The "Wind House" on the Westend campus recalls Auguste D. 2

The "Wind House" on the Westend campus recalls Auguste D.

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District historian Rudolf Dederer designed the memorial to Alzheimer's first patient, Auguste D., along with artist Bruno Feger. There are many meanings.

The box is on shaky legs. Open the top and bottom, holding only three hinged covers on the ground. However, these people are threatening to wash up at all times. The sculpture made of steel was recently erected on a pedestal on the Westend campus. Black Forest artist Bruno Feger made a cubic structure of small rectangles of different sizes. The waves that make the edges appear to be tight.

"The Wind House," as the creator called it, remembers Auguste Deter, Alzheimer's first patient. On November 25, 1901, she took her husband from a shared apartment to Mörfelder Landstraße by tram to a psychiatric hospital on today's university campus. The clinic's chief physician, Alois Alzheimer, by whom this form of dementia is named, was diagnosed with brain disease for the first time on the Decision after her death.

This was explored by Rudolf Dederer. He is the initiator of the monument. The 80-year-old researched Deters history with a volunteer scholarship as a district historian for the Polytechnic Foundation. Together with the artist, the native Westendler further developed the idea for the monument and eventually donated the work to the university. "If the form stops and the person is completely emptied of his identity, we are left to recognize what he was like," Dederer says, referring to the empty box.

Above the Nina-Rubenstein Trail and under the University Presidency, there is a monument – right on the hill, where a psychiatric clinic, popularly called "Affenstein" or "Crazy Castle," stood. Coming from the Grüneburgweg subway station, the route takes many students and university staff past the monument. The box, then, is not only a memory of the first Alzheimer’s patient, but also a “symbol of mobility,” which often affects players on campus. And the question is how each of these, in modern times, uses mobility relatively well, Dederer says.

The debris at the bottom of the sculpture represents fragments of its former existence.

© Boeckheler

It was important for the retired lawyer to pay tribute to the doctor as well as his patient, without which the discovery of the disease would not have been possible. Auguste Deter, noted in the records of Alzheimer's as Auguste D., spent nearly five years in psychiatry before dying at the age of 56.

Her doctor obtained a monument near the university casino, in the circle of a small grave. It is just a few steps from the Deters memorial, but looks much more "remote" than the silver-gray cardboard pad on which Deter's explanation board was to be installed, according to the district historian.

The starting point of his research on the first Alzheimer's patient was the Dederers Walk more than a decade ago. At the time, he wanted to take a closer look at the construction site of new university buildings. Then he discovered a large pile of debris, which had been taken out of a "monkey stone tower."

At the base of the Alzheimer's monument, below the glass plate, are white cup pieces and saucers with red-blue glitter embellishments: Dederer inserted the original pieces into a glass case under silver-gray cardboard. To him, debris is a metaphor for Alzheimer's.

Other tableware remnants, which are built into the wooden table and cabinet, can be found on display in the health department. Dederer is not only interested in Auguste Deter's person, but also in the social dimension of the disease. "If the cure is not found soon, huge costs will come to society," he fears. Therefore, the district historian wants to continue to dedicate this topic.