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.
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.
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.
In doing so, he was able to draw upon scientific argument that transferred the Darwinian theory of natural selection to human beings and, through the concept of racial hygiene, formulated the "Utopia" of "human selection" as propounded by Alfred Ploetz, the founder of German racial hygiene.
As early as 1895, he demanded that human offspring should not: " be left to the chance encounter of a drunken moment.According to French journalist, Philippe Aziz, in an interview, this child was supposed to have been traced in 1973 to a "Kressler" family in Pomßen.However, Benzenhöfer came to the conclusion, after several days of investigation, that "Child K" was in fact Gerhard Herbert Kretschmar, born on the 20 February 1939 in Pomßen and who died on 25 July 1939.These requests were especially tragic, because under existing laws a doctor was not allowed to take such wishes into account.Because the department, as we were reminded again and again, was under Hitler's orders to deal on precisely with such cases that could not be resolved legally, Dr.About this request, in a statement before the investigating judge on 14 November 1960, Hefelmann said the following: "I worked on this request, as it was in my department.