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Erna Anders * 1923
Im Tale 4 (Hamburg-Nord, Eppendorf)
Erna Magdalena Anders, born 29.3.1923 in Hamburg, admitted to the former Alsterdorfer Anstalten (now Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf) on 20.8.1928, transferred several times, last on 25.11.1941 to the Landesheilanstalt Pfafferode in Mühlhausen (Thuringia), died there on 27.11.1941.
Im Tale 4 (Eppendorf)
Erna Magdalena Anders, born on March 29, 1923 in Hamburg, was the daughter of the quay worker Willy Otto Anders, born Aug. 26, 1884 in Hamburg, and his wife Margarethe Henriette Catharina, née Saupe, divorced Warlies, born on Aug. 15, 1884 in Altona.
A patient file that could provide information about Erna Anders' stay of almost eleven years in the Alsterdorf Institutions (now the Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf) no longer exists. The little that we do know is taken from an index card that was created for the Hamburg Health Passport Archive, which was set up from 1934 for the purpose of "hereditary-biological stocktaking" of the population. In addition, the following statements are based on the few details in the medical records of the Langenhorn Sanatorium and the Pfafferode State Sanatorium in Mühlhausen, Thuringia.
Erna Anders' mother's first marriage, on May 2, 1906, in Altona-Ottensen, to the laborer Otto Warlies, born on May 20, 1884, in Zedmar, Darkehmen County (East Prussia), produced three children, all of whom died in infancy. This marriage was divorced on July 1, 1912.
On September 15, 1915, Margarethe Warlies married the laborer Willy Otto Anders. With him, according to the entries in the hereditary health card, she had six children, including Erna as the second youngest. Two children were already deceased when the index card was created in about 1939. According to this index card, Erna Anders' mother was "ill with nerves," suffered from "constant headaches," and "did not know her children."
We do not know the fate of Erna Anders' other three siblings. Erna Anders was admitted to the Alsterdorf Institutions on August 20, 1928, with a diagnosis of "idiocy" ("idiocy" is an outdated term for a severe form of intelligence impairment). Erna is said to have torn her clothes and banged her head against doors.
On May 10, 1939, sixteen-year-old Erna Anders was transferred to the Langenhorn Sanatorium and Nursing Home, where her mental development was classified according to that of a two-year-old child. Five months later, on September 5, 1939, Erna Anders was transferred to the Lindenhof of the then "Ricklinger Anstalten" (Segeberg district), and on November 25, 1941, she was transferred to the Pfafferode state sanatorium.
Pfafferode is a district of Mühlhausen in Thuringia (formerly Prussian province of Saxony). An "insane asylum" was built on the grounds of the Pfafferode estate starting in 1910, and by 1929 it had 1,200 beds. From there, in 1940, patients were taken to the Altscherbitz intermediate facility and then on to the Brandenburg an der Havel killing facility, and later to the Bernburg killing facility, where they were murdered with carbon monoxide. After the official end of "Aktion T4" in August 1941 and thus of the murders of the sick in the killing institutions, murders continued in many psychiatric institutions as well as in Pfafferode: through overdoses of medication, neglect and systematic starvation. Of the patients brought to Pfafferode from other asylums, up to 94 percent died each year from 1941 to 1944. At the end of 1941, together with Erna Anders, another 171 women from Rickling had been deported to Pfafferode. Of these, only ten women lived to see the end of the war.
Erna Anders died only two days after her arrival in Pfafferode on November 27, 1941. Her father received the following answer to his anxious question about the cause of death of his daughter under December 9, 1941: "Your daughter [...] has died of general exhaustion. Gez. Eys."
Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: February 2022
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: Adressbuch Hamburg; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 6232 Geburtsregisterauszug 2323/1884 Margareta Henriette Katharina Saupe, 2082 Geburtsregisterauszug Nr. 4032/1887 Willy Otto Anders, 5794 Heiratsregisterauszug Nr. 170/1906 Otto Warlies/Margareta Henriette Katharina Saupe, 9559 Heiratsregisterauszug Nr. 362/1915 Willy Otto Anders/ Margareta Henriette Katharina Saupe gesch. Warlies; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalten Abl 1995/1 Nr. 25935 Anders Erna; Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf, Archiv, Aufnahmebuch 1928 S. 55, Erbgesundheitskarteikarte Erna Anders; Thüringisches Staatsarchiv Gotha, 2-82-0810 (Erna Anders). Harald Jenner, Michael Wunder, Hamburger Gedenkbuch Euthanasie – Die Toten 1939-1945, Hamburg 2017, S. 70. Steffen Kubrik, Die Anfänge der Psychiatrie in Mühlhausen-Pfafferode (1912-1958), Mühlhäuser Beiträge, Sonderheft 23, Mühlhausen 2012; Heinz Faulstich, Hungersterben in der Psychiatrie 1914-1949 Freiburg 1998, S. 518 ff. https://landesverein.de/geschichte (Zugriff am 25.3.2021).