1958

► Georg Renno, responsible for killing 28 000 people in theT-4 euthanasia program, got married to his second wife. In June 1940 Renno was a deputy head of the Euthanasia Centre in the Hartheim castle near Linz in Upper Austria. About 30 000 people were killed in years 1940-1941 in Hartheim who were considered by the Nazi regime as "unworthy of life". Georg Renno was one of around 40 doctors-consultants who were qualifying patients eligible for "elimination". For this purpose he visited more than 50 hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. In the summer of 1943 Renno got a new function - he was responsible for the killing of sick and unable to work prisoners of concentration camps in Dachau, Mauthausen and Gusen. After the war Georg Renno changed his name and was working as a researcher at pharmaceutical company Schering AG. In 1955 he returned to his real name. He was prosecuted for committed crimes. In 1961 and 1967 Renno appeared in court but for health reasons was not convicted. Until his death on October 4, 1997 "doctor" Georg Renno led a quiet life as a pensioner. He remained convinced that the T-4 program was right. In 1997, in an interview he said: "I do not feel guilty" because I brought my victims a "relief".

Georg Renno at the T-4 staff party in Hartheim Castle (source :    holocaustresearchproject.org   )

Georg Renno at the T-4 staff party in Hartheim Castle (source: holocaustresearchproject.org)

► Thirteen years after the war German federal states (Länder) justice ministers decided to create a Central Office of Judicial Administration in Ludwigsburg for investigating the Nazi Crimes.
Initially the office only dealt with prosecutions of crimes committed outside of Germany and only in 1964 started a research also in Germany. Considering the fact that over the lifetime of the Federal Republic of Germany there had never been favorable political or social climate for the prosecutions of the Nazi war criminals, there were opinions that the headquarters in Ludwigsburg were set up for propaganda purposes and really meant "not so much chasing but rather shielding" the thousands of criminals still living around the world (Henry Solga „Niemcy o Niemcach” ,"Germans about the Germans"). The impunity enjoyed by the Nazis and acquiescence of their "shielding" was to a large extent influenced by the position of the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Examples are many, hundreds, thousands, but perhaps the most glaring is the acquittal and the full rehabilitation of two criminals: Obergruppenfuhrer SS Erich von dem Bach and Gruppenfuhrer SS Heinz Reinefarth (despite the obvious evidence contained in Kriegstagebuch - von dem Bach daily war diary),
as well as the acquittal of three doctors: Akwilin Ullrich, Hans Heinrich Bunke and Hans Endruweit accused of carrying out euthanasia on patients with mental illnesses - all three of them were highly valued doctors in Germany many years after the war.
In the processes carried out by the Office in Ludwigsburg witnesses were mostly fellow defendants - including criminals. During one of the hearings von dem Bach said: "I was to the end a Hitler's man. And I'm still convinced of his innocence". Heinz Reinefarth so-called "Warsaw executioner" was responsible for the death of 50 000 civilian inhabitants of Warsaw who were murdered in three days. In one of the reports to the headquarters Reinefarth reported that he lacks the ammunition for further executions.
"Every inhabitant should be killed, do not take any prisoners. Warsaw is to be razed to the ground, and thus is to create a terrifying example for the whole of Europe" - the command issued on 1 August 1944by Reinefarth's chief Heinrich Himmler.

Wola Massacre

Wola Massacre

In 1954 Heinz Reinefarth was elected a Mayor of Westerland on behalf of the All-German Bloc / League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights Party. In 1958 he was elected to theSchleswig-Holstein state parliament and after leaving office in 1967, he started working as a lawyer. Despite numerous calls by the Polish authorities for the extradition of the criminal, the German authorities have consistently refused and even awarded Reinefarth with a general's pension.
► Italian publishing house Giulio Einaudi Editore published harrowing memories of death camp Auschwitz III - Monowitz prisoner, the Italian writer and a chemist of Jewish origin Primo Levi.
The book called "Se questo è un uomo" - "Is this a man"  was considered a literary masterpiece and included in the classics of literature about the Holocaust. Since then the book has been issued and continually reprinted all over the world. Memories are a stark reminder of hell on earth. This book is about human dignity, humiliation and genocide. Primo Levi wrote his memoirs immediately after the liberation of the camp but back then no one believed him. Levi himself repeatedly mentioned his nightmare: "I dreamed that I'd returned, come home to my family, told them about it, and nobody listened."
Another of Levi's merits - this time as a chemist - was to determine a composition of Zyklon B used in the gas chambers to kill prisoners. Production of this substance was kept top secret by the Germans. The writer and scholar died in 1987. The International Research Centre to promote Primo Levi's life and work was opened in his hometown of Turin.