Elisabeth Wucke

Photo: group photo at lecture hall during the time of Elisabeth Wucke | © Charité, Bildarchiv Institut für die Geschichte der Medizin

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Elisabeth Wucke, (Potsdam 1894 - ??) had been a nurse at the University Hospital in Artillerie street (now Tucholskystrasse) since 1913 and was dismissed due to her membership of the SPD party and because of her active role in the local Employment Council. On the 15th August 1933 her Bureaucratic Director declared that she could not be relied on to behave “wholeheartedly in the interests of the nation state". Among hospital employees only four were members of the SPD but by 1933 14 out of 98 nurses including persons in senior positions had already joined the NSDAP. As a result, her co-workers, the Gauleiter (federal NSDAP representative) and the Hospital Director, Prof. Walter Stoeckel (1871-1961), himself a firm NSDAP advocate, all endorsed her dismissal. Regarding a caretaker who had been dismissed for similar reasons, Stoeckel was quick to stress that the employee was not in his opinion “antinational”. But in Wucke’s case he declared that although the nurse was dutiful and hardworking he doubted her convictions and did not believe she could be relied upon to act in the national interest. Her pleas to hold on to her position went unheard and even though it was clear that she would end up unemployed Stoekel refused to reverse his decision. The fact that she withdrew from politics and her subsequent resignation from the SPD also proved of no consequence.

In later years she cared for her nationalistic father who had served as a policeman for over 40 years. But neither this, nor the fact that her brother “died a hero’s death on a U-boat” helped her to regain her former position. It was only in 1941 due to the need for extra nurses during the war effort that she regained employment and from 1945 she was able to work once again at the Charité. We know nothing of her life after 1945 or of her death. For this reason we are unable to display a photo of Ms. Wucke and the accompanying photo instead depicts her colleagues from the gynecological clinic.

(Text: Udo Schagen, 2013, nach Susanne Doetz, 2010)