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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Volker Grimm * 1936

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

GEB. 28.10.1936
ERMORDET 27.6.1941

further stumbling stones in Marckmannstraße 135 (ehemalige Kinderklinik):
Andreas Ahlemann, Rita Ahrens, Ursula Bade, Hermann Beekhuis, Ute Conrad, Helga Deede, Jürgen Dobbert, Anneliese Drost, Siegfried Findelkind, Rolf Förster, 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

Volker Grimm, born on 28 Oct. 1936 in Hamburg, murdered on 27 June 1941

When Volker was born, the reporting regulations for children with disabilities did not exist yet. He was the third of four children of a high school teacher with civil servant status from Blankenese (then a suburb of Altona and later part of Hamburg) and his wife. In terms of their religious affiliation, both parents described themselves as belonging to the German Faith Movement ("deutschgläubig”). At the time Volker was admitted to the Rothenburgsort Children’s Hospital, on 13 May 1941, his father served in the German Wehrmacht. Soon afterward, the mother travelled together with her two daughters and the other son to Zittau in Saxony.

Volker’s birth at the women’s hospital on Bülowstrasse involved complications. His first scream had been a long time coming. From the tenth day of his life onward he was, for four and a half years, in out-patient treatment by the senior physician of the Altona Children’s Hospital on Tresckowstrasse (today’s Altona Children’s Hospital on Bleickenallee), Herbert Mook. In one instance, he was admitted to the hospital as an in-patient due to violent vomiting.

Starting in the eighth month of his life, Volker’s head noticeably increased in size. When he was one and a quarter years old, his parents consulted the physician Heinrich Lottig, who had switched from Hamburg to Berlin, where he belonged to the close circle around the Reich Physician Leader. He examined Volker personally, reaching the conclusion that his conditions represented a developmental retardation that was not hereditary but rather caused by rickets and a mild case of hydrocephalus. Obviously, this physical examination revolved around questions of hereditary health.

In May 1941, Mook committed Volker without any diagnosis to Rothenburgsort Children’s Hospital. This referral made sense only if Mook knew that there was a "children’s special ward” in Rothenburgsort and he intended to send Volker there for observation. It was not possible to determine whether he personally reported Volker to the "Reich Committee [for the Scientific Registering of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses]” ("Reichsausschuss [zur wissenschaftlichen Erfassung von erb- und anlagebedingten schweren Leiden]”). At that time, Volker had already reached the age of three, which meant he actually should have been admitted to a sanatorium and nursing home rather than being included in the "Reich Committee procedure.” Apparently, even at this stage, the age limit was already handled flexibly.

The boys’ condition did not improve. He continued to eat baby food only, causing permanent constipation that was countered with enemas. The admitting physician, Erika Rawie, described him as a "mentally underdeveloped” boy "with an empty expression on his face,” who only looked fleetingly at objects held out to him, not reaching out for them and articulating only a few sounds to himself. Sometimes he had tried to put himself in an upright position, though he was unable to sit up due to the underdeveloped muscular system of his arms and legs. Volker breathed through his mouth and ground his teeth. Her diagnosis was "idiocy” ("Idiotie”).

The first action tried on Volker was a glucose tolerance test with carrot-potato soup; perhaps the actual issue was Dr. Bayer’s research in nutrition science.

The first and only diagnostic measure associated with Volker’s mental disability, an encephalogram, was prepared in the fourth week of the clinical stay, but it did not reveal any malformation of the brain. The observations went to the "Reich Committee” as a report. Volker’s condition did not change. His only connection with the environment seems to have been that he recognized his grandfather.

On 26 June 1941, Volker Grimm died "suddenly,” as the nurse Elisabeth Büttger recalls. When she carried Volker’s dead body to the mortuary, she saw the puncture site of the fatal Phenobarbital (Luminal) injection that Erika Rawie had administered to him. Volker’s mother gave notice of his death to the relevant records office, where the cause of death entered was "idiocy after birth trauma, circulatory weakness.” The physician assessed his mental development at the time of death as that of a child aged about nine months. Volker Grimm was in the Rothenburgsort Children’s Hospital for just over six weeks. He reached the age of four years and eight months. His disability was the consequence of the complications during birth.

Volker underwent a post-mortem "for a final report to Berlin,” apparently at the request of the "Reich Committee.” In contrast to usual procedure, the autopsy was not performed by Josef Heine at St. Georg General Hospital but by Siegfried Gräff at Barmbek General Hospital. Dr. Bayer explained to him, "the child was sent for observation by the Berlin Central Office for Research into Physical and Mental Defects and Their Heredity [Berliner Zentralstelle zur Erforschung von körperlichen und geistigen Schäden und ihrer Erblichkeit]. This rephrasing of the actual name of the "Reich Committee” suggests that Bayer wished to regard it [the committee] as a research institution.

Siegfried Gräff diagnosed an abnormally large brain with particular overdevelopment of the frontal lobe but no hydrocephalus. Volker’s death, he reported, was a result of pneumonia. He could have documented that the pneumonia had been caused by Phenobarbital (Luminal) by means of chemical testing, which he did not carry out, however.

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+296/1941; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn, Abl. 2000/1, 63 UA 5; Hinweis von Harald Jenner; AB 1938.

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