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Robert Feddern * 1938

Quarree 32 (Wandsbek, Wandsbek)

JG. 1938
"VERLEGT" 7.8.1943
ERMORDET 12.10.1943

Robert Feddern, born on 8.4.1938 in Altona, admitted on 29.6.1943 to the then Alsterdorfer Anstalten (today Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf), transferred on 7.8.1943 to the Landesheilanstalt Eichberg in Rheingau, died there on 12.10.1943

Quarree 54 (Wandsbek)

When Robert Feddern was born on April 8, 1938, his parents lived at Gerberstraße 28 in Altona. Conditions at his home were difficult. According to the files of the Hamburg Youth Welfare Office, Robert's parents, who had married in Wandsbek in 1935, repeatedly lived apart.

The father, Willi Otto Karl Feddern, born on April 6, 1912 in Wandsbek, was a laborer and had grown up as a "welfare child." The mother, Olga Martha Maria, née Dabelstein, was classified by the authorities as "frivolous and addicted to pleasure." After moving together to the Wandsbek district at 54 Quarree Street, Willi Feddern separated from his wife. He entered into a second marriage in 1942.

Robert initially stayed with his father. According to his statements, however, the latter harbored an "insurmountable dislike" for him because he believed he was not his father.

In August 1940, Robert was admitted to the municipal girls' home at Feuerbergstraße 43, which was not only for girls. He had just overcome pharyngeal diphtheria and spoke very poorly. According to the home's report, Robert was a very difficult, restless boy.

On September 29, 1942, the Hamburg State Youth Welfare Office arranged for a psychiatric evaluation of the boy, who was now four years old. The assessment read: "R.[obert] is an under-gifted boy of inferior character. He is not tolerable here in the home." With the diagnosis of "idiocy” (feeble-mindedness) (which at the time was used to refer to reduced intelligence or underachievement), Robert's placement in what was then the Alsterdorfer Anstalten (now the Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf) was strongly recommended and carried out on June 29, 1943.

Upon admission, Robert Feddern was initially assigned to the children's infirmary and shortly thereafter transferred to another ward outside the hospital. The staff noted, "Stuff and body were clean. R.[obert] eats bread and large food alone, goes to the toilet alone. He can sing many songs, plays alone and with other children, he is only very loud and wild." The last entry, dated August 6, 1943, notes, "Transferred because the Alsterdorf institutions are destroyed. Dr. Kreyenberg."

During the heavy air raids on Hamburg in July/August 1943 ("Operation Gomorrha"), the Alsterdorf institutions also suffered bomb damage. The director of the institution and SA member, Pastor Friedrich Lensch, took the opportunity, after consulting with the health authorities, to transfer some of the residents who were considered "weak in labor, in need of care or particularly difficult" to other sanatoriums and nursing homes.

With three transports between August 7 and 16, 1943, a total of 468 girls and women, boys and men were transferred to the "Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Mainkofen" near Passau, to the "Wagner von Jauregg-Heil- und Pflegeanstalt der Stadt Wien" and in a linked transport to the "Landesheilanstalt Eichberg" near Wiesbaden and the "Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Kalmenhof" in Idstein in the Rheingau.

128 girls and women, boys and men were assigned to the first linked transport on August 7, 1943. 76 boys, girls, women and men were destined for the "Landesheilanstalt Eichberg" near Wiesbaden and 52 boys for the "Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Kalmenhof" in Idstein in the Rheingau.

Robert Feddern was one of the 76 boys, girls, women and men who were taken to the "Landesheilanstalt Eichberg" on August 7, 1943.

The then "Landesheilanstalt Eichberg" had served as an intermediate station for the Hadamar killing center in the "Aktion-T4" (camouflage designation for the Nazi "euthanasia" program, so named after the location of the Berlin euthanasia headquarters at Tiergartenstraße 4). After the official halt of the "euthanasia program" in August 1941, murder continued in Eichberg itself, as in the other intermediate institutions, through systematic malnutrition and overdosed medication combined with nursing neglect.

Twenty of the children from Alsterdorf were immediately transferred to the "specialized children's ward" that had existed there since 1941. (The general term "Kinderfachabteilung" was used in the National Socialist German Reich as a euphemism for special psychiatric facilities in hospitals and in sanatoriums and nursing homes that served the purpose of "child euthanasia," i.e., the research on and killing of children and adolescents who were severely physically or mentally handicapped). 30 of the boys and men "transferred" from Hamburg to Eichberg still died by October 1943.

Robert Feddern was one of the 76 boys, girls, women and men who were taken to the "Landesheilanstalt Eichberg" on August 7, 1943.

Robert Feddern survived his arrival in Eichberg for only two months. He died on October 12, 1943, at the age of five.
The official cause of death was listed on the death register entry of the registry office as "pneumonia with cardiac insufficiency with cerebral palsy."

Whether Robert's parents received notification of their child's death is not noted in the records.

During the National Socialist era, a total of 630 disabled children, women and men were transported from the Alsterdorf institutions to intermediate institutions or directly to "euthanasia" killing centers. Of these people, 511 were killed - according to the state of knowledge in 2016.

Translation by Beate Meyer
Stand: February 2022
© Susanne Rosendahl

Quellen: Archiv Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf, Sonderakte 36 (Robert Feddern); StaH 332-5 Personenstandsregister 4129 Geburtsregister Nr. 90/1913; Sterberegister Robert Feddern in Erbach/ Hessen am 12.10.1943, Urkundennummer 647 (Zugriff 9.8.2020); Michael Wunder, Ingrid Genkel, Harald Jenner: Auf dieser schiefen Ebene gibt es kein Halten mehr – Die Alsterdorfer Anstalten im Nationalsozialismus, 3. Auflage, Stuttgart 2016.

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