The letters

Nanouk Prins

2019 - Ongoing

In 1909, a young mother called Emma Hauck was admitted in a psychiatric hospital of Heidelberg (Germany). She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Emma would pass away in an asylum in Wiesloch 11 years later. By that time a collection of letters was found in the archives of the Heidelberg hospital. All of these letters were written obsessively to her husband Michael, begging him to collect her. She wished to live the traditional life of a housewife with a social identity but was undermined by her deep and pathological aversion to her family. According to her medical file she would have liked to live in the forest on her own.

Most of her letters are written with overlapping words. Some read “herzensschatzi komm’ (darling come) over and over; others only repeat the words, ‘komm, komm, komm’ (come) thousands of times.

The letters were never sent…

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