Minna Braun

In October 1919, Minna Braun, a young Berlin nurse, took an overdose of morphine and sleeping pills with the intention of committing suicide. Several hours later, her body, seemingly lifeless, was found in the forest known as Grunewald. A physician declared her dead and she was placed in a coffin.

14 hours later, while Braun's body was being identified and her coffin re-opened, detectives noticed that the young woman was still alive. She was brought back to the hospital wing in which her initial diagnosis of rigor mortis slowly came to be proven incorrect. Following a successful suicide attempt a mere three years later, Braun found her final resting place in the “suicide cemetery” in Berlin Grunewald.

At the time, Minna Braun’s shocking “state of apparent death” caused a Berlin-wide fear and frenzy of being buried alive. This incident is also the reason why coffins with breathing holes and little windows suddenly came into fashion.

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