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3Novices:Nazi child killers kept jobs at Vienna clinic after 1945: report

VIENNA // Almost all the staff at a notorious Vienna clinic where the Nazis killed hundreds of handicapped children kept their jobs after 1945 and subjected other inmates to abuse and neglect.

A report from Austrian authorities says between 600 and 700 children and youths were kept at "Pavilion 15" under a "comprehensive system of violence" between the end of World War Two and the early 1980s.

The report, based on interviews with former patients and staff, says an "inadequate employment and ideological break with the Nazi period contributed to these inhumane conditions".

Staff, most of whom were inadequately qualified, made "heavy" use of drugs to sedate the children and put them in caged beds and straightjackets.

At least 70 children died at the now closed facility - around 80 per cent of them from lung infections brought on by the harsh treatment and undernourishment, the report says.

"Conditions like this for the treatment of handicapped people ... were a long away from professional standards of practice at the time," says Hemma Mayrhofer, one of the report's authors.

The site in the Austrian capital was part of the Am Spiegelgrund clinic where the Nazis murdered almost 800 children, subjecting them to pseudo-scientific experiments or gassing them.

Their remains were used for years after the war for scientific purposes.

Shockingly, the new report says that after the war, the brains of children who died there were given to Heinrich Gross, a senior Nazi doctor who conducted some of those deadly experiments.

The now deceased Gross, who went on trial but was never convicted and enjoyed a flourishing career after the war, was therefore able to continue research he had begun before 1945, the report says.

* Agence France-Presse



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