Located in the township of Andernach, close to Koblenz, was a so-called transit institute run by the National Socialists as part of the »Action T4«. Mentally ill and mentally disabled patients were collected here from 1941 on and brought to the Hadamar »T4« centre. The Andernach Mirror Container, set up in 1996, commemorates the victims of »euthanasia«.
Under National Socialism, the term »euthanasia« signified the killing of people with mental and physical disabilities. The murders of patients of mental hospitals were planned and carried out by the »T4« organisation which was directly subordinated to Adolf Hitler. According to a circular decree issued by the Ministry of Interior on August 30, 1940, all patients designated for »euthanasia« were to be concentrated at various sites in the German Reich. So-called transit institutes were set up for this purpose. The Andernach provincial mental hospital was to be such an institution for the region of what was then the Rhine province. Collective transports of mentally and physically disabled patients were to leave from here to the Hadamar »T4« centre. In order to make room for incoming patients, a commission of doctors conducted a selection among the patients at Andernach in March 1941. As a result, 416 were taken to the Hadamar »T4« centre in five groups and asphyxiated there in a gas chamber disguised as a shower room. Between May and July 1941, about 520 patients from other hospitals were brought to Hadamar. Even after the »Action T4« had officially been terminated, doctors and personnel at the Andernach hospital continued the killings. The patients were murdered by poison injections, food deprivation and drug overdoses. From 1943 on, so-called east bound transfers departed from Andernach. By 1944, in a total of 18 transports, about 600 patients were deported to mental hospitals further east. The destinations included: Tworki near Warsaw, Lüben in Silesia and Meseritz-Obrawalde. Due to the atrocious conditions and constant killings at those hospitals, almost none of those deported survived.
It is assumed that between 1941 and 1944 over 1,560 mentally and physically disabled patients were taken to the Hadamar »T4« centre via the Andernach transit hospital, and, from 1943 on, to hospitals further east to be killed there. Several of the patients were killed already in Andernach by doctors and personnel. Evidence shows that there were 58 Jews among the patients transferred to the Andernach transit hospital designated for »euthanasia«.
A project work group from the Andernach Bertha von Suttner High School initiated and designed the Andernach Mirror Container. Following animated discussions, the project could be implemented with the help of dedicated citizens. The memorial was inaugurated on May 27, 1996. It is located on the premises of the evangelical Church of Christ in the city centre. The shape of the memorial is modelled on the »T4« transport vehicles and gas chambers. The interior is lined with mirrors on which the names of known victims are engraved. Between the names are 400 dots which stand for victims whose identities remain unknown.
- Andernacher Spiegelcontainer
On the corner of Obere Wallstraße / Hochstraße
- Accessible at all times