Baur, Eleonore, Mayr, Sponseil or “Sister Pia” born 07-09-1885 in Kirchdorf near Bad Aibling, Bavaria. Her mother died when Baur was an infant, shortly after the birth, and when she was five Baur moved to Munich with her father and stepmother which was a hard woman who didn’t spared her as she had to work for her daily food. In Munich Baur left school aged 14 and as her step mother sent her away from home she started to work as a midwife’s assistant. At 15 she gave birth to an illegitimate child whose fate is currently unknown; there is no record of the child being given up for adoption or being raised by Baur’s family. It is speculated that Baur may have drowned the unwanted child shortly after giving birth. At 19 she gave birth to a second illegitimate son named Willhelm, whom she gave up for adoption, then soon after she moved to Egypt to work as a nurse’s assistant at a Cairo hospital, although she had no papers or education for nursing. The later second man of the Nazi’s Rudolf Hess
was born and temporary lived in Egypt, 8 years old, too at the moment, but they never met then.
Baur returned to Munich in 1907, calling herself “Sister Pia”, and worked unskilled for the Roman Catholic charitable order Gelbes Kreuz. In 1908 or 1909 she married Ludwig Baur, a mechanical engineer. The marriage ended in divorce after five or six years. In 1923 she married for the second time, a hotel manager named Sponseil ten years her junior. This marriage also ended in divorce. Baur served as a nurse during World War I and then assisted the Freikorps Oberland troops during their battle against the Bavarian Soviet Republic and in the Baltic campaign in 1919. She received the Baltikum Cross in 1920 personal from Captain Hermann Ehrhardt, the leader of the “Free Corps Ehrhardt”. Ehrhardt died old age 89 on 27-09-1971 in Brunn am Walde.
In 1920, Baur got troubles driving illegal on a tram in Munich and was helped by the other passengers Adolf Hitler and Anton Drexler. She afterward visited a meeting of the NSDAP and helped found the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Baur became one of the most visible Nazi figures. Member number 511 in Munich in the spring of 1920, and was arrested on 11-03-1920 for disturbing the peace following an anti-Semitic speech at a women’s rally in Munich. Her subsequent acquittal made her a hero of the Nazi movement and she was a favourite of Hitler.
Baur continued to be active in German politics, giving speeches and organising Nazi-based charitable events, and on 09-11-1923 was the only woman to participate in the Beer Hall Putsch,
during which she received minor injuries and for which she later received the Blood Order personal by Adolf Hitler
being one of only two German and 14 Austrian females to be awarded the party’s highest decoration. She there immediately worried about Adolf Hitler, but he was not wounded and then helped the other wounded men. She with Hitler took shelter in the house of Ernst Franz “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, a Hitler intimate in Uffing at the Staffelsee. Throughout the rise of the Nazis and following their assumption of power in 1933, Baur remained close to the Nazi leadership, After the Nazi assumption of power in 1933, she profited a good deal from the close contacts to the Nazi elite. She was invited on numerous excursions and many festivities. She had a close relationship with SS chief Heinrich Himmler
who appointed his welfare sister as SS Oberführerin for the Waffen-SS at Dachau Concentration Camp in 1933.
In 1934, Baur founded the National Socialist Order of Sisters (Schwesternschaft), becoming its honorary chairwoman in 1937. She was promoted under the Nazi regime as the ideal Nazi woman and her role in the nascent Nazi party was well known. Known as a fanatical National Socialist who hated Jews and Poles, Baur received a number of medals, including the Silesian Eagle Order , the Silver Medal for Bravery.
According to the testimony of victims and witnesses (e.g. Karol Minkner, who was a pastor in Methodist Church and the prisoner in Dachau) Baur took a role of madam in brothel organized in a train moving across General Government. Women and girls working in this train came from Poland and Ukraine, and were captured and then forced to work as prostitutes. Baur gave them alcohol and narcotics, and generally prepared for the role of whores. The clients were exclusively officers of Wehrmacht and SS units.
Baur played a major role in the construction and administration of Dachau and while there is no evidence Baur physically harmed prisoners, she was accused of bullying prisoners, staff and neighbours, and forcing prisoners to work on the renovations of the villa Hitler had given her in Oberhaching, near the camp in the Voitstrasse 6. Additionally, she gained a reputation in the camp as someone who “requisitioned anything that was not nailed down”.
The prisoner Erich Essner was occasionally doing gardening work in her private apartment at 6 Voit Street, München, as early as 1934. Other prisoners followed who had to do household tasks. Between 1937 and 1945, Schwester Pia had her house in Munich Oberhaching extensively renovated by concentration camp prisoners. The garden was redesigned and the place was generally cleaned up. A garage was built, together with an enclosed swimming pool and a bunker. The materials for this work came solely from Dachau. It seems she paid for a part of the materials, but she took the biggest part for free. In the workshops of the concentration camp the prisoners had to produce furniture, wood carvings, and children’s toys for her.
Baur was first arrested on war crimes charges in May 1945 but shortly thereafter released due to insufficient evidence. She then appeared before the Denazification court in Munich in September 1949, where she was categorized as a major criminal, sentenced to ten years at Rebdorf labour camp and her personal property confiscated. Released from prison in 1950 for health reasons, Baur successfully applied for a pension and compensation in 1955 and returned to Oberhaching, She was avoided by her neighbors, guarded by a German shepherd dog and the quarter children shouted her as the old witch. Baur never renounced National Socialism and never lacked self-confidence, once stating, “There is only one Frederick the Great, there is only one Adolf Hitler, and there is only one sister Pia.
Death and burial ground of Baur, Eleonore “Sister Pia”.
She reached a high lonely age and died on 18-05-1981, age 95 and is buried on the Deisenhofen in Oberhaching, but her gravestone with the text “ Ein Leben für Deutschland” or “ A Life for Germany” was removed after complains of the citizens of Oberhaching.