Cemetery of the former sanatorium and nursing home Mainkofen Place of remembrance for the victims of psychiatry under National Socialism

Glastafeln erinnern an die Geschehnisse in Mainkofen © 2015 Peter Litvai

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Die zentrale Achse wird von 2 Lavendelbeeten flankiert © 2015 Peter Litvai

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Das Mahnmal © 2015 Peter Litvai

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Eine Solitärkiefer vor der Aussegnungshalle symbolisiert das ewige Leben © 2015 Peter Litvai

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Die Toranlage wurde behutsam saniert © 2015 Tobias Nowak

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Klare Grundstrukturen © 2016 Klaus Leidorf

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Glastafeln erinnern an die Geschehnisse in Mainkofen © 2015 Peter Litvai

Die zentrale Achse wird von 2 Lavendelbeeten flankiert © 2015 Peter Litvai

Das Mahnmal © 2015 Peter Litvai

Eine Solitärkiefer vor der Aussegnungshalle symbolisiert das ewige Leben © 2015 Peter Litvai

Die Toranlage wurde behutsam saniert © 2015 Tobias Nowak

Klare Grundstrukturen © 2016 Klaus Leidorf

The original basic structure of the cemetery was made visible again by the surface design: main paths were designed as gravel paths, side paths with gravel lawn. The existing vegetation on the grave fields was completely removed and the grave fields themselves were laid out as meadow strips with daffodils in spring and daisies in summer. The block of four winter lime trees at the southern entrance was completed again.

In addition to the usual factors that generally influence the selection of plants, such as location (soil, microclimate), frost hardiness, growth size, fruiting, flowering and autumn aspects, etc., the symbolic aspects were of particular importance in the selection of the defining plants:

Two groups of six Japanese ornamental cherries form an elegant frame for the memorial at the west end of the cemetery. The planning goal was to form a small grove flanking the memorial. The (Japanese) ornamental cherry stands not only in the Far East exemplary for the life course of man and its various stages, for becoming and passing, for transience and new beginnings.

The lawn pedestal in front of the side wing of the mortuary is surrounded by a seating edge. A single black pine tree provides a design accent here. Evergreen plants stand in various cultures worldwide as well as in Christian symbolism for (eternal) life or for the hope of a new beginning. The solitary pine is intended to convey this hope during the half of the year when the other plants no longer bear foliage.

The planting areas along the central axis were laid out as low-maintenance lavender fields with scattered white ground cover roses. The number of roses increases towards the memorial.

The names of all the Mainkofen victims - as far as they are known - are written with dates of life on two transparent glass panels on either side of a cross shape formed by recess in a large granite stone. In the entrance area 5 glass plates describe the killing measures in Mainkofen:

Today's Mainkofen District Hospital was opened in 1911 as a sanatorium and nursing home. It was an outstanding example of reform psychiatry at that time. The facility experienced its darkest chapter during the Third Reich. Hundreds of patients were forcibly sterilized or fell victim to meticulously planned killing measures.

The politically intended destruction of "life unworthy of life" escalated with the beginning of the war in 1939. The Nazi state declared the residents of the institution and the home to be hereditarily and socially inferior. They were thus released for state-ordered mass murder. The gassing of the mentally ill, which was carried out according to plan, was called the T 4 Action - named after the headquarters of the organization at Tiergartenstraße 4 in Berlin. The sanatoriums and nursing homes had to report their patients to Berlin. There, experts marked the registration forms with " " or "-" to decide whether the patient was to be deported to one of the six gas killing facilities set up throughout the Reich. One of the killing facilities was Hartheim Castle near Linz. Between January 1940 and August 1941, over 600 patients from the Mainkofen sanatorium were transported there in five transports from the Pankofen railway station. At their destination, the victims met their death in the gas chamber.

The extermination transports could not be concealed in the long run and aroused protest. The "secret Reich thing T 4" was stopped on 24.08.1941. In the second phase of the euthanasia, decentralized killing was carried out in the asylums and homes by overdosing on medication, failure to treat illnesses, cold and hunger. For the patients who were not fit for work, the so-called "3b diet" came into effect with the "Bavarian Hunger Diet Decree" of 30 November 1942: from then on, they were fed a special diet without meat or fat until they died of malnutrition due to exhaustion within a few months. Several hundred such deaths occurred at Mainkofen. Pulmonary tuberculosis or intestinal catarrh was regularly entered in the medical records as the cause of death. This makes it difficult to determine the exact number of victims.

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Planning offices

raum + zeit
Landshut

Project period
2012 - 2014

Size
4.000 m2

Construction amount
170.000 EUR brutto

Client
Bezirk Niederbayern
84028 Landshut

Address
Mainkofener Straße
94469 Deggendorf
Deutschland