In March 1950,
the Mother Superior of a hospital in the city of Leipzig Mrs. Naumann was
summoned to the police station to receive a secret announcement. The police
president Winkelmann told her that she would immediately have to make special
rooms for children in her hospital because that evening 20 - 30 children would
arrive at the hospital.
have no names; they fall under the category of 'Children of the State
Government.' It is forbidden to maintain a file on them. Take care not to
let word of this get out."
.. Even in a
hospital, one had to have a ration card to get food. To get ration cards for
children without names was impossible, and Mrs. Naumann had to remember not to
let word of the children get out, or she might be subject to punishment
herself. But even the reference from police president Winkelmann didn't help.
Finally the Mother Superior got numbered tin tags for the children; these hung
around the neck of the bigger children and on the bed of the smaller ones.
This number entitled the children to ration cards and also issued shoe ration
cards, because all of them had entered the hospital barefoot, or with only
.. She told the
police doctor that she would need the names of the children in case of them
died. She emphasized that the cemetery custodian would not take a body
without a name. If she tried to have one of the children buried, this might
draw attention to the fact that children were being kept in the hospital and
this is exactly the type of exposure the police wanted to avoid. The doctor,
obviously not knowing how to handle this ethical dilemma, absolved himself of
responsibility by simply leaving the children's files sitting on Mrs.
Naumann's desk for about an hour. Naumann feverishly copied all of the
information that she could about each child. She easily got the names of the
children, but she also noted the convictions and sentences against their
crossing, espionage, sabotages etc." 5, 10 and 25 years. The mothers had all
been interred in Sachsenhausen first, arrested while pregnant, children born
in prison and then cared for by German medical personnel or Russian guards
... almost each
child also had a hidden heart-rending letter from his mother (torn notes
written in coal or mortar) with special requests for the caretakers to treat
the child well such as: 'Sascha has slept only in my arms' or 'Dug [doesn't
know how to] sleep in a bed, please be good to him.' Mrs. Naumann and the
nurses tried to comply with these wishes, but in the first few days it was
very hard, because the children cried out for their mothers day and night.
... In the end, 16
children remained in the hospital; the police president scornfully remarked
that they were the ones "nobody wanted to have". After many futile attempts in
November 1950 she managed to get the children into various children's homes in
the Leipzig area.
... As ordered by
the president of police, each child was given a document with its real name but
the wrong place of birth: Waldstrasse Hospital. The children were treated as
orphans. All documents with the council and the relatives were handled to the
East German police. It's now nearly impossible to find these children, because
of a ministry of the Interior regulation of 1952; the children had to stay in
(Report from a Document,
found in the archives of the "Diakonisches Werk" of West Berlin by the Mother Superior
of a hospital in Leipzig she gave in 1953, after she fled to West Berlin)