Names, Graves, and Memory. The Psychiatric Hospital Mauer-Öhling during National Socialism
euthanasia, Nazi era, history
The project overview
The high number of those killed inhouse together with those who perished with hunger, neglect or wrong medication, in November 1944 caused an extension of the institution cemetery for 300 grave sites. There is no sign of it today. The project therefore aims at working with different groups of citizen scientists on the creation of public awareness on the extended hospital cemetery and those buried there. Through biographical research and interviews with relatives of victims and the medical staff at that time, the life stories are to be reconstructed.
Fundamentally, methods and limitations of oral history, narratives in family conscience, analyses of guilt, shame and responsibility as well as strategies such as repression, relativisation and silence will be discussed. The citizen scientists will be invited to encourage different forms of commemorative culture which can be implemented in today’s Landesklinikum Mauer, in the city of Amstetten as well as online.
How to participate?
All interested parties – relatives of victims and of the medical staff, but also people associated with the Landesklinikum today – can deliver written or oral contributions from their family memory in the workshops and directly to the project team: not only to the knowledge of the events in Mauer-Öhling during the Nazi era, but also to their concealment and repression. Relatives of victims of Nazi "euthanasia" can search their family archives for photos, documents and oral statements and discuss and contextualize them with the participants and the team.
What happens to contributions of citizen scientists?
The contributions and results will be presented at the closing events in April 2020 in the town hall of Amstetten and in the education center St. Hippolyt in St. Pölten. They will be incorporated into the publications, lectures and initiatives of the commemoration and will be published online on the project’s websit(subject to agreement and in strict accordance with the law on data protection).
Participating and supporting institutions
- Institute for Jewish History in Austria (project leader)
- Municipal Archives Amstetten (project partner)
- School for Psychiatric, Medical and Health Care Mauer (project partner)
PD Dr. Martha Keil