Biography Klara Sierau
Klara Sierau, née Jentzen, born on 11 Dec. 1899, admitted to the Langenhorn "sanatorium” (Heilanstalt Langenhorn) in 1942, "transferred” to Rickling on 23 June 1944, died there on 29
Am Barls 260, Osdorf
Klara Olga Agnes was born in Bützow on 11 Dec. 1899 as the child of the maid Johanna Sophie Friedrike Jentzen. The father remained unknown. Klara was baptized on 26 Dec. 1899 in Bützow. Her mother died in Baumgarten on 2 Feb. 1900. At that time, Klara was only seven weeks old.
She was put into the care of the working-class couple Marie and Fritz Bruhn. However, Klara’s foster mother Marie also died, in Bützow on 30 Jan. 1904. Whether the widower Fritz Bruhn and the orphan Klara Jentzen continued to live in Bützow, we do not know. At least in the census documents of Mecklenburg they were no longer mentioned. Klara later claimed in the Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” ("Heil- und Pflegeanstalt” Langenhorn) to have been in about ten different foster homes, on which we also have no data.
Klara first reappeared in official documents with her admission to the Güstrow rural poorhouse in 1913 and 1914. Her confirmation took place there in 1915, but we do not know how long she stayed at this place. The only thing certain is that she left the poorhouse before 1919 and henceforth provided for her own livelihood.
From 19 Jan. 1920, she lived in Kiel at Ohlendorffallee 8 with Möller, where she apparently worked as a housemaid. Starting on 4 Feb. 1921, she then resided with the Sierau family at Steinstrasse 86 in Altona. She had come to know and love Ernst Theodor Heinrich Sierau and then moved into his apartment.
On 24 Jan. 1922, she married the "turret lathe operator” Ernst Theodor Heinrich Sierau in Altona. Turret lathe operators, a job designation for trained metalworkers, performed their work on lathes and produced work pieces made of steel, non-ferrous metals, or plastic. Ernst Theodor Heinrich Sierau was born on 12 Apr. 1896 in Altona at Steinstrasse 76. His parents were Friedrich Heinrich Sierau and Catharina Bertha Maria, née Kasch.
At the beginning, the young Sierau couple lived at Steinstrasse 76 and then at Steinstrasse 56, before they moved to Langenfelder Strasse. On 11 July 1923, Klara took a cure in the climatic health resort of Villingen to maintain her health.
From 1924 to 1929, the couple lived at Königsstrasse 19. In 1930, they moved to Rolandstrasse 36 on the fourth floor. (Probably by pure chance, the widow Catharine Margarethe Jentzen lived right below them. However, a family relationship with Klara Sierau, née Jentzen, could not be established).
Ernst Sierau died unexpectedly in his apartment on 4 Mar. 1930. He was found dead by the police. In the obituary, there was talk of a sudden accidental death. However, we do not know any further circumstances.
Klara remained in the apartment until 1932. She received a good pension from her deceased husband. This was followed by a move to Gärtnerstrasse 93 and then to another apartment at Am Barls 260, where she lived until she was admitted to a mental hospital in Hamburg on 20 Apr. 1942. Her friend and life partner at time, Werner Bruno Albert Klitz, born on 24 May 1906 in Putbus (Rügen), his sister and her husband also lived there.
Klara worked at a military training area in Blankenese on Manteuffelstrasse as a cleaner until she was admitted to the Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home.” In the clinic, Klara was treated with the "vaccine” malaria on 5 Apr. 1942. The so-called malaria therapy had previously been used on patients to treat paralysis, but by that time, this was considered obsolete (in the concentration camps, Nazi doctors also experimented with the pathogens to produce malaria antidotes). We do not know why the doctors "treated” Klara Sierau with it. In any case, her condition was documented in detail in the following weeks. On 8 Apr. 1942, she was "transferred” to a place unknown to us. We also do not know when she returned to Langenhorn. She was discharged from the Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home” on 27 June 1942.
Barely two years later, on 9 Mar. 1944, she was admitted to Altona Hospital because of an accident; she had bumped into a streetcar. The diagnosis was "craniocerebral trauma.” A fracture of the skull on the X-ray image could not be clearly determined, but it could not be ruled out. The doctors suspected a fracture of the pituitary gland on the sella turcica, a depression at the base of the skull.
On 29 Mar. 1944, she was again admitted to the Langenhorn "sanatorium and nursing home,” from where she was transferred to the "sanatorium and nursing home” in Ricklingen/ Holstein on 29 June 1944, where her condition rapidly deteriorated over the next few days. Her speech became incomprehensible and her physical and mental condition fluctuated greatly. It changed from very restless to apathetic behavior. Her pulse and breathing stopped repeatedly for intermittent periods. Eventually, Klara Sierau died on 29 July 1944, at 5:30 p.m. in Ricklingen. The documents concerning her death indicated "paralytic seizure.”
Her mortal remains were transferred to the Altona main cemetery, where her coffin was buried in a row grave at 10:00 a.m. on 12 Aug. 1944.
Translator: Erwin Fink
Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.
Stand: December 2020
© Bärbel Klein