Elsa von Bonin

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Elsa Jutta Rosalie von Bonin (born October 14, 1882 in Berlin , † June 17, 1965 in West Berlin ) was a German lawyer, manor owner and writer.


She was the daughter of the administrative lawyer, manor owner, chamberlain and later Minister of State Giesbert von Bonin (1841-1913). He had married the widowed Maria Freiin von Hurter (born November 7, 1839 in Elberfeld; † August 18, 1912 at Gut Brettin) on April 22, 1872 in Godesberg.

Elsa von Bonin attended the secondary school for girls in Berlin and passed the high school diploma at the humanistic high school in Jena. She then studied law at the universities of Jena and Berlin. In 1915, she earned her doctorate at the Law Faculty of the University of Greifswald Dr. jur. The topic of her dissertation was the usability of the motive in substantive criminal law . After his father's death in 1913, she inherited her two older sisters paternal manor Brettin the circle Jerichow II of the administrative district of Magdeburg the Prussian province of Saxony . She paid off her sisters. After initially leasing the manor, she moved from the city of Berlin to the countryside and lived in Schloss Brettin with her partner, the factory owner's daughter Erna Schill-Krämer from the Rhineland.

Her first work, the novel “The Life of Renée von Catte”, was published while she was still in Berlin, in which she poetically processed her own biographical stations and experiences. The noble main character of the novel lived like her in a lesbian love affair. The novel, published in 1911, was followed by several other publications.

In addition to writing and doing business, Elsa von Bonin devoted herself to hunting and gardening in her free time. In the course of the land reform in September 1945, her manor Brettin was expropriated because it was over 100 hectares in size. Thereupon Elsa von Bonin first moved to Magdeburg, then to Erfurt and finally to West Berlin. Her partner, Erna Schill-Krämer, survived by seven years. In 1933 Elsa von Bonin had adopted Fabian von Ostau (1921–1997).

Fonts (selection)

  • The beautiful one . Stuttgart 1925.
  • Thomasine von Bärenclau . Leipzig 1931.
  • What would I be without you? 1953.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Bonin Gutsarchiv (H 35) is now in the Saxony-Anhalt State Archives .