Elisabeth W.

born 02.03.1902 Dortmund

Profession Actress
Last place of residence Kassel
Reason of detention Prohibited contact


Elisabeth W. was born in Dortmund in 1902. As a young woman, she married Richard W. and they had a daughter in 1927. Later she lived in Kassel and worked as an actress.

On 9 January 1941, Elisabeth W. was arrested. In November 1940, she was accused of saying the following with regard to an image of a seargeant: "I have no liking for mass murderers. Murder is murder." On 9 April 1941, the Special Court of Kassel sentenced her to four months in prison with time served for pre-trial detention. From 12 May to 11 August 1942, she was imprisoned at the Breitenau "work education camp" (AEL). After that, Elisabeth served another three-month sentence in the detention centre in Kassel. This time she was arrested for an alleged relationship with a French prisoner of war. Following the detention, she was transferred to Breitenau, where she was imprisoned from 13 November 1942 to 27 January 1943. After she had been given the arrest warrant, she was transferred to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. After being imprisoned in Ravensbrück for more than two years, she experienced the liberation of the camp at the end of April 1945.

Following her liberation, Elisabeth W. lived in Berlin-Charlottenburg and worked as a radio announcer. From autumn 1945, she was regarded as a "recognised victim of fascism" before the Berlin central committee and received welfare payments. However, as the competencies changed as a result of the division of Berlin and a new institutional body became in charge of persecuted persons, her victim status was reviewed. Subsequently, Elisabeth W. had to apply for a certificate of detention twice at the institution succeeding the Breitenauer AEL. This certificate was required to "obtain compensation for the imprisonment suffered as a political prisoner". However, whether she was compensated remains questionable. Hardly any of the women who were imprisoned at the Breitenau AEL for unlawful contact were officially recognized as victims of National Socialism in Germany nor did they receive compensation.