Luxemburg, August 1965
Elisabeth Käsemann was born on May 11, 1947 in Gelsenkirchen as the youngest child of Margrit and Ernst Käsemann. In the course of her father’s occupational appointments, the family moved from Gelsenkirchen to Mainz, then to Göttingen, and finally, in 1959, to Tübingen, where he had received an offer from the Faculty of Protestant Theology at Tübingen University. In 1966 Elisabeth Käsemann passed her high school diploma at Wildermuth High School. Following a language stay in Oxford, she began to study politics in the winter term of 1966/67 at the Freie Universität Berlin. In 1968 she decided to complete the mandatory practical training semester in Bolivia. There she initially worked for the Evangelical Methodist Church in La Paz and assisted in visiting the sick and providing social care work. Following a tour through Latin America, she decided to study in Buenos Aires. She took the exam for the Argentinian high school diploma and began to study economics at the University of Buenos Aires. During her studies, she worked as a secretary and translator to earn a living and became involved with political organizations that looked after socially disadvantaged population groups. In 1976 the Argentinian army took power by a military coup, and an era of systematic persecution and assassination of members of the political opposition began. Elisabeth Käsemann was abducted in March 1977 and, following weeks of torture, shot dead in Monte Grande near Buenos Aires on May 24, just after her thirtieth birthday. .
Elisabeth with her father, Ernst Käsemann, Luxembourg, August 1965
Elisabeth Käsemann with her Hungarian shepherd dog Argos, Tübingen, Germany, October 1966
POLITICAL AND SOCIAL INVOLVEMENT
Already at an early age, Elisabeth Käsemann took an active interest in politics. At Wildermuth High School she ran a political study group. When she began to study in Berlin in 1966, the atmosphere in the city was already leading up to the political student movement of 1968 in Germany. Small groups consisting mainly of members of the Socialist German Student Union and the Protestant Student Community met up to discuss global politics and the issue of the North-South divide. At the same time, the foundations for the Third World Movement in Germany were laid by a group of people around Rudi Dutschke, of which Elisabeth Käsemann was also part.
Tübingen, December 1970
In Latin America, Elisabeth Käsemann campaigned in various ways for the improvement of living conditions of the destitute population. She participated in literacy campaigns, organized support for families in need, assisted people subjected to political persecution to flee the country, and worked for political and Christian organizations. In a country where priests were being tortured and murdered for their Christian commitment, this kind of involvement was a death warrant. Her concept of Christian solidarity had led her to lose her life in exchange for a world with more social justice.
Buenos Aires, Palermo, Argentina, May 1976
Tigre, Argentina, April 1976
The family education center of the Protestant Church in the city of Gelsenkirchen, where Elisabeth Käsemann was born, was named after her in 1993.
In 2012 a street in the Lustnau district of Tübingen was named after Elisabeth Käsemann.
Since 2012 Wildermuth High School graduates are presented with theElisabeth Käsemann Award for outstanding social commitment.
In 2022, the Argentine government declared the Monte Grande cemetery and the house with the address 1151 Boulevard Buenos Aires, where Elisabeth Käsemann and 15 other people were Right: Nahuel Levaggi, middle: Horacio Pietragalla Corti Photo: Dirección Nacional de Sitios y Espacios de Memoria 14 murdered, as official memorial sites.