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Auguste Devrient (née Sauthoff) * 1870

Friedhofstraße 11 (Harburg, Eißendorf)

JG. 1870
"VERLEGT" 21.7.1943
ERMORDET 24.7.1943

Auguste Devrient, née Sauthoff, born on 24 Apr. 1870 in Harburg, on 17 May 1943 admitted to the Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Langenhorn”), ‘transferred’ to the Hadamar state sanatorium (Landesheilanstalt) on 21 July 1943, murdered there on 24 July 1943.

Harburg District, Eissendorf, Friedhofstrasse 11

Auguste Devrient was born on 24 Apr. 1870 in Klein Heimfeld/District of Harburg. Nothing is known about her childhood, youth, and school attendance.

On 6 Dec. 1902, she married Friedrich Devrient, a laborer born on 27 Nov. 1876. The couple had two daughters: Frieda and Margarethe. The family lived at Friedhofstrasse 11.

Due to a serious illness, Auguste Devrient, by then widowed, was admitted to Harburg General Hospital on 4 Apr. 1943. After three weeks of treatment, a difficult operation was performed, which went without complications. After the operation and the extended anesthesia, however, as the medical record states, "severe states of confusion occurred on the base of senile dementia, which made it impossible [for the patient] to remain in a hospital ward.”

The patient was admitted to the Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” on 17 May 1943.

Daughter Frieda took care of her mother’s affairs after her admission to Langenhorn: the ration cards had to be returned and the assumption of costs amounting to 5 RM (reichsmark) per day had to be arranged. The AOK (local health insurance company) Section Harburg refused to pay for the accommodation on the grounds that "it was not an illness in the sense of the R.V.O. [Reich Insurance Code].” However, it was then determined that "for the member, the pensioner Auguste Devrient, there was entitlement until 3 Oct. [19]43.”

However, as early as 21 July 1943, the patient was ‘discharged’ to Hadamar. Hadamar was a "euthanasia” killing center. People were murdered in Hadamar by gas, overdoses of medication, and through malnutrition.

Three days later, on 24 July 1943, Auguste Devrient’s medical records at the Hadamar "state sanatorium” contain the following note, "Permanently bedridden. In recent days, rapid deterioration + cardiac insufficiency, did not recover, today exitus ...”

The daughter was not informed about the death of her mother. In a letter dated 6 Aug. 1943, she inquired about her mother’s condition and asked whether a visit was possible. The Hadamar "state sanatorium” replied, "We immediately notified you by telegraph of the death, but apparently the telegram was not delivered to you, presumably due to the terror raid [meaning the Allied air raid] on Hamburg.”

Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: May 2021
© Margrit und Helmut Rüth

Quellen: Adressbuch Harburg-Wilhelmsburg 1930, 1932; StaH 352-8/7 Abl. 1/1995 Nr. 31605; Hamburger Gedenkbuch Euthanasie. Die Toten 1939-1945, Berlin/Hamburg 2017, S. 151.

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