10. Stella Kubler’s Victims Numbered in the Thousands
Stella Kubler was particularly effective at finding Jews in hiding, because she knew many of Berlin’s Jews from her years in a Jewish school. She had not chosen to become a Jew Catcher of her own free will, but how she exercised what freedom of choice she had while doing that was entirely within her control. She exercised that freedom of choice by pursuing hidden Jews with remarkable zeal. Even after the Jews she turned in were arrested, and her task was over, Stella enthusiastically took part in beating, torturing, and humiliating them. Notwithstanding her zeal, the Nazis reneged on their promises to Stella, and deported her parents to their death in a camp. Her husband and his family were sent to Auschwitz in 1943. Despite that, Stella’s enthusiasm for seeking out hidden Jews and denouncing them to the Gestapo did not wane.
Betting on a German victory, Stella secured a promise from a high ranking Gestapo official in 1944. She wanted to be declared an Aryan after the war. By war’s end, she was responsible for the arrest, deportation, and subsequent murder of untold hundreds of Jews. Estimates of her victims range from a low of 600, to as many as 3000. They included many of her personal friends, former schoolmates and their families, and even some of her own relatives. She got off light. After the war, the Soviets sentenced her to 10 years imprisonment. After her release, she moved to West Berlin, where West German authorities sentenced her to another 10 years. However, she served no time of that sentence. She then converted to Christianity, and became a lifelong anti-Semite. In 1994, Stella Kubler took her own life by jumping out the window of her Berlin apartment.