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Libertas Schulze-Boysen

Libertas Schulze-Boysen, born Libertas Viktoria Haas-Heye (November 20, 1913 in Paris – December 22, 1942 in Berlin-Plötzensee) was a German opponent of the Nazis who belonged to the Red Orchestra (Rote Kapelle) resistance group during the Third Reich.

Early years

Schulze-Boysen spent her childhood at her grandfather's estate Philip, Prince of Eulenburg and Hertefeld (1857–1921) in Liebenberg near Berlin.[1][2] She was a granddaughter of Prussian diplomat Philip, Prince of Eulenburg through his youngest daughter Viktoria.

After her abitur at a girls' secondary school in Zurich and a stay in the United Kingdom, she was hired by the motion picture company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Berlin branch office as a press officer. She joined the Nazi Party in March 1933.[1][2] In 1934, she became acquainted with Harro Schulze-Boysen, whom she married on July 16, 1936 in Liebenberg. Early in 1937, she left the Nazi Party.[1][2]

In the period that followed, she wrote a play with Günther Weisenborn, “Die guten Feinde” (“The Good Enemies”). In 1940, she wrote film reviews for the Essener Zeitung, while also gathering pictorial evidence of Nazi war crimes in the Reich Propaganda Ministry. She supported her husband in the quest for like-minded opponents of the Nazi régime.[1]

Arrest and trial

In late October 1941, she was visited by a Soviet military intelligence officer and put him in contact with her husband. The Gestapo discovered their Resistance group in summer 1942 and her husband was arrested on August 31, 1942. Schulze-Boysen warned friends and disposed of their own illegal documents, but was arrested anyway on September 8, 1942.[2] While in prison, she wrote a number of remarkable letters and poems to her mother.[3]

She and her husband were brought before the Reichskriegsgericht ("Reich Court Martial"), where they were charged. She was charged with "preparation" to commit high treason, helping the enemy and espionage. Her husband was charged with preparation to commit high treason, wartime treason, military sabotage and espionage.[4] The trial ended on December 19, 1942 with death sentences for both her husband and her. Libertas Schulze-Boysen and her husband were executed on December 22, 1942, at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin.[1][5][6]


In the Berlin borough of Lichtenberg in 1972, a street was named after the Schulze-Boysens.[6]

The full name of her niece, Rosita, Duchess of Marlborough (b. 1943), is Dagmar Rosita Astrid Libertas.

Her grandniece is Sophie, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein.

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ a b c d e Short biography of Libertas Schulze-Boysen. German Resistance Memorial Center, Berlin. Retrieved April 13, 2010
  2. ^ a b c d List German Resistance fighters Biography of Libertas Schulze-Boysen. Retrieved April 13, 2010 Invalid language code.
  3. ^ Libertas: "Our Death must be a Beacon" Notice regarding program about Libertas Schulze-Boysen sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute and Elysium. February 26, 2003. Retrieved April 13, 2010
  4. ^ Nazi Feldurteil. Nazi "field" verdict sentencing the Schulze-Boysens and other members of the Red Orchestra. Retrieved April 13, 2010 Invalid language code.
  5. ^ Official Nazi document of execution Retrieved April 13, 2010 Invalid language code.
  6. ^ a b Background on Schulze-Boysen-Straße Retrieved April 13, 2010 Invalid language code.

External links

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