Sunday, September 18, 2011

Madness Monday - Lunatic Asylum, Illenau


Rosina Jehle 1821-1893
 My great great grandmother, Magdalena Jehle Roesch had a sister Rosina Jehle who was a talented seamstress and dressmaker.  She married Georg Ross who was a saddler-shoemaker and dressmaker.  They had six children.

Together they worked at a renowned lunatic asylum, Illenau.  The asylum, located in Achern, Germany, opened in 1842 and was known to have great success with the healing of many.

Often, groups would take excursions to various recreation areas.  Trips were made to Mummelsee, a 55-foot deep lake considered to be of holy water.  It laid serenely snuggled at the foot of Hornisgrinde, the highest mountain at 3,820 feet, in the northern Black Forest of Germany.  It was believed the lake was inhabited by Nix, a mythical spirit that had the ability perform a metamorphosis of sorts by altering the body and mind, taking it to a better place.

Georg Ross 1814-1904
 Life was very hard for Rosina and Georg.  it was one filled with strict customs within the institution.  It was demanded that the rules of exhibiting sacrifice, service, eagerness and conscientiousness  must prevail.  Punishment would immediately follow any lack of discipline by any personnel.  The focus of the institution was entirely on the care of their patients.  Despite all this, Rosina and Georg were glad to submit to the regulations because of the enticement of great pay and the provision of a dwelling. 

Rosina Jehle, husband Georg and three sons,
lft to rt: Eduard b 1847, Otto b 1849 and August b 1852

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