D5 Medical Experiments

Erna Lauenburger was a young Sintiza from Berlin, who grew up and moved to Magdeburg and had a family. In 1943, Erna and her two daughters were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Erna became a victim of the medical experiments performed by SS doctor Josef Mengele. She was killed with a lethal injection. Her daughters also died in Auschwitz. Her husband, Otto Schmidt, died in Buchenwald concentration camp. Erna Lauenburger had been the inspiration for Alex Wedding’s children’s book Ede and Unku, in which a boy from Berlin makes friends with a Sinti girl. Ede and Unku was one of the most popular children’s books in Germany in the interwar period and it was subsequently fi lmed. In 2011, a street in Berlin was named after Ede and Unku.

1931 - 1943