Hadamar Psychiatric Institute

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Hadamar Psychiatric Institute

Main Building
Established 1883
Opened 1885
Current Status Active
Location Wiesbaden


Hadamar (near Koblenz), a Korrigenden-Anstalt (Correctional Institution for Released Prisoners) was founded in 1883. At the beginning of the 20th century the number of mentally disturbed persons in Germany increased, and more mental homes were needed. Therefore in 1906 the Korrigenden-Anstalt in Hadamar was instituted as a mental home.

By 1930 this mental home accommodated 320 patients. As defined by the Nazi laws, the nursing costs were reduced from 1934 onward. By 1936 the mental homes had become overcrowded and conditions worsened because of poorer quality and reduced food rations. The buildings were constructed to accomodate only 250 persons, but by 1940 about 600 inmates were crowded in cramped quarters.

During late August 1939 patients were distributed to surrounding mental homes because Hadamar was now needed to serve as a military hospital. From November 1940 until January 1941 sickrooms were converted into quarters for personnel and administration staff of the new Hadamar euthanasia killing centre of T4. A gas chamber and crematorium with two ovens were installed in the cellar. At least 10,000 mentally ill adults were gassed and cremated at Hadamar in the first 9 months of 1941. In August 1942, after a short break, the facility again functioned as a euthanasia center, using lethal medication doses or starvation. After removal of various organs for medical research, the bodies were buried in mass graves located on the hospital grounds. The killing center remained operational until its liberation by American troops on March 26, 1945.

As "euthanasia" crimes were transferred in early 1946 to newly reconstructed German courts, a German tribunal in Frankfurt in early 1947 tried 25 Hadamar personnel, including Dr. Wahlmann and Nurse Huber for the deaths of some 15,000 German patients killed at the facility.

In 1983 a memorial was installed at the hospital, which is still used as a psychiatric hospital.