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When looking for Schlimmstes in DWDS, one finds all varieties of associated articles:

die Schlimmstes verhinderten und der Vernunft da und dort Vortritt verschafften.

von dem Schlimmstes gefürchtet werden muss.

der Schlimmstes verhindern soll:

Can someone explain to me what is going on here? What logic applies to result in the choice of articles for Schlimmstes?

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In none of the examples you quoted does "Schlimmstes" have an article ;) The words you marked are relative pronouns.

Let's look at simplified versions of the example sentences:

Es waren die USA, die Schlimmstes verhinderten.
It has been the US, who prevented the worst.

Das ist das "Kreuz des Kindes", von dem Schlimmstes gefürchtet werden muss.
This is the "cross of the child", from whom the worst is to be feared.

Amtsleiter Pieper soll Schlimmstes verhindern.
Head official Pieper is supposed to prevent the worst.

In all three examples it would probably be more natural to use "das Schlimmste" instead of "Schlimmstes" as a noun without an article. But the way it's phrased in the examples is completely correct.

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