Austria Pays Homage to Children Victims of Nazi Experiments

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VIENNA, Austria, May 3, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Austria held a solemn funeral for children of the city´s Am Spiegelgrund pediatric hospital who were victims of Nazi experiments, Vatican Radio reported.



As part of the ceremony Sunday, coffins with the mortal remains of two children were buried, in representation of the 789 victims of the hospital who were sacrificed because of their physical or mental handicap.

During the Third Reich, Nazi doctors carried out deadly experiments with young handicapped patients. Until a few months ago, the remains of 579 children -- brains, medullas, bones -- continued to be used for medical and neurological research for Austrian scientific publications.

Pressure from relatives of the victims and survivors finally succeeded in giving the victims a proper burial.

During the funeral, the children´s urns were taken to a monumental tomb, with the inscription "Never Forget Them."

Hundreds of people took part in the ceremony, some carrying photographs of the victims.

Official estimates say 25,000 people died in Austria between 1940 and 1945 under the Nazi program of "purification of the Aryan race" that focused mostly on children with physical and psychic difficulties.