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Sunday, 28 April, 2002, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Funeral for Nazi 'euthanasia' victims
Urns of Nazi child victims
Urns containing the victims' remains were buried
A funeral has been held for child victims of a Nazi euthanasia clinic at the central cemetery in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The Austrian President, Thomas Klestil, attended the ceremony for nearly 800 children who were murdered at the city's Am Spiegelgrund clinic under the Third Reich.

Photos of Nazi child victims on display before burial
The children were deemed "unworthy of life"

Addressing survivors of the clinic and victims' relatives, he said Austrians "must not look back with arrogance as if the past were already over and done with - much remains to be done".

For years glass jars containing the brains and other body parts of children murdered under the Nazi euthanasia programme were kept at the clinic.

These have now been given a final resting place.

Hundreds of urns containing the remains of the children were recently buried in a private ceremony.

The last two were buried on Sunday.

Justice

The children, who had been deemed by the Nazis as inferior and unworthy of life, were killed through medical experiments, exposure to the cold and starvation.

Some were mentally or physically handicapped, others had been classified as racially unfit or simply as difficult.

The victims' names were read out repeatedly as mourners walked to the memorial service along a leafy avenue lined with the portraits of the murdered children.

An attempt was made two years ago to bring one of the doctors at the clinic, Heinrich Gross, to trial. But the court proceedings were suspended indefinitely after the court heard he was suffering from dementia.

Relatives of the victims say they hope Sunday's funeral will raise awareness in Austria of the crimes committed during the Nazi era.

See also:

21 Apr 02 | Europe
Nazi 'euthanasia' children buried
21 Mar 00 | Europe
Gross symbolises Austria's past
14 Jun 00 | Correspondent
Austria confronts Nazi past
07 May 99 | Europe
Gruesome legacy of Dr Gross
08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Austria
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