In the summer of 1829, many tears are shed in the Holländer House in Dargardt. The daughter, Dorothea Stange, 29 years old and still not married, has gotten herself into trouble. She is pregnant. Her father, Friedrich Stange, is angry, very angry. Hasn’t he raised her to be a loyal and faithful daughter? Hasn’t he taught her how a young lady behaves? She has brought disgrace onto the family. Her mother Maria remains silent. Maria’s mother Christine was nine months pregnant when she got married and her twin sister Anna even gave birth to an illegitimate child the same year Dorothea was born. She could live with the shame and a newborn in the house. But what she considers deeply irritating is that the father of the baby is a good friend of the family, August Friedrich Leiffheidt, the forester of Plattenburg. He and Dorothea grew up together, she remembers him well as a child. She and her husband are good friends to his parents. For her it feels like he betrayed their trust in him. And it seems to her as if things might not work out too well for Dorothea at all. But the decision is made: Dorothea and Friedrich will get married. Both their fathers, the holländer Stange and the administrator Leiffheidt, seem to think it is a brilliant match. Both belong to the same social class and know one another well. She will bring a good dowry and she will have a husband to provide for her. And the child will not be born out of wedlock.
On October 28, 1829 the wedding bell rings in the church of Stavenow. The day after, Dorothea moves into the forester’s house in Plattenburg, away from her parents and her siblings who had lived close by. But things do not go too well for her. On January 17, 1830 the midwife is called, but she has gone into labor too early. The little girl is stillborn. It takes some time for her to recover, but in the fall she knows that she is pregnant again. Little Sophie is born on May 20, 1831, she is small and fragile but she is alive. She is baptized only 4 days later, just to be sure. Dorothea is happy with her little baby girl and when one year later she gets to know that she is expecting again, she is delighted. And she will get another sweet little girl in December 1832, baptized with the name Auguste. However, the idyll does not too last long. Sophie dies of apoplexy only three months after Auguste’s birth, only 1 year, 9 months and 24 days old. To make things worse, the second daughter Auguste dies only one year later of consumption, not living longer than 15 months. Dorothea has carried and given birth to three children, yet she is childless. It leaves her devastated. A few months later, she is once again pregnant and in March 1835, her first son is born and is christened with the name August. In June 1836, son Carl is born. But she only can enjoy her two sons for one year, as Carl dies in 1837 after heavy convulsions leaving her with only one child. At least now she has her brother and his wife living close by, to support and comfort her in her loss. Her sister in law has given birth to five boys and except for one all of them are alive and healthy. Why does she have to carry such a heavy burden? Again, she becomes pregnant and brings her last child, little Dorothea, into the world on June 11, 1838. But this time it is she that does not survive. She bleeds to death. She only lives to be 38 years old, leaving behind a newborn and the three-year old August. She is buried next to her children at the church of Groß Leppin. These are not the last graves to be dug. Not long afterwards, her two last children follow her in death, August nine months later and finally Dorothea in 1840. None of the children gets to be older than 5 years. Her husband remarries soon and his wife Henriette gives birth to four more children, only two of them surviving. After having buried eight of his ten children, Friedrich August Leiffheidt leaves Plattenburg. The cemetery no longer exists. It is gardening land today.