Aktion T4 and the Holocaust had another key feature in common – both were commenced in earnest at or right after the beginning of a major war. The Holocaust de-facto began days after the invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22nd, 1941 and Aktion T4 – a couple of weeks prior to the invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939 (which, contrary to a very popular misconception, started the war between two neighboring nations – the Second World War was started by Britain and France two days later).
Hence, the fundamental objectives of both mass murders were inevitably and obviously related to the corresponding wars. In the delusional minds of the Nazis Holocaust was all about winning the existential war with the “Judeo-Bolshevist” Soviet Union and thus about saving Germany and Europe from the “Judeo-Bolshevist” threat.
Hence, the Nazis sincerely believed that to win this war (which they incorrectly believed to be racial in nature), they had to physically exterminate all Jews in Europe (ideally – in the whole world).
Likewise, Aktion T4 was ultimately all about making a material contribution to winning the war with Poland (and subsequently with Britain, France and their Western allies).
Nazis were wrong on both counts. Although they did save Germany and Europe from being destroyed by the Bolsheviks and transformed into just other “Soviet republics” – components of a giant Soviet Union – the Holocaust hindered, not helped their war effort (by consuming and even destroying gargantuan amount of resources badly needed by the latter).
Aktion T4 made no material contribution to Nazi victories in Europe in 1939-41 (or saved them from ultimate defeat in 1945). Its victims were treated by psychiatrists that had neither training nor experience required to treat wounded soldiers (the same was obviously true for the nurses).
Beds and rooms made available to wounded soldiers did not make much of a difference either – in 1939-41 the number of the latter was relatively small hence both beds and facilities were plentiful and when casualties skyrocketed, so much more was needed than again there was not much difference produced by Aktion T4.
Euthanized children had no chance for procreation – and neither did the patients (inmates, actually) of mental hospitals and other institutions as they were going nowhere.
And although the absolute number of T4 victims (300,000) was huge – almost twice the Sobibor death toll – it made only 0.375% of the population of Greater Germany at that time. Hence the continued physical existence of these individuals was definitely not a burden on a German food supply.
As Nazi euthanasia program consumed not insignificant resources in money, personnel, time of country leadership, its “aggregate ROI” was well in the red (i.e. significantly below zero).
In addition, it solidified the highly negative perception of the Nazis by the British (i.e. all social groups in the UK society – top bottom). The Nazi regime was viewed as savage, barbaric, inhuman and murderous. Which automatically led to two fundamental decisions (1) making peace with this regime was out of the question; and (2) The Third Reich had to be done away with at all costs.
Even at the cost of entering into a military alliance with Joseph Stalin – another mass murderer. Although up until summer of 1941 the latter was far, far more murderous than Adolf Hitler, he was smart enough not to do something as stupid as Aktion T4.
Which means that the whole endeavor was a colossal blunder (cut and dry, plain and simple, loud and clear). As were other war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis.
The outcome (i.e. actual results) of Aktion T4 proves beyond the reasonable doubt that Hitler’s deep and sincere beliefs that (1) the radical solution is always the best one and (2) violence, brutal force and murder are always the best tools for achieving just about any political objective are wrong. Very literally dead wrong.
Which Adolf Hitler proved himself – by losing his war, his state, his civilization and ultimately his very life.
But before all of that happened, the Nazis committed several other mass murders. Which was made far, far psychologically easier by the experience they gained while executing Aktion T4.
First, the second kill was much easier than the first one and made the third one (the Holocaust) even easier – as they already physically exterminated a sizable social group (hence Aktion T4 can be rightfully classified as democide).
Second, the Nazis developed a whole system (a monstrous killing machine), which they subsequently adapted and expanded to perform the mass murder of Jews. Including (but not limited to) killing centers – “death factories” – and murder tools (death squads, poison gas, mobile and stationary gas chambers, etc.).
Consequently, Aktion T4 can be no less rightfully viewed as a major stepping stone to other horrendous Nazi war crimes and crimes against humanity and another “layer of snow” that ultimately facilitated the accumulation of a “critical mass” that set off the “Holocaust avalanche” and in a very literal sense buried about six millions Jews.