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Already layed Stumbling Stones

Agnes Petersen * 1938

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

GEB. 4.11.1938
ERMORDET 10.11.1944

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, 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

Agnes Petersen, born 11/4/1938 in Hamburg, murdered on 10/11/1941

Agnes was born on November 4th, 1938 as the third child and first daughter of the shipbuilder Walter Petersen and his wife. She died at the age of three on November 10th, 1941. The family lived in Wilhelmsburg, Im Busch 41 – the street’s name was changed to "Dröge Elv” in 1937, after Wilhelmsburg was incorporated into Hamburg. Agnes’s brothers were ten and five years old, the family seems to have been well off; Agnes was born as a healthy child.

Her stays in hospitals began on June 5th, 1939, when she was admitted to the General Hospital in Harburg – we do not know for what reason. Ten days later, she was transferred to the children’s hospital in Rothenburgsort because she had spasmodic seizures. Four days later, she showed the typical signs of measles, red skin blotches and high fever, followed by the symptoms of meningitis: gazing eyes, great unrest and sensitivity to touch. Agnes received a blood transfusion and survived the disease that had reached a critical stage. On June 15th, 1939, she was released as cured.

Half a year later, she was admitted to the children’s clinic of the Eppendorf University Hospital for unknown reasons and returned home 18 days later. Apparently, the meningitis attack the year before had caused disturbances in her development that became more and more evident. On April 12th, 1941, Agnes was again admitted to the children’s hospital in Rothenburgsort. The hospital staff now judged her to be mentally handicapped; she often screamed without calming down, and recurrently, her back and her thighs felt cold. Details of this stay in the hospital are not known, but her case was obviously reported to the Reichsausschuss, the agency that decided on "children’s euthanasia”, i.e. the "mercy killing” of handicapped children.

Agnes was in the ward for small children when the hospital was partly destroyed by an aerial bomb – the Reichausschuss’s approval for her "treatment” was still pending. She was diagnosed with "progressive dementia following epidemic meningitis” – and possibly additionally with scarlet fever – and transferred to the children’s department of the Langenhorn Mental Hospital that now served as an auxiliary hospital. At first, her father accounted for the costs, before the statutory health insurance assumed them. On July 15th, 1941, Agnes was transferred to the "Children’s Special Department”. From then on, the Social Insurance accounted for the costs. Agnes lived to see her third birthday in Langenhorn. After the approval for "treatment” arrived, Friedrich Knigge made an attempt to kill her, which failed, but caused an injection abscess. Because of this abscess, Agnes was "granted leave to the Rothenburgsort Children’s Hospital on account of varying temperature.” She was sent back before the Rothenburgsort hospital had fully resumed its operation.

In 1948, the Langenhorn charge nurse Sophie Pertzel said Agnes’ abscess could have been treated in-house, so that Dr. Knigge had probably ordered the transfer for a different reason: "All of us in our department liked little Agnes very much, and besides myself, head nurse Harberg had lamented very much about the child. I suppose that the reason Agnes was transferred to Rothenburgsort was that Dr. Knigge was afraid we nurses already knew too much about what was going on.”

On November 27th, 1941, Bayer wrote to his colleague Knigge: "The nurse didn’t want to leave the child here. Had she not been informed accordingly? As with the previous child that was to remain here according to the agreement between you and me – there was quite a dispute with the accompanying nurse, who by no means wanted to leave the child here.”

On November 9th, Agnes’ father Walter Petersen received a letter informing him that Agnes had been transferred. Agnes died the following night. The ward physician Lotte Albers, assisted by Gudrun Kasch, had administered her a lethal dose of Luminal, a barbiturate. Agnes lived to be three years old.

Her father reported her death at the Rothenburgsort civil registry office. The cause of death entered into the register was merely "pneumonia, circulatory disorder.”
The investigation records contain anomalous life data; Agnes’ birth and death certificates support those given here.

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

Stand: February 2018
© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: StaH 213-12 Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht – NSG, 0013-59; 0017/001, 002; 332-5 Standesämter, 1145+442/1941; 352-8/7 Staatskrankenanstalt Langenhorn, Abl. 2000/1, 36; Zentralregister der Standesämter, mdl. Auskunft am 20. Juli 2009.

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