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Elisabeth (Liesel) Baerlein

Wasserburger Landstr. 209

Place of death:
Victim group:
Als geltungsjüdisch Verfolgte
Erinnerungszeichen (Stele)
Trudering - Riem

Elisabeth Baerlein enjoyed a sheltered childhood in Trudering, where her parents, Friedrich and Katharina Baerlein, née Huber, ran the restaurant “Phantasie”, a popular day out destination, at Wasserburger Landstraße 209. Elisabeth was already a gifted musician as a child. In 1933, when she was 16, she was accepted by the Akademie für Tonkunst in Munich, where she studied violin. Her life changed radically after the Nazi seizure of power and when the “Nuremberg Race Laws” came into force in 1935. Because her father was Jewish and her mother had converted to Judaism, Elisabeth Baerlein was now officially a “Geltungsjüdin” (“Jew by legal validity”). This meant that she had to leave the Academy in 1936. Instead, she began training at a private conservatory. At the same time, she was trying in vain to flee from Germany, attending an agricultural course in preparation for emigration to Palestine. In the course of the “Kristallnacht” pogroms in November 1938, her father, Friedrich Baerlein, was sent to Dachau concentration camp, where he was badly mistreated. He and his wife were also forced to sell their possessions. On June 1, 1942 the Baerlein family had to move into the “Heimanlage für Juden” (“home facility for Jews”) at Clemens-August-Straße 9. Just a few days later, on June 18, 1942, Elisabeth Baerlein was deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto. There, she played in several orchestras. She can be seen in many drawings from the ghetto and, probably, in the propaganda film “Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt” (“The Führer gives the Jews a town”). In Theresienstadt, Elisabeth Baerlein apparently married Josef Lederer, although the marriage was not officially certified. What happened to Josef Lederer is not known. On October 6, 1944 the SS deported Elisabeth Baerlein to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. The SS probably murdered her there immediately upon the arrival of her train on October 9, 1944. She was just 27 years old. Elisabeth Baerlein’s parents survived the Nazi period and fought for many years for the restitution of their property. Today, a street in Trudering-Riem is named Elisabeth-Baerlein-Straße in memory of the musician murdered by the Nazis. (text Barbara Hutzelmann, editor C. Fritsche, translation C. Hales)