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Reactions of the

Reactions of the Villagers HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE 98 Perhaps not surprisingly, the people of the village reacted in very different ways. Some sold milk, bread and other supplies to the perpetrators living and working in the killing facility. Others tried to look away and maybe pretended that the killings were not happening. Some tried committing acts of resistance. As mentioned previously, frequently bones fell of trucks on the way to being dumped in the Danube River. Some of the people who found them to constructed little pyramids next to the street. They wanted to show the perpetrators that they knew what was happening. The Schuhmann family lived directly next to the castle. Karl Schuhmann and his brother Ignaz secretly took two pictures of Hartheim when it functioned as a killing facility. Figure 4 shows the castle with the wooden garage where the buses arrived at the bottom of the tower. Directly next to the garage, houses within the village can be seen. Figure 5 shows the smoke billowing out of the crematorium. Until today, this is the only known picture that shows the smoke of the chimney. Karl Schuhmann and his brother took risks to document the crimes with photos. They and some others formed a small resistance group in the village. Sadly, they were betrayed and Iganz Schuhmann and Leopold Hilgarth were sentenced to death. Karl Schuhmann photograph of Hartheim. Credit: Dokumentationsstelle Hartheim des OÖLA Karl Schuhmann photograph of smoke from Hartheim. Credit: Dokumentationsstelle Hartheim des OÖLA

What Can We Learn From This History? The complexity of this topic and of the human experiences can be of tremendous interest to students. The biographies of such people can be used to demonstrate how individuals acted and reacted in the system they found themselves living within. That patients of care facilities were victims of the Nazis might also be as interesting as the fact that the T4 is closely connected to the Holocaust. It can also be interesting to talk about the reaction of the people from the surrounding area to the crimes that were happening in their village. We should not ask the question of what we would have done in the same situation; rather, we can ask the question of what we do now when we see injustice, or even crimes, occurring. Today, Hartheim is a place of learning and remembrance. There is an exhibition in the castle titled: “The Value of Life”. This exhibition shows how disabled people were treated in history and the situation today. The exhibition also raises questions about modern medicine and modern euthanasia. History can also be a point of reflection for students and learners. Educators might encourage reflection on where our modern society stands now with respect to the inclusion of disabled people. This can prompt students to determine if their school, their hometown, and their favourite cinema or restaurants are barrierfree, accessible and welcoming for people with disabilities. Such an activity might conclude with students using this reflection to consider these questions in the broader context of how society deals with people who are “different”. 99 HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE Links to memorial sites of the T4 and Euthanasia in English http://www.schloss-hartheim.at/index.php/en/ http://www.gedenkort-t4.eu/en http://gedenkstaettesteinhof.at/en/exibition/steinhof-vienna http://en.gedenkstaette-hadamar.de/webcom/show_article.php/_c-1081/_nr-1/_lkm-1072/i.html https://en.stsg.de/cms/node/789