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Ernst Klee (born in 1942 in Frankfurt am Mainmarker) is a Germanmarker journalist and author. As a writer on Germany's history, he is best known for his exposure and documentation of the medical crimes of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, much of which is concerned with the Action T4 forced euthanasia program.

Life and Work

Klee was first trained as a sanitary and heating technician. Afterwards, he caught up on his university entrance requirements and then studied theology and social education.

In the 1970s as a journalist, he looked at socially excluded groups, such as the homeless, psychiatric patients and disabled persons. During this time, he collaborated with Gusti Steiner, who laid the foundation for the federal German emancipatory movement of the disabled at that time.

In 1997, he received the Geschwister-Scholl-Preis for his book, Auschwitz, die NS-Medizin und ihre Opfer (Auschwitz, Nazi Medicine and Its Victims). The city of Frankfurt am Mainmarker honored Klee with the Goetheplakette (Goethe's Medal) in 2001 for his book, Deutsche Medizin im Dritten Reich. Karrieren vor und nach 1945 (German Medicine in the Third Reich. Careers before and after 1945). The explanation states that Klee's works "are suitable to support civil freedom, moral and intellectual courage, and to give important impetus to current awareness." Klee's commitment to the importance of disabled people was also the decisive factor in the former Westfälische Schule für Körperbehinderte (Westphalian School for the Physically Disabled) in Mettingenmarker being renamed in his honor to the Ernst-Klee-Schule in 2005.

Klee writes for the weekly newspaper, Die Zeit. Between 1974 and 1995, 27 articles by him appeared there. Other examples are the criticism of the glossing over of Nazi careers in the Deutsche Biographische Enzyklopädie (German Biographical Encyclopedia, DBE) or his description of the relationship of German artists to the Nazi extermination camps in German occupied Poland. Contemporary author Karl-Heinz Janßen wrote about Ernst Klee on February 27, 1987: "Contemporary historical research ignores this subject [of medical crimes during the Nazi period]; [...] if it were not for the free-lance journalist, Ernst Klee, who went to the effort of reading thousands of case files and rummaging through archives of institutions, almost nothing would be known today about one of the most horrible atrocities of this century."

Bibliography

Translations:

  • Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen and Volke Riess (editors), "Those Were the Days": The Holocaust Through the Eyes of the Perpetrators and Bystanders, London, Hamish Hamilton, 1991; published in the USA under the title "The Good Old Days": The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders, Old Saybrook, CT, Konecky and Konecky, 1991 ISBN 1568521332 (original German edition S. Fischer, 1988).


Selected works in German:

  • Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945 (The Cultural Excyclopedia of the Third Reich. Who was What before and after 1945). Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2007, 720 pages, hardcover, ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5 (with over 4,000 entries), reviews by Esteban Engel in Frankfurter Neue Presse and by Fritz J. Raddatz in DIE ZEIT, March 1, 2007 No. 10, p. 54: Alphabet der Schändlichkeit (Alphabet of Shamefulness).
  • Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945? (The Encyclopedia of Persons of the Third Reich. Who was What before and after 1945?) Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2003; 2nd edition. 2005, 732 pages, ISBN 3-596-16048-0. 4,300 short biographies. ( Review, Die Zeit, October 23, 2003)
  • Deutsche Medizin im Dritten Reich: Karrieren vor und nach 1945 (German Medicine in the Third Reich: Careers before and after 1945). Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2001. ISBN 3-10-039310-4 Review, Die Zeit, No. 44, 2001)
  • Auschwitz, die NS-Medizin und ihre Opfer (Auschwitz, Nazi Medicine and Its Victims). Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 1997. Taschenbuch 2001
  • Eine feine Gesellschaft: soziale Wirklichkeit Deutschland (A Fine Society: Social Reality Germany). Düsseldorf: Patmos-Verlag, 1995
  • "Euthanasie" im Nationalsozialismus ("Euthenasia" in National Socialism) / [Booklet editors: Michael Gehler; Heidemarie Uhl]. Vienna: J and V, Ed. Vienna, Dachs-Verlag, 1994
  • Persilscheine und falsche Pässe: wie die Kirchen den Nazis halfen (Whitewash Certificates and False Passports: How the Churches Helped the Nazis). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1991
  • "Durch Zyankali erlöst": Sterbehilfe und Euthanasie heute ("Saved by Potassium Cyanide": Euthaniasia Today). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1990
  • "Die SA Jesu Christi": die Kirchen im Banne Hitlers ("The Storm Troupers of Jesus Christ": The Churches under the Spell of Hitler). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1989
  • "Gott mit uns": der deutsche Vernichtungskrieg im Osten 1939–1945 ("God with Us": The German War of Extermination in the East 1939-1945) / Ernst Klee; Willi Dressen. In collaboration with Volker Riess. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 1989
  • "Schöne Zeiten": Judenmord aus der Sicht der Täter und Gaffer ("Good Times": Murder of the Jews from the View of the Perpetrators and the Onlookers). Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 1988. 276 pages. ISBN 3-10-039304-X
  • Querschnittgelähmt – kein Leben vor dem Tod? Hilfen für eine positive Antwort. Mit einer Anzeige von Claudio Kürten (Paraplegic - No Life before Death? Help for a Positive Answer. With information by Claudio Kürten). Publ. by Heinrich Kratzmeier. Heidelberg: Verlag für Medizin Fischer, 1987
  • Was sie taten – was sie wurden: Ärzte, Juristen und andere Beteiligte am Kranken- oder Judenmord (What They Did - What They Became: Doctors, Jurists and Other Participants in the Murder of the Ill or Jews). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 12th edition 2004, ISBN 3-596-24364-5
  • Dokumente zur "Euthanasie" (Documents on "Euthaniasia") / publ. by Ernst Klee. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1985, 4th edition. 1997. 342 pages. ISBN 3-596-24327-0
  • "Euthanasie" im NS-Staat: die "Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens" ("Euthanasia" in the Nazi State: The "Extermination of Life Not Worth Living"). Frankfurt am Main, S. Fischer. 1983; 11th edition 1985. ISBN 3-596-24326-2
  • Behindert: über die Enteignung von Körper und Bewusstsein; ein kritisches Handbuch (Disabled: About the Expropriation of Body and Consciousness; A Critical Handbook). Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 1980. Taschenbuch 1987
  • Behinderte im Urlaub? Das Frankfurter Urteil; eine Dokumentation (Disabled on Holiday? The Frankfurt Decision; A Record). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1980
  • Gottesmänner und ihre Frauen: Geschichten aus dem Pfarrhaus (Men of God and their Wives: Stories from the Parsonage). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1980
  • Pennbrüder und Stadtstreicher: Nichtsesshaften-Report (Tramps and Vagrants: Report on Persons of No Fixed Abode). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1979
  • Psychiatrie-Report (Psychiatry Report). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1978
  • Sozialprotokolle: wie wir leben, wie wir sterben; Lehrstücke zum Umgang mit Menschen (Social Records: How We Live, How We Die; Lessons on Dealings with People). Düsseldorf: Patmos-Verlag, 1978
  • Gefahrenzone Betrieb: Verschleiß und Erkrankung am Arbeitsplatz (Danger Zone Works: Wear and Tear and Illness in the Workplace). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1977
  • Der Schrotthaufen der Menschlichkeit: ein Lesebuch zur sozialen Wirklichkeit in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland; Reports und Reportagen (The Scrap Pile of Humanity: A Reader on Social Reality in the Federal Republic of Germany: Reports). Düsseldorf: Patmos-Verlag, 1976
  • Miteinander leben: Behinderte unter uns (Living With Each Other: Disabled Among Us) / Text: Ernst Klee. Publ.: Evang. Acad. Bad Boll. Bad Boll, Evang. Akademie, 1976
  • Behinderten-Report (Disabled Report). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1974
  • Behindertsein ist schön: Unterlagen zur Arbeit mit Behinderten (Being Disabled is Beautiful: Documents for Work with Disabled People). Düsseldorf: Patmos-Verlag, 1974
  • Der Zappler: der körperbehinderte Jürgen erobert seine Umwelt; ein grosses wagemutiges Abenteuer (The Fidgeter: The Physically Handicapped Jürgen Conquers His Environment; A Great, Daring Adventure). Illus. by Bettina Anrich-Wölfel. Düsseldorf: Schwann, 1974
  • Gastarbeiter-Reportagen (Foreign Worker Reports). Translation of the Greek texts by Homeros Anagnostidis. Stein, Nuremberg: Laetare-Verlag, 1973
  • Randgruppenpädagogik: Grundlagen zum Umgang mit Randgruppen, Aussenseitern und Gestörten (Fringe Group Education: Foundations for Dealing with Fringe Groups, Outsiders and Troubled Persons). Mainz, Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1973
  • Knast-Reportagen (Jail Reports). Stein (Nuremberg): Laetare-Verlag, 1973
  • Resozialisierung: ein Handbuch zur Arbeit mit Strafgefangenen und Entlassenen (Resocialization: A Handbook for Work with Prisoners and Those Released). Claudius-Verlag, Munich 1973
  • Die armen Irren: das Schicksal der seelisch Kranken (The Poor Lunatics: The Fate of the Mentally Ill). Patmos-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1972
  • Fips schafft sie alle (Little Fellow Causes It All). Illus. von Bettina Anrich-Wölfel. Schwann, Düsseldorf 1972
  • Gastarbeiter: Analysen und Berichte (Foreign Worker: Analyses and Reports) / publ. by Ernst Klee. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt (am Main) 1972
  • Die im Dunkeln: Sozialreportagen (Those in the Dark: Social Reports). Patmos-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1971
  • Die Nigger Europas: Zur Lage der Gastarbeiter. Eine Dokumentation (The Niggers of Europe: On the Situation of the Foreign Workers. A Report). Patmos-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1971
  • Prügelknaben der Gesellschaft: Häftlingsberichte (Whipping Boys of Society: Prisoner Reports). Patmos-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1971
  • Thema Knast (Subject Jail). Stelten, Bremen 1969
  • Wege und Holzwege: Evang. Dichtung des 20. Jahrhunderts (Paths and Wrong Tracks: Protestant Literature of the 20th Century). Bremen 1969


Documentary

  • Die Hölle von Ückermünde. Psychiatrie im Osten. (The Hell of Ückermünde. Psychiatry in the East.) Report, 43 min., Book and direction: Ernst Klee, Production: ARD, First broadcast: 1993
    This report was broadcast by ARD in 1993.

    In 43 minutes, the development of psychiatry in "the third year after the German reunification" was shown, by the examples of two institutions in the former East Germany.

    A touchstone for psychiatry as a whole and for aid for disabled persons even today.

    The film shows shocking treatment of disabled persons.

    The commentary uses the view of those affected.

    Fifty years after the euthanasia in Germany, this documentation reminds the viewer of it again.

    Within the setting of criticism of psychiatry, Klee's documentation occupies equal importance with the feature films, "Freaks", "Shock Corridor" and "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest".


References

  1. "50 Jahre Berichterstattung über NS-Verbrechen von Ärzten in SPIEGEL und ZEIT" ("50 Years of Reporting about Nazi Crimes of Doctors in SPIEGEL and ZEIT), Dissertation for Diplom, 1997
  2. "DBE: Von deutschem Ruhm" (DBE: Of German Fame), Die Zeit, September 25, 2003, No. 40
  3. "Heitere Stunden in Auschwitz" (Happy Hours in Auschwitz), in: Die Zeit, No. 5, January 25, 2007


Selected Awards



External links



The following links are in German


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