Concentration Camp

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A vitriolic article publicly defaming Katharina Staritz under the headline of Miss Smartweed as City Vicar appeared in the SS magazine “Das Schwarze Korps” on December 18, 1941. Commenting on her circular on the decree introducing the Jewish badge, it asserted that every decent German can only feel disgusted by such incomprehensibly unreasonable demands as “Miss Smartweed” recommends there.

She was arrested on March 4, 1942 at the Christian Hospice in Marburg and taken into “protective custody”. After spending time in Kassel police jail and Breitenau concentration camp, she was deported to Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp where she was treated as a political prisoner and fortified her fellow prisoners through such clandestine worship as devotions, worship services and blessings.

After Paul Yorck von Wartenburg’s intervention, but primarily because of her sister Charlotte’s untiring efforts and numerous petitions to church and government officials, Katharina Staritz was released from the concentration camp unexpectedly on May 18, 1943.

In extremely poor health because of her internment, she led a withdrawn life in Breslau afterward until 1945. Since she had only been released “on a trial basis”, she was allowed to return to the employ of the church but no longer permitted to work in the public sphere. Her memoirs of her imprisonment were published after her death under the title “Des großen Lichtes Widerschein” (The Great Light’s Reflection”.

Source / title

  • © Evangelisches Zentralarchiv in Berlin, Best. 50 Nr. 524, Bl. 39

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