Stella Kübler


Stella Kübler, Stella Isaacksohn, (born Goldschlag, 10 July 1922—1994) was a Jewish woman who collaborated with the Nazis, exposing and denouncing underground Jews during World War II on behalf of the Gestapo.

Stella Goldschlag was born and raised in Berlin as the spoiled only child in a comfortably middle-class, assimilated Jewish family. After the seizure of power by the Nazis, she, like other Jewish children, was forbidden to go to public school, so she attended a school set up by the Jewish community, where she was known for her beauty and vivacity. Her parents attempted to leave Germany to escape the Reich, but were unable to get visas for other countries. The family fell on financial 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.

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. 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 helped by her blonde-haired, blue-eyed, classically beautiful, ‘Aryan’ appearance.

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”). 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 3000 Jews. Kübler’s charisma and striking good looks were a great advantage in her pursuit of underground Jews. The Nazis called her “blonde poison”. She is mentioned in The Forger, Cioma Schonhaus’ 2004 account of living as an underground Jew in Berlin.

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.

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 year’s camp detention. Afterwards she moved to West Berlin. Here she was again tried and convicted, and punished with ten year’s detention. However she did not have to serve these 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 U.S. 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 Stella.

She suffered from severe depression due to her loneliness and guilt because of her activities during the war. She committed suicide in 1994 by jumping from the window of her apartment.

 

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