Hilde Schneider

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 29 – Biographies

Hilde Schneider (1916-2008), daughter of a Protestant and conservative-nationalist family, only found out about her Jewish heritage late and little by little. Because her Jewish background made it impossible to study medicine, she joined the Deaconess Motherhouse “Henriettenstift” as a probationary deaconess in 1935. The motherhouse advised her to emigrate at the end of 1938. Disappointedly, Hilde Schneider left the convent and finished her education in the Jewish Hospital on Ellernstraße. She continued to attend the church service and visit a girlfriend in the motherhouse until she was banned from entering the premises in 1941. The mother superior thereby followed the guidelines of the Protestant Church that was dominated by the German Christians (German: Deutsche Christen; an anti-Semitic movement within the Protestant Church).

In the ghetto, Hilde Schneider felt completely isolated. She survived because of food gifts from patients. After several different camps and forced labour assignments, she reached freedom on Soviet-occupied territory in February 1945. However, due to her rheumatism and typhus, this was only possible through the efforts of fellow inmates who pulled her on a supply sled.

Back in Hannover, Hilde Schneider refused an offer by the “Henriettenstift” to work for them again. She studied theology and was a prison chaplain until her retirement.

Picture credits

1. Private Collection, Hilde Schneider

2. Yvonne Sowa, Project “Culture of Remembrance”

3. Private Collection, Hilde Schneider


Exhibition: Deported to their Deaths
Duration: December 15th, 2011 to January 27th, 2012
Location: Neues Rathaus Hannover, Bürgersaal
Panel: 29 from 39 – Biographies
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond