Emmy Zehden Way—The Story Behind the Name
IN May 1992, a street in the city of Berlin, Germany, was named after Emmy Zehden, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Emmy was born in 1900. She married a Jewish businessman, Richard Zehden, who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Nazi regime. Richard and Emmy had a foster son, Horst Schmidt. Horst and two other young Witnesses of Jehovah were forced into hiding when they were called for military service.
Emmy provided shelter for Horst and his two companions. In time, however, they were discovered. All four were sentenced to death—the three boys for refusing military service and Emmy for hiding them. Horst’s two companions were beheaded. Emmy applied for a pardon, but it was denied. She was beheaded at Plötzensee in Berlin on June 9, 1944.* Horst Schmidt survived Nazi persecution and later married a Witness who was a concentration-camp survivor.
On May 7, 1992, a street in Berlin was named after Emmy Zehden. In a speech given by a German official, she was praised for her courage and mentioned as an example of the many ‘forgotten victims’ of the war.
According to official documents on display at the Berlin-Plötzensee Memorial, Emmy Zehden was executed on June 9, 1944.