Memory & Action
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Memory & Action

Disability Awareness Month: The Nazis’ Nameless Victims

Werner Teitz, pictured with his mother, was born in Germany with physical disabilities. Werner could not immigrate to America with his family because the United States denied him a visa because of his disability. He was deported from the Netherlands and killed at Sobibor in 1943. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of the Dumais, Teitz, and Zuckerman families

People with physical and mental disabilities were the Nazis’ first victims of mass murder. Seeing them as a threat to “Aryan genetic purity,” the Nazis deemed these Germans “unworthy of life.” But most of these early victims of Nazism remain anonymous. Laws protecting medical records conceal the identities of many of the 250,000 people murdered by doctors and nurses in this program.

In this digital program in recognition of #DisabilityAwarenessMonth, learn the stories of some of the victims whose names a German doctor has brought to light in order to confront the past sins of his profession.




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