Judith Auer

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Judith Auer (née Vallentin) (19 September 1905 – 27 October 1944) was a resistance fighter against the Nazi régime in Germany.

Early life[edit]

Auer was born in Zürich. Her father was the communist writer, Erich Vallentin.[1] After her parents' untimely death in 1917,[2] Judith was brought up by a well-to-do Jewish family.[2] She completed her Abitur and began studies in music in the hopes of becoming a pianist.[2]

In 1924, as a student, she joined the Young Communist League of Germany,[1] and the next year, moved to Berlin. There, she met and married Erich Auer, a functionary in the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), in 1926.[2] In 1927, she joined the KPD. In 1928, Auer went to Moscow with her husband and worked at the Comintern's offices.

In 1929, her daughter Ruth was born.[2] To earn money, Auer learned typing and shorthand and took a job at a KPD establishment.

Resistance activities[edit]

After Hitler seized power in Germany in 1933 and the KPD was banned by the new régime, Auer eventually found herself working for AEG at the Kabelwerk Oberspree ("cable works"),[1] first as a shorthand typist, and later as a buying agent.[2] It was here that Auer first came into contact with the resistance group around Fritz Plön,[2] a welder, who himself had contacts with the resistance group around Anton Saefkow, Franz Jacob, Bernhard Bästlein and Karl Klodt, the Saefkow-Jacob-Bästlein Organization.[1] Auer also had had a long friendship with Änne Weiß, who became Saefkow's wife.[2]

Auer managed her resistance group's finances and used business trips to do courier work, especially with a view to establishing links with resistance fighters in Thuringia, such as Theodor Neubauer.[2] She also hid Franz Jacob in her flat for several months after he fled from Hamburg.[1]

Arrest and Execution[edit]

Auer was arrested at her workplace on July 7, 1944 and was later tortured.[2] Along with Bruno Hämmerling and Franz Schmidt, she was sentenced to death at the Volksgerichtshof. Auer was hanged at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin on October 27, 1944.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Memorial in Berlin-Bohnsdorf for seven Bohnsdorfers killed resisting the nazi government. The caption reads: Brought to death, yet see: we live

There are streets named for Auer in Berlin, Leipzig and Jena.[3][4][5] In the former East Germany, there are several public institutions named after her, as well.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • "Judith Auer (1905 - 1944). Möge alles schmerzliche nicht umsonst gewesen sein", Ruth und Günther Hortzschansky, Trafo-Verlag Berlin, 2004

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Short biography of Judith Auer German Resistance Memorial Center, Berlin. Retrieved May 18, 2010
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Judith Auer Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes - Bund der Antifaschisten Köpenick, Germany. Retrieved July 29, 2010 (German)
  3. ^ Maplink to Judith-Auer-Straße, 10369 Berlin, Germany Google Maps. Retrieved May 18, 2010
  4. ^ Mapllink to Judith-Auer-Straße, 04317 Leipzig, Germany Google Maps. Retrieved May 18, 2010
  5. ^ Maplink to Judith-Auer-Straße, Jena, Germany Google Maps. Retrieved May 18, 2010

External links[edit]