The Poisonous Blonde of Berlin: The Musical

Stella Goldschlag had all the makings of a jazz star. She was beautiful, talented and ambitious. She grew up in a musical household in Berlin. She was not shy about exploiting her female charms – including in the bedroom – to get ahead. There was just one problem: she was Jewish, even though she could pass for “Aryan” with her famous blonde hair. But the Nazis didn’t care if she didn’t look like or consider herself a Jew; in the early 1940s, her greatest hope was staying alive.

Stella Goldschlag’s story is the stuff of books, films, plays, and this month, a musical in Berlin running through the end of September at the Neukoellner Oper. Stella utilized attributes that could have made her a Marlene Dietrich contemporary (had her father not been denied an American visa) for one, pernicious purpose: catching Jews. From 1943, she became a star of the Gestapo’s “Greifer” service, a Jew-catching service set up once Berlin was supposed to be “Judenrein” and all remaining Jews lived underground as “U-boats.” What better way to find the “U-boats” then to inject the Berlin streets with “blonde poison,” as Stella came to be known. Stella is believed to have caught anywhere from 600 to 3,000 Jews.

Read the rest here.