Search for Names, Places and Biographies

Already layed Stumbling Stones

Doris Schreiber * 1940

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

GEB. 6.10.1940
ERMORDET 20.8.1944

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, 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, 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

Doris Schreiber, born 10/6/1940 in Hamburg, murdered 8/20/1944

When Doris was born in October 1940, the Schreibers already had an eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. The family lived in Eimsbüttel, the father, a clerk, was in the army.

Doris was born at home and developed "normally”, i.e. she could walk when she was a year old, talked a lot and became clean and dry early. In February 1942, at not quite a year and a half, she caught "a sort of scarlet fever”, as the doctor put it. Two months later, Doris for the first time had an attack of spasms and lost consciousness for a short time. Subsequently, the spasmic attacks occurred more often and lasted longer; the doctor interpreted them as "toothing cramps.”

Doris now fell back in her development and even lost previously acquired skills. Because of this, she was admitted to the Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE) for a thorough check in August 1942. Her head was x-rayed; her mother refused to consent to further examinations. The doctors told her Doris was mentally ill. On account of this diagnosis, her father, then stationed in Denmark, was given special leave. He took Doris home, where she partially recovered. The little girl’s spasmic attacks, however, recurred.

In February 1943, Doris’ mother consulted the renowned neurologist Heinrich Pette, former head of the neurology department at UKE. Pette bolstered her that Doris’ condition would improve. When that did not happen, he referred her to Dr. Wilhelm Bayer, head of the Rothenburgsort children’s hospital. Bayer suggested leaving Doris at his hospital for observation.

At the beginning of June 1943, Doris seems to have lost her hearing. Anna Bontemps-Schmitz, pediatrician with her practice at Bundesstrasse 784, diagnosed Doris’ illness as the consequence of meningitis, probably due to the presumed scarlet fever, and hospitalized her with the diagnosis "status after encephalitis” on June 24th, 1943. Doris, not quite three years old, suffered up to 40 attacks a day.

Her condition varied greatly. Sometimes she was able to stand up on her own, then she lay in bed silent and apathetic, or she made soft sounds, moving restlessly and uncontrolledly. Sometimes she grabbed objects offered her; then again, she was unable to fix her eyes on them. The examination of her brain interior by encephalography produced no evidence of anomalies; neither did the inspection of her fundus of the eye at the St. Georg eye clinic. Soon after, Doris seemed to get dizzy when she was stood upright. And shortly after, she developed a fever that could not be explained.

The vast destruction of the Rothenburgsort children’s hospital in the night of July 27th/28th, 1943 terminated the observation of Doris. On July 28th, she was taken out to Wentorf with the almost 300 other child patients; there, however, permanent accommodation was not available. Her father came and took her home. She caught measles and remained free of spasms for almost three months, which was attributed to the fever that came with the measles. When the spasms returned in November, three to four times a day, Dr. Bayer suggested a malaria treatment (q.v.), hoping that the purposely induced fever could make the spams disappear. The treatment, however, only began the following year, because the Rothenburgsort hospital had not yet been fixed again, and its auxiliary sites in Wohltorf were occupied by cases that were more urgent.

On February 22nd, 1944, Doris was again admitted to the Rothenburgsort hospital, which had resumed operations on a limited scale. Since the treatment brought no enduring success and Wilhelm Bayer saw no further options for treatment, Doris’ mother took her daughter home on April 13th, 1944.

However, she brought her back the following day, after Doris had suffered a long-lasting, severe attack in the morning. A distinct reason for the attack could not be found, but a connection with the malaria treatment was not ruled out. The following days, Doris suffered only one attack, but had fever. Her mother took her home – signing that this was against the doctor’s advice and at her own risk.

In the investigation against Bayer in 1946, Frau Schreiber testified that he had indicated a "brain therapy or brain radiation therapy that had to be applied three times as the only possible remedy, adding that the treatment might be lethal, but that there was also a chance it could help the child. Because the treatment was extremely dangerous, it required the approval from the "Reich medical chamber” as well as the parents’ consent. In order that the mother could discuss the matter with Doris’ father, who was on duty in Denmark, Bayer wrote an application to get special leave from the Wehrmacht. The leave was approved, and Bayer reported Doris to the "Reich Committee.”

When the Committee’s approval of the "treatment” arrived, Frau Schreiber brought Doris back to the Rothenburgsort hospital on July 18th, 1944. She told ward physician Lotte Albers that her child’s condition was unchanged, and stayed in contact with Albers, also about the "radiation treatment”, which presumably meant the myelography (cf. explanations) to be performed and the follow-up exams. The myelogram showed no morbid anomalies, but Doris was suffering from a paralysis of the bladder and impaired mobility.

Had she previously been an agile girl, she now became increasingly languid, unresponsive and quiet. She had to spend ten or more hours per day in the air raid cellar, where she only suffered an attack once. In the daytime, she was in the garden. When her mother came to visit her on Wednesday, August 16th, Doris was lying there apathetically and did not recognize her mother. The next visiting day, Sunday, August 20th, Frau Schreiber came accompanied by her sister and found her daughter lying unconscious. Doris died at 5:30 p.m. that same day. It could not be determined when exactly ward physician Lotte Albers, assisted by ward nurse Martha Müller, had given her the lethal injection of Luminal.

Frau Schreiber reported the death of her daughter due to "cerebral anomaly, spasms” to the registrar’s office in Billstedt, that after the "fire storm” of July 1943 was also competent for Rothenburgsort.
Doris Schreiber did not quite reach the age of four.

Translation by Peter Hubschmid 2018
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: January 2019
© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: StaH 213-12 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – NSG, 0017/001, 002; 332-5 Standesämter, 1237+135/1944; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn, Abl. 2000/01, 63 UA 11.

print preview  / top of page