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Stella Kübler

Stella {Goldschlag} Kübler Isaacksohn (born 10 July 1922),[1] was a Jewish woman born in Germany who collaborated with the Gestapo during World War II, exposing and denouncing Berlin's underground Jews.

Early life[]

She was born Stella Goldschlag and raised in Berlin as the only child in a middle-class, assimilated Jewish family.[2] After the seizure of power by the Nazis, she, like other Jewish children, was forbidden to go to public school, so she attended Goldschmidt, a school set up by the Jewish community, where she was known for her beauty and vivacity.[2] Her parents attempted to leave Germany to escape the Reich, but were unable to get visas for other countries. The family fell on hard times when Jews were purged from positions of influence and her father lost his job with the newsreel company Gaumont. After Stella completed her education she trained as a fashion designer at the School of Applied Art in Nurnbergerstrasse.[3]

Going underground and collaboration[]

In 1941, she married a Jewish musician, Manfred Kübler. They had met when both were working as Jewish forced-labourers in a war plant in Berlin.[2] In about 1942, when the large deportation programme of Berlin Jews into extermination camps began, she disappeared underground, using forged papers to pass as a non-Jew — an endeavour which was helped by her blonde-haired, blue-eyed, classically beautiful, 'Aryan' appearance.[2]

In the spring of 1943, she and her parents were arrested by the Nazis, but to avoid deportation for herself and her parents, agreed to become a "catcher" for the Gestapo, hunting down Jews hiding as non-Jews (referred to as "U-Boats").[2] She proceeded to comb Berlin for such Jews and, as she was familiar with a large number of Jewish people from her years at her segregated Jewish school, Kübler was very successful at finding her former schoolmates and handing their information over to the Gestapo, while pretending to be a U-Boat herself. The data concerning the number of her victims varies, depending on different sources of information, from between 600 to 3,000 Jews. Kübler's charisma and striking good looks were a great advantage in her pursuit of underground Jews. The Nazis called her "blonde poison".[2] She is mentioned in The Forger, Cioma Schonhaus' 2004 account of living as an underground Jew in Berlin,[4] and also Berlin at War (Roger Moorhouse, 2010).

Despite her collaboration, the Nazis eventually deported her parents to a concentration camp, where they were killed. Her husband was deported in 1943 to Auschwitz, along with his family. This did not prevent Kübler from continuing her work as a Catcher for the Gestapo. She continued this work until March 1945. During this time, she met and married Rolf Isaaksohn, also Jewish.[2]

Post-war[]

At the end of the war she went into hiding, but was found and arrested by the Soviets in October 1945 and sentenced to ten years' camp detention. Afterwards she moved to West Berlin. There she was again tried and convicted, and punished with ten years' detention. However she did not have to serve that sentence because of time already served in the Soviet prison. In 1992, Peter Wyden, a Berlin schoolmate whose family had been able to get visas for the US in 1937 and who later learned about Stella's role as a Catcher while he was working for the U.S. Army, wrote a biography of Kübler.

Sources[]

  1. "The Holocaust Chronicle article on Stella Kübler". http://www.holocaustchronicle.org/staticpages/421.html. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Diana Tovar, Summary of Peter Wyden's Stella University of California, Santa Barbara (Fall 2005). Retrieved July 29, 2011
  3. The Forger, Cioma Schonhaus, Granta Books, 2004, pp140-141
  4. The Forger, Cioma Schonhaus, Granta Books, 2004
  • Wyden, Peter: Stella. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992
  • Gross, Leonard. The Last Jews in Berlin. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982. ISBN 0-671-24727-1.

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