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Porträt Erna Behling
Erna Behling

Erna Behling (née Behncke) * 1884

Löwenstraße 5 (Hamburg-Nord, Hoheluft-Ost)

JG. 1884
GEHENKT 21.4.1945

Erna Behling, née Behncke, former married name (divorced) Bogumil, married name Behling, born on 5 Oct. 1884 in Hamburg, murdered in the Neuengamme concentration camp on 22 Apr. 1945

Löwenstraße 5

Erna Behling belongs to the group of 13 women and 58 men murdered in a special Gestapo operation in the confinement bunker of the Neuengamme concentration camp during the nights from 22 to 24 Apr. 1945.
Only a few days before the collapse of Nazi rule, these 71 persons were designated for elimination at all cost without any legal proceedings. In part, this action aimed at destroying determined opponents of the Nazi regime, in part at eradicating witnesses of the regime’s own crimes in the course of arrests and interrogations, and finally, at protecting Gestapo spies and informers, whose cover had been blown, for the time after the war.
The persons to be murdered included, among others, numerous members of Hamburg resistance groups, such as the "Bästlein-Jacob-Abshagen” group, the KdF ("Kampf dem Faschismus” –"Fight Fascism”) group, and the Hamburg branch of the "White Rose.”
Thus, on 20 Apr. 1945 – British troops had already occupied Lüneburg and were advancing on Lauenburg/Elbe – these 71 people were brought on trucks from the Fuhlsbüttel Gestapo prison, the place they were detained, to the Neuengamme concentration camp, where they were to be killed. The camp was already partly evacuated and thus the number of witnesses limited.
So far, Stolpersteine have been placed for eight of the 13 murdered women, with corresponding biographies written for seven of them. The names of the women murdered in addition to Erna Behling are: Senta Dohme, Erika Etter, Marie Fiering (see corresponding entry), Helene Heyckendorf (see corresponding entry), Anna Jakuditsch, Leni Kreuzer, Annemarie Ladiges (see corresponding entries), Hanne Mertens (see corresponding entry), Margarethe Mrosek (see corresponding entry), Elisabeth Rosenkranz, Sinaida Strelzowa, Margarete Zinke (see corresponding entries).

Knowledge about Erna Behling’s path through life remains full of gaps, despite intensive investigations. In particular, hardly any verified findings exist for the rather long and important period from 1910 to 1940. Clues to the effect that she apparently participated in the Hamburg uprising of the German Communist Party (KPD) in 1923 and acquired the nickname of "Red Nurse” in the process may be credible but it was not possible so far to support them with documentary material. Another event not confirmed is her supposed arrest in the spring of 1933. In this context, it is regrettable that after the war her second husband, Friedrich August Behling, did file a restitution claim for himself but strangely enough not on behalf of Erna, whose heir he was after all.

The established facts are: Erna Mathilde Louise Behncke, thus her maiden name, was born in the parental home in Hamm, Borstelmannsweg 137, on 5 Oct 1884, and she grew up in the most modest of circumstances. Her father was the worker and smith Johann Heinrich Christian Behncke (born on 1 June 1843 in Schwaberow near Schwerin). In 1882, he had been granted Hamburg civic rights. Erna’s mother was Ida Henriette Wilhelmine, née Gehsermann, born on 8 Feb. 1844 in Hamburg.
Erna had three siblings. They were from her father’s first marriage with Christine Marie Dorothea, née Pohlmann (1847–1882): Frieda Wilhelmine Dorothea Johanna (born on 12 Apr. 1874 in Hamburg), Wilhelm Carl Johannes (born on 24 July 1876), and Bertha Wilhelmine Doris (born on 6 Mar. 1879).
The father died of herpes zoster on the head at the age of 56 in Mar. 1890.
The mother was unable to cope with four children. She was suffering from hysterocele [uterine hernia], i.e. severe damage to the uterus, and was able to work only occasionally as a cleaner, earning 1.5/1.6 RM (reichsmark) a day. This information comes from documents of the Hamburg Orphanage on Averhoffstraße "auf der Uhlenhorst,” a public charitable institution. The two youngest children, Erna (only just five years and nine months old) and Bertha (eleven years and three months old), were admitted to this place on 9 July 1890, as half-orphans "of whom the father has died and the mother lives in destitution.”
What happened to the older siblings aged 16 and 14 years, respectively, is not known.
Erna’s seriously ill mother found shelter at the Moraht-Stiftung, a residential home in Horn. This was an institution established by the "Poor Committee in Hamm and Horn” ("Armen-Collegium zu Hamm und Horn”) and financed with donations, which, among other things, made available "rent-free apartments for poor old people.”
As the entries in the orphanage records indicate, both children were "completely healthy” at the time of admission, though Erna was just then suffering from a "lung catarrh,” a harmless cold with inflammation of the upper respiratory tracts. Only Bertha’s orphanage child file survived. However, one may assume with a high degree of certainty that Erna attended the school of the orphanage or remained there until she either was put into a foster home or entered a contract of employment, at the longest up to her age of majority at 21 years. This was what the principles of the orphanage stipulated. No discharge certificate is extant.
On this score, the documents of the Alt-Hamburg registration office provide further clues: Erna Behncke’s registration file is available for the period from 4 Mar. 1892 until 12 Aug. 1904. The first entry reads: "Place of residence is orphanage.” (Consequently, Erna was about seven and a half years old.) The last entry is: "Married since 6 Aug. [19]04 to Johann Carl Bogumil.” Erna was 20 years old then.

The residents’ registration file provides a number of very important details about Erna’s journey through life in the early years.
The entry under "status or occupation” indicates, without any date given, "ironing apprentice, maid.”
The second remark, concerning place of residence, dates from 29 May 1894: "Departed for Grieben in Mecklenburg, C. Breest family, lodgings.” What follows is a registration dated 28 Mar. 1900: "Orphanage.” This means that at the age of nine and a half years, Erna was put up with a family, stayed there for six years, and then returned to the children’s home. Further details on this score are not available.
On 27 July 1900, the registration file reads: residence at "Testorfstraße 3 with Ms. Buch-Pape.” On 18 Nov. 1900, Erna was once again at the orphanage, for the last time.
One can assume that the 16-year-old girl was deemed sufficiently prepared for gainful employment and that she left the orphanage. On 18 Jan. 1901, the place of residence registered is "Alsterufer 5 with Heinrich Traun.” Heinrich Traun was well known in Hamburg. The industrialist was regarded as a benefactor, was affiliated with the orphanage as a supporter, and obviously helped Erna get a job. Four weeks later, a new address appeared in the file. After a few more days, she was registered as living at the Moraht-Stiftung with her mother. She stayed there for six weeks, and then moved to a new place in Versmannkai on 15 Apr. 1901, and so it went on from one address to the next.
For the following three and a half years covered by the registration file, another 32 places of residence are indicated, 24 times with the addition of "L” (lodgings). This meant that as an underage girl, Erna Behncke led the restless, extremely insecure, and unprotected life of maids and ironers, who back then numbered by the thousands in a city like Hamburg, moving homeless from one job to the next, from lodging to lodging, often in miserable holes – if there was any employment for them at all.
Seven times, the registration file indicated "Moraht-Stiftung, room 8, with the mother.” So this was the place to which Erna retreated from time to time, perhaps because she did not have any work. She stayed there between a few days and up to three months.

Although Bismarck’s severe laws against the "highly dangerous endeavors of Social Democracy” had lapsed in 1890, the Socialists and the workers’ movement in general continued to be regarded as a threat to the state, which was also the case in Hamburg, which, as the saying went then, was the "secret capital of Socialism in Germany.” Accordingly, the officers of the registration authority (practically a department of the police) kept a close watch on the conduct of the poorest and the low menials, the "ragtag” [two terms very close in German: Gesinde and Gesindel]. In the additional remarks in the registration file, they accused Erna nine times of providing false details (On 11 June 1902: "Residence report falsified. Resided without registering with police at Jürgenstraße 37.”). Once, on 29 Apr. 1904, they even threatened to report her to the public prosecutor’s office because of incorrect information.

As mentioned briefly already, Erna and Johann Carl Bogumil (born on 9 Oct. 1880), who was four years her senior, got married on 6 Aug. 1904. On 4 Oct., their child Rudolf Hermann Albert Bogumil was born. He lived for only a few weeks and died on 8 Nov.
Like Erna, Johann Carl came from a very cramped and extremely difficult family home, and both knew each other from their youth: from the orphanage. Johann Carl’s father was a blacksmith and carriage builder and lived with his family at Kehrwieder 14 in the backyard. This neighborhood around the harbor was, comparable to the "Gängeviertel” in Hamburg-Neustadt, marked by the most miserable living quality, and poor families with hordes of children would crowd on several floors. The Hamburg directory of 1878 indicates 30 tenant parties for yard no. 14, but one can assume that in addition to these, additional individuals lived there primitively, be it as lodgers or as overnight guests sharing the bed with others in shifts. (The quarter was torn down between 1884 and 1888 to make room for construction of the Speicherstadt, Hamburg’s warehouse district.)
Johann Carl’s father, also named Johann Carl, had died even before his son’s birth at the age of 46 years on 9 May 1880. He left behind an additional four children: Rudolf, Albert, Charles Christian Otto (born on 31 Aug. 1874), and Emma Auguste Henriette Bogumil (born on 11 Jan. 1878). The mother, Georgine Margarethe Wilhelmine Bogumil, née Behring, remarried soon afterward but died already in Mar. 1885. Johann Carl had just turned four and a half years. After being cared for by several nannies and foster parents, the 12-year old eventually came to the orphanage on Averhoffstraße together with his brother Charles in 1892.

His orphanage child file and the subsequent municipal registration file have survived in parts. A very arduous and restless life becomes apparent. Until he reached the age of majority in 1901, he remained in the care of the orphanage, though until then he was placed as a day laborer, farmhand, or as an apprentice with various alternating employers outside of Hamburg – all employment relationships failed. He ran away several times and was forcibly returned to his respective "masters.” In the reports of the orphanage, he appears as "useless,” "completely clumsy,” "disobedient,” "mendacious.” For his part, he complained in letters about severe corporal punishment because of minor incidents, for example, once for breaking a coffeepot.
From 1901 to 1916, the Hamburg residents’ registration file listed his occupational status as "laborer.” This period saw 35 relocations, mostly changes in lodgings, some of them to Altona, some to other towns outside of Hamburg, rendering the overview incomplete. Once he "departed as a sailor” for three months, repeatedly he was faulted with staying in the city "without fixed lodgings,” for instance "from 3 Jan. until 15 Mar. 1912.” Because of "failing to produce a departure certificate, B. is sentenced to a penalty of six marks and two days in prison.” (However, perhaps because he was unable or unwilling to pay the fine, he actually served a prison sentence from 7 to 12 Mar.)

Overall, the cohabitation of Erna and Johann Carl could not have lasted more than a few weeks. They were only registered twice for the same address at the same time: from 1 Dec. 1904 until 10 Dec. 1904 at Jakobstraße 21, second floor, with Schwarze (Erna providing false details to the registration authority since she had not moved in as a tenant with Schwarze but instead lived with Johann Carl – something that earned her a reprimand from the authority). According to both of their registration files, the other joint accommodation, also marked as lodgings, was Gustavstraße 2 IV/Halstenbek, with Sass, lasting for a period not completely definable between 26 May and 19 Oct. 1904. By that time at the latest, after the death of their child, Erna and Johann Carl seem to have gone entirely separate ways.
For decades of Erna’s further life, until 1940, no documentary materials are available in Hamburg, perhaps because she had left the city. In Altona and in central archives of the federal states neighboring Hamburg, no clues could be found either. That she lived at Johann Carl’s address until their divorce on 4 Apr. 1910 can probably be ruled out: Between the wedding and the divorce, 15 different places of residence are registered, always marked with "L” (lodgings). The last entry indicates that Johann Carl Bogumil was drafted into the army as a soldier of the territorial reserve (Landsturm) on 20 May 1916. (He died on 10 July 1948 in Hamburg-St.Pauli.)

The fact that the former maid Erna Behling became a nursing auxiliary, even though not a fully qualified nurse, is documented by the occupational entry in the marriage certificate of her marriage with August Friedrich Behling, her second husband, on 21 Sept. 1940. Apparently, an undated photo in his ownership once existed in the records of the Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime (VVN – Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes) that supposedly showed Erna in German Red Cross (DRK) attire. The photo is missing, however.
The question of when and how Erna became a nursing auxiliary and where she worked could not be answered, despite intensive investigation (with the DRK, Workers’ Samaritan Federation (Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund – ASB), general hospitals, employee directories of the city of Hamburg, etc.).
A state examination for nursing staff was instituted in Hamburg only in 1908. Access to care work was not impeded by any special conditions, which meant that a maid could succeed in aspiring to it as well. During the First World War, nursing personnel was sought-after, especially for work in military hospitals. Perhaps Erna saw an opportunity in this field to get ahead in terms of work. Until 1921, the associated training took initially one year, then two years, and it included mainly heavy housework. Regulations in nearly all hospitals stipulated that nursing staff be available for work day and night and that they would receive room and board from the employer. The wages paid were abysmal. These circumstances changed only very gradually over the course of decades.
Accordingly, the step from maid to nursing auxiliary was not monumental but nevertheless a certain advance in social status, and one could see opportunities to get ahead further, e.g. by additional training as a midwife. August Behling once mentioned this occupation briefly on a questionnaire in 1946. Former neighbors in the Falkenried-Terrassen quarter/Löwenstraße 5, where Erna lived with August since 1940, also think they recall Erna working in this field.
August Friedrich Behling (born on 3 Oct. 1871 in Bückeburg, died on 3 Aug. 1963 in Hamburg) had learned the tailor’s trade. In 1889, he had come to Hamburg as an 18-year old. According to his own information – not always consistent – for the "Committee of Former Political Prisoners” ("Komitee ehemaliger politischer Häftlinge”), the precursor of the VVN, and in the restitution proceedings after the war, he had joined the SPD in 1897 and the Clothing Makers’ Union in 1918. In the First World War, he served in the artillery. In 1920 (or 1922?), he left the SPD, joined the KPD, and remained a member until the party was banned in 1933. He participated in actions, for example in a demonstration on Holstenplatz in 1931, which ended in a gunfight. He was hit in the thigh and the back, undergoing treatment at the Eppendorf General Hospital (Allgemeines Krankenhaus – AK).
In 1933, he broke a heel in an accident. Both injuries left permanent damage.
When the Nazis arrested Communists on a massive scale in Mar. 1933, August Behling was among them "due to membership in the KPD and suspected illegal activities.” He remained in prison at Fuhlsbüttel until June 1933.
That same year saw the death of his first wife Anna, née Wulf, with whom he had been married since 1897, and who had born him nine children. According to the details August provided, she, too, was a member of the KPD.

Since living in Hamburg, August Behling had always resided in the area of Gärtnerstraße, Neumünstersche Straße, Wrangelstraße, despite several moves. As of 1940, he lived at Löwenstraße 5 A, second floor, the corner house toward Falkenried-Terrassen. There, in his usual turf, he had, as a tailor to his customers and as an active Communist, established manifold contacts that subsequently allowed him to conduct conspirational work. Now, in 1940, Erna joined in.
Besides active opponents of the Nazi regime, such as Paul and Margit Zinke from Falkenried, Franz Reetz or Adolf Wissmüller, who were at the same time involved in the work of the Bästlein-Jacob-Abshagen resistance group, the persons meeting at Behling’s apartment included politically less active neighbors and good acquaintances, who were nevertheless reserved vis-à-vis the Hitlerite system (Johanna Baumgarten, Hermine Marr, Christian Mannshart, Thomas Jensen, Ingeborg Keilitz, and others). August Behling owned a radio set capable of powerful reception, the Graetz 51 GW. During the meetings, those present would listen to "enemy stations,” discuss the situation, and draw conclusions for subsequent actions.
In mid-Nov. 1944, Paul Zinke was arrested. On 1 Dec., the Gestapo took August and Erna Behling, Johanna Baumgarten, Franz Reetz, and Adolf Wissmüller into custody. In Feb. 1945, Margit Zinke was detained. The charges included, among others, "subversive political activities,” "preparation for high treason,” "listening to enemy radio stations and dissemination of contents received.” The arrested persons were taken to the Fuhlsbüttel Gestapo prison, called "Kolafu” in the vernacular.

But why was the group exposed?
Since 1940, an extremely active, inventive, and cunning agent had been working for the Hamburg Gestapo, a dreadful and ultimately perhaps even tragic figure: Alfons Pannek (born on 30 Mar. 1907 in Hamburg, died on 20 Feb. 1995 in Lübeck). He had joined the Young Communist League (Kommunistischer Jugendverband – KJVD), then in 1930 the KPD. Among other things, he had fought in the Spanish Civil War in the ranks of the 11th International Brigade and played an important role in Prague in 1938/39 as a member of the "Salda Committee” ("Salda-Komitee”), an aid organization of the Communist Party for German refugees. The Gestapo arrested, tortured, put pressure on him, and finally "turned” him. Under the cover of an employee of a lending library with itinerant delivery service and supposedly with many a banned rarity on offer in his secret assortment and endowed with his reputation as an old "class warrior” and combatant in Spain, he approached former comrades, held incendiary speeches to them, spied on them, and thus discovered additional leads. Beyond that, he even managed to spur them on to commit illegal actions in order to increase his success record with the Gestapo. Over the course of time, he built up a staff of additional spies, establishing for their joint work an office in public, at Wendloher Weg 13, an intelligence bureau that operated as a "translation agency.”
He betrayed dozens of Nazi opponents. At times, he was irreplaceable to the Gestapo in unraveling and destroying the Hamburg resistance or opposition groups. Even an experienced resistance fighter like Paul Zinke had trusted and told him a few things that may have contributed to the arrests.
Alfons Pannek eventually also had a hand in compiling the list mentioned earlier of the 13 women and 58 men murdered at Neuengamme in Apr. 1945, including from the group at the Behlings’ apartment, Erna Behling, Paul Zinke, Margit Zinke, and Franz Reetz.

As British troops were closing in on Hamburg, the Hamburg Gestapo head office decided to evacuate the Fuhlsbüttel prison. The inmates were divided into three groups: The "mild cases” were to be released immediately, "express opponents of the regime” to be transferred to other camps or prisons, and the "non-tolerable elements” to be liquidated at all cost.
August Behling was classified as belonging to the second group and, although not able to walk properly due to his heel injury, was sent on a march to the Kiel-Hassee camp in Apr. 1945. He remained there until 26 Apr., the day British forces liberated the camp.
Why Erna, in contrast to him, ended up on the list of people to be killed is subject to mere speculation. We do not know how the murder list actually came into being, who commissioned it authoritatively, and who ultimately signed off on it. This question eluded clarification as well during the major trials of the British Military Jurisdiction of 1946/47 at the Curio-Haus (thus the Name Curio-Haus Trials) against officers and staff of the Hamburg Gestapo, of the Fuhlsbüttel police prison, and of the Neuengamme concentration camp. Even later legal proceedings before the Hamburg Regional Court/Jury Court (Landgericht/Schwurgericht) failed to clear up the matter. The Gestapo had destroyed all written documentation, and in the court trials, all plaintiffs protested their innocence, mutually shifting responsibility between them. Those collaborating in the compilation of the list included several offices of the Gestapo, for certain the Hamburg Higher Police and SS Leader (Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer – HSSPF) Georg Henning Graf von Bassewitz-Behr, the Gestapo officers and police detectives Adolf Bokelmann, Albert Schweim, Emil Eggers, the Gestapo Kriminalsekretär [a rank equivalent to detective sergeant or master sergeant] Henry Helms, the Gestapo employee and collaborator in Pannek’s "translation agency” Helene Reimers and, in an obviously very active role: Alfons Pannek. He in particular was very much concerned with eliminating all witnesses to his crimes and those of his staff.
When the 13 women climbed on the truck at Fuhlsbüttel on 20 Apr., they were – as reported by Ellen Katzenstein, the last "trusty” in the women’s prison at the "Kola-Fu” – in good spirits. They assumed that they were on their way to freedom, perhaps with a stopover in the smaller prison located on An den Hütten.
During the night of 22 Apr., however, in the small center aisle of the confinement bunker at Neuengamme, SS men of the camp lifted and hung them on the hooks in the wall in two groups of six each, naked and with ropes around their necks, one after the other, then pulled them down and strangled them in this way. The thirteenth among them – who it was is not known with certainty – initially managed to hide under a bench in one of the cells, but she was discovered and beaten to death.
The men to be murdered during the following nights were not prepared to be killed without a fight. In the bunker, they took action against their murderers and began pounding them with the fragments of a wooden bench. In the process, they injured camp commandant Thurmann. On his orders, hand grenades were then thrown into the bunker. Those still alive were shot or, like the women, strangled.

All of the 71 dead were burnt in the camp’s crematorium. The whereabouts of their ashes is not known.

Erna Behling reached the age of 60. In addition to the Stolperstein, a street in Allermöhe, the Erna-Behling-Kehre, commemorates her as well.

Thanks to the "Section Historical Nursing Research with the German Society of Nursing Science” ("Sektion Historische Pflegeforschung in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaften”) and the "Network Nursing History with the Hilde-Steppe Archive” ("Netzwerk Pflegegeschichte beim Hilde-Steppe-Archiv, Frankfurt)” (January 2014)

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

© Johannes Grossmann

Quellen: StaH 551-11 AfW 1819 August Friedrich Behling; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 4078/1884 sowie 446/1904, 4313/1880, 1669/1880, 4181/1948; StaH 345-1/Hauskinderakten, 1890, 23-27 (Behncke) sowie 1892-1191 (Bogumil); StaH 332-8 Meldewesen, A 30, K 4215 (Meldekartei Erna Behncke), A 50/1 4983 D2 (Erna Behling), A 30, K 4265 (Johann Carl Bogumil); StaH 731,6 Zeitgeschichtliche Sammlung IV 3 , Polizeibehörde Hamburg, Liste der nach den Umsturzbewegungen vom Oktober 1923 verurteilten Personen; StaH 213-11/2694-56 Strafverfahren des Landgerichts Hamburg/Schwurgericht I gegen Henry Helms und Andere, 1947–1949, ("Gestapo-Verfahren"), 22 Bände; Neuengamme Concentration Camp Case (Brit. Militärgerichtsverfahren im Curio-Haus Hamburg 1946/47): Public Record Office (PRO), Kew bei London, War Office (WO) 235/Judge Advocate General´s Office (JAG) 145, 182, 156. Ein Teil der kopierten Dokumente ist archiviert in der KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme; Verfahren des Britischen Militärgerichts vom März bis Mai 1946 in Hamburg gegen die Hauptverantwortlichen des KZ Neuengamme, drei Bände, Hrsg. Freundeskreis e.V., Hamburg 1969; Hamburger Adressbücher (1875–1945); Hamburger Adressbücher, 1892, S. 1132 und 1135 (Stiftungen: Morath-Stiftung, Waisenhaus); Ploetz, Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkriegs, Würzburg 1960, 1. Teil: Die militärischen und politischen Ereignisse; Hermann Kaienburg, Die britischen Militärgerichtsprozesse zu den Verbrechen im Konzentrationslager Neuengamme, in: Beiträge zur Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung in Norddeutschland, Hrsg. KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme, Band 3, Bremen 1997, Seite 56 ff.; Rainer Schulze, Zur Quellenüberlieferung in britischen Archiven, ebd., S. 110–119; Herbert Diercks, Der Einsatz von V-Leuten im Sachgebiet "Kommunismus" der Hamburger Gestapo 1943 bis 1945, ebd., Band 15, Bremen 2013, S. 119–135; Gertrud Meyer, Nacht über Hamburg/Berichte und Dokumente 1933-1945, Frankfurt/Main 1971, S. 103–109; Ursel Hochmuth/Gertrud Meyer, Streiflichter aus dem Hamburger Widerstand, Frankfurt/Main 1980, S. 386; Ursula Puls, Die Bästlein-Jacob-Abshagen-Gruppe/Bericht über den antifaschistischen Widerstand in Hamburg und an der Wasserkante während des Zweiten Weltkrieges, Berlin 1959; Hanna Elling, Frauen im deutschen Widerstand 1933–1945, Frankfurt/Main 1981; Joachim Paschen, Wenn Hamburg brennt, brennt die Welt/Der kommunistische Griff nach der Macht im Oktober 1923, Frankfurt/Main 2010; Larissa Reissner, Hamburg auf den Barrikaden/Erlebtes und Erhörtes aus dem Hamburger Aufstand 1923, Berlin 1924, Nachdruck Königstein 1979; Heinz Habedank, Zur Geschichte des Hamburger Aufstandes 1923, Berlin (Ost) 1958; Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg (FZH) /Archiv, 322-28, Innere Unruhen in Hamburg Oktober 1923; Karin Wittneben, Erna Behling, in: Hubert Kolling (Hrsg.), Biographisches Lexikon zur Pflegegeschichte/"Who is who in nursing history", Band 4, München/Jena 2008; Johannes Grossmann, Erna Behling, ebd. Band 7, Nidda 2015; Karin Wittneben, Erna Behling, in: Horst-Peter Wolff (Hrsg.), Biographisches Lexikon zur Pflegegeschichte, Band 2, München 2001; Heidrun Dreyling-Riesop, Erna Behling, in: (eingesehen am 7.5.2013); Claudia Bischoff, Frauen in der Krankenpflege/Zur Entwicklung von Frauenrolle und Frauenberufstätigkeit im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt/Main 1992; Hilde Steppe, Krankenpflege im Nationalsozialismus, 1989; Stefan Lorenzen, Erna Behling, Seminararbeit für das Multimedia-Personenlexikon "Politisch Verfolgte in Hamburg 1933–1945" am Institut für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Uni Hamburg, April 2004, veröffentlicht 2005; Angelica Griem, Hamburger Kaufmannsträume/Die Hamburger Speicherstadt, Heidelberg 1982; Mündliche Auskünfte von: Albert Lohrberg/Hamburg, Mai 2013; Herbert Diercks (KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme), Mai 2013; E-Mail-Auskünfte von: Brigitta Frucht, ASB-Bundesverband/Archiv, Köln, 11.1.2012; Anja Selassie, ASB Hamburg, 9.1.2012; Anja Peters, Netzwerk Pflegegeschichte beim Hilde-Steppe-Archiv, Frankfurt, 9.1.2012; Mathilde Hackmann, Netzwerk Pflegegeschichte, 10.1.2012; Inke Worgitzki, Fachhochschule Frankfurt, University of Applied Studies, Historische Sondersammlung Soziale Arbeit und Pflege, 9.1.2012; Felice Frey, DRK-Generalsekretariat, Berlin, 2.11.2011; Susanne Tamm, DRK-Schwesternschaft Hamburg, Mails vom 4.11.2011 und 28.10.2015; Kathrin Blankenburg, DRK-Suchdienst Standort Hamburg, 24.10.2011; Eva Stoewer, Internationaler Suchdienst (ITS) Bad Arolsen, 19.12.2011.

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