Arts

Massacre of the innocents Premium

18 May 2017 | by Mark Lawson

 

Massacre of the innocents

Bishop is hero of little-told, real-life horror story

Mark Lawson

All Our Children
Jermyn Street Theatre, London

Between the scenes of the world premiere of Stephen Unwin’s play All Our Children, Schubert’s Winterreise soars hauntingly. But although the drama is set in Germany and one of the characters has made a winter journey of the kind in the music’s title, there is another German song cycle that comes to mind when contemplating the horrifying subject-matter and emotional impact of this production: Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, or “Songs on the death of children”.

In 1939, the Hitler government introduced Aktion T4, a programme similar in rationale and execution to the Jewish Holocaust. It categorised children with a wide range of conditions – from congenital quadriplegia to what would now be called learning difficulties – as Lebensunwertes Leben (“lives unworthy of life”). Around 100,000 were taken to what their parents believed to be paediatric clinics across Germany, then driven in buses with blacked-out windows to be either lethally injected or, later, gassed.





Register for free articles a month or subscribe now from £53* for 6 months unlimited access to article content.
Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Subscribe


Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

'I won’t forget what you said' President Trump tells Pope Francis at end of historic meeting in the Vatican24 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis names Archbishop Angelo De Donatis as vicar for the Diocese of Rome26 May 2017 by Catholic News Service

'I won’t forget what you said' President Trump tells Pope Francis at end of historic meeting in the Vatican24 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Anglican orders not 'invalid' says Cardinal, opening way for revision of current Catholic position 09 May 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis names Archbishop Angelo De Donatis as vicar for the Diocese of Rome26 May 2017 by Catholic News Service

How cruel Christianity can be to its own most faithful servantsPremium24 May 2017 by Clifford Longley

The people’s cardinal: El Salvador's first cardinal embodies the Church of the Poor Premium24 May 2017 by Clare Dixon

Escape from a prison state: Cruelty, violence, intimidation and religious persecution are the norm in EritreaPremium18 May 2017 by John Pontifex

How cruel Christianity can be to its own most faithful servantsPremium24 May 2017 by Clifford Longley

The people’s cardinal: El Salvador's first cardinal embodies the Church of the Poor Premium24 May 2017 by Clare Dixon

Escape from a prison state: Cruelty, violence, intimidation and religious persecution are the norm in EritreaPremium18 May 2017 by John Pontifex

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top