Wednesday 20 May
In this Lunchtime Lecture, Michael Robertson will discuss the fieldwork that has been conducted in Poland regarding the mass killings of the sick and disabled, providing historical links between the crimes now known as the Krankenmorde and the Shoah.
While the history of the Nazi “Euthanasia” program indicates 200,000 Germans and Austrians living with illness and disability were murdered in Aktion T4 and the subsequent “Decentralised euthanasia” program, more than 100,000 people were murdered on the same pretext in Poland and other occupied territories throughout the war.
The first of this mass killings were perpetrated by SS Einsatzkommando detachments as early as September 1939. These killers would later develop killing methods using mobile gas chambers and would later perpetrate mass murders using the same method at Chelmno. During this period, experiments using static carbon monoxide gas chambers would provide the later method uses in the Reinhard Extermination camps Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka.
Michael Robertson is a consultant psychiatrist, associate professor of Mental Health Ethics at the University of Sydney and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Sydney Jewish Museum. With Dr Edwina Light (Visiting Fellow Sydney Jewish Museum) and Dr Astrid Ley (Brandenburg Memorials Foundation- Berlin), he recently co-authored The First Into the Dark and is a lead investigator on the research program “Psychiatry and the State” based at Sydney Health Ethics at the University of Sydney. Michael is currently involved in a program working with survivors of institutional sexual abuse following the recent Royal Commission. He is particularly focused on survivors from our First Nations community.
Unfortunately, due to measures put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19, we have had to cancel this event.