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Jürgen Frank * 1939
Pinneberger Straße 15 (Eimsbüttel, Schnelsen)
Jürgen Frank, born on 1 July 1939 in Hamburg, admitted to what was then the Alsterdorf Asylum (Alsterdorfer Anstalten) on 19 June 1943, "transferred” to the Eichberg State Sanatorium (Landesheilanstalt Eichberg) on 7 Aug. 1943, murdered on 17 Aug. 1943
Pinneberger Strasse 15 (formerly house number 15a), Hamburg-Schnelsen
Jürgen Frank, born on 1 July 1939, was the second child of Hans Frank, a stage decorator employed at Hamburg’s Thalia Theater, and his wife Elliot, née Lüthje. Jürgen had an older sister (born in 1937).
Jürgen Frank’s mother fell ill with cancer and she was hospitalized for an extended period in the spring of 1943. At this time, Jürgen’s father was drafted into the German Wehrmacht. Apparently, nobody could assume Jürgen’s care, so that he was accommodated in the home of the National Socialist People’s Welfare authority (Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt – NSV) at Averhoffstrasse 5. Shortly afterward, the home’s physician by the name of Zahn declared him intolerable to the home. His reasoning was as follows: "Wets and soils himself, hardly speaks, does not play, and is completely abnormal.” The doctor concluded that "custody is necessary” and suggested that Jürgen be handed over to the then Alsterdorf Asylum (Alsterdorfer Anstalten; today Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf). This happened on 19 June 1943.
When he was admitted to the Alsterdorf Asylum, four-year-old Jürgen Frank was described as a physically and mentally retarded child who could repeat words, made a contented impression, laughed, and observed his surroundings.
After the [mother’s] hospital stay, Jürgen Frank’s grandmother took her daughter as well as her granddaughter (Jürgen Frank’s sister) to stay with her in Rostock. The Alsterdorf Asylum only found out about this when the Rostock Reich Labor Service leader Maria Kröher informed the institution on 22 Aug. 1943, and shortly afterward, the Alsterdorf Asylum announced "that little Jürgen Frank had been transferred to the Eichberg/Rheingau nursing home on 7 Aug. 1943 due to bomb damage to our asylum.”
Together with Jürgen Frank, a total of 128 children and men were transported from the Alsterdorf Asylum to the "Kalmenhof sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Kalmenhof”) near Idstein and the Eichberg "sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Eichberg”) in the Rheingau region on 7 Aug. 1943. Of the 28 children in the Alsterdorf Asylum, 20 were immediately sent to the "children’s special ward” ("Kinderfachabteilung”) of the Eichberg institution, most likely also Jürgen Frank.
The general term "children’s special ward” was used in the Nazi German Reich as a euphemism for special facilities in psychiatric wards of hospitals as well as in sanatoria and nursing homes. They were used for "child euthanasia,” i.e., research on and killing of children and adolescents who had severe physical or mental disabilities.
Four-year-old Jürgen Frank survived the transport to Eichberg for only ten days.
According to the records office in Erbach in the Rheingau, Jürgen Frank died on 17 Aug. 1943, allegedly of "heart failure, infirmity, mental enfeeblement.”
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: July 2020
© Ingo Wille
Quellen: Evang. Stiftung Alsterdorf, Archiv, V 43; Standesamt Erbach, Rheingau, Sterberegister Nr. 421/1943; Wunder, Michael, Genkel, Ingrid, Jenner, Harald, Auf dieser schiefen Ebene gibt es kein Halten mehr, S. 289–298; https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinderfachabteilung, Zugriff 19.9.2019.