An Actress, Singer, and Holocaust Hero

Stand for Israel  |  July 24, 2023

Actress Marianne Golz-Goldlust
(Photo: wikicommons/Goesseln)

Born in Austria to Czech and Polish parents, Marianne Golz seemed destined for greatness from a young age. Her father’s work as an orchestra conductor inspired the girl, and she became an actress and opera singer in her homeland—performing under the stage name Mariannenne Tolska—before moving to Berlin to do the same in the 1920s.

In Germany, Marianne married Hans Goldlust, a Jewish journalist and editor, and the two moved to Prague to escape the Nazis’ anti-Semitism, where Marianne worked as a theater critic. When the Nazis invaded Prague in 1939, Marianne’s husband was arrested. She met with the Gestapo and talked them into releasing Hans, who then found safety in England. Marianne stayed behind to help her Jewish mother-in-law and sister-in-law, and soon found herself helping many more in her fight against the Nazis’ evil actions.

Over the next years, Marianne held meetings in her home for the underground resistance against the Nazis, making the acquaintance of others in the movement, as well as helping Jews find safety. In October 1942, a Jewish friend looking to flee Prague made contact with Marianne. After she provided the man, Viktor Kuhnel, with money and connections, they were both arrested by the Gestapo, who had discovered the smuggling ring of which Marianne was a part.

When arrested, Marianne confessed—under torture—to her involvement. But she never named her accomplices, and they were released. Sadly, she was sentenced to death by the Nazis.

During her imprisonment, Marianne smuggled out scraps of paper containing letters to her loved ones. And her loved ones worked hard to get her freed—however, few attorneys would take her case, for fear of Nazi punishment themselves.

A year after her capture, on October 8, 1943, Marianne Golz was executed by guillotine, bringing an end to the life of a true hero of the Holocaust. However, her words—sneaked out of the Nazi prison—survived, and were published after the war. And her memory is not forgotten, either, as Marianne Golz was named Righteous Among the Nations in 1988, and her life and letters have been made into articles, radio plays, and even a play for the stage. May the memory of this actress, singer, and friend of the Jewish people be a blessing.