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Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler
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Artist
    (December 4, 1899-July 31, 1940)
    Born in Dresden, Germany
    Birth name was Anna Frieda Wächtler
    Expressionist painter
    Works included self-portraits, harbor scenes in Hamburg, and sketches of laborers, prostitutes and psychiatric patients
    She smoked a pipe.
    She suffered a nervous breakdown from a combination of financial troubles and a martial crisis (1929).
    She was later diagnosed as schizophrenic and permanently placed in a state mental hospital (1932).
    Many of her works were lost or destroyed.
    Her work fell into obscurity after her death, with the first major post-WWII exhibition of her work not taking place until 1991.
    Her husband was a spendthrift who quickly ran through her money as well as his own.
    After she was hospitalized, her husband had several children with his mistress before getting a divorce.
    When she refused voluntary sterilization, the hospital denied her passes to leave the grounds.
    After the Nazis took over Germany, she was forcibly sterilized.
    She was murdered as part of the Nazi Action T4 program of ‘euthanasia’ of the mentally ill.

Credit: C. Fishel


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