Baarová, Lida Babková, born Ludmila Babková, on 07-09-1914, in Prague, Czechoslovakia, the daughter of a civil servant, just one week after the outbreak of World War I. She studied acting at the conversatory of Prague and was a Czech actress and mistress of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s (see Alois) propaganda minister. Her mother appeared in several theatre plays and her younger sister, Zorka Janü
was also a film actress. After Germany lost the war in 1945, Lída Baarová was imprisoned and her mother died during the interrogation by the Czech retribution tribunal. Zorka Janů was expelled from work, ostracized, and committed suicide by jumping out of a window, age 24 on 24-03-1946. After being discovered by talent scouts for the German movie studios, Baarová left Prague for Berlin. She moved to Schwanenwerder on the outskirts of Berlin, where their house on the Inselstrasse 16-18-was close to the residence of Joseph Goebbels (did you know) (see Magda Goebbels) who lived on Nr 8-10, the house still remains in good state.
They started an affair that lasted for more than two years and “My wife is a devil,” he told Baarova. She reveals that Goebbels’s wife, Magda, proposed a ménage à trois to save her marriage but Hitler ordered an end to the two-year affair on the grounds that it could damage the Nazis’ image as guardians of traditional family values. Hitler (did you know) himself, was the godfather of Goebbel’s children and sympathetic towards Goebbels wife, Magda, he ordered Goebbels to end the affair. It was Hitler who first fell for Baarova, then 20, during a visit in 1934 to a film set in Berlin. Three days later she was summoned to tea at the chancellery. He said she reminded him of somebody both “beautiful and tragic” in his life. To her horror, she later realised this was Hitler’s former lover and half-niece, Geli Raubal
, who was found dead in her Munich flat in 1931, aged 23, after shooting herself in the heart with a pistol. Several more meetings followed, despite the protests of Gustav Fröhlich, a jealous actor with whom Baarova was living. Fröhlich died old age 85, on 22-12-1987, in Lugano, Switserland.
But the Führer did not press himself on her and she and Goebbels first met in 1936 during the Berlin Olympics in the city’s opulent Schwanenwerder suburb, where Goebbels had rented a villa near Fröhlich’s. Baarova was attracted immediately. “His voice seemed to go straight into me,” she said. “I felt a light tingling in my back, as if his words were trying to stroke my body.”There were other meetings on Goebbels’s yacht Baldur, and he invited her to hear him speak at a Nazi congress. He promised to touch his face with a white handkerchief during the speech as a sign of his devotion. Panicking, Baarova decided to leave town. But as her train waited at the station, a messenger arrived with roses and the minister’s picture. “He was a master of the hunt, whom nobody and nothing could escape,” she said. For months Goebbels pursued her relentlessly, inviting her for trips in his chauffeur-driven limousine or visits to his log cabin on the shores of Lake Lanke outside Berlin. Although their relationship was platonic for a long time, she tried to hide it from Fröhlich. When Goebbels rang he left messages as Herr Müller and hung up if the actor answered. One winter evening in the cabin, however, before a blazing fire he kissed her for the first time, saying: “I have never in my life been so in-flamed with love for a woman.” But Hitler stopped the affair and called from the German police, that she was a not wanted person, was given the advise to leave Germany and went to Italy. She saw Goebbels one last time at the 1942 Venice film festival. He ignored her. “He must have recognised me, but he did not make a single movement,” she said. “He was always the master of self-control.” Her involvement with the Nazi elite meant that she had turned down offers to go to Hollywood. “I could have been as famous as Marlene Dietrich
she believed. After American troops occupied Italy, she returned to Prague, where she dated her old friend Hans Albers another of Germany’s movie idols like, (see Zarah Leander) (see Marika Rökk) (see Lala Andersen) (Heinz Rühmann) (Hildegard Knef) and (Johann Heesters). Baarová joined Albers in his country house on the shores of Lake Starnberg, was taken into custody by the American military police, imprisoned in Munich, and later extradited to Czechoslovkia. Baarová faced a death sentence for her work with the Germans during the war, but she was able to prove that she worked in Germany before the war and received only a prison sentence and she served 16 months in prison on account of her Nazi past. She continued to deny the Goebbels relationship.
Death and burial ground of Baarová, Lida Babková.
In later years Lida lived in Salzburg, Austria, under the name Lida Lundwall. One of her last wishes had been to return to Prague, but she never managed it. Lída Baarová suffered from Parkingson’s disease and died alone in poverty, on 27-10-2000, at the old age of 86, in Salzburg, while living alone on the estate she inherited after the death of her second husband, Dr. Kurt Lundwall,
who she married in 1970. Police found her body in her Salzburg flat. If she ever felt guilt about her past, she rigorously suppressed it. “There’s no doubt that Goebbels was an interesting character,” she observed in 1997, “a charming and intelligent man and a very good storyteller. You could guarantee that he would keep a party going with his little asides and jokes.” “I was not a Nazi, but like other women I was afraid to say no to such men,” she said. Lida Baarová ashes were interred in Prague’s Strašnice cemetery, where she rests with her parents and sister Zorka Janů, also an actress, who died age 27, on 24-03-1946.
With Lenie Riefenstahl visiting Adolf.