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Peter Stoltenberg * 1942

Hermann-Kauffmann-Straße 29 (Hamburg-Nord, Barmbek-Nord)

JG. 1942
"VERLEGT" 7.8.1943
ERMORDET 21.8.1943

Peter Stoltenberg, born on 14 Jan. 1942 in Hamburg, "transferred" on 7 Aug.1943 from the "Alsterdorf Asylum” (Alsterdorfer Anstalten) to the "Nursing and Care Home" (Heilerziehungsanstalt) Kalmenhof in Idstein, murdered on 21 Aug. 1943

Hermann-Kauffmann-Straße 29 (Barmbek-Nord)

Peter Stoltenberg, born on 14 Jan. 1942 in Hamburg, was the second child of Wilhelm Ludwig Friedrich Stoltenberg, born on 2 Feb. 1909, and Gertrud Bartlet, née Köhler, born on 1 March 1916. Peter`s sister, Ursula, was five years older than him. Peter Stoltenberg’s father worked as a technical assistant in a company until he was called up to the army. During the course of his war service he was wounded. His wife Gertrud had attended secondary school in Quickborn and worked in a household in the country side before she was married.

When Peter was about six months old, he was sent to Eppendorf Hospital for observation. Neither the reason for his admission to Eppendorf Hospital, nor the test results and length of his stay are recorded. His parents stated at the time of Peter Stoltenberg`s admission to the then Alsterdorf Asylum (Alsterdorfer Anstalten, nowadays Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf) that their son had suffered from fits and had been prescribed Luminal as medicine. After an attack of measles, the fits had ceased to occur. Peter started to walk at the age of 14 months. He was said to be of a cheerful nature and likes to keep himself busy.

A further assessment by Gerhard Kreyenberg, the chief physician of the Alsterdorf Asylum followed on 5 May 1943: "On the basis of personal examination, last carried out on 5.5.1943 I have decided that the admission of Peter Stoltenberg, born on 14.1.1942, to the Alsterdorf Asylum is necessary due to imbecility”.

Peter was admitted to the Alsterdorf Asylum the same day as a "pupil”.

At the examination at the time on his initial admission, the doctor, Mrs. Puls, stated six days later "Can only stand on his own with difficulty and a bent forward posture, walks unsteadily when aided, somewhat spastic”. Under the heading of "Psychological Findings”, she noted "doesn`t speak a word, is unfluenceable, constantly dribbles out saliva and sucks it back in again”.

Only two entries were made by the Alsterdorf nursing staff in Peter`s Patient File. On 5 May 1943, it was noted about the one year and three months old child: "Pat.(ient) arrived on the paedriatic ward as a new admission. Stuff and body were clean. He is fed on mashed food, he slobbers a lot. He does not know what to do with toys. He scrabbles a lot. He can walk but not speak, he doesn`t draw attention to himself when he needs to go to the toilet”.

Two months later, it was noted that Peter had now been transferred to Children`s Ward 10. On 6 Sept. 1943, Dr. Kreyenberg signed the following note: "Transferred since the Alsterdorf Asylum is destroyed”.

After the heavy air raids on Hamburg in summer 1943 (Operation Gomorrha) buildings of the Alsterdorf Asylum were damaged and the hospital unit was overcrowded with victims of the bombing who had been admitted with burn injuries. With the approval of the Health Administration, Pastor Friedrich Lensch, head of the Asylum, took this as a reason to transfer several hundred patients of both sexes to districts less threatened by the bombing.

Peter Stoltenberg was one of the 52 children who were transferred to the Nursing and Care Home (Heilerziehungsanstalt) Kalmenhof in Idstein on 7 Aug. 1943. The Kalmenhof institution (founded in 1888) originally enjoyed a good reputation as a progressive institution for mentally handicapped persons but was then integrated into the National Socialist "Euthanasia” programme, initially as an intermediate asylum of the "T4 Action” for the killing centre Hadamar. "T4” is the abbreviation for the then central office Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin from where in a first phase the systematic murder of approximately 70.000 handicapped people in six killing centres was organized, among them the State Nursing Home Hadamar in Mittelhessen.

In August 1941, one the ca 37 "Specialist Children`s Departments” ("Kinderfachabteilungen”) was set up in Kalmenhof. In the "Specialist Childrens`s Departments” children (initially up to three years of age, later up to 16) were murdered, mostly through overdoses of medicinal drugs such as Morphium, Luminal or Skopolamine.

Peter Stoltenberg died on 21 Aug. 1943, thirteen days after his arrival. The entry on his death at the relevant Registry Office was made on the basis of a written notification from the head of the Kalmenhof Home. Cause of death was given as "Imbecility, Marasmus”.

Translator Steve Robinson

Stand: May 2020
© Susanne Rosendahl

Quellen: StaH 332-5 Standesämter 2448 u 35/1897; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3293 u 304/1916; StaH 332-5 Standesämter 3361 u 23/1919; Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf, Archiv, Sonderakte 81, Stoltenberg, Peter; Michael Wunder, Ingrid Genkel, Harald Jenner, Auf dieser schiefen Ebene gibt es kein Halten mehr. Die Alsterdorfer Anstalten im Nationalsozialismus, 2. Aufl. Hamburg 1988; Sterberegistereintrag Peter Stoltenbergs Nr. 131/1943 des Standesamts Idstein vom 25.8.1943 in Idstein.

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