Irene Kleber

Irene Kleber was born in 1893 and she lived alone in a big apartment in a middle part of Berlin. During the thirties she had worked as a lady-in-waiting, now she was a postal office employee. To be able to afford the apartment she sublet two rooms. Nevertheless, during the years of war, tenants were almost never at the apartment.

In March 1943, an acquaintance came to Irene Kleber and asked her to sublet a room to Charlotte and Waldemar Wagner and their daughter Lissi.

Though at first she was not sure of taking that risk, finally she rented the room to the Wagner – who had been able to save a part of their fortune. In the first weeks the family stayed in their room, but in the summer sometimes they left their hideout. One day somebody recognized Waldemar Wagner and called the police. On august 23rd, 1943 two policemen form the Gestapo came to Irene Kleber’s door and asked her about Waldemar Wagner. Irene Kleber refused to know a man with that name, but the Gestapo checked the apartment and they found Charlotte, Waldemar and Lissi Wagner. The three of them were arrested, deported to Auschwitz and murdered there.

In spite of that it was a clear case of help to persecuted Jews, Irene Kleber was not persecuted by the Nazi justice or police departments.