a mental home.

* See the Mentz Photo Story!

Hadamar Trail of smoke GEKRAT bus
Hadamar Trail of Smoke GEKRAT Bus

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