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The all too common name, "Knauer Case", should not be used according to the findings of medical historian, Udo Benzenhöfer, in 2006.In this particular case, the parents submitted a request that their severely disabled child be granted a "mercy killing", the application being received at an unverifiable time before the middle of 1939 at the Office of the Führer (KDF), also known as Hitler's Chancellery.The head of Main Office II and thus Hefelmann's superior was the Oberdienstleiter, Viktor Brack, one of the leading organizers of Nazi euthanasia.
As a simple act of mercy was being requested, I did not deem the involvement of the Reich Interior Minister and the Minister of Justice necessary.
Because, as far as I know, Hitler had not made a decision with regards to such requests, it also seemed impractical to me, to involve other authorities." "As early as about half a year before the outbreak of the war, there were more and more requests from incurably sick or very seriously injured people who asked for relief from their suffering, which was unbearable to them.
According to Catel's own statement, he held that the release of the child by an early death was the best solution for everyone involved.
But because actively assisting death was still punishable under the Third Reich, Catel advised the parents to submit an appropriate request to Hitler via his private chancellery.
This office was an agency of the Nazi Party and a private chancellery placed under the direct authority of Hitler which employed about 195 staff in 1939.