Bus to Nowhere

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among this year’s crop of new memorials remembering victims of the Nazi regime is the Grey Bus near Potsdamer Platz. Since January 18th the ominous grey concrete bus has been stationed on Tiergartenstrasse near the one time offices of the Third Reich’s General Foundation for Welfare and Institutional Care. It was in these offices (long destroyed and now replaced by the Berlin Philharmonic) that the Nazi euthanasia program was planned and put into motion. “Aktion T4” – named after the building’s address of Tiergartenstrasse 4 – eventually killed over 200,000 adults and children deemed to be “unfit”. While the method of killing varied (some institutionalized children being simply starved to death) the most emblematic was the Grey Bus, in which the engine’s exhaust was redirected into the passenger cabin, causing death by carbon monoxide poisoning. The inscription inside the monument reflects the question of one of the Aktion T4’s victims –
“Wohin bringt ihr uns – Where are you taking us?”

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