From Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt.
Grafeneck Castle is a castle near Gomadingen, in the immediate vicinity of the main and country stud Marbach, about 25 kilometres southeast of Tübingen between Engstingen and Münsingen. In National Socialist Germany it was used as a grafeneck killing facility.
More than 10,000 people were killed in 1940.
At first there was a high medieval castle complex. The dukes of Württemberg built a hunting lodge around 1560.
Duke Carl Eugen of Württemberg used the estate as a summer residence and expanded it from 1762 to 1772 into a baroque castle with an opera house and numerous pleasure buildings. The opera house was later transferred to Ludwigsburg, the castle was abandoned.
In the 19th century, individual buildings were demolished and the castle was used by the Forestry Office. In 1928, the Samaritans Foundation bought the castle, set up a home for the disabled and established its own cemetery in 1930. Under the instructions of the Württemberg Ministry of the Interior, the institution was moved to the monastery of Reutte in Upper Swabia at the outbreak of the Second World War.
The first murders in the Third Reich as part of Action T4, the so-called euthanasia, began here on 18 January 1940, in a gas chamber disguised as a shower room, which was located in a “garage”. The hospital doctor let carbon monoxide flow in. The bodies were cremated in the crematorium. In December 1940, after the events in the institution had become public, the killing facility was closed at the instigation of Heinrich Himmler, and the murders of the sick were continued in the Hadamar killing facility. In Grafeneck, industrial assassination began and the method was then continued in the other institutions and in kincesities.
The house was later used to house children from the Children’s Land.
Today, Grafeneck Castle is an institution for the benefit of the disabled and social psychiatry. It houses the Grafeneck Memorial and, since October 2005, a Documentation Centre.
The garage was demolished in the 1960s.
Gomadingen is a town in the district of Reutlingen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. About 85% of its territory is located on the Swabian Alps. It’s the district where the Grafeneck Castle is situated. During the II World War, the castle was home of the Grafeneck Euthanasia Centre (German: NS-Tötungsanstalt Grafeneck), one of the main National Socialist Germany’s killing centres part of their Action T4 programme.
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Aktion T4 (German, pronounced [akˈtsi̯oːn teː fiːɐ]) was a postwar name for mass murder by involuntary euthanasia in Germany. The name T4 is an abbreviation of Tiergartenstraße 4, a street address of the Chancellery department set up in early 1940, in the Berlin borough of Tiergarten, which recruited and paid personnel associated with T4. Certain German physicians were authorised to select patients “deemed incurably sick, after most critical medical examination” and then administer to them a “mercy death” (Gnadentod). In October 1939, Adolf Hitler signed a “euthanasia note”, backdated to 1 September 1939, which authorised his physician Karl Brandt and Reichsleiter Philipp Bouhler to implement the programme.
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Other castles in Baden-Württemberg
More to come.