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Ernst Putzki


Ernst Putzki born March 15, 1902 in Mattmann

After serving in the military in 1919, Ernst led an itinerant lifestyle. He took odd jobs, often changed places of residence and worked in various cities in Pomerania, Rüga, and Berlin. As a result of the economic crisis of the late 1920s, Putzki lost his job and became unemployed. In addition, his health was failing: numerous problems with the spine often prevented him from moving independently and treatment did not bring the expected recovery.

As early as 1933, after Hitler came to power, the propaganda of the Nazi system took aim at vagrants, beggers, permanently unemployed, and also physically and mentally “handicapped” people, calling them “antisocial” and “a burden on a healthy national fabric.”

In the mid-1930s Putzki managed to return home after years of isolation and various therapies that negatively affected his mental condition. He openly criticized the system of power, which consequently led to his confinement under the guise of mental illness.

In November 1944, he was taken to Hadamar Psychiatric Hospital. Before 1941, the centre was officially used to murder people classified as mentally burdened in gas chambers  as part of the T4 Action. Later, until the end of WW2, it was the site of the gradual extermination of patients. Ernst Putzki officially died of pneumonia in January 1945. He became one of the 300,000 victims of Germany’s Nazi policy which ordered the killing of people classified as physically or mentally disabled.