The Lower-Austrian „psychiatric hospital” Mauer-Öhling during the time of National Socialism

In cooperation with the |Lower Austrian Provincial Archives (Niederösterreichisches Landesarchiv)|

At least 35,000 people were identified as „life unworthy of life” („unwertes Leben”) during the National Socialist regime in Austria and were murdered under the NS-„euthanasia” programme. With its capacity of about 2000 beds, the „Kaiser-Franz-Joseph-Landes-Heil- und Pflegeanstalt” (Kaiser Franz Joseph psychiatric hospital), which was founded in 1902 in Mauer-Öhling (Lower Austria), was the third-largest clinic in Austria behind Wien Steinhof and Graz Feldhof that participated in the National Socialist system of murdering psychiatrist patients. But for all that – and for various reasons – little of this has so far been researched or published.

Between June 1940 and August 1941, up to 1,600 Mauer-Öhling patients were „transferred into an – according to the directorate – undisclosed psychiatric hospital”; meaning they were gassed in the Hartheim Euthanasia Centre close to Linz. After the abandonement of „Aktion T4”, the murdering continued in-house until the end of the war by means of overdosed drugs, injections, withholding of food and an altered stun machine. From September 1944 onwards, Mauer-Öhling functioned as a „collection point” for „incurable mentally ill ‚Ostarbeiter’ (eastern workers) and Polish people”. If their fitness for work could not be re-established quickly they were either killed in the psychiatric hospital or deported to extermination camps.

An estimated 26.000 medical records are stored in the depot of the Lower Austrian Provincial Archives (NÖLA) in St. Pölten. After the scientific review of th National Socialist medical crimes in other „psychiatric hospitals” within the „Ostmark”, the comprehensive scientific research of Mauer-Öhling's history has been taken up.

If you have related information on your family history please contact us!

Information:|mail: Philipp Mettauer |
Funding: Province of Lower Austria

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