May 2nd - Day of Remembrance and Resistance

 


(Newspaper article translated from German)


Psychiatric diagnosis was
their death verdict

Memorial for the "Euthanasia" victims in Bernburg

© by Peter Nowak

"Gathering here from the whole planet we dedicate this memorial plaque to the memory of all those murdered by doctors and psychiatrists in Germany, Austria and Poland from 1939 to 1948. A psychiatric diagnosis was their death verdict."

Thus begins a text in German, English, Hebrew and Polish on a memorial plaque, which can be seen since last Sunday in the Bernburger memorial site for victims of the National Socialism "Euthanasia". There between 1940 and 1941 more than 70,000 ill and handicapped were murdered by gas.

A delegation of the International Association Against Psychiatric Assault (IAAPA) unveiled the memorial plaque. In a short speech Hagai Aviel of the Israeli section of the psychiatry critics stressed that their memory is not a simple review of the past. "Even today the violation of human rights is still condoned by coercive psychiatric laws and practices. Our resistance is directed against this", he

explained.

In advance of the presentation some passages of the text were contentious between the initiators and the directors of the memorial site. Above all the extending of the psychiatric murders up to the year 1948 provided for irritation. But the psychiatry critics could refer to appropriate research results. Thus the journalist Ernst Klee proved that the death rate of patients in psychiatric clinics was disproportionately high until 1948. Responsible for this was the policy of deliberate starving of the patients.

"We are pleased that we could come to an agreement and the plaque could be displayed on May 2", said René Talbot of the Berlin Regional Organization of Psychiatric Survivors. The date is not by any means coincidental: May 2 was declared by the Psychiatric Survivors as being the day of "Remembrance and Resistance" against psychiatric coercion.

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