Home

[Polskie tłumaczenie]

Tiegenhof [Dziekanka] (Landesheilanstalt Wojewodschafts-Anstalt für Psychiatrie Tiegenhof [Gnesen])


Gniezno on a map 

The Kinderfachabteilung in the facility Tiegenhof/Dziekanka near Gnesen/Gniezno was established in early 1943 and continued at least until 1944. Dr. Wladimir Nikolajew became the acting director of the facility from 1941 to 1943, when the Dr. Viktor Ratka as official director became involved in being an evaluator for "T" before returning to his position in 1945. After WWII, Dr. Nikolajew lived in Uelzen as a public health official (Medizinalrat) and was a physician in private practice (he died in 1975), whereas Dr. Ratka retired in Baden (he died in 1966). Dr. Walter Kipper was responsible for the special children's ward. His recruitment occurred in November 1942, and he received "training" in the special children's ward of Görden in December of that year (Fiebrandt 2012: 229). After WWII, he lived in Gmunden/Austria and worked as a physician there (his last testimony was in 1978).

The first children admitted to the special children's ward came in February 1943. Such children were recorded with the designation "Kinderfachabteilung" in the ledger that contained the facility's admission records. 138 German and Polish children and youths between the ages of four months and 14 years were admitted until the Red Army arrived on 21 January 1945. Their patient records are considered destroyed (see Fiebrandt 2012: 230).

At Tiegenhof, about 1,200 German and Polish patients were murdered by members of the SS Sonderkommando Lange, which also used mobile gassing vans, between December 1939 and mid 1941. Later Tiegenhof became a core "wild euthanasia" killing facility similar to Grossschweidnitz and Meseritz-Obrawalde. The number of children in the special children's ward and the number murdered is not known, as Polish publications on the clinic's history during Nazi occupation only mention parenthetically the involvement of children in the overall process of the murder of patients. The list of murdered psychiatric patients in Poland during the Nazi period published in Zdzisław Jaroszewski, ed., Pacjenci i pracownicy szpitali psychiatrycznych w Polsce zamordowani przez okupanta Hitlerowskiego i los tych szpitali w latach 1939-1945. Vol. 2: Imienne wykazy zamordowanych, for Dziekanka does not include the victims of "children's euthanasia."

Google Earth picture of Tiegenhof/Dziekanka air picture of Tiekanka map of Dziekanka facility
main building dzienkanka
Source: Google Earth; http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_MnKHPQ9i-10/SyHnpcVaXzI/AAAAAAAAB0I/-QhtoqNiFtE/s1600-h/Dziekanka+Lufz.jpg; author

In the context of its investigations against personnel involved with the transfer of patients from the Alsterdorfer Anstalten in the late 1960s, personnel from the state attorney's office at Hamburg traveled to Dziekanka and had the following pictures taken, which refer to the men's and women's stations, with special rooms dedicated to the killing of patients.

men's pavillon
women's pavillon
room where patients were killed
Source: Wunder, pp. 185-87

The clinic's name today is SP ZOZ Wojewódzki Szpital dla Nerwowo i Psychicznie Chorych "Dziekanka" im. Aleksandra Piotrowskiego w Gnieznie. Its website has a history section, which addresses the euthanasia crimes between 1939 and 1945, with over 3,600 victims, but does not refer to "children's euthanasia" specifically.

church dziekanka
display text dzienkanka
Source: author

On the outer wall of the church Michal Kozal (here/here), which served as the chapel to the clinic, is a plaque commemorating hospital patients murdered by the Nazis during the occupation. It was placed there in 1948 and reads: "In honor of the dead and murdered staff and patients of the Department of Psychiatric Dzienkanka during the Nazi occupation 1939-1945. Employees of the Clinic in August 1948" (Ku czci poleglych i pomordowanych pracownikow i pacjentow Zakladu Psychiatrycznego Dzienkanka w latach okupacji 1939-1945  Pracownicy Zakladu Sierpień 1948).

An online commemoration of a victim (though not of the special children's ward), Erna Kronshage, exists (1 / 2; for the Stolperstein: 3).

Mielno Obelisk
Source: http://www.informacjelokalne.home.pl/images/historia02/mielno_obelisk%20394.jpg

In 2009/2010 research was underway to establish whether murdered Dziekanka patients were buried in a nearby forest (1/2/3/4). A gravestone was placed in a forest in Mielno in 2010.

The most recent research on the facility has been conducted by the historian Maria Fiebrandt.


Literature


Publications by Polish authors in chronological order

Gallus, Jan. 1949. "Dziekanka w latach 1939-45 oraz jej udzial i rola w wyniszczeniu umyslowo chorych Polaków." Rocznik Psychiatryczny 37(1):75-91.

Jaroszewski, Zdzisław, ed. 1989. Pacjenci i pracownicy szpitali psychiatrycznych w Polsce zamordowani przez okupanta Hitlerowskiego i los tych szpitali w latach 1939-1945. Vol. 1: Szpitale. Vol. 2: Imienne wykazy zamordowanych. Warsaw: n. p.

———. 1993. "Dziekanka (Tiegenhof): Wojewodschafts-Anstalt für Psychiatrie." Pp. 86-103 in Die Ermordung der Geisteskranken in Polen, 1939-1945, edited by Zdzislaw Jaroszewski. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

Jaska, Marian. 1994. Dzieje Wojewódzkiego Szpitala dla Nerwowo i Psychicznie Chorych im. Aleksandra Piotrowskiego "Dziekanka" w Gnieźnie. U.p, u.p.

Nasierowski, Tadeusz. 2006. "In the Abyss of Death: The Extermination of the Mentally Ill in Poland During World War II." International Journal of Mental Health 35(3):50-61.

———. 2008, Zagłada osób z zaburzeniami psychicznymi w okupowanej Polsce. Warsaw: Neriton, pp. 87-92.

Tiergartenstrasse 4 Association. "Gniezno Asylum." Available at http://www.tiergartenstrasse4.org/GNIEZNO_ASYLUM,213.html


Kulesza, Witold. 2010. "'Euthanasie'-Morde an polnischen Psychiatriepatient/innen während des Zweiten Weltkriegs." Pp. 175-78 in Die nationalsozialistische "Euthanasie"-Aktion "T4" und ihre Opfer: Geschichte und ethische Konsequenzen für die Gegenwart, edited by Maike Rotzoll, Gerrit Hohendorf, Petra Fuchs, Paul Richter, Christoph Mundt, Wolfgang U. Eckart. Paderborn: Schöningh.

Serafinowski, Roman. 2011. "Volksdeutsche Viktor Ratka i Stefan Gallon." Pp. 217-23 in Medycyna na usługach systemu eksterminacji ludności w Trzeciej Rzeszy i na terenach okupowanej Polski, edited by Poznańskie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk. Poznan: Wydawnictwo Poznańskiego Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Nauk.


Other authors

Benzenhöfer, Udo. 2003. "Genese und Struktur der 'NS-Kinder- und Jugendlicheneuthanasie.'" Monatsschrift für Kinderheilkunde 151: 1012-1019.

Fiebrandt, Maria. 2011. "NS-Bevölkerungspolitik und Psychiatrie: Die Umfunktionierung der Heilanstalt Tiegenhof/Dziekanka zu einer 'Vorbildlichen Heilanstalt für Deutsche' während der Deutschen Besatzungszeit 1939–1945. Pp.205-16 in Medycyna na usługach systemu eksterminacji ludności w Trzeciej Rzeszy i na terenach okupowanej Polski, edited by Poznańskie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk. Poznan:
Wydawnictwo Poznańskiego Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Nauk.

———. 2012. "Volks- und Reichsdeutsche in den ehemals polnischen Heilanstalten Warta und Tiegenhof (Warthegau) 1939-1945." Pp. 219-38 in NS-Euthanasie in der Ostmark, edited by the Arbeitskreis zur Erforschung der nationalsozialistischen 'Euthanasie' und Zwangsterilisierung. Munster: Klemm & Oelschläger.

Nowak, Karolina. 2009. "Die Vernichtung 'lebensunwerten Lebens' im Reichsgau Wartheland, 1939-1945." Master's Thesis in History, University of Freiburg.

Topp, Sascha. 2004. “Der ‘Reichsausschuss zur wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb- und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden’: Zur Organisation der Ermordung minderjähriger Kranker im Nationalsozialismus 1939-1945.” Pp. 17-54 in Kinder in der NS-Psychiatrie, edited by Thomas Beddies and Kristina Hübener. Berlin-Brandenburg: Be.bra Wissenschaft.

———. 2005. "Der 'Reichsausschuß zur wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb- und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden': Die Ermordung minderjähriger Kranker im Nationalsozialismus 1939-1945." Master's Thesis in History, University of Berlin.

Wunder, Michael, Ingrid Genkel, and Harald Jenner. 1988. Auf dieser Schiefen. Ebene gibt es kein halten mehr: Die Alsterdorfer Anstalten Im Nationalsozialismus. Hamburg: Agentur des Rauhen Hauses.

Last updated on 22 January 2104