Gitta Bauer, Germany

Gitta Bauer was born in Berlin in 1919, into a family who opposed the Nazis. Her father was a simple man and raised Gitta and her three sisters Catholic. She was a member of a Catholic movement, which was made illegal in 1935. Seven years later she was arrested because they thought she was a Communist.

In 1943, when she was only 24 years old, Gitta Bauer took her Jewish friend Ilse Baumgart into her home and thus saved her life. ”This was no big moral or religious decision. She was a friend and she needed help. We knew it was dangerous, and we were careful, but we didn’t consider not taking her” she said at a later date.

When the war was over in 1945 she met her husband, who was Jewish. In 1950 their son was born in East Berlin, where she was arrested, this time for four years. Her husband was sent to Siberia for five years. He was accused of being an American spy.

No more than one year before her discharge she was allowed to write a letter and that way got to know that her son was alright and lived at her father’s house.

Subsequently she became a journalist and was sent to the ”Nurember Trials” and also to New York, where she witnessed the race riots.

In 1984 she was asked to accept the Yad Vashem medal. First she was in doubt about accepting it, because she felt not dignified for she had just saved one life and she could have done more, but she finally did.