Ohlsdorf Cemetery - Garden of Women, female opponents of the Nazi regime
The Garden of Women is a memorial site in the Ohlsdorf Cemetery with the gravestones of important women. Women continue to be buried here today. Historical gravestones for female victims and opponents of the Nazis are also located here. The memorial site is maintained by the Garden of Women Association. ‘Remembrance stones’ made of sandstone represent the important women whose graves were not preserved in the cemetery. The stones are arranged in a ‘remembrance spiral’ and each have a different design.
One remembrance stone is dedicated to the ‘euthanasia’ victim Erna Hoffmann. She and other women were taken in November 1941 from the Rickling ‘mental asylum’ to the Pfafferode Sanatorium and Nursing Home, where they were killed by starvation. The stone is filled with shards of glass and the opening is sealed by bars.
Another stone commemorates Margaretha Rothe, an opponent of the Nazi regime and member of the Hamburg branch of the White Rose resistance movement. This stone also has an opening, and like the stone for Erna Hoffmann, it resembles the window of a prison cell. In the stone for Margaretha Rothe there is a paper plane crafted of metal, an allusion to the leaflets distributed by the White Rose. The same stone commemorates Erna Stahl, a teacher and opponent of the Nazi regime who organised an opposition reading group at the secondary school for girls in Alstertal, in which Margaretha Rothe participated. The remembrance stone for Margaretha Rothe and Erna Stahl was created in a cooperative project between students from the Margaretha Rothe and Alstertal secondary schools.
Other remembrance stones commemorate the following women:
Dr. Margarete Adam, secondary-school teacher and member of the resistance;
Lonny Beese, Jewish victim of National Socialism;
France Bloch-Sérazin, frrench member of resistance;
Martha Golembiewski, forced labourer;
Prof. Dr. Agathe Lasch, the first woman to hold a chair at the University of Hamburg and a Jewish victim of National Socialism;
Gertrud Lockmann, Hamburg Parliament delegate for the SPD and member of the resistance;
Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler, painter and victim of ‘euthanasia’;
Dr. Martha Muchow, psychologist and opponent of National Socialism;
Marie Priess, member of resistance;
Gerda Rosenbrock-Wempe, member of resistance;
Renate Strübing-Wagner, member of resistance;
Käthe Tennigkeit, member of the German Communist Party and the resistance.
There are plaques with short biographies on the historical gravestones for Yvonne Mewes, an opponent of the Nazi regime; Olga Brandt-Knack, a ballet mistress who was placed under surveillance by the Gestapo; Leonore Toepke, a Jewish sculptor and victim of the Nazi regime; the Jewish painter Gretchen Wohlwill; the Jewish musician Edith Weiss-Mann; Hilde Wuff, head of the Volksdorf Children’s Home, whose facility became a refuge for the children of imprisoned Communists; and the Jewish actor Charlotte Kramm.