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Wilhelmine Möller
Wilhelmine Möller
© Archiv Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf

Wilhelmine Möller (née Frentz) * 1866

Am Felde 26 (Altona, Ottensen)

JG. 1866
"VERLEGT" 16.8.1943
ERMORDET 29.9.1944

Wilhelmine Catharina Sophie Möller, née Frentz, born 7.3.1866 in Stralendorf/Mecklenburg, admitted to the former Alsterdorfer Anstalten (now Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf) on 1.6.1943, transferred to the Wagner von Jauregg-Heil- und Pflegeanstalt der Stadt Wien on 16.8.1943, died there on 29.9.1944.

Am Felde 26 (Altona)

Wilhelmine Catharina Sophie Möller, née Frentz, was born on March 7, 1866 in Stralendorf, West Mecklenburg, the daughter of the laborer Johann Frentz and his wife Elisabeth, widowed Ackermann, née Mensch. We know nothing about her childhood, youth, school years, or any education she may have had.

She worked as a maid as a young woman before marrying Heinrich Carl Christian Möller, a coachman born on September 29, 1869 in Baek in the Duchy of Lauenburg, on January 4, 1889. On January 26, 1892, Wilhelmine and Heinrich Möller had a daughter, Elsa Marie Helene. As Wilhelmine Möller stated when she was admitted to the Alsterdorfer Anstalten (today's Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf), she had a total of five children. However, no evidence of this could be found. At the time of Elsa's birth, the family lived at Am Felde No. 132 in Altona.

Elsa, Wilhelmine Möller's daughter, died of cancer in Hamburg's Elim Hospital on January 4, 1940, not yet 48 years old. Only three years later, on February 16, 1943, Wilhelmine Möller's husband also died at the age of 73. He had worked as a streetcar conductor before becoming a pensioner.

After the loss of her family, Wilhelmine Möller was left to fend for herself. She lived in Altona at Am Felde 26, now subletting from E. Maas, a streetcar conductor like her late husband. It is possible that the turmoil of war, the early death of her daughter and the death of her husband caused some confusion in the now 77-year-old woman.

On May 6, 1943, the physician of the Public Health Office, Walter Kühl, issued the following certificate: "Mrs. Wilhelmine Möller, née Frentz, born on March 7, 1866, residing at Felde 26 near Maas, suffers from arteriosclerosis of the brain and is thus at times insensible. She therefore urgently requires admission to an institution in order to prevent the threat of neglect." A short time later, on June 1, 1943, Wilhelmine Möller became a resident of the Alsterdorf Institutions. Arnold Lensch, pastor at the Christian Church in Ottensen, was declared her guardian on July 21, 1943.

During the heavy air raids on Hamburg at the end of July/beginning of August 1943 ("Operation Gomorrha"), the Alsterdorf institutions also suffered bomb damage. The management of the institution took the opportunity, after consultation with the health authorities, to transfer some of the residents who were considered to be "weak in labor, in need of care or particularly difficult" to other sanatoriums and nursing homes. On August 16, 1943, a transport with 228 women and girls from Alsterdorf and 72 girls and women from the Langenhorn Sanatorium and Nursing Home left for the "Wagner von Jauregg Sanatorium and Nursing Home of the City of Vienna" in Vienna" (also known as the institution "Am Steinhof"). In this transport was the 77 year old Wilhelmine Möller.

In Vienna, Wilhelmine Möller was described as "very decrepit" in mid-October 1943. In response to an inquiry by Pastor Arnold Lensch in December 1943, however, the institution stated that the patient continued to be healthy and that there was no cause for immediate concern despite her advanced age. It was hoped that the patient would be able to return home after the end of the war.

During 1944 Wilhelmine Möller fell ill with pneumonia, but recovered. In August she was described as completely disoriented and in need of care, so on August 25 she was transferred to the nursing section of the asylum.

The asylum in Vienna had been an intermediate facility for the Hartheim killing center near Linz during "Aktion-T4" (a cover name for the Nazis' "euthanasia" program, so named for the location of the Berlin euthanasia headquarters at Tiergartenstraße 4). After the official end of the gas killings in the killing centers, mass murder continued in the Vienna institution itself: through overdoses of medication and non-treatment of illness, but above all through food deprivation.

Of the 300 girls and women from Hamburg, 257 had died by the end of 1945, 196 of them from Alsterdorf.

Wilhelmine Möller died on September 29, 1944, reportedly of pneumonia.

Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: February 2022
© Ingo Wille

Quellen: Adressbücher Altona und Hamburg; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 6168 Geburtsregister Nr. 96/1892 Elsa Marie Helene Möller, 5907 Heiratsregister Nr. 5/1889 Heinrich Carl Christian Möller/Wilhelmine Catherina Sophie Frentz, 5110 Sterberegister Nr. 335/1943 Heinrich Carl Christian Möller, 8170 Sterberegister Nr. 11/1940 Elsa Marie Helene Möller; Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf, Archiv, Sonderakte V 148 (Wilhelmine Möller); Michael Wunder/Ingrid Genkel/Harald Jenner, Auf dieser schiefen Ebene gibt es kein Halten mehr. Die Alsterdorfer Anstalten im Nationalsozialismus, Stuttgart 2016, S. 331-371 (Transport nach Wien); Susanne Mende, Die Wiener Heil- und Pflegeanstalt "Am Steinhof" im Nationalsozialismus, Frankfurt/Main 2000.

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