Deaconess house

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A deaconess house , also deaconess mother house or deaconess institution , is an institution of the evangelical diakonia or the inner mission in which deaconesses live, by whom they are sent (externally commissioned with activities) and in which they are trained as deaconesses and the activities associated with them. The associations (as an institution) are often significant employers through the hospitals, children's or old people's homes they operate.

Symbol window in the mother house of the Kaiserswerth sisters in Remscheid- Lüttringhausen

With this facility, which has existed since the 19th century, young girls were given the opportunity to learn a recognized profession as deaconesses for the first time since the Middle Ages . At the beginning there was usually the blessing service , during which the solemn admission took place. They led a life in the service of the sick within fixed professional and spiritual rules.


Deaconess mother house of the Evangelical Foundation Tannenhof in Lüttringhausen

On October 13, 1836 founded pastor Theodor Fliedner in Kaiserswerth with Diakonissenanstalt Kaiserwerth the first Diakonissenhaus of modern times. His wife Friederike Fliedner became the first superior . The newly established training for Protestant nurses was based on the programmatic writings of the Rhenish theologian Friedrich Klönne. The new facility offered unmarried women recognized church training as an assistant to a male doctor or pastor. In the same year Adalbert von der Recke-Volmerstein founded the deaconess monastery in Düsselthal . In 1837 Johannes Evangelista Goßner founded the Elisabeth Hospital in Berlin.

This was followed by foundations in many other cities, for example in Dresden in 1844 , from which a subsidiary was founded by taking over a hospital in Niederlößnitz (today Radebeul ) in 1863, in Halle (Saale) in 1857 , in Hamburg in 1860 , which after a conflict over the orientation of the work In 1905 the superior Helene Hartmeyer and seven other sisters moved to Rotenburg (Wümme) , in 1867 in Bremen , 1877 in Gallneukirchen and 1899 in Detmold . With the German-Danish War , deaconesses also came to Schleswig-Holstein . At the same time, the Maltese founded their first hospital in Flensburg . In order to counteract the Catholic influence, the Diakonissenanstalt was founded in Flensburg in 1874 , which took over the Gotthard and Anna Hansen Hospital founded in 1804.

The institutions based on the Fliedner model founded the Kaiserswerther General Conference in 1861 and the Kaiserswerther Association in 1916 . In the course of the 19th century deaconess houses were founded all over the world as far as America , Asia and Africa . In 1899 the German Community Diakonieverband was established . There are also other umbrella organizations such as the Friedenshort founded by Eva von Tiele-Winckler .


  • Anne Stempel-de Fallois: From the beginning to the foundation of the Deaconess Mother House in Neuendettelsau (1826–1854) . Volume 2. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-17-016266-7 .
  • Gerta Scharffenorth : Sisters. Life and Work of Evangelical Sisters . Burckhardthaus, Offenbach 1984.
  • Leo Scheffczyk (Ed.): Diakonat and Diakonissen . EOS, Sankt Ottilien 2002, ISBN 3-8306-7119-9 .

Web links

Commons : Deaconess Institutions  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Diakonissenhaus  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Norbert Friedrich: "The model of living, working and living community was considered progressive and modern at that time". In: IdeaSpektrum 16.2014, p. 21
  2. Article deaconesses ; Meyers Konversationslexikon; Publishing house of the Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig and Vienna, fourth edition, 1885–1889.
  3. ^ A b Andreas Oeding, Broder Schwensen, Michael Sturm: Flexikon. 725 aha experiences from Flensburg! Flensburg 2009, article deaconesses
  4. Homepage of the Diakoniewerk Halle ( Memento of the original from October 1, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Diakoniekrankenhaus Rotenburg (Wümme) gGmbH: The Deaconess Mother House in Rotenburg (Wümme) ( Memento of the original from February 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. ^ Evangelisches Diakonissenmutterhaus Bremen eV: Tradition and history of the house
  7. ^ Lutz Wilde : Monument topography Federal Republic of Germany, cultural monuments in Schleswig-Holstein . Volume 2, Flensburg, page 398