I loved my wife
(killing children is good for the economy)

by Dieter De Lathauwer

I loved my wife (killing children is good for the economy) is a chilling and respectful view on one of the darkest pages in the second world in Europe: the killing of sick children for the sake of saving money.

The killings, between 1939 and 1941, were framed as “mercy killing” and “euthanasia” and served as a precursor for the Holocaust. In a structured and organized way over 70.000 patients, both adults and children, were murdered in Austria, because they did not contribute to the society. It was a question of cost-benefit. In 1941 Hitler ordered the program to stop, but the murdering continued anyways.

I travelled to Austria photographing these care centres and psychiatric institutions and I combined these in situ photographs with stills from nazi propaganda movies on euthanasia, digital collages and some photographs of historical objects.

The project questions a social security only for those who work/contribute. It also plays with the manipulating power of images.

This project brings together several of my interests in photography: the exploration of places through social and historical blind spots (or is it vice-versa?), how people read photographs and live their surroundings and the photobook as object.

The book won the Unseen Dummy Award and was nominated by several as one of the best photobooks of 2017.

Currently Dieter De Lathauwer is working on several other projects.