German Resistance Memorial Center Biographie
Born in Sarrebourg/Saarburg (Lothringen) in 1912, Marianne Cohn joined the Communist Youth Federation (KJVD) in around 1930. She met her later husband Herbert Baum at a young age in the German-Jewish youth group Deutsch-Jüdische Jugendgemeinschaft. After 1933 she was involved in the communist resistance. Several of her friends emigrated in 1935/36 to escape anti-Semitic persecution. Marianne and Herbert Baum sought contact with Jewish organizations, as the illegal leadership of the KPD usually excluded Communists of Jewish origin from the inner circle of illegal actions so as to reduce the risk of discovery. From 1938/39, a new circle was formed around Marianne and Herbert Baum, which grew further after Jewish organizations were banned in 1939. Its members regarded themselves as German Communists of Jewish origin. Young forced laborers from the Siemens factories in Berlin joined from 1940/41. They attempted to develop their own forms of protest and resistance, independently of the communist resistance groups that existed in Berlin or were formed between the initial persecution and 1937. After German troops invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, the group distributed leaflets calling attention to the injustice and dangerous consequences of the war. They were discovered after their arson attack on the propaganda exhibition “The Soviet Paradise” in Berlin’s Lustgarten on May 18, 1942. Marianne Baum was arrested along with her husband on May 22, 1942, sentenced to death by the Berlin special court, and murdered in Berlin-Plötzensee on August 18, 1942.