Bundesarchiv | Arolsen Archives

Ales Kleiss

Alex Kleiss is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Salzburg. He holds a Master’s degree in History from the University of Salzburg and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. Alex is a freelance historian and he works as an educator and project staff member at the memorial site of Hartheim Castle and the Mauthausen Memorial (Austria). His research interests focus on National Socialist “euthanasia”, Holocaust and genocide studies, and Holocaust education.

In his doctoral project he researches the history of Jewish psychiatric patients during National Socialism in Austria (1938-1945). The focus of the project is the question of how the National Socialist exclusion and extermination policy manifested itself in the handling of Jewish psychiatric patients, and how their stories can be classified in terms of the genesis of the Shoah. Therefore, the persecution details are described at length and analysed on the basis of genocide theory. Specifics of the victim group and the geographical area will be presented, and continuities with regard to the Shoah will be outlined. A range of different sources will merge into a collective biography of a hitherto neglected heterogeneous group, which was, in a number of ways, excluded, persecuted and murdered.