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Herta Böttcher (née Mein) * 1899
Weidestraße 120 (Hamburg-Nord, Barmbek-Süd)
Herta Böttcher, née Mein, born on 17.1.1899 in Hamburg, admitted on 3.3.1936 to the Langenhorn State Hospital, "transferred" to the Meseritz-Obrawalde Sanatorium and Nursing Home (Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Meseritz-Obrawalde) on 2.11.1943, where she died on 8.11.1943.
Weidestraße 120, Barmbek-Süd
Herta Dora Sophie Böttcher, née Mein, was born on 17 Jan. 1899 in her parents’ apartment. Nicolaus Mein, a carpenter, and his wife Maria Catharina Anna Mein, née Hagen, lived at Wrangelstraße 72 in the Hoheluft-West district of Hamburg. The couple professed the protestant faith. They had married on 24 Nov. 1888 in Wandsbek, the previous center of Maria Hagen's life.
Herta was the youngest of seven siblings. The first was Arthur Paul Ludwig, born on 1 Dec. 1889, at Wrangelstraße 72. He was followed by Emil Hermann on 5 Feb. 1891, who lived only four months and died on 12 June 1891, at Margarethenstraße 38 in Eimsbüttel. Georg Adolf Christian was born there as the third child on 12 Aug. 1892. He later participated as a soldier in World War I and was killed shortly after its beginning on 16 Sept. 1914 at Tiolet near Clermont-Ferrand. Annita Marie Frieda was born on 28 May 1894, at Humboldtstraße 106 in Barmbek-Süd. She was followed by Carl Heinrich Ernst, born on 18 Jan. 1896 at Geibelstraße 24 in Winterhude, Erna Maria Emilie, born on 17 June 1897, died on 14 Dec. 1920, and Herta Dora Sophie, born on 17 Jan. 1899. The three youngest children were born at Wrangelstraße 72 in Hoheluft-West.
We do not know anything about Herta Mein's childhood and youth.
She married the stoker Ernst Ludwig Böttcher on 23 Feb. 1924. We also do not know when Herta Böttcher showed symptoms of a mental illness. On 27 Dec. 1935, she was admitted to the Friedrichsberg State Hospital with the diagnosis "states of agitation". On 3 March 1936 she was transferred to the Langenhorn State Hospital. According to a note in her Langenhorn patient file, Herta Böttcher had already been forcibly sterilized in August 1935 at the Finkenau Women's Clinic in Hamburg-Uhlenhorst.
In the few notes kept by the institution in Langenhorn, Herta Böttcher was described as a "rather distracted sick person who gives no answers to questions." For example, she suddenly jumped out of bed because she felt she had to leave and ran around aimlessly searching. Then she spoke to herself in an incomprehensible and incoherent manner.
On 20 March 1941 Herta Böttcher was transferred to the Sanatorium and Nursing Home in Lüneburg. There, the only report recorded: "Quite cranky, maniacal and very reluctant. Largely disjointed."
On 3 Sept. 1943, Herta Böttcher was brought back to Langenhorn and from there, on 2 Nov., she and 49 other women were transported to the Sanatorium and Nursing Home Meseritz-Obrawalde in what was then the province of Brandenburg (now Poland). Herta Böttcher survived the transport for only six days. She died on 8 Nov. 1943.
The Meseritz-Obrawalde institution had become part of the decentralized "Euthanasia" in 1942. Immediately after the patients' arrival, the medical staff decided on the basis of their physical condition whether someone had to be put to death immediately or had to work first, e. g. in the gardening or sewing workshop. Those who were no longer able to work were given drugs that led to death.
It can be assumed that Herta Böttcher did not die a natural death either.
We do not know the fate of Herta Böttcher's siblings, with the exception of the one who died at an early age.
Translation: Elisabeth Wendland
Stand: March 2023
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: StaH 332-5 Standesämter 9052 Geburtsregister Nr. 2593/1889 (Arthur Paul Ludwig Mein), 9067 Geburtsregister Nr. 389/1891 (Emil Hermann Mein), 9081 Geburtsregister Nr. 1882/1892 (Georg Adolf Christian Mein), 6338 Geburtsregister Nr. 1458/1894 (Annita Marie Frieda Mein), 9119 Geburtsregister Nr. 138/1896 (Carl Hinrich Erst Mein), 9132 Geburtsregister Nr. 1231/1897 (Erna Maria Emilie Mein), 13086 Geburtsregister Nr. 138/1899 (Herta Dora Sophie Mein), 4067 Heiratsregister Nr. 157/1888 (Nicolaus Mein / Maria Catharina Anna Hagen), 6633 Heiratsregister Nr. 48/1924 /Herta Mein/ Ernst Ludwig Böttcher), 10757 Sterberegister Nr. 726/1892 (Emil Hermann Mein), 8022 Sterberegister Nr. 456/1914 (Georg Adolf Christian Mein), 9786 Sterberegister Nr. 3030/1920 (Erna Maria Emilie Mein), 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn Abl. 1/1995 22917 (Herta Böttcher). Böhme Klaus, Lohalm Uwe (Hrsg.), Wege in den Tod, Hamburgs Anstalt Langehorn und die Euthanasie in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, Hamburg 1993, S. 27–42, 63, 71, 72, 103, 109, 116, 377–379, 387, 389, 402, 407, 420.