|Marianne Golz-Goldlust |
(31st January 1895 - 8th October 1943)
|In February 1960, my father learnt that the Federal Republic of Germany was going to pay him DM 1.500,- for the 'deprivation of liberty' (i.e. imprisonment) of his wife, Marianne Golz-Goldlust between November 19th, 1942 and October 8th, 1943 (4.43 p.m.) in Prague-Pancraz prison. Till today, no restitution has been offered for what happened at 16.44 p.m. |
|On the other hand, a Herr Alois Weiss received remuneration of Reichs Mark 30,- on October 31st, 1943 from the state attorney's office at the Deutsche Landgericht (High German Court) in Prague for his work at Prague Pancraz prison. |
Entry 219 in the prison record book states the following:
Golzova, Marianne born. 30.1.1895 Vienna 8 Kls 90/43 25.5.43 8.10.43 16.44 hours
At precisely 4.44 p.m. on October 8th, 1943, Alois Weiss an executioner wound up case '8 Kls 90 / 43' of the Special German High Court in Prague.
|The Search for Marianne Begins|
I was born in London in 1947. My mother, Ida Reiss, Jewish refugee from Straznice in Moravia, met my father in 1940 in London. My parents brought me up to be neither German nor Jewish. When they returned to West Germany in 1960, the story of our family caught me up step by step. The search for my own identity took a long time. The sense of feeling 'Jewish' became stronger and stronger, while my knowledge of the fate of my family remained minute. In1985 I read a book "Wir wissen nicht was morgen wird, wir wissen wohl was gestern war" by Peter Sichrovsky ("We don't know about tomorrow, but we definitely know about yesterday"). In the book's dedication stands the following sentence:
"For my grand parents who I'll never forget, even though I never got to know them."
Hans and Marianne Golz-Goldlust
|After his return from England, my father was obliged to sue the Federal Republic because their restitution agency refused to recognize certain physical ailments that he was suffering from as resulting from his forced emigration to Britain in 1939. In the context of the court hearing my father had to undergo a psychiatric examination. His restitution file included a comprehensive report by the psychiatrist of this examination. It was more or less a commented Curriculum Vitae. |
And so, one morning back in 1985, I sat in a drab public office in Berlin-Schoeneberg with a large and tinted file in front of me. I started to read. The following paragraph drew my attention to Marianne:
"My wife Marianne wanted (in Summer 1939) to follow me to England. But as the war broke out this possibility was over. She was never afraid and immediately started to help Czechs and Jews to escape via Vienna to Italy. To took up links to the Gestapo and knew who she could bribe so that people could receive false documentations. Czechs, Germans and Jews met once a week at her apartment. The group was betrayed and arrested during one of the weekly meetings. The Jews were deported to the concentration camps while the Czechs and my wife were put on trial. In 1943 my wife was sentenced to death at the guillotine. The spent weeks in the death cell and was only executed at the end of 1943. The fate of my wife is described in a book that a Czech, employed by the Germans as prison photographer, published after the war. The book is titled 'Zaluji' (Czech for 'I accuse'). This man wrote about my wife and there's also a prison photo of her in the book. Furthermore, secret letters she wrote to her sister that were smuggled out of the prison are printed in the book."
|Suddenly I remembered that my father had mentioned that he had been married before and that he loved that woman a lot and that the Nazis had murdered her. I just had to find that photo and see what she looked like. |
A few weeks later I held the book in hand and looked at Marianne's photo. I also realised even though I do not speak Czech that at least 20 pages dealt with her. The subsequent translation by a friend led to a multitude of feelings within me.
|"Marianne Golz was from Vienna. A very intelligent woman aged 48 with grey hair. Not even in this filthy hole did Marianne lose the greatness of her personality. If one mentioned a 'gentle lady of great spirit' in these poor and pitiless circumstances, then it could only have been Marianne. She was the interpreter between the prison wardens and the prisoners.. She was loved by all and very popular because of her positive thoughts and her political foresight. |
Marianne knew about her pending execution a few days beforehand. That is why she got hold of poison and took it while in the death cell. The wardens found her in a deep and deathly coma and were scared about investigations on how she got hold of the poison. They thus dragged her in front of the state attorney and she was beheaded in an 'unconscious' state."
Marianne, ca. 1929
|Marianne's Life |
Maria Agnes Belokosztolszky was born in Vienna-Hernals on January 30th, 1895. Her family were Catholic. Her father was Polish, her mother Czech. After high school graduation in Vienna she attended courses to become a ballet dancer and opera singer and chose the stage name, Marianne Tolska. She is first mentioned as an opera singer in July 1921, where she appeared on stage with the Viennese Raimund Theatre during a guest performance in Linz. Marianne wrote about herself in retrospect:
|"I remember when I was 26 years old. I didn't feel that young at all and certainly wasn't childlike. I rejected all parts where I was expected to play 'youngsters'. I didn't want to be young at all. And by the way, I wasn't anyway. I was more mature than others and married while still very young .I always mixed with older women. At 26 I was already self-supporting and a wealthy woman." |
Marianne as the dancer Cagliari
|She appeared in Stuttgart performing in the operetta 'Viennese Blood' on July 12th, 1922. |
"How nice that the theatre has succeeded in staging this delightful operetta in such a satisfactory manner. Dancer Marianne Tolska doesn't only look attractive but acts and sings a lot better than in the past. What good can a little rest do!"
|Between October 1922 and September 1924 Marianne is a member of the Salzburg City Theatre ensemble. This is where she meets Nico Dostal the Austrian operetta composer. Dostal writes: |
"My first season under the directorship of Mr. Strial in Salzburg was unproblematic. It was he who brought the singers Rudolf Worelli and Marianne Tolska to Salzburg. Marianne was to play a role in my later life. Before we brought the operetta 'Madame Pompandour 'to the stage in Salzburg, our soprano Tolska travelled to Vienna to watch Fritzi Massary performing as Madame Pompadour at the Carl Theatre. Tolska copied all she had seen during Massary's performance and proved to be a splendid Pompadour."
|The peak of Marianne's career was the joint appearance alongside Richard Tauber in 'Die Fledermaus' on July 30th, 1923 at the Salzburg City Theatre. |
|"The 'Fledermaus' with Richard Tauber as Eisenstein was, as expected, a tremendous success. The famous guest's usual quick and tempered performance as well as his wonderful and well-kept tenor voice made the evening unforgettable. But it also should be mentioned that some of the local talents do not have to stand back from Mr. Tauber. Miss Tolska was well suited for her role."|
|Just 14 days before, Marianne had married the Viennese music publisher Ernst Wengraf on July 16th, 1923. In 1924 she moved with him to Berlin, where he had opened a further office. It was her second marriage. Nico Dostal later wrote about his time in Berlin: |
|"As I climbed off then train at the Anhalt Station I immediately felt at home. First of all, I joined the circle around Marianne Tolska-Wengraf, who by then was divorced from her husband but in mutual understanding. Marianne used to surround herself at her flat on Wittenberg Platz with dynamic people from the theatre and advertising branches. It was possible to get to know all sorts of people and make useful contacts."|
Marianne and Hans in Marienbad
|Marianne probably met my father, Hans Werner Goldlust during one of these meetings in 1924. He was then head of the advertising and distribution department of the Literarischer Welt that was published by the well known Rowohlt Publishing Co. My father adopted the name 'Golz' in the early 20's, because as an assimilated Jew he rejected the stigmatisation of such 'Jewish' names. It is rumoured that he never officially registered the name change so as not to offend his father. This is the reason for the name: 'Golz-Goldlust'. |
Willy Haas was editor-in-chief of the Literarischer Welt. Rowohlt offered the magazine for sale in spring 1927. Willy Haas and my father purchased it and my father became managing director.
On March 21st, 1929 Marianne and Hans married in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. Hans Golz writes about his wife:
|"I was very proud of my wife. Through her I was introduced to relevant circles. My wife was always a strong support. I could always rely on her. She was always optimistic and believed that she would never suffer problems in life so that I need not worry about her." |
And Marianne's niece Erika Haala adds:
|und Mariannes Nichte, Erika Haala, sagt:|
|"She was a very beautiful and impressive woman. She liked wearing bright colours and she was always well dressed. She was a very striking and dominant person. Full of life and energy. A person who was full of vitality. I spent quite some time thinking about the word 'joy of life'. I think it's the wrong term. Vitality, someone who was very dominant. Wherever she was, she was at the centre. Whether it stemmed from the stage or from her temperament, I cannot say, but it certainly defined us all. She was a woman with lots of charm, lots of warmth and full of happiness. She was my very much-loved aunt.|
|When Hitler came to power in January 1933, Hans Golz and Willy Haas were aware of the danger for Jews. They already sold the magazine in March 1933 and subsequently emigrated to Prague with their wives in 1934.|
|"Will Haas and I tried to open a new magazine 'Die Welt im Wort' (The World of Word) with Orbis Publishing Co. We had taken the list of subscribers of the 'Literarischer Welt' with us and we hoped we would be able to distribute the magazine throughout Germany from Prague. But this proved impossible. In 1935 I took up work as the representative of the French news agency 'Mitropress' and also wrote for the 'Neue Wiener Journal'."|
|It appears that Marianne did not work as an opera singer during their stay in Prague. In 1936 both the parents and sister of Hans Golz emigrated from Berlin to Prague. |
On March 15th, 1939 the Nazis occupied the Czech Republic.
Marianne, ca. 1940
|Hans Golz immediately fled Prague and reached England via Poland and the Baltic in the summer of 1939. The extensive correspondence between Rosa Goldlust in Prague and her children Hans and Erna in London shows that Marianne stayed on in Prague to help her parents- and sister-in-law and to wind up her flat. |
Even though she possessed the necessary visas to leave Prague and join her husband in London, by July 1939 she did not succeed in leaving the Czechoslovakian Republic that was now titled 'Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia' before the war broke out on September 1st, 1939.
|Marianne's Arrest and Court Trial|
The prison in Prague-Pankraz
|Marianne's Arrest and Court Trial |
The sources covering the period of her trial and execution on October 8th, 1943 are multiple. They comprise of:
statements by Erika Haala, Marianne's niece,
a letter from Dr. Friedrich Seidl, a former tenant in Marianne's flat in Prague during the war,
an interview with Erna Steiner, who together with her mother and others was arrested by the Gestapo at Marianne's flat on the evening of November 19th 1942,
Excerpts from the German state attorney's accusations and from the court ruling of the Special German High Court in Prague on May 18th, 1943 referring to Marianne and the crimes she was purported to have committed,
written statements by Marianne from official prison letters exchanged with her sister Rosi in Vienna and from smuggled secret letters, that Marianne sent to her sister between her arrest on November 19th, 1942 and her death on October 8th, 1943 and finally from
excerpts from secret messages that Marianne exchanged with her co-prisoner Richard Macha and the prison photographer R. Karel that were published in the book "Zaluji" ("I Accuse") published in 1946 in Prague.
|From all of these sources the following picture evolves: |
As of 1939, Marianne belonged to a resistance group that helped Jews to get out of Prague by procuring faked ID-cards and travel documents. Marianne succeeded in saving part of the refugee's monies by transferring them to her sister Rosi in Vienna.
|"Through some kind of source at the Gestapo, Marianne knew who was to be deported next. These people were contacted and were helped by some kind of organisation across the border at night. My mother then received the money." |
"I only distantly knew Mrs. Golz. We used an encrypted name's list. I never knew she was called ' Golz' until she became a customer of my mother. Then I recognized her. Marianne permanently and deliberately helped Jews to escape. She was a wonderful woman didn't betray anyone. We agreed at the onset that if anything became known she would shoulder the responsibility."
|It is rumoured that Marianne even got people out of Theresienstadt Ghetto. With the help of a secret contact, information about what was going on in Prague reached the Czech Government in exile by way of her husband in London.|
|Every second Thursday a 'social meeting' took place at Marianne's apartment in the evening.|
|"I recollect that I and a friend once or twice took part at such meetings, where the greater part of the participants where people on the run, hiding from the Germans". The prosecution later asserted that at these meetings " hatred was stirred in every way against the Reich."|
|At the meeting on Thursday, November 19th, 1942 all the participants were arrested by the Gestapo|
|"It was a Thursday circle which I attended for the first time with my mother. We turned up at around 8 to 8.30 and there were already a lot of people there. The Gestapo opened the door and said 'We've been waiting just for you'. We were arrested and taken to the political department and were treated worse than murderers or criminals."|
|The same evening, the Gestapo in Vienna arrested Marianne's sister Rosi. |
|"My mother knew that she was involved in helping Jewish refugees to escape from Prague and the meaning of the money she handed to them when they got to Vienna. We learnt that Marianne had been arrested the same day in Prague. and that she was to be put on trial." |
|Marianne describes how she was arrested: |
|"Evzenie Synek a Jewish woman has got me and ten other people on her conscience. She works for the Gestapo. Make sure, Mr. Karel, that the double-act of Mrs. Synek becomes known so that nobody puts a halo over her head one day, which she really doesn't deserve!"|
|During her interrogation by the Gestapo, Marianne exonerated the others arrested, as she had agreed to do with the people that were close to her.|
|"She took full responsibility and we played the innocent lambs, that happened to have been arrested at one of her social meetings. After Marianne had stated that we had nothing to do with the whole affair and that we were only chance guests, we were released."|
|On May 18th, 1943 the trial against Marianne and 17 further persons took place at the Special German High Court in Prague. It was a show-trial that can only be understood in the context of the Nazis' defeat at Stalingrad in the winter of 1942/43. With this defeat the tide turned against Nazi Germany. The judiciary was assigned with the task to clamp down with all power possible on any form of resistance within the Reich and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The trial and the ruling speak a clear language; it was intended to set an example.|
The last photograph of Marianne
before her arrest in Prag 1942
|"Since 1940, the accused Golz-Goldlust was friends with Goldschmidt and often visited him. At his apartment she got to know Zapotecky. She learnt that he helped Jews to illegally cross the borders of the Protectorate. To avoid deportation Goldschmidt fled to Vienna. About two weeks later, the accused Golz-Goldlust received a phone call from her sister Haala, who told her that Goldschmidt had turned up. Subsequently several letters were exchanged between the two ... |
The accused Golz-Goldlust advised the accused Kühnel to approach Zapotecky and ask him for help crossing the border. Zapotecky states that Kühnel handed Golz-Goldlust 20.000 Czech Crowns and asked her to transfer them in small amounts to her sister Rosi Haala in Vienna. Goldschmidt had been informed by Golz-Goldlust of the immanent arrival of Kühnel in Vienna. Kühnel emphasises that Golz-Goldlust recommended Zapotecky and also gave him Zapotecky's office address and telephone number.
Golz-Goldlust is third time married. Her present husband is absolutely Jewish (Volljude). Among her two former husbands was a further Jew. It is obvious that Golz-Goldlust, owing to several marriages with Jews, is utterly mentally Jew-ridden (verjudet), has friendly ties to Jews, half-Jews and friends of Jews. By way of this it is clear that Golz-Goldlust would without inner or outer pressure assist other Jews she knows in avoiding state measures aimed at them by aiding their illegal emigration." And further: " Golz-Goldlust is a very different racial category. She has mixed with great agility and diligence in Jewish circles and has involved herself in the cause of her Jewish and half-Jewish friends. She did not act under pressure but from an inner conviction. Her desire to please her Jewish friends fits her aggressive approach towards the National Socialist state." .
|Among the 18 accused, Marianne and a further 9 of the defendants were sentenced on May 18th, 1943 as "saboteurs and aides to enemies of the Reich " to death. |
In June 1943 some of the accused launched an appeal against their death sentences. On July 19th, 1943 Marianne also made an appeal. The appeals were dealt with by senior attorney Dr. Ludwig at the Special German High Court in Prague. As far as Marianne was concerned he wrote:
|"Marianne Golz-Goldlust was sentenced on May 18th, 1943 as a saboteur and enemy of the Reich as well as for aiding enemies of the Reich. She was therefore sentenced to death and the loss of all civil rights for life. The special situation in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia make it necessary that the death sentence be implemented. I suggest that no pardon be given and that justice take its due course." |
On September 21st, 1943 a further appeal, lodged with the Reichsminister of Justice in Berlin, is rejected.
"In the context of the court case at the Special German High Court in Prague of May 18th, 1943 I have ruled with the consent of the Fuehrer and in agreement with the Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia not to make use of my right of pardon as far as those who were sentenced to death are concerned."
|Marianne's Last Letter:|
Photograph taken in jail
|"Marianne's Last Letter: |
"Pankratz, October 5th, 1943
Here is my last farewell. I can only tell you that I've lost the game of life. I'll try to step down as a hero. Please don't cry! Death is something very common here. Life apart from the last two hours was wonderful. Till the last moment every one here loved me very much. Till the last moment I was happy. I have done everything possible that my death be revenged one day. I remain in your memory and near to you.
I kiss you
The guillotine in the
prison at Prague-Pankraz
|Marianne's Death |
"Prague III, October 8th, 1943
To the Attorney General at the Special German High Court in Prague
Re: Sentence against Zapotecky and others
The court ruling against Marianne Golz-Goldlust was fulfilled on October 8th, 1943 at 4.44 p.m.
The procedure was as follows:
1.) Between the presentation of the condemned and the handing over to the executioner: 3 seconds.
2.) From the handing over to the implementation: 6 seconds.
There were no occurrences.
Rehder-Knöspel, 1st. State Attorney."
|What happened to the involved judges Albrecht and Hartmann and the state attorneys Ludwig und von Zeynek after the war?|
|Dr. Erwin Albrecht (* 21.2.1900 in Duesseldorf) was after 1945 a registered lawyer in Saarbruecken und between December 18th, 1955 and January 2nd, 1961 a member in the state legislature of the Saarland. After his Activities in Prague became public he was ousted from the CDU-Fraction on December 6th, 1958. |
Dr. Robert Hartmann (*1.7.1901 in Heilberscheid) was after 1945 a senior judge in Koenigswinter.
Dr. Franz Ludwig (*7.4.1899 in Mainz) was after 1945 state attorney in Duesseldorf.
Dr. Wolfgang Zeynek (* 30.9.1908 in Prag) was after 1945 state judge in Nuremberg.
The executioner Alois Weiss (* 16.10.1896 in Ruma, Croatia) lived after 1945 without a court trial in Regensburg.
|On June 9th, 1988 Marianne Golz-Goldlust was posthumously awarded the "Medal of the Righteous of the Nations" by the Board of Yat Vashem in Jerusalem. In her honour an olive tree (sapling No. 806) was planted at Yad Vashem Memorial site on November 28th, 1988.|
The memorial sign in the
olive grove at Yat Vashem