Freisler-Russegger, Marion.

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Freisler- Russegger, born 10-02-1910 in Hamburg, the daughter of Bernhard Adolf Cajetan Russegger, a merchant in Hamburg and Bremen, and Cornelia Pirscher. On 24-03-1928, she married Roland Freisler, who was a lawyer and city councillor of the Nazi Party in Kassel at the time.They had two sons,  Harald and Roland, and both were baptized.

On 03-02-1945, her husband was killed during an Allied air raid in Berlin. In his will, dated 01-10-1944, Freisler had decreed that their two houses belonged to his wife.

Roland Freisler studied law in Kiel. During the First World War he was imprisoned by the Russians and he learned Russian. In 1923 he returned to Berlin and he married Marion Rusegger. After the burning of the Reichstag he was given considerable powers to perscute Hitler’s opponents. His bursts of anger were recorded on film and he was frequently a shame to the nazis. He presided the court that sentenced Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl and Christopher “Christl” Probst  to death. After the attempt on Hitler’s life in 1944 he sentenced many people to death without a shred of evidence. During a trial in Berlin the allied forces bombarded the city. Everybody had fled the courtroom to find shelter but he returned to pick up several important papers. At that moment the Palace of Justice was hit. On the morning of 03-02-1945, Freisler was conducting a Saturday session of the People’s Court when United States Army Air Forces bombers attacked Berlin, led by the B-17 of USAAF Lieutenant Colonel Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal

. Government and Nazi Party buildings were hit, including the Reich Chancellery, the Gestapo headquarters, the Party Chancellery and the People’s Court. Hearing the air raid sirens, Freisler hastily adjourned the court and ordered that the prisoners before him be taken to an air raid shelter, but stayed behind to gather files before leaving. A hit on the court-building at 11:08 caused a partial internal collapse, with Freisler being crushed by a masonry column and killed while still in the courtroom. Among the files was that of Fabian von Schlabrendorff, a 20 July Plot member who was on trial that day and was facing execution. Freisler’s body was found beneath the rubble still clutching the files he had stopped to retrieve  Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rosenthal died on  20-04-2007, at age 89 in White Plains, New York.

After the war, Marion Freisler resumed her birth name Russegger and moved to Munich. In 1985 there was a scandal about Russegger. In 1974, her pension was raised by about 400 Deutsche Mark. The explanation given by the pension office was that had her husband survived the war, and not been executed, disbarred, or imprisoned by the military tribunals of the allied countries, he presumably would have had a successful career as a lawyer or a senior judge. This decision was protested by a member of the Bavarian Landtag, but the move was rejected by the state government and there were no consequences for Marion Freisler. This was one of the last incidents connected with the problematic issue of social integration of National Socialist jurists in the Federal Republic of Germany in the early years.

Death and burial ground of Marion Russegger/Freisler.

Marion Russegger died 21-01-1997, age 86, in Munich) In 1997, Marion Freisler was buried in Berlin, in the Russegger family plot, on the  Waldfriedhof Dahlem, Berlin, alongside her parents and her husband (Roland Freisler’s name is not on his gravestone).

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