Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

Hermann Beekhuis * 1941

Marckmannstraße 135 (ehemalige Kinderklinik) (Hamburg-Mitte, Rothenburgsort)

GEB. 18.3.1941
ERMORDET 4.9.1941

further stumbling stones in Marckmannstraße 135 (ehemalige Kinderklinik):
Andreas Ahlemann, Rita Ahrens, Ursula Bade, Ute Conrad, Helga Deede, Jürgen Dobbert, Anneliese Drost, Siegfried Findelkind, Rolf Förster, Volker Grimm, Antje Hinrichs, Lisa Huesmann, Gundula Johns, Peter Löding, Angela Lucassen, Elfriede Maaker, Renate Müller, Werner Nohr, Harald Noll, Agnes Petersen, Renate Pöhls, Gebhard Pribbernow, Hannelore Scholz, Doris Schreiber, Ilse Angelika Schultz, Dagmar Schulz, Magdalene Schütte, Gretel Schwieger, Brunhild Stobbe, Hans Tammling, Peter Timm, Heinz Weidenhausen, Renate Wilken, Horst Willhöft

Rothenburgsort Children's Hospital

In the former Rothenburgsort Children's Hospital, the National Socialists implemented their "euthanasia program" from the early 1940s.
Hildegard Thevs was able to research 33 names of murdered children.

A plaque on the building has commemorated the more than 50 murdered babies and children since 1999:

In this building
between 1941 and 1945
more than 50 handicapped children were killed.
An expert committee classified them
as "unworthy life" and assigned them
to be killed in specialized children's wards.
The Hamburg health administration
was involved in this.
Hamburg medical officers supervised
the admission and killing of the children.
Doctors of the children's hospital
carried them out.
None of those involved
was prosecuted for this.

Further information (in German) on the Internet at:

35 Stolpersteine für Rothenburgsort – Hamburger Abendblatt 10.10.2009

Stolpersteine für ermordete Kinder – ND 10.10.2009

Stolpersteine gegen das Vergessen – Pressestelle des Senats 09.10.2009

Die toten Kinder von Rothenburgsort – 09.10.2009

35 Stolpersteine verlegt – Hamburg 1 mit Video 09.10.2009

Wikipedia - Institut für Hygiene und Umwelt

Gedenken an mehr als 50 ermordete Kinder - Die Welt 10.11.1999

Euthanasie-Opfer der Nazis - Beitrag NDR Fernsehen 29.05.2010

Hitler und das "lebensunwerte Leben" - Andreas Schlebach NDR 24.08.2009

Hermann Beekhuis, born on 18 Mar. 1941 in Weener/East Friesland, murdered on 4 Sept. 1941

Hermann Beekhuis was born in Weener in East Friesland into a family affiliated with the Reformed Church. At the time he was born, his father served in the German Wehrmacht. Hermann was born with a harelip, cleft palate, and webbed toes (syndactyly). When he was three months old, the Leer Public Health Office committed him to the Rothenburgsort Children’s Hospital. On 25 June 1941, Helene Sonnemann, the ward physician of Infant Ward I, examined him. She described him, in light of his age of three months, as an extremely underweight child the size and weight of a newborn. Beyond the apparent deformities, the meticulous examination revealed the eyeballs were missing underneath the eyelids. Based on the proportions of the heavily domed large head in relation to the small body, she suspected the existence of a hydrocephalus, a "water head.” She also diagnosed an umbilical hernia but entirely intact cardiac and respiratory functions. As the blood count showed, Hermann suffered from severe anemia.

In order to clarify whether a hydrocephalus was present, an encephalography was performed four days after Hermann’s admission, prior to which he received Phenobarbital (Luminal) for better tolerance. Nevertheless, his breathing stopped; he was successfully resuscitated. The x-ray showed moderately widened intracranial spaces, which was evidence against the presence of a hydrocephalus.

When the Children’s Hospital was badly damaged on 30 June 1941 by the detonation of a high-explosive bomb on the adjacent railroad yard, Hermann was transferred with other infants to the children’s home of the National Socialist People’s Welfare authority (Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt – NSV) in Wentorf. After the encephalography and the transfer, he would hardly take the bottle and continued to lose weight.

Due to the weight loss, he was returned to and accommodated in the Rothenburgsort Children’s Hospital in Lotte Albers’ ward in early Aug. His feeding and digestion improved somewhat but he developed skin problems. For technical reasons – space was scarce because of construction work – he was transferred again to the NSV children’s home in Wentorf, which entailed a change of physician. He was doing badly, "he looks wretched,” read the report, his entire body was apparently covered with thick psoriasis. When "the notification came in from the Reich Committee,” staff brought Hermann back to Rothenburgsort on 2 Sept. 1941. One day later, he died of the effects of the Phenobarbital (Luminal) injection administered to him by Helene Sonnemann. On the death certificate, she indicated as cause of death the malformations and "pneumonia.”

Ten days went by between Hermann’s death and the notification of death with the Rothenburgsort records office. In a letter dated 10 Sept. 1941, the mayor of Weener stated that the mother was not in a position to travel, and he enclosed Hermann’s birth certificate required for the certification of the death. The hospital administration informed him that Hermann’s body would be transported to the Harbor Hospital, which had jurisdiction over such cases, and that the burial would take place from there. Ilse Vogeler, a senior infant nurse, gave notice of Hermann Beekhuis’ death at the Rothenburgsort records office.

During his ten-week stay in the Rothenburgsort Children’s Hospital and at the NSV children’s home in Wentorf, Hermann Beekhuis was cared for by changing nursing staff due to repeated transfers, which exacerbated his problems feeding from the bottle. The question of whether his severe ailments were congenital or acquired obviously did not even play a role at any time. Hermann reached the age of five-and-a-half months.

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

© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: StaH 213-12 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht NSG, 0017-001, 0017-002; 332-5 Standesämter, 1145+354/1941; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn, Abl. 2000/1, 63, inliegend in UA 6.

print preview  / top of page