The T4 Program

The purpose of this lesson is to develop student understanding of Operation T4 (aka the "Euthanasia & Forced Sterilization Programme"), which is recognized by many as the first official step towards the Final Solution.  This lesson is incorporates material from Dr. Margaret "Gigi" Lincoln's "Museum Fellowship Teaching Resources" site, a treasure-trove of materials about teaching the Holocaust.  It also includes material from USHMM and Mr. George Norris, a Staunton historian and expert on forced sterilization and eugenics.  Materials listed are only those materials I am sharing below, not all of the nuts and bolts (computer, projectors etc.) necessary to make the lesson work.


Core Lesson Concept:  In this lesson, students will begin with a discussion of the meaning of euthanasia and scenarios in which they would find euthanasia acceptable.  This exercise was adapted from a lesson by Judith Clark-Zaino of Milford High School (NH).  The discussion is enhanced by a pre-class activity designed around a resource on the disabled created by USHMM.  The discussion is followed by a lecture developed with USHMM resources and input from local Staunton historian, George Norris.  The activity closes with students examining a proposed piece of legislation composed by former local pyschiatrist, Dr. Joseph DeJarnette.


Additional Recommended Reading for Teachers: