National Socialist crimes in Pirna
About 15,000 people were murdered in the National Socialist killing centre Pirna-Sonnenstein during 1940 and 1941. Most of the victims were mentally ill or retarded persons, although they also included prisoners from concentration camp during the final phase.
Due in no small part to the number of victims it claimed, this extermination centre is one of the worst scenes of National Socialist crimes in Saxony. The Sonnenstein killing centre was also instrumental in developing the personnel, organisation and technology later employed in the Holocaust.
'Action T4' was the code name for an extermination programme supervised by offices of the NSDAP and Reich Interior Ministry and coordinated by a special central office headquartered at Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin. Within the scope of this programme six killing centres were set up in Germany in 1940 and 1941. Over 70,000 mentally ill, retarded and physically handicapped persons from psychiatric institutions, nursing homes and hospitals were gassed at these sites.