Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Christa Winsloe (1888-1944)

Christa Winslow was born in Darmstadt, Germany on 23 December 1888. After her mother's early death, she was sent to the Kaiserin-Augusta-Stift, a strict boarding school in Potsdam. In this institution, girls of the aristocracy were drilled to learn discipline and submission and become mothers of soldiers.

After leaving school, she married Baron Ludwig Hatvany, a wealthy Hungarian writer and landowner. The marriage broke up, but Hatvany made her a generous allowance after their divorce. In the early 1930s, Christa moved to Berlin where she worked as an animal sculptor. She also wrote several books and plays. One, Knight Nerestan, was made into a film called Madchen in Uniform (Girls in Uniform) in 1931

In 1939 Christa fled to Cote d'Azur, France to a home she shared with her partner, Simone Gentet. There the two women offered temporary support and refuge for people fleeing the Nazis. Contrary to what is often stated, she was not executed by the Nazis. Instead, on 10 June 1944, she and Simone, were shot and killed by four Frenchmen in a forest near the country town of Cluny. The men said they had thought the women were Nazi spies, and were later acquitted of murder.

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