BERLIN, October 2, 2003 ( – Recent research into the Nazi euthanasia programme has shown that as many as 200,000 institutionalized patients were killed beginning in 1939 before the instigation of the Jewish Holocaust. Germany’s Federal Archive released a report Tuesday revealing new evidence that doctors and other hospital staff used gas, drugs or starvation to kill the disabled patients as part of Hitler’s programme of racial purification. German Culture Minister Christina Weiss told reporters at a press conference that the purpose of cataloguing the names of those killed was to restore some dignity to the victims,””We know that these crimes were meant to be kept secret,” Ms. Weiss said. “The relatives of the victims received fake letters of condolence. The doctors in charge worked under false names.” Even in internal documents, the Nazis cynically referred to the deaths as mercy killings, said a researcher at the federal archive. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said that the report was “an extraordinarily important body of information.” The Jewish community has brought the horrors of the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazis into the public eye since the end of the war and their work has helped bring anti-semitism to the world’s attention. However, the fact that the Nazi extermination programme began with the elderly, the sick, the mentally ill, has been well documented for decades. Rabbi Cooper said that the killing of the disabled was a kind of training ground for the Nazi regime to “fine-tune” its “technology of death”. In his 1997 book, “Origins of Nazi Genocide”, Henry Friedlander documented the Nazi programme of euthanasia, called T4, that began with the collusion of the medical establishment and the courts, starting in the early thirties. Disabled rights activists are attempting to create the same level of awareness of the rising trend towards killing the disabled in our own time, in modern hospitals, using exactly the same Nazi-style rhetoric of “mercy killing” as justification. The language of “mercy” is used constantly by Michael Schiavo who has been trying for ten years to have his disabled wife Terri killed by starvation by the removal of a feeding tube, the only “life support” she needs. Alex Schadenberg, director of Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said that the dehumanizing of victims is the first step in the euthanasia process. “It is no surprise that Tracy Latimer’s symptoms were always described in terminology used for animals in pain. Robert Latimer was praised and defended as noble and compassionate for having gassed her.” Similarly eugenic abortions are spoken of as “curing diseases” and at times ‘merciful’ procedures. The link between the Nazi eugenics movement and the abortion movement is more than ideological. Planned Parenthood foundress Margaret Sanger shared her eugenic ideals with the Nazi’s in the early 1930s. Due to the negative press over her association with the Nazi’s Sanger changed the name of her organization from the Birth Control League to Planned Parenthood. See related information on the web: