Baum, Herbert

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BAUM, HERBERT (1912–1942), German Communist and anti-Nazi fighter. Baum was a member of the German communist youth movement from 1932 and led a clandestine Jewish communist cell in Berlin from 1936. In 1937 he and his wife Marianne organized a political circle with communist leanings frequented by young Jews (both party members and others), including some Zionists. According to communist sources, this group continued its activities even after the outbreak of World War ii by mimeographing leaflets and illegal newspapers and establishing contacts with French and Belgian forced laborers in Germany, mainly in the Siemens plant in Berlin where Baum worked. On May 18, 1942, Baum and a number of his comrades set fire to the Nazi propaganda exhibit Das Sowjetparadies ("The Soviet Paradise"). Shortly afterward Baum and members of his group were arrested. He died in jail, probably by his own hand, while his comrades were tried and sentenced to death or deported to death camps. At the request of the group's sole survivor, Charlotte Holzer, Baum and his comrades were buried in the Jewish cemetery at Weissensee, East Berlin.


E. Maoz, Yalkut Moreshet, 3 (1944), 79–88; M. Pikarski, Sie Bleiben unvergessen (1968); L. Steinberg, La revolte des justesles juifs contre Hitler (1970), 51–77; B. Mark, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 14 (1961), 27–64 (Eng. summary in Y. Suhl (ed.), They Fought Back (1967), 55–68). add. bibliography: E. Brothers, in: W. Loehken and W. Vathke (eds.), Juden im Widerstand (1993), 83–93; M. Kreutzer, in: ibid., 95–158.

[Lucien Steinberg]