Hartheim


Schloss Hartheim is located in a small village called Alkoven just outside Linz in Austria. In the late 1800s, the castle was handed over to Landes wohltätigkeitsverein in Oberösterreich, who started a hospital for mentally and physically ill children. After Austria was occupied by Germany in March 1938, the castle was taken over by the Germans around the turn of the year 1939/40. The Germans converted the castle into an euthanasicentral where the nazis murdered mentally and physically handicapped people accordingly. T-4 programmes. When the T-4 program officially ended in August 1941, activities in Hartheim continued under the program 14f13. This meant that people were sent to Hartheim from the Dachau, Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps to be murdered. In December 1944 and early January 1945, the murder operations in Hartheim were dismantled and all technical equipment was removed. During the official euthanasia, more than 18,000 people were murdered in Hartheim and during the 14f13 program, another 12,000 people were murdered. It was also in Hartheim that Franz Stangl began his career, which later ended as commander of Treblinka.

Current status: Preserved with museum (1998).

Address: Schlosstrasse 1, 4072 Alkoven.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Near Hartheim flows the Danube river, which in the mid-fifties was hit by heavy floods. As a result, several homes were destroyed and people had to be evacuated. Some of those who had their homes destroyed in connection with the floods were offered new accommodation in Hartheim Castle where several rooms stood empty. The castle consists of several floors and this became a permanent residence over time. However, it was not entirely uncontroversial given the site’s history that it was rented out apartments in the castle while on the ground floor it was a museum. In the late nineties, this was solved by offering apartment owners new accommodation. When I visited the castle in 1998, it could only be visited in the company of a guide and the current museum was not even started.

Follow up in books: Friedlander, Henry: The Origins of Nazi Genocide – From euthanasia to the final solution (1995).