Josefine Ollmann (1908-2022) becomes the oldest validated supercentenarian in Germany

The Gerontology Research Group is honored, following the splendid research action by our GRG-Germany Team and after cordial cooperation with the family, to announce the validation of Mrs. Josefine Ollmann of Itzehoe, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, who, being older than previously validated longevity record holder of Germany, Mrs. Maria Laqua (1889-2002), is to be considered the new oldest person in Germany’s history.

Josefine Ollmann was born in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire (now Bavaria, Germany) on 11 November 1908. Her father was an engineer, so the family often moved to other places like the Netherlands, Upper Silesia, and Berlin. She had a younger brother. Ollmann’s 10th birthday in 1918 occured the same day World War I ended. When she finished university in Wittenberg, Ollmann was the top of the class. She got an apprenticeship as a laborant, and worked at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin. Ollmann married a lawyer in 1939. The couple had two children, a son and a daughter. After World War II, they fled from Greifswald to Kellinghusen in order to escape the Red Army. Her husband died in 1952.

Ollmann run a diary and played Scrabble until the age of 100. She lived in her own house until the age of 107. On 30 January 2022, at the age of 113 years, 80 days, Ollmann surpassed the age of Mathilde Mange, becoming the oldest woman ever to live in Germany. Beforehand, she surpassed the age of Maria Laqua, then the oldest validated supercentenarian in Germany. In February 2022, she survived COVID-19, making her one of the oldest known survivors of the disease, as well as the oldest person in Germany who contracted and recovered from the disease.

Josefine Ollmann died on 16 July 2022 in a retirement home in Itzehoe, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, at the age of 113 years, 247 days. At the time of her death, she had four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Josefine Ollmann was the oldest living person in Germany between years 2020-2022 and she was the last surviving German person born in 1908.

Her age was verified by the GRG-Germany Correspondents’ Team: Stefan Jamin, Ulrich Koch, and Thomas Breining, and validated by the GRG on 13 February 2023.